I’m going to be taking a short(ish) break….starting now

I’m going to be taking a break from releasing regular videos and radio and podcasts while I get my head together and plan out what I’m going to do in 2014. This year was incredibly productive for me. I made sixty something videos, fifty something podcasts, don’t know how many written blogs and fifty thousand words of a novel….yeah that’s quite a lot for someone with a full time job on top of it, I’ve also moved house this year as well and trying to keep on top of the hunt for paid writing work. I’ve barely had time to do anything else this year…or go outside that much. Long story short, I need to sort out the life that’s happening around my creative shit before I can focus on it again really, its only necessary.

That and myself and Rick have plans for WTF Just Happened. Big plans. So please, if you’ve ever shown any interest in what I do, please share the WTF Just Happened soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wtf-just-happened

Also our podcast feed: http://wtfjusthappened.jellycast.com/podcast/feed/2

There’s also some stuff I might as well make clear before we head into 2014 and I start on new projects

END OF YEAR NOTES

No more Out of Context. I will never be going under the pseudonym/character/thing the Herbalcrackpot again. Which sucks for me because it means I’ll have to redesign the website banner and I suck at graphic design so it’ll take ages.

The reason I’m not doing Herbalcrackpot related things anymore is that the character is a remnant of a time when I didn’t like myself a whole lot….I mean I still don’t but the point is the Herbalcrackpot is a result of a decision I took two years ago and a lot’s happened and I’ve changed a lot since then.

People have always had this perception of me as a creepy psychotic weirdo. Which is understandable as my social skills are lacking to say the least. So my idea was to exaggerate that perception of me by about 5000% and make it a character to hammer home this perception as ridiculous. However recently I’ve started to regret the entire thing as people’s perceptions of the writer and the character and the line between the two….well let’s just say I feel uncomfortable still playing into this perception when I’m really not that person who invented Herbalcrackpot any more. In the past year or so since I finished the first run of OOC, a lot’s happened and the Herbalcrackpot feels alien to me now. I feel that trying to use this perception of me to my advantage kind of failed in practice and continuing to use it when I feel that I’m really not the same person I was last year would be counter-productive.

I’d also call the Fifty Shades reviews instrumental in this decision. As ridiculous, misguided, grandiose and yes I’ll admit it: self indulgent that mammoth project was, it taught me a lot about self presentation and how you can’t remove yourself from your videos and they can play a massive role in how people perceive you. Granted the version of me seen in the Fifty Shades reviews is still exaggerated quite a lot (and I mean a lot) but going back to Out of Context in this second run just taught me a lot about how people used to see me and how people see me now. I just feel out of place in that context, so I’m going out of context of out of context if you will….that was a complicated sentence.

I’ll probably still use the unreliable reviewer shtick but dress it up differently as I still really like that idea but I just feel I’ve outgrown the way in which I presented it.

STUFF THAT I’M DEFINITELY CONTINUING WITH

WTF Just Happened? – Hoping for more of this though we’re not sure how/when/etc of how we’re going to proceed with it. You basically know what its gonna be if you’ve ever listened before. Again, please share our feed if you’ve ever shown an interest in anything seen on this site.

Metroblog – why not? Its a good writing exercise more than anything really.

STUFF I’M THINKING ABOUT DOING (Nothing concrete, just maybe if I can be arsed)

An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades Darker This was always inevitable, I’m not putting a time stamp on this though, probably will be this year but there’s no guarantee. And no it probably wouldn’t be as prohibitively long as the first series. Watching back An Illustrated Review of Fifty Shades of Grey, I understand that yes I went too overboard with it. And yes, since the book is so unbearably repetitive my critique ended up being quite repetitive. If I do end up making it then I’ll probably end up preparing it and uploading it around the middle of the year, closer to the movie release date. People are still saying Christian Grey’s character has layers, the perception that this pop culture phenomenon is more than porn with a fucked up world view does need hammering home some more really.

Stubagful’s Literary Review – I’ve had this idea floating around since the Fifty Shades thing. Original thought was 10 minute stickmen adaptation/review of those shitty erotica books you’ve seen in supermarkets since the Fifty Shades phenomenon (e.g. Eighty Days Yellow etc). But if I just take it as “Books I know I shouldn’t be reading” I think I’d have more ground to cover and jokes I could make. It’d basically be the same formula but shorter, snappier and punchier.

Standup – I started trying to do standup comedy between mid 2009 and sometime in January 2011 and stopped because I hated it. I mostly gave up, not because I wasn’t getting laughs (wasn’t getting many but I did get a few) – I have confidence issues and people say standup’s a good cure for that, and since I have a lot more material now I’m thinking about spending some time trying it again, as practice more than anything. Check my twitter @5tuarthardy for updates if I’ll be at open mic nights near you….yeah like anyone’s gonna do that Stuart. Anyway that’ll be my excuse for not uploading videos or podcasts or blogs for a bit.

