Fotoblogging Sort Of

17 Oct

So I promised I’d gloat about how wonderful my office is.

IMG_5347.JPG

That is not my office, that is a view of Zante Town, which is very nice to walk around. I’m actually typing this in a restaurant but there are tourists on the next table along so I don’t want to get all YouTubery and photograph everything I can see. Plus I’m paranoid I’ll get followed home by rabid fangirls.

Well, it’s a thought, innit?

Realised this morning that it’s getting close to Halloween, which is not a thing in Greece as far as I can tell. Realised just now that Halloween is Indifferent Ignorance’s fifth birthday… Completely forgot. Awkward. I’ll do more Five Ways to Celebrate soon!

All right back to plotting world domination and wishing I hadn’t worn jeans this morning. Don’t forget to enter the Blood of Olympus contest. Even if you don’t need/want a copy, I would love to read some haikus.

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A Story About a Review About Blood of Olympus, Plus the Review

15 Oct

A few weeks ago I was having a day of a sort of freelancer sports day, which involves logging into a load of freelancer websites and applying for as many writing or blogging briefs as possible. Usually I shy away from product review articles, because I like Indifferent Ignorance to be my own space, and because I’m terrified I’ll find myself in Private Eye’s Street of Shame column, accidentally supporting a company that promotes the Westboro Baptists or something. A few weeks ago, though, there was a brief open to review Blood of Olympus, and to get a free hardback copy of the novel.

‘Twas like Athena herself was smiling upon me.

I’d worked out, see, that I could afford either the physical or Kindle version of the novel, but probably not both – and if I ordered the physical, I wouldn’t get it until after I came home from Greece. But the gods had spoken. Or the Internet had, anyway. I applied for the brief and got it (first time ever that’s happened, although the application was 99% me gushing about how I was planning on doing a post on the book anyway).

Since I’ve now downloaded, read and had a little dance about the novel, I reckon I’d better make good on my contract. Here is the advert, which I was told to include…

…and here is the link to purchase it on Amazon. Don’t forget that your local bookshop will almost definitely contain a copy, since Uncle Rick is hot stuff in the teenage section.

Review Time

  It’s probably the best thing I’ve picked up in the last six months, and I recently started The Da Vinci Code. For what it’s worth, I reckon Uncle Rick’s writing is more engaging, and his characters are more interesting. That said, I’ve known most of them for nine other books. Dan Brown might go into more detail about history and god stuff, but Rick definitely has the edge on toilet humour – although there was a fun crossover when they both mentioned the term Pontifex, which I believe is the Pope’s Twitter handle.

In terms of the novel’s characters, some of which I care about more than I do people I actually know, most of them get what they deserve. The rest of their lives aren’t written out in a prologue, but there’s enough there that Uncle Rick could do short stories or a miniseries if he wanted (and regardless of whether he does or not, fan fiction writers will probably never be bored again). There are parts I want to read over and over and it’ll probably take another read before everything settles into my head – but when I finished it, I did not throw my Kindle across the room, which was my instinct at the end of Mark of Athena. There are no huge cliffhangers, at least not to the point where I want to march up to Uncle Rick and bop him on the nose. I’d love to pick his brain about the novel and I’d love to read short stories about certain characters more, but I’m also intrigued to see his next work. It was a solid end to two huge, detailed series, but most of all I’m jazzed that there are children reading them who have characters and plots to which they can genuinely, clearly relate. Not bad for a story about the pagan gods, huh.

I guess none of that made much sense unless you’ve read the book. Go and do it. Go.

Competition Time

  Oh, didn’t I mention that before? Well, snowflakes, the people who listed the brief also asked if reviewers would like to host a competition to win a hard copy of the book. Course I would, I said, I love my wonderful fellow readers. Apart from the shitheads who post spoilers, anyway.

