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Artificial Intelligence The new film, complete with a rather funky logo for displaying the letters that stand for ‘Artificial Intelligence’ the idea, or process, or whatever, that machines can be made / could be made to think like humans. Confused yet? I can go for hours… Incidentally, I was most surprised, and pleased, to see Stanley Kubrick pop up in the opening credits. Ummm, I don’t know what you people call ‘spoilers’, apparently they’re not those things on your car, so I’ll warn you now, I say what I like. \| Story |/ Set in the nearish future, people aren’t allowed to have kids, world is half frozen due to ice caps melting. The Swintons have a child, Martin, who just happens to be cryogenically frozen because he’s got something wrong, and they can’t fix it. Mr Swinton is selected by his employer to be the trial for a new ‘mecha’, a child robot, the first of its kind. (The opposite of ‘mecha’ is ‘orga’ which, is not a group of people having sex, but short for organic) The new idea is to create a robot that can actually love, not just imitate the behaviour, but actually love another person. At the same time they question whether a human could love a robot back, and the guy replies with something smarmy about Adam being put on the earth to love God. So, this kid is made, named David, and given to the Swintons, after a while Mrs Swinton says a sequence of words that will bind the child to her, and allow him to love her, so, she says them, he calls her ‘mummy’ and they’re happy. Mrs Swinton (Monica) gives David a ‘super-toy’ called Teddy. Teddy is a smart robot teddy bear (scary huh?) and he helps David throughout the film and explains things to him. Teddy Rocks! Teddy can mend himself! So, after this, they start getting on fine and stuff, and out of the blue (every pun intended) Martin returns home cause they’ve made him better. They keep David, and let the two of them be brothers, but Martin doesn’t see it that way, he’s a selfish evil little b-stard and thinks David is his new toy, and as he’s so spoilt, he just wants to break him… So after a sequence of events, Monica leaves David in the forest somewhere, and he’s on his own. The end? No, that would be silly. It’s about here when we meet Joe, a gigolo, yes, you read correctly. He’s been designed just to satisfy women, and adds a slightly humorous touch to the film. By a strange twist, David saves Joe’s life and Joe helps David to try and find what he’s looking for, ‘The Blue Fairy’, that thing out of Pinocchio, which turns him into a real boy, because *retch* if David is a REAL boy then his mummy will love him… So he’s taken back to his creator where he has a mental fit and smashes another David to bits, screaming about being unique… Which is fairy scary actually… And meets this Doctor guy who is amazed how David has been driven by love et cetera. David, now depressed that he’s not unique jumps off the tower into the now much higher water level. The End? No no no! It’s about here that I realise that I need a wee… I’ll wait I think, the film will be over soon… This guy then starts narrating. ‘Jesus’, I’m thinking, ‘I could really do with a pee’. Joe rescues him, and Joe gets caught, David goes underwater again, this time in a sub-cum-copter thing and finds the Blue Fairy and gets trapped! THE END! NO! HAR HAR HAR! YOU NEED A WEE! WE DRAG IT OUT! Then two thousand odd years pass, and some aliens turn up with some freaky ships made out of just flat pieces of stuff, and wake David up who& #8217;s been sitting at the bottom of the water staring at this Blue Fairy that was in a fairground. THE END? B-llocks is it, but I’ll let you watch the rest… By the time that film had finished I was so desperate for the loo that I rushed out as soon as the words ‘Steven Speilberg’ had come up. \| Me |/ I read in one of the other opinions on here ‘I don’t think this film is suited for children’, that’s probably why it’s got a 12 certificate then? Maybe…? The film was too long it really was, and not just cause of my particular situation, I was just waiting for it to end, it really was dragged out. (A similar sensation to watching ‘Valley of the Langoliers’ – BORING!) My favourite has to be Teddy, I was hooked on teddy the whole film and was most pleased to see him resurrected along with David by the freaky aliens. The special effects are quite good, Manhattan half submerged in water, and the like, but they were too few to save the film. I won’t buy it when it comes out, and I’d never pay to see it again, but it’s not a total loss, I think I just was expecting a lot more than I got. I’m slightly worried now, cause most of the other reviews here think it’s really good… Honestly, it’s not! I once wrote a letter that was published in ‘Computer Active’ about how artificial intelligence could be dangerous, they called me paranoid… my time will come… you wait and see if it doesn’t….
I haven’t written in Speaker’s Corner for quite some time, usually because my opinions upset too many people, so I’ll be a bit more careful this time. I think. The Commission for Racial Equality is a body set up to help groups of people, and individuals, that suffer from prejudice, and we pay for it. There was a time, and there are still some people, some companies, that think that people with different coloured skin, or different appearances shouldn’t be employed, and these are probably the people that say things like, ‘go back to where you can from’, yes, well, most of these people are British anyway. Anyway, The Commission for Racial Equality make it so that companies have to employ other-than-Caucasian types, and it worked, and was more or less effective. So now we don’t need it. It’s the same as any other body, while a Commission for Racial Equality exists, there can never be Racial Equality, and it’s just a simple fact. While there is a body that governs and legally controls aspects relating to such a thing, how can it ever be equal? The problems occur when a particular member of such a group feels he or she has been mistreated and makes a really big racket about it, attracting attention to his or herself, and the group that they came from, the majority of the attention will be unwanted, and employers will read of a black woman who smashed her employer in the face because he asked her the time. Yeah, let’s employ her. The same thing happens with gays and lesbians, you get the normal members of these groups, who simply live their lives, and then you get others who make a really big deal, and say things like ‘it’s because I’m gay isn’t it?’ and attract all the tabloids in the nearest 50 miles, then everyone thinks, gosh, how silly. If the Commission were abandoned, as it should, now, there may well be a good number of companies that wouldn’t employ coloured people, but would anybody really want to work in a place that was like that? I wouldn’t. Fine, it can still be illegal to discriminate, against anyone, for anything, but having a commission is way over the top, imagine it on a slightly more intense scale: The Commission for Stephen Dolphin’s Equality. Well, there we have it, now, this is my imaginary legal body, set up to protect the rights of, you got it, me. Now, people will be scared to look at me funny in the street, because I might, I wouldn’t of course, but I COULD, run off to my Commission and say so, and then you’d get in a lot of trouble. Fine, I’m happy, but the next time you saw me in the street, you’d want to kill me, and this happens with the court hearings that occur through the Commission for Racial Equality, remember: “A person convinced against their will, Is of the same opinion still.” At the same time, while so many other minority groups are being discriminated against, this particular Commission awards stupid amounts of money to people who were picked on at work, coloured people that is, and at the same time, if I went to the State and said my boss called me a ‘no good lazy white-boy’, I’d be asked to leave. You see? Already this writing is taking the slightly defensive stance that I said would happen just above, the Commission is producing the reverse effect of what it was created to do. It’s over 20 years old now, and a lot of things, including the majority of people attitudes have changed, there are far more many coloured people in England now then there ever were (naturally…) and to be honest, you’re much more likely to have a coloured employer than you are to have a white one who discriminates. The Commission for Racial Equality needs to be abandoned now, before al l hope of equality is totally lost.
