Monday, 30 March 2015

Amanda Knox: Finally Free 30th March 2015

Amanda Knox has finally been cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher.
Not before time. When I realised how little evidence there was that she was even there on the night in question, let alone had committed the murder, it makes me wonder how she was even a suspect, let alone the accused.
In this country, or the USA, the police would have struggled to get an arrest warrant, let alone get the case to trial.
It's scary to think how easy it is to be blamed for something you didn't do in a country where the language is unfamiliar and you don't understand the justice system.
The police did no real investigation - they just jumped on someone they thought the media would have a field day with. They were right about that. The media condemned her from day one, and had the general public all up in arms.
How she was ever found guilty I just can't fathom. You would expect the judge to be above media manipulation.
Its not justice that she is finally acquitted. That's not going to bring back the 4 years she spent in prison for a crime she didn't commit, its not going to erase all them memories and it won't stop the "no smoke without fire crowd" from always doubting her. She should be given a huge compensation payment - this won't undo the wrongs she's suffered, but it would help her start over.
It's also not justice for Meredith and her family. Her killer has been allowed to get away with this while everyone jumped on the Amanda bandwagon. Whoever allowed this to happen should be held accountable.
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Friday, 27 March 2015

How People's Perceptions Of You Are Different From Your Own Part Three 27th March 2015

So as I'm sure people know by now, I've been trying to see how other people perceive me and how different it is from how I perceive myself (see parts one and two for a full recap).
The first things I noticed was the replies I got surprised me, not in the content, but in who it was. I didn't put any pressure on people or remind them to reply. Some of my best friends didn't reply, and some people who I thought definitely wouldn't did.
I think in part its because the message I sent sounded a bit too much like one of them random messages that do the rounds on social media and I sent the messages through Facebook. If I did anything similar again, I would word the message differently, and would also send via text.
I was quite surprised to discover most people actually view me similarly to how I view myself. Most people used two out of my three words (or a variation of them), and everyone used at least one. No one else said weird. Maybe they are too polite? Or they've just known me long enough to not see the weirdness anymore? Maybe I'm not all that weird, I just like to think I am? 
I really didn't see all the similarities coming at all. Even the words people used which I hadn't used myself sort of resonated as true.
My original three words were sarcastic, honest, and weird.
The most used word was honest, blunt, straight talking, even brutal! This is definitely how I see myself. I don't sugar coat things. I like that people know that about me, they tend to know not to ask me a question if they don't want my true opinion.
Funny came in a pretty close second, which I see the same as sarcastic.
And the third one seems to be the variable one. I got lots of different things here: good friend, supportive, don't take things too serious, can handle the truth, sharp tongue, help anyone, laid back, chatty and bossy to list a few. I can see all of these qualities to some extent, and that's the interesting part - who sees which parts of me more than others.
I thought I would learn that people saw me totally differently to how I see myself, but I actually learned the opposite. Overall, people do tend to see the real me.
Try it, you might be surprised! Let me know the results you get if you do.
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Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How People's Perceptions Of You Are Different From Your Own Part Two 25th March 2015

Just a quick update. I've sent the message out today. Nervous to say the least. I didn't think I would be so there's the first thing I've learnt from this.
I am now awaiting responses.
This may take longer than I first anticipated. I am one of those people who are rarely away from my phone, and I tend to answer messages quickly. I forget other people have lives lol. I'm going to wait about 48 hours and if anyone hasn't replied by then, I will assume they don't want to.
This is the message I sent:

"This might sound weird, but I am weird lol. Doing an experiment (might be the wrong word but its close) on how perception varies from person to person. If you get this message would you please take 30 seconds out of your day to help me by sending back the first three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of me.
I'm not fishing for compliments and i'm pretty thick skinned so be brutally honest :) Tried to send to people who i think will be honest.
If you want to reply anonymously send to (my email address was here) or if not just send on here. Thanks in advance."

