Entertainment, Music, Television

Is The X Factor really THAT bad?

“I can say I haven’t watched a single episode of that crap this year!”

“If we all buy Star Wars music we can stop their awful single making Christmas number one again!”

“The X Factor is ruining music!”

Alright, I’ve never been a die-hard fan of The X Factor, but I’m getting quite tired of hearing about how ‘crap’ it is in and around social media.

I’ve been watching it on and off this year, more than I have any other year and I became quite invested in some of the singers from start to finish. Louisa Johnson, 17 years of age and the current nation’s sweetheart won over Wembley last night with her rendition of Forever Young (Winner’s Song) and became the latest star born from The X Factor.

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A winner’s tears

How far she goes within the music industry is irrelevant and a lot of people seem to have taken the show as a personal insult to their music taste. With attacks on The X Factor flying left, right and centre, it’s enough for a fan of the show to sink to their knees in despair.

In defence of the show (which I have quite enjoyed over these last few months) there are some things that seem to go straight over people’s heads when they impose their rants upon the world.

It’s just crap, trashy TV

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The Tapper Family, from Channel 4’s Gogglebox

It might not be as classy as your Strictly Come Dancings or your Great British Bake Offs and it might not hold as much weight as the likes of University Challenge or Newsnight, but it’s good, easy entertainment. Watching it allows you to relax, sit around with friends or family and discuss what’s happening. After a week of working solidly, some people want to switch off and watch something fun, rather than continue to actively engage with media.

It ruins the true Christmas Number One Chart

We live in a day and age where Christmas songs are already deeply engrained into our minds; they’ve got a deep-rooted sense of nostalgia that resonates with us and for some reason, we can’t let go. We find it difficult to welcome new Christmas songs into our etched-in-stone digital playlists because they just don’t feel…well, Christmassy. The X Factor winners have had 7 Christmas number ones in the last 10 years, the other three including one defiant selection in 2009 called Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine, which I’m sure we all remember. It’s interesting to think that maybe The X Factor have successfully pushed their winners to the top because they are popular with a lot of the British public, unless it is all fixed as some rebels claim.

It’s just about Simon Cowell making money

The music industry itself is worth £4.1 billion in the UK as of 2014 and
Simon Cowell holds a net worth total of £325 million, which is a 7.2% contribution to the industry (if that’s where all his money went or came from). These big numbers account for the fact that Simon Cowell is a big, big name in music and has simon_cowell-426617been responsible for the greats that have come out of The X Factor. So, if he is making a lot of money but at the same time creating popular and legendary artists, then let him do his job.

It’s destroying the integrity of music

There is a reason that Beethoven isn’t in the charts today. Popular music changes with time, society and technology. It reflects who we are as people and goes with the flow of what has been popular before, transforming and changing in a way that nobody could explain. I accept that as the show reaches its 11th year running, it feels as though they are just looking for the best cover artist or karaoke singer. However, as they use and revamp current music, it’s unlikely that The X Factor will ever die.

Ultimately, The X Factor is harmless and does more positive than negative. Think of all the budding filmmakers / media workers who want to get a foot in the door and work on the show. Then there are the people that the show is made for: the singers. It gives them the opportunity to become the star they always wanted to be; whether they are successful or not is up to them in the end. It makes people happy who watch it and are involved in it and it brings music artists together. Last night we saw One Direction, Adele and Leona Lewis singing to the Wembley masses and it was stunning.

Just think of the artists that have been squeezed out of the millions who applied for the auditions – Olly Murs, One Direction, Little Mix, JLS, Ben Haenow etc etc… Some of them vanish into the depths of nowhere, but enough have made their way in the industry for it to be credible.

We are not ‘dumbing down’ as a nation, and we are not losing our integrity in regards to the music industry. The X Factor as I see it is a viable solution to escaping some of the hardships of life and allows us to enjoy music together, while at the same time creating new artists. Whether they are any good or not and whether they succeed is again down to the public – we are encouraged to believe.

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Life Experience, Misc., World

Christmas Inspiration

I’m at a real loss here, but I haven’t posted in a few days and I have to say something. Only what? The majority of my inspiration comes from working in a secondary school and as it’s the holidays, I’m struggling with interesting things to tell!

But anyway, Christmas has come and gone and I think I’ve been on a festive high for the last three days: Christmas round three was today. Three days of massive dinners (courtesy of my lovely mum), family, friends and party games has left me exhausted and wondering what more there is to life. It’s snowed, it’s frozen and it’s tired me out.

