Tokyo 2020

I love watching the Olympics.

It cannot be overstated how much of a positive impact that the Olympics has globally.

There’s the reputation of every country, and the chance for everyone to play a part, including refugees.

There is the enormous diversity of the games, and the Olympics continue to incorporate new sports into the games such as skateboarding and surfing.

There is the breaking down of conventions of what it means to be an athlete and the promotion of different sports that people can participate in.

And besides the awe inspiring physical prowess on display, there is also the extraordinary mental battles that go on and that are so visceral on our TV screens, and you feel the empathy of everything the athletes feel, between the injuries, failures, and victories and triumphs.

I’ve been lucky to have had a summer break to watch a lot of the games, and if you haven’t had the chance, I do encourage you to watch the highlights on Iplayer.

There’s plenty to be inspired by.

Fuelling a divisive reaction.

Piers Morgan stands for so much of what is wrong about Twitter and social media in general.

No wonder he was spotted by Murdoch at so young an age for News of the World. He knows how to take a subject and throw a media storm over it, even if it contributes absolutely nothing beneficial to the narrative.

Morgan is a professional troll, and feeds off the excitement he causes by bloviating his undesirable opinion about high profile people, who, funnily enough tend to be black women. You can decide for yourself whether that is a noteworthy trend or not.

Simone Biles has nothing to prove. She’s overcome enough and achieved a significant amount already at the highest sporting level and if pulling out of the Olympic finals is the right thing for her to do, who am I or anyone else, especially a egoistic, narcissistic patriarchal media mogul maniac to dispute that?

Mental and physical connections are so important, especially when you are flying through the air, and the recent articles pertaining to Biles’ current struggle with twisties and the danger it creates in gymnastics means that Morgan has no argument whatsoever.

Not that he cares though, because his intention is about creating a reaction. An argument created for the sake of creating an argument.

He wants to fuel anger, he wants to have every reason to attack snowflakes and the woke and every time he does it, people take the bait. Look at his feed, and it’s depressing, but also illuminating of his mentality. You’ll quickly notice it’s about him being attacked now more than it is about what he said in the first place.

And what ensues is a 24 hour hate fuelled social media storm and what is ultimately achieved in the long run?

Nothing positive.

So what’s the solution?

Ignore him. Let him continue to be a keyboard warrior in his own echo chamber and don’t take the bait.

Easier said than done.

The social media companies don’t care about whether he’s fuelling hate and they’ll do nothing in response and his blue tick and platforms means his message is widespread.

But so long as we react, we give him what he wants.

Celebratory endorsed hustle

Would you pay £45 for a celebratory to endorse what you’re selling?

Breaking this down here, this is £45 for a 1 minute recording of someone reasonably well known on a national scale talking about your product.

If you want my answer, it would be NO! Resoundingly so.

First and foremost, budgets are already tight to get anything done to any decent standard, secondly it’s a rip off, and the fact that celebrities stoop so low as to charging a fortune for a minute or so of their time to talk about you or wish your family member Happy Birthday is a bit tacky, desperate and quite frankly an abuse of status.

I apologise if this comes across as very strongly opinionated, but in terms of ethical value, this kind of stuff grates me and doesn’t sit well at all.

If you’ve done something with integrity, authenticity, professionalism, clarity of intent and quality, you do not need to pay hard earned money for a minute of someone’s time to use their status to sell you.

Series finales

I think back on my time being so emotionally invested in Game of Thrones and how the season kind of get crushed under it’s own weight by the final season.

To be honest, the show felt like it was on a somewhat downward trajectory when Twyin Lannister snuffed it at the end of season 4. The greater moments became spectacle until that’s all it was predominantly about for season 8.

There’s the evaluations, the uproars, the petitions, the sly suggestions of disapproval from the cast and there’s no denying the fact, that seeing an end to a TV series that has lasted so long is always going to be difficult.

And it seems like every armchair critic out there has never been more vocal or self entitled for that matter.

The Line of Duty season finished yesterday, and it was an enjoyable if somewhat underwhelming closing out. There’s definitely worse endings, but the uproar was insane! People do get attached.

Either way, there are plenty of other series to watch and enjoy, and part of the fun can be imagining your own ending and how you would do things differently.

I rather liked spending a night of insomnia reimagining the tactics of the long night in Winterfell for instance.

Above anything else though, creators and performers deserve more than being tagged and trolled by those who’ve never attempted to write anything themselves other than criticism.

The Oscars

They came and went with many people not knowing they had even happened!

I consider myself to be someone who is interested in the awards because I’m curious about what films have received plaudits and if they deserve them. I also enjoy Mark Kermode’s take on them in his podcast.

I also enjoy many of the films themselves, I thought ‘Parasite’ was a tremendous master class in film making and it was even more satisfying to see it win a landmark victory with the best film category and provoke a whine fest from the toddler in chief at the time.

I have to admit that this year, many of the films have passed me by. Cinemas are closed so unless it’s on Netflix or Prime, there is very little chance I’ll know about it, let alone seeing it.

The cinema world has to reevaluate the process regarding distribution. Why is it so hard to see these films?

