An Open Letter to Justin Bieber (cc. Izzy Nicol)

Dear Mr Bieber,

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it. The old I hate Justin Bieber vs. the Mrs. Bieber phenomenon. I don’t think I can put my finger on anyone who has had such high amounts of detest and admiration simultaneously. Sure, there is plenty of people who’ve enjoyed a heyday of public respect only to come crashing down – a common story for politicians…the fame trip for Lance Armstrong. For some, just hatred (i.e. the internet vs. Nicholas Cage). But you, Bieber, you’ve got it both ways. Why?

After a look at the compulsive list makers Forbes’ output from late 2012, it’s clear that you are up there with other rich musicians. Is it admiration and jealousy of wealth? (But in my view – celebrity status isn’t just about the money. If it was, we’d be catching up with this sassy guy, rather than the Kardashians) 

The worst thing on the internet.

I mean, you’ve turned it to a complete cash cow, that instead of giving out regular milk produces gallons of glittery magic music potion that makes small girls weak and buy knockoff merchandise from sweatshops in China. Rise of China’s exports linked to Bieber merchandise?! #CONSPIRACY?

Like Miss Nicol, it also took me a good while to realise I’d been spelling your name incorrectly (admittedly I’m hardly practised in such activity). It just so happens that is before e. Perhaps adherence to basic spelling rules of the English language is why the pre-teen audience find you so favourable? I mean, you don’t see Arnold Schwarzenegger or Zach Galifianakis gracing the pastel pink bedroom walls of 13 year olds, now do you.

Do we hate him because he got to perv perform at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show? The hair? The squint? The pout?

After a little too much deliberation, I’m just going to admit that I’m confused. So, I think I’ll settle and a similar conclusion that Izzy Nicol did in her much more organised articleit doesn’t make sense, I don’t understand. Just deal with it. Like global warming or the fact that you don’t and may never have an Aga.

Yours in confusion,

Rosie Jones

PS. Don’t date Taylor Swift. I know it’s totally cool and in but she’ll write a song about you which will probably be more successful than yours. a.w.k.w.a.r.d.

Justin feels weak at the knees following the attack by Miss Delevinge’s eyebrows.

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Hiatus? What!

Pitchforks away everyone. Just to let you know that my attention will be elsewhere for the moment. I’ve been recruited for my Local Guardian’s Young Writers’ Scheme, and for anyone who is interested, I have to write eight articles over the next eight months.

I will update this post as I write them (usually thirty minutes before the deadline).

  1. An article on the Samaritan’s Christmas Child scheme
  2. A whinge about my practise D of E expedition
  3. A rushed account of the past year with my Student Council
  4. A really quite bleak analysis of Hinchley Wood at Christmas
  5. I pretended that I had done a vox populi on Hinchley Wood station but actually I stayed at home and watched How I Met Your Mother and ate some pistachios

If you fancy it, give them a comment. It makes me feel better.

BoJo: Back on my Agenda

Everyone calm down! Return your pitchforks to their rig20120502-115424.jpghtful habitats! Extinguish your flaming torches! I’ve changed my mind about something!

Avid readers of RosieThePostie will be aware that I recently composed a post discouraging those who have the privilege to vote in the London Mayoral elections (tomorrow) to abstain from crossing the box that would coax the shaggy haired Bojo Jojo Boris Johnson back onto the throne as London Mayor. My reasons were simple; in spirit of how unfair it is of how ridiculously priced bus travel is, we should consider our options. That doesn’t mean having to submit our vote to the other half of the Barbie and Ken (Barbie.. Blonde.. Boris.. Ken.. No? Okay) duo, but just have a little peek at the other candidates. After all, the voting system does allow you to make a second choice. Who will it be? The viscous Green party representative, Jenny Jones, who looks like she needs a sit down with a hair stylist and a bottle of Herbal Essences? Or one of the other independent candidates who I cannot be bothered to Google? It’s not like I get to vote anyway .

YES I changed my mind because YES I now like Boris and the Conservatives a great deal more after following the campaign and YES you should vote for him, and no don’t worry, I won’t suggest anyone votes for a Labour representative again. I am admitting defeat! The stubborn part of being a Taurus (at least that’s what my hair dresser puts it down to) has been crushed! So please, am I permitted to change my mind without angst from everyone else?

If you ask me, I think we have a bit of a warped attitude to change in this culture. Ask anyone selling the Big Issue and they’d love some change (pun), and party leaders (looking at you Obama) can’t get enough of it. On the flip side, when Mark Zuckerberg’s team stretch out their billionaire fingers and make an alteration to the Facebook interface, National Bloody Disaster. I make a minor alteration to my political outlook, and I feel like I’m letting someone win. I feel like the strength of my conviction has taken an almighty stub on the toe, and is curled up in crippling pain on the floor.

