pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)

The Observer's got a few interesting articles in it today. One's on inequality in British schools -- a report's just been published on the matter, the other on the EDL forging links with American Tea Party activists.

I'm not going to lie; I hadn't really heard of the EDL (English Defence League) before. Apparently they want to combat the '"Islamification" of British cities'. Pamela Geller is a fan, apparently -- "I share the EDL's goals... We need to encourage rational, reasonable groups that oppose the Islamisation of the West."

But it's okay, she says she's not anti-Muslim, you guys! Where do these people get off?

It sounds as if the EDL are overtaking the BNP's spot due to the fact that the BNP isn't really organised at all and. Ugh. It's kind of sickening, actually. It's quite an interesting article, but seriously, Britain? Seriously?

I know that, chances are, they won't garner much support but the fact that they have any support and are viewed as something of a threat is really quite ... concerning?

OTOH, there was an excerpt from Jonathon Powell's book which was quite interesting. It's been the year of political books, apparently. I meant to read some of them, but never got around to it. Maybe next year.

The rest of today will be spent sorting out stuff for next week (Sheffield on Thursday! Need to email Kirsty back), and doing work. Like every other day of the week. sob.
pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)


Dissertation ideas:

1. Pop culture influence on politics + international relations (+ domestic policy? too broad?)
see: SMAP -> China perf. cancelled in light of Sino-Japanese tensions increasing over Senkaku etc. etc.

2. Whether pop culture is a reflection of modern values or whether it directly affects modern values
see: spread of variety shows, manzai etc., regional differences --> Kansai vs Kanto etc.

3. The popularity/lack thereof of left-wing politics in Japan and why
see: rise of nationalism and extremism, conflict with China and Korea, compare pre- and post-war period

4. How being an island nation has affected and/or formed its national identity
see: ????

MEETING: Dr. Ian Caldwell, Oct. 18, 14:15

Supervisor preferences:
pop culture focus:
1. Soyeun Kim
2. Irena Hayter
3. Caroline Rose?

politics/international relations focus:
1. Caroline Rose
2. Kweku Ampiah
3. Soyeun Kim
pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)

So, stuff is quite awesome at the moment. This year is going to be exceptionally tough, but it seems like it will be quite fun, too.

ALSO, if rumours are to be believed, apparently the professor who taught me for Religion in Japan last year is acting as a historical advisor to the Hollywood version of 47 ronin featuring Keanu Reeves due out in 2012.

How awesome is that?

-- lol what (that's him, btw).
pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)

Quick! A meme!

I am so tired. And I have a lot of work to finish. I've only been back a week 8(

I have to summarise a load of articles on the Senkaku Island dispute for tomorrow, I need to read an article/short essay thing on primary school education in Japan and answer some questions about it, translate a couple of passages from a book, and work on a group presentation for Friday. I also have an essay to do, but that's for week three.
pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)

So I tried watching Glee. I know, late to the bandwagon and all.

I enjoyed it at first, but then -- I'm only on episode 13. I figure that I'll watch the entirety of the first series at some point -- some of the problems really started to get on my nerves. I mean, it's not a bad show by any means but :|

"Wheelchair". That was the title of the episode, wasn't it? When they wanted to get a bus which was wheelchair friendly so they could all travel to Sectionals together. I thought the fact that at first, none of them particularly cared about Artie's plight was, unfortunately, realistic enough (although somewhat bothering; one of my close friends in secondary school needed a wheelchair some of the time, and sticks the rest. She -- and us as a result -- referred to them as '(her) crip sticks'. But I digress. The fact is, she was my friend and if we had been in a club such as that, I like to think I -- and we as a group of friends -- would have cared slightly more than they did at the fact that my friend was going to miss out on something that was, ultimately, quite a fun part of the day. But hey, different people, different reactions.)

However, the bit that really got me was the fact that after spending x amount of time in a wheelchair as part of an effort to understand what Artie and other wheelchair users went through on a daily basis, Finn later gets a job pretending to require the use of a wheelchair.

As was pointed out on my plurk, teenagers are stupid (by and large; so is the public), but after what they had gone through, I'd have expected them to be a little more aware, you know? Not to mention, of course, the fact that it was never mentioned again. There were, apparently, no repercussions of fraudulently claiming a disability and using it, as an able-bodied individual who already has plenty of advantage over a disabled individual, to get a job.

That just. It bothered me. It really annoyed me. I KNOW, IT'S GLEE. IT'S HARDLY REALISTIC. But for the love of god.

And then there's the fact that, with the exception of Rachel, who is Jewish and Puck, who is (part?) Jewish, all of the minorities are reduced to two-dimension 'characters' with some apparently incapable of speaking. At least, that's what I'm led to believe.

It wouldn't be quite as bad if Glee hadn't brought attention to it with the episode where Sue separated the minorities into one (her) group to point out the disparity, however it all soon returned to the status quo.

Also, Kurt annoys me. This, I think, is less to do with his characterisation and more to do with the fact that various facets of his personality remind me of an acquaintance. It's not a great comparison and thus leaves me going 8| at him rather a lot.

Rachel, I just want to backhand, NGL. Not just for the fact that she's horrifically full of herself and incredibly self-centred, but also for the fact that when she thinks that authority is doing something that it shouldn't be doing and isn't catering enough to her whims, she'll turn round and go 'I HAVE TWO GAY DADS AND THEY'RE VERY WELL CONNECTED--'.

Also, why don't we get to see these two gay dads? (ASIDE: Unless we do and I haven't got that far in the series yet). For a show that's supposed to be remarkably good with diversity (or so certain circles seem to say), it's not doing a particular stellar job. Although, I do like Kurt's dad quite a lot, and as much as Kurt may irritate me at times, I love the scenes with Kurt and his dad.

That said, I do think that Quinn's pregnancy has been handled quite well (at the point I'm at, anyway).

EDIT: Also, I watched The Special Relationship the other day on iPlayer. Martin Sheen is kind of fantastic. I never thought I would enjoy historical political dramatisations quite so much. I haven't seen The Queen though. I've seen The Deal.

Yes, I am something of a geek, why do you ask :|
SH: stretching

(no subject)

Last night's This is England. I thought it was really good, actually -- even if the last few minutes were somewhat shocking. I was browsing around and I read a few comments on the ol' web wherein people were unimpressed at how TIE'86 is basically a kind of bad Shameless, or something -- I've never watched Shameless, so I can't comment -- and also how it was all obvious (re: Trev and Kel/Lol's Dad), but I don't know. I don't think that somehow invalidates a good show.

Yeah, 'good' is subjective, but at the end of the day, a show like This is England isn't there to keep people guessing. It's not whodunnit or a show wrapped up in twists and turns all over the place. It's a remarkably straight forward piece of telly and berating it for that fact seems pretty ridiculous. That's like going to watch oh, I don't know, Sherlock and going 'BUT I WANTED TO KNOW WHO THE CRIMINAL WAS AT THE BEGINNING 8('. Completely nonsensical.

But! I am curious as to how they're going to wrap everything up next week -- if they're even going to try wrapping all of it up. Obviously [SPOILERS] will have something to do with it.

But oh lord, Shaun and Smell. Shaun barking like a dog. Lol's being a bit of bitch to poor Woody though, bless him. And Milky being all '...' when Woody was venting and jklgdg Milky and Woody are kind of awesome and adorable together, can I just say. The ending aaah.

I hear there are rumours of a This is England '90 though. Well, more of a 'it would be nice to do.'