Ghostbusters director criticises his critics

A few days ago the Ghostbuster reboot trailer became the most disliked trailer on YouTube. Overall it is the 11th most disliked video, rubbing elbows with the likes of Rebecca Black, Miley Cyrus, Rick Perry’s homophobic presidential advert and, from what I could see, all of Justin Bieber’s music videos, and there is only one person who is surprised by this.

Speaking to the New York Daily News, Paul Fieg said that the criticism is from “assholes in geek culture.” He went on to elaborate about his distaste for geek culture and to explain that having a Ghostbusters film with an all-female cast wasn’t just a bad marketing decision, it was an accidental bad marketing decision. “(Melissa McCarthy) is just this hilarious woman who is so funny,” he states, “I live or die on what things are funny and whether or not people will be entertained by them.” He probably wants to write his will soon.

I know I am judging a film before it has come out but I just don’t see where Sony is coming from. Ghostbusters is a cult-classic and no one was calling for a reboot, least of all one with an all female cast. It may have sounded like a good idea on paper but clearly the response has not been good and, to be honest, this article is the only advertising I’ve seen for the film since the trailer has come out. I think it is obvious that Sony has jumped ship and Paul Fieg is desperately trying to pale water out but all he has is a colander.

It looks to me that Fieg has lost his rag somewhat and the overwhelmingly negative criticism has left him with only one option left. I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought that the film was a car crash as well but, being the director, turning on his own creation wouldn’t do him any favours. However, someone should tell him that, if you don’t want people to make fun of how bad your film was, don’t make a bad film. Like many people, when I first heard about the reboot I was skeptical, but they certainly had something to work with. Unfortunately all they have managed to produce is a sub-par comedy film with stock characters and cliched jokes.

Ghostbusters as a film was a surprise and Ghostbusters II, while with a similar plot, was able to bring enough fresh ideas to the table while still keeping with the theme. It was a good sequel that, instead of wallowing in the original work like Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, decided to do something new to keep audiences entertained, like the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean films.

That said, I think their biggest mistake was setting it in New York again. Can I please watch another city being destroyed please?


Rambling about my week

I’m really trying to upload something everyday at the moment but, while I have a few things started, they are all a bit too heavy for me to finish right now so I am just going to tell you how my week has been.

Monday was pretty special. My dad surprised me a few weeks ago by telling me he got tickets to see Muse at the O2 in London, so my day revolved around that. We went to Denmark Street in the afternoon to kill some time and have some fun for free. We looked around a guitar shop called Wunjo. I haven’t really been looking for a new guitar but it’s been on my mind a few times recently as my acoustic, in reality, really isn’t very good. I found quite a nice acoustic whose name escapes me and I also fell in love with an electric that I tried out. However, I preface this with a story.

The acoustic guitars were kept in a separate room to the electrics so I hadn’t heard what was going on in the other room while trying them out. I tried an Airline guitar as I had always idolised them because of Jack White playing mainly an Airline in the White Stripes. However, it wasn’t particularly to my taste but I would have liked to try it properly. You see, while I was trying to play, there was an annoying teenager showing off on the other side of the room with his amp turned up quite loud. He was about 16 I think and, while I think he was very good at guitar, probably better than me, it doesn’t detract from the fact that I think he’s a dick. His mum then turned around and my dad recognised her as the actress from Outnumbered. So I was in the presence of a pseudo-celebrity, which was fun, and her dickhead son who got bought a £900 guitar. In total, my 3 guitars, 3 amps, 2 leads and pedalboard have cost me (and members of my family) around £500. I don’t even think the guitar he got was particularly nice, but that’s besides the point.

Incidentally, the electric that I liked was a Gibson Firebird for £550. I won’t be getting it any time soon.

Muse in the evening were fantastic. Amazing crowd, amazing show and phenomenal music. I hadn’t really liked their latest album Drones but seeing it live really brought it to life.

The next morning I woke up with something that I had caught from the crowd and then spent the next two days feeling very under the weather. However, I couldn’t relax any more after that because my dad was taking me back to university.