So what I’m really saying is that if Boris has to crawl back into his cave, fall back into the river or cycle off sheepishly into the polluted London sunset, I will feel a tad responsible.

Pants to the Unpatrotic

"You're Silly!"

Striking. I’m just going to put that word there for a minute. Have a little think. Have you been on strike recently? Are you an employee for TFL? Are you a rebellious public sector worker? Yes? Okay, well the big DC from Witney has some words for you (or at least, his spokesman does).

If you’re unhappy with your job, your pay, the occasional workplace harassment or you just fancy a day out, you go on strike (unless you like having a spotless record and like being rehired in other establishments). That’s the general rule. It’s a Human Right to protest peacefully, so go speak out against creepy Kevin you looks at you funny when you use the photocopier, or the fact that you’re not paid enough to afford a new Magimix, just don’t plan on doing it during the Olympics.

There are a number of Trade Unions who are a bit peeved about the Olympics, and so plan on having a day off and going on a bit of a jolly during Summer 2k12. (Maybe they’ve organised a Trade Unions on Tour minibreak to Kos and they’re doing this is a cover up…) and so David Cameron’s [spokesman] has used a big word against them. He [his spokesman] thinks that going on strike will make everyone hate the Olympics and will put off tourists and so apparently to strike during the Olympics is “unpatriotic”.

Seriously, DC, you’ve come up some some pretty serious things in your time but is that the best you could come up with? Unpatriotic? What are they supposed to do with that? Cry? Make their mum call your mum?

I can’t say it’s helping the Etoxbridge image for Parliament if the biggest insult you can come up with is based on not wrapping yourself in the Union Jack and crying with glee. But who knows, it may well deter them from striking, and maybe there won’t be a single cock up in the Royal Mail Sorting Office, the trains will be on time, our teachers won’t be out on the front line beating each other with placards and Tesco won’t have run out of low-fat margarine all on the same day.

A Word on Introductions

Byron

Lord Fcking Byron

Ironically enough, a good number of minutes have passed whilst I have spun round eating rice cakes in my college’s Learning Resource Centre trying to find a suitable opener for this article. Maybe I should start with a joke? A poem? A musical number? A rash comment? A racist remark? This is awfully difficult. I’ve also run out of rice cakes and people are starting to judge me for spinning in my chair.

Person to person introductions are much easier. We follow a formality: you want to find out how they are [which you don’t], to which they respond that they are fine, [which is a lie], you comment on how much weight they have lost [you mean gained], they thank you [and think about the chocolate éclair they had at lunchtime] and then you will disintegrate in to some form of menial conversation. Formality is jolly good fun.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. It was Lord Byron that, whilst holidaying with Mary Shelley + Husband + “friend” with questionable benefits, enters a room and simply remarks “NOW WE SHALL EACH WRITE A GHOST STORY”. And one does what Lord Byron says, because, well, simply, he’s Lord Fking Byron. Just because I’m not Lord Fking Byron, does that mean I have to fall into the clutches of meaningless small talk? Well… Apparently so.

Society has a tendency to stick with what it knows, and people just get on with it. We’re all too busy worrying about whether our ankles look fat or whether the avocadoes have gone brown, or if you really have been sent the same issue of Surrey Life twice. Considering the boundaries of conversational reform just seems a bit too much stress.

Wallowing in formality is a serious problem. To whoever has attended a large organised meeting of new people will understand that the phrase “Say your name, and then tell us something interesting about yourself” Is really a code way of saying “Tell us who you are, then spend time worrying finding the identifier of your personality in 30 seconds and then desperately trying to sound interesting to impress the attractive person sat next to you, and then realise that you don’t even have an identifier to your personality because if you did, you wouldn’t be trying to meet new people in the first place. Suck on that”.

But now, I must leave. I have a ghost story to compose…

Aside

The Olympic Trolley Dash

Jolly good, it’s here again! The quad-annual sports party started off by our toga clad friends in Greece is back. And it’s in London, in case you didn’t know.
Sebastian Coe is the man in the Chair, and if you ask me, he’s probably got a pesky toddler who has been taking the £50 notes out of Olympic budget and pushing them down the floorboards. How else do you plan to spend £81 million? Other than buying 540,000,000 Freddo bars (which have really taken a hit from inflation BY THE WAY) I’m struggling to find a reason for hovering up this much cash.
The first Pirates of the Caribbean film had a similar budget to this cultural shin dig. I’m serious. But will the opening ceremony have Johnny Depp in it? Will Keira Knightly float across London, flouncing about in a big dress shouting PARLE at every available opportunity? NO. Neither will Orlando Bloom take off his shirt and start a sword fight.
What’s more likely is that we’ll have David Cameron plodding about with his wife (who didn’t wear a hat to The Wedding. I know), K-Midz in an LK Bennet number jamming with the Queen and Boris on a bike.
It’s a sad outlook on Britain if you think of all of the places this cash could have been put instead. We’re still getting up off the floor from a hit of recession, and the rumour has it that there’s more to come. I don’t know what the outcome of all this will be, but I really hope the individuals who have suffered from the public sector spending cuts really, really enjoy the ceremony. There goes your pension everyone! It’s turned into a firework!

