Thursday, 28 March 2013

Things That I Detest - GCSEs


GCSEs are the worst. When we are so young, we are put under unbelievable amounts of pressure to do well, and we are told that ‘these exams are going to change our lives’; they are not to be underestimated! The worst part is how concentrated they are – I have 22 exams in about a month and a half! That’s an exam almost every other day! And to make matters worse, we have a three week’s holiday beforehand, in which we are expected to, instead of relaxing, revise for at least four hours a day! I know I go to a public school and we are all expected to work very hard, but it’s a bit extreme when the Head of Academic Studies tells everybody that they should revise ‘for at least a hundred hours this holiday’… Is anybody else finding it hard to cope?

Likewise, I have to spend almost an hour attempting to learn my Latin and Greek Set Texts (we are meant to be able to translate up to 60 pages of original Latin or Greek into English) every day! Imagine that – 60 pages of pure ANCIENT foreign language! My Easter Holiday is going to be rather less eventful and enjoyable than last years – how exciting!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Things That I Detest: Chart Music


I have a strong hatred towards chart music – by chart music I mean the main stream of mainstream (Rihanna, Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias). They are just the most annoying and repetitive artists that there has ever been. Their music is incredibly monotonous and predictable, and to be harsh, every single song sounds identical. Their lyrics have absolutely no originality or meaning whatsoever. I know I sound like one of those people who try and be really ‘indie’ and hate whatever is mainstream, and say stuff like “I knew them before they were mainstream.” Don’t worry – I hate those people too!

Truthfully, a five-year-old boy could write a better song than Rihanna can. All of their music is done electronically and uses AutoTune, and rarely do they ever use any real instruments. And for some strange reason, they are the some of the most famous and rich people in the world – what’s going on?! Their lyrics are all about random stuff that has no relevance to them, or anyone else for that matter – they just put it in their music because they think it sounds good, or their fans will think it’s ‘cool’. Well it’s not; all of their songs are boring and have no meaning.

Take this for example: Bruno Mars, in his song Grenade says: “I’d throw my hand on a blade for ya…” Can somebody please tell me how you throw your hand onto a blade? And why the hell would you want to do it? Surely that would just hurt and be really rather messy… Bruno, go home! Go write some real lyrics that actually make some sense!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Honour and Pride


