Gay Rights: The Forgotten Movement

(Google Images)

Let’s face it, the British education system could be worse, granted we have had some ‘interesting’ characters attempting to ‘improve’ it but in all honesty the average person on the street would make more an improvement than Gove ever did. In fact, here’s something I think would be worth adding to a specification in education – I call it the forgotten movement.

We are taught two major equal rights movements in school; Black Civil Rights and Women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. We are encouraged to remember those who struggled to achieve them such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Emily Pankhurst but one such movement that is denied much exposure is the Gay rights movement.  Are we to assume that people who fought for gay equality such as Harvey Milk and the Wolfenden Committee (a group I am certain a number of us have never even heard about) are not as important as the names we can all recall from our history classes? 

I must make clear that I do not believe that teachers are to blame for this overlook as I am perfectly aware that they already have a tough enough job being expected to teach troublemaking students and dealing with irate parents who do not understand that teachers cannot be blamed for their children skipping school and getting bad grades. I blame the education sector itself! Perhaps it is due to Thatcher’s introduction of Section 28 in Britain which banned the teaching of homosexuality in fear of promoting it in 1986 until its long needed abolishment in 2003 which has left a gap in the education sector. However, can we truly accept that such a major movement is still being ignored in all history specifications for over a decade now? With the upcoming release of Warchus’ Pride this year, could there soon be a change to this in the classroom?

Organizations such as Stonewall seem to have been just that; ‘Stonewalled’ out of children’s education and instead they have, under Gove’s ruling, been indoctrinated into the Church of England through the introduction of King James Bibles throughout British schools. It seems to me that rather than children becoming ‘corrupted’ for learning about homosexual liberal rights they have been forced to accept religious doctrine in school. The smell of hypocrisy is stagnant.

Shouldn’t we be enforcing equal rights in school? It is no wonder so many people remain in the closet for so long. Just because homosexuality is not as obvious to see as skin colour or gender does not mean it is not just as important. In fact, it is quite significant because of the fact that it can’t be seen. We can’t allow our children to grow up the repressed and naïve way we did. We all know someone in school that was bullied for being different, some of us even were that kid so surely the possibility to educate kids about what it means to be gay and what homosexuals have fought for in order to prevent just one kid from being verbally abused with homophobic slurs is worth the change.

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Pie & Vinyl, Southsea (Castle Road)

Pie & Vinyl Exterior

(Pie & Vinyl Website)

Hidden among Southsea’s bustling one way streets and student housing lies a small ‘record’ café aptly named Pie & Vinyl after the two things it sells. The café combines one of Britain’s very own comfort foods; pies with vintage style music; vinyl to create a unique experience that fits perfectly into Southsea’s historically founded location.

With an assortment of locally sourced drinks and food, Pie & Vinyl sells its pies individually or as part of a ‘meal deal’ which consists of the pie you have chosen with creamy mash, gravy and minty mushy peas which will turn any mushy peas despiser into a regular (myself included). A popular favourite among the Portsmouth University students is the Moo & Blue; a pie filled with British beef steak, red wine, gravy and aged stilton which makes my mouth salivate just writing about it. Unfortunately, I cannot claim what the pie tastes like as they have run out of stock by the time I’ve visited proving they must be as delectable as I imagine. However, vegans and vegetarians rejoice! Pie & Vinyl have not forsaken you! There are a number of options available to you as well which are lovingly made as much as any other pie name on offer with an interesting such as the Heidi; a pie comprised of goat’s cheese, sweet potato, spinach, red onion and roasted garlic. You will not feel as if they have made these pies simply to avoid criticism but rather they have created them to fully satisfy their vegan and vegetarian customers. However, I would suggest that to avoid missing out on your favourite pies, it is best to visit the record café outside university term times. Moreover, the café’s cosy interior comes with a price, although it creates a lovely atmosphere as if in a second home, it does limit the number of tables they can feed.

With this in mind I can begin to hear the odd pessimistic reader complain that pie shops seem a little old fashioned for our economy nowadays. With only 60,000 pubs still open in the UK today and four on average closing each day what chance does a humble pie shop have when pubs do similar dishes plus more. Well let me tell you: Pie and Vinyl prides itself on its originality and its kooky (if not obscure) dishes such as the seaside inspired Fish and Chips Pie which, I have on great authority from my partner, is not at all a culinary monstrosity as it sounds. Its oddness doesn’t stop there either, Pie and Vinyl takes the pie theme to the extreme when thinking pudding as well, Pie & Vinyl sells (yes you’ve guessed it) sweet pies as well.