I hope it doesn't sound too much like one of them chain letter things people send through social networks for no apparent reason, because if it does, most of my friends wouldn't bother doing it. By part three, hopefully I will have some results, and will have learned a few things about myself and people's perceptions of me!
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Inspirational Women 25th March 2015

When people think of inspirational women they think of people like J K Rowling, Kate Middleton, Emma Watson and various other celebrities.
When I think of inspirational women, I think of one of my best friends.
To say she hasn't had it easy would be a massive understatement.
She left school with no qualifications due to battling depression through her teenage years. She came through, went to college and did her GCSEs. She then went on to do an NVQ in business admin and got a good job.
In time, she left the job and went to university. She has now completed her BA, is working towards an MA and is planning on completing the PHD.
Throughout completing her degree, her father has died, her husband has developed epilepsy to the point of having to leave work, he has an aneurysm on his brain which will require major brain surgery to remove, she has three young children and an older step child who has a young daughter of her own and she manages to work from home full time assessing NVQs.
In short, she is superwoman. How she handles all of this and doesn't fall apart is beyond me, but it's more than that. She not only handles it, but she still has a zest for life. She doesn't complain and ask why me. She is strong and funny and not bitter. She still manages to make time to see friends. She is still a good mother to her children and a good wife to her husband. She has a friend who is having some problems at the minute and she takes all of that on and helps her. She also writes, and manages to fit that in too.
I don't have a daughter, but if I did, I am proud to say I wouldn't have to look far for a positive role model for her.
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Monday, 23 March 2015

How People's Perceptions Of You Are Different From Your Own Part One 23rd March 2015

I think its really interesting how people have totally different views and perceptions on the same thing.
I've decided to conduct a little experiment, that I don't think for a second is scientifically viable, I just think the results will be interesting.  
I have written down three words I would use to describe myself. They are: sarcastic, honest, weird.
I am sending a message to a cross section of people; some who know me really well, some who I know socially, some who I know through work, asking them to send me the first three words or phrases that come into their heads when they think of me. I have given an option to respond anonymously so they can be brutally honest. I think the results will be interesting, to see if anyone views me in the same way as I view myself, or if any two or more people view me the same as each other.
I will post the results once I have enough in.
Kind of excited and also a little nervous to hear what people really think.
Check out my other blog and feel free to comment :)

Thursday, 19 March 2015

50 Shades Of Grey: The Movie Vs The Book 19th March 2015

On February 16th I wrote a post on this blog (50 shades of publicity) about the 50 Shades franchise. This is a follow up to that one so may be worth looking at it to get a bit of context.
I have finally gotten around to watching the movie, and I must say it was not at all what I was expecting. Whilst the term thought provoking may be a stretch, it did make me think.
In the original post, I wrote that some women's rights groups are opposed to this movie as it is derogatory to women and portrays an abusive relationship. I disagreed with that as a dom/sub relationship is consenting.
After watching the movie, I sort of see where they are coming from, and how, if they haven't read the book, this could be misinterpreted. The book is written from Ana's point of view, and throughout we have the voice of Ana's "inner Goddess". Now when reading the book, this inner voice drove me mad, however, when watching the movie, I understood its importance. This inner voice described Ana's feelings. It let the reader know that she was enjoying being dominated. Without this narrative, the movie lacks the feel of enjoyment on her part.
For all she has been seen to consent, the movie gave me the impression she was just going along with what Christian wanted because she was afraid to lose him. In the book, it came across as her being treated like a princess, in the movie it came across as her being treated like a cheap sex toy at times.
*Spoiler alert* Also, I think the big thing for women's rights groups would be the punishment scene at the end. In the movie, that had the distinct feeling of domestic abuse. Ana was crying, clearly uncomfortable and he just kept on.
I think "punishment" is one thing in a sexual context if you both enjoy it. However, when you are being beaten for rolling your eyes, or saying something the man doesn't like, it's perhaps a little more than that.
I'm not sure if the movie was done this way on purpose to make it a bit more sensationalist, or if it just somewhat missed the mark, but I got a very different feel from it than the book.
I do still stand by the point that it's fictional though, and can see no real reason why it should be banned. I also still think all these women's rights groups are giving it added publicity.
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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Messages From Beyond The Grave 18th March 2015

