JellyBaby's Blog

I got a bit of deja vu when I read that Paris Hilton had been arrested for drug possession. It was only a few months ago that she was found with cannabis on her in South Africa. When will she learn?

I used to think she put on her dumb blonde persona and she was actually a secret genius but now I have no doubt that she’s just thick! She’s spent time behind bars before – so you’d reckon that would put her back on the right side of the law (or at least make her a little more discreet with her class A usage).

Chances are she’ll be let off and in a few months will be having yet another mugshot taken!

The most traumatising news in celebland since Katie and Peter split came this week as Spencer ‘Pratt by name, prat by nature’ revealed that he and Heidi Montag have a sex tape and he wants to release it!

Eeeeeeew!

I would prefer to eat my own leg than watch those two going at it!

Heidi is reportedly horrified, but according to some sources she’s actually in on it too! to be honest, I would sooo not be surprised if that were the case as Spencer and Heidi are the kind of people who would spit on their own grandmothers if it meant it would get their faces on TV.

I reckon it’s about time the media boycotted them!

I’ve been able to vote for a few years now but I’ve never actually bothered to. I do actually feel guilty about this. After all, many suffragettes died to get us women the vote and I know I’m very lucky to live in a country where we actually get to choose our leaders. But the simple fact of the matter is that politics confuses and bores me. It seems to me that parties make all sorts of wonderful promises in the run up to an election which never become reality – and anyway, I’d much rather settle down and watch Neighbours rather than Question Time. It occured to me recently that the only knowledge I have about politics comes from reading the odd copy of The Sun and watching Mock The Week, which hasn’t exactly given me a very good education in the workings of the government.

Recently, however, I sat down with a cuppa and Company and read three very informative interviews, done by girls my age, with the leaders of the main parties here in Britain, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Nick Clegg. In amongst questions about where they buy their clothes and what movies they’ve recently watched were intelligent ones on their manifestos and in particular, how they’re going to help people like me if they come into power.

From getting on the housing ladder to tackling student finance, these interviews showed me that it’s essential for anyone who can to vote as politics affect us all. Just looking back over my blog I see that I’ve written about welsh language law, immigration, and global warming in amongst my ramblings about Glee and the X Factor. I always considered politics to be a load of old men in suits; thanks to Company and their excellent articles on how important it is to have an interest I see that politics plays a part in every aspect of my day to day life.

The price of petrol; public transport; wages; bank charges; education and more – all are affected by the government, therefore it is essential that we vote for whoever we believe will give us the best deal for the next four or five years.

I can’t say that I’m going to swap my tabloids for the Times, or American Idol for BBC Parliament, but on election day, I will be marking my ballot and feeling grateful that I have that chance. The opportunity to vote is more precious than we can imagine, so use it!

The assembly government has published a proposed new law on the Welsh government.

These new laws would place duties on certain firms to provide services in Welsh. Firms in areas such as gas, electricity and telecoms could face fines if they refuse to provide a Welsh language service.

The measure would also give Welsh official language status.

It’s about time too, I say. Non-Welsh speakers may not realise but a number of Welsh people just aren’t comfortable having to do all their business in English and surely it’s common sense that if you’re in Wales you should be able to do your business in Welsh if you want.

However there have been concerns that the new measures don’t cover the private sector. Shops, for example, won’t be required to provide a Welsh service. The assembly doesn’t have the power. It’s a shame because shops are a major part of our day to day lives and it would be nice to see the Welsh language become more mainstream.

Still, it’s progress and it’s good to see action being taken to ensure that whether you’re more comfortable speaking Welsh or English, at least you’re able to make that choice in more ways.

There were mixed views on ‘Wheels’, the episode of Glee shown last Monday on E4. Disability was under the microscope as Will Schuester made the club use wheelchairs for three hours a day to get them to be more sympathetic to wheelchair-bound Artie, played by Kevin McHale.

With a touching storyline and some great wheelchair-height scenes showing exactly how hard it is to get about in school in a chair, you’d imagine it would be popular among disabled viewers, but there was just one problem. Kevin McHale, who plays Artie isn’t actually in a wheelchair himself.