Mic Righteous is one of the most talented and truthful MCs in the UK scene at the moment, with lyrics full of passion and honesty. His debut mixtape, Yob Culture, received much praise from FlavourMag, and it helped him to get his first foot into the game.
Righteous, born Rocky Takalogibashi, is an upcoming Hip Hop artist raised in Margate, Kent. His family fled from Iran to England in the late 1970s, and he was born into a broken home. Rocky’s brother, a boxer named Mehrdad Takalogibashi, is WBU light middle weight and welterweight champion. Raised in Margate, Mic’s lyrics tell of his hard life as a child and about the immense troubles his family have gone through.
He is probably most known for his feature on Cher Lloyd’s (from the X Factor) single Dub on the Track, and also for his highly proclaimed Fire in the Booth, recorded by BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ Charlie Sloth, a central figure in the UK scene. This sparked much debate due to Mic’s saying “Free Palestine”, which was censored by the BBC.
In Mic Righeous’s song KamPain (from his album KamPain) he tells of his troubles as a young 18 year old artist and how he slowly realised how hard it was to receive recognition. He explains the trouble he took to get on SB.TV, the UK’s biggest underground music channel. He writes: “I remember countless times us harassing SB, no reply eventually Jamal had to check me...” Mic never forgets anybody who helped him gain recognition as a youngster, often shouting out Charlie Sloth, GrimeDaily (the first channel to play his music) and Jamal Edwards from SB.TV. Mic is arguably one of SB.TVs most filmed artists – he has recorded two Warm up Sessions, one F64, one A64, and one music video on their channel! Mic shows huge devotion for his fans and for the people that listen to the music, as he says they are the only way he can make a living. He writes: “This is for my avid listener – to my own art I’ve become a prisoner.” and “I write for the people that get left behind...” He also told Charlie Sloth that he just wanted to ‘satisfy everybody’.
Mic isn’t afraid to pour his heart out on the track and to be honest to his fans. His Fire in the Booth is a passion-filled 13 minute track: “We deny that we can only advance, and those that think they can’t, are lost in their art, mind lost in their heart, body lost in their mind, so back to the start, back to the passion the past. You are not gonna find the man that you are, if you cower in the face of the challenge travel your path. I ain’t tryna rap for a car, or rap for a yard or, rap for a b**ch that’s gonna max out my cars, see me, I rap for the man that hasn’t got garms, in fact, hasn’t got anything you spat in that bar...”
Mic Righteous has often been compared to artists such as Lowkey or Devlin who spit with a lot of vehemence in their voices, but whose bars are nowhere near the same complexity or seriousness as Mic’s. He reveals the truth about his family’s troubles to him fans, saying: “Our mother left us on our ones, dad’s wrist covered in blood; he beat his babies mum, and Farah still taking drugs.” His lyrics, arguably the most intense in the UK scene are often inspiring and daunting. However, on occasion his bars can be rather depressing, often referring to the poor state of the world at the moment. In his Fire in the Booth he writes: “Is there light at the end of this tunnel we’re in? Where everybody struggles to live, Pakistan’s an ocean, bodies in the brown water floating, everybody forgets, as Syria falls apart we watch our problems progress, man when will it end?” Despite this, Mic’s bars aren’t always completely serious. On his album KamPain he dedicates a whole song to announcing his love for ‘Georgia from SB.TV’ (whoever that is) – and the entire song was made using AutoTune!
Mic dropped his debut EP on iTunes in February, 2013, and it received huge a huge amount of support from his fans throughout the UK. Although I don’t think it can be compared to his previous tapes, it is a great EP and a definite for the wish-list.
I think Mic Righteous is summed up by his song Honour and Pride, from his debut mixtape Yob Culture. His inspiring bars say: “There’s another world outside these walls, we’re trapped inside, you’re looking at me like I’m out my mind, cos I wanna fly, coz I wanna find out what’s on the other side, and I might not come back alive, there’s a high chance Imma die, and if I die, God knows I’ll be going out with a fight. I’m proud to be Mic, I’m proud to be Righteous, in control of the life that I’m in; I got a lot on my mind, you keep it bottled inside...”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVEuv_rmLEw

Monday, 11 March 2013

Things That I Detest: 'Turbo Whistles'

If you want to make it obvious that you have a small penis, the best way to do it is to install a Turbo Whistle to your car. Then all of your friends will know how ‘undersized’ you are. Because when you drive around in your Volkswagen Rabbit at 20mph and your car sounds like a Ferrari – something’s up. A Turbo Whistle is a small device which is easily attached to the exhaust of one’s car, encouraging it to imitate the sound made by a Turbo Charger. Wait... Here’s the good part – it doesn’t affect the speed or look of your car WHATSOEVER! But it does affect the way everybody looks at you and automatically thinks: ‘Tw*t!’
All the Turbo Whistle does is create an excruciatingly uncomfortable roaring sound when one pushes down on their acceleration. So why do people get them? A number of ‘youths’ enjoy Turbo Whistles because they make their cars seem faster, cooler, or better than those of their companions. In my mind, they are one of the most aggravating, pointless and monotonous fads ever.

