Put Your Phone Away At A Concert

You’re seeing your favorite band. You’re hearing your favorite song. You’re attending the best concert that has even taken place on the face of the earth. A woman in front of you takes out her phone. You think she might want to capture this beautiful moment, but no: she’s checking her email.

Unfortunately, such incidents are becoming more and more common. I am here today to convince you to leave your phone at home the next time you attend a concert.

I am not unlike the woman I just described, checking her email at Paradiso; I am just as eager to stay on top of things as everyone else: I have my smartphone glued to my hand too, half the time. I understand the need to be accessible 24/7, to be in the loop. I experience it too.

But there is another side to this situation. There is a force at work here which is not individual, but collective, not “in the know”, but mindful, not anxious but relaxed. A concert offers an opportunity for repose, and I think you should take it. Here’s why.

You’re not alone at a concert. You purchased a ticket and thereby entered into a contract. Like any contract, this comes with certain rights as well as certain duties: you have the right to be there and the right to enjoy yourself and the right to hear the music you paid to hear. But you also have the duty to make sure your fellow audience members enjoy these same rights. Your rights are limited only by the rights of those around you. Once you enter the Paradiso’s hallowed halls, you and your fellow audience members are jointly responsible for making the show a success; this responsibility does not lie solely with the performers. A wise man once said: ask not what your concert can do for you, ask what you can do for your concert.

By taking out your phone, you are polluting the experience of your fellow audience members. The light given off by the screen will distract them, and if, God forbid, you raise your phone to record the performance, you are also obstructing their view.

I understand that your enjoyment might translate into a desire to capture that feeling, that moment or that song on the small screen forever. I am sorry to tell you that this cannot be done. I am sorry to tell you that time passes. Things fade away. And, above all: technology has not yet advanced far enough to capture the true feeling of seeing the best concert you have ever seen unfold before your eyes. I don’t think it ever will. So instead of focussing on your battery percentage or the lighting of your photo or the amount of likes it will earn you on Instagram, you might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

Perhaps you took out your phone because you were not attending the best concert of your life. Perhaps you took it out because you were bored. Perhaps you took it out because of an emergency, in which case you should leave the concert and go see your grandma in the hospital right away. In all other cases, I beg of you to muster up some semblance of respect for the performers working their ass off on the stage, and for the people around you who might, at this very moment, be enjoying the best concert of their lives.

If you cannot take out your phone at a concert, what can you do? How can you come to terms with the passing of time and the fading of memories? There’s only one way, really: enjoy it while it lasts. Listen to the beautiful notes, feel the beat in your bones and belt along to your favorite verses.  I know I will.

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The Difficulties of Jane Austen on the Big Screen

Love & Friendship: A Successful Movie Adaptation Of Lady Susan

When making Jane Austen’s classic, much-loved writing into films, a key aspect of her style is often overlooked. No matter how much I love them, many movie adaptations of Austen are longwinded and static to the point of being boring. As is often the case with books we consider ‘classics,’ audiences have an awe for the source material that prevents them from being amused. And you should be in awe. I am in awe. It is decidedly awe-inspiring that a woman of Austen’s economic and social standing wrote such brilliant, insightful and lasting works. But these works also happen to be hilarious.

Love & Friendship, the movie adaptation of Austen’s epistolary novel Lady Susan that came out earlier this year, gets the comedy of Austen exactly right. The film is fast-paced, modern, and as a result laugh-out-loud hilarious. Yet around the time that it came out I read and heard many complaints. People seemed to think that this was not “the real Austen,” whatever that means. They were of the opinion that something had been diminished, some injustice had been done to her original works. I wholeheartedly disagree. Continue reading

Films of 2017

My favorite film this year was probably Moana, with Beauty & the Beast as a close second. Of course, I went crazy over Wonder Woman like everyone else and crushed on Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver. That’s about everything.

Films seen in 2017

Arrival – January 5th

A Street Cat Named Bob – January 11th

Passengers – February 1st

Moana – February 6th

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Live Shows of 2017

My live shows of 2017

2017 was a good year for me in terms of shows and stuff. Not the best maybe, but it was pretty great. Here’s a quick overview.

  • Harry Potter & The Cursed Child Parts I & II  – January 21st 2017 – The Palace Theatre, London

This was the theatrical highlight of my year. I know a lot of people hate The Cursed Child and I sort of understand why; I think I wouldn’t like it either if I hadn’t seen it live and obviously expensive live performances in London are not universally accessible and I’m not sure I agree with Rowling’s decision to do it this way, but she did, and I was lucky enough to see it, and I loved it. Continue reading

Read In 2017

Once again I did it: I read 52 books in 2017. For your pleasure, I have listed them here once again, together with the short stories I’ve read. By far my most-read author this year was Lemony Snicket with 19 (!) books. Titles I particularly liked are in bold, and the list also states which books went with a particular challenge.

I participated in the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon this January. A post to view my progress can be found here.