Electric Newspaper

Since Apple’s new operating system, IOS5, came to our handheld i-prefixed devices, a new app has graced our home screens whether we like it or not. Newsstand is the way to organise all of your e-magazine subscriptions in OCD fashion. In the past you might have just had a folder, or just bought real magazines, but now Apple have devised this way for you to spend more money at the iTunes store by getting all of your favourite publications straight to the device. Sounds great doesn’t it?
The crux of the matter is that there are less people buying their copy of The Organic Way and Best Sheds Weekly in the shops, and they’d much rather read the editions in glorious Retina display. But who wouldn’t? Comparing the best shed doors just isn’t the same on paper
Books were in the same situation. Bound literature was doing just fine before our fruity friends decided that they were going to grace our screens and stick a vowel in front of the medium. iBooks and the iBooks Store pushed themselves onto the scene, tugging on our sleeves and throwing tantrums for our attention. Our hardback copies of The Complete Shakespeare Collection exhale loudly and move aside, joining the awkward corner with tape cassettes and VHS players.
But what does this really mean? Magazines will suffer a decline, but I doubt that they will have the same wounds that the music industry have come away with. Magazines still stand as a status symbol. The ability to go into someone’s kitchen and see their collection of Devonshire Life and Horse and Hound editions nonchalantly spread across their sparkling marble island countertop, you can gain a few ideas about the kind of household you are in. Especially if you are then offered an organic banana muffin with your raspberry and ginseng tea.
I suppose there is a certain nostalgia linked to opening the broadsheet on a Sunday morning or irritating fellow commuters as you push your elbows into their coffee cups and doing a mass inversion of personal space. Or would you rather skip the whole ordeal? Who knows. As the concept gains momentum, we’ll just have to wait and see for it all to pan out.

Image

Gig Review: The Vaccines & The Arctic Monkeys

If you’ve ever been to the O2 Arena, you’ll know what I’m talking about here. You will probably have queued for more time than is necessary, have been herded like cattle and had a gold wristband shoved on your wrist to cut off circulation. Sound familiar? No? Well then, you CLEARLY were not at the Arctic Monkeys and the Vaccines on the 30th October.

The venue is big. Seriously, and in a space that large you don’t have many thoughts (other than if we have to evacuate I am going to die). It’s too hard to judge the space of the standing area so one half runs, half walks, feeling self-conscious of the other 23,000 people judging your gait. Once over that initial catastrophe there is more waiting. The Vaccines, who are too hipster turn up on time mince on twenty minutes after their allotted start time “yeah we’re the Vaccines yah” and then play album. The lead singer is wearing a shell suit jacket with his name on the back, and the drummer keeps standing up so we don’t forget he’s there.

Don’t get me wrong. The Vaccines are good. I like The Vaccines. They just seem to have stereotyped themselves as a set of washed up hipsters who have a song a with title that sounds like IKEA product. I’m serious! Nørgaard anyone? Oh yes! I’ve lost the assembly instructions for my Nørgaard. I suppose I’ll just have to hop back on the tram to Croydon and get another plate of meatballs and exchange my Nørgaard.

The Vaccines mince off and then more waiting, quick rig change. The tech team at the O2 keep turning the lights off to fool the crowd, then putting them back on again and playing rap music. Patience is shortening. Hands are turning numb from tight wristbands, and then finally the shadowy quartet makes their way into the light.

My misfortune came from only knowing old Arctic Monkeys songs. I sort of bumbled along to the new stuff, until frontman Alex Turner makes an introduction. “WHO LIKES ROCK AND ROLL WITH LOTS OF WORDS?”. The crowd cheer; I suppose that’d be us then. They’ve come a long way from ‘chip-shop rock’, and that’s a general criticism of them these days. They’re not exactly comparing the prices of avocados in a collection of fair trade retailers, but they’ve admitted to becoming a little too middle class for their image.
Credit where it’s due: they really don’t miss a trick playing live. They come across as a little awkward during interviews but the stage is where they really know what they’re doing. After a round of encores, they thank the audience for “having us”, making it sound like they’ve come round for chips and peas on a Thursday night. It’s been lovely having you, Arctic Monkeys. You’re welcome anytime.

Cycle Chic

I went to my work experience and they asked me to formulate content for www.top10bikefixes.com.
This is what I achieved.