The Gay Marriage Issue


As time progresses and technology becomes more and more advanced, many people think that the Bible becomes less and less relevant to modern life. What does the Bible say about genetic engineering? The Bible doesn’t tell us anything about whether Dolly the Sheep has a soul or not. Being one of the three authorities in the Christian Church, it is referred to less and less by modern-day Christians and they are listening to their priest or their conscience much more often. Should a book written over 3500 years ago still be listened to, when there are thousands of questions left unanswered inside?
Leviticus, the third book of the Bible condemns a number of actions, claiming they are an ‘abomination’. This part of the Bible has been used as a central argument against gay marriage. Here is the passage I refer to:
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” – Leviticus 18:22
So there you have it: homosexuality is not allowed in Christianity, and it can be easily extrapolated from this that gay marriage should not be allowed. However, as I mentioned above, Leviticus condemns a huge number of actions that the majority of Christians have done on a number of occasions. Here are just a few of them (taken from www.sodahead.com):
“Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is an abomination to you.” – Leviticus 11:19
“And these you shall have in abomination among the birds, they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination...” – Leviticus 11
“All winged insects that go on all fours are an abomination to you.” – Leviticus 11:20
“But all other winged insects which have four feet are an abomination to you.” – Leviticus 11:23
“Every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth is an abomination; it shall not be eaten.” – Leviticus 11:41
“Whatever goes on its belly, and whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet, all the swarming things that swarm upon the earth, you shall not eat; for they are an abomination.” – Leviticus 11:42
So has anybody here ever eaten a bird...? Or indeed a shellfish? Or an insect? Well then you, my friend, have committed an abomination. So why are we allowed to eat the above in England and throughout the majority of the world – but gay men and women are still not allowed to be married? The reason that, nowadays, most people ignore the exhortations in Leviticus about what one should not eat is probably because they do not find them relevant in the modern world - but gay marriage is still not accepted. So why are people so much less broad-minded about the passages about homosexuality?
“God does not want two men to be together.” Yes, it does say in Genesis that God made woman to be with man – but if God so dislikes homosexuality, then where did it come from? As a Christian, I believe that everything comes from God and is created by God – including gay men and women. So what are the other legitimate arguments against gay marriage (please comment below) – because I see no legitimate reason why this bill wasn’t passed a very long time ago.
It is easy to get bogged down in Biblical arguments (people who don’t approve of homosexuality will say that the Bible supports their view, while there are just as many who will say that you can’t read all these things out of context); but surely what is more important than interpreting ancient texts to decide what is right, is to ask ourselves what is compassionate and fair?
Many people argue that gay marriage is not ‘natural’. What does ‘natural’ mean? Natural: “Something that exists or has evolved within the confines of an ecosystem.” So the argument that homosexuality is not natural is highly suspect. It’s not as if homosexuals came from another ecosystem, and they definitely do exist. So the argument that two members of the same sex being together is ‘unnatural’ is certainly flawed.
In its Gay Marriage Bill the government proposes that couples who are the same sex can get married. However, the change will not be forced on religious organisations (such as the Church of England, who would be legally banned from conducting gay marriage services) but they will be able to opt-in or opt-out depending on their decision. Although the majority of Churches still refuse to marry people of the same sex, the bill will bring a huge change to our society, and will be one step closer to equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals. That is the main reason why the bill has been passed – why should same sex couples not be entitled to marriage, but be ‘given permission’ to get a civil partnership, which is only a legal document? Where is the equality in that?
"Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself - that is my doctrine."
The Bill, when it is put in place, will hopefully mean a gravitational change in the way that same sex couples are viewed in our society full of stereotypes. Gay men and women are, even now, often attacked, victimized and humiliated in our country so that they feel alone and ostracised. Why should people be treated any differently from others due to their sexual preferences? As demonstrated in films such as Victim or Brokeback Mountain many gays feel pressured into living part of their lives in secret and not being able to be themselves. There are people all over the world that feel scared to come out, and are driven to suicide rather than letting their sexuality be known to their peers –and indeed in some countries (many in the Middle East and Africa) you risk capital punishment if you engage in homosexual practices. We, as a nation must join others such as Spain and Norway in setting an example for countries throughout the world to start making changes. This bill won’t change everything, but as Macklemore says in his song Same Love, “It’s a damn good place to start.”In the context of the gay marriage issue, I believe that the time has come for change.
“All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Things That I Detest: Needless Acronyms


‘OMG I hate acronyms so much.’ No! You sound like an idiot – don’t speak like that! If you want to express your surprise at something, instead of saying "Oh Em Gee" (which, by the way, has three syllables), say "Oh My God" (which, coincidentally, also has three syllables). I can understand wanting to acronymize (is that a word?) long words to shorter words, and I will accept that one might want to write OMG when texting, instead of writing out a long phrase – but don’t say it (unless you want to make people disdain you)! And why write ‘LOL’ when you can write ‘ha’?

N.B. Urban Dictionary LOL: Depending on the chatter, its definition may vary. Originally it meant ‘Laugh out Loud’, but now the list of its meanings includes, but is not limited to:
1) "I have nothing worthwhile to contribute to this conversation."
2) "I'm too lazy to read what you just wrote so I'm typing something useless in hopes that you'll think I'm still paying attention."
3) "Your statement lacks even the vaguest trace of humor but I'll pretend I'm amused."
4) "This is a pointless acronym I'm sticking in my sentence just because it's become so engraved into my mind that when chatting, I MUST use the meaningless sentence-filler 'lol.'"

