Back to Normal

It’s time to take this blog back to some normality. The referendum for Scottish Independence is now over and I realise that my last few posts were all about that. For Scotland and myself, the fight continues but for this blog, it’s time to move on.

This is the time of year that every television fan gets excited about, it’s the new TV season. Old shows return and new ones make their presence felt in an attempt to make an impact. For me, having a subscription to USTVnow is such a relief, it means that even though I start having really late nights, I also get to stream the shows as they air across the pond.

Every year I have my calendar set up, each show is anticipated greatly and I love sitting down with a cup of tea to watch them. This year there’s a notable absence of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ ‘The Tomorrow People’  and ‘Dexter’ which makes me sad. It feels like over the past few years I’ve lost so many great shows from my planner and so far not many new shows have lived up to them. While there are other shows which gradually over time I’ve just lost interest in i.e. ‘Two and a Half Men’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’

I will get around to start posting on the shows which I’m enjoying. As time goes on I’m sure opinions will change and shows will get dropped from the planner.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D deserves a quick mention here, mainly because something has perplexed and shocked me. (SPOILERS BELOW)

Why kill off Lucy Lawless in her first episode? Was this supposed to set the stage for the rest of season and make the audience realise that nobody is safe? Or was it simply a bit of stunt casting?

I have to say that I was so happy to see The Absorbing Man added to AoS. It’s about time that the show had a real villain, hopefully they make the most out of him and this years season is a great ride to be on.

Also a quick mention to ‘Gotham’, I surely can’t be the only person who felt that there was no need to rehash the Waynes death yet again? I will get around to writing up a full review but I need to watch it again because after seeing that alleyway scene played out for the 100th time, all I could think about was how fed up I was of seeing it.

Some reflection and closing thoughts.

After a sleep and some reflection I think I’m more downhearted than I was at 6am. As a country we made our decision, I’ll accept that but it doesn’t mean that I think it’s the right decision.

Throughout this whole process I discovered one thing, and that is that no matter what side of the fence people fell on, whatever their beliefs, everyone had a strong passion for this country.

We can sit here and say that those who voted ‘No’ don’t deserve to call themselves Scottish but that’s not true. They voted no because they felt it was the best thing for our country, the same reason that we voted yes (obviously we were right but we’ll never find out)

Whatever your emotions are today, just remember that we are all Scottish together, no matter how bitter that may sit on some peoples tongues at the moment (mine included).

We rejected independence but we don’t have to stop the fight for change. To all those who voted for the first time, keep voting. Don’t just not vote because you think it won’t make a difference, if as many people turn out to vote as did yesterday then we have a higher chance of being heard. Don’t give up on trying to change things for the better. We’re all crushed, I understand that. I sat earlier and actually thought I was going to burst into tears because this was such an emotional roller-coaster for us all.

One day the Kingdom of Scotland will live again, this just wasn’t our time. We can now either wallow in our own self pity or we can make sure that Westminster follow through on their promises, we can make sure that we make our voices heard. We can stand together, as Scotland, maybe not independent but damn fucking loud.

I’m nervous, are you?

As we all take our places, on this the eve of what will be the most important day in Scottish history, I wish each and every one  of my fellow Scots all the best. Whatever you mark down on that ballot paper, I hope that you base it off of what you truly believe is right for this country.

Make not your decision based on having had a bad interaction with an overly aggressive campaigner. Don’t vote “No” simply because you don’t like Mr Salmond and don’t vote “Yes” simply because you don’t like the Tories. Vote for what you see as the best possible future for you, for your children and for your grandchildren.

If you vote “Yes” then fantastic, if you vote “No” then that’s entirely up to you, it’s your decision and nobody has the right to belittle you for it. The most important thing is that we all vote and that we all vote for what we believe is the best option based on our own views and what reliable information we can get. 

With such a short time to go until we make our final decision and cement it in history, I’m nervous. I’m more nervous than I’ve ever been regarding anything politically related. Whatever we do tomorrow, it can’t be undone.

“I am keiching ma scants.”

Forever

Put something on television with a Sherlock Holmes vibe and the chances are that it will catch my eye. The male anti-hero concept is one that has been used quite often in recent years and while it runs the risk of becoming too commonplace it can also make for compelling viewing if presented properly.

At this time of year, I always find myself perusing the pilot episodes for new shows. Across the pond in America, they seem to have a much better grasp on what entertaining television is and so with the exception of Doctor Who, most of what I watch is American (so grateful for my subscription to USTVnow) . One pilot that really caught my eye this year is “Forever”.

It follows Dr. Henry Morgan (played by Ioan Gruffudd) a highly skilled and extremely intelligent medical examiner who just also happens to be immortal. He dies of course, but he has died a lot of times over the years. It just so happens that every time he dies, he emerges inexplicably and naked from a nearby body of water.

“Forever” isn’t original in the slightest. The way in which Dr Morgan rattles off his observations and deductions is of course very much like Sherlock Holmes. The way the flashbacks are used to show the life of this immortal being is somewhat reminiscent of “Angel”, the hinted season long story arc plays out like any other mystery show and dying and coming back to life instantly reminds me of Captain Jack Harkness. It’s unoriginal but it’s entertaining and captivating.

