Free Choice

Foxtrot Oscar

Ahh Hollywood the glitz, the glamour, the scandal, the dresses, the guys, the dolls. Hooray indeed for Hollywood and it’s annual backslapping contest The Oscars. Well thank god that’s over for another year.

A contest where the academy made up of white 60 somethings judge to see which film they liked the best. Do they not know it’s a democracy now, we the people demand to vote on an industry award. We also demand that the awards be voted for from a diverse field of individuals.

Who would have thought that an awards ceremony for people talented in filmmaking would need diversity rules. Shouldn’t any contest be judged based upon the merits of the art produced not the ethnic origins or sexual orientation of those who made it. If you have a movie nominated for best picture purely because the director meets the correct race or gender quota doesn’t that devalue their nomination.

“It’s just not fair” people exclaim. White men judging movies made by other white men to give awards to white men. Life isn’t fair you know, since when have you been under that illusion. One man’s injustice is another mans moral victory. As it is, as it forever will be.

People of all types win Oscars and recognition from their peers and the public. How do they do it? By being good. Do people from certain groups have to try harder to be deemed “good” yeah of course they do. Is that fair? No probably not, but it’s an arts competition, judged on opinion, so like life can never be “fair”

Where do we stop in the pursuit of fair? “A black actor isn’t nominated” “A woman from Virginia Beach has never won” “No nominations for anyone over 90 years old” “No nominations for disabled people” “No nominations for one armed orphans named Archibald” Think of your own catchy hashtag for that one.

Wanna win an award? Be exemplary
Think the competition is biased against you, 1. Make a good product make them notice or 2. Excuse yourself by pulling whatever minority card you have, it wasn’t your inability to make good enough thing to turn people around. They hated you anyway.
3. Don’t do things to win awards. Do things you are proud of. If industry awards come great. If not you still did something you love.

Frazerbrown

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Would you take your child to an Orgy?

Probably not right? Why not? I mean you discovered the feel good endorphins from your very first one twenty years ago and your friends will be impressed that you have shown little Johnny a healthy option. He needs to know that just like you everything is better in a group of at least 5. Everything is amazing, little Johnny will feel the same self esteem boost you do when you step into your latex thong, meeting strange people, boosting his confidence well at least until Big Shaun gets here but then no-one feels too confident next to him, but it’s a life lesson.

But you wouldn’t. And people don’t. Because it is entirely inappropriate for a child to attend such a thing, because the child cannot possibly comprehend what is going on or even made the choice to attend such an event. Yet you, a parent, have a whale of a time and are happy and healthy because of it. This is because you, made the journey to the destination, you made the choices along the way, discovered new details with your peers, lived the values, extolled the virtues and decided to enter the foam room with Big Shaun.

As parents we have a great deal of influence over our children’s lives. They join our lives after a set of choices have been made or reactions to circumstances have been hoisted upon us. If you are a hippie or a media mogul and you have a child you don’t stop being these things. If you are religious or a football fan these things about you don’t change the second you hold your shitting screaming bundle of joy.

As such your child will share experiences and begin to share some belief systems with you. In the interest of balance however and sometimes health it is important to introduce alternative viewpoints than your own. This will help your offspring on their journey and encourage them to make reasoned choices rather than following the crowd.

I read today that a Italian politician is proposing to make it illegal for parents to give their child a vegan diet. Should this be illegal, no. Does it raise a valid point? Yes.

Like it or not a vegan lifestyle is a choice. A choice at which adult vegans have arrived at, they have been on the journey and decided that veganism is the best route for them. Fair play. Should vegan parents feed their child exclusively vegan food before that child has had an opportunity to discover and assess the reasons behind the ethics? Surely that’s missing the point. (The need for vitamin supplements aside. Oh and yes I know vitamins and minerals can all be provided via plant based, but have you ever tried to make a child eat a whole plate of anything everyday.. to achieve this in plant based you need quantity, kids don’t eat quantity you will need to supplement)

Same applies for religious families, or football fans. Half the passion of a belief is in the journey of arriving there yourself. If it is hoisted upon you with no option you will always wonder “What if I supported Swindon…”and your belief will never be as strong because it simply isn’t your belief.