Since then I’ve done very little work and visited a lot of my friends. It’s been great fun, but today has really put a downer on the whole thing. I couldn’t sleep very well last night and I have been incredibly hungover for most of the day with a really bad headache and a stomach ache. I didn’t even feel up to cooking, which is rare for me. I love cooking and the only thing that usually holds me back from making fancy things is the price, however, my student loan came in so I had bought the ingredients to make curry from scratch and was going to do that. Unfortunately I really couldn’t face it so I ordered a takeaway instead which was lovely and I’m glad I did it, but I may live to regret spending so much on a couple of meals.

I won’t be spending much over the coming weeks though. Exams are looming and they mean more stress and less fun. I won’t go out as much, or nearly at all as I expect, so money will become less of an issue.

Support for the Junior Doctors Strike!

On 6th April, 2016, NHS Junior Doctors began their fourth strike in protest of the new contracts proposed by the government. These new contracts are, in a word, unfair and, in more unkind words, degrading, disgusting and morally wrong.

The new contracts being proposed include a whole spectrum of things that would have MPs furious if they were ever imposed upon them. Firstly, the biggest sticking point in my eyes, is the rebranding of 7am to 10pm as “normal working hours.” Not only is that on weekdays, but on Saturday as well. For those hours outside of that, dubbed “unsocial hours” the doctors would get only 30% extra pay. The people who work these unsocial hours are most often working in the high intensity roles such as Accident&Emergency and, thus, by reducing pay for them it makes them less attractive to work in and, overall, will result in a poorer service. Furthermore, the new contracts remove safeguards for doctor’s pay and well being.

The BMA (British Medical Association) walked away from negotiations with the health secretary Jeremy Hunt in October 2014. They had negotiated on the new contracts for a year but, after that time, the BMA felt that Hunt wasn’t actually interested in negotiating properly as he would not concede any ground on most of his points. It wasn’t negotiating at that point, it was the BMA being told time and time again that their opinions didn’t matter to our own health secretary.

I think people should also view strikes in a different light. The media is all too quick to demonise strikers but, in truth, no one ever wants to go on strike. It was the last thing the BMA wanted to do but they have been forced into it by the Tory government. A Tory government that doesn’t care about students, doesn’t care about doctors, doesn’t care about pensioners, doesn’t care about the poor, the needy and the disabled, and most recently we have found that they don’t even care about children, having taken away free school dinners for children with only one parent and forcing all schools to become academies. It’s both pathetic and diabolical what this government is willing to do to people for seemingly no true gain at all as the deficit is still huge, the wealthy pay less tax than when the tories came to power in 2010 and the national debt has spiraled even more out of control.

Support the Junior Doctors. Support the British people and the NHS.

Calm like still water

Over the exam period I have decided to take up meditation again. On the face of it, meditation doesn’t appear to be my thing; I like to be as busy as possible with different projects and it has become more and more difficult for me lately to justify spending time doing things like watching films or TV shows because I always feel guilty for it. However, meditation really does seem to help me.

I’ll start this off with a caveat though; I doubt meditation is for everyone. You can’t meditate your problems away and I always prefer more active methods of dealing with my problems because, like many people, they dominate my thoughts a lot more than I wish them to. However, what meditation does do for me is put me in a state of calm and relaxation.

I started by watching a youtube video which, thankfully, I have managed to find again. A lot of the videos on how to meditate are quite long and I think they are for people who are more serious about it than I. However, this video covers the basics and is informative enough to get started. Afterall, when you are trying to relax the last thing you need to do is learn all the ins and outs of how to relax.

I do it for about 10 minutes each day before bed. It takes away all the stress from my exams and the stress from the irritating people in my life, the number of which is kept to a minimum and, at the moment, consists of but one person. There’s no point spending time worrying about other people and this helps me remember that and completely remove thoughts of them from my mind. Exam stress it has less of an effect on but it still helps me sleep, something which I am finding more and more difficult the further through my education I get.

I don’t quite know what I hope to achieve with this post, I just wanted to talk about something that took me a while to even realise was an option but now I find incredibly helpful.

It’s been a busy week and I’m not done with it yet

I’ve been busy, but not in the regular way.

I went to see Muse yesterday in London, which was fantastic, and today I have been revising hard once more. When I haven’t been revising I have been watching Top Gear in order to destress me, but I have this weird panicky feeling at the moment.