So if you’d like to enter a competition to win a copy of the Blood of Olympus, please leave a review on this very site with a haiku stating what you think of people who post book spoilers online. Nothing too gross please, I’m in a good mood. But gross enough that I think ‘darling, you deserve to work in the Fields of Punishment’. One haiku per bitter person, please, and be don’t forget to include an email address. Aim to have it done by Monday 20th and I’ll pick my favourite and post the winner by Saturday 25th. The dudes who ran the brief will send you the copy directly, which is good because I’m not home for another three weeks.

Happy poetry-ing!

Portable Parlour Game of the Week: Tattoo Watch

15 Oct

Stories no one wants to hear: Why Francesca Can Write a Blog Post But Can’t Publish Her Blood of Olympus Review, Why Flip Flop Blisters Won’t Heal and When Another Frappe Is Too Many Frappes: A Saga.

What larks eh. You know what I like about being in a warm country? The popular parlour game Tattoo Watch. It’s free, it’s funny and the only issue is when you find a piece cute but someone you’re with thinks it makes the wearer a pillock. I’m sitting on my own, so I’m free to play covert ops behind my phone.

There’s a bloke a couple of tables away who got either a Pegasus, an eagle or a very angry sparrow on his forearm about twenty years ago. I can also see a person with what could be part of a crucifix or an upside-down sword on their shoulder blades. A few years ago my dad and I actually got binoculars out to establish whether a bloke had the Grim Reaper or the Batman logo on his back.

I can’t remember which it was.

If I ever get inked, I want something like the Fair Trade logo, which looks like tadpoles from a distance and turns out to be a little dude waving. I’ll get a cute spiral on the small of my back which up close says ‘STOP STARING, CREEP’.

Maybe not. So, who likes playing Tattoo Watch? Has anyone been an object in the game? Or have you made any really loud comments about a pice that turned out to be a skin complaint? Share your stories, snowflakes, we could make a collection of anecdotes.

A Quick Question About Getting Too Social Justice-y

8 Oct

Darlings,

Wifi where I am at the moment is definitely iffy, so although I can’t download Blood of Olympus to my generation one Kindle, I also can’t stumble upon any spoilers. Schrodinger’s novel I suppose.

Anyway I have an indifferent ignorance question. I’ve been chatting about the whole Tory ‘we’ll get rid of the Human Rights Act’ conference claim. I personally am not convinced that scrapping rights-based documents are a good idea – call me a hippie, but I appreciate legal equality – and I’m not convinced that the government, whoever it ends up being, will make a British bill that’s as watertight. I can just see the rich white dudes making loopholes to make deportation easier, or cheap labour more accessible, or reducing gay rights – partly because they don’t understand what it is not to have those rights and partly because they want to appease Daily Mail voters.

The people I was chatting to reckon that I’m taking the other side of the argument too seriously; believing the leftie Mail-esque rhetoric. I had never thought of that. I mean, Tumblr has a lot of those other-way-extremist viewpoints (I think they’re called ‘social justice’ bloggers?) like that ‘white people are inherently racist’ post the other week. I thought I was pretty middle of the road in terms of understanding political arguments, but have I been hoodwinked a bit? Am I just as indifferently ignorant in my own way?

My phone battery’s going and I want to sunbathe so I’m going to shut up now. It might take a while to reply to comments, but please do leave them so I’ve got some nice emails to look forward to when I’m clicking the wifi buttons and wondering if I should just use a typewriter!

Introducing The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance, Volume I

3 Oct

Yoohoo, snowflakes, this is what I was chatting about on Twitter the other day. I am very pleased and excited to share my first book-of-sorts, The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance, Volume I!

Look, it's a proper self-help guide!

Look, it’s a proper self-help guide!

Big thank-yous to Ruby, who helped with design advice, and to tabloid-quoting racist homophobes, whose ideals informed this piece rather a lot.

I have put it on Etsy to purchase as a PDF here and it is also available to simply download here:

The Little Book of Indifferent Ignorance

I do not currently have the resources for a proper book, as such, or a fancypants shop on this site, so the PDF is currently available to download; if you have a conscience, believe in compensating people for services rendered or enjoy reading the book, please make a contribution. Together we can tackle the disease of indifferent ignorance!

