In case you couldn’t surmise from the very existence of this blog, I am, primarily, a writer. My background is in entertainment journalism, but these days I’m looking to branch out to political analysis and opinion, cultural criticism, media discussion and everything in that general sphere. I’m the ex-E-I-C of UnleashTheFanboy.com and a current contributor to FourGoods.co and Progress Online, as well as a screenwriter and practising playwright.
Alongside all the pieces on this blog (you can hit up Essays and Books for more lengthy pieces!), here are a few excerpts from my various articles and academic essays. If you like the look of them and you’re looking for writers for your website/journal/magazine/cave wall, please get in touch!
Time and time again, Labour has proved it can successfully implement new, radical policies with long-term success. Perhaps, in order to go forwards, Labour must go backwards: show Britain that, under Labour governments, the country has always made real progress on the issues that matter.
Fiction has the power to tear down walls and unify people in a way factual content can struggle to. Stories speak to our optimism, allowing us to project ourselves onto people and places who never were or will be; catch a liberal and a conservative thrashing it out over healthcare, then lovingly discussing Avengers: Infinity War. This is because stories can only function through emotional connections – and, once the storyteller holds the heart, they can begin to change the mind.
At its core, the problem with our approach to education is a lack of emphasis on wellbeing. It is not revolutionary to state that people work better when they are happy, so why have we designed an education system which appears intent on encouraging despondence? From this springs up a plethora of other issues: our schools are too geared towards academia, they are too bureaucratic, and they are too authoritarian. We not only require policy reform but also the reform of educational culture itself.
Which propels Black Panther to a platform of significance that, arguably, no other Hollywood blockbuster has ever stood upon: not only does it serve to entertain, but also to educate. Because of Black Panther, people are being registered as voters; a Chicago middle school teacher is curating the ‘Wakanda Curriculum’to teach her students about African history and Afrofuturism, and there have been renewed calls for the release of jailed, real-life Black Panthers. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg: search through social media and news aggregators long enough and you will find a wealth of heart-warming, inspiring examples of a superhero movie being used to cultivate citizenship. It is completely, utterly unprecedented.
If May or anybody else in this government possessed a modicum of empathy or interest in the existence of Windrush citizens then this situation would not have occurred. It should not require the benefit of hindsight to realise that the state destroying its own citizenship documents is more than somewhat unwise. It is a callous and, frankly, bizarre instance of systematic prejudice and incompetence – a persistent, recurring thread at the heart of this government.
Time is integral to Logan on multiple levels: Logan and Charles are dying men, slowly succumbing to the natural decline of their bodies; the X-Men have faded into myth and legend, surviving only in bastardized comic books; and the emotional core of the screenplay only functions because of the extratextual existence of the X-Men film franchise, with Hugh Jackman concluding his seventeen-year-long portrayal of Wolverine.