This is Happening Now! – This is the least likely to happen unless I can get some help with it and figure out how it would actually work. Basically the idea is to take an hour’s worth of news broadcast from any channel that does news shows, and critique their news style and journalistic technique. Sort of like my Metro blogs. Each week we take a news source and deconstruct it and take the line of logic presented and apply it to other situations with ridiculous results. Again, least likely to happen this year but its an idea I’d like to explore at some point in the future.

He Who Moans – I only really started reviewing nu-Doctor Who on youtube because I was tired and frustrated that my fellow Doctor Who nerds would endlessly go off about how brilliant it is every week when even though I’m a massive fan of the show, we have to admit the quality wanders between shit and awesome far too much and so I attempted to approach reviewing it critically speaking as a nerd for storytelling technique rather than as a fanboy as a form of quality assurance. So when people look back at what people thought of Doctor Who it isn’t through the rose tinted spectacles of fandom. However I have got bored of that and there are far too many people reviewing new episodes of Doctor Who to make myself stand out. That and a lot of people seem to take offence to the contentious shit I say (paticularly about the 9th and 10th Doctors) for which I’m sorry, I don’t want to upset people, and yes I am being serious about that, its all just my open opinion of stuff. However some people appreciate my slanted take on Doctor who so I will probably make some more of these for those people (cheers guys 🙂 )

Stubagful’s NaNoWriMo “Future Highs” – I do want to actually finish my compulsary drugs concept novel. It got a bit out of hand in the last week of NaNoWriMo and I forgot to do an ending update because….well yeah it got a bit stupid but I think if I take my time with it then I can tidy it up a bit and finish it and shove it out as an epub for the hell of it.

Again, none of this shit is definitely going to happen and if it is, then it won’t be any time soon. Again, if you like what you see or hear….or touch or smell for people with freaky mind powers, then please tell your friends and share it. Also email wtfsatire@gmail.com if you like what you see and want to hire me to make you stuff.

Thanks for reading/watching/listening 🙂 Goodbye 2013.

And now here’s me saying all of that in a boring video. Yay!!!

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He Who Moans: Review of Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

https://stubagful.wordpress.com/

ALL FOOTAGE USED IS OWNED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS, DOCTOR WHO IS A TRADEMARK OF THE BBC

Well since I tend to say contentious things and this episode has been very contentious, this is my attempt to articulate why this episode hasn’t connected with that many people as it has been quite divisive. I mostly think its because Moffat apologists such as myself pretended that he had an overarching plan that would eventually culminate in something great when by the evidence of this…he was probably just making it up as he went along.

#WTFIsXmas? – Generic Holiday Related Comedy Show #27869! – @z1radio

WARNING: Contains some Strong Language and the occasional funny moment

Stuff the turkey! Balls to the stuffing! Get in the Christmas mood the right way with Stuart and Rick!

From Dickens to Christmas TV, the comedy duo have the whole season wrapped up for you.

Download WTF is Xmas? – Generic Holiday Related Comedy Show #27869!

Or Subscribe to us in Itunes

This Week We Watched: Greg Wallace’s Christmas Supermarket Secrets and we have a run down of the whole Christmas TV Guide

This Week We Read: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. That’s right, the real one! Not the one with Bill Murray, not the one with Kermit…but the actual Christmas Carol tale. Listen to us and now you’ll never have to.

Christmas Bullsheet Headlines include:

“NIGELLA AND THE COCAINE CLUES”, “OSBOURNE OPENS UP CLEAR LEAD OVER BALLS” and “ELEPHANT STUFF RAP”

PLUS: We also have the latest Marks and Spencers Magic and Sparkles advert, the Final of the Great Celebrity Christmas Bake Off and The 7 O’Clock Show is asking: Does Christmas Last Forever?

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http://twitter.com/5tuarthardy

https://twitter.com/rickLOUDERradio

METROBLOG: Christmas themed journalism formula

Not all of my journalism deconstruction blogs are necessarily having a go. In the vast field of journalism, there is a place for stuff like this.

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This is one of about a billion features on your bog standard Christmas related things throughout the press at the moment. Christmas present guides, Christmas TV guides, Christmas movies, Christmas songs, and in this case features on Christmas dinner. Journalists at this time of year are under the pressure to try and yet again repackage what they sold you last year because its Christmas and everyone will be affected by all this stuff every year so you’re pretty much guaranteed the reader’s attention just by writing about these things in the first place. And that’s not a bad thing, journalism should on a very base level find common ground between writer and reader and for the most part, journalistic features on Christmas content achieves this fine, even though its fairly obvious that two thousand and thirteen years of  Christmases leaves journalists hopelessly struggling for new ideas.