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

That button will take you to my PayPal, where you can pay either through PayPal or with a card. Just enter ‘Indifferent Ignorance Book I’ or something in the description box so I know what it is you’re paying for; I will soon publish PDF booklets of my other work too. RRP for this particular book is £4.50 on Etsy, hint hint.

Let me know what you think of the book itself in a comment and share it with your friends! Print it out and carry it around if you fancy quoting it and sounding like an idiot! Email me your own examples so I can start to compile Volume II! (I have already thought of more examples but it would be fun to see if you guys have had similar experiences or thoughts.)

This is part two of Five Ways To Celebrate Five Years of Blogging, by the way; you will be pleased to hear that the MCR merchandise reached its recipient, a lovely girl in Italy, successfully.

Happy Friday!

A Touritst’s Guide to Being a Tourist: Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red Display, Tower of London

1 Oct

I realised that I’d better get a move on with this since the poppies are coming down after Armistice Day (you can also purchase them for £25. Christmas present, anyone?). So I Googled the project and it turns out it’s called Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which is slightly more intense although harder to promote on Twitter than ‘Poppy Display at the Tower’.

I’m assuming you’ve all seen the HD news coverage of the installation, which was first, er, installed, in August. I’ve seen it twice, once each when we schlupped up to London for the Bond exhibition and Bernadette’s show. When we first got there, I came over very 21st century HD news watcher and couldn’t really see what was so special about it in real life. Plus it was raining. But I took some pictures and then turned a corner and it dawned on me that there was a poppy for every solider who died in World War I.

Poppies August Bank Holiday 2014

Remind me to practise my photography skills while I’m away… it will be hard to gloat about how lovely my workspace is if I’ve cut out half of it and used a bad flash. In my defence, the best angles are probably either above like the news channels do or right in the moat bit itself, because they’ve got railings to lean over and whoever designed that building gave very little thought to the possibilities of future technology. On the plus side, the Shard looks nice half-hidden!

Anyway, we went back at night the second time, less than a fortnight later, and there were more poppies. Way more. I have no idea how commuters come out of Tower Hill station every day and don’t break down in noisy tears over the unfairness of the world.

Poppies September 2014

The Shard is definitely at it’s best when you can only partially see it, huh.

Event and Place Blood Swept Lands  and Seas of Red Display, Tower of London (go to Tower Hill station and follow your nose)

Cost Only the serious bumming-out experienced by all viewers. Plus £25 if you’d like to buy one.

Food I don’t recommend eating right there because you may be in the way of a budding photographer.

Other people Lots of them wandering about. Exchange a ‘how pretty/heartbreaking’ comment if you want. Don’t fight over the best photo places – apparently the poppies will eventually (or might already) fill the entire moat and circle the Tower, so maybe just walk around a bit. When it’s Armistice Day and the news channels are streaming the finished piece, be sure to say ‘I’ve been there!’ just not too smugly because, you know, it’s an installation that really shouldn’t have even been needed.

A Quick Question About Racism

28 Sep

This time in a week, my office won’t be my bedroom but will be my balcony, or a local restaurant, or… my bedroom (I’m staying in a studio flat and would put money on having exactly the same set-up as I do now, except with a closer bathroom). I was going to write a post just gloating about that, but then I went on Tumblr…

I’ve been treating the site gingerly since Uncle Rick posted about Blood of Olympus spoilers, so I glanced down the page as edgy as Hermione when she realised the Basilisk was in the pipes and saw this:

Racism on Tumblr

It might have been just me and a couple of inspirational billboard writers who thought this, but I was aware from a pretty young age that racism is learnt. One is not born as racist any more than one is born believing in God or born thinking Saturday night TV is occasionally contrived. When we first spill out into the world, we have no concept of anything. Then we are taught things that the people raising us think. We learn theism or racism or TV opinions as we grow, either by believing other people or thinking about things then coming to our own conclusions. Then we say what we think to our sprogs or students or blog readers.