Basically it stems from someone I live with. Like everyone who goes to university and gets a house in their second year, I have made mistakes with the people I live with. There is this one girl who constantly stresses me out and it is getting very annoying at the moment. She blocked me on Facebook a while ago which has made communicating while I am at home very difficult. She was arguing with me over text yesterday which culminated in me breaking and telling her to “Fuck off.” I don’t need the aggravation and she needs to calm the fuck down.

But anyway, she unblocked me yesterday, which I found rather funny, and I posted on our group about the money people owed the bills account. She immediately starts being aggravating again and reveals that she opened a letter addressed to me. She already had her boyfriend stay in our house illegally for six months, which is a fantastic bargaining chip that I enjoy bringing up, and now she has done this. She can’t explain herself so, instead of doing so, she blocks me again. I had an open channel with her for a glorious half an hour. To make sure she doesn’t reverse her decision and unblock me to hurl more abuse at me, I have blocked her and blocked her number. I have precisely nothing to worry about and, the thing is, it really doesn’t bother me. It doesn’t really make me angry, it doesn’t keep me up at night, but I do have to ask her why she bothers? It only makes her more angry and the sooner she learns that it’s not worth it the sooner her life will improve.

The feeling I have at the moment is not one of anger, but an aforementioned panicky feeling and I don’t really know what to do with it. Once I see my friends again at university and go out to destress a little with them I know it will pass, but there’s a few days until I can do that as I am still at home. I will try meditating tonight as the usually helps. Unfortunately I do not have anyone whom I close enough to who I can just sit with for a while and everything will go away, nor do I have any pets who fill the de-stressing role that I desire of them, not until everyone gets back from their holidays.

This has been one hell of a jumbled post. Expect more stuff in the coming days because I have a number of posts already written and ready to be uploaded, however, last week when writing them I didn’t have the confidence to upload them. By the way, I now know how I am going to calm down. Zefrank’s videos that he made for ashow years ago are all fantastic. Watch Invocation for Beginnings, it’s my favourite video on the internet.

I hope you are all well, whoever and wherever you are. Everyone deserves happiness.

My Secret Life

I was just watching James May’s Reassembler after a recommendation from a friend. I find it surprisingly enjoyable and somewhat how I imagine ASMR is for people who actually get it. I found it especially surprising since I watch almost no television but it really struck a chord with me. I think it is because I’ve always liked James May; he seems like a quiet but friendly person, and I like how he presents himself in Top Gear with Clarkson and Hammond. However, I’m not really here to talk about that. You see, having watched him reassemble a telephone from the 1950s I decided I would read his Wikipedia page, as I am wont to do with celebrities and things I find interesting, and I stumbled upon this article.

It’s an interview with him. A quiet interview for a quiet man, and, having seen a number of people do pseudo interviews on FaceBook with things like “4 names that I go by” I felt like this far better suited me, especially since I don’t go by four different names because I’m a normal person. Anyway, here goes.

The house I grew up in was in Essex. I liked the house, though in my teenage years as my mum grew more unhealthy and depressed and other things it became much more tense, along with the mounting pressure and stress of school. Nowadays, when I’m back, it makes me sneeze because we had damp and then had new insulation put in, and one of those two hits my sinuses with a feather mace.

When I was a child I wanted to be an accountant. Yes, it’s boring but my mum said that they earned lots of money and, to a pre-teen me, that was what mattered most. Incidentally, accountancy is my backup plan on account of my math’s degree.

The moment that changed me forever was my mum dying on the morning of my Psychology exam. I let go of everything childish after that.

My greatest inspiration is probably Kurt Cobain, though ask me in a few months and I’ll probably have a different answer for you. James May said that he learned a lot from his parents and, while I think I learned a lot from both and have a deep seated respect for them, they don’t inspire me.

My real-life villain is a guy at my old school who has very similar aspirations to me, but whose family was rich and who was in with the “popular crowd” and so decided to belittle me on the times we spoke. Then I joined the school newspaper and he was incredibly annoying because, obviously, he wanted to do writing too. The thing is that I’ve been published in a newspaper and on a couple of website and, as far as I am aware of, he hasn’t. That’s paid work, by the way, I didn’t just do it for exposure.