At least here in this article, these food bloggers are acknowledging here that “yes, Christmas dinner is a turkey, roast potatoes etc, nothing new” and are trying to present Christmas cooking from a different angle. Thing is though, feature writing at Christmas, for newspapers and magazines all run on the same formula no matter what its talking about.  Reading the Metro’s life and style section during any other month really isn’t all that different, except now it all comes under the banner of Christmas.

So to to demonstrate this formula, I’m gonna swap out Christmas for another random day and write it from that perspective as though it were Christmas

platypus kievs

As you can see, holiday coverage is pretty interchangeable….admittedly the duck billed platypus is a protected species so I doubt August the 17th day would take off, I’m just using it as a general example….that and I’m not sure what day the first ammonite fossil was discovered so…..you get my point yeah? Good, good. let’s just leave it at that.

Happy 25th of December everyone.

METROBLOG: An opinion, a news story and the difference between the two

This major beef I have with papers at the moment isn’t in this case an example from the Metro (the paper this blog is about) its from the standard, but the Metro and pretty much all the papers are doing it at the moment, so I do have a reason to be bitching here. It was just the standard was the one that set me off this time.

So: when you’re covering a huge issue that’s split opinion on major issues, what you usually do in order to allow your readers to make an informed decision on which side they fall in an argument, what you’re supposed to do in the name of balance is you get experts involved. You get statisticians to gather all this information and research and do lots of work and put all this information into easily legible pie charts and graphs and facts and figures…..or in this case (and thousands of others); just ask random idiots from a business for a quote.scan0001Now, in my cynical eyes, this “news” article translates out as this:

person

….okay two seconds, just had a better idea for a parody article:

flat
Yes, a boss of Marks and Spencer’s says the benefits system is too easy on youngsters and they’ll get the wrong idea and stay with it because its easy, that’s definitely a neutral perspective, they have such wonderful insight into the topic with all their experience of how the benefits system works. Which I’m not claiming to have either by the way, but I wasn’t given a full page article or asked by the House of Lords about my lack of understanding or empathy regarding people enduring the government’s miserable attempts to kick as many people off benefits whether they’re getting a job outside of it or not. Therefore I think I’m fully justified in having a rant at papers that think this story means anything or is an actual story and not just another person’s opinion. This article has no concrete facts in it like most of these articles don’t.

Also note how there’s no mention in this article of the unfair and incredibly dodgy unpaid overtime all Marks and Spencer’s staff are forced to “volunteer for”…..

…..oh slander is that? Well if you ask any Marks and Spencer’s entry level employees, they’ll tell you it isn’t.  Yeah, you have concerns for young people, don’t you? And what’s your solution?

…………………..yeah, no mention of that. They just wittered about it to the house of lords apparently. Again, taking an effective route to the heart of the problem there.

Seriously, if any of these businesspeople I keep seeing in papers talking about the massive unemployment problem don’t outright preface their opinion with: “Unpaid workfare placements and unpaid internships should not be a part of government employment statistics because its really not a job because no money or sustainable means of living is being offered,” then I don’t trust they have anyone except their own interests at heart. How does being a boss of M&S mean you have insight into why so many people stick with benefits? Here’s a suggestion: pay your employees for overtime, and pay people on workfare. I think lack of a sustainable living resource on offer is probably a bigger reason people stick with benefits rather than offer their souls to a corporation that can’t be arsed to pay them….oh you’re not going to mention that and just go on and on about how the system’s broken and people are lazy? Like everyone else who hasn’t been unemployed for at least two decades has been saying? Wow, I sure feel the full thrust of your insight here.

Either way: the standard, the metro, the mail, the express, the sun, all of them: you are not helping anyone by publicising the opinions on how to fix the unemployment situation given by people who have quite clearly been taxpayers for a long time and never had to go through the benefits system as it is. Just because someone’s in charge of a shop; that doesn’t mean they’re omniscient or have any degree more insight than you, me or any bastard you walk past in the street. M&S boss said that thing? Makes no difference. This should have just been some other letter on the opinion page. If you don’t have at least one pie chart; I’m not interested. Granted most pie charts on this subject use figures swayed by workfare being ruled as a job when it isn’t (stop openly lying, then I’ll start listening IDS,) but still, back yourself up with something; ANYTHING, or what you say means just as much as some idiot ranting on a blog.

Do some more research and get some empathy.

End of rant.

(Well aware of the hypocrisy by the way, its just this issue bugs the shit out of me.)

