Read my Poetry

In Pursuit of Glory

A heart beats beneath a trio of lions
Hope. Excitement. Belief. Disbelief.
The future lies unwritten. Glory is plausible.
Glory is within reach.

It is a dream, and most dreams fail.
Most dreams fade.
Most dreamers cannot force their dream onto reality.
Most dreamers lack the wit, the invention.
A dream is a glimpse of a purer world:
A world of larger than life heroes,
A world where heartwrenching effort yields reward.
A dream is a vision of a world without heartbreak.

But dreams do not all die – the best persist.
This moment will persist.
We will look back on the memory of  a dream.
When glory was within reach.

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Football, FootballOpinion, Uncategorized

Three Lions

I’m aware that England probably aren’t going to win the world cup. We’re probably going to fall short in some way. But today, we can dream.

As a Hartlepool and England fan, I don’t have much experience of winning things. But sometimes the experience of pursuing glory is its own reward.

In 2005 I felt frustration when Hartlepool lost a playoff final to Sheffield Wednesday, but also intense pride that my team had pushed a bigger, richer club so close.

In 1996 I was in tears as England lost to Germany. But looking back as an adult, I feel pride at the times when England were bold, and pushed the strongest, most well-drilled teams in world football so far.

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Analysis, Storytelling Geekery

7 Reasons that Black Panther is Great Middlebrow Science Fiction

Black Panther is both a commercial and critical success, currently sitting at the top of the US weekly movie charts, and set to become the most financially successful Marvel Cinematic Universe movie. I’d argue that Black Panther sits alongside Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and the Culture novels as a great example of middlebrow science fiction – accessible and fun but smart enough that it offers more than just spectacle. Here are the reasons why.

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Review

Jessica Jones season two review

Genre-wise Jessica Jones is a mashup between the superhero and noir genres. When time came to choose between the conventions and traditions of the two, the first season ended up leaning more towards its superhero influences. Despite the hero’s bad choices and the show’s moral complexity, season one had Kilgrave as a clearcut villain – the season’s final arc followed the traditional superhero structure of climbing towards an action set piece.

Season two goes the other way, with morality never being so clearly defined as the final episodes of season one. Some viewers may find this disappointing – while there are compelling villains in season two, none of them are as overtly and undeniably villainous as Kilgrave. Instead the second season has more of a focus on moral complexity.

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Comedy

Fans Demand Return of Lara Croft’s Pointy Breasts

Ahead of the release of the new Tomb Raider film, superfans are complaining because the new Lara Croft’s breasts aren’t triangular enough. Though originally a result of a design error, Lara’s breasts quickly became an iconic element of the franchise, just as much as drowning in the swimming pool on the training level while trying to work out how to resurface. Or maybe that was just me.

While it is of course in the nature of art to advance and cover new ground, there have been concerns that the new film may move too far from the core of what made the original games and films such a success. Boobs. It’d be impossible, for example, to repeat the iconic moment in the first film when Lara pulls a henchman’s head against her chest, blinding him with her pointy breasts. This in itself was based on one of Lara’s more iconic kill moves from the first set of Tomb Raider games. By the third game UbiSoft had created an achievement award for players who were able to complete the game using only Lara’s breasts as weapons, and an unlockable version of the character who would play the whole game topless.

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Linguistic Geekery

Ultracrepidarianism and Mansplaining

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Yesterday, during the weekly Prime Ministers’ Question Time, Theresa May accused Jeremy Corbyn of ‘mansplaining’ to her about International Womens’ Day.
I think it’s a good way to illustrate a bugbear of mine – the loose interpretation of the word ‘mansplaining’.

There isn’t, as far as I can see, anything in Jeremy Corbyn’s question that’s patronising, or that implied that May didn’t know that it was #IWD2018. Corbyn merely mentioned the fact in order to highlight a moral flaw in Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.¬†Mansplaining, in its clearest form, is a confident but unqualified man asserting his opinions to a more qualified woman.

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