Deborah Todd

Deborah Todd

Currently muddling my way through student life.

When US basketball player Jason Collins came out as gay last week, he was greeted with a chorus of journalists, politicians and sports fans proclaiming his courage in making history. Collins became the first active male athlete in any major American professional sports team to wriggle free from the shackles of the straighter-than-thou locker room. The 34-year-old NBA center was inundated with messages of support from the public, as well as sportswear brand Nike, NBA star Kobe Bryant and even president Barack Obama, who declared he ‘couldn’t be prouder’ of Collins. It has been heartening to see tolerance, understanding and acceptance outweigh bigotry even in the hyper-hetero sphere of US major sports. As Lakers forward Metta World Peace told reporters “You should be free to act and do as you want to do, as long as it’s not violent. I came here in a Cookie Monster shirt because I wanted to.” Yes, er, well said Metta.

 

Meet Sebastian Smith. His life is ten times better than yours, and before you recoil in disagreement, let me tell you why. Whilst most of us rally to find work placements or jobs in hellhole pubs this summer, Sebastian will be packing his goggles in preparation to undertake a hedonist’s dream job. Seb has bagged himself perhaps the greatest job known to man.  This lucky student of Leeds University has recently been made ‘Water-slide Tester’ (official name) by First Choice holidays. Yes, it is exactly how it sounds. Mr Smith will be jetting off on an all expenses paid trip for 6 months, visiting Splash World resorts and rating the slides based on ‘biggest splash’ and ‘adrenaline factor’. Sebastian will be thundering down water-slides in sun-drenched countries such as Egypt, Turkey, Spain and Jamaica, just to name a few. For all the intensive, gruelling and laborious work that Seb will face over the next 6 months, he will be paid £20,000. That’ll do.  

In the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, police behind Operation Yewtree arrested yet another high-profiler back in November, who has recently been revealed by the Sun to be the Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris. For God’s sake, please, not another one. Formerly known as supposed sex criminal ‘Yewtree 5’, Harris’ identity was kept under wraps for months after it emerged that his lawyers cited the Leveson report to try to stop the media from identifying him. Harris denies any wrongdoings.

Child labour is a vicious evil that should have, without doubt, been eradicated many moons ago. The hardest task I faced as a 14 year old was emptying the cutlery section of the dishwasher on sporadic mornings, usually when I felt guilty for ‘treating the house like a hotel’. Some children at this age are forced into tremendously long hours of hard and gruelling labour, where they can be treated cruelly, paid unfairly and stripped of their most sacred possession; their childhood. Would it make you squirm to know that a hefty portion of the world’s largest corporations, still in this day and age are able to get away with the abhorrent practice of child labour?

Now Saudi Arabia has thrown some shockers our way throughout its somewhat corrupt history, but this week sees the disturbing case of Ali al-Khawahir, a 24 year old man who is to face surgical paralysis from the waist down as punishment for paralyzing another man 10 years ago, unless… wait for it, his family are able to come up with one million Saudi Riyals (£250,000) in compensation to the victim. This unimaginably grotesque sentence seems too much for our Western brains to comprehend, and Amnesty International have sent an urgent plea for this punishment not to be enforced.

Attempting to define James Blake’s music proves to be an arduous task, like trying to grasp vapour, or the will to live on a miserable ‘spring’ day like today. Without getting bogged down with this  ‘post-dubstep’ malarkey or whatever the boffins have him labelled as, in my opinion, Blake’s unique sound is unclassifiable; his music bleeds originality. Initially rising on the UK bass scene back in 2010, Blake’s early music provided a glimmering light in the murky depths of Dubstep. If you linger on the fence over this young producer, listen to his music loud. Your trusty laptop speakers cannot comprehend the rich and complex sounds that this man’s music has to offer. 

It must be a universally acknowledged fact that the Daily Mail Online makes members of the public want to poke themselves in the eye. Yes, their stories are made up of irredeemable, trivial horsesh*t, but it IS hard to turn a blind eye towards one of their most recent sensationalist articles detailing the case of Josie Cunningham, a 22 year old from -surprise, surprise - Leeds, who received a near £5,000 boob job increasing her breast size to a 36DD, all of which was funded by the NHS. It seemed her flat chest was ruining her life, not through bullying as you might expect, but because, shock horror…she might not make it as a glamour model whilst lacking in tit territory. True to form, the masses turned to their social media outlets and the onslaught of abuse towards Josie and her free-of-charge juicy doubles commenced.  

It’s a familiar image: a DJ amidst an array of electronic equipment delivering pulsating beats to an adoring crowd; but how many members of this crowd are ensnared in the chemical euphoria of MDMA? Students taking drugs and dancing to music is not a new phenomenon, however the consumption of popular party drugs such as MDMA, ecstasy pills and Ketamine is on the rise.  

BounceSIN Music Reviews

Two years since Wall of Arms, the Maccabees’ much-anticipated new album Given to the Wild is one to watch out for. Including an array of tight and adventurous tracks, it seems The Maccabees have truly hit their stride with this immaculately crafted album, which has taken the band in a far more interesting direction than their previous two. The complex layers within ‘Child’ and ‘Feel to Follow’ bear no resemblance to the sprightly nature of classics such as ‘Latchmere’ and ‘First Love’.  It would be interesting to see how the new mature and astute sounds would translate into live performance. 

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