more good entertainment choices

9 February 2020

Call me big headed, but I have always felt part of my charm as a blogger stemmed from not being a conventional blogger. I love reading blog posts from others about what is happening in their lives, I find comfort reading other people's mental outpoors, the personal is what I enjoy to read and thus it is what I like to give. However, at the moment to help my quest for a placement I need to combine the old with the new. I need to bring back the fourteen year old who spoke about fashion and makeup but with a twist. The twist is simply, I now am more conscious of where I spend my money and what I entertain myself with and I hope this translates into my posts.

To be fair, I say all this. In reality, I just want to post more frequently, but to not fill the frequent with the personal, because I have actually made some banging new discoveries. So low and behold, some more enjoyable educational entertainment:

(side note - not all is educational, but from varying persepctives that are not often heard from)

Jacob Hawley on Drugs A necessary podcast in today's society that aims to lessen the stigma around addiction and drug abuse. The podcast comes from an open perspective, yet does not promote the use of drugs. In the podcast he talks with previous addicts, the families of addicts, proffessionals and creates an open dialogue about drug use. In the fourth episode he speaks with parents who lost their children due to taking drugs and in the episode they say that all too often young people are just told not to take drugs rather than being advised to take them safely. Obviously drugs are bad, and the podcast shows this but in a non-didactic way. The episodes are often sad, yet always informative and interesting and I think it is very important to listen because it’s time we became more understanding and less villianising of drug takers/ those who suffer from addiction.

Women Talking - (trigger warning going to mention sexual assault & rape) This novel is based on the real life events of the Mennonite Community in Bolivia where women were repeatedly drugged and raped. Initially the womens reports were dismissed as being the works of evil forces, but then the truth was discovered. Although it's based on real events, it is a fictional response to the arrest of the men, revolving around the different options for the womens survival: stay, leave or run.

Initially I was going to say ‘wow what a cool idea to reimagine history’ but then remembered that it is actually, a common theme in literature. When reading it though, it did feel really unique and very appropriate to read within today's culture. It is heavy in dialogue, reading more like a script than a novel, but a cool form as the author gives the women the voices they were denied when the attacks actually occured. The characters are believable therefore effectivlely demonstrating the inescapable effects of rape on the victims and the families, as well as portraying the internalisation of disgusting patriarchal beliefs. Interestingly, it is written from a male perspective however in doing this it doesn’t take away much from the women. My only issue with the novel is that the speaker is shrouded in mystery initally, yet I believe the focus shouldn’t have been divided between the women and the speaker and also there were some moments revolving love which I believe to have been unneccessary.

(For those who have read the book - I see why the two don’t get married, an act of female indepdence and all, but I think the whole side story distracts from the main dialogue of the novel. Interested to know your thoughts.)

Gotta Get Theroux This Louis Therouxs autobiography was one of the best things I read last year. It was interesting to read as he talks about how his career begun, the difficulties faced, his relationship with Jimmy Saville, how his career effected his homelife. Louis Theroux is such a well loved guy in British culture, and reading this only made him moreso. It was especially uplifting to read as I am in the current phase of intense confusion surrounding future careers, and it is nice to read from such a well established and respected guy that he experienced the same, and that not all went as smoothly as it appears to have nowadays. It is just a great read, you can hear Louis throughout the entire text, you get some cracking photos of him, some insight into the world of documentary making and ah, it’s just brilliant.

(side note- 100% would recommend if you are also struggling with the knowledge your youth is running out, or if you feel like your life is a bit floppy/ lacking a positive structure)

Getting Curious With Jonatahn Van Ness One of the most enjoyable sources of educational entertainment comes from Jonathan Van Ness, in my opinion. He has a lot, and it can be hard to choose, but I hadn’t listened for a while and throughly enjoyed the bottomt two. Although the episodes revolve around injustices and the difficulty of life, they are filled with hope as he speaks with women working from charities who support the topics being discussed. Also, Jonathan is just such a positive and wonderful man, he brings light to everything he does. Top two that I reccomend at the moment:

-How Did Family Separation Affect Your Life? Very sad, but very moving to hear how Diane Guerrero (Lena from OITNB) became a successful and powerful woman despite the deportation of her family when she was only 14(!!). In it she talks about how she got to where she is today and there is a part wehre she talks about herself having to limit her dreams after her parents deportation and man, it is something I never truly thought about- how you can try and sculpt your dreams, rather than letting them actually represent your hopes and fantasies. It is incredibly important to listen to this when you have the chance, I think it’s about 45 minutes long, but not one moment of it is dull.

-What does Planned Parenthood Do To Keep Us Safe? Another extremely important one to listen to in todays culture, not even just for Americans but with the NHS being put at risk it is easy to empathise with what these women go through. Also it’s extremely important as it is an open and honest discussion about abortion, along with many other things, but I find it is rare for abortion to be discussed so candidly. Usually when it’s portrayed on TV shows/ films it shows a woman sadly leaving the abortion clinic/ having to go past protestors, but rarely is there a depiction of what life is like after a few months, let alone a few years. However in this episode Jonathan talks with a woman who had an abortion and now has a happy family, and just gives a rounded view to the importance of Planned Parenthood, and how terrifying the abolition of it would be.

peace out ! see ya soon

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