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Wikileaks & Censorship: I think Spider Jerusalem says it best…

8 Dec

With the eruption of cable leaks from whistleblowing site Wikileaks dominating news reporting around the world, and the flawed charges against figurehead Julian Assange doing its best to taint the leaks, it’s quickly becoming a critical moment in the fight for journalistic and social freedom of information and speech.

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URBAN FOX: Outside the comfort zone…

6 Sep

In recent months, I have started doing something I had hoped to do for years.

I get paid to do writing for a couple of different companies, which means I do all kinds of different work with a variety of topics and is something I want to do.

“You may have great writing talent but a range of experiences can help add to that talent, giving you more to draw from.”

The difficulty of having another job means less time to do Reynard City and other things. On the other hand, it also pays me to do those things I love. This is why if you are a creative person it is good to have a goal and be able to concentrate it.

I would also recommend occasionally stepping outside your comfort zone. You may have great writing talent but a range of experiences can help add to that talent, giving you more to draw from.

This is not to say that everything has to be a drama and you should only “write what you know.” What you know can equally be samurai films and Westerns or fantasy. However even with a fantasy elements of real life can help people sympathise with your characters.

Ghostbusters is a good example of this. Yes there are a lot of special effects and these guys are zapping ghosts, but the reason it endures is the relationship of the characters. Egon, Peter, Ray and Winston could be buddies in a sports team, firemen or flat mates.

In Dan Akroyd’s case he not only played Ray but the man himself has a genuine belief and interest in the paranormal, so the dialogue he delivers gives a sincerity that you wouldn’t get in many other blockbusters. Fortunately, the deadpan comebacks of Bill Murray (when he was fun) ensure it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

What’s the point of this? In my case I have been lucky. A couple of coincidences have helped me find two unlikely social circles, meeting brilliant people who have helped me live a better life.

With Dan Taylor he was a friend I knew from school. When he was injured in a car accident I sent him a mix tape with some comedy tapes and music. Over time, we have developed into a kind of double act that saw me invited to be an unofficial part of the University of East Anglia comedy group Headlights.

You may have seen on the Reynard City website profiles of numerous actors and the name Stagger (if you haven’t, go to Reynard City after you have read this article and others on this fine site – sorry, I am shameless!). Stagger is a gangster crime thriller that I have a part in.

I first got involved with Stagger by simply looking at an article in the local paper. It was a strange experience, especially considering I play a drug addict. Fortunately anyone has witnessed me on a caffeine high or slightly drunk will know I can do freaky weird (incidentally, never do stand up after you have drunk caffeine/alcohol. Not a good combo).

The reality of film-making is at times very tedious and dull. There were points where I was holding up the boom mike and directing traffic (not at the same time I might add). I worked long hours, improvising my own deluded ramblings (a large amount I’m told was cut, which is not surprising).

The best bit was I met a lot of fantastic actors and the longer I spent with them the more I thought “She would be good for…” and “He IS Mega Fox” (I’m not being funny- if you offered me Gary Oldman he wouldn’t be better). Amazingly thanks to Linda every actor I wanted I got and we had a great time recording.

The thing is you don’t necessarily need to be an extra in a Bollywood film or going to the other side of the country to study in order to have other experiences. Read a newspaper different to the one you normally have, watch a film from another country or even take a walk around your local area.

Perhaps the biggest thing that will shape your career is rejection and learning how to handle it. This is true of actors, camera crew, artists and a lot of other creative people. However as a writer it can be difficult to separate yourself from your work and rejection can seem personal.

There is no such thing as overnight success. A writer was once asked about her overnight success. Her response? “It only took me twenty years.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a long, long way of being considered successful. And if I do achieve it with Reynard City it won’t just be mine. They say that success has a thousand fathers. People often say that to be cynical. However in this instance I am grateful to everyone who is helping to shape something that is precious to me and one day I hope it is precious to a lot more people.

Why can’t all TV journalism be like this?

21 Aug

A brilliant special report monologue about the supposed ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ in New York.

It pretty much takes every point against it and disputes it in an articulate, passionate manner.

It’s a shame that moments as powerful and poignant as this are so rare in broadcast journalism.

The art of Fox News comments…

15 Aug

I got sent a brilliant website that everyone should save for immediate relief of depression – that lovely reminder that no matter how bad you think you are there are stupider people out there.

I bring you: More Wrong That Right

This seems to be a constantly updated generator of the more ridiculous Fox News (website) comments, with a brief headline above the comment for context. It’s pretty new so far so tends to repeat quite a bit, but I’m hoping in a few weeks it’ll be a lovely random generator of skewed filth to click to every now and then.

Some of the best I’ve come across include…

NY gov says Islamic group rejected his offer to find another site for ground zero mosque

“This just confirms that they, the terrorist supporters, are building in that loaction to rub salt in the wounds of America. Hopefully someone will blow the place up.”

Obama Hails Elena Kagan’s Confirmation as Newest Supreme Court Justice

“these flaming liberal progressive trolls calling us teabaggers and gloating about THEIR win don’t realize that in the end, we ALL will lose. And then they’ll be standing there with an even stupider look on their faces, asking: “where did our once great nation go to? when did we become commies? when did this happen? when did we lose it all?” MORONS, all of them. PROGRESSIVES >anagram> OR SERVES PIGS and they may be protecting gays now, but in the end, those with the power will go after gays first. why? because they won’t be producing future voters.”

Ancient Crocodile Had Teeth Built for Chewing

“Some more fairy tales told in the name of the evolution theory. As usual comes first the big, bold headline about a breakthrough fossil find, which explains everything in detail (like “Ardi” two years ago), then as paleontologists examine it closer most of the bold claims dissipate — but these discounting facts never seem to get publicized in the news and the public never gets wind of the evolutionary fraud. Here this newly discovered fossilized animal lived and searched for food on land, so it must have been pretty fast (unlike a crocodile), it had a different diet, it even had teeth similar to a mammal equipped for chewing. All doesn’t fit for a crocodile — so how can they be so certain it was a crocodile? Most evolutionists would say that mammal teeth and the ability to chew food is more advanced and tearing off chunks of meat and swallowing it whole is more primitive on the evolutionary scale. So here Devolution (evolving backwards, to something more primitive) is taking place and not an evolution to something more advanced and complex. Evolutionary story-telling goes in all directions.”

Judge Doubts Gay Marriage Ban Backers Can Appeal

“This judge is wrong and should be thrown out of his office, he made this ruling because he is a homosexual. Marriage is a instutional bond between a man and a woman. Homosexuality is a choice not a right. It is against every thing normal, the role of all life forms is to reproduce its own kind, this cannot happen between the same sexes. I do not and will never except their devient choice of living, to me its the same as being a child abuser, and most of them are child abusers. Lets return to making it against the law. What they do that cannot be openily seen cannot be prosecuted but if you try to force this lifestyle on humanity by openly flaunting it, then I say put you in jail. You try to make this a religious thing and you are right that the Bible says this is an abomination but also in reality its a crime against humanity.”

The most depressing thing in the world is that people truly believe these things.

But at least it does one service to society; it makes the sane feel just a little bit better about themselves.