#WTFIsXmas? – #Christmas Cash Cows #comedy #jokes #sketches – @z1radio

WARNING: Contains some Strong Language and the occasional funny moment

No longer a time for goodwill to all men, Christmas means CASH these days, so we’re looking at how companies using Christmas themes to drag every last penny out of your miserly pockets. We’ve got the brand new John Lewis Christmas advert and the latest board game: Christmas Family Row.

Download WTF is Xmas? – Christmas Cash Cows

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This Week We Watched: Black Nativity! No, it’s not one of Stuart’s sketches…it’s actually REAL! Billed as “A Feelgood Christmas Gospel Musical” we headed to see what the film had to offer to get us into the Christmas spirit…it’s fair to say we were somewhat out of place (and unwanted) in the cinema.

This Week We Read: Christmas Gift Books – you know the sort, the ones that you get for people you really don’t know, or care about. We looked Fifty Sheds Of Grey and had a go at getting Stuart into Extreme Sports.

Christmas Bullsheet Headlines include:

“SANTA CALLS BY HELICOPTER”, “COAT MOSS” and “SUPER COCKROACH INVADES NEW YORK”

PLUS: We try out this year’s brand new must-have board game: Christmas Family Row, from Backstabbing Games.

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Find us both on twitter:

http://twitter.com/5tuarthardy

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METROBLOG: The language of Smear Campaigns: Higella and David Cameron

scan0001I finally found a journalism topic related to the Higella story! At last!

Wow this is a huge story to cover as literally everyone’s weighing in on it. It was only a matter of time but the Higella fraud/drug case is finally featuring in my Metroblog. Let me just say to begin with its not my intention to slander anyone but a lot of famous people have said really dubious things not realising the connotations and…well everyone’s looking silly and I’m here to rip the guts out of a story and plaster them across my blog so I’m going to do just that. Unfortunately for you though the interesting bit for me has barely anything to do with Higella herself and what she may or may not have done and we have a few other stories to go over to get there, mostly politics related (I apologise in advance).

So yeah: In the wake of the Daily Mail snooping around and finding out “holy shit, Ed Milliband’s Dad had left wing beliefs? That means we can go on about how he thought it was nice and happy that people died in gulags under Stalin and how he liked to step on puppies, Red Ed Milliband likes communists!”and tried to start a smear campaign that humongously backfired for them. Since that happened, some interesting smear campaigns based on actual recent events have arisen around his immediate rival, our PM David Cameron, and its much less the media’s fault as it is Cameron’s fault himself.

I don’t know what’s up with David Cameron lately, maybe his childminders are away on holiday. He was part of the happy selfie at Nelson Mandela’s funeral, and now he says “I’m on team Nigella” referring to the fraud case regarding Nigella Lawson and whether she’s a coke addict……..you do know you technically just endorsed cocaine there, right David? Am I wrong here? She did admit she did cocaine to get over her divorce and allegedly did illegal stuff, so saying you’re on Team Nigella technically means “I believe cocaine is a viable way of dealing with personal problems” says British Prime Minister David Cameron. Wow. Fucking Wow is that a cock up.

Then I saw this in the Metro:

scan0002Okay, so a high court judge has ruled that we should ignore David Cameron….okay, yes I know not really but that’s what you’re implying by leading with that headline and the way that article’s been written (and by the way its so clear his aides were phoning up papers late at night begging and waving chequebooks for this story to be printed very small).

Holy shit would that make an awesome campaign poster for any opposing party, wouldn’t it? Labour, Liberal, anyone could have a poster that would look like that

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So far as smear campaigns go, its weird how the subject of this theoretical one that could start about our PM’s has had so much work done for it before we start out. And anyone taking anything out of context and slandering can get out of it because language is so easily interpreted. I mean yes, David Cameron probably doesn’t endorse cocaine as a method of dealing with personal problems, though Nigella seems to and thinks that that’s a viable excuse to do class A drugs a few times….which our Prime Minister agrees with….and now a jury’s been told by a judge they should ignore our country’s leader. Yeah, clarity is something our language is severely lacking in. We all know I’m taking things to mean more than I do but when you actually say this chain of events out loud, doesn’t sound great does it? Y’know, unless you’re massively in favour of perscribing cocaine to people with personal problems which some of you may be…..I wouldn’t vote for you though….mind you I wasn’t planning on voting for David Cameron regardless of his endorsement of a TV chef who did cocaine in order to alieve herself of her personal problems.

So yeah, in short, this entire story really just teaches us that the English language can be kind of shit and get a lot of people in trouble for not being able to convey a point.  I was mostly inspired to realise this when I saw the headline, cackled insanely then realised it actually meant fuck all. I’m still bitter. Still if someone wants to go on a messageboard and lie and say they knew David Cameron at Cambridge and he did mounds and mounds of the stuff, it’d be a laugh so feel free.

Happy weekend everyone.