‘ “…all your nonsenses and truths, your finery and squalid options, combine and coalesce, to one noise including laugh and whimper, scream and sigh, forever and forever repeating, in any tongue we care to choose, whatever lessened, separated message we want to hear. It all boils down to nothing, and where we have the means and will to fix our reference within that flux; there we are. If it has any final signal, the universe says simply, but with every possible complication, ‘Existence,’ and it neither pressures us, nor draws us out, except as we allow. Let me be part of that outrageous chaos…and I am.” ’ I wasn’t even aware there was a TV series until I read it in the only other opinion on this book (at the time of writing). My first encounter with Banks, was ‘The Wasp Factory’, and that started a twisted fascination with the author. Gothic horror isn’t usually my chosen genre, but I think that Banks is now a chosen author. The book opens with the remarkable, and now over-repeated line, “It was the day my grandmother exploded.” That is the line that got me interested in this particular book, so when my grandmother leant it to me, I was already more than eager to read it. The book’s activities concern Prentice McHoan, his family and friends. He dwells on the existence of a supreme being, a deity, while death draws him back to Gallanach time and time again. Amongst all the other goings on a particular interest of his, is his Uncle Rory. Rory is his father’s brother, and is missing. He’d published one travelling book about 10 years ago, and a few years back borrowed his friend’s bike to go somewhere, and never turned up. So comes about the title of the book, to be ‘away the crow road’, you can do your own Scottish accents in your heads, means to be dead, and is also the name of a mysteriou s folder which Rory has started, a compilation of poetry prose, and just general notes. Prentice deduces that this was meant to be Rory’s attempt at a great project, something to re-launch his career, and tries to decipher and gather more of Rory’s work. Intertwined with Prentice’s life is his good friend Ash. She’s got long legs and likes drugs, and Prentice spends a lot of the book idly flirting with her, and then starts to wonder if he actually is in love with her or not. My favourite bit in the book is the beginning of one of the many stories that Prentice’s father used to tell him as a child, and it goes like this: “… ‘Were they Slow Children?’ ‘Some of them were, as a matter of fact, but at the time they didn’t have the signs to tell them so.’ ‘Are the Slow Children only in Lochgair, dad?’ ‘No; there are Slow Children in various places; watch out for the road-signs…’” I would recommend Banks to anyone who just likes a good read, it’s far from boring, and although ‘The Wasp Factory’ is probably a little garish for an introduction, ‘The Crow Road’ is not, so, go ahead and start reading. I think I’ll buy ‘The Business’ next…
Shrek, the latest DreamWorks creation and supposedly a film for children… A fact that did not stop me seeing “Pokemon – The First Movie” and “The Tigger Movie” when they came out. The film is a kid’s film really, it has a ‘U’ certificate, but there are some more adult jokes, references to Snow White not being easy shouldn’t be picked up by children… Should they? Our characters are Lord Farquaad, with the dangerously subtle voice of John Lithgow, better known as the High Commander in ‘Third Rock From The Sun’. Donkey, who is simply a talking Donkey, the voice of Eddie Murphy, the Princess Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz, and of course, Shrek, Mike Myers. Shrek is an ogre, a hideous ugly beast, who is a recluse; he lives on his own, in his swamp, scaring off people every now and again. I think Mike Myers does a brilliant Scottish accent, and I enjoyed every word. Donkey is on the run from some guards. Lord F. has deemed that all fairytale creatures be rounded up and put somewhere, so people are trading in their creatures for cash, Donkey is special because he can talk, but he runs away and bumps into the rear end of Shrek. The guards follow Donkey and stop, Shrek scares them away and then he’s stuck with Donkey, who will not leave him alone. I think Eddie Murphy is brilliant, and to be honest, I think he carries the film, without him, I wouldn’t have enjoyed it at all. Anyway, all these Fairytale animals move in to Skrek’s swaps, we’re talking Snow White, The Three Blind mice etc, everything you’ve every associated with a fairytale ends up living with Shrek, and he doesn’t like it. At about the same time, Lord F. gets The Mirror (“Mirror mirror on the wall…” etc) and Mirror tells him that he needs to marry a princess to become King, he chooses Princess Fiona, and decides to send some knights to rescue her from the castle protected by the dragon… Shrek finds Lord F. with Donkey and after a bit of WWF fighting with these knights, Lord F. informs Shrek that he can have his swamp back if he rescues the Princess for him. Shrek agrees and the journey begins… Needless to say, he rescues her, and on the way back to Lord F. we discover that she has a secret, and I’ll stop with the plot just there… I groaned when I saw Princess Fiona breaking into song, but then laughed myself silly when I saw what happened next. A few people have mentioned the constant running into the ground of Disney feel that this film has, and it’s true, you do get the impression that they just harbour a little bit of resentment and hold no respect for Disney whatsoever, which makes it all so much more fun! There’s a take of The Matrix in one of the fighting scenes, but unlike films like Scary Movie, it’s actually quite amusing in this film. At the end of it all, it’s a film I’d watch again, and consider buying when it comes out on DVD, I enjoyed it a lot, and I can’t get over how much Murphy held it all together.