Your life is yours, your childs life is their own. Give your child the tools to make good choices.

My Week with Apple Watch: Day 5, He Hasn’t asked for it back yet!

When I started writing these i only ever envisaged doing a working week with them. Why? Because I’m lazy and no-one cares what I write!!

So day 5 has to be some kind of conclusion. Well here goes:

Apple Watch Sport

The Apple Watch is truly great at what it is, people have accused Apple of taking other peoples ideas and claiming them as their own. Well watches were around long before Steve Jobs looked like a geeky Ashton Kutcher. So yes they took this and improved on it.

As a smart watch, fitness tracker, style icon (for the “look what I got” people) and remote for the third gen Apple TV it is second to none. If you are far more active than I and already have an iPhone it’s a no brainer.

That said, I’m not that active and although notifications were nice to get, I’m not comfortable with dictating messages via Siri so I always reached for my phone to reply to messages and pretty much everything else. It is nice to be able to look at the time on my wrist. But a cheaper dumb watch will do that.

I think the cost is a factor for me. If someone got me a Apple Watch for Xmas or it was 50% off on Cyber Monday I would be grateful/tempted. Because I have enjoyed it, I can now put it on at the first time of asking, and it is a very nice object, I like the chunky design. However I would bulk at paying Apple Watch money for something I’m not going to utilise fully.

Of course.. unless my friend actually asks for it back…. no rush eh!

A Quest for Normality

What is normal?

That is a question that has no right or wrong answer. It varies not only from person to person but from day to day. For some of you reading right now it may be completely normal and positively hum drum to wear frilly lacy panties because you like the way they feel against your skin. Some of you might even be male. Ugh a man in frilly pants, how is that normal? Normal for him, so it’s all good.

Of course we all have to conform to a certain degree to what society has laid out for us as normal. In the workplace for example it would probably be considered abnormal to fart loudly and shout “I’m a stinky monkey” whereas at home you can do this no worries, trust me you can, go on give it a whirl.

For the young at school the quest for the non-existent “normal” is strong. Your friends, even the ones “sticking it to the man” want you to conform to their perception of normal. Your parents want you to conform the family version of normal and then there is your teachers who demand a adherence to their classroom norm.

The classroom normal is the most dangerous and the most influential. As is proved now in the classrooms of North Korea and in history with the schoolrooms of Nazi Germany. A normal taught in a classroom with an agenda can influence a persons actions throughout their life, be it that your leader is indeed glorious and infallible or that Jacob sat next to you is sub-human.

Teachers outside of obvious oppressive regimes need students to be normal. It makes their life easier. If you as a student have a impairment that makes it impossible to conform then the school has three choices.
1.Belittle that impairment “Be normal!” (Pleading helps!) “We are not here to babysit”
2.Provide no support and deny the impairment exists. “Normalising”
3.Provide a quality education (Difficult, but not impossible)

In case you haven’t guessed 1 and 2 happened! The pleading came from the Head of of local academy. A man blinded by the quest for “normal” that he’d forgotten that the reason for schools to provide an education for all. But this is not just a dig at him, arsehole of the highest order as he is.

The normal ideal, conditions us to believe in a society where difference is something to be avoided for ourselves and feared within others. At best it promotes a boring closed life, at worse it provides an environment where it is ok to exclude, discriminate against or even exterminate others because their normality is different from our own.

Mexican curious monkey

Mexican Monkey… not stinky, but perhaps curious to learn.

Birthdays: Women and Children only

If it’s your birthday today, Happy Birthday from all of us here at SudoOne. (Just me then) I hope you get all the gifts you want and a cake especially for you. Unless you are a male over the age of 18. In which case, happy birthday mate. I haven’t got you anything because I’m not your Mum. If you are lucky I might buy you a pint. Men don’t do birthdays.

