Monday, 19 May 2014

What I'm Listening To


Revision has taken a huge chunk of my time so I haven't had a chance to blog anything new. Thankfully revision, exams and all that jazz are over for now (unless I have August referrals) so here's a quick post. A band I've been listening to recently, due to one of my favourite youtubers- her band (box of light) supporting them. Coasts, I get such a fun, summery vibe from them, they're awesome.

Thursday, 24 April 2014


My family have always pushed me into education, thinking it's the best path in life for me. To have a better future, a good job, achieving more than them. It's all superficial bullshit. Yes an education, good grades, and a degree, may be the foundations needed for a well paid job, leaving you financially stable, and (eventually) to get married and have children. But is it for everyone? Is it for me? How do you know what's 'for you'? Do you follow your interests/ hobbies? If you do and there's no financial benefit from it, or it doesn't make your parents proud but feel only disappointment? Should you really live your life and make decisions based upon what other people want for you? No. I want to be happy (and well if you say tough shit, life's hard, no ones happy blah blah blah) Why? Why should I do as everyone does? Why should life be about how much money you make or the power of a degree/ masters/ PhD? If that's all I'm born to do 'make money, marry and to have babies' then I don't want it. 

What is the meaning of life? As we were evolving, to the early human, life was simple.. Hunt, eat, reproduce, sleep, repeat.. then die. And now? Now you're born into a society that makes you decide at the age of 16 what you want to do for the rest of your life. As if you have all the answers, as if you know what you want to do, as if you know who you are or what makes you tick.

"‘Meaning’ is a word referring to what we have in mind as ‘signification’, and it relates to intention and purpose. ‘Life’ is applied to the state of being alive; conscious existence. Mind, consciousness, words and what they signify, are thus the focus for the answer to the question. What seems inescapable is that there is no meaning associated with life other than that acquired by our consciousness, inherited via genes, developed and given content through memes (units of culture). The meanings we believe life to have are then culturally and individually diverse. They may be imposed through hegemony; religious or secular, benign or malign; or identified through deliberate choice, where this is available. The range is vast and diverse; from straightforward to highly complex."

From sarcastic forum comments "the meaning of life, is death, is this not obvious" sure, pointing out the obvious, stating a fact, not answering the question, you're born, you live, you die. Is that it?

Okay so going back to basics, a religious view on life. The Bible.
From the 10 Commandments
"Love the Lord thy God with your whole heart, and love thy neighbor as thyself."

Genesis 1:26-28
"Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth."

To be honest I'm not religious in the slightest, the 10 commandments are just common decency really, being a good person and knowing right from wrong, you shouldn't need 10 commandments from a book to tell you that.
'God' wants people to be 'fruitful' and 'multiply' so to basically have a lot of sex and children.. I'm down for that. But to overpower everything on earth? Personally I believe in equality, no man is better than the other (unless you were to consider rapists and murderers) and that money and power is the root of all evil. 
"Give a man power and you will reveal his true character."  whether that be good or not, power can change a person and show who they really are. It is important to remember that power should not just be passed onto anyone, as when put into the wrong hands it could have disastrous consequences. *ahem Hitler* Maybe 'god' uses that to test us? To make good decisions and to not be convinced by others that choose bad. Or that there is no test and that man will always be selfish and greedy, and hey there's that famous quote "man will kill man." Will power be the cause of human extinction? I joke but, If people have this view that life= power then what is there when power is not available to you? Will people go out with the intent that their life purpose is to achieve power? Will people intentionally choose to make bad decisions in order to achieve this? 

"In Buddhism, the primary purpose of life is to end suffering. The Buddha taught that humans suffer because we continually strive after things that do not give lasting happiness. We desperately try to hold on to things - friends, health, material things - that do not last, and this causes sorrow."

It is important to Buddhists to recognise the impermanence of all things and freeing oneself from attachment to these things by the teaching of the Four Nobel Truths.
By acting upon the fourth of the Four Nobel Truths, Buddhists believe that one can 'escape' suffering by following the 'Eightfold Path'. The Eightfold path: 'Right knowledge, Right intention, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood. Right effort, Right mindfulness and Right concentration.' This Eightfold Path highlights the word 'right' as the 'true' or 'correct' way for Buddhists to distinguish themselves from others. 'it is not enough to gain knowledge; it must be right knowledge.'

The Buddha and the earliest Buddhist advocate to the monastic life as the surest way to enlightenment by following the Eightfold Path and eliminating suffering and this remains the perspective today in what is known as 'Theravada Buddhism'.

A very selfless way of life, but must everything you do be right? The faults and mistakes we make through life are what make us human, or at least add to it. Making a wrong decision in the eyes of someone else, not necessarily a bad decision just the decision they wouldn't make may be seen as 'wrong' but is it? The decisions you make are what mould the person you are and your path in life. Surely the Eightfold Path could be compared to the bibles ten commandments? Maybe not as extreme as to be completely selfless but knowing what's right and wrong and acting upon that. I mean being a good person is not rocket science and it seems, although very different in some aspects each of these religions believe in a similar way of life.