My style icon is probably Alex Turner. I would like to say Kurt Cobain but the problem with that is that Kurt Cobain is, whether he wanted to be or not, the image of grunge and I feel like I am much less grunge than he is even though half my wardrobe looks like the clothes you see him in. It’s fortunate then that the other half is just like what you see Alex Turner appear on stage in nowadays; shirts, jeans and blazers.

If I could change one thing about myself it would be how confident I am in talking to people. I’m an incredibly confident person on stage and when writing stuff like this because I know what I’m doing and I have my own formulas for pleasing audiences, but one on one or in a group of people, even online, I find it difficult to find things to say.

At night I dream of ladies present, future and imagined, not having to get up to do maths (I seriously had a dream the other day where I transferred course to do a music degree) and being a rockstar. Getting to sleep I always find quite difficult though so I usually just stay up until I am exhausted enough to collapse into bed.

When I look in the mirror I see someone who has a completely different past to what I’ve actually had. I don’t think you can tell I’m a poor kid from Essex with only 10 surviving relatives.

My favourite item of clothing is the shirt I always wear on first dates or the coat I recently bought. The shirt is a fancy designer one I bought years ago and, thankfully, still fits. I got it a few years before the designer hit it big so I got it quite cheaply and no one else has it but everyone recognises the name now because of one design that everyone has. The coat is a long, grey, woolen affair that goes really well with the scarves that have become a part of my character.

I wish I’d never worn any hoodie in public. Puberty wasn’t kind to me while I was in its grip and I had no nice hoodies, so any day I wore a hoodie outside the house was a bad day in my memory. Fortunately I rarely went outside while in this phase so not all my dignity was lost.

It’s not very fashionable but I like smoking. I don’t think I’m generically fashionable but I don’t look bad in what I wear despite the fact that I am known for the scarf I wear, so smoking it is. I can’t help it, I have always thought it looked cool.

You may not know it but I’m very good at drawing portraits and cooking, though not at the same time obviously. I’m sure I’ll put some art on here eventually but I have a collection of portraits of some of my friends from highschool. Those who would model for me anyway. It’s that an upsetting people, whether intentionally with words or uninentionally with my actions. On that note, why do women always say “I’m fine,” when you ask them what’s wrong even you know that “I’m fine” is the only inaccurate answer to that question that they can give?

You may not know it but I’m no good at languages. Seriously, fuck languages. I can’t get my head around them in the slightest and being forced to do German, French and Latin in highschool has left me with an irrational hatred of learning them, especially people who take them as degrees and especially especially people who teach languages.

All my money goes on games. I don’t actually spend much money on games any more, but besides drink that’s where almost all my entertainment money goes.

If I have time to myself I play dota, play the guitar and try and write songs and hang out with my friends. I will, in summer, takeup writing longform fiction again but, at the moment, I have very little time for that with the exams pressing down on me.

I drive nothing. I can’t drive. I can’t afford it. However, I do have a really nice bike which I now have in university and will be using much more in the summer.

My house is next to a nursery, the screams from which are slowly preparing me for my psychotic rampage. I do like it because I have a big room but it’s freezing even when we put the heating on, which is a rarity for us students.

My most valuable possession is my guitars. They were actually incredibly cheap guitars and I really want to buy a good electric one day but, for now, I have 3 guitars and, combined, they cost less than £240. One of my electrics is actually really good. My acoustic does the job but I want another one because this is roundback and was missold to me as a proper electro-acoustic.

My favourite building is any castle. I love historical buildings but looking round a castle is the tourist attraction for me.

Movie heaven is American Beauty. I only watched it for the first time last year but it had a really profound effect on me and I think it’s absolutely magnificent.

A book that changed me was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s so bleak and depressing and it hit me like a bullet of sadness.

My favourite work of art any Degas painting with ballerinas in it.

The last album which I downloaded was Queens of the Stone Age – Songs for the Deaf. Queens are a friend of mines favourite band and, having started hanging out with him on a regular basis, I finally got round to listening to them properly and I really like a lot of their music.

The person who really makes me laugh is my best friend from university. God damnit, I don’t want to give names out and I think that’s a really shit answer anyway. Okay, in terms of comedians, it’s got to be Rowan Atkinson but not in Mr. Bean or Johnny English.