Christmas Day was wonderful, we all love it. I received more amazing presents than I expected or can count and it was lovely to see people’s face light up when they opened my gifts. It’s just a happy time of year, isn’t it??

I will say though, before I wrap this up like a Christmas present (hahahaha) I’m not a huge fan of party games….they bore me….and I get sad when I don’t win….and, again, they just bore me. Which is the opposite of what a game does but there you go.

I’m going to bed now. I’m knackered. I’m done, gonna hibernate now until the 5th which is when school starts again….

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Entertainment, Life Experience, World

The Night a Before Christmas Obligatory Cliche Title

The night is almost upon us, before the day we have been waiting all year for. Christmas Eve is one of the most exciting and strangely eerie times of the year when everyone gets their last minute jobs done and settles into their homes to watch a film or two before the joy that is Christmas Day.

I’m ready, are you?

(Only a short post because we could all talk about Christmas forever, I just want to wish everyone on WordPress a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Here’s to blogging!)

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Life Experience, World

Christmas spirit, or lack thereof

York, England, lunch time. Two days before Christmas. Going into town is possibly one of the worst decisions a girl can make but yours truly did it anyway. Pandemonium is the only word for what I experienced I think. And there were two categories of people: those who knew that they were shopping for and those who didn’t. The latter were the most difficult to work with, constantly stopping and starting, turning around and being surprised when they found you standing behind them, stunned that the movement of the packed path had been stopped by someone away with the fairies.

I understand that Christmas is the most stressful time of year for a high street in a city centre and I have had my fair share of stress so far but what got me most today was how rude people are…like, really rude. So much that I had one person growl at me in the ear and swear when he came running out of a shop and almost crashed into me. Look where you’re going, hello? We don’t have traffic lights for pedestrians, you have to do the looking yourself, idiot.

The Christmas spirit just isn’t there when people are shopping. I resorted to doing most of mine on the Internet a few weeks ago because it’s incredibly challenging to try to face the crowds in the town centre, everyone either dashing somewhere or looking gaumless at all the shops. Where has my Christmas spirit gone? I’m not entirely sure. It’ll be back come the 25th though…

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Education, Misc.

Merry Christmaz

It’s the Christmas holidays….

It’s the first weekend of the Christmas holidays….

I have two uninterrupted weeks to chill out and enjoy Christmas….

AND I AM SO EXCITED. Omg it is so great to know that after seventeen weeks of working at school I can sit down and not get up at quarter to six every morning and not have to wait until half six to get home.

Plans? I’m visiting Sam’s until Monday, going to the doctors in York on Tuesday and then coming home for a blissful Christmas where I will eat more than my stomach can hold and sleep more than I probably should.

There may not be much activity on this blog for the next two weeks because most of my inspiration comes from working at school…anyway.

MERRY CHRISTMAZ

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Education, Life Experience

That Friday Feeling

I woke up this morning bright eyed (okay, maybe not) and bushy tailed (nope) ready to take on the day (more or less). I FrozenAnnaNotMorningPerson-619-386arrived at school, pulled on my cosy Christmas jumper with flashing lights no less and joined in with the festivities in lessons. Quizzes, films, games, chocolate, the perfect end to a long, long term.

But wait. It’s not the end. There is one more day to go… One more early night and early morning. One more day of hardly seeing daylight or being outside. One more day before I can relax for Christmas.

And then I get involved in more festivities, thinking about what a nice day it is to spend with the children I’ve met since September and the teachers that I have made friends with. Such a good day to finish for the Christmas holidays.

NO.

Friday is tomorrow. Today is Thursday and that is the trouble with the Christmas holidays. Because everyone is celebrating all the time, I’m forgetting that we have one more day to go and the holiday has, in fact not begun. Today is Thursday. I’ll have to adopt it as my mantra for the day with everyone saying Merry Christmas and me saying it back, it’s confusing my lil brain.

Even so, there is technically only one day left (not even that, the kids go home at 1pm) and then it’s onto the party bus that evening for the staff do. I think Christmas will properly begin for me on Saturday morning when I know I have two glorious weeks ahead of me to chill out and just breathe. Like I’ve said before, this is one of the perks of working in education, no matter how much I moan and whinge. Other jobs just do not get holidays like this, it’s a fact. And I am going to be extremely grateful for spending quality time with the family and bf over the next fortnight. Aww.