I also hosted the Mental Health Reading Challenge and participated in Femividual’s Feminism Reading Challenge. Her Bingo Card is at the bottom of this post.

January

1. Grief Is The Thing With Feathers – Max Porter

2. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison (bingo square: black feminist)

3. The Bad Beginning – Lemony Snicket

4. Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen (Mental Health Reading Challenge) (bingo square: book about being a girl) Continue reading

My Favorite Podcasts

It wasn’t until quite recently that I started listening to podcasts. I had always been ambivalent about the medium. I find radio frustrating, because I want to be able to choose my own music, thank you very much. I often find talkshows boring, and I also didn’t quite see how podcasts would fit into my daily routines. Either I’m devoting my full attention to one thing, like reading a book, and there’s lot’s of things I would rather be paying attention to than a podcast, or I’m splitting my attention, for example while doing laundry and listening to music, and I thought podcasts would have too much of a narrative for that kind of half-engaged listening. Oh boy, how wrong I was.

Podcasts are ideal. They make you feel like your time on autopilot was actually well spent. I can listen to a podcast during laundry or cleaning or basically any chore, or I can listen to it during my daily commute, and I will feel like that was time well-spent instead of time spent doing boring responsible stuff. This change of heart was brought about by one podcast in particular: Witch Please.

cropped-witchplease_960px Continue reading

Say “Clitoris.” Out loud. Right Now.

Please be advised that the content of this blogpost is NSFW and not suitable for minors.

Apparently saying “clitoris” is a big deal. I don’t mean it’s a big deal for me personally, I say it all the time. “Clitoris.” In case you need a little reminder, here is an awesome cartoon explaining the clitoris to you:

Le clitoris – Animated Documentary (2016) from Lori Malépart-Traversy on Vimeo.

I hope there is no further need for me to tell you about the clitoris. If you’re a woman, you know it (and if you don’t know it, get off the internet right now and get to know it) and if you’re a man you hopefully know it too. So I won’t have to explain to you why I am a huge fan of the clitoris. And I won’t have to explain to you that I’m not the only one in the clitoris-fanclub. Just look at Lindsey Doe from Sexplanations.

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Bad Case of Lovin’ You (Doctor, Doctor)

I sometimes post lists of my favorite fictional [insert category here] on this blog. Past lists have included kisses, Christmas-themed stuffmothers and fangirls. These are probably my all-time favorite type of posts. They’re even more fun to write than the ones where I get to rant about the patriarchy. So I decided to do another one. The doctor is in!

Dr Carter

Move over, McDreamy, McSteamy and McWhatever-They’ve-Come-Up-With-Since-I-Stopped-Watching-Grey’s-Anatomy: Dr John Carter is officially the hottest. He’s so hot I made you a little slideshow. You’re welcome.

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On top of all that gorgeousness, Dr Carter was also the greatest character on the show. He was clever, kind, resourceful and cheeky, while at the same time being a huge and adorable dork. He was also super-rich and philanthropic, and he ended up going to Africa to help out in a hospital there. Don’t you forget it.

Dr Bailey

The original queen of sass.

bailey_gif Continue reading

Turtles All The Way Down Review

Today was the release of John Green’s long-awaited new novel: Turtles All The Way Down. I wouldn’t be a Frenzied Fangirl if I hadn’t immediately run to the nearest Waterstone’s to grab myself a copy, and I’ve just finished reading it. Here are some thoughts. Please be warned that this review contains SPOILERS. Although it does not go into the plot very much, if you want to approach this book without any prior knowledge of its subject matter, leave now.

IMG_20171010_173450.jpgHere’s a picture of our cat, the book, and the awesome t-shirt and bracelet I also got.

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A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad)

I’m still raising money for suicide prevention everyone. You can donate here. But I’m also doing something that is equally as important, if not more so: raising awareness. You should all be aware that thousands of people all over the world are struggling with their mental health everyday. If there was more understanding for their struggle, the world would be a better place.

What I’m about to do now is going to be super-frustrating: let me recommend a play to you. It is a play you can only see if you can manage to travel through time, and it is called A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad).

I saw the play at the Edinburgh Fringe this August, and it means a lot to me. I won’t wax lyrical about life-changing experiences or some such, because of course the real life-changing experience was my depression itself. But to see my illness recognized, understood, and performed so brilliantly and accurately on stage was a huge relief.

The play is accurately named. Its presentation, full of glitter and singing and chorus lines, is super happy. It’s subject matter, ranging from alcoholism to depression and suicide, is anything but. The writers and performers have managed to unearth the comedy inherent in anything that is bleak or sad, and made use of that comedy without devaluating the terrifying experience that is mental illness. Bravo.

I always tell people that no one is alone in their fight against mental illness, but I don’t always believe it. Jon Brittain and Matthew Floyd Jones made me believe it, and that felt incredible. Of course you can’t travel back in time to see this play, but you can do the next best thing: read it.  Paperbacks and ebooks are available from Amazon