Hello, and welcome to my blog!

This blog is going to be a place where I share my work throughout my time spent at college, and afterwards. Please feel free to request pieces for me to try my hand at writing and to give me feedback as I go, as this is meant to be a learning experience for me. Other than that, I hope you enjoy my blog and have a lovely day 🙂

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Progress

Whilst the outcome I wanted not happening, to be able to even ask is such a huge step forward for me that I can’t even be mad about it. I cannot stop smiling right now 🙂

Upbeat Upheaval

To shake off my frankly pathetic romantic blues, I’m resorting to my favourite kind of therapy: Music.
This is my list of “Top 20 Songs Most Likely to Make Me Dance Up My Hill”, and yes, I do dance up my hill. One day I’m sure there will be video proof.

  1. Sax – Fleur East
  2. Shout Out to My Ex – Little Mix
  3. What Do You Mean – Justin Bieber
  4. Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake
  5. Ladies Choice (Hairspray OST) – Zac Efron
  6. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  7. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
  8.  Love Me Like You Do – Ellie Goulding
  9. Dark Horse – Katy Perry
  10. Blow Your Mind – Dua Lipa
  11. When You’re Gone – Bryan Adams
  12. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  13. Last Friday Night – Katy Perry
  14. Valerie – Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson
  15. White Wedding – Billy Idol
  16. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
  17. The Motherfucking Pterodactyl – Sarah Donner and The Oatmeal
  18. American Boy – Estelle
  19. Marvin Gaye – Charlie Puth
  20. Hips Don’t Lie – Shakiraintro

Captain America: Civil War

The most important film of this year graced our screens on the 29th of April, beating box office records left, right and center – including those for DC’s recent superhero combo film Batman VS Superman. That’s right, I’m talking about Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.

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This film is the perfect beginning of the end for the Avengers as we know them, which we all know will be happening in the (due to be re-titled) Infinity Wars films where – I hope – the New/Young Avengers will take over. I absolutely need this to contain Kate Bishop if they do, because she is the sass machine that will hold the group together. Bonus, she has a really cute dog called Lucky!

Civil War was beautifully made from start to finish and it succeeded where DC’s Batman vs Superman failed. The politics of each of the heroes did not get in the way of the action sequences and the real human relationships between them all were believably stretched, with the conflict adding a level of depth to the characters that was previously unseen.

The introduction of characters such as Black Panther and Spiderman before their solo films is not only clever, but enjoyable. They were undeniably the stars of the movie, and Tom Holland was and IS the best Spiderman the Marvel Universe has ever, or will ever, know (sorry, Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield fans!). Luckily, we get to see more of him now that Sony have finally released the rights back to Marvel – hence the choice of names for the film; Spiderman: Homecoming, subtle dig there Marvel but we noticed 😉 – and we get to explore the dynamic of his relationship with Tony Stark. We also have the best Stan Lee cameo since Deadpool!

If you have not seen this film, please, I beg of you, see it before it leaves cinemas. The humour and actions scenes are well worth it whether you are a fan or not – and if you are then this will honestly be one of the most amazing, heart-breaking and enjoyable experiences that Marvel have to offer so far. All I can say is this: Bring on Infinity Wars, bring on Guardians of the Galaxy 2 because Marvel, we are waiting.captain_america__civil_war_logo_by_touchboyj_hero-d95vgn5.png

Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice

2016: The most exciting year for superhero fans everywhere, with the beginning of the end of Marvel’s Phase 2 kicking off with Deadpool and the start of the origin stories for DC’s Justice League, with Batman VS Superman

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The superhero film year started off with Marvel’s biggest, baddest antihero; Deadpool, the merc with a mouth. DC swiftly followed with Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice, and for many people, this would be one of the most important films coming up for the next few years as it set up the entire future Justice League storyline, with Batman (Ben Affleck), Superman (Henry Cavill) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) leading the charge.

Sadly, this film does not live up to the hype.

Many people will hate me for saying that, many will agree. Critics and fans alike have been split over this film, with some regarding it as the worst DC film to date – even over the CGI Green Lantern fiasco. As a major Marvel fangirl – What a surprise the Marvel fan disliked the DC film! Shush! – I didn’t expect much of this movie compared to Marvel films and I was right to expect that.

Marvel spent four years (2008-2012) and five films putting together a coherent cast of heroes, with their origin stories and backgrounds already set up in previous films, BEFORE bringing them all together to form the Avengers. DC tried to do this in two movies – Man of Steel and Batman VS Superman – without explaining Affleck’s Batman backstory beforehand (although I admit it is one of the most well-known of all comic heroes) with a villain who sadly wasn’t interesting.

I respect Jesse Eisenberg as an actor, I really do, and he has been in some of my favourite films – Zombieland, anyone? – But he had some pretty big Villain shoes to fill after Heath Ledger’s past performances, not that anyone would’ve expected Jesse to straight off the bat. That was not meant to be pun, I swear.