Minari was out behind a £10 paywall for home viewing in the U.K. Why would I pay that!? It’s more than going to the cinema itself. Especially when there is so much else to watch that is oh high quality.

Even the critic Jack Howard had struggled to see some of the films listed when talking about the nominees on the Kermode on film podcast!

I look forward to eventually catching up with some of these films, but in an era without cinema theatres, the film business has got to find ways to reach people like me who are interested when our time and money is already stretched.


I remember losing my gaze in a kaleidoscope my Grandmother use to have and the twisting motion bringing about a new wave of symmetrical colours and patterns.

I wrote this song about celebrating curiosity, especially through the form of travel and the whole notion of things being the same, but different.

Working out in the Middle East gave me that opportunity, to see the world but also meet people from everywhere, and I am happy to have friends that are from all the world.

Whilst there are cultural differences, there are many common values we all share no matter where we are from. Especially in a time where Xenophobia has creeped into the narrative, I wanted to write this song to celebrate the idea of cultures and people from anywhere in the world being able to integrate with each other.

Grey Day

There are days when you wake up and feel like rubbish.

It could be just a horrible phase, a rough period or clinical depression. Nothing exact as such.

I wrote this song about those kind of days.

The voices in your head that keep telling you that you’re not good enough are winning (I call this ‘resistance’) and you are left with little energy to do anything else other than wallow.

The thing I’ve learnt is that things always get lighter when you take a walk and open up to someone about it.

Men in particular are awful at this, and it’s becoming more prevalent in the media how false sense of masculinity and bottling up feelings is doing more harm than good.

I wanted to write this song to express the fact that’s it’s okay to have these kind of days and it’s also okay to talk about it.

Avatar The Last Airbender

This show is a triumph.

I’m of course talking about the Animated TV series from Nickelodeon and not the film adaptation from M Night Shyalaman who took every misstep possible and may have even hindered the series from getting the credit it deserves.

The series came out in 2005 to 2008. I was a teenager at the time who was driven by music and the only TV show I remember watching was Fresh Prince and I was more into movies anyway. The TV series passed me by and I never watched it…until Netflix distributed it last year.

My girlfriend insisted that I must watch it. Being an animated series, I was slightly ambivalent towards it, and didn’t think I might enjoy it as much as Better Call Saul which I had just finished after spending lockdown 1 rewatching Breaking Bad.

A few months later, and I’m not only hooked. I watched it twice and now a fully fledged fan! I would say it’s one of the best TV series ever made.

Where to start with my praise!?

First and foremost, the premise is undeniably intriguing to any family member, a world torn apart by war. And every episode you see the devastating impact that war has laid upon communities, of course in a child friendly way but it’s message is nevertheless profound. There’s also excellent takes on authoritarianism and censorship that are cleverly embedded in the plot.

Secondly, the characters are detailed, rich, and outright adorable. Even the antagonists are likeable! Every character has idiosyncrasies, hang ups and back stories that are well thought out and without giving too much away, there are several character arcs…one of which is just incredible. There’s a celebration of characters who are able to showcase their strengths despite disabilities and there’s a diversity and respect for a variety of Asian cultures.

Thirdly is the sense of humour and adventure tied in with wider themes. This show has proven to be an absolute tonic for me during a long drawn lockdown through winter and if you’ve not yet had the chance to see this show yet…I cannot recommend it enough.

Also you won’t be able to get this bop out of your head.


Through the mountain…

Secret secret secret secret TUNNEL!!!

Changing something pathological

100 years from now, when Historians study the pandemic, there will undoubtedly be the analysis of how countries managed it and the fact that those who were led by women had a significantly lower mortality rate whilst many countries led by men, particularly those who had been peddling the trends of populism, had a higher death rate.

Of course there are a multitude of other reasons, including ageing populations, population density etc. but there is pattern where men who have had a dubious relationship with truth and facts, have led to tragic consequences.

It seems embedded in the culture here in the U.K. that is much more a sign of strength to stand by your viewpoint and double down on it than change your mind. It is pathological in many of our leaders that you can’t be seen to be wrong.

This has had toxic results.

Moving forward, we need to change the culture to shift in a way where changing position on something as more information comes to light is part of being human and is a desirable value.

We also need education to encourage students to leap from the safety net to be wrong so they can learn to be right.

There’s no point having a mind if you can’t change it.

Technology and it’s impact

We are still fathoming this.

The internet has been around for three decades and change is happening faster than ever to the point that it is as terrifying as much as it is thrilling.

Phones are more than a daily accessory. There is an extraordinary level of dependency on them for how we operate and behave on a daily basis.

There have been tremendous pitfalls along the way, consequences that could be considered dystopian and that have affected our physical and mental well-being.

As we move into the 3rd decade of the 21st century, there will be further developments and one thing we can do is evaluate what’s important.

For instance, are we using social media as a means to connect, or are we using it for status, are we a product?

How do we spend our time with technology. Are we learning, gathering use information or engaging in politics of hate and doom scrolling?

We must endeavour to have control over use of technology and ensure that it’s not the technology that is controlling us.