This was going to be called, THIS IS NOT AN EXIT, but someone else stole that, so, well... “ ‘…So what did Ed Say?’ Hamlin asks, interested. ‘He said,’ I begin, ‘When I see a pretty girl walking down the street I think two things. One part of me wants to take her out and talk to her and be real nice and sweet and treat her right.’ I stop, finish my J&B in one swallow. ‘What does the other part of him think?’ Hamlin asks tentatively. ‘What her head would look like on a stick.’ I say. ” American Psycho, a book released in 1991 and written by one Bret Easton Ellis. A book marvelled over, a book made into a film, and a book that spouts encouragement such as “a black-hearted satire on the terrible power of money” on its back cover. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I don’t really know how to break this to all you people out there, but the book’s total and utter crap. Yes, there I go again, as with any other opinion that I write, I start with an accusing, sweeping statement like that, and attempt to win people over to my way of thinking, those I can’t woo, I simply insult until they give up. So here I go. The book is, like the film, about Patrick Bateman, he is a Wall-Street guy in America, was it New York? I forget? The book is concerned with the nasty evil side of the power of money, and ‘the mindless preoccupations of the nineties preppy generation’. It’s supposed to be a comedy, which most people forget, of course, if Ellis hadn’t called it a comedy it would have been banned by now. Bateman is a businessman by day, but as night dawns (can I say that?) he turns into, well, a psycho. He takes it upon himself to hire prostitutes and pick up people from all over the place, take them back to his house and then kills them, in really nasty ways, including cutting women’s nipples off and heaving an axe through a co-workers face. That sounds nasty, but the death scenes in the book are so graphic that it made the majority of people I showed it to feel ill. The book isn’t divided into chapters so much, as into sections, they could be chapters, but they’re sort of, not supposed to be…. If you follow me here, then well done. The first chapters start with names like ‘April Fools’ and ‘Harry’s’, moving through the book we change to things like ‘Date with Evelyn’ and ‘Girls’, ending on things like ‘The Best City for Business’ and ‘The End of the 1980s’. Three chapters are devoted entirely to music, these are ‘Genesis’, ‘Whitney Houston’ and ‘Huey Lewis and the News’ which detail the successes and failures of these particular artists, as well as their growth and discussing their albums. Ellis tries to emphasise the futility of the white-collar worker in this book, constant references to ‘Les Miserables’ and worrying only about whether they have reservations for lunch. Bateman insists on describing everything that someone is wearing and has a panic attack if his hair is not perfect. The mundane days are broken when Bateman strolls along the street and stabs a homeless person. Bateman becomes more of a psychopath as the book progresses, and although the death scenes remain as graphic, his general behaviour becomes worse. I think Ellis has made his point, I think he offers a perspective that many people haven’t considered, but I just think it was a really bad book. I liked bits of it, the death scenes were funny, and there’s an entire passage towards the end of the book, the one that the film opens with, that sums it all up nicely, I’ll put it in for you at th e end, but I just didn’t enjoy it, I found the book an effort to read. The constant describing of the clothes on the people became very, very annoying, you can make a point, and then you can bore people to death with it by repeating yourself, this is what he does. As I said, the book was fun, it was good in some areas, but I generally didn’t enjoy it, I also didn’t enjoy the film, I dunno, I’m getting tired of all this material possession gunk, haven’t you noticed that everyone’s whining about it nowadays? I have… “…there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman Some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, Something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there. It is hard for me to make sense on any given level. Myself is fabricated, an aberration. I am a noncontingent human being. My personality is sketchy and unformed, my heartlessness goes deep and is persistent. My conscience, my pity, my hopes disappeared a long time ago (probably at Harvard) if they ever did exist. There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it, I have now surpassed. I still, though, hold on to one single bleak truth: no one is safe, nothing is redeemed. Yet I am blameless. Each model of human behavior must be assumed to have some validity. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape. But even after admitting this—and I have, countless times, in just about every act I’ve committed - and coming face-to-face with these truths, there is no catharsis . I gain no deeper knowledge about myself, no new understanding can he extracted from my telling. There has been no reason for me to tell you any of this. This confession has meant nothing...”
“When I was young, I never needed anyone, And making love was just for fun. Those days are gone.” Bridget Jones’ diary... This is quite possibly the most hyped film this year, I’ve heard nothing but non-stop whinging about this film, and like most of the people here, I expected it to be a snotty-nosed whiny film about some depressed woman. Correct. Well, that’s a bit nasty really isn’t it? Yes… I like to think that I have a fairly broad mind when it comes to films, I watch a bit of everything, I like films that have blood and guts with mutant bugs, and I like films that are intelligent, or at least try hard enough to be. For those of you who aren’t aware of what or who Bridget Jones is, then I’ll fill you in, it’s originally a book (two books really), which are the diary of Bridget Jones, 30-something single woman, working in the city, convinced that she’s going to die alone. It’s an ‘Adrian Mole’ for single women. I was dragged to see this by a gay friend of mine (no surprise there then), that and the curiosity of course, you see, I wasn’t totally aware of who or what Bridget Jones was either. I haven’t read the book, which is quite possibly an advantage when it comes to this sort of thing, although I’ll probably make a point of buying it now. Okay then…. :<>:<>:<>:<>: Cast :<>:<>:<>:<>: Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant) Mark Darcy (Colin Firth). Her friends: Shazza (Sally Phillips (That CRAZY one from Smack the Pony) Jude (Shirley Henderson) Tom (James Callis) :<>:<>:<>:<>: Plot :<>:<>:<>:<>: The film runs for a year of Jones’ life, new years to new years. Jones is obsessed with all the things that women are stereotypically obsessed with, she starts the film by making new years resolutions, namely, stop drinking, stop smoking and lose weight. Predictable? She decides that in order to take control of her life, she’ll buy a diary, and record things in it, and this is of course what the majority of the film is based on. She’s torn between two men, a rude lawyer that her mother introduced at the Christmas party she hosted (Firth), and her boss (Grant). Jones has a group of friends who she shares all of her troubles with, and who eat her blue soup for her. :<>:<>:<>:<>: Stuff :<>:<>:<>:<>: I have to say, I was amazed at Zellweger’s English accent. It was really remarkable bearing in mind that she’s a Texan. Much better than those stupid attempts in ‘The Hole’ anyway. Zellweger was surprisingly, well normal, she doesn’t look like a tart basically, as very many of the women in new films do, she just looked, well, plain! No offence intended to her of course. I think this plainness will help many of the women and *cough* more feminine people ‘connect’ with the film. I enjoyed some of the tracks that were played with this film, especially with the karaoke scene and when she’s at home, drunk, mouthing the words (loosely) to the song that helped me chose the title for this review. The fault with this film, (as if there’s only one!) well, the one that springs to mind, is the very apparent over usage of the word ‘F*ck’, for some reason the writers must have thought that making nearly every sentence contain a swear word would make the film witty. How wrong could they be? Hugh Grant has been praised for not coming across as a bumbling idiot in this film, as he does in most others. I think this is just a bit, well, wrong. He still appears to be as the bumbling idiot that he is in anything else, he just swears a bit more in this… Witty. I’ll probably have to point out that you should stay until the end to see the supposedly funny clips, which will probably make you giggle a bit. Not to put you off entirely, there were some funny bits in it, quite funny bits, like, as someone else here has said, when Grant is asked about some war-torn country he replies with “I couldn’t give a f*ck, Jones” (see that word again?) There’s a bit of a fight scene between the two men she loves, and she ends up with one of them, but so that I don’t get shouted at, I won’t tell you which… :<>:<>:<>:<>: Wrap-up :<>:<>:<>:<>: I didn’t start off with the intention of running this film into the ground, but I feel that I have, just an ickle bit… There are some good bits, you should go and see it anyway, and remember, you are allowed to laugh at the funny bits.