Disability campaigners are angry that the team behind the comedy TV show didn’t cast someone who is actually disabled. Surely there are plenty of talented singer/dancer/actor types who use wheelchairs? Casting McHale meant a talented disabled person might be missing out.

But not everyone thinks this should be the case. After all, acting is all about playing a character. Straight people play gay people and vice versa; Brits play Americans and Americans play French; actors can play cheerleaders, hockey players, writers or models regardless of whether they are themselves. Why can’t an able bodied person play a wheelchair bound one? Glee’s director said that McHale was such a perfect choice for the role that it was impossible to turn him down.

Not so controversial was the storyline involving a down syndrome girl joining the cheerleading squad. Sue Sylvester, the intimidating coach, was no less scary as she coached Becky. This concerned Will Schuester who thought she should show more compassion towards a girl with learning difficulties. Sue’s response? To say that she wasn’t going to treat Becky any differently to the rest of the Cheerios because she had learning difficulties. OK, so bullying’s wrong and Sue Sylvester does go too far but I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. Treating disabled people equally means no discrimination – whether that’s negative or positive.

Personally I loved the episode and liked seeing a mainstream show tackle subjects that aren’t usually shown on TV, especially down syndrome which is an often misunderstood condition.

So the BBC have made their controversial decision to axe two radio stations, 6 Music and the Asian Network. This decision, made in order to save money, has been met with hostility from fans.

It seems that digital radio just hasn’t taken off in the UK, meaning the numbers of people listening to these stations isn’t high. However, those who do listen, love what they hear.

I for one will miss the Asian Network when it goes off the air. Being bought up in rural Wales, I’d never really been exposed to much Asian music. It was only when I bought a new hi-fi complete with digital radio that I discovered bhangra, bollywood, and punjabi tunes and I loved what I heard. These genres simply don’t exist on mainstream radio – A.R.Rahman may have hit the charts thanks to his collaboration with the Pussycat Dolls and every so often tunes with Asian flavours might make the playlist, but on the whole stations like Radio 1 cater to more western tastes.

Now, artists like Jay Sean are concerned that many artists will find it harder to breakthrough without the station.

He tweeted “This is crazy. We (Asians) have no mainstream platforms as it is.”

Sunny Hundal, editor of Asians in Media, agrees. He said: “Axing Asian Network would kill off vital media space for a lot of British Asian content and culture (documentaries, fusion music) which does not get represented on commercial alternatives.”

Bhangra singer Jassi Sidhu said: “If they get rid of Asian Network it will be the final nail in the UK bhangra coffin.”

How will Asian music reach national audiences now?

Will Radio 1 introduce more Asian music into it’s schedules? Somehow I doubt it. The Asian community is now the largest ethnic minority community in the UK and as such they need to be catered for in the media.

Go into your local HMV or log onto iTunes and Asian music is hidden away in the “World” section, making it near impossible to discover new music unless you know what you’re looking for.

I’m really going to miss Asian Network, just as I know a lot of people will miss 6 Music. However, I can see how the BBC came to the decision to axe it, as it’s simply not popular enough. I hope the axe doesn’t mean the end of Asian music on the radio. For example, they could transfer some shows to Radio 1 or 1Xtra to ensure that new artists have the chance to make their music heard. Implemented well, this could still give Asian music a platform and perhaps even a wider audience. Cut it completely, however, and an entire community is swept aside in pursuit of a larger audience.

It seems that the amount of films I watch peaks during winter; when it’s cold outside and dark by six o’clock there’s nothing better than putting on a DVD and curling up in bed in my pyjamas! From adventure to romance, there’s no better way to distract myself from the freezing weather. Here are my reviews of some movies I’ve rented recently…

Dreamworks have been known for the funny and brilliantly made animations ever since Shrek was first released, and one of their latest movies is the fabulous Monsters vs. Aliens. Susan Murphy is hit by a meteor on her wedding day and is transformed into a giant, nicknamed Ginormica by the US government, and locked up in a facility where she’s kept secret from the world along with fish-man Link; half cockroach, half mad scientist Dr. Cockroach; brainless blue goo B.O.B; and massive grub Insectosaurus. She is offered her freedom in return for ridding the world of aliens sent by the evil Galaxhar – but of course it’s not that easy.

