Friday, 31 October 2008


So, I'm in America, which is lovely.

Kristina and her flat mates have really made me feel at home and part of the 'family'. Me and Sam have banter, it's all good.

While I am here there are many things that I will hopefully be doing as well as accompanying Kristina to her larger lectures where I can blend in and pretending to be an authentic University of WA student. (I get a kick out of blending in where I don't belong, as long as I don't open my mouth I feel like I'm an impostor-ninja).

Tonight is Halloween and I have heard the Americans love this holiday. I have already seen a few interesting costumes around the University campus (where I am now) including Minnie Mouse and Tinky Winkey. We are meant to be doing costume shopping later today and then onto some party/ gathering style things later where my part piece will probably be saying Tofu (which, when I say it, apparently sounds like 'Thai Food').

Talking of shopping I am scared I havn't brought enough currency with me. I brought $200 but have already spend $30 in a day... I honestly don't know how. So this leaves me to survive on $17-ish a day... which could be interesting.

Another worry is that we are going to Canada tomorrow to hang out with Molly (of meme fame) and with currency change what the hell am I gonna use? I need to find out how much I will be charged for using an ATM when I am here, because It will be close to inevitable I fear. (hehe, that rhymes)

There are many other things that I will be doing but I don't want to spoil the surprise... also, I can't really remember right now.

I am also trying to do a little project with video here, getting at least a few seconds of clips each day and then editing them together in a Johnny Durham style thing. We will see how that pans out.

Untill then
*less than three*

Wednesday, 29 October 2008


I haven't posted in a while, on here or on the Tube, and for that I am sorry but I have been very busy and struggling with computer issues. And now I am going on holiday, but at some point in the ever nearing future things will go back to normal, I promise.

I want to talk about this drama with Russel Brand that is captivating Britain at the moment. You international readers will probably not understand this, but I will try to explain.

Two of the biggest presenting personalities in the UK are Russel Brand and Jonathan Ross. Both have incredibly successful and popular television and radio shows working with the BBC. Now, over a week ago now Brand had Ross on as a guest on his show. During said show an interview was scheduled with an actor, for some reason he didn't pick up and in Brand's usual way he decided to make a joke of it. He proceeded to make up songs and crack jokes on said actor's answer machine, the controversial one including the fact that he had slept with the actor's granddaughter.

The press have finally gotten hold of this and blown this up into the largest scandal since the BBC asked the Queen to remove her crown. Even after apologising profusely Brand has now quit his radio show and both are not being broadcast on either television or radio. And all of this a whole week after the interview took place; the papers didn't start talking about it till the Sunday just gone.

Now, I am not ashamed to say that I am a huge fan of Brand's work, he is crude and overstepped the line sometimes, but he is a comedian and he himself has said that he only wants to make people laugh. He is also almost universally liked throughout my age-group and a role model for many in my generation. The fact is, none of the usual listeners complained about the messages. We understand the take and humour of the show and know that Brand can sometimes overstep the mark. But now millions of new people have been involved, saying that he is a disgrace to the BBC and Britain that he shouldn't have even had a show in the first place (he doesn't any more, these people should be happy). People who do not understand that Brand has a crude style and the fact that the subject matter varies very little from show to show.

Brand and Ross have apologised, and I agree they should have lied low for a while but I think it is disgusting that Brand has been put in a position where he has felt he has had to quit. The matter of being insulted is between Andrew Sachs (the actor for whom the messages were left) and the show. In my opinion the views of all these people people who do not listen to Brand regularly is void.

I must say I am also very disappointed with Brand. Despite this huge scandal that has been blown up there was no need for him to quit. You win some you loose some, and yes he has lost many over this but he is going to hugely disappoint millions of fans. He has branded (no pun intended) himself as anti-society and a maverick. But the way he has handled this has to be honest let me down and shows he obviously didn't believe in his work as a whole. We all have bad shows Brand, I myself have made bad videos and mistakes on YouTube, you just have to brush yourself off, apologise and admit your mistake, and refuse to give in at what you believe in. Belief in himself was not something I expected Russell Brand to lack.

This is long.

You will probably see me on various other channels in the next week or so. So keep an eye out.

I am in the airport by the way, about to get on my plane to Seattle.



Wednesday, 22 October 2008


For those of you who would like to know:

1) I am going to Seattle in... 7 days. This means that I have to do as much of the work I would origionally be doing in the holiday week of 3rd - 9th Nov. before the 30th Oct. I have one huge essay (3000words) on the demise of footbinding to do (I have done 99% of the necessairy reading and planned the introduction, background and placing it in a cultural and historical context... that's about 1/6 of the way through). As well as a 300 character Chinese essay due on Tuesday.

