Manic Mondays – POLITICAL EDITION!

Gasp! Caps Locks! Rage! Other words! In lieu of my usual copy pasted lyrics for Monday, I thought I would share an update which some readers may not be aware of. It’s a little political and a little triggering, so be warned.

I don’t usually mess with politics because in most cases I – A: Don’t care, and B: am under-informed, generally because of A. And C, because Northern Irish politics is a cesspool of oneupmanship, shouting ‘YEOOO’ at each other, and features a cavalcade of embittered lunatics, many of whom come from either backgrounds in terrorism or entrenched religious nonsense, or both. We all know politicians, at least those with the power to make a difference, tend to be in it for the money and the power trip with no care for the desires or needs of their constituents until something comes along to either personally offend them or risk them losing their position. Bonus points at the back if you correctly guessed that many of our politicians lack any respectable level of education. For all the Americans bemoaning the antics of the current dudes in control – our politicians have, repeatedly, been found guilty of fraud, tax-dodging, attempted murder etc – yet by and large they same people keep being elected and re-elected. And what do they do when they’re elected? Well, they throw their toys out of the pram and refuse to work together.

And so today, for the first time in over 1000 days, Northern Ireland’s politicians have decided to return to work. Finally, a breakthrough in the deadlock has come, and people from all sides are finally sitting together to work through their differences for the good of the people – right? Something important must have popped up to get them back into their cushy, well paid seats, something like Brexit, right? Wrong. On both counts. You see, because we have been floating on our own for so long, the dudes in mainland Britain have needed to make sure we don’t all set ourselves on fire, strip off, and go hunting mammoths up on Cave Hill. A few months ago during one of these routine Government meetings, a couple of brave souls decided to provide a couple of Amendments concerning Same Sex Marriage and Abortion. Both of which have always been illegal in Northern Ireland, contrary to the rest of Britain, Ireland, and the sane world. The law reversing this goes into effect at Midnight tonight, meaning women will have freedom of choice over their own bodies and lives, and the LGBT community will take one further step out of the dark ages after decades of difficult work.

Except the politicians are aware of this. And the politicians don’t like it. Hiding their faux-religious righteousness, faux morality under the guise of their slanted view of Democracy, they’ve have decided to head back to work. Three years without lifting their fingers, and now they decide to slope out of bed just to do whatever they can to prevent human rights. Honestly, if these guys shared as much fervour in their day to day jobs as they do inflaming their own inexcusable bias, maybe we wouldn’t be such a shit-show. Arelene ‘no, that’s probably not my own hair’ Foster, with a face like a trampled sphincter has assembled her cronies and is going to squeeze every last bit of skewed public venom into making sure that change never comes.

Thankfully for the rest of us – the educated, the civilized, the future, time is not on her hands. Arlene, with a face like a banshee’s rash, needs a fully elected organisation by Midnight which means she needs support from the group she doesn’t want to play ball with. And those guys have already said ‘not a chance, love’. So, this time tomorrow Northern Ireland may have entered a new enlightened age. I don’t imagine things will go smoothly; both have been contentious issues for decades, hence the reason both have not been legalized previously. I can foresee more ranting and frothing from politicians. I can see more protests and marching, and probably the odd burnt out car as we are wont to do. But change is gonna come and that train is gonna keep on rolling, no matter what Arlene, with her face like a bovine mistress, tries to do to stand in its way.

Joking aside, lets hope this proves to be a watershed moment for human rights in Northern Ireland. I appreciate there are many who have deeply held believes opposing both issues, but I tend to not have much sympathy when their opposition is based on religious belief. Your religion should not dictate how anyone else lives their life and it certainly should not prevent widespread choice over an entire country. If the Christian God gave us Free Will, shouldn’t we be allowed to choose for ourselves? Anyway, tune in tomorrow for more movie reviews and fart jokes.