Monsters vs. Aliens is the kind of film that’s perfect for all the family. Exciting enough for kids, it also has enough jokes to entertain the adults. B.O.B in particular steals the show, with every line that comes out of his mouth hilarious, but the president (obviously influenced by a certain dim-witted U.S leader) is just as funny. Meanwhile Susan is almost as good a heroine as Shrek’s princess Fiona. Definitely worth a watch if you’re after light-hearted laughs – it’s guaranteed to raise a smile.

Not so funny was the sequel to The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons. Although I loved the book, the Da Vinci Code didn’t excite me at all; it was far too wordy with not enough action. I wasn’t sure about Angels and Demons but after reading some good reviews I decided to give it a go. To give credit where it’s due it was a lot better than the Da Vinci Code; there was far more action as Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) was led on a chase around Rome, trying to save four bishops favourite to become pope from being murdered in truly stomach-churning ways. However – and this is more a fault with the book than the film – it was ruined by too much church bashing and sometimes felt more like a history of the bad side of the catholic church than a movie. Also, I was disappointed by Ewan McGregor’s role as the Camerlengo – I wanted to fall asleep as soon as his dull tones came through my speakers. If you like the book the film is worth a watch but if you’re after non-stop thrills, look elsewhere.

I absolutely loved the stage version of Fame when I saw it on the West End and when I heard the movie version was being remade, I couldn’t wait to see it. Unfortunately I never had the chance to see it in cinemas, but after watching it on DVD I’m glad I didn’t waste my money watching it on the big screen. Set over four years at the New York School for Performing Arts, it tells the stories of the pupils who attend it, from the shy and retiring Jenny to over-achieving ballet dancer Alice and pianist Denise who wants to sing but her strict father is intent on her becoming a classical musician.

I could go on – there were so many characters and different storylines – but to be honest even after an hour and a half of watching I can’t remember half of their names. So many of the characters could have been cut in favour of looking at certain ones in more depth. Some characters only appeared in a couple of scenes and I was left feeling that I’d experienced no connection with any of them because there was such a feeling that the story was rushed. Put simply, it’s like fitting all three High School Musicals into one film – it just didn’t work. Save your money buying the DVD and go and see the stage show instead.

Fancy a bit of romance? I’ve finally got round to seeing He’s Just Not That Into You. It boasts an impressive cast including Jennifer Aniston, Ben Affleck, current Hollywood it-boy Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore (who also produced it) and Scarlett Johannsen. Along the same lines as Love Actually it features a number of separate storylines that intertwine – Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) can’t seem to hold down a man; Beth (Jennifer Aniston) wants her boyfriend of seven years to propose; Ben (Bradley Cooper) is cheating on his wife…and so on and so forth. The title of the film refers to the little lies us women tell each other when it comes to guys when in fact we need to get real and realise he’s actually not just into us!

It’s not as good as Love Actually (not much can beat it in my opinion) but it’s actually not that bad. Most women will recognise themselves in the various characters – which makes for some cringeworthy viewing at times! – and the ending is heart-warmingly romantic. By no means a date movie but it’s perfect for a girls night in!

Finally, out in cinemas now is The Lovely Bones. Anyone who’s read the book will probably think the idea of turning it into a movie is ridiculous and you’d be right – it just doesn’t really work. The story is based around Susie Salmon, who is murdered by a paedophile, and watches over her family, friends, and killer from heaven. Narrated by the dreamy tones of Saoirse Ronan and filled with dream-like sequences of her heaven, I left the cinema feeling like I’d just been on a two hour drug trip! There was no real depth to the characters or any emotion, it was lacking in tension and considering the themes of the film I expected to feel much more emotional at the end.

Fans of the book should wait to rent it, anyone else, don’t bother!

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