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Sunday, 23 December 2018

Book Review: Redemption by Mike Schlossberg


Asher Maddox wakes up one morning to find himself on board a space ship. He is there with several other young people aged sixteen to twenty. None of them know how they got there or what is going on, but they learn that they have been selected to save Earth from a deadly virus known as Spades.
(Review does not contain spoilers).

Saturday, 15 December 2018

2018: An Ode to Literature


Literature. That was some good shit. So said the character of 'God' in John Niven's The Second Coming, a book I read recently. (I love Kill Your Friends by the same guy and have Kill em all and Straight White Male on my 'to-read' list). Literature is good shit, one of the best kinds of shit in this shit-filled world. Literature is one of the most important and breath-taking things in my life.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

War and Pieces


Anger. Frustration. Resentment. Boy, do I know these feelings. I know what it feels like to be so choked up on rage, to feel constantly at battle with others who 'don't get it.' I know what it feels like to walk around pissed off and tense and snapping at everyone you see online and offline. Which is why I know it's a waste of time.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Prince


I've been a big Prince fan ever since my father introduced me to his 1984 movie, Purple Rain. Before that I didn't quite understand the musical sophistication of his work, although I did enjoy a few songs from the lovely 'For You', his first album which was not so well received due to a sound not acquired to the mainstream. Otherwise all the albums prior to Purple Rain seemed too sexually provocative and controversial.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

The Frustrations of Being an Artist


Everybody in the arts business - be it music, writing, drama, film, painting and the like - struggles. Even once you're making a successful living it's a struggle. We're constantly facing criticism and judgement. Some of us want to produce more than we are able to. It always seems like there are so many ideas and not enough time.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Theon Greyjoy: The Tragic Traitor


Oh Theon. He is one difficult character within the Game of Thrones universe and a character that stirs up a lot of debate among fans. Is he a treacherous arsehole who deserved what he got? Has he managed to repent his sins? Is he a tragic character that was wrongly abused? Should Jon have killed him?

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Are Personality Disorders Real?


The NHS website describes a person with a personality disorder as 'someone who thinks, feels and behaves differently to the average person.' However, I have a few issues with this. Firstly, what is 'the average person'? Don't we all have problems and difficulties? Is there any such thing as one standard metric for average normality? Also, personality disorders tend to involve 'abnormal' character traits and thought patterns. But again, sometimes I look through these and think 'don't loads of people feel like this?'

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Acceptance is the key.


Life is a series of disappointments with a few glimmers of hope and joy sprinkled in. When I was younger I remember being told the story of Pandora's box; the gods left her a box and told her not to open it - she did, obviously, and out flew war, poverty, sickness, evil, and all kinds of nasty things, and then right at the bottom flew out a dove of hope.

Monday, 5 November 2018

A Writer (poem)


A writer observes
she watches the world and writes every leaf
every sigh of a tree blowing in the wind
she listens.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Life sucks for all.


Gay people are 'oppressed' because some people think being gay is an abomination. Trans people are 'oppressed' because they don't fit the gender binary. Women are 'oppressed' because they are controlled by men. Black people are 'oppressed' because they're hated by white people. Straight white men are 'oppressed' because everyone thinks that they get everything and so ignore their problems.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Is privacy dead?


The internet has created a whole new world within a world. Opportunities, friendships and connections can be formed via cyberspace. People can find love online, work online and build entire lives online. But with this new age of everything being out in the open, does this mean the end for privacy?

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Four of The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time


I love stories, whatever their form; book, play, movie, TV show. If there is a good story I will be interested. Game of Thrones, Mad Men, The Sopranos and Breaking Bad are four TV shows that I believe are some of the best of our time. Together they have great stories, fascinating characters, well-written dialogue and mess around with cliches. Here is my long and enthusiastic post on them all! (Will contain spoilers if you haven't seen the shows). 

Monday, 15 October 2018

Planet Starbucks


Google. Facebook. Apple. Starbucks. Amazon. Coca-Cola. Virgin. Corporate capitalism and advertising has dominated the socio-economic market for years. You can't watch a football match or buy a bottle of water without being bombarded with advertisements.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Addiction is an illness NOT a choice

I find the above image quite funny because of its blatant ignorance. (Also, the last sentence cracks me up because I have literally no idea what this sentiment has to do with 'making America great again'.) I think its quite sad that there are people that generally believe this about addiction; they owe too much to 'free will' and forget the power of chemical dependence that comes when someone is addicted to a substance.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

White Leftist Pussies



If there's one thing I can't stand right now within the leftist political sphere, it's white apologists. White people that say that they're 'sorry' for the colour of their skin and 'apologise' for all of the injustices that white people have caused, and that they 'deeply sympathise' with people of colour. Just, please, stop.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Lolita Syndrome


Young girls being involved with older men is a much-explored topic in literature: Jane Eyre, Love Lessons, Into the Water, and of course Lolita, are a few books I've read that feature teenage girls being involved with older men. (The reverse happens too of course - an older woman with a teenage boy - but this post is only discussing the former which is more common).