I read an article recently asking if you found out you were dying, which five people would you leave messages for and what would they say?
This was easy for me. Straight away I knew exactly who the five people would be. I think it would be harder if I had children - who would I bump from the list? It would be next to impossible for anyone with more than five children.
The five people I would send them to would be my mam, my dad and my three best friends. I would tell them all how much I loved them, thank them for everything we've shared and tell them not to be sad that I'm no longer around.
I would thank my mam and dad for everything - giving me life, raising me well, always being there and loving me unconditionally.
The first of the three friends, I would tell her that she's funny and loveable and deserves a good man who will treat her right. I would tell her to treasure every moment with her new baby and make memories.
The next I would tell she is the strongest woman I have ever met. She copes with more than I ever could and she is an inspiration.
The third, I would tell him he's the man by whom I compared anyone I ever dated and that none of them ever measured up. I would ask why we never gave it a go, and I would tell him not to change for anyone.
The article went on to say send those messages now (minus the part were you tell them you're dying/dead presumably). Let the people who matter most to you know now.
I didn't send the messages. I think it would worry people if they started getting slushy messages off me for no reason. Also, I really think the people I would send them to know how important they are to me.
Maybe I will send a diluted version telling them how much they mean to me but in a slightly less melodramatic fashion.
On one hand, I think the idea of leaving something behind for people to read is lovely. On the other hand, I wonder if it wouldn't just upset people. Would sending these messages be more for me than them?
What does anyone else think? Do we tell the people we love that we love them often enough?

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

Marks And Spencers: Supermarket Own Brand? 8th March 2015

I took my Nana shopping the other day, and of course she insisted on going to Marks and Spencers. I tried to talk her out of it, but she's very set in her ways.
It was full of pensioners, hardly anyone in there younger than at a guess 70ish, except perhaps people like me with their Nanas, Grandads etc. It bothers me a little to see these pensioners getting ripped off everyday.
I remember even when I was a child you went to M&S for special things and treats because it was genuinely better. I don't think this is the case anymore, but I think, like my Nana, many older people are set in their ways and shop at M&S out of habit as much as anything else.
Every time I see their advert where that woman sort of purrs "this is not just food, this is M&S food," I want her to be honest and say "this is not just food, this is over priced supermarket own brand food." Because, let's be honest, that's exactly what it is these days.
I can't decide whether M&S standards have dropped dramatically, or other supermarket own brands have improved dramatically. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say its probably a little of both.
Feel free to comment :)

Friday, 6 March 2015

50 Shades Of Lunacy 6th March 2015

The school in Sale that sent home an 11 year old for dressing up as Christian Grey for World Book Day has certainly divided opinion today.
In and of itself the outfit was in no way offensive - its a grey suit. So I can only assume it's the character they found offensive. You can't exclude a character just because you don't like him. Christian Grey is currently one of the most talked about literary characters. I wonder how many children went as characters such as Voldemort, and didn't get sent home or excluded from the activities? I mean come on, they suggested the child be James Bond instead. I can't be the only person that thinks this is hypocritical to the point of ridiculous. The original womaniser, plus a killer? Yes, I see how that's better!
I would be surprised if the child even really knows who Christian Grey is. Surely by their actions, the school served only to draw more attention to it and make it a talking point.
In my opinion, it was a bit of fun. I mean it's not like he turned up in a gimp suit! 
All this publicity is certainly doing the franchise another huge favour!
Feel free to comment :)

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Minimal Consequences For Young Drug Offenders 4th March 2015

I heard on the radio today that the government are thinking of bringing in this new thing were young people found in possession of drugs aren't given cautions or anything that can go on their record as it's making it harder for them to find work later on.
How many levels is this wrong on? Let's see:
1. Define young
2. Why should companies take on people without all the facts?
3. It's hard for young people to find work anyway. What is being done to help young people without criminal records?
4. Isn't this essentially saying that it's ok to take drugs as there are minimal consequences?
I understand in theory that if these people find work, it's one less person on benefits, but this isn't creating jobs, merely more candidates for the existing ones, so it won't actually change the unemployment figures, it's just potentially a different person out of work.
I know young people make mistakes - in fact it's not just young people, anyone can make one bad decision and spend the rest of their lives regretting it. Having said that though, I still think that people are aware that drugs are illegal, so if they make the choice to take them, they are making the choice to take the risk.
A caution only stays on record for 6 years, less if the offender is a minor, so surely then, only repeat offenders stand to gain from this? Which suggests it's not just one slip of judgement. If this is genuinely a person who made a mistake while they were young and got caught up in the moment, or bowed to peer pressure, or just wanted to try it, then this one mistake won't haunt them forever and they have every chance of having a fulfilling career.
I think if this gets past the discussion stage and actually becomes the norm, drug abuse and relate crimes will sky rocket.
Feel free to comment :)