Wonder Woman was pretty much the saving grace of this film, because she did her thing whilst the boys butted heads. Batman was pretty single minded (DUMB) and unyielding, and Superman just did not want to be Super. This whole film was lacking something vital which all Marvel films have and I certainly don’t believe this has the replay-ability of other films, but I’m optimistic for DC’s future with Suicide Squad and sincerely hope DC fans get the Justice League they deserve.

Below: The proposed order of all Marvel and DC movies for the coming years

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E.S.R.A.S

I volunteer for East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society (E.S.R.A.S) in my spare time, as both a show hand, committee member and their main newsletter editor, helped out by the lovely Mick Taylor.

It’s honestly one of the best experiences of my entire life, because I can help raise money for beautiful animals and help people tackle their phobias. It’s incredibly rewarding for me, as I have access to many opportunities that I would otherwise miss out om like going to Kempton and Doncaster Reptile expo’s, meeting members of the Federation of British Herpetologists such as the leader, Chris Newman and the chance to grow in confidence. Without the skills I have learnt from attending the educational shows we display at, I would not have become as confident within myself and my writing abilities.

I’ve learnt how to interact with a range of ages and even with those facing disabilities, and I’m proud to say that through doing that I’ve grown as a person and may have even made some people happy. That makes it incredibly worthwhile for me!

If you have any interest in coming to a meeting, please feel free to do so! We meet on the first Wednesday of every month at Falmer Village hall from 7.30pm onwards. You’re likely to see some of these faces!

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Visit the website to see pictures of the shows we’ve done (including one for the BBC in conjunction with the popular Wild and Deadly show), to find out more about membership, the committee and many more things!

http://www.esras.co.uk/

NEW SECTION

I’m planning a new section of this blog, called “Why I Hate”. Each one will focus on why I hate certain things, peoples, groups, genres and pretty much anything else I dislike. Please be aware this is just supposed to be a humorous piece, but will contain my own opinions. If you don’t agree with them, please comment and tell me why – but don’t start purposefully spreading hateful messages or abuse about my own opinions – that is not the way to get me to change my opinions, but if you can give me a well reasoned argument about your opinion, I may just change my mind.

Thanks guys 🙂

Perfect Peaceful Soundtrack

I’ve been searching for the perfect soundtrack for the background that will make me feel calm and add some ambiance, so after months of trawling through Youtube (Oh, the hardship!) and Soundcloud and just about every video game that I love, I’ve come up with this so far.

  1. Kids Will Be Skeletons by Mogwai – this was discovered from the Life is Strange game soundtrack, and if you haven’t played that game I highly recommend it for the stunning visuals and relatable teen characters. If not for that, for the lovingly constructed soundtrack I have fallen in love with. This song has no vocals, but a lovely instrumental background which reminds me of nature in the early evening.
  2. Tenerife Sea by Ed Sheeran – everyone loves Ed Sheeran whether or not they are willing to admit it, because this talented ginger has a habit of releasing songs that tug on your heartstrings.
  3. Mountains by Message to Bears –
  4. Lost Boy by Ruth B – the simple piano backing accompanies the very sweet and tender voice of Ruth B singing a song that is calming and relatable “Neverland, I love you so, You are now my home sweet home. Forever a lost boy at last”
  5. Obstacles by Syd Matters – This song may just be poignant to me because of the points it’s played at during the game, so it has a very special and melancholy meaning for me. It still makes me smile though, it conjures up so many nostalgic memories for me due to the lyrics – which I won’t spoil for you.
  6. Crosses by Jose González – his voice is so peaceful and beautiful that I can’t help but drift away when I hear it, and I think that speaks for itself
  7.  To All of You by Syd Matters – Syd enters this list once again, with another truly calming but slightly more upbeat song. This song has very meaningful lyrics if you tune into them but the low drawling of his voice makes it so that you don’t have to pay attention if you don’t want to.

As of 10/03/2016

NOTE: THIS LIST IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY POINT, AND WILL BE ADDED TO.

THIS IS NOT THE FINISHED PRODUCT YET 🙂

Hello!

Hello everybody, my name is Bethany and I have totally stolen Markiplier’s intro here.

As you can see, I’ve finally got my butt into gear and I’m writing again. I’m going to upload some of my old work, some articles I’ve done in newsletters that I handmade for East Sussex Reptile and Amphibian Society (E.S.R.A.S) and a little bit of everything else in the coming weeks. Please tell me what you think, I’d love to know 🙂

I think I’m gonna leave this post here, thank you guys so much for reading this blog post. If you liked it, PUNCH that like button in the face, LIKE A BOSS! And… High fives all around! *high fives* Thank you guys and I will see all you dudes…IN THE NEXT BLOG POSTTTTTTTTT!