Well, yes, here we go… The Hole… One of the main things that make me think whether a film is worth watching or not is the background music. If you actually notice the background music (unless of course you notice the music because it’s cool, like “We Luv You” by Grand Theft Audio) playing during the film, it means that something has gone in the storyline. I heard the music twice. Just because I only heard music twice, it doesn’t make it a good film, it simply means that I’m still paying attention to it. /\/\/\/\/| Storyline A group of British (har har) students, Public School type, decide that in order to miss their geography field trip they’ll get locked in this underground bunker, an abandoned bomb shelter. The girl, Liz (Thora Birch (that girl from American Beauty? (The dark one, not the blond one.))), fancies this American son-of-a-rock-star guy to death (you’ll thank me for the pun later (perhaps not)), and decides that the best way to win his heart is to be locked in an underground bunker with him… mmmm, romantic. Two of their friends go along as well, and they call it a private party. Of course, after three days they aren’t let out, and they quickly run out of food and water, there’s a bit of paranoia, and the like, and a few death scenes. 18 days later, Liz comes out and tells her story. /\/\/\/\/| Viewing The film is shot in a style that is VERY, VERY similar to ‘Book of Shadows’ (Blair Witch 2) with flashbacks to the actual events and what happened while Liz is telling a psychiatrist all about her nasty, nasty experience. I enjoyed the opening sequence, but got quickly upset with the pathetically awful attempts and English accents that these people were putting on. Birch plays a very good nutcase though… /\/\/\/\/| The experience I’d eaten all o f my buttons by the first ten minutes of the film, and it looked like we were going to be the only people in there, but then some more people came in, which was a shame. I was laughing through quite a lot of this film, sounds sick doesn’t it, but one of the death scenes really made me giggle. /\/\/\/\/| Summary Basically, this film was a rip off of “The Lord of the Flies”, combined with flashback scenes stolen from Book of Shadows, as I mentioned. As far as I’m concerned, films fall into two categories, those that are used to judge other films, and those that are judged by other films. This, as I’ve already pointed out, quite a lot, is one of the latter. Also, the film can’t seem to decide whether it’s set in England or America, does Liz dial 999 at the beginning or 911? She certainly attends a school that has a huge fee of $30,000+, that’s American, the accents vary throughout the film, and the Silent Witness approach of the autopsies doesn’t do the film any huge favours. As I said, some bits make you laugh, and, just to ruin it a little bit for you, no-one falls down that ruddy great hole in the middle of the floor. Shame ‘eh? And that concludes this rather short and parentheses illustrated review of a rather short and blood-ridden film (had to get another set in).
Domestic violence, a subject that is very much a problem nowadays, and something that is still very highly overrated. Domestic violence is nasty, and whether it be emotional or physical, we are all asking one question: “Why do people stay?” The answer to this question is not as simple as most imagine, it’s very easy to simply say, “Well, why don’t you just leave?” And a lot of the time, you won’t get a satisfactory answer. Most of the women who are abused, in whatever way, stay because: · They’re too afraid to make a run for it. · They think things will get better. Okay, here’s an announcement that most of you won’t like: People do not change. It’s the same principle as with bullies, a bully is always a bully, he or she will never stop having the same thoughts and ideas that made him or her a bully, but may well stop any actual evidence of abuse. A wife beater, or indeed a husband beater, will always be one. If anybody stays with someone because they think that they will change, then it’s sheer stupidity, although, getting them to realise that is a very, very difficult task. Now then, I’ve never been the subject of this kind of abuse, ever, and I imagine that I never will be, but it’s the same as anything else: “It will never happen to me.” I do, however, know a woman that was. She started dating this guy, who seemed okayish, he was a bit strange and Welsh (which is of course of no relevance whatsoever…) He moved in with her, and they had quite a nice Christmas (2000), after that, things started going just a little bit downhill. The man had been involved in drugs in the past, was an ex-baron kinda thing, and this obviously didn’t help matters. This was cocaine and speed level, that sort of stuff actually makes permanent physical and psychological damage, it ac tually screws with your head. Now, this guy (from this point known as ‘nutcase’) seemed a bit off-tee anyway, possessed the kind of constant paranoia that you associate with conspiracy theorists. He thought that everyone talked about him behind his back and things. And then he tried to kill himself. He had been prescribed sleeping tablets and Valium by his GP, taking 20 and 10 tablets respectively and a few cans of lager, he made this lady ring his GP because he wanted some help. The GP sent an ambulance, and three police cars to collect him. He ran, and came back a-knocking at the door at 2am. Things just got worse. He broke her nose, broke into her house and slept in her bed while she was at relatives and she had him arrested about five times. The courts placed a bail condition, stating he couldn’t contact her, any of her family or go round. He did. He was arrested some more, nothing stopped him, and then, he just stopped coming around, for about three weeks it was all quiet. Then he went back one day, drunk, and spoke to he, outside her house, she didn’t let him in, and later on that day he threw a brick through her front room window. He was arrested again. Now then, the man is free. He’s a junkie (no apologies for the use of the word this time) and lives around the corner from this unfortunate woman. And, after all of this, after everything he did to her. She went back. She visits him, a few times a week, her reasoning is that “He makes her laugh.” Which personally I don’t think is a good reason. He now claims to be having a mental breakdown. She’s losing interest, thank God. Now then, the morals of this story are: 1) As I already said, PEOPLE DON’T CHANGE. 2) Some people will not just leave a relationship. Now, as far as I’m concerned, this is where an importa nt change takes place, this is where the blame stops being on the persons involves, and moves to the State. This nutcase was not suitably prevented from causing trouble, from disrupting the streets, exactly the sort of thing the State is designed to protect us all from. In this department, along with a great many others, the State has failed to serve us as it should. Now, this lady didn’t leave because she just had no where to go, and the thing that holds these people, aside from nowhere to go, is the fear. The fear of what would happen if you were caught trying to escape, or even months after a successful escape, unless you totally changed your life, you’d never be free. I personally feel that this world would be no worse of if this nutcase just killed himself, as he threatened to do, and then everything would be over. You see, there’s no real help for victims of domestic violence, no method that will ensure that you are set free from the state of limbo that your life would now be restricted to. The State offers no support whatsoever, despite all of its policies for this sort of thing. People cannot be sectioned (institutionalised) without doing something a lot more major than beating partners. Police can’t do anything to help, unless some sort of disruption is apparent, and you’re stuck. Women often think that they’re to blame, that they are someway supposed to stay in the relationship, otherwise it’s doomed, well, let’s face it, it’s already doomed isn’t it? The only advice I can offer is, always be ready to leave. Just in case something goes wrong, and you have to leave, have all your important things (passport etc) in a bag hidden somewhere, ready to pick up and leave. You can try for help from the Police and things, and if you have somewhere you can go, then do so, as soon as you can, don’t bother waiting for the status quo to change, just leave, quickly and quietly, and never look back. The problem is every case is different, and it really does depend on what has been done before anything else can happen, so try your best to get help if you need it. I thought I'd just add a bit more, just to satisfy some of the requirements suggested to me in the commentaries. Children. Childern are of course affected by Domestic violence, whether they're involved in it, or simply a witness. A child brought up around violent parents may well think that that's the correct way to live. Children need to be protected until they can be allowed to make decisions on their own. The thing a mother fears more than anything else is having her children put into care, but if she lives with a violent husband, this may well happen. If you fear for your children, I suggest sending them to relatives until the situation is resolved, or something similar. As was stated, this opinion is a story of drug abuse as well, the violence can stem from many things, stress, depression, drink. The person in question may simply be mental ill. By no means is drugs the single cause of any problem, but the situations that arise are often similar.