The shops I can’t walk past are board game shops. I really hate how expensive board games are but I can’t help myself, though I will never return to a Games Workshop ever again. There’s expensive and then there’s Games Workshop which is only slightly less costly than a divorce and slightly more than buying a house.

The best invention ever is the guitar. How boring an answer is that? The only other thing I have is antibiotics… oh god, why are my answers so predictable??? Fine then, communism.

In 10 years time, I hope to be living in a different country in a house that, if I don’t own, at least have been able to start paying for. Though, for my generation, that’s quite a lofty ambition.

My greatest regret is not being kinder to my brother. Not much to say there but, despite the fact that brothers are meant to fight, I was really horrible to him on occasion and I really wish I could go back and change it, but all I was doing was taking my insecurities out on him.

My life in seven words: A rollercoaster-ride that I’d never trade in.


Music – Kurt Cobain and exploring music

I don’t really know where I want to go with this blog post but I did want to put something up on this date quite simply because of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. They’re my favourite band and Kurt Cobain is my favourite songwriter. However, the problem with your favourite musician being dead is that there’s no hope of any new releases even on the distant horizon and you know that the supply of home-recordings and behind the scenes riffs will eventually run out so I have been listening to an awful lot of new music recently.

I started with the bands that I really should listen to more like System of a Down, The Libertines and Queens of the Stone Age. I loved it a lot, particularly Queens. Then I started moving down the YouTube route of looking at post-punk bands a bit like Paramore (even though I don’t listen to Paramore at all and have no real interest to) because they just seemed to keep coming up in my suggestions.

Icon for Hire, Halestorm (bleh! Not for me) The Marmozets, Scarlett Riot, The Dirty Youth, Of Eyes That See, To Paint The Sky and Darling Parade. YouTube led me down some weird, female-fronted punk band road that I quite enjoyed. Obviously, it’s only on subsequent listens that you see if you really like a band and, having gone back, not all these have the longevity of others but I still enjoyed their music and that’s a plus.

Death cab for cutie is another that I have been listening to a lot, Blink 182, Seether, Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes and anything uploaded by the YouTube channel Stoned Meadow of Doom (and Stoned Meadow of Doom 2) usually tickles my fancy. I’ve really expanded the range of music that I listen to and I really love it.

However, there’s one band that I really love that I only discovered yesterday. Bikini Kill are everything that punk should be. It’s vulgar, to the point, heavy, loud and simple. I absolutely love them. I’ve tried to listen to the Riot Grrl movement before with Sleater Kinney and The Slits but, at the time, didn’t find it to my tastes at all. I’ll probably go back and relisten in the next week but, particularly for Sleater Kinney, I hold out little hope.

The point that I’m trying to make is, basically, that it’s so easy to try so many different things with the internet and I think everyone should. I think I have gone overboard a bit with the range of things I’m listening to but certainly trying out new things on a whim doesn’t really cost you anything now and, if you listen to music for 8 to 16 hours a day like me (it basically depends how much time I spend doing maths and gaming. The only time I’m not listening to music is when I’m hanging out with friends or watching something) then you have plenty of time to listen to the songs you can sing along to.

I would also encourage people, wherever possible, to go out and support live music. I don’t care what it is (though seeing pop live is questionable at best) just go out and enjoy it. The live night at my university is criminally under attended compared to the club-nights they do every week and it was really good to see Asylum really packed when I went there for Mercury Rising’s album launch last week. Short review of that night however, Mercury Rising were not performing as well as they had been built up to be by the other bands they had invited, however, Daxx & Roxanne, Kill The Freak and The Antiques were all really quite impressive, particularly The Antiques as it was their first show.

So this is how I am going to spend the 22nd anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death; listening to punk and post-punk bands that I have never heard of before with an emphasis on ones with women in because, in my iTunes library, they are criminally underrepresented and I want to change that. In fact, out of curiosity I just checked how many and, excluding samples and electronic and dance tracks in general, there are 7 female musicians that feature. That said, doing a count, I only have 54 bands that I own more than 5 songs for, which is quite frustrating actually. That’s what you get for having a 2GB iPod Shuffle and never upgrading.