Do or Die for George RR Martin

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The Game of Thrones author George RR Martin was told the other week of readers concerns that he might not live long enough to finish the fantasy series. His ‘come at me bro’ response was absolutely priceless.

Not only was he quoted as replying, “fuck you to those people”, he stuck up his middle finger just to really ram the message home.

The best thing about this overreaction for me is who he is directing his rageful response at. I mean it’s essentially his biggest fans, the people who admire his work so much that they cannot bear the thought of not knowing the what happens in the end. Fuck them!

You know what I’d do if I was Mr Martin? I’d threaten them with a terrible ending to the books, warn them that if they carry on he will kill off all their favourite characters and start lopping off a few more knobs.

These are the kind off threats they will respond to and this is a man who is not afraid to do it. He’s killed off plenty of characters before, he’s made enough money already, not to mention he’s the kind of guy who tells his biggest fans to go fuck themselves!

These die hard fans need to remember who they are dealing with and exercise a bit of tact. I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t executed a couple of Danearys already in his raging state. Heaven forbid he gets really pissed and ends up doing a J K Rowling, writing a final scene where all the characters are a decade older just to really spite the hair and makeup team on the film crew.

Slept Like a Baby

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I walked the length of the Yorkshire Dales the other week with four friends. It was 82 miles and we completed it in a leisurely six days. Of all of them day 3 was the hardest. We didn’t have much food, it rained and we got lost, meaning we ended up doing over twenty miles of walking.

It was at the end of this day that my friend said to me, “Recon I’ll sleep like a baby tonight” and it got me thinking.

See it’s an odd expression that one, ‘sleep like a baby’. It’s obviously meant to mean that you slept well yet really it should mean the exact opposite. Surely it should mean that you slept intermittently, for periods of just a few hours at a time, then woke up with a pair of soiled undies, crying out for your own mum’s tits.

Needless to say, I didn’t have him share my tent that night.

How David Brent Killed Comedy

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Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant are comic geniuses. That’s undeniable.  They are also, in my opinion, the sole reason for my generation being bereft of any sort of comic creativity and this is due to one thing: The Office (or to Americans ‘The Office UK’).

You see The Office was too good. I’m not saying that nothing could follow it. Gervais himself would say that many great shows have done, shows like Extras, Life’s Too Short and Derek (to name a randomly selected few off UK TV). But the quotes from no other show quite entered the public lexicon like those from The Office and it was from this that the problem arose.

I was thirteen when The Office finale aired. My peers and I were just getting to grips with our sense of humour, developing slowly from the fart noise stage to the fart pun stage. Starting to consider jokes about sex and girls, and just generally broadening our comedic repertoire. And then they got the box set for Christmas.

Twelve half hour episodes, two Christmas specials and some bonus features, all bound up in a white card case, with a dancing Brent on the front, was all it took to ‘get their attention.’ Our generation’s creative renaissance was crushed.

For my teenage years the funniest kid in every class was the one who could best quote Brent and Gareth. If he could fit one of their lines, however tenuously, into conversation, he was a comic genius. If worst came to worst, however, he could just band about irrelevant sound bites and be sure to get a laugh. Some kids could quote entire episodes at a time, chuckling at the memory of each and every line.

Sadly there is no creativity in this kind of humour, no originality. What’s more, each repeated quote is essentially an ‘in-joke’. They’re exclusive, understood and appreciated only by those with a decent knowledge of the series. If the funniest kids in my class were tasked with writing a comedy series they would each take a pen and write The Office.

Merchant and Gervais created a monster. They didn’t dilute the quotability by making too many episodes either. They got it spot on, and ruined comedy forever. Whilst those box sets are still out there, still being lapped up by impressionable teenagers, then comedy’s got no future. As Brent himself mused ‘A good idea is a good idea forever’.

Leeds Student Paper Loses Funding

Does anyone remember this front page of the Leeds Student Paper?

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It was a corker. It was like the time that other paper exposed that high-level, drug-running mob ring, complete with blurry pictures of the suspects as they were snapped outside of their homes through long lens cameras.

Only it wasn’t. What they’d found out was that four fast food restaurants that students drunkenly frequent, covered in their own vomit and not having washed their filthy hands that they’ve been fingering each other with all night, are in fact unhygienic. They had received ‘zero hygiene ratings’.

One of these bandits, ‘Nemo’, was quoted as claiming, “Their rating had improved since their last inspection”. Now I’m no hygienist but as this has nothing to do with dentistry it’s probably irrelevant that I point that out. However, one thing I do know is that declaring you’ve improved on a zero is no big claim. It’s like a sprinter saying “I may have fallen over after just two meters this time, but last time I fell asleep in the starting blocks”.

The article goes on to say of the fast food joint, “a new inspection has not yet even been completed”. So Nemo was found (pun intended) to be not just unclean, but a dirty unwashed liar! He hadn’t improved at all!

The reason I write this post, however, is that there is genuinely sad news for the Leeds Student Paper. Today we have found out that it has been cut its funding and will hence have to cease printing. And as students we should be outraged by this. Not only is the Student paper a bastion of free speech, the job of which is to hold the university itself accountable for its actions, but it is also a platform for so many students to acquire skills in journalism. Many careers have started in student papers and LUU has some serious questions to answer on how we can’t find £5000 (or about £6 per student) to keep this important institution alive.

The underhand tactics are worth mentioning as well, the exclusion of the candidates for next year’s editor from the main Exec voting system, and the timing of the announcement of cut funding coming on the night of the last print, demonstrating calculated intent from LUU to marginalize the papers voice.

Well I don’t think that we should lay down and let this happen. If the newspaper stops printing then who’s gonna stop Mr. Sulfi, or Mr. Nemo putting pubes in our kebabs! No! It’s not on! We need our Student Paper to carry on doing what it’s doing so well, holding the university to account, giving voice to the student body, providing a platform for students to get their work published. Oh and running cutting edge front-pages that expose local restaurants, whilst simultaneously taking money from the very same restaurants to advertise on the very next page…

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Oh…. Maybe that’s why the advertising funding’s stopped?