2) My computer is quite frankly being a dick-head. It runs on the two forms of 'Safe Mode' but not on the 'Normal' windows option. If I try to run it normally it either freezes when I get to the desktop or doesn't get to the desktop at all. I have tried resetting to a previous date, restarting several times etc etc. I have spoken to a friend and aparently it has something to do with it being Windows Vista, which this lap top came with, so downgrading back to XP is not an option.


I am just very stressed right now. many things are going wrong all at once. At this rate I will be turned away at customes when I get to the US.
*touch wood*

I have the blinkers on and am working hard, hence not alot o YouTube right now although there are many stories I would like to cover and discuss with you guys. Oh well.

I hope you all understand.

I'm gonna go eat something and do a bit of work before going to bed.



3) I also have a bolt (as in nuts &) of a spot (as in pimple) on my neck that is really effin painful.

... like I said...


Wednesday, 15 October 2008

why we are all going bust

MyBoxxCollective is back on and this is my first contribution to the project for a while:

I am proper proud of this, took alot of research and many phone calls to my dad (who loves this sort of thing) making sure I got it right.

Please check out the MyBoxx YouTube and the Blog. It's a really interesting and exciting project that I am doing with Laurbubble, NSG and BaryAldridge.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

An Interview

A lovely girl called Kayleigh asked me to do a written interview for her for a project she was doing and I wanted to put it up here, so here it is... I warn you, it's quite long:

1. What made you begin to incorporate politics into your blogs?

This is genuinely the first time I have actively thought about why I started, so thank you.

To be honest I kinda stumbled into politics. In the new year of 2008, when I had been on YouTube for about 6 months, I had done a couple of vlogs centred around education and exams (on which subjects I have strong opinions) and had also started reading the paper regularly a couple of months previously. I then did a couple of videos where I discussed articles in the paper that I thought were interesting, people seemed to enjoy them and so I began to do them regularly (I think I started doing two a week, which in retrospect was very ambitious, I now try to do one a week).

When I started with politics I had wanted to take the channel in a new direction anyway. I had grown restless being just another vlogger that occasionally did comedy skits (that to be honest weren’t very good). I didn’t feel like I got a lot back from it. I mean, I got feedback, but it wasn’t very constructive. I would receive comments saying either “You’re awesome” or “Shut Up!” Now I have this kind of discussion thing going I get to chat and debate with my viewers and they always have interesting things to say. I get to learn new things and see things from other people’s perspectives. I really get a kick when people message me saying that I have sparked a new found interest in current events and politics and have made them care about the world around them. That’s nice, probably the reason I am still doing this over a year on.

2. Do you select the stories you discuss based on your own political views, or on what you see as an important story to a wider audience?

At the beginning it was definitely centred around what I was interested in, mainly the UK education system and some science stories. I have now branched out. I’ve covered Tibet, the Olympics, sex, immigration, patriotism. Now a days I definitely pick my stories based on what I think will stimulate a good discussion in terms of getting feedback from a lot of different viewpoints. For example my last “Selling your Virginity” story. I had been waiting to talk about that because I knew there would be huge spectrum of opinions. I also deliberately try not to do too many discussions based around the same topic around the same time. So if I have covered education for the past two videos I will deliberately choose a new fresher topic. I am very conscious I have an audience, they are why I do this.

3. Do you feel that the way that you conduct news style vlogs differs in any way from the way you do "ordinary" vlogs?

There is definitely a huge difference. For one my political vlogs are scripted, whereas with a normal vlog I will just have some bullet points I want to talk about or sometimes I even just switch the camera on and blab, although I haven’t done that in a while. My political vlogs are also much shorter and snappier in terms of editing. It is very normal for my normal vlogs to hit the ten minute mark with only a couple of cuts where most of my news ones rarely pass 3 minutes and are heavily edited. In the news vlogs I also try to have a consistent background, where the regular ones I will quite often sit on the floor or in my bed, they are much more relaxed.

4. How does your news-telling differ between your written and video blogs?

Not a lot, I have often thought that the few political blogs I have written could easily just be the scripts to a video. This is just how I write though. I have never excelled with writing, I have always been much more of a verbal person, hence why I had a vlog on YouTube way before I started writing on a blog.

5. How does your audience react to your news blogs?

I ask for their opinions on the story and generally they will happily give them. Without my viewers the current format I have on my channel would have little point as the interesting stuff happens in the comments with people debating with me and between them-selves. I like to think they watch me because they enjoy talking about the stuff I bring to the table. In short, I do hope they enjoy them.

6. Do you think that blogging is a good way to deliver stories regarding current affairs? That is do you think people are more likely to read your blog and believe what you say because you are 'just like them'?