In terms of cycling gear, there seems to be three ways to go about it. What you wear is defined by what stereotype of cyclist you identify with, so are you…
There’s the type who commute via bike and turn up at the office red faced and smelling interesting, one of the more serious guys who’d write club cycling at high level on the interest section of their CV, or one of the ones who pull their fixie bike out of their London flat and casually push it to Brick Lane and back to pick up some organic avocadoes?
If the first one seems to appeal, you’re probably reading this on a fancy tablet computer on the way to pick up your Barclay’s Boris Bike. Yes, sympathy due to those who can’t take their [fancy bike model] on the train during peak time. Perhaps you are wearing a suit, and finding it a little difficult to achieve the ‘cool factor’ as you struggle to push the pedals? It’s alright, help is at hand. Levi® have heard your plea, and are coming out with the 511® Commuter Series. “The 511® Commuter comes in two styles – a full length and cropped version – and both denim and non-denim fabrics” Exciting! Unfortunately, these trendy garments are not released yet, so you’ll have to settle with looking like Boris until then.
If you spend your weekends with your club around the hills of Surrey, perhaps you don’t need much assistance. H.G. Wells once said that “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race”, so throw on your club jersey with the Lycra shorts and fulfil Wells’ faith in humanity. But what if you don’t belong to a club? Or you want to pretend you do? Well, cycle chic tenderfoot, this is an easily solved problem. Design your own. Make up a club name, upload some fake sponsorship. People will look at you in awe. Or, you could combine your other interests with your cycling clobber? If you’re a Redditor, get yourself one of these.

And finally, if you see yourself as the remaining category, put down your Chai Latte and listen up. Mountain bikes are so mainstream, so you need one of these. It’s white, vintage and you will look like a pro. Fixed gear bikes do the same thing, and they come in bright colours. Ideally, stick a basket on the front in which you can stash the vinyl EPs of an obscure avant-garde French band you purchased from Portobello Road.
In this instance, what you wear has very little relevence to whether it is suitable for cycling. Ray Ban Wayfarers, low cut vests, hats, turned up chinos…Need I go on?

But whether you turn up to work trying to get the bicycle grease marks out of your trousers, prance around in your fake sponsorship kit, or you use your bike mirrors to preen your ironic moustache, getting the style right will greatly enrich your cycling experience.

I’ll have two avocados and a pilates mat.

Now I don’t know whether its because I live in Surrey or if I am just unlucky when it comes to social encounters, but I’ve had an overdose of the upper middle class lately. I’ve had shots of organic-extra-virgin-olive oil-hand-picked-by -well-dressed-Italians left right and centre, and they are only set to increase.

My first and biggest faux par was joining a gym. One of the hallmarks that separate the Upper and Middle classes is whether you have a gym suite in your own home, and it seems like the second of the tiers seem to all have a membership to an exercise establishment of some description.

The establishment I have joined is one of the epicentres of UPM action, displayed most evidently in its ‘weekly activity programme’. Members can attend classes from Zumba Dancing to Aqua Aerobics (yes, that’s the jumping around thing that ‘curvaceous’ women do in swimming pools instead of, you know. actually swimming), and everything in between. Including pilates.

Pilates is an exercise programme that was developed by a German bloke in the 1900s. It grew in popularity and went mainstream in the latter half of the twentieth century. It is now a popular pastime for the spouses of lawyers and the all lunching all cooking housewives to fit in between choosing washing detergents and nurturing their darling offspring’s musical talents.

Today was my first session, and soon realised I fitted into neither of the demographics [faux pas numero deux] I awkwardly sat down in the studio, awaiting the participants.

Two women sat on their mats facing front. The personalities of the two women were of archetypes I have dealt with before. Observe, Participant A.
“Have you done pil-ar-teys before? What’s that? You’ve only done yogar? Well. They are very different you know. You really aught to have gone to a beginners session.”
And Participant B. Of Eastern European descent. Most likely a dancer.
“She iss right you know. I have ssseen many peuople attempt and done much injury.”

I sit their awkwardly after listening to their comments. They then resume conversation as I hunt for a mat and pretend to do some warm up stretches. I can still overhear them. Participant A is training to be a yoga instructor and complaining about beginners going to their first class without induction. B is agreeing. I pretend not to hear.

More people turn up. Slightly comforting. The gym stereotypes appear. Mrs. Post Pregnancy, I Once Had A Great Body And I Need It Back arrives and unrolls her mat. Miss Size 20 places herself in the corner so she can’t be seen.

The Instructor strides in. (And Ms. I Commute to my Well Paid Job in the City Every Day So I am Therefore Late for Everything nods in apology). Instructor puts on some sort of ethnic music, and the hour of insanity begins.

The hour concludes. We applaud ourselves. Participant A throws me a dirty look and then goes off to talk to Ms. Commuter about some silverware of the latest Lakeland Catalogue.

I wonder if they have this trouble at Yoga.

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