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Weed should be legal


I support the legalisation of marijuana for similar reasons to why I support the legislation of prostitution: I believe it would be more beneficial to society economically and in terms of public safety. (Note, am only speaking for the UK).

Friday, 5 October 2018

Transgenderbender

Blaire White, a popular transgender YouTuber.
I haven't really blogged much about trans people - mainly because it's not a massive topic to me. I have a few posts on gender, and my views are pretty frank. I think it's kind of sad that it's all become such a huge big deal to the point where laws are being passed in certain countries to prosecute people for 'misgendering' someone, or doctors are being pushed to advocate for 'gender neutral' babies.

Instagram is awful


Social media can be one of the most depressing things in the world. Anything that becomes addictive only brings misery (I should know, being in AA). I've long reached a point where I open up my phone and click on everything - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus - and simply scroll aimlessly, losing time to my screen. (Thank heavens I'll pick up a book afterwards).

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Boredom vs Suffering


At first glance, the choice between boredom and suffering seems to make no sense. Surely boredom is a form of suffering? But when looked at deeper, the real distinction is choosing between a simple hassle-free life that feels mundane, and a purposeful life that requires pain.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Importance of Being Polite


Politeness and decency towards people is a sign of maturity. Maintaining decorum is not always easy, especially when you feel you have been wronged or mistreated by someone else. However, in the long-run, dealing with people in a polite, well-mannered and courteous way - even if you don't like them - will serve you much better.

Discussing characters on Breaking Bad


Time for another character discussion post! After a few years of watching the first season then stopping, watching the first and second season a few years later and then stopping, and finally completing seasons three, four and five, I finally finished Breaking Bad. And what a phenomenal show with an incredibly original story. It definitely gets better as time goes on; seasons four and five were brilliant. Post will contain spoilers.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

University wasn't for me.


My A levels dragged most of my desire to succeed academically out of me. Most of this was through the stress and pressure I put myself through; obsessing about my grades like it was a religion. By the time I sat my final A levels exams I was drinking by myself at home, no longer giving a shit. (I got two A's and a B). Since then, time and time again I have asked myself; why did I go to university - twice? 


Sunday, 23 September 2018

Has life gotten better?


A hundred years ago, young men would have been returning home after fighting in the first world war. Their wives/girlfriends/mothers took care of things while they were away. The level of emotional and physical resilience these people would have had far surpasses anything of today's young people. They had no internet, no social media, no globalisation. They simply got on with life as it came.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Margaery Tyrell: The 'Perfect' Vixen


Related image

Margaery Tyrell is one of those characters on GOT that I have never worked out if I like or not. On the whole, I don't dislike her and believe she is fundamentally a caring person. But what makes her character great is that she is neither purely sweet like Sansa nor vindictive like Cersei; she is kind but slyly cunning.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Abortion doesn't care about your feelings


The argument most pro-lifers make when it comes to being against abortion is that it is 'immoral to kill an unborn child.' There is a difference between killing a child and killing a fetus, but yes, one can argue that a fetus is still alive and so terminating it is a form of murder. However, just because this makes many people upset and uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it is a valid case for claiming that we should scrap abortion.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Cersei Lannister: A Complex Villain


Beautiful. Manipulative. Narcissistic. Paranoid. Maternal. Incestuous. Hateful. Distrusting.
Cersei Lannister is one of the most interesting characters (for me) on Game of Thrones. Cersei is a bad, selfish person; no doubt about that. But had George R R. Martin simply made her a cruel, menacing woman that had no humanity, she would have been quite boring.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Facts vs Feelings


As an author, I have to balance between intuition and logic. It is creative intuition that enables me to freely write my stories, and logic that enables me to carve away the parts that may lead to plot holes or not make sense. Without creative free-writing I will have no story, but without logical editing I will have a story that is confusing and doesn't make sense. Such is the way of emotions/intuition, and logic/reasoning. Both are needed in their own right.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The problems with strict parenting


Parents often want the best for their children, but good intentions don't always lead to a positive outcome. Developmental psychologists have classified parenting styles into four categories: authoritarian (being too strict), permissive/indulgent (being too lenient), authoritative (just right), and neglectful (barely around).