Enough about food however, I’ve only discussed half of what makes up Pie & Vinyl. The music shop may not have the largest collection of music but they try to cater to most genres of music and will order any you ask for with only one exception, they only sell vinyl (as the name suggests). It is rare to find a place where there is the mix of old records with the newly released vinyl records which major chain stores such as HMV have only recently decided to sell. However, what makes the store what it is today is in fact the live music events that Pie & Vinyl plan on occasion, ranging from artists such as Frank Turner and Band of Skulls.

If you are looking for somewhere in Portsmouth that is a little out there then Pie & Vinyl’s Heston Blumenthal-like dishes are for you. It is an odd mix that works by exemplifying the already apparent alternative style seen throughout Southsea as well as allows those seated and waiting in the café area to enjoy some retail therapy by buying an album or two or if you are lucky a live performance from a band you might just find you love.

For a full menu of this establishment please visit the their menu

The F Word: A Crash Course in Feminism

So true! It worries me how many people still accept the stigma put on the word

The Bee's Knees

Run for your lives! Sound the alarm; call Scotland Yard; release the hounds! She’s mentioned the F WORD! Holy Moley, cover the little one’s ears from this abominable filth!

Feminism. There I’ve said it. Brace yourselves…no the world hasn’t ended and we’re all still seated with all our teeth limbs lives and morality intact. Feminism there I said it again. How dare devil am I?

After a good few years of jeering, sniggering, out and out prejudice, and misguided banter, I’m taking a pre-emptive strike. I am neither a scholar nor expert on Feminism and its various histories but I am a feminist. And so are you. No don’t choke, it’s ok, most people are. Here, take the sick bag, deep breaths; now head between your knees while I explain. Some of you may already be familiar with journalist Caitlin Moran and her book How To Be A Woman. While…

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Movie Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

8/10

You would think that Marvel would be struggling to think up new ideas after the plethora of films they have released lately but you would be wrong. Their latest addition, Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, rids any thoughts that Marvel might be putting less effort into their film franchise relying on their already established audience who would avidly watch anything they distribute; like a heroin addict to their next fix (myself included). The movie consists of a good plot that integrates into Marvel’s overall cinematic universe as well as opens up opportunities to expand it through other superheroes involving aliens other than Thor whom have yet to be portrayed such as Miss Marvel and Nova.

A human thief, a green assassin,  an alien, revenge-driven murderer, a gun-toting racoon and a living, walking tree, joining forces in order to prevent a genocide determined leader from destroying an entire planet may sound a little farfetched at first but its beauty relies in making the unbelievable believable. In typical Marvel style, the movie concentrates quite heavily on how the main characters interrelate with one another which, in turn, gives these characters a sense of realism; each protagonist has their own reason for being with the others but that doesn’t mean they have to get along. It is the subtle change from selfish wants to working as a team which gives Guardians of the Galaxy as well as other Marvel films (e.g. Avengers Assemble) its out of this world experience.

Marvel’s summer blockbuster also breaks the mould from the rest of their franchise as it requires more from its special effects department, as not only do entire planets need to be created but also entire spaceship chase scenes and two of the main characters; Rocket the Racoon and Groot, the tree-like being. All of this makes Guardians of the Galaxy an action-packed, unique movie with a number of imaginative, spectacular and colourful views. Although some jokes are specifically suited for an adult audience they are not explicit so will give parents and teenagers something to laugh at while children remain oblivious allowing Gunn’s film to be enjoyed by people of every age.

The cast also makes this film a must-see movie with stars such as Glen Close and Karen Gillan both taking rather important roles in the movie. However, what makes the cast choice excellent is that each protagonist appears to have had the correct actor to play them. Chris Pratt’s personality fits well with Starlord’s talkative and cheeky nature whereas Bautista’s wrestling career suits perfectly for his part as the brutish Drax the Destroyer. Perhaps most talked about though is Bradley Cooper who voices Rocket the Racoon. Although only voiced, Cooper seems apt for the role; Rocket is portrayed as a frequently angry racoon with a sense of humour which matches well with Cooper’s charming yet wily trademark. Although not the best film for people to ogle over their celebrity crushes; with very few scenes of bare chested men (other than Bautista) but perhaps some (although not too overtly) sexual allure towards Saldana’s character Gamora through her skin tight clothing, the audience will be able to enjoy the film for what it is; an adventure about conflicting personalities that just so happens to take place on a number of other planets.

Through some great character development, humour, awkward dancing and a classic 80’s soundtrack; Gunn’s film Guardians of the Galaxy seems to have it all. The only question unanswered now is how will the Guardians of the Galaxy integrate into other Marvel films?

(Google Images)