Personally, the worst acronym I have ever heard (and admit to having used on a number of occasions) without a doubt has to be YOLO. Was there ever a problem with people thinking we lived more than once? Saying YOLO is pretty bad, but when the person saying it doesn’t know where it’s from is just horrific – they must be chastised! YOLO, meaning ‘You Only Live Once’, was made famous by YMCMB member Drake when he used YOLO in his song ‘The Motto’. However, this is not the origin of YOLO: reportedly, the slang acronym has been used for over 50 years – and hopefully it will die out very soon indeed! The worst thing about it is that it is so misinterpreted! Surely, if you only live once, you should be very careful and live very healthily – something I think Drake did not mean when he wrote his world-famous single! This is perfectly characterised in The Lonely Island’s song ‘YOLO’ in which they order people to ‘never travel by car, or bus, or boat or by rail’ as it is unsafe!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Daddy - A Brief Interpretation of Plath's Poem


Daddy was written in 1962, just months before Plath took her own life. It was published posthumously in the collection Ariel, and is perhaps one of her most celebrated pieces. At first glance, I hadn’t a clue about what was going on. Here is the poem:

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time--
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew. 

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You--

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I'm finally through.
The black telephone's off at the root,
The voices just can't worm through.

If I've killed one man, I've killed two--
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There's a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.

I know what you’re thinking – what on earth is this about? How is this anything to do with her dad? And I didn’t know Sylvia Plath was Jewish? And whom did she kill? Well, these are the questions I hope to answer for you…
Before I start to talk about the poem, here are some things you should know:

1. Plath was going through deep depression when she wrote this, following her separation from Ted Hughes, whom she was with for seven years.
2. Ted often wore black.
3. Her father was German, and he died when Plath was at a very young age.

Plath is talking about her father throughout the poem, and she compares him to a number of things – Hitler, the Devil, a vampire and a statue looming over her (amongst others). The first main simile she uses to describe him is a statue that obscures the sky from her view, and in other words makes her world dark, with no light or hope. She writes: “Ghastly statue with one gray toe, Big as a Frisco seal.” She says that his toe is as big as a Frisco seal, which some believe suggests that one of his feet reaches all the way to San Francisco (others believe the reference was because of his gout), whereas in the next line she writes that he has a ‘head in the freakish Atlantic’. What she is saying is that the ‘ghastly statue’ of her father stretches across the entirety of the USA (where she was born) and that his whole body or persona puts her life into a shadow.
She also compares him to Hitler, and often calls herself a Jew to suggest that she was a victim of her father. But why does she liken him to Hitler? I suppose she uses the simile because Hitler is the most brutal German of all history (almost modern times for her) and she views her father as a brutal German. The fact that she didn’t ever get to know him implies a vagueness and obscurity of how she really views her father, and to emphasize this Plath writes: “I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.” What she means by gobbledygoo (strangely missing a k) is that she couldn’t understand his German, suggesting she never really knew him. Once this Nazi comparison has been made, she returns to the idea of her father casting a shadow and blocking out the sky when she writes: “Not God but a swastika, So black no sky could squeak through.”


She then associates him with the devil – possibly the worst thing one can call a person – when she writes: “A cleft in your chin instead of your foot…” I know this is not the most obvious simile, but the devil (Lucifer) was often pictured with a cleft in one of his feet, or indeed both. She refers to him as the devil when she is explaining how she pictures him, and says that he is ‘no less a devil’ for having a cleft in his chin, rather than his foot.

So why is she directing all these harsh comparisons at her father? What causes Plath to hate him so? Many people believe it is because she believed him to have ‘abandoned her’ when he died, and she is irate at him for not being there. This belief is highlighted when she writes: “I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.” ‘Ach du’ here, meaning ‘Oh you’ in German; this quote from the third stanza perhaps suggests that Plath has mixed feelings about her father – she loves him and wants him to be here for her, but she is angry because he is not. George Carman famously said that mixed feelings suggested ‘confusion of the soul’ and this expression aptly describes what Plath seems to be experiencing in relation to her father.