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The male arrangement for birthdays.

I buy a beer, pie or coffee, if birthdays are mentioned at all. If not, all the men I know carry on as if their birthday was nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I refuse to work on my birthday. But this has more to do with me disliking work than anything else. Today is a work colleagues birthday. He is way over 18. He spent £50 feeding people who aren’t his friends, some of them hate him and yet will eat the free food (I didn’t). He works on phones, spent the majority of the morning telling customers it was his birthday. Now I know you have to build a rapport with the great unwashed but when your customer wants to do what he needs to do and hang up (Sounds like I work on a Sex line) your ‘special day’ matters diddly squat and mentioning it can come across as unprofessional.

Food rituals in the workplace are bullshit too. Its a unwritten rule that you have to bring stuff for your birthday, and you are judged on the quality of food you get, catering for all allergies in the office and watching out for those arseholes who will double dip the breadsticks. You are therefore a mixture of You, Jamie Oliver and Robocop.

I like other peoples birthdays. It gives me an opportunity to show the women and children in my life how much they mean to me. Really thats a grand total of three or so gifts (Daughter, Mother and the official photographer of the New York Yankees etc) But those are people I care about and people who I know appreciate what I got them. Not some people I happen to sit in a building with. Birthdays should be banned from the workplace. Which brings me to Yaya Toure.

Yaya Toure protegiendo el balon

Yaya Toure (centre) during a previous spell at Barca. Birthday Cake (not pictured)

I know this is a ruse. Yaya even tried to point it out himself. But for those who don’t know, Toure plays for Manchester City FC and his agent is saying that he will leave because they didn’t wish him Happy Birthday. In all reality he wants to leave because he can get a big bundle of cash from Barcelona. Thats fine with me. (Man doing job wants more money for working). However he does need to sack his agent for the “Birthday” plan because Yaya now looks like a bit of a dick. I hope he stays at Man City just for all the Birthday related chants he’ll get.

My birthday is in June by the way. Hint..

Selfish

I’m selfish me. You know what you are too.
Now before you protest with “You don’t even know me” Firstly I’ve seen you. Using your webcam and a small piece of Malware that gets installed every time I write a piece you don’t like I see all muhahahaha. Secondly, everyone without doubt is selfish to a certain degree.

It’s how the human race survived this long. It’s the survival of the fittest out there, how do you stay the fittest? Well you look out for number one, make sure there is enough food on your plate. Then and only then can you help others, but it’s only those others who you feel need help, which then in turns makes you feel good. Selfish!

Modern society has made selfishness a bad thing, morally, ethically. All charity appeals hammer home the same point, “How dare you live in comfort, because these other people/dogs/cats/donkeys/etc aren’t” You selfish bastard. The $50 you spent on your 30th Alex and Ani bracelet could have got a water pump for an African village. How dare you for working hard and wanting pretty things. Capitalist scum!

So I admit I’m selfish, and it’s a pretty good thing. Keeps me feeling good, and as luck would have it, those people around me benefit too. Worse than the likes of me, who openly admits a “I’m alright Jack” attitude are those people who refuse to admit they indulge at all. These people live, by their own reckoning an entirely selfless existence.

Religon plays a part here. People do “selfless” things to get a reward from a higher power or at least to gain favour, hardly selfless. But meanwhile on earth there are quite a few religious folks I’ve met who appear to have the air of superiority. To quote one guy talking about women “I’m a Christian, so it’s my duty to let her know she’s beautiful.”

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So as an atheist I go around telling beautiful women they all look like a bull dog chewing a wasp for shits and giggles. No, the ability to make a person feel good about themselves is nothing to do with religion. Nor does this superior “God squad” outlook make you less selfish than anyone else, often it just means your pleasures are more closeted than mine, which isn’t a good thing.