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Education, Life Experience, World

Adult Realisations

The 15th of December, coincidently, the 15th week of this term and four days until the end of it. Let me tell you, this is no minor detail. It’s huge. It’s all anybody’s talking about, there is a vague buzz going about the school of happiness and a sudden weird burst of energy from somewhere. It’s the final push before Christmas and everyone wants it now. Not just the staff though, obviously the kids as well. And I totally get it, I remember coming up to the last week of term, knowing that Friday meant a 1pm finish and then the festivities could begin. Except this time with the end of term approaching I can look forward to travelling back and forth from Stockport, York and Garforth and sophisticated presents that I can use in every day life. But most of all I can look forward to settling down with a Baileys and hot chocolate or a fruity cider on a night and enjoying a glass of the classic Bucks Fizz on Christmas Day. Won’t it be wonderful?? Yes, growing up has its downsides like paying for things, work, stress and taxes etc but to be honest since turning the ripe old age of 22 (drastic, I know) I’m realising that there are many more good things to being an adult than I thought.

I’ve been an adult for a while now, obviously, and I’ve been living independently for over three years but since starting full time work I’ve really stated to think about life and how humans work; whether I agree with it or not 😉 and such.

Life is hard, but it’s times like Christmas that really make it great and I really appreciate everything that I have (even though I’m really poor and would love some more dosh but whatever) no but I am grateful. And thankful. And I can’t wait to spend Christmas with everyone I love.

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Education, Life Experience, World

Holidays and Professional Development

This time next week I’ll be relishing in the fact that the holidays have begun and I can begin my Christmas time. This is when the non-education sectors throw in ‘omg you can’t even complain about hard work, think about the holidays that you get!’ Yeah. The holidays are great, wouldn’t change them for the world at all. But I will say this; every single teacher deserves it. Jesus Christ do they deserve it. If you’ve never worked in a school then I’m afraid there’s no way of you knowing how stressful working in education is. Cos it is.

The holidays are wonderful, there’s no two ways about it, I love the idea of having two weeks off at Christmas when some people have two days. However, one thing that I will say about the holidays that isn’t so great is that it means that you literally have no flexible time to take off work. Need the doctor? Tough. Kids’ sports day? Don’t think so. Want to see The Hobbit midnight showing? Doubt it. So naturally there are both pros and cons to working in education, like there are to any job in the whole world.

I’m really learning a lot from working this internship and it’s really opening my eyes to real life work both in education and not. I’m really enjoying myself and I think by the end of it I will have changed and developed a lot as a person and I look forward to meeting that version of me.

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Film

That Festive Feeling

Christmas is officially here. May have already said this but today it’s especially true. We’re watching the glory that is Love Actually and it’s so damn festive! It’s one of the better things in life to do, watch films in your pjs and the warmth with a Chinese. I know this is typically a weekend activity but isn’t it just nice to exist with a piece of culture and tasty food surrounded by good friends? Yes. And this is why I live away from home instead of moving back. True each situation has its perks but I can’t think of anything that beats this right now. Except maybe a coal fire…that my parents have…hmm.

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Life Experience, Misc.

Christmas Shopping Saturday (for EVERYbody)

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The world and his dog was in Leeds City centre today it seemed. Me and mum had decided to meet up for a ladies day of Christmas shopping and lunch and it was really, really nice….except for everyone else in Leeds. I know it’s prime time for Christmas shoppers and I know it was a Saturday afternoon but COME ON PEOPLE. Groups of elderly peeps were everywhere, exiting the shops and stopping right outside to decide where they were heading next. Then there were the grumpy husbands who didn’t even want to be out and would rather be watching football at home who did nothing but growl and swear if somebody got in their way.

And let’s not even get started in the children wandering around without parents. I’m sorry but how do you have a child and not want to keep an eye on them in Leeds City centre? It’s a sodding big place and for a lonely child can’t be the safest.

The shops were hot and crowded and it was difficult to even move but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Being in York, I miss the mainstream high street shops that you get in every city. Don’t get me wrong, I love the little quirky shops in York but for the love of god I just want to go to Primark every once in a while!

But anyway, I’m doing more Christmas shopping tomorrow in York which I’m looking forward to and then on Monday its back to work after a glorious three day weekend. Sad times 😦