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

An Interview With Author Lauren Alder


A few days ago this author in a writing group I am a part of on Facebook suggested a co-interview where she would send a set of questions to an author to answer and that author would send her another set of questions to answer, or she would answer her own. I answered her questions and as they were well-written and relevant I found it would be easier for her to answer her own set of questions. Here is her response!

Friday, 31 August 2018

Why is the human body X-Rated?


Underneath our clothes, we are all naked. In our hunter-gatherer times and in many tribes across the world, men and women wear minimal clothing. Women comfortably have their breasts on display in public without there being an sexual connotations. They know there is no shame in the human body.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

POETRY COLLECTION COMING SOON!


Last month I published my debut YA novel 'Every Last Psycho: A Collection of Two Novellas.' As a subsidiary I am publishing my first collection of poems on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. The ebook will be free in all available countries, and the paperback price will be as inexpensive as I can make it. This is sort of an 'if you like my poems, you'll enjoy my book!' type of thing. The above cover is the full paperback cover; ebook cover will of course just be the page on the right.

A sample of a few of the poems to be included in this collection:

Art is a waste of time: https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/05/art-is-waste-of-time-poem.html

Angel Face: https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/06/angel-face-poem.html

The Sea: https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2017/08/the-sea-poem.html

Vinz was curt and earnest: https://www.thezarinamachablog.co.uk/2018/01/vinz-was-curt-and-earnest-poem.html

My YA book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F44CMNJ

EDIT: It's not possible to make a book free on Amazon, so I have set the ebook price to 99p and at the lowest possible price in all other countries. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Conservative Snowflakes


Prager U is a channel on YouTube that explores a range of topics such as education, politics, feminism, race relations and religion from a conservative perspective. I have found myself agreeing with some of their content and disagreeing with others. As expected.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Is conservatism the new counter-culture?


I don't consider myself a conservative and I never have. Most of my social and economic views coincide with centre-left liberalism. Yet in the recent couple of years I have found myself agreeing with a lot of opinions deemed 'conservative.' Apparently it is suddenly conservative to 'believe' that there are only two genders. It is also apparently conservative to be against modern feminism or black lives matter.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Sex vs Gender vs Gender Roles


Sex is biological. It is determined by your hormones and chromosomes. You can only be a male or a female. Gender is also biologically determined by your sex. Gender is the external expression of your sex; if you are a female then your physical gender will be expressed through having breasts, longer hair, no facial hair and broader hips. If you are a male then your physical gender will be expressed through having a penis, testicles, facial hair, a larger and broader frame, etc.

Friday, 3 August 2018

The Brilliance of 'Mean Girls'


I can't tell you how many times I've seen the film Mean Girls. It's one of those movies I can watch over and over again and never tire of; the more I watch it the more I love it. Recently I watched it and then watched it again two days later without getting fed up of it. But why is MG so brilliant? What makes it different to any other 'chick-flick'?

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Mean Girls vs Heathers


Mean Girls is one of the most witty, entertaining and awesome films ever in my opinion. Its a movie I never tire of. The other day I watched it and then watched it again two days later. I've seen it hundreds of times. Its quotable, the characters are ace, and the storyline is awesome. I get that it isn't a 'great' movie like The Godfather, but for its genre (teen comedy/drama) I think it's wonderful.
And then I watched Heathers. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The White Walkers = AI


The biggest threat (or asset) to humanity's existence is accelerating towards us at an enormous pace. We are already seeing examples of these beings (that we created to help us) in action all around; on devices we use and in our supermarkets. Pretty soon these creatures will be taking over thousands of jobs across the world, performing them at a pace far better than humans. Yes, I'm talking about Artificial Intelligence.

Monday, 23 July 2018

Tyrion Lannister: My Lion


In the books, Tyrion is described as an ugly man, who is short and deformed. While he is still a dwarf in the show, he is definitely not ugly. But what makes Tyrion so attractive to me are a range of factors - his intelligence, wit, kindness, bravery, pragmatism, honesty and maturity. Not to mention virility (if his hookers are anything to go by).

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Unintentional Book Promo

Earlier today I played a gig at a small family festival in London. I took it upon to myself to bring my author copy of my newly published book
(which you can purchase here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F44CMNJ) with me.