“Patrick Bateman is handsome, well educated and intelligent. He is twenty-six and living his own American dream. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to compliment the one he was born with. At night he descends into madness, as he experiments with fear and violence.” Is what it says on the back, and is indeed what attracted me to this film. Before I get everybody upset and insult this film ‘till I’m blue in the face, I’ll just run over the plot. ||||||| PLOT (If you think it had one…) Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) lives alone and works on Wall Street. He is engaged to Reese Witherspoon, well actually Evelyn, She’s just played by Reese, who you may remember as the blonde girl from ‘Cruel Intentions’. Bateman is self-obsessed, he cares only about himself and how others see him. He has hundreds of toiletries and cares only for his material possessions. The film is set in the 80s and is considered therefore to be dealing with all things associated with that era, mainly money and status. The film tries to focus more on the social message - greed and the lack of depth associated with it. He murders lots of people, but towards the end of the film he discovers that he hasn’t, and we are forced to ask how much of what he did was real. ||||||| Highlights (The only bits worth watching…) Funny bits, such as the music commentaries prior to a few of the murders are apparently incorporating the music dialogues from the book. This is irrelevant, these bits made me giggle, especially bearing in mind after some of these there are very violent scenes, including hitting someone in the face with a large shiny fire-axe. The bit that made me laugh the most was when Bateman is standing at an ATM machine. He gets some money from the machine, and notices a stray kitten at his feet. The screen then changes to read ‘F EED ME A STRAY CAT’, and he tried to force the kitten into the ATM machine, an old lady sees this and gets upset, so he shoots her, drops the cat unharmed and starts running away from the police car that’s just noticed him. Some quotes from the film are quite good as well, and these include: “I can feel my mask of sanity slipping away.” As well as some others about mass-murderers, which he drops casually into conversations. ||||||| ME (What I think…) I’m sorry, I’m really quite sorry… This film was awful. From the moment the film started it reminded me of a combination of three films: 1. American Beauty: The monologues at the beginning and end, and the message. 2. Fight Club: The narration and the message. 3. The Talented Mr Ripley: The murders. The film screams intelligence, but fails miserably, this film isn’t even mildly intelligent, and although it tires to hard to be a film of its own… it can’t. The film wants to be another American Beauty or Fight Club too much. It wants to be one of those films that people will remember and judge other films by, instead it is judged by its predecessors. I’ve not read the book, I will now though. As with any other film taken from a novel, people stress that there are important bits left out, but to them I’d like to say this: Films and novels are entirely different mediums, the film of any novel should not be compared to it’s written sister, as it is an entirely different piece of work. The film doesn’t do a good job of projecting its message about self-absorption, and if you watch it on a very simplistic level then you end up confused. ||||||| DVD (Yes, I have the DVD…) Just a quick note about the DVD – it has some special features I think, including a trailer and some deleted scenes, only one of whic h I thought was good. You can see why the rest were deleted. ||||||| SO THEN (Just a quick summary…) As I said, a film that tries to be clever and fails. Watch it for a bit of a giggle, but nothing more. ------- UPDATE: I watched it a second time, it's still awful, sorry.... I've just bought the book. And I'll let you know what that is like.
“Stigmata. Marks or sores corresponding to and resembling the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, sometimes occurring during religious ecstasy or hysteria” ‘Stigmata’ is, for some unknown reason, accused of being anti-religion. Well, just so we can all be sure about this, I’ll tell you, it’s not. It’s not anti-anything; it’s just a damn film. The story concerns Frankie, who is sent a rosary, which used to belong to a now passed-on priest. Frankie starts to experience Stigmata, going through the five wounds that Jesus received on her wrists, ankles, back, forehead and the final wound, a spear through the side. After the first wound (to her wrists), she is taken into hospital, where they are convinced that she has caused the wounds herself, she of course, denies this. Next time the hospital tell her that she may be suffering from epilepsy, which would explain all the symptoms she’s been experiencing. She starts talking to a priest who has been sent over to investigate her wounds due to the bad media coverage, he says that no confessed atheist has ever experienced these wounds before and that it’s only usually deeply religious types that do. The priest catches her in the act of writing on her living room walls, in an unknown language, and sending photographs back to his friend, he discovers that this writing is from a new gospel, allegedly written by Jesus himself. If this new gospel can be successfully translated, it would mean the end of the current church structure, as it would be Jesus, in his own words, saying how he wants his church to continue, not variations of stories from his disciples. Of course, the head of the church knows this, and had previously shut down the Gospels-Committee-type-thing. It turns out that Frankie is possessed with the dead priest, and that this priest was translating the newfound gospel writte n by Jesus. She is experiencing stigmata, because this old priest did. The head of the church gets Frankie and tries to kill her, therefore burying the secret. The priest saves her, and then that’s the end, well, almost. The film has one of those secondary plot type things, but that is just Frankie trying to get the priest into bed. I won’t give away the actual ending, because that’s just a bit nasty of me really. Now then, back to the point I mentioned at the beginning, the only thing that the film could be is anti-church, and that’s NOT the same as anti-religion. The film’s also supposedly a rip-off of the Exorcist. That’s just silly, they’re totally different films, totally. I quite enjoyed this film. It’s not the best film I’ve seen by a long way, but it’s still a lot better than the worst film I’ve seen. I would recommend it to people that like this sort of film, spirity-horror kinda things. I like the way that it ortrays the church, as the largest and oldest business in the world, which is technically, what it is. t gives a very good impression: Religion is NOT in a church, if you have faith, then it's inside you. The special effects are pretty cool, especially the fire bit towards the end. And the unforgettable quote: "How's your faith these days, Father? How's your faith these days!?" Just before she starts to stab herself. At the end of the film, we are informed that a similar gospel was actually discovered, called the gospel of St. Thomas, supposedly the most accurate record of what Jesus said, but this been refused by the Vatican.