My Blog – September 2019

Ugh. It’s September again. I mean, it’s actually February when I’m writing this intro but by the time it gets to September you’re gonna be pretty pissed off. The nice weather is done – if you live in Northern Ireland or the UK like I do then May – August are generally sunny and the temperature sometimes tops 20 degrees C, and the rest of the year is cold, dark, wet, grey, dull, grim. It’s why we’re such happy people, yo!

What should we talk about to get rid of these early Autumn blues? I know – remember those hashtag lists that everyone did a while back – #thisisyourfilm. Everyone went through every year of their life and posted their favourite film or book or album or whatever. I did a bunch of them too, right here on the blog, so check those out if you haven’t. With my massive internet following and online influence, I’m going to get my own # going viral. As I sat in one of the traps in work one day, bemoaning the fact that I had to scale two flights of stairs to find a clean one, the idea of a mini musical biography came to me – the kicker being that you can only pick one entry for each year. Obviously for a lot of years either nothing, or nothing out of the ordinary happened, while in other years many monumental things occurred – but I pick the best. It can be the year you heard your favourite album, a year you bought your first single, a year you went to your first gig – anything you want as long as it is related to you and music. You don’t have to do every year – it’s a high level timeline. And with that, I present mine.

#mylifeinmusic

1983: Born. Cried. Crying is music.

1984: Filled nappy. Filling nappy is music.

1985: Walking, and probably dancing. Shaking my ass at the very least.

1986: Taken by my mother to her aerobics classes to hearing a lot of 80s pop

1987/1988: Start school – probably meet a lot of other people who listened to Top Of The Pops, and went to first School Disco.

1989: Already obsessed with Michael Jackson, having both Bad, Thriller, and Michael Jackson Mix (a four cassette remix collection) in my daily rotation

1990: Hear Sweet Child O’Mine for first time, opening the floodgates to a lifetime of metal

1991: Received first guitar

1992: Bought first album – Alice Cooper’s Trash and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall.

1993: Attempt first band. I want to call it Bitter Type. No one else does. We had a keyboardist.

1994: Cobain dies. Childhood dies.

1995: Finally dedicate self to learning to play guitar

1996: Fully introduced to Manic Street Preachers, becoming my favourite band after previously being aware of them.

1997: Dedicated to writing first fully formed songs – lyrics and music.

1998: My early songwriting voice begins to take shape – slogan type lyrics a la The Manics and a sound somewhere between crappy punk and even worse ballads.

1999: Formed early ideas for future, much better songs such as ‘Powerwalk’, ‘So This Is Suicide’, ‘The Outsider’, ‘The Calming’, ‘Realationships’, ‘Epitaph’, ‘On The Piss’ etc.

2000: Dedicate self to listening to everything by bands I had always liked but had not fully invested in – The Doors, Led Zep, Pink Floyd etc.

2001: First time seeing Radiohead live

2002: Attended first Glastonbury Festival (97 notes per ticket compared to 248 last year, ya scumbags).

2003: Attended first Slane Festival

2004: Fully immersed in writing music reviews

2005: Begin DJing in rock and metal venues

2006: Recorded first demo

2007: Visit Jim Morrison’s grave

2008: Get married – Mariachi play at reception

2009: See Manics live for umpteenth time, this time in The Ulster Hall. Sister comes to, her first time seeing them.

2010: See Opeth live for first time

2011: Finally see Alice Cooper live for first time.

2012: First daughter likes dancing to Michael Jackson. And the South Park Theme Tune.

2013: Second daughter will only not scream in my arms when I sing ‘Shock To My System’ by Gemma Hayes.

2014: Begin introducing kids to music.

2015: Obsessed with Sia.

2017: Second visit to Slane Festival.

2018: Daughter gets guitar for Christmas.

2019: Sell 39 million copies of first album.

There you have it – what is #yourlifeinmusic? Or film, if that works better? I’m running out of ideas for these monthly blog posts, so here are some jaw-dropping pictures of my recent trip to Menorca:

Until next time!