Archives for posts with tag: opinion

lion babe

Lion Babe is a duo made up of Jillian Hervey and Luca Goodman that hail from NYC and are my current obsession. I first heard their brilliantly catchy track “Jump Hi” around a month ago and was instantly hooked – if you’re looking for soulful vocals (courtesy of Jillian) and punchy beats then they are definitely for you. “Jump Hi” features Childish Gambino who happens to be one of my favourite rappers, which helped reel me in – although by the time he hits the track I was already more than impressed. Their self-titled EP really shows off their musical range, as you’re transported along a musical journey that includes a mesmerising slow-jam “Jungle Lady” and the super rad “Wonder Woman” which makes you feel like you can take on anything and be your baddest self. 

Their music is the perfect accompaniment to so many situations; laying in bed chilling, city living, getting ready to go out and most of all, summer. If you need something to listen to in the car with your friends or while you sunbathe as their minimalist yet super-catchy vibe makes them a great artist to listen to if you need to relax and un-busy your mind – because it’s impossible to feel tense when listening. Jillian’s voice is beautiful and really compliments the music, adding an extra layer of emotion to the songs, which takes them a to new levels perfection in my eyes. 

The two cover tracks that are on their SoundCloud page prove again how genius they are – their re-style of Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart” is pure genius. The barely there beat showcases Jillian’s vocals and forces you to focus on the lyrics and the inclusion of the chorus from Drake’s “Furthest Thing” makes it extra special and in my humble opinion; flawless. I can’t wait to see what they bless us with next because let’s face it; it will be on repeat for days on end.

*also published on Screenqueens*

With the release of Mad Max: Fury Road this week, I decided to reflect on the previous three films and look at what the latest instalment has to live up to. The story begins in 1979 when the first film, simply named Mad Max hit our screens. Set in the near future – albeit in an alternative timeline, where society is falling apart and the human race is nearing its end, the first film introduced us to our quiet, brooding hero: Max Rockatansky. Clad completely in leather, he radiates doom and gloom and appears world-weary, even before his life is changed for the worse. The first film follows him as he attempts to end the hideously creepy and terrifying The Toecutter – an insane gang leader with masochistic tendencies and his band of equally as weird followers. The violence in the first film is to me the most realistic out of the three films, as it is less wild and more simplistically brutal, the scene where Max’s friend Goose is set alight whilst still alive is a stand out example of this. The first film contains all the basics that are seen in the follow-ups’; car chases, shootings and brutality. Most importantly of all though, the first film introduces audiences to the V8 interceptor. This car is in my opinion one of the most iconic movie vehicles, it’s cool, sleek and fucking fast – which when combined with Max’s style equals a dangerous and awe-inspiring duo. Mad Max ends in a heart-breaking way, with the audience learning how he gets the ‘mad’ added to his name, I won’t divulge what happens as to not spoil it for anyone who has not yet seen it – but I can assure you, it is truly shocking.

We are reunited with Max in the 1981 follow up Mad Max 2 or Road Warrior and boy have things changed. First off, there has been a nuclear war and the remaining humans are now living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and fighting over one thing and one thing only; fuel. The battle for petrol is the central plot line of the film, with Max begrudgingly teaming up with a bunch of survivors who are under-siege due to their lorry-tanker full of petrol. The enemy – The Humungus, a masked, muscly, bondage gear wearing psychopath who has a gang of crotch less leather chap wearing minions. One thing that returns however is the V8 Interceptor – which has been souped up, has oil drums on the back and looks even cooler than before. It is in this film that the Mad Max franchise I feel got the reputation for wackiness and hair-brained violence and car-chases, as fundamentally 3/4 of it is the ‘baddies’ pursuing Max and the tanker in a variety of different spiked, fire spewing, feather covered, arrow throwing vehicles. The clothes worn by the characters in Road Warrior are also pretty iconic now – with Max’s outfit staying relatively the same as before, with the exception of a leg brace – it is Humungus and his crew’s clothes that steal the limelight. Their S&M inspired outfits that are accessorised with metal gloves and large feathers, combined with their dominant/submissive behaviour e.g. when Humungus has Wez (his henchman) wear a collar with a leash attached to it – gives off quite a homoerotic vibe, something that adds to the films greatly layered plot and interactions. The highlight of Road Warrior to me is the character known as the Gyro Captain – a completely bonkers, flying buggy inventing Rhys Ifans in the late 90s look-a-like. What is so great about him is his complete belief that him and Max are best friends, all because Max didn’t kill him. Their growing friendship as the film progresses provides not only a comedy aspect, but also some light relief from all the killing and butchering that you are bombarded with for the majority of the time. One last thing to look out for in Road Warrior, is Max’s awesome dog. It wears a bandana – need I say any more.