I certainly don’t think it is or should be the only way for people to get their information on the world. In a 3 minute video I can come nowhere near to the accuracy and quality of content as say, BBC News. I definitely believe there is a market for it though in terms of the fact that, yes, I am not just some drone reading off an auto cue (although it is scripted they are my own words, and I am much more casual) and that I offer up my opinions. So yes I do think people like watching me because they can relate to me better than your average anchor. I think because they have a dialogue with me they are more likely to value my opinion more than some guy in a suite on the TV. I also have the advantage of having a dialogue and instant feedback with my viewers, which people like Sky News and BBCNews couldn’t even dream of at the moment. Not that I am trying to compare myself to media moguls like BSkyB and the BBC. ;)

7. Do you use any blogs to get information on current affairs?

Yes but I do tend to watch and read them more for the way they are presented then the content. I still consider the daily paper and Radio 4 my main sources of current affairs. Although I always enjoy seeing what people like gnooze, the resident and politico have to say about what is happening in the world. A site I do use to get stories though is, as well as of course the BBC website and any links my subscribers send me.

8. What are your feeling on YouTube creating a News & Politics genre for videos? DO you feel that the increase of news blogs has made this happen?

I certainly don’t think YouTube would have created the genre unless there was a demand for it. And the political content on YouTube is huge at the moment, from Obama Girl to Politico. And especially in the face of the US general elections. Internet video has played a huge roll in the election and I am really excited to see how that will continue in the future. This media provides a two way dialogue that has been missing from politics and any politician would be silly not to use this to his advantage. I mean, just look at Obama to see the results.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Playing the Game

Today I had my first meeting with my disability aid counsellor (I'm not sure if that is his official title, but we will stick with this for the moment). No need to worry, I am not mentally challenged or missing a limb, I am just dyslexic.
We were discussing an aspect of education I particularly despise... apart from spelling, which is essay writing.

I was explaining the fact that, in general, when I get essays back I seem to receive the same comments which go along the lines of;

"Really good points Jazza but this isn't how an essay is meant to be written."

I struggle to grasp the 'correct' language needed to write an academic essay, I will write an essay in a very similar style to how I write this blog. It is chatty, informal. The points are there, it has structure and a valid drive, I am just not restricting myself to the formula that will create 100 identical essays on the Spanish Civil War (for example).
But apparently in the academic world they don't want essays with a chatty style. What can I do? I write it how I would speak it, that is how my brain works.

I told my counsellor (his name is Andrew) how I thought this was unfair, ridiculous and that I couldn't understand how I am going to grow as an 'academic' (I can't even type that with a straight face) if I am going to be shackled to being the exact same as everyone else for foreseeable future of this degree.

He then told me this:

"You've got to play their game. After you graduate you can do what the hell you want. But for the mean time, just play the game."
This has not sat well with me.
I am very much my father's son when it comes to authority in that unless it makes sense I cannot simply sit there and pretend everything is peachy. When I was in the navy it was different, there are rules and a status quo in that kind of environment to stop people getting hurt and so that decisions get made (I am not saying they are always the correct decision but that is another story).
I cannot stand, however, that I am going to have to conform to a ridiculous guideline that does nothing but restrict me in the work I produce for the next 3 years. These are MY points that I am trying to put across and argue. Surely MY style is the best way to accomplish this, not a technique that every sodding person has to live by.
But, that said, what the hell CAN I do?
I need this degree...
Do I need this degree?

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Billericay Dickie

For those of you who don't know I am from the beautiful county of Essex, if you who don't know where that is; I am afraid we can no longer be friends.

Around the centre of the bottom of my wondrous home county is a quaint town called Billericay. This is where I have resided all my life. I would like to pretend that It is nice there... but it isn't... it's full of old people, but it does have a lovely Chinese Restaurant where I have spent many a birthday called Yau's by the train station, if you're ever near there pop in there and order the Peking Duck.

However I digress.

I was told by my land lady when I was in Barcelona that there was a song about my beloved home town called 'Billericay Dickie' and I was shocked that I have never heard of it. I have only just now listened to the track and I feel it demonstrates an accurate depiction of Billericay and Essex as a whole... be it an Essex of the late 70's but no matter!

Listen, this is what the culture of Essex sounds like:

Friday, 3 October 2008

The Video Rupublic

I just got a PM on youtube with this video attched to it, It contains snippets from loads of people on YouTube, including me, Alex, Charlie, Katrina, Molly, NSG (if you look closely) and loads of others.

Maybe I am suceptible to this kind of stuff but with everything that is happening at the moment, with the Mystery Packages, this 'Video Republic' thing and other ideas that people have approached me about but it feels like people have finally caught onto us, have finally recognised that we have something here, not just on YouTube but as a whole generation. I dunno, I just think this is a really exciting time to be involved in this community.

Stuff is happening people!