To start this off, I’d like to say that a) I enjoyed this film and that b) It wasn’t even mildly gory. How weak-minded are you people? The film opens with Barney, a nurse from the asylum that Dr Lecter used to be in talking to Mr Verger, a disfigured man in a wheelchair, who we later learn is the only victim of Lecter’s to survive. Barney is talking to Verger about Lecter, telling him about the conversations that he used to have with Clarice and then Barney sells Verger the mask that Lecter used to wear. It becomes apparent very quickly that this Mason Verger guy is a serious mental case, and he’s only interested in revenge… nothing wrong with a guy having a little fun I suppose. Starling is caught in a situation next, she ends up in a ‘shoot or be shot’-type-thing and she shoots. She kills Evelda, a well-known drug baroness, while she happens to be holding her baby. FBI wants her out of the way, and that means that they re-open the Lecter case, and Starling starts on that again, meeting with Mason Verger in the process. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Julianne Moore are brilliant in the film, and I personally didn’t notice the difference between Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore, good job I haven’t seen ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ in a while. Hopkins portrays Lecter very well, suave, sophisticated, fantastic tastes in all aspects of life. Now then, if you already know the basic plot, from either reading about it in a magazine or reading my book review (that doesn’t count as mentioning it), then you’ll know that… Lecter currently lives in Florence, and as Starling starts to trace him here, the head of the Police there notices that Dr Lecter is the guy he’s been talking to and that there’s a nice big reward for information leading to the arrest of Lecter. Mason sends his men to Flo rence, and Lecter guts the Policeman that gave his location away and kills one of the men that has come to see him. Lecter comes to America and is picked up by Verger’s men. The film has an 18 classification, which is entirely unnecessary, there’s hardly any guts and gore, aside from the end and the bit where he guts the head of the Florence Police –type-guy-thing. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, Verger has a male nurse who he treats, well, not very nicely and he gets revenge. The film moves with a surprising speed, it’s one of the first films I’ve watched in a while that’s not made me think ‘Jesus… Hurry up!’ as I watch it. There’s bound to be a sequel, as neither of them dies and he doesn’t get captured. Compare and Contrast….. ----------------- Did you ever have those in school? Given two poems....? Oh, never mind then. That’s it; I can’t hold it in any longer! Raarg! Okay, I’m not going to discuss ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ or ‘Red Dragon’ / ‘Manhunter’ here, but I am going to discuss the book, and it’s relation to the film. Yes, they are two entirely separate entities, but there may be some background information that you’d like to know that wasn’t included in the film. Verger is portrayed as a pervert in the book, and he watches little children waaaay too often. He has a lesbian sister, Margot, who I think, in the book, kills him, hang on a sec… I’ll check…. Ahh, there we go… Margot kills his male nurse, Cordell, and then takes a sperm sample from her brother so she and her lover can have a child, and then she kills him with his eel, which you may have noticed is in the tank in the film. Of course there's a good reason for all of this being left out, films have to be short, otherwise people w ill be bored! That’s probably about enough to keep you going, of course, I would recommend the book, but I’ll stop saying that the book is better than the film, because they ARE totally separate entities. So, you’ll probably not hear from me until I finish ‘The Satanic Verses’ by Salman Rushdie.
“There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up our rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard through dry.” ‘A Clockwork Orange’ is the famous book written by Anthony Burgess, first published in 1962, it follows the activities of Alex and his friends as they harass and rape various victims. Alex speaks in Nadsat, a mixture of broken Russian, the author’s own choice of slang and Shakespearean English. It can be picked up and understood quite well by the time you reach the end of the book. But it will be a tad daunting at first. The storyline of the book surrounds the nasty deeds that Alex and his friends carry out on their unsuspecting prey. One of the victims that has his wife raped by Alex and Co. is working on a book called ‘A Clockwork Orange’, Alex finds this work and reads a bit of it out: “The attempt to impose upon man, a creature of growth and capable of sweetness, to ooze juicily at the last round the bearded lips of God, to attempt to impose, I say, laws and conditions appropriate to a mechanical creation…” Alex likes violence, he likes to see blood flowing, and in order to get him hyped up for this, and he and his friends frequent the Korova milkbar, which sells milk plus, milk plus some sort of drug that enhances the joy of ultra-violence. Incidentally, no other novella has influenced as many people as ‘A Clockwork Orange’, many bands have taken their name from the Nadsat terminology used in the book, Moloko for example are quoted as saying that their band name came from the drug-enhanced drink in ‘A Clockwork Orange’, which is of course, technically wrong, because Moloko is just normal milk… At this point the book reminds me of Orwell, and his ‘Animal FarmR 17;. There is a struggle for power that results in Alex fighting some of his friends for his ‘rightful place as leader’. They then attack again, only this time Alex commits a murder, and his friends turn on him, leaving him helpless, and he is picked up by the Police and sent to State Prison. While in prison, he hears of a new technique, the Ludavico technique, that gets you out of prison and back onto the streets in less than a fortnight, and he ends up being one of the first to be subject to the new idea. During his conditioning he is forced to watch nasty films while being injected with a drug, the violence makes him very ill, and after a fortnight of this, the injections are no longer needed, and the illness comes naturally. During these films, music is played, classical music, of which Alex is very fond, and after the conditioning, listening to this music also makes him feel ill. After a brief display, he is released, only to be attacked, picked up by his traitorous friends who are now Policemen and left in the country after a brutal beating from them. He stumbles across a building that just happens to be the home of F. Alexander, the author of ‘A Clockwork Orange’, he is familiar with the technique, and wants to use Alex as a form of ensuring that the current Government are not re-elected. Things go wrong when Alexander discovers that Alex is the boy responsible for his wife’s suicide and tries to make Alex kill himself by playing Beethoven loudly through the floorboards, and this brings on the sickness in Alex so bad, that he jumps out of a window. He re-awakens in a Hospital to discover that he has been cured, and the Minister of the Interior wants to be friends with him. It is while reading the book that you notice another similarity to Orwell, and the very 1984ish feel that this book contains. The book contains an extra chapter, that the film does not, and I’ll include this information for those of you that have been limited to the film only. The chapter is about Alex re-starting with a new group of friends, everything the same as it was before, but then, he grows tired of the life he has, and simply stops being the villain he was. This make’s Burgess’s point in a way that the film fails to do, it shows that once such conditioning has taken place, man loses his ability to make decisions and becomes ‘A Clockwork Orange’ – an organic machine on a pre-determined path. If Alex grows tired of this life it is, however, perfectly acceptable, as it’s the same result, only with the ability to make decisions secured. Will the book be read or the film watched because it’s an interesting and important story, or because it was banned and people want to see what all the hype is about? It doesn’t really matter, as long as you’ve seen / read it, and once you’ve done that, you’ll wonder why it was ever banned… * * Or you’ll be aware it’s because Kubrick was receiving death-threats because teens were mimicking Alex and his friends.