The third film, released in 1985, named Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome is set fifteen years after the events of Road Warrior and sees Max end up in the sleazy town of Bartertown – headed by a wild haired Tina Turner. Thunderdome’s plot is based around Aunty Entity’s (Turner) fight for control of Bartertown and Max trying to save a bunch of teenage survivors from getting caught up in her brutal plans. It is this film that introduces us to the concept of the Thunderdome and the fights that occur within it. It is in essence, a post-apocalyptic Colosseum – that sees hideously violent gladiator style fights go on inside it, one of which involves Max and a giant known as Master Blaster. Thunderdome does keep the idea of humanities obsession with fuel going, through Bartertown’s farming of methane gas from pig faeces – however it is more of a sub-plot this time round, with the focus mainly being on the idea of freedom and whether or not it can be achieved now humanity is in ruins. Unlike the first two films, Thunderdome had a PG-13 certificate, rather than being R-rated, so the violence isn’t half as brutal and graphic, which for me, takes away from the Mad Max experience a bit – as they are basically violence with a plot-line, not the other way around. The third film ends with Max disappearing into the desert never to be heard of again – until now of course.

Therefore, Fury Road has a hell of a lot to live up to, but with Tom Hardy taking on the iconic role from Mel Gibson and George Miller continuing to direct I have high hopes for this new instalment, as the adverts have shown that its full of explosions, wacky cars, violence, murder and weird shit going down. It’s going to be Max alright, lets just hope it is mad.

reclaim-the-night

Last week my university had a march down one of the main roads in Manchester city centre called Reclaim the Night. The point of it was to raise awareness about rape culture and show the government that us women will not stand for it. The march had particular relevance as sadly the area of Manchester most students live in, including myself has had a record number of sexual attacks on female students in the last few months. Between September and November alone there were 30 attacks and since the beginning of this semester I have heard of at least two more; one of which occurred at eleven thirty in the morning. Shattering the argument of the ignorant that women shouldn’t travel alone at night. This means within the last year the number has doubled and something clearly needs to be done about it.

This is why Reclaim the Night was so important. With over 2000 people marching, armed with glow sticks, placards and yelling feminist chants, the people of Manchester were made well and truly aware that all of womenkind (and the men that attended) wanted their streets to be safe to walk along at all times of day. And that being a women should not increase your likeliness of being raped. My university’s women’s officer rightly described the march as being “like a battleground” and she is right, just saying you are a feminist is unfortunately no longer that effective, we have to harness that and go out there and make a change. All around the world women are being persecuted and we need to be louder about it. For too long women have been cast aside and not listened to, but Manchester’s Reclaim the Night proved this idea wrong. We are here, we exist, we have rights and we will not tolerate being under threat.

I hope that due to the success of this march that there be others that follow to raise awareness on other feminist issues occurring around the world, such as the practice of FGM, young girls being forced into marriages and the lack of rights for trans women. I am incredibly proud of my city and university and I hope it has shown the men who committed these terrible crimes that they are not wanted in society and are a disgrace to their gender. I also hope by writing this piece, women from other countries will gain inspiration to hold similar marches at their university or college to show the world that we are strong and want change now.
Popdunk

This xmas when going to collect some pet food I went for a wander around the shop, peering into cages at fat hamsters and a really rather morose looking chinchilla (although if I had just been harassed by two loud small children I would look a bit upset too). It was then that I came across the adoption area, where animals that are free to a good home are placed. Looking into the bottom tank I spotted a largish brown and white Dutch rabbit who then turned towards me, presenting the other side of his face; minus an eye. Now, I have a history of taking in reject animals. I’ve had a one-eyed guinea pig, an epileptic rabbit and a rabbit that the pet shop no longer wanted as he had a hole ripped into his ear. So I knew at once that I couldn’t leave this one there, so the next morning he arrived with my friend and I had to tentatively tell my parents there was a new pet arriving!

The staff at the shop had told me that he had once had both eyes but lost one due to an infection and because of this was abandoned. This is such a cowardly thing to do, there are numerous places that take unwanted pets in so why anyone abandons them really is ridiculous to me!

His case highlights the importance of taking on rescued pets, as not only is he a lovely bun but his story also makes him that bit more special. So I really do hope that more people will think of taking on rescued small animals, as they are often over looked due to them often being adults and not babies.

As the comedian Jessimae Peluso says “Adopt don’t shop!”

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