Embrace the selfish once in a while, it’s probably what got you to where you are today.

Enjoy

Enjoying the now. You wouldn’t think it’s difficult would you? To enjoy what you are doing, live in the moment. Before I started writing this I was thinking it was just me, but all of us to some degree fail to grasp fully the wonderful things that are occurring. Right now.

Modern life doesn’t help full of distractions and noise. Long time readers of this blog (thank you and that ambulance outside is probably for you) will know that I love my tech. My iPhone much to my bosses displeasure hardly leaves my sweaty palm. But does it let me enjoy my life knowing that a footballer I follow on twitter is talking to another footballer about “Take Me Out” yet I consume.

I have been to many a gig. The focus for many now is not to let go, be absorbed in the music but to video it in full HD, so they can enjoy it later. The later that never comes, or the later that you only enjoy when one of your fellow gig goers dies. Then you’ll sit and look at it and go, “remember when you filmed this.”

Contentment goes against human nature. We will always want more, faster, higher. It’s what has moved us on, moved us out of our caves. But the human race has pretty much gone as far as we can now, and the reality is that most of us aren’t gonna make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things.

Recently I have had good cause to try and live in the now. I find my myself making plans, plans that would be amazing, but plans that I know I actually have very little control over. These plans then take my focus away from what is happening now, robbing me of not only an unlikely future but an exciting and inspiring present.

Enjoy the now, after all you probably planned this moment ages ago..

Thats how to enjoy the moment.

Happy Birthday Mac

30 years ago today the first Apple Macintosh was announced in the US. There was very little whooping and clapping and certainly no-one had been sleeping outside on the New York streets for 3 days to get their hands on one. But what an impact the Mac had. First time I used one I didn’t like it!! It had one mouse button and was being hogged by a friend who was showing me how to put flames round some writing in Photoshop.

No thanks. I thought, I’ll stick to my PC, it runs Championship Manager 2.

I was wrong.

Without the Mac we quite possibly wouldn’t have had The Mouse, Copy and Paste, MS Powerpoint, smartphones, iPods, Usable tablet devices, and digital music stores amongst other things. Sure all these things probably would have sprung up, but in very different forms than they are now. It’s always pointed out to me that Microsoft pioneered the tablet PC years before the iPad. Trouble is Microsoft always want their mobile devices to run the same software as desktops the devices are always doomed. They haven’t learnt from past mistakes.

Microsoft have of course played a huge role in the success of the Mac. Developing MS Office for the Mac and investing $150 million in 1997. At a time where Windows was king and the Mac was on dicey ground indeed.

Fast forward to the present day. Whereas in the UK the PC used to rein supreme the humble Mac has gained a significant market share in the home market. Even in the office where I work more Mac’s are thankfully appearing, I just wish the people who had them (not me) knew how to use them. Mind you it does give me a opportunity to be a Mac Geek at work, which is much better than trying to eat my Dell keyboard because I have tried to use a Mac keyboard shortcut.

Main question I see on Twitter is (computer wise, not about Justin Beiber) “Is the Mac worth the extra money?”

The question in itself is wrong. If you spec the a PC to the levels of the Mac Pro the home built PC will be more expensive. But MacBook Air is more expensive than £250 PC. If you want a machine that is not only usable but runs the same as the day you got it the MacBook Air will not disappoint.

I hope the Mac will continue to be around in some form for at least another 30 years and that Apple continue to Think Different.

The Christmas Perineum

A phrase stolen off of a tweet from the wonderful Charlie Brooker who’s  2013 Wipe Review of the year is still on iPlayer.