And I’ve now used Jacksepticeye’s outro… Whoops!

Check out Jacksepticeye here: https://www.youtube.com/user/jacksepticeye

Jacksepticeye is a cute, funny and downright lovely Irish human being who plays video games for us, the audience. If you want to have some carefree laughs, this is the youtuber for you!

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Check out Markiplier here:https://www.youtube.com/user/markiplierGAME

Markiplier. Wow. This guy is so sweet, he really is. He’s a doofus, but he’s really sweet anyway 🙂 He specialises in horror games (he is the King of FNAF and King of the Squirrels) but he is just as scared of the monsters as we are, so if you want a good, funny friend to jump with at the scary monsters, this is your guy!

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Derren Brown: Miracle

WARNING: At the request of Derren himself, no journalist or reviewer is permitted to reveal any of the tricks performed during the show. However, this review does make reference to evangelical faith healing and other such things, due to the show theme.

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In 2011, Brown released a show on Channel 4 called ‘Miracles for Sale’ which explored the techniques of faith healing and the many scams based off of this process. He aimed to discredit faith healers by using a member of the public, posing as ‘Pastor James’, to perform these so called miracles in America. Their adventures made for great television – but Brown also made a serious point: that faith healing exploits those it claims to help. This theme was revisited in his 2015 – 2016 tour of ‘Miracle’.

In this show, he shows his many reasons for disliking the scam practises of faith healing which are so prevalent these days; such as the extortion of money from those with illness for a fake healing, which can cost upwards of £1000 and thus the encouraging of abandoning medication under the assumption that they are now healed. “You have the despair of all those people who are no better – and it’s despair because they’re blaming their own selves and their faith for it not working,” he says. “And then you have these hordes of people who are following these healers round America; chronically ill people going from gig to gig to gig – and it just never happening, so there’s that wake of despair. And then there’s the money side of it.”

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When faith healing shows like these are attended by tens of thousands each time, all donating money which goes straight into the pockets of faith healers tax free; such as the well-known Pastor Benny Hinn, who is worth $40 million. However, Derren also shows his grudging appreciation for some of their techniques for the relief and happiness they can bring when used without ill intent.

Brown stresses that his criticisms are aimed at faith healers, rather than Christians saying: “This is not an attack on God, or faith, or any of those things. It’s about a scam, a greedy scam that has nothing to do with God apart from the fact they mention his name a lot.” But as he admits, there will doubtless be some Christians who do take offence.

Throughout this show, we are reminded that the things we see are not acts of God but acts of a rather more awe inspiring notion; normal, human beings. We are shown everyday miracles and extraordinary feats, all with their own risks; yet how with a simple switching of your perspective a before daunting task becomes mere child’s play, with the risk suddenly disappearing as a worry.

Derren urges the audience at the start of his faith healing set-piece to “go with it”. “You have to suspend your skepticism”, he says: “it works only if you want it to work”. As we close our eyes and open our hearts to Brown’s pep talk throughout the show, some of the audience begin to become more open and a visible change comes across those susceptible to his positive persuasions.

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Many that I was near that night felt no change, and indeed, a large majority felt no different through this trick; it was, in my personal opinion, a very emotional and affecting piece which has drastically changed my belief that the stirring faith healing techniques were merely enhanced by clever stooges, but real.

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The entire second half of the performance perfectly summed up the emotions that us as the audience and Derren himself felt about this set, which made his last point all the more poignant to me.

I won’t tell you all of what he said in his final speech because it was something you truly had to be there to be able to understand, but his last words to the audience summed up the tone exceedingly well; “Life is like a piece of music,” he tells us, “and you’re supposed to be dancing.”

Well Derren, I certainly will be.

The Secret Life of a Fangirl

The Secret Life of a Fangirl

Fan culture plays a large part in any society, no matter the country you look at. It has existed for as long as can be remembered for all different types of media ranging from art, opera and theatre, films, books and even people such as celebrities. Yet, there exists a type of fan now that is more dedicated than the average fan, known as…. The Superfan.

These super fans take fan culture to another level, as rather than just enjoying a certain band, film, book or television show, they live it. They are the experts on trivia for their passion, watching out for the latest news updates and episodes, blogging and reblogging detailed scene breakdowns for discussions. Some even write their own stories (known commonly as fanfiction) about the characters’ adventures so as to continue the story, or dressing up to emulate (or ‘’cosplay’’) their favourites.