Most of the time, when children grow up, they learn that the key to life is survival of the fittest. Survival of the fittest is of fundamental importance to any living creation; it’s how species evolve. The majority of the opinions in this section are about childhood experiences, what happened to you people when you were little, and some of them are very helpful. I will, however, endeavour to stay away from bringing any personal bias into this, and simply deliver you some points that you may have forgotten or overlooked. I’ve also noticed that many of you get upset when people say “It’s just part of life.” You get all hessy and say that it’s not part of growing up, we should stop the bullies et cetera… Well… it IS part of life, ahh, don’t get upset, allow me to explain. When looking at a problem like this, you can correctly say that there are two types of person in this world, you are either one that is bullied or you are one that bullies, and in many cases you are both. Bullying is likely to be something that happens to your children. It’s equally as likely to be something that happens to you, the only difference is, you don’t notice, and your children do. As far as I can remember, I was never bullied... I was never kicked, beaten, had my head flushed down a toilet, ridden, ridiculed… the list could go on for a while. Although, maybe I was, maybe people did call me things as I walked passed, that’s more likely, and I just didn’t care… I don’t care now, if people are going to waste their time trying to belittle me, then, well, they’re obviously pretty sad. A number of teenagers kill themselves, supposedly because of bullies at school / college et cetera, and, I hate to sound mean, but… there MUST be something else wrong with these people for them to kill themselves. They must already be su ffering from something, because I think you have to be quite far gone before you consider taking a life, yours or anyone else’s. Bullies tend to think that they need to influence other people, to make them agree with them, to make them like them. Bullies are often, but not always, bigger and stronger. Power, the fear of physical presence, violence solves most things… But why are these bullies so nasty? What’s the cause of their bullying? What FUELS their little-sadist minds? Well, there are a few options, they could have watched their parents beating each other, they could have has disputes with siblings and are now rebelling. They might just be nuts. For some reason, parents think that we can stamp out bullying, this will, never, ever happen, you can’t stop bullying, it will always be there. Bullying goes through phases, bullies find new things to taunt others about, we’ve gone through several different ones, we’ve had bullies being sexist, racist, and now we all get to play with homophobia (I had to enter that one for all my diligent fans out there…) So, what do you do if your child is being bullied? Give him a knife? Well, if you tell him to retaliate, he may get the ‘old taste for blood and power. If you tell him to take it, he’ll just be a wimp. Solve the problem yourself, hire a chainsaw and one of those groovy masks and find the child that’s picked on your boy… run up to him in the street, start the chainsaw and scream “If you don’t leave my child alone I’m gonna cut you to pieces your arrogant little sod.” But seriously, take it to the school, they are a lot more worried about this sort of thing now, as stupid, pathetic people threaten to sue, they’ll do everything in their power to make it go away. If you are the unfortunate owner of a bully, march him up to the front of the school and get him to apologise to the entire student body, take his pants down and tell the school, crying, how much of a nasty git he is. Anyway, I think I’ve finished now.
I've never written a Buyers Guide opinion before, but I've looked through the ones that are here, and I wouldn't really call any of them Buyers Guides, most of them are about specific phones. With this in mind, I'll try to make this opinion unlike those. STARTER FOR TEN ----------------- As it goes, a mobile telephone is probably one of the most fiddly things to buy, there are one hell of a lot of mobile phones out there, and one thing that every single one of them has, is the ability to make and receive calls. I would recommend going to an independent dealer when you want to buy a mobile phone, they may still be slightly biased towards a certain network or phone, but they often offer much better advice than say a certain network's shop will, let's face it, if they have a bad service, they aren't going to tell you, whereas an independent dealer probably will. CONTRACT OR PAY AS YOU GO (PAYG)? ----------------- This totally depends on quite a few factors; both types of connection have features and letdowns. PAYG phones give you freedom and anonymity, you don't have to register them, meaning that the network provider might never know who has bought the phone. You can buy credit as and when you need it, and if you so desire, you can throw it away at the end of the year without any repercussions. As far as I know, the only drawback in this field is that some networks make you buy credit at least once every six months; otherwise they'll cut you off. Most networks have now decided that you can't buy credit in anything smaller than £10 chunks now, and with some you can register a credit / debit card and then you can top-up with a simple phone call (there's also a site that does this, www.fastbeat.com). Contract phones are often cheaper to buy at the beginning, costing around £ 9.99 instead of the usual £80+ that mobile telephones can cost. They offer monthly / daily things like 250 minutes of free local calls and / or 5 free text messages a day. These are okay, as long as you're going to use them. You are, obviously, tied to a contract, usually a minimum of 12 months, and you have to be over 18. If you don't pay the bill, you'll be blacklisted and probably never get credit again. They are pretty lenient nowadays, but you need some sort of credit history otherwise they'll ask you for a deposit. If you aren't going to use your phone often, this will end up costing you more, as a general rule, as you have a minimum contract of say £9.99 + 12 * 15.99 = £191 approx (regardless - and could be a lot more if you call people a lot), instead of £80ish for a new phone and however much you like to spend on your calls. NETWORKS ----------------- There are, as it stands, four main mobile telephone networks, these are Orange, Vodafone, One2One and BT Cellnet. Now then, Virgin phones run their service through One2One, so if you are looking at Virgin phones, be sure to research the One2One network. Now then, I think I'd be safe to say that Orange and Vodafone are the biggest networks currently around, and I'm quite frankly not sure which is better. Orange are supposed to be really good, but the independent dealer that I went to said that Vodafone win hands-down for country-wide coverage, the only advantage that Orange have is that they tend to be cheaper than Vodafone. I've had both an Orange and a Vodafone phone, and in all fairness I found the network coverage and stability was better with Vodafone, but I've saved quite a bit of my cash by topping up with Orange's £50 voucher, which gives you call discounts and means that your text messages are only £0.05. BT C ellnet is easily the worst... (searches for a good reason, other than his own premonitions) All I've heard about them is bad, but saying that, I've never actually owned a phone that's been connected to BT Cellnet. I know that BT Cellnet offer BT services such as 1471 and with newer phones; these are actually on the menus. So that would make One2One the odd one out with in-between services and cost. Apparently their customer service is hideous. It would be unfair not to mention the technical differences in networks, so I shall. There are two types of network currently available in the UK - known as GSM and PCN. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) operates on 900MhZ and PCN (Personal Communications Network) operates on 1800MhZ. What this means in practical terms is that a phone purchased to operate on the GSM network will not operate on a PCN network and vice versa. Most modern phones can be used abroad, as most have dual band, which allows you to change from 900MhZ to 1800MhZ. Of course, you need this included as part of your subscription package, but getting a dual band phone seems to be the favourable option at the moment. Vodafone and Cellnet have the majority of the country covered by 900MhZ towers and a few areas covered by 1800MhZ towers, but we're not sure quite what for yet... Now then, One2One and Orange (and therefore Virgin), operate on 1800MhZ towers, these phone will have a little bit more difficulty functioning inside buildings (not noticeable), they will work abroad as well in more or less in the same way as the GSM phones. No network is better than the other, as all offer different services and prices, so it's really just whichever suits you best. PHONES ----------------- Now, phone are phones, there are quite a few to choose from really, and nearly all of them are dif ferent. Some features that mobile phones have are... Calls: All phones can make and receive calls, that's just what they do. SMS: Most phones can send and receive SMSs, some older phones can, all new one's can. SMS is short for 'Short Message Service' and allows you to send messages of up to 160 characters. You can also send picture messages to and from some phones. Roaming: The ability to use your phone abroad. Many packages have call divert features, and an answering machine. There are several main mobile telephone manufacturers, and these include: Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia and Sagem, I have a Nokia at the moment, which is cool, I used to have a Panasonic, which was okay, but this is better. The only problem is, Nokia's are supposed to give off the most radiation. Battery life is an important thing to consider, as is charging time; some need more than others, and some people simply have more time than others to charge phones. You can get a number of accessories with any mobile phone, most have an in-car charger and hands-free kit, some come with changeable covers, although the Nokia's have the highest level of customisation that I've seen on the market. WAP phones are highly sought after nowadays, although I'm not entirely sure why. Common Mistake: WAP phones do NOT allow you to go on the Internet. They do, however, allow you to access e-mail functions and go to web sites that have been specifically designed for WAP phones, although, to be quite honest, I can't see the advantage of sending e-mail on a 10 character by three line display on my phone.. MODELS ----------------- Some new(ish) models availible and some features (sizes are approximate, really approximate)... Nokia: 6210: Voice dialing, dual band, large memory for both SMSs and phone numbers. WAP and infared capabilities. (13 x 5cms) 6250: Much the same as 6210 but everything-proof (water, shock, dust). (13 x 6cms) 8850: Lithium battery, infared, large memory and dual band. Voice dialing. (10 x 4cms). Can receive new menu items and has internal modem. 8890: Much the same as 8850 but no internal modem as far as I can see. (10 x 4cms) Motorola: v.box: Virates, 150hrs standby 210mins talktime. Pretty sure it's been designed with texters in mind - has a QWERTY keyboard. Dual band. (9 x 7cms) V50: 200mins talktime, 150hrs standy, vibrates as well. WAP. Dual band. (8 x 4cms) T180: No vibrate, 210mins talktime. 135hrs standby. NiMH battery. (16 x 4cms) Ericsson: T20: Radio, MP3 Player, WAP, QWERTY Keyboard, 10hrs talktime, 200hrs standby, dual band. Internet time. Siemens: C35i: Dual band. No internal ariel. Modem. 300mins talk time, 180hrs standby. NiMH battery. WAP. (12 x 5cms) SUMMARY ----------------- You're going to have to do a bit of research before you buy a phone anyway; this was just a guide to help you make sure that you get more or less what you were hoping for. Further reading can be found by searching in any good engine, but I found http://www.hairydog.clara.net/cell1.html Especially helpful in understanding some of these points. I hope you can buy a mobile phone with a bit more weight under your belt now, and I hope that you find what you're looking for.