It is also a theory – surprisingly – that Daddy is not actually about her daddy, but about her mother. This was suggested when the lines “Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute, Brute heart of a brute like you” caused some speculation as to why she was referring to her father (as it is believed) as such a vehement character, when in the time Plath knew him, he would have been ill and really quite a pathetic man – her mother would have been the real domineering force in her life. To add to this belief, Plath often referred to her mother as a vampire in her journal – another comparison, supposedly, made about her father in Daddy. To make herself seem more childlike, Plath employs onomatopoeia and childish words such as ‘chuffing’ and ‘gobbledygoo’ making her father seem yet the more sinister, and implying she is even more of a victim in her young age.

A more popular theory about the poem is that, not only is it about her father, but that it is also about her seven-year husband Ted Hughes, whom she separated from in 1962, due to the discovery of Ted’s affair. Ted, as I mentioned earlier, was known for often wearing all black, and it is clear that she is making reference to him when she writes: “But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two.” Surprisingly, Plath is now comparing her father to her husband, implying that they are both devils. Many people have found this a very hard concept to receive, but I think Plath confirmed the belief when she told the press that Daddy was about “a girl with an Electra Complex…” (said in a BBC interview). The Electra complex is ‘a child’s psychosexual competition with her mother for possession of her father’. It is similar to the Greek story of Oedipus – the man who was expelled from his home because his parents were told he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, and eventually he fulfilled the prophesy.

Plath is expressing her anger at what she believes is her abandonment. Her father abandoned her when he died, and so to get over him, she married Ted to replace him: “The vampire who said he was you…” She is referring to Ted as a vampire here, and she goes onto say that he ‘drank her blood for seven years’. Here she is suggesting that both Ted and her father drank her blood and used her, and then abandoned her to be alone. What she means by saying that they drunk her blood is that they drained the life out of her by haunting her very existence.

The final two stanzas are a total rejection of them both. She explains that she doesn’t care anymore, and that she has killed them (not physically, but mentally): “Daddy, you can lie back now. There's a stake in your fat black heart…” She explains that they must now leave her alone, as her ‘telephone is off at the root’, thus they can no longer haunt her. This poem shows Plath’s struggle to mentally ‘kill’ both Ted and her father, and to expel them from her constant flow of thought and to get rid of the shadow that her father draws over her life. In the end, she gets her revenge on the two of them for their abandonment of her.

This is only a brief summary, and I have selected what I believe to be the most poignant and interesting points in the poem to talk about.

Listen to Daddy read by the writer herself! Here’s the link:

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Things That I Detest: Misuse of Punctuation Mark's

I hope you understood the pun in the title. If you didn’t notice it, then get off my page and go and read Eats, Shoots and Leaves – it’s a really good book. I am what is commonly known as a ‘Punctuation Nazi’ which means (according rather crudely to Urban Dictionary) – ‘a person obsessed with proper grammar, punctuation and spelling, and bitches to people who don’t use proper grammar, punctuation and spelling.’

I hate it when people misuse punctuation – I have a little 6th sense that goes off like a siren when I see an apostrophe out of place. And although I say this, I admit to often making grammatical mistakes in my writing – nobody is innocent!

A funny example I saw recently was: “Let's eat, Grandpa!” opposed to (yes, you guessed it) “Let's eat Grandpa!” with a funny caption underneath that read: ‘Punctuation saves lives.’ And it's true… It also saves people from ‘helping jack off a horse’. So when should we use commas? Well here are the most common rules:

- To separate elements in a series (he jumped over the wall, kicked the gnome, and ran).
- Use of a comma and a conjunction to connect independent clauses (he jumped over the wall, but then he kicked the gnome).
- Use of comma to set off introductory elements (walking round the corner, he realised he was late).
- To set off different parts of the sentence i.e. parts which can be removed without changing the meaning (the man, who was very old, smiled).
- To separate a list of adjectives where ‘and’ could be used (he was a tall, handsome fellow).
- To introduce a quote (he writes, “To be or not to be…”).
- To set off phrases that introduce a contrast (the girl was pretty, but she had a big nose).
- To avoid confusion.
- Between towns and counties or months and years (June, 1996).

Right, well that was tiring… I’m off to bed now. One really should know and understand all the above rules – if not, you need some basic English lessons.

