On…World War Z (Book)

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I’m suffering a bit of zombie fatigue to be honest. Nowadays, when I hear about a new zombie movie or video game, I just think, “This again?”. That’s what I thought when I heard about the new movie starring Brad Pitt called World War Z. Then I started hearing that the book was far superior to the movie, and that the book was, by all accounts, rather good. In a small Amazon book spending spree, I picked up this book, started reading it, and was thoroughly engrossed.

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On…Dexter (TV)

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It’s a show about a serial killer who kills other serial killers. Regardless of your moral intuitions on such an individual, what I do think is that Dexter, the TV show, is one of the better dramas. It certainly has gotten worse in recent seasons than its early ones, but boy some of those early seasons are just fantastic. It’s well-written, sinfully funny and thoroughly entertaining. It has a cast of fairly interesting characters though like a lot of shows, it can fall victim to ‘stereotype-syndrome’ where certain characters just become caricatures of themselves. Still, a huge part of the appeal for me, is the slightly zany world that Dexter resides in. In this crazy world, Miami police’s best homicide detective is actually a serial killer who works as a blood spatter analyst in the forensic lab. It’s a world where serial killers seem to crop up every week with a new M.O. and unsolved cases due to Dexter’s interference are surprisingly routine. It certainly isn’t a show if you want police driven realism, but then again, there really are no shows like that on TV currently. Even The Wire had to take dramatic liberties to create an entertaining show. Overall, Dexter is in one my top ten TV shows to watch, and though it is flawed in numerous ways, it manages to entertain me and keep me engaged even after 8 seasons.

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On…Names

This recent video featuring Katie Hopkins has gone viral and inspired outrage amongst those shocked by comments such as “A name, for me, is a short way of working out what class that child comes from. [And I can decide from that] do I want my child to play with them?”. The Independent’s poll has 91% of people disagreed with Hopkins and would not judge a child by their name. But I can’t help but wonder, is that actually true? Are we actually living in a society where 91% of people don’t make frivolous judgments over factors that an individual can’t help? I have to say, given the world we grow up in, I think that’s unlikely. I’m sure 91% of people will say that, but do they actually act like that? Now this isn’t a blog post sympathising with Katie Hopkins’ views: I still find them repugnant, atrocious and elitist. By no means am I endorsing Hopkins’ view that we should actively make our decisions about who our children’s friends are and who they can hang out with based on names – I think these are appalling things to do! But what Hopkins’ does is explicitly express what, I believe, a lot of people implicitly or subconsciously do. That is a significant difference, and I’m not saying that all people are as bad as Hopkins. What this blog post is going to be about is a missed opportunity by the media to discuss our implicit prejudices, including our prejudices about names, and the fact that a name can signal quite a bit about a person.

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On…Community

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Feeling disillusioned with the crop of American comedy/sitcoms lately? Given up on How I Met Your Mother and Big Bang Theory? Well, do I have the show for you! It’s called Community! I have no idea what UK channel, if any, airs this show but you can find it online in all the usual, scrupulous ways. Anyway, the show, as I understand, is rather big in the big U, S of A and in particular, on the site that I frequent most often: Reddit. For months I had missed all the Community references on comments because I was too stubborn to pick up another show. Well, my schedule opened up because I’ve decided that HIMYM is trash and Big Bang Theory has no new material to entertain me with. That plus the fact that Modern Family (my other highly recommended American comedy show) is on hiatus, is what prompted me to start watching Community.

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