Help me, I want to be a journalist.

Some bloggers write as a side project, some make a reasonable living from it, and a lot of us do it because we want to be some sort of writer or a journalist. Those of us who do that are used to the struggling life of a writer, we know what it’s like to suffer in order to perfect our craft. It involves spreading ourselves far too thin, and staring at a blank white page on Word in the ugly hours of the night. Then we go to our normal jobs looking like a homeless version of one of the witches from Hocus Pocus. It is a delightful experience of everybody.

Who even gets to be a journalist now? Is it anybody who can afford to do a Masters at a prestigious journalism school? Is it someone with the right connections? Or can we chock it up to dumb luck? Journalism is one of the least secure career paths you can choose, stability is not on the cards and financially you’re not in for a pot of gold unless you’re secretly Piers Morgan. If you want to go into this field, you need a thick skin and an arrogant edge that tells you you’re the best. You’ll get no where without self belief.

These are the things I know about the path to getting your job as a writer or journalist. If you need me, I’ll be sat in a corner chewing on my hair, because this job path has driven me to insane and unbelievable actions. Read all about it, Goldilocks ruined her hair! Suffered for art! Continue reading

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Why November 22 still matters.

Image: Bettmann / Corbis / PBS

Note: This is not a political piece and will not concentrate on the details of his presidency – there is time for that later on, this is the story of the haunting tragedy of the loss of a leader.

On November 11, Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post claimed that “The fascination with the Kennedys endures, though it’s probably on its last lap. After all, about three-quarters of Americans either weren’t born when Kennedy was shot or were too young (under 5) to grasp what happened. It’s a distant and disconnected event to them.” All historical events are somewhat distant to the current and future generations, how can we be wired to connect to something we didn’t physically experience? In the case of JFK, it is the abhorrent destruction of the idealised and sugar coated American dream that makes the historic event relevant in today’s generation, and it is kept alive by conspiracy theories and the insatiable need for answers and classified information that cannot be given.

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Dear Mr President, I wrote you a tourist guide – you’re welcome.

Original image source: Sayanythingblog

Next Autumn, Celtic Manor near Newport is hosting the 2014 Nato Summit, scheduled to take place between the 4-5th September. This means that the most influential world leaders will be brought to our fine Welsh land. The best part of this, is that it means Barack Obama will be joining them, marking the first official Presidential visit to Wales in history.

President Obama is a busy man, and will surely have little time to digest vast amounts of Welsh tourism guides. This is where I feel it is my duty to intervene, as anyone who has gone through my blog knows I take an active interest in the Obama presidency. So, it is down to my civil obligation that I have compiled a list of all things Cymraeg for the President to enjoy during his stay. Continue reading

Something wicked this way comes: telling the story of Halloween

Image from my own Instagram
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe

Come in my pretties, can I take your coat? Please, make yourselves at home. There now, there is no need to be afraid of All Hallows’ Eve. Take off your mask, there is no need for that here, I know exactly who you are. Are you sitting comfortably?

It began almost 2,000 years ago, when the Celts across Europe celebrated their New Year’s Eve. Known as Samhain Eve, it was celebrated at the end of October before the colder months chilled the bones of our ancestors. They didn’t own overpriced Barbour jackets or hot water bottles to keep them warm, you see. Samhain, means November in Irish and celebrated the end of a bountiful harvest season and the disappearance of the warm summer months. As the line waned between autumn and winter, it was legend that so did the veil between the living and the dead. On this particular night, spirits were thought to walk with the living, many on their way to the afterlife. Continue reading

Why do we care what Banksy thinks of the One World Trade Centre?

Image my own.

Street artist Bansky submitted a controversial Op-Ed to The New York Times. It was rejected, due to the newspaper’s inability to agree on the piece or the images used. The piece was then posted as a NYT mockup on Banksy’s own website, among many things he stated that the new One World Trade Centre is evidence that “the terrorists won” and that New York has lost it’s nerve.  New York Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy also told the New York Post that “What he has posted on his site is not exactly the same as what he submitted.”

“It would be easy to view One World Trade Centre as a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won.”

Letters to Americans – Vladimir Putin’s letter to United States published in The New York Times

Original image property of Telegraph.co.uk

On the evening of September the 11th, The New York Times published a piece written by Vladimir Putin on it’s Op-Ed page. The piece, entitled “A Plea for Caution From Russia” set out to settle a few things that we may have been wondering during the course of the Syria crisis. The Op-Ed has gathered praise from many Americans, claiming that Putin makes more sense and conducts more of an intellectual and cohesive argument than President Barack Obama. It has also been called a gesture of sincerity towards the American nation.

However, it can be seen as a tactical move in Putin’s political operation. It is intelligent, smooth and targeting the American people directly. It’s also in The New York Times, so an implied notion of credibility is attached to it’s publication. By liaising with the American media, especially one such as the Times, Putin looks as if he is taking steps forward in becoming more of a friend to the nation. The whole piece seems rational, calm and a collected chain of well informed thoughts. Continue reading

Days before 9/11 anniversary, ‘War weary’ Obama faces hostile choices.

Original image property of The Washington Post Online

In the days before the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the United States is once again faced with grim conflict and images of war. Barack Obama is determined to hold Syria and the Assad regime accountable for an attack on August 21st which killed 1,429 of it’s own people, of which over 400 were children.

There is evidence which suggests that these civilians were victims to a chemical weapon known as Sarin gas. The gas causes a grisly death for it’s victims. The effect of Sarin is the paralysis of general lung function, the victims will experience suffocation, vomiting, and convulsions in the 15 minutes it will take them to die. This alone is a terror tactic to intimidate rebellion and terrify civilians into submissive assent.

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