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Myself as a very hastily done gender bent Han Solo with Freddy Fazbear himself from Five Nights At Freddy’s

The sheer numbers of people devoted to one fandom, over one book series or tv franchise is astounding and is reminiscent of one of the most well-known fan crazes ever to have happened; Beatlemania. Beatlemania is a term used to describe the intense fan frenzy directed towards British rock band, the Beatles, during the early years of their success. This phenomenon began in 1963 and has lasted long past the band’s breakup in 1970. Fans were so wild and uncontrollable that the band stopped performing live in 1966, as the screaming fans made it impossible to put on a good performance and the safety of those who could attend was put into question.

Some of the biggest groups of fans or fandoms (fan kingdoms) out there to date as of right now include the highly popular franchises of Harry Potter, Games of Thrones, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Star Trek, Spongebob (as seen below!) and 1Directioners.

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ARE YA READY KIDS?! WHO LIVES IN A PINEAPPLE UNDER THE SEA?!

Each of these fandoms form a community both on and offline that enables them to connect with other fans with similar interests globally, often using online blogging platform Tumblr. Some of these fandoms have even evolved their own languages or fan speak from the series, such as using the Harry Potter spells or term “Muggle” or become fluent in Klingon from Star Trek. However, this doesn’t just happen online! With conventions like Comicon, Wyntercon, Trekkfest and many more happening globally, fans can meet up to talk and enjoy elements from their fandoms… but is it really worth attending, especially with multiple fandoms there to clash?

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Bonnie, The Puppet and Purple Guy from popular indie game Five Nights at Freddy’s (Scott Cawthorn Game)

As a proud member of multiple fandoms, I set off to the London MCM October Comicon to find out. I was dubious as to whether this would be as good as the main Comicon in San Diego, but from the moment I boarded the train I surrounded by crowds of people displaying their costumes and armour with pride, and the closer we got to the venue, the more excited and happy the faces became. People would scan the area and point out several costumes to their friends, compliment the apparel of those closest to them and pose for pictures; the community spirit of each fandom uniting to bring the crowd together as heroes and villains alike exited the station as one.

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Amy Farrah Fowler from The Big Bang Theory

As you entered the convention, you were met with the sight of a colourful sea of people (nearly 122,634 over the three days!) from all walks of life. They had gathered that day to support the people, creators, artists and teams behind their favourite games, shows and comics. Fandoms often attack each other online, with various and frequent articles online showing the victims of this abuse (such as fan artist Paige Paz), but at this convention everyone stood united against that. At a small booth at the back, there was a donation bucket and a collection of the pictures of those who are or had been affected by the online hate where you could donate to a charity providing support to those under threat of cyber-attacks. They raised nearly £787 on the first day alone.

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A Dovahkin from Skyrim… FUS RO DAH! You’ll only get that if you’ve played the game

The community at this event was extremely supportive and kind, with people posing for photos or fight scenes with those they met on the day, compliments and jokes being shared between the vendors and those celebrities who were there for a panel. One of these celebrities was the 7th Doctor himself, Sylvester McCoy who stopped for a quick chat despite my lack of a panel ticket as he is a big supporter of Comicon and fandoms everywhere. Whilst there, I managed to ask a few people for a quick thought on what it was like to be part of something that was so much bigger than themselves….

“I think it’s amazing, to have like-minded people like you; people who have the same interests as you. It’s literally like a big family where everyone takes care of each other and no matter how weird you are, people accept you no matter what.” – Ana Mikaella Dabi, 17

“It’s amazing how welcomed I felt when I first joined. I wasn’t in as many fandoms as I am now that I joined it and you learn SO much more about your favourite books that you wouldn’t have thought of before, like how Sherlock survived the fall and it’s just so amazing! I know I can talk to anyone about anything, even if it is not fandom related. I have gained so many friends because of fandoms and fandom pages, they have changed my life” – Chelsea Martin, 15

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A very beautiful Rose from Steven Universe

“I feel welcomed. It is very enjoyable, because when you’re in a fandom, you’re not alone. There’s other people in it with you who don’t judge you for being there. In some ways, it does enhance the experience. Take Harry Potter for example; it’s over and done with, right? No more books or anything (besides the play), yet people are STILL putting together pieces of the books that we seem to be missing. It’s fun, sad, entertaining, and completely mind blowing. I’ve made over 300 friends just by being in Fandoms. I used to admin fandom blogs, so I made admin friends, and then I came to be an admin of this one group and made even more friends. I have more online friends than I do real life friends, which is sad, but more enjoyable because there’s no drama, but it also sucks because you can’t see them in person unless you pay to go wherever they are.” – Jasmine McKinzie, 22

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Markiplier as his alter ego Wilford Warfstache (Youtuber, King of Five Nights At Freddy’s, King of the Squirrels) VS Bonnie from FNAF

“It’s always interesting to meet people with similar tastes and having a good old debate about it is fun. It’s definitely a distraction and escape from real life which is good! Given that I meet my husband as a result of being an HP fan, it has shaped my life a great deal!” – Sophie Lowrey, 33

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Deadpool vs Deadpool

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