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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

A Ban on Cigarette Packaging in Australia...

Thursday, 10 November 2011

A law has been passed in Australia to encase cigarettes in blank packets. Now, as somebody who is trying desperately to quit smoking - and failing - one may think I'd agree with this. However, I don't! In the Western World (Oz is included in that for sure) we live under a system where many unhealthy things are marketed repeatedly in front of our eyes every day. From McDonald's and its eye-catching 'golden arches' to Coca-Cola's red and white semiotic hypnotics to, yes, major beer companies such as Foster's (an Australian company, might I add) and Carlsberg, whose products have a design on their outer casing.

A possible new look for ciggies.

Is this one rule for one and one for the others (those deemed more socially acceptable?)?  Have the Australian government agreed with many lefties (not a bad bunch really) that, in fact, brands and marketing promoting bad health is wrong, but then changed the rules to say "only if it's to do with smoking"? Many people may counter this argument by saying that cigarette companies are the worst of a bad bunch. Bull. Absolutely not true. McDonald's would happily have your children guzzling down their crap food morning, noon and night if they could (thus leaving your children in a health-state that would kill them arguably before smoking could) because it would turn a bigger profit. Do big beer companies not make money off of alcoholics ruining their own and their families' lives? Is Coca-Cola not marketed to people of all ages to strip their insides? Think "holidays are coming" at Christmas whilst kids sit and watch endless hours of TV (don't get me started on the problems that particular medium has caused).

Be good today kids and I'll let you clog your arteries up with a shite meal from Maccy-D's.

It is very simply unfair to hit one bad health-promoting industry and not others with this. Personally, I believe do the lot of them, we'll see how much a kid wants a Big Mac then compared to home cooked food. However the Australians who passed this are doing one of them which is completely unjust.

Full article in The Guardian on this story is here.

Some Thoughts

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Gallaghers - especially Liam - are starting to grate on me just a touch now. The press seem to be so wrapped up and in awe of the fractious (fractured) relationship at the moment that the time we are currently in could be mistaken for being 1995 again. The band broke up, you both made records separately, Noel's was better as expected, blah-di-blah, I'm bored. In fairness to Noel, he maybe shouldn't be slung into this rant as, as usual, he's come across as rather likable, witty and cool as of recent. Liam, however, has come out of all this looking, well, like Liam Gallagher: an irritating oaf, so perpetually ready to remind us how 'fooking cool' he is while most, other than Oasis sycophants, simply cringe at the sight of him.


The X Factor (UK) this year is a massive damp squib. Louis Walsh is tiresome, Barlow is fucking drab and Tulisa won't stop saying "you smashed it tonight", which is just a tad annoying. The contestants are terrible this year other than the fat lad with the bowl-haircut and in the last couple of weeks I've zoned out during performances before turning over. Especially last week's because there wasn't even the ever-gorgeous Kelly Rowland to supply me with visual pleasure (this is bordering on misogyny I know, but she really is the only respite and if it's any consolation to femmos reading this; I quite like the cut of her jib too). I'm not even going to start with the rather aptly-named Alexandra Burke by the way.

Sorry feminists... couldn't resist!

As a QPR fan I've been dreading the forthcoming weekend for quite some time. With the schooling at White Hart Lane last week fresh in the mind we welcome runaway leaders Man Citeh to Loftus Road. Ricky Hatton thinks Citeh will win 8-0... I hope he's not right, but I am pragmatic about our chances at best.