"Since people exist only in life, they must devote their time simply to being alive. Life is motion, and motion is concerned with what makes man move—which is ambition, power, pleasure."- William Faulkner

"The meaning of life is contained in every single expression of life. It is present in the infinity of forms and phenomena that exist in all of creation." -Michael Jackson

"I think the thing to do is enjoy the ride while you're on it." -Johnny Depp

(A short clip of Russell Brands view on life.
I'd quote him but he talks so god damn fast.)

After looking at the aspects and beliefs different types of people have on the meaning of life,  I now believe that its different for every individual and no one really knows. 

I think what's important to remember is that it's your life, you should embrace it by doing what you love. People are always going to have their opinion, as long as you know you're doing what's right for you or if you're unsure it's the right decision but it makes you happy, just do it, we only get one chance in life (well as far as we know) so why spend it worrying what other people think? Or allowing other people to make these life decisions for you? Everyone has their own opinion of life, you just have to find yours.

"For the meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." -Viktor E. Frankl

Monday, 14 April 2014

Top 10 of The Month

In my previous post I mentioned that I will be posting monthly playlists. I thought it would be a good start and a way of me introducing my music taste to those of you that read this. Since we're only halfway through April I thought I'd share with you what I've been listening to over the past few months.

1. The Courteeners- Are You In Love With A Notion?

Anyone that knows me, knows I'm in love with The Courteeners. The Manchester band totally have my heart. Are You In Love With A Notion is a single taken from their 2013 album Anna. They opened with this song at Castlefield Bowl 5th July last summer, the night was insane with Miles Kane and The Strypes as support. Remembering it gives me goosebumps. I've seen them four times now and every time is literally amazing, Liam Fray is the man.

2. Tribes- Corner Of An English Field

Sadly Tribes split in November, I was and still am proper gutted. I saw them when they supported The Kooks in 2011 at Manchester academy and again last July at T in the park. Corner of an English field is taken from their 2012 album Baby, great album. Although they got some pretty bad reviews for their most recent album Wish To Scream, with NME giving them 4/10. I personally really liked it, and let's be honest what are the chances of NME liking you if you aren't Arctic Monkeys..?

3. The Smiths- That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore

'And you should know, times tide will smother you' such a good lyric. The Smiths.. All time favourite band. That joke isn't funny anymore is from the album Meat is Murder. I listened to this album a lot last month, on a fair few occasions I'd miss uni and just lie in bed with the smiths on repeat.

4. Temples- Shelter Song

Only recently started listening to Temples after a friend recommended them to me. They have quite a psychedelic sound, which is not my usual cup of tea but hey I actually really like them. Shelter Song is taken from the album Sun Structures.

5. The Stone Roses- She Bangs The Drums

She Bangs The Drums taken from the self titled album The Stone Roses. Can you see a theme occurring? Ha. Yes I do like a fair few Manchester bands, including The Stone Roses but how can you not? Yet another band that almost always manages to raise the hairs on my arms. I tend to love the arrogant lead singer stereotype of Ian Brown, Liam Gallagher, Morrissey... Can't help myself.

6. Bipolar Sunshine- Drowning Butterflies 

Yet another band I've only recently started listening to. A lot of my friends had recommended them, you know when you say 'I'll listen to them later ....' and you never do? Well I finally did, took me a few months... I like them, especially this song but I'm hoping their other stuff will grow on me.

7. Arctic Monkeys- One For The Road

It was inevitable that I would mention Arctic Monkeys. One For The Road is taken from their 2013 album AM. I've managed to see them three times. In 2011 around when Suck It And See was released and twice last October. They are at the top of my list when it comes to performing live, they really are good. Although fame seems to have gone to Alex Turners' head. Unfortunately.

8. Daughter- Get Lucky (Cover)

I am in love with this cover, Daughter are amazing. If You Leave is their 2013 album, they have such bitter-sweet lyrics, some so relatable. Saw them last summer, awesome.

9. Frank Turner- Plain Sailing Weather

Frank Turner is just awesome right? Plain Sailing Weather is taken from the album Recovery which is basically a break up album. Still quality though. I remember seeing Bastille at T in the park and waiting two hours after them to be at the barrier for Frank, and as expected he was great despise being off my face. He also won celebrity master mind... intelligent, fit and plays guitar..?

10.Young Kato- Ignite 

Okay so final song. A few people have said how much Young Kato sound like Bastille... Maybe so, but live they're so different. I've seen them twice, at The Ruby Lounge and Band on The Wall in Manchester, two very small venues and they were crazy good. They appeared in series 4 of Made in Chelsea, which increased their popularity. The front man Tommy has some weirdly good dance moves, quite like those of Ed Macfarlane (you can imagine, right?)

That's me, please feel free to comment below sharing your thoughts on this post or any band recommendations you have. Not quite got the hang of this blogging thing so bare with me!