Creative Corner: Like One Of Those Films You Could Only Watch Once

The house does not sit so silent as usual – there is the constant hum of activity vibrating from room to room: the creak of jagged soles placing stress on the cracks between the wooden floorboards, the slight brush of skin against 50% polyester 50% cotton, the occasional expulsion of phlegm from the back of the throat (which induces temporary panic before confirming it is not continuous and the body temperature remains below 38°), the muffled opening of a drawer, then the hurried rustling of papers and a frustrated “no” before it is shut again and another is opened, the light tick of fingertips dancing across a keyboard, the screeching of a chair as it rasps against the hard surface, the rattling of keys followed by the metallic click of a hinge swinging up and out, then the high-pitched whistle of someone beckoning a little cat and a disgruntled meow in response as if to say ‘I can’t believe you left me outside for so long’ before proceeding to purr excessively, and then the tiptaptiptaptip of his little paw pads as he saunters away, and sometimes, the ping of a device, a short pause, then a sudden outburst of deep laughter at something upon the screen, oh and the incessant echo of George Ezra’s ‘Shotgun’ on repeat, (I’ll be riding shotgun…underneath the hot sun..), followed by small voices flinging out irrelevant nonsense in alternating frequencies from the radio in the corner, which was supposedly turned on by the woman sat at the dining table in order to be listened to, but after a brief examination of her, it becomes clear that the small voices fall on deaf ears, instead she bends over the needy laptop in front of her, folding her limbs into a smaller mould (and in doing so, submitting to the machine’s demand), and every so often brushes a hand through her thinning (but still immaculately blow-dried) hair as she thinks to herself how she should have got it cut and highlighted before this involuntary cloister began, (..feeling like a someone…), and when asked why she insists on playing the damn thing all day every day despite the lack of interest in it, she meekly replies “because I don’t feel so alone” (for otherwise the silence spreads out like wallpaper speckled with sticky patches – too much glue in some places, others not enough at all). Continue reading Creative Corner: Like One Of Those Films You Could Only Watch Once

In Defence of the “ME” Generation

Where the phrase “ME” generation used to refer to baby boomers, it’s now being used to talk about Gen Y (aka Millennials, anyone born between 1980-94) and Gen Z (or iGen, born between 1995-2010). And oh boy, we’re not coming off well! From the older generations to the mass media, you’d be forgiven for thinking Gen Z is the root of all evil. Countless newspaper headlines proclaim we’re entitled, lazy and prone to getting upset over nothing, all while stockpiling avocados and ruining things such as dinner dates, napkins and divorce (yes, those are all real headlines). It’s official: we’re the worst … except we’re not. We may not be perfect (who is?) but there are so many things we’re doing right, from spreading political awareness to being more considerate towards others. Here are just a few areas where Gen Z is leading positive change and making a difference. Continue reading In Defence of the “ME” Generation

The Metamorphosing English Language

Thousands of words may have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in recent years, yet it would be a mistake to think that this is the limit of English. The OED, being a descriptivist endeavour, will always be lagging behind, and now more so than ever, as new technology permits new registers for language to be played with. Social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp create a written medium that has the speed and interaction of speech and come with their own newly minted lexicons. Yet it is important for the OED to recognise the new words that emerge from these kinds of mediums of communication, partly as a resource for studying the language, but also to give words a sense of respectability – like a shield to hold off those pedants decrying the deterioration of English. As such, see this article as more of a personal view on changes to the language that I like, not a judgement on the new words. Continue reading The Metamorphosing English Language

Interview: Tessa Peake-Jones, Actor in Bang Bang!

Farce is “a particular sense of humour”, Tessa Peake-Jones admits as we sit down to chat in Bang Bang!’s rehearsal space at Exeter’s Maketank. It’s less than a week before their opening night at Exeter Northcott and for Peake-Jones, known for her roles in Only Fools and Horses and Granchester, this is her first experience acting what she refers to as “proper farce, traditional farce.” It is also the stage writing debut of British comedy legend, John Cleese, who has previously achieved global success with works such as Monty Python and Fawlty Towers. Continue reading Interview: Tessa Peake-Jones, Actor in Bang Bang!

The Life Chronicles: The Night Train

You board several trains a night, fraught with lilac mist. Blood oranges suspended above the walkway illuminate the path. Machines that blink white churn out Morse conversations. This language, the backdrop of the otherwise blank soundscape of the night. The sky is a milky pool, dizzying to look upwards when you feel you are looking down. The platform: angular and shrouded in geometry, as the silver body of the snake arrives upon the tracks and slows to a halt. It doesn’t chug, but glides silent and serpentine. Continue reading The Life Chronicles: The Night Train

Saying Goodbye to BoJack Horseman

There are many ways to discuss the legacy of BoJack Horseman. One could talk about how it introduced a whole new era of adult-orientated animation, or how its shift to a darker tone after the first six episodes utilised the new form of binge watching created by the rise of Netflix original content. There are many metrics and viewing figures to explain the impact of BoJack Horseman, but what can’t be directly measured is the impact the stories it has told have had on people’s lives. Continue reading Saying Goodbye to BoJack Horseman