Yes the time between Christmas and New Year. It seems to me people wander round not really knowing what they should be doing. I mean Christmas and New Year are so very structured:

25th Dec

  1. Make sure turkey is in
  2. Unwrap presents
  3. Eat chocolate for breakfast, feel a little sick
  4. Find presents you haven’t unwrapped
  5. Eat Turkey
  6. Eat
  7. Eat some more
  8. Threaten to kill at least one family member
  9. Break at least one present
  10. (UK) Argue about watching The Queen / Watch The Queen
  11. Drunken stupor

26th Dec

  1. Regret
  2. (US) Back to work, really? Boxing Day richest country in the world and a day off to recover from Christmas is beyond you? OK
  3. Boxing Day, sporting day so maybe watch your team lose #AdkinsOut
  4. Eat leftovers
  5. Eat new food that someone brought especially (Mad world people)
  6. Sales (Farting all the way)

Now the abyss, the days which aren’t called anything. They may as well be January 17th for all that matters! What do you do? Some people had to work on the 27th, but some were able to take time off. But what do you do? Do you go to see friends? They might be at work, or gone to see family they made an excuse not to see on Christmas Day. TV is shit, all the good stuff was on a few days ago. Do you hit the sales (again)? Noooooooo screams your bank card, are you mad you don’t get paid yet. So you fart about, going hither and yon trying to find quality time to do something, anything.

28/29/30:
All spent floating around. Saying maybe we should do this, or maybe that. Maybe I should write a blog piece that no-one will read. On the 30th you will discover that the beer you got from that bloke expired on the 29th. So you will buy some beer 2 crates for £16. Forgetting that the offer in the summer was 3 crates for £16. “Well it’s New Year”

31st Dec
New Years Eve: Cretins Holiday
A time for people who need to be told when and exactly how to have fun Whoo yeah, man made time celebration. It’s gonna be different, overnight. Yeah like it is for the other 300+ overnights.

1st Jan

  1. Regret
  2. Hangover
  3. Looking forward to the next 6 months of writing a 3 when you should write a 4

Happy New Year people, despite being a miserable bastard I hope 2014 is for you, dear reader, a year filled with Beauty, Happiness and Light. Who knows it might even happen for me too.

(WMB4X) Happy Australia Day

Hello Aussie followers, I know it’s not Australia Day, I hope you have a good one whenever it is. In America today it is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving whereupon there are crazy sales, turkey hangovers and virgin sacrifices. (Maybe)

Black Friday has it’s origins in the US fiscal system, some say it refers to a stock market crash, others say the term originated in it’s current meaning in Philadelphia describing the mixed traffic queues of sports fans and shoppers in the early 60’s. Black Friday didn’t spread across America until the early 90’s but now it’s here and widespread to the UK largely thanks to US based retailers Amazon, Apple and Asda (Walmart) to name but a few.

Black Friday has precisely the square route of fuck all to do with British culture or consumerism, being as it is ‘as American as apple pie’. Don’t get me wrong I love a deal and I have no problems with crazzzyeee discounts but to call it Black Friday makes no sense. Why not call it a ‘Sale’ or a “Christmas Sale” or “Happy Shop and Masturbate over the low prices Friday” all these names make more sense.

I received this email today.

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I ordered something from BHS once in 2007. Anyone know what BHS stands for? British Home Stores. British Home Stores are having a Black Friday sale. Why? If you enquire about the colour of a jumper in said sale would you have to ask thusly “Hi, What color does the sweater come in?”

I know it’s all a gimmick, to give businesses a boost in the run up to Christmas and to make shoppers think they are getting a good deal when actually, hysteria aside it probably isn’t. We seem to be careering towards becoming the 51st state very quickly, Trick or Treat, Monday Night Football, Fox and now Black Friday. I have nothing against folks from across the pond, one of the things I like the most is the differences between us which amuse me greatly. These differences seem to be ebbing away.

Black Friday, as relevant to Britain as Australia Day or Nelson Mandela day. If we are gonna have it can we at least have the time off work and the deep fried Turkey feast the day before. And if we are sharing traditions, on Black Friday Americans can ditch the pancakes for Breakfast in favour of a Full English with Black pudding or at least learn what “Bollocks” are.


Please visit the Resident Weeble who has a national holiday in his honour in July