Late Review : Snow White

In which Snow White is really just the evil step-daughter.

Poor, innocent Snow White. The fairest (source: magic mirror) of all princesses yet cruelly hounded until saved by her prince. How could I have issues with her? Quite easily it seems, because the fairy tale shows ‘princesses’ are naive and stupid, jealous and cruel.

Oh, she looks cute but there is a cold heart under that dress
Before the main event it’s probably best to tackle the villain of the piece “The Wicked Queen”. The Wicked Queen is a representation of the princess’ greatest fears, that there is someone in some physical way better than you (aka fairness). A constant need of reassurance not from another person, but from a mirror.

Wicked step mother in Snow white looking in the magic mirror

“Yes, you are pretty and oh so fair” cries back a reflective piece of glass. The reflection you see is just their own self-image patting them on the back saying “well done you, you hit the genetic jackpot and came out with good looks”. And this goes on until that one day they feel that little niggle in the back of the mind that perhaps suggests there is someone ‘better’.

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Ungiving to charity

In which I am a rebel without a cause to support.

Being charitable doesn’t come naturally, I get riled up every time I step onto Birmingham’s main street and prepare myself to run the gamut of chuggers waiting to accost the unaware shoppers. It’s like the Pamplona bull run but running at the herd instead of away from the clipboarding hoard.

If I was to be in a position where I didn’t have to work and I could turn myself into a much less rich Bill and Melinda Gates I’m not sure who I could help. As well as dealing with the workers of Charity Militant I also struggle with who I should choose to help.

It’s very mean of charities to ask you to decide between who is the most worthwhile cause. Pick between this sad child and this sad puppy, our cancer is worse than their cancer, which human rights abuse angers you most.

I have finite resources to be able to help those in need, I am not rich enough to donate to all and there is not enough time to lend a hand.

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Becoming an art critic

I which I try to convince you about art.

Art puzzles me.

Perhaps because I have a more scientific look on life I can’t get past a cigar just being a cigar.

The meaning of art is something I struggle with. If the artist has placed meaning in their work I can understand and follow that, but it is the hidden or interpreted meaning that I cannot grasp. If not explicitly stated does the esoteric story of a painting really exist, or do experts place their own thoughts onto art?

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You give me road rage

In which I’m racing to the best days.

When you are faced by the madness caused by crazy people you have two options, you can put up with the madness and let it slide or try to do something about it. For the most part I am of the former camp. I find it much easier to roll my eyes and be like a queen with power over ice.

I have to internalise this pent up rage on a daily basis whilst driving to work, if I didn’t it would eat me up and lead me to going a little bit Falling Down. I even have the glasses.
A poster depicting an older man standing on a concrete platform, wearing a business outfit, holding a briefcase and a shotgun. Above in black letters it reads: "Michael Douglas". Below in large white letters over a red background it reads: "Falling Down". Beneath that with the film credits, it reads in small white letters: "A Joel Schumacher Film". In the background are skyscrapers and a smog filled sky.
Still it does get to me, sitting in the car paying for the privilege of going nowhere as the dead dino-juice gases emit from the metal boxes around me. There are a number of wrongs that I would love to right.
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The path to London doesn’t glitter

In which I refuse to turn around at the sound of the bells.

I come from a town of small proportions so I am used to urban areas of a certain size. I like how compact everything is, and particularly the low volume of human beings that never seem to get in my way or are just ‘there’.

So when I have to travel to any city I’m full of dread, there are very few I can tolerate (San Francisco and New York) but one sprawling mass is at the bottom of my list,I keep getting made to go by work, and for anyone who has read the title of this post it will not come as a surprise…

London.

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Fear itself

In which there is only the heat death of the universe to worry about.

There are two great fears I have. Everyone should be scared of something big, the kind of worry that threatens to change your life if it came true or you had to face it. Before I tell you what they are consider this quote.aa

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This quote is from one of the great leaders of the 20th century but it is a lie. It’s a great big whopping cake of a fib. There’s plenty of things to be scared of. I’m not including spiders or heights in this, they can easily dealt with by a rolled up magazine or not climbing a mountain. Plus they are perfectly understandable, spiders can be poisonous and falling from a few hundred feet is not conducive to having a good day. Yet these aren’t fears. They are worries.
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Tell me lies

In which the truth is harder than the fiction.

I’ve written from some exotic places, like the Maldives and Greece, but today I’m writing away on a tour bus of Boston.

This is the first post I’ve made about the lying and telling the truth, and also the first time I shall have a rant about something. See lying is easy, and I say that as a 6’7” tall, dark and handsome astrophysicist. Unlike my career of choice, fibbing is not rocket science…and that this is the second time I have posted this.

Lying is essential to our own survival. It’s a cover for our fears, betrayals, neuroses and selfishness. A way of pretending that we appear better than we act, a way of convincing ourselves of an alternative reality where there are rainbows, and butterflies, and everyone sings and no one ever cries except tears of joy and that happens all the time because everything is so frakking wonderful. And there are unicorns.

Like Neo’s spoon, this is all a lie.

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Dealing with people on lunch

In which I try to maintain my dignity while being blocked by old people.

After sitting next to someone on the train who thought it socially acceptable to play a noisy version of solitaire on their phone it’s time for me to reconsider running for Supreme Ruler of the World again. This way I can take action against those that irritate me by trebucheting them off the coast of Scotland into the ocean.

It can be difficult to create a law banning stupid people, especially through our current government as it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, so I need to add a small amendment to existing laws and see what I can get away with. Thankfully I’ve just been out to lunch and know exactly what I want to ban.

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Summer dress code

In which offices insist on cooking men’s legs for ‘decency’.

The office thermostat has currently been set to Fuerteventura, or the winter air-con settings have been turned on at work. I think this is an acclimatization exercise so it doesn’t feel so warm when I get outside in the sub-30c heat. The other option we seem to have is artic, so I have to pack warmer clothes and a pair of mittens to be able to use my computer.

At the moment though it is too hot, it is either due to the multitude of screens I now have (and would like to keep), the wall that is painted the same colour as the sun or the fact I have to dress in long trousers whilst the fairer sex flounce around in flimsy materials. The worst part about this is that, just like all office scenarios, they complain it is too cold and want the heating turned up. Do they not know that us men are warm blooded? We are too hot when skinny dipping in the methane pools on Titan?

I once got in trouble with my manager from the unnamed opticians for wearing the same type of clothes on a dress down day as most of the females did on a normal business day, apparently men do not get a summer dress code. Why did my uncovered toes suddenly become a health and safety issue when others stumble around on a daily basis in heels? I do wash them.

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Summer is coming

In which a slight increase in temperature is cause for mass hysteria.

It’s getting fairly mild in here which means that the British summer has started to arrive. For anybody from these isles complaining about the poor weather we have had this year it is invariably met with the comment “ooh, it’s too hot”.

Important cultural fact about the British, we are basically Goldilocks with the exception we never find anything that is just right. During the long winter my house has been an ice box, requiring the central heating to be on full blast, but the first time that the sun comes out it has converted from a freezer into an oven.

It taunts us like a Frenchman does an English knigit, when I get home it feels nicely cool and refreshing. As soon as that door closes then it whacks itself straight up to gas mark 10 and proceeds to slow roast the household.

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