That’s probably how most ideals have survived. You know, Mr Caveman Sr. realised that fire is useful but hurts if touched, and he taught Mr Caveman Jr., who taught Miss Cavewoman. Over the street, Mr and Mrs Cave were learning the same thing and told Baby Cave Kid as well.

Haha, baby cavepeople. (Alternatively, as Jacki pointed out, Ms or Mrs or even Miss Cavewoman may have discovered fire. I bet it was Village Idiot Caveperson who twigged that it hurt. Unfortunately – or luckily for this analogy – we may never know.)

My point is, lots of us are taught racism. I was. Most of us are taught sexism as well (hey, I wrote about this last week!). My parents were raised disliking Germans because their parents sat through the Blitz. Back when slavery and colonialism was a thing, most white people were raised to consider all non-white people to be inferior. Most non-white people were then raised to think that all white people were racists, and back then they were almost definitely right.

But it’s 2014, snowflakes. We’ve all been raised in part by racist, sexist, homophobic people – and we’ve also been taught by intelligent people that racism, sexism and homophobia (plus all the other -isms) is fucking stupid. Some of us have weighed up the evidence and concluded, independently, that racism, sexism and homophobia (plus all the other -isms) is fucking stupid.

So is the above Tumblr post actually just as racist, narrow-minded and indifferently ignorant towards white people as some white people are towards non-white people? Does anyone else get really upset by any mention of new book spoilers? Should I just stop using social media completely if it continues to find new ways to piss me off?

Well, I know the answer to one of those questions at least!

A Tourist’s Guide to Being a Tourist: London Film Museum’s Bond in Motion Exhibition, Covent Garden

25 Sep

I should start this by saying that I know very little about cars and even less about the James Bond film franchise. I like the films – explosions! Pretty beaches! Completely implausible plots! – but I haven’t seen that many of them… and to be honest, when I was younger I thought that James Bond was incredibly disrespectful towards women and drank too much (doctors have recently proved that he would be a raging alcoholic if he was an actual person). My family, on the other hand, are huge fans and it was considered a given that we would go to Covent Garden to see the London Film Museum’s Bond in Motion exhibition, which is on until March 2015.

I also know squat about film-making, but the exhibition made me want to enrol in a course. Almost everything was downstairs except storyboards, which I forgot to photograph for future reference. The main exhibition space, which was basically a basement painted black and given decent wifi, housed a load of vehicles that where used in filming, as well as miniature models and scraps of props that had been blown up as part of the story.

Apparently this car is a big deal:

Bond's Jag

Someone had the smart idea to play on loop the scenes in which the vehicles featured playing in the background, alongside information plaques and iPads. I think the lady there was worried Bond was going to do something stupid, which I assume he did.

'Casino Royale' props

You can tell that Casino Royale was made either before the new passport regulations came in or by a design team who forgot that fringes are strictly forbidden.

Sidecar CarAt a stunt show a few months ago the monster trucks did that two-wheels on the ground trick and according to the bloke who was commentating, this Bond film was the first example of it (presumably in films, since every idiot with a car has attempted something similar since the dawn of the boy racer). Too bad I can’t remember which film it was, haha.

Event and Place London Film Museum, Covent Garden

Cost Between £9.50 and £38, depending on who you are. It’s not a cheap day out, but I suppose they’ve got to keep out the riff raff who’ll leap over the ropes and take selfies with the DB9 (you didn’t need to jump over the rope, there was space enough to take ‘em anywhere).

Food Yeah, because they’ll let you eat near the priceless exhibits. Actually there was a cafe in which you could look at mini props that were made for long shots. We went to a Mexican place instead, which I can highly recommend.

Other people Bond enthusiasts or film enthusiasts, the lot. There was a small boy who was so excited to see everything he almost combusted, and there were partners or family of fanatics who were looking forward to going to the Mexican place. But even they were awed by the information about the filmmaking and the designers’ attention to detail. Too bad they completely forgot to note down useful names and details to research… 10/10 for things to look at, 2/10 for general visibility when searching for your phone in your bag.

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