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Generation Y Me


One of the wonderful things about YouTube is the ability to constantly discover new information with a few simple clicks. Many people prefer visual learning to reading, and watching a colourful and engaging video with different images and good lighting helps to draw viewers in. (Its also why I put a lot of images in my blog posts; anyone would be turned off by a giant block of text).

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Should you pay for reviews?


I write a music blog. I started it late last year (2017). The idea was my dad's and it was a pretty great one. I started reviewing music sent to me from people at my uni. Then in January I got inspired by a lecture to start charging for my reviews. My writing is good, and I am very positive and don't 'slander' anyone - even if something isn't my thing I write about it objectively and throw in some constructive criticism if I feel it would be helpful.

Saturday, 14 July 2018

Trump En Londres


So Trump came to visit London yesterday. He's probably still here. I don't know, I don't care, and that's the point. Donald Trump has no relevance to me or my life. I really don't see why I need to see his name everywhere, all the time, with horrors and cries about what a 'RACIST! WHITE SUPREMACIST! EXAMPLE OF TOXIC MASCULINITY! HOMOPHOBE! STUPID IMMATURE BUZZWORD!' he is.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Criticism, Ego and Humility


So recently I published my first book on Amazon via Kindle Direct Publishing. The two stories within are not the first I have ever written, but they are the first I have published. So far I have gratefully had two reviews from book bloggers that agreed to review my book. The first was diplomatic; she rated it 3/5 stars which is positive although she didn't 'love' it. She gave me what I found to be a very constructive opinion of the book, looking at the positives and what she didn't like.
Unfortunately, the second one sucked.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

Do you have a choice?


I am halfway through this brilliant book I started yesterday; The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. It presents the kind of philosophy I am trying to emulate and practice; rational pragmatism, positive nihilism. That we should only care about things that are absolutely important to us, and that it's important to check what we value because that will determine how we react to things. That trying to be 'positive' actually reinforces a sense of inadequacy, and that it's better to accept that life is full of shit and you can work through your negative experiences to find happiness. Struggle is what creates reward.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Stupidest TV Shows Ever

This is a list of TV shows I think are dumb. (As always these are just my opinions, feel free to disagree, its boiling hot in the UK right now and I just want to have a laugh).

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Why I'm not a fan of the Romance genre


There are a few literary/film genres I have never cared much for. Westerns are one; I find them SOOOO boring. Never seen The Good, the Bad and the Ugly but I do love Gran Torino. Another genre I don't care much for is horror. I like psychological thrillers, dark dramas, or horror that has a good story (I enjoyed the 2017 It movie), but I find 'pure' horror boring and contrived - jump scares, possessed children, gore, no real plot.

Monday, 2 July 2018

How the world began (2010)


A twelve year old's mildly hilarious and frank tale of how the world could have been created.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

The 'White' Black Person


When I was in secondary school (bring out the anecdotes) a few kids described me as 'black on the outside, white on the inside' and said I 'acted white.' (Sometimes to my face, other times behind my back). The demographic of my secondary school was mostly black, and the white kids tended to be Turkish or Eastern European. Nonetheless, it bothered me, to the point where nine years later I'm still whingeing about it. But I do have a point, I swear.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Favourite literary classics I've read

While I prefer modern books, I have a read a fair few classics and enjoyed most of them. Classic books address topics that are universally understood and can be replicated in modern literature. The Catcher in the Rye deals with teen angst and finding yourself, whilst The Bell Jar deals with mental illness. When you read a classic you realize that it doesn't matter what time period the story is set in; people in the 19th and 20th centuries still dealt with the same sorts of problems that us lot around today deal with. Fears, wishes, and the stuff that makes us human can be found within the pages of classic and modern books.

Sunday, 17 June 2018

What makes somebody good?


My most recent Netflix binge was of a show called The Good Place, a comedy based around Moral Philosophy. It features a woman named Eleanor who wakes up in the afterlife and is told she is in 'the good place'; not a stereotypical Abrahamic vision of angels and gods, but a beautiful cheery neighbourhood filled with other good people. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Anxiety Bites


Let me explain what it's like to live with anxiety.

Thoughts start racing, hands start shaking. Stomach starts aching, legs are swaying. Rapid blinking. Struggling to stand up straight because my body has become so heavy I might collapse. Everything becomes exaggerated; fears start taking over my mind. Noises are sudden. Paranoia. Trapped, like being in the sunken place.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

BOOK DEBUT COMING SOON!


Next month I am publishing a Kindle e-book titled 'Every Last Psycho.' It will feature two dark YA novellas: one is called 'Every Last Thought', and the other is called 'Psycho Girl.' A brief summary of both is below.