Another roaring debate, what do we do about teenage pregnancies? Well, I'm sure you're all expecting something along the lines of "it's all the fault of XXX and we should do YYY about it..." Tough. I'm simply going to state some pretty obvious facts that appear to have been missed by the majority of people on this site. * ONLY teenagers getting pregnant causes teenage pregnancies, that’s what it's all about, remember that bit. * This means, that aside from things like rape, it's the teenagers' fault, plain and simple, it's just THEIR FAULT. Now then, I know people will just all be upset if I leave it up in the air like this, so I'll talk about sex education, which is really what this debate is about. Education begins at home, in any normal (normal, average, run-of-the-mill, non-dysfunctional anti-junkie-scum) family, because you don't start school until you are five, therefore, for the first five years of your life you are taught by your parents. If your parents knew what they were doing, by the time you went to school you could go to the toilet unattended, tie your own shoelaces and read and write. Once you got into school you were taught other things, Maths, History, perhaps a bit more English, grammar structures and the like, until you got to Secondary school. Now, Secondary schools are fun, because the children that are attending will be starting to become interested in each other, yes, I do mean in a sexual way, and this appears to be when the state has decided when to start teaching children about sex, and this is a logical decision. They do, however, fail to realise that most children know a hell of a lot more than can be taught in sex education lessons on a hot summer's day, while girls are thinking about their new hairstyle and boys are thinking about football. (Just a tad stereotypical, but you get the idea). Most of the people that I know now, including mys elf, were told about sex, by their parents at around 7 or 8, that's the sort of time that children start asking questions, and quite frankly, I believe it's stupid to carry on telling them that the stork is going to drop their baby brother from the sky. Young children are more impressionable than whiney teenagers and surprisingly more mature when it comes to this sort of thing, they haven't yet grasped that penises aren't polite dinner conversation and because of this they have no inhibitions about questioning anything. The legal age for sex in this country is 16, something that I think should be 18. I'm sure we're all aware of the irony of the old 'You can do it at 16, but not watch it until 18' that we have here, and yet again we are let down by British Classifications and Laws. If you can't have sex until you are 16, then anytime before that is a good idea to start learning about it, and if you have a little background information when you start Secondary school, then you'll already know that sex leads to babies and it's something that two people who love each other very much do. This all goes out the window in school. You are told about the various forms of contraception, each with it's own drawback, the only way to be sure it to not have sex, you are told about the wide range of sexually transmitted diseases you can get, and shown how to put a condom on. If of course, you're actually paying attention. Then, armed with all this knowledge, these hot-blooded youngsters are allowed to roam the streets late at night... The Government thinks that education is the answer; teaching people about all the hideous side effects of sex (diseases and unwanted pregnancy) will stop people doing it. It's just plain wrong, people are going to do what they want, regardless of how much they know about it, and in this case, they're going to do it more, because they think that they are rebelling. So, know we know where al l this education goes; we can surely make an evaluated decision on where the blame is to be put? After all, that's all any debate's about, not solving a problem, but where to place the blame, in which case, I place the blame on you. For some reason typical teenagers today feel a need to rebel against everyone, parents, school, teachers, society, and getting pregnant is just another way of doing it. The only problem is, they don't know what they are in for, no idea at all. No amount of education can prepare a 14-year-old girl, or even a 21-year-old woman for a child. No trials with plastic babies or courses can prepare anyone for having to raise a child, especially when the only thing that small children have to base their newly-born's upbringing on is "I'm not going to do it like MY parents did it", again, rebelling. There are of course some children with common sense, and they simply don't bother with all this hassle, they do what they do, get an education and get a job. Girls that allow themselves to get pregnant are just plain stupid, there are no circumstances, aside from forced intercourse, that would mean that a girl would have to have sex. The only factors that could 'force' a girl into having sex are idleness and ignorance. Once a girl has become pregnant, she will, inevitably not know who the father of her child is, or know, and simply be left alone anyway because the father can't cope with the responsibility. Realising you are pregnant seems to be another factor that these girls have, whether this is due to a lack of education or not is really irrelevant as you can’t teach people to notice when they’re pregnant. So, any pregnant 13-19 year old is faced with three options: * Have the child, have it adopted. * Have the child, drop out of education and try to raise it. * Have the pregnancy aborted. Now, having a child adopted is a very fine an d dandy idea, the only problem being is that you may never see that child again; it may even grow up to hate you, being the parent(s) that abandoned it. A lot of women also find it a hell of a lot harder giving a child up once they’ve just been through childbirth, and then they are ‘stuck with it’. Having the pregnancy aborted seems the best option for these unlucky individuals, but as it goes, if you don’t realise you are pregnant soon enough (I know it sounds absurd, but it has happened), then you can’t have a foetus aborted, and then you are ‘stuck with it’ again. If you do manage to have the pregnancy aborted then you could be physically wounded, unable to have children, ever. The last of these options is keeping the child, or being ‘stuck with it’ and this is possibly the worst-case scenario for many girls and has every reason to be. Most of these girls will be left to defend for themselves on the street or suchlike, having been thrown out of their dysfunctional family unit and they will not be able to cope, and will end up either becoming drug abusers, or killing themselves and / or the child. So there we have it, a result of this entire situation is that teenage girls end up dead, either literally deceased or as-good-as dead, brains rotted away by the overuse of chemical substances. And all we need is someone to blame.