When is a story not just a story?


I’m a huge podcast fan.

I’m such a podcast fan I travelled to the other side of the world to attend a festival dedicated to them. I love them because they’re such an intensely personal experience. I can disappear into a conversation with total strangers about a topic that I’m interested in that maybe none of my real world friends want to chat about and have that need fulfilled in the privacy of my own car, my bedroom, or through a set of headphones while walking down the street.

For the most part, my jam has been comedy podcasts – but I, like many others, went down the rabbit hole that was Serial in 2014, and I continued even further down the Adnan Syed path by listening to Undisclosed which was an in-depth legal analysis of this case (and if you loved Serial Season One, I can’t recommend it enough). Unlike a lot of people, I was really captivated by the story of Bowe Berdahl in Season Two of Serial, so I was quite excited when I heard that the team behind Serial were releasing a new podcast, specifically produced for binge-listening where all seven parts would be dropped at once. I am, of course, referring to S-Town, which has well and truly topped 10 million downloads at this point. I’m going to put the rest of this behind the cut for those who haven’t listened and don’t want to have any details revealed to them.
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Why Ray is the one to watch & other hidden gems

We can probably all agree that there’s more supposed ‘quality television’ out there than anyone with any semblance of a job or an attempt at a social life could possibly try to watch. I know I certainly have this problem – I’m in season two of Game of Thrones. I know. Try not to judge me too harshly.  If a series has passed a certain number of seasons it’s going to be pretty hard to sell me on it, because, to quote an overly quoted meme:

Notime 2

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Number 655321

I wrote a little while ago about villains and how for as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by the antagonists in films, book, TV etc and I mentioned that I was part the way through having a portrait of Alex from A Clockwork Orange tattooed on my leg.

Well, as promised, this seemed like a good place to share the finished piece and perhaps write a little about why I chose to get an image of such a divisive character on my body in a pretty permanent fashion. Continue reading

All my heroes are villains

Good villains are underrated.

Maybe it’s a bad boy complex, or perhaps a little preoccupation with the darker side of humanity, but so many of my favourite characters in pop culture have been villains, or at the very least, walked the precarious line between good and evil.

From the booming voice of Jeremy Irons as Scar in The Lion King, to my current favourite TV bad guy, Kilgrave in Marvel’s Jessica Jones, the characters that have fascinated and captivated me more than most are the hell raisers.


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The convenient destruction of hard work


Image: Touchstone Pictures

I’m not sure when we stopped listening to albums.

I suspect it was somewhere between the emergence of Napster and the legitimising of music downloads on iTunes. I started thinking about this recently when I complimented someone on their playlist. I thought about it a little further and considered that it might have been a kind of dumb thing to say because since when should someone get credit for arbitrarily selecting some songs to play? I think what I really meant to say was ‘I’m into this band and I love that you have at least one of their songs’. Chances are it was probably on shuffle anyway and there wasn’t even any ‘craft’ in creating the playlist. Continue reading