The Page 3 Debate

Ever since I can remember, page 3 of the Sun has been something that we do not speak about. It was a big no-no at school, and a big no-no at home – and I barely even knew what it was until, when I was about nine, my mind was ‘polluted’ as I flicked through the newspaper and saw – to my horror – naked women. And to think that this was being seen in a national newspaper, daily, by women and children alike disgusts me. I am not a fan of ‘page 3’ (two words that bring a sense of tension across the dinner table in my family). I think it is an out-dated, inappropriate custom. And yes, I agree it should be stopped. As my mother has told me, when she was a young girl she came across Page 3 at work and it caused her considerable discomfort, especially when men were looking at it in her presence.

The Sun, which was first printed in 1964, is a national tabloid newspaper that has average daily circulation of 2,409,811 copies. And in 1970, the Sun had its first model standing nude on one of its pages, thus turning the Sun into what is known as a ‘Lad’s Mag’. Although there has always been controversy over page 3, it has recently become a topical issue, and the campaign and petition attracted some real attention when Rupert Murdoch said on twitter that he was considering scrapping it altogether. However, the editor of the paper, Dominic Mohan, does not share the same views whatsoever: "I think it's meant to represent a youth and freshness and it celebrates natural beauty… I think it's become quite an innocuous British institution." ‘An innocuous British institution’ – I bloody well hope not. And to think I was proud to be British…

The campaign, famously called No More Page Three, is not the first attempt to challenge Page 3… In 1986 Clare Short MP put a bill forward in The House of Commons for Page 3 to be banned, saying that it is a ‘phenomenon in Britain’s press’. She received huge amounts of ridicule from the public saying she was ‘jealous’ and indeed many MP’s at the time sneered at her in the House of Commons, making rude remarks about her body. I think everybody is agreed that Clare Short intended that Page 3 be banned and, given the enduring right of freedom of the press, the bill never became law.

But is the No More Page Three petition also calling for a ban? Many people argue that it is an extreme call for censorship of the press – but what happened to Freedom of Speech? The idea that a newspaper should be stopped from printing something by the government recalls the image of a, quoting Sylvia Plath, ‘man with a Mein Kampf look.’ But in reality I think the petition is calling for Mohan and Murdoch to reconsider the whole idea of Page 3, in the hope that they will realize how unbelievably outdated it really is. The campaigners are not trying to ban it, but only suggest to Mohan to ‘take the bare boobs out of the Sun’ (although it is said rather imperatively).

So why don’t we just have a boycott of the Sun? Well that’s already been tried – and it didn’t work. The paper still circulated nationwide, and there is a reason for this. The reason is that nobody (or very few people indeed) who has signed the petition actually reads the Sun. Yes they may know people who read it, or their husbands may read it, but I think very few Sun-readers have signed the petition, and this is because they have no problem with it. If they did have a problem with it, they wouldn’t buy it and they wouldn’t read it. That is one of the reasons why many people argue that this petition is flawed. Perhaps it is trying to take something the Sun-readers like away from them? If they want to get rid of it, then they should simply stop buying it.

However, many others argue that the Sun would get more sales if they took Page 3 out, and that a lot of people have stopped buying the Sun because of Page 3. If so, one of the arguments for the petition is that it supports all those who would like to read the Sun if it weren’t for those nude women.

An argument that I have heard on a number of occasions is that it is a good thing. Having naked women in a national newspaper is good! It creates jobs, it increases national well-being… You must be joking. These girls, even if they do like being seen naked by men all over the country (which I doubt), can get naked in Nuts or Zoo. A national newspaper is not the place for it. And some claim that men like having naked women in their paper – well if you want to see it so much, buy Nuts!

I am only fifteen, and have not been following the debate religiously, but these are my views. I do not claim to have the answer, and I definitely don’t know everything about what is going on, so please don’t take offence. I think that the Sun Page 3 should be withdrawn, however I think it is up to the readers of the Sun to make that decision, by telling what they think to Murdoch. I do not think it is right for people who don’t read the Sun to take something away from people that do, when it has a lot less effect on them than it does on the readership. I think the public should try and avoid the Sun if they do not like what it says. I hate page 3 as much as anybody, but I think that it’s not my place to make demands.