Alana De La Garza as homicide detective Jo Martinez is a great choice. De La Garza has been on my radar since she was in an episode of Smallville around ten years ago. She’s a seriously underused talent and it’s great to see her get a substantial role in a show which actually interests me. I’m not interested in Law and Order or CSI so I never really caught her work in either of those.

To top it off, we have Jeff Goldblums father from Independence Day Judd Hirsch portraying Abe. The adopted son of Dr Morgan. The scene in which Morgan and Abe are brought together actually intrigued me and I really hope that we see more of that relationship through flashbacks.

The one problem that the show faces is trying to find new and inventive ways to kill off its lead character. For me, Jack Harkness’ deaths were becoming dull after a while. I think that when you have to do it so often it becomes hard to keep it fresh. We’ve already seen Morgan die in a subway crash and by falling off of a roof. Two rather dramatic deaths in my opinion, so how do they keep them as dramatic and interesting through the rest of the series?

All in all, Forever is definitely worth watching. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in entertainment. I do however get the feeling that it won’t attract enough viewers. I hope I’m wrong but if it does get cancelled then I hope that we at least find out the mystery of the man on the phone beforehand.

 

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The anger within

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” –Mark Twain

I have turned into one of “them” and by “them” I mean an angry gamer.

If you read my blog a couple of months ago called “Goodbye old addiction, hello new addiction” then you will know the story of how video games recently came into my life.  At first it was only really Grand Theft Auto but about a month ago I took the dangerous path into the world of Call of Duty.

At first it was just the zombies side of the game, I could handle that. My sister recently got her Xbox Live Account back up and running and so we would hit up a few games each night and shoot some zombies. After a while, I ventured into the realm of the real online multi-player.  You know the one? Where adults are actually children and children try to act as though they are adults.

As the games progressed each day I found myself getting shot A LOT and dying A LOT. It’s all par for the course, I’m a novice. However, it’s only a game and so I didn’t get angry, occasionally I would question how something was possible but never angry.

I don’t do anger, not anymore. After years of anger causing me too many problems I started to channel it in other ways. With this, it was only a game and so anger shouldn’t even exist when I play it.

A few weeks passed and still I got killed a lot. The more I played, the little my skills seemed to progress. I was averaging 6 kills to every 17/18 deaths per match. If I was one of those serious gamer types then I would be an embarrassment to the gaming community. However, I play games for fun, not competition.

Today things changed. I came across what I can only describe as the grand-master of COD. Every time I turned round, he was there. Every time he was there, I was killed. He didn’t seem to want to kill anyone else, he just seemed to follow me around. Me, little old me with no prestige and a gun that isn’t even at its highest potential.

I cracked, I punched the arm of my chair, spat out some vulgarities and switched off the Xbox. I had turned, I had gone over to the dark side. For a moment I was engulfed in red mist, all caused by one game and one player.

Afterwards I sat and was more annoyed with myself for getting angry. A game is a game and it’s meant to be fun.

I shall now go and give myself a good talking to in the mirror.

 

The most important question in all of history

We are nine days away from one of the biggest dates in Scottish history. The day when I, along with the millions of people in my country take ourselves along to the dingy little community centres scattered across the nation and choose one of two words “yes” or “no”

It wasn’t an easy choice to make, this doesn’t just make a small and subtle change to our country, this is huge. It’s not like voting for a contestant on one of those nonsensical reality television “shows”. For millions of people this is the chance to decide if we want change or if we want to stay the same.

I’m not going to bore you with my points of view on why you should vote one way or another because quite frankly there are thousands of blog posts scattered around the interwebs. There are valid arguments from both sides and then there are the people who just want to become mighty warriors for their chosen side.

The amount of aggression and threats of violence that I’ve seen directed towards both sides because of this referendum is insane. I get it, we’re Scottish, we like to show our warrior side but this isn’t a civil war. This is one country trying to make a decision that will stick with us forever.  When I read some of the comments it makes me wonder if I want to live in a country where “if you don’t vote no, I’ll f***ing slash you” or “vote yes or you’re not a real Scottish person you wee c*nt”

I want to live in a country where we can rationalise our future based on the pros and cons of both sides of the debate. I’m not going to be forced into voting one way or another through violence. Just because someone is voting differently from you doesn’t make them an idiot or whatever other name you wish to call them. This referendum is all about choice.

I’m Scottish and I’m damn proud to be Scottish, there’s no better country in the world as far as I’m concerned. Come the 18th of September, when all the votes are counted and the future of our country has been decided then I’ll accept it no matter what it is. I might not agree with the outcome but I’ll accept it, I’ll have no choice.

On a more colourful note, I saw this posted this morning on the back of the news that there’s a new “Royal  Baby” on the way and it made me laugh. Or to use some vernacular borrowed from the youth of today “I lol’d so hard at this”, you see I can still be down with the kids! I’m only in my late twenties, I’m still hip!

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On the 19th of September, Scotland will wake up knowingone of two things, either we remain the same or we move on and become our own independent country. The choice lies in the hands of the Scottish people. The excitement in Scotland is high, you can smell it and feel it as you walk down streets. Signs in all windows, flags flying in the wind, campaigners on the streets and everyone discussing the same subject.

On the 18th of September we’re faced with one question and one question alone, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

I’m voting Yes.