Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Argumentum ad Nauseam

Argumentum ad Nauseam

Argumentum ad Nauseam or the argument by repetition is the logical fallacy  that if a lie is repeated frequently it will become true. It is frequently used in politics, Joseph Goebbels who was the reich minister of propaganda for Nazi Germany stated: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Although what Goebbels described is a technique employed in politics, this concept is used in all other walks of life. Unfortunately humans are very gullible and are willing to believe almost anything especially if it’s something negative about someone. I have come to realize recently how I have been the victim of this. Some of lies that have been told about me in different areas in my life have been farcical.

I believe this is what has happened to me a lot in my life however is not specific to myself. From my experience what I have learnt is when someone is telling you something think about whether or not they have an agenda - are they trying to conceal the truth? have they had a disagreement with someone? do they want to stop someone being successful? are they jealous of this person?

If they do have an agenda then I leave you with this quote:

“Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” - Criss Jami.

Adam Henry Magee


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Shh! We have a Plan | Review

From: CultureHUB  online Magazine. 
Shh! We have a Plan | Review
Cahoots NI  | The Lyric Theatre, 14 October ’15
The play follows three men on their quest to catch a beautiful bird they spotted on a large tree, using a variety of methods to catch it. The trio withdraw a number of instruments from what seems to be a bottomless anorak, which amused the children in the audience greatly. From what started up as a simple quest to catch the bird, becomes an obsession. As an adult, I thought the play had a complexity to it, that required thought, consideration and imagination; however, I found myself enchanted for the 40 minutes in an Alice in Wonderland-like world. The performance was almost hypnotic with the contrasting use of lighting, the dark blue set and the fluorescent birds.
The costuming and stage were minimalist and the play contained no speech; I didn’t realise this beforehand, though I should’ve taken a hint from the title “Shh!”. Like the book, the play is intended for children, and this is probably the reason why the absence of dialogue or verbal narration works. I had forgotten how many young children’s television programmes that have little or no speech, for example “Bill and Ben: The Flowerpot Men.” I found this very peculiar as an adult as I normally enjoy articulation and dialogue; children are more visual and can be easily entertained without language. This is why Shh! is successful as a production.
Both children and adult audience members were laughing throughout and obviously found it thoroughly entertaining. From an adult’s point of view, I don’t think it will be everyone’s “cup of tea”.  For a young audience,  this story, comprised of magic, music and puppetry is a mesmerising theatre experience.
Adam Henry Magee

Friday, 16 October 2015

One reason I am glad I grew up in Northern Ireland: The 11 plus and the Grammar school system.

One reason I am glad I grew up in Northern Ireland: The 11 plus and the Grammar school system.

  • The first Grammar school to open in England in 50 years has opened in Sevenoaks Kent.
  • Labour tried to ban Grammar schools through its 1998 legislation to bar any new schools adopting selective administration.
  • The school has found a loophole by stating that it is just an extension of a school in Tonbridge.

The 11 plus, that scary exam everyone in Northern Ireland use to take until the turn of the decade. You spent all of primary 6 doing practice tests and then over two days in November of Primary 7 your fate was sealed. At the time it seemed like the end of the world if you didn’t get a top grade, but for some failing the 11 plus made them.  
    Failing in life is character building - you are not going to be good at everything and you have to accept this at one point or another. At the age of 11 you had already possibly been rejected from: being in the school play; not winning a medal on sports day; getting to play a musical instrument; being the last chosen for a team in P.E or not getting invited to that birthday party everyone wanted to go to, so why not the 11 plus?
    I know several examples of people who did not get their 11 plus and I believe this strived them to achieve good results in their GCSE’s and A-Levels because they wanted to prove they weren't “stupid”. I believe if they hadn’t failed that exam, it would not of made them so determined to do well in more important exams. On the other hand I myself can personally say after getting an A without the help of a tutor, I was far too cocky and felt I didn’t need to study or do my homework in grammar school or university and only “pulled my socks up” in my final term of both.
    On top of this, quite simply put, some people just learn faster than others and therefore would get bored if they didn’t  learn at a faster speed. There is no point in holding the smarter children behind because the rest of the class cannot keep up with them. You certainly would not have an athlete run slower just so the rest of the athletics team can keep up, so why stall children from excelling academically for the same reason?

Why Grammar schooling is a necessary evil: The alternative to the Grammar school system and what actually happens.

In Northern Ireland after you took the transfer test the most academic children went on to grammar schools, however in some cases if the child did not succeed and the parents were affluent they sent their child to private school instead.  Similarly as a result of the comprehensive school system in England there has been a rise in private schools replacing the Grammar schools. Hence as a result the best schools end up not going to the most academic but the most privileged. Labour were acting with their heart and forgot about their head in their attempt to abolish grammar schools. Instead abolishing inequality, it has caused the opposite.

Whether you personally agree with grammar schooling or not, the attempt to abolish them has proven futile. The 1998 act stopped schools being created which were academically selective, however the new school in Sevenoaks is argued not actually to be a new school but to be an extension of another grammar school in Tonbridge.

The Grammar school system appears unfair, elitist and promoting inequality and to a certain extent it is, but attempts to abolish it has proven futile and the alternative appears to create greater inequality. It seems clear to me that the better of two evils is that the best education is reserved for the most academic and not the most privileged.

Adam Henry Magee

P.S. I have shown how not been academic is not necessarily a bad thing in my last blog post, it address's academic snobbery.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Glamour Modelling and Pornography: A Respectable Career Choice?

Glamour Modelling and Pornography: A Respectable Career Choice?

We saw this year's Celebrity Big Brother come to an end last month. Within the usual contestant line up of models, reality TV show contestants and flop stars was one of the most controversial contestants yet to appear on the show. Big Brother, for the first time, had a porn star as a contestant - not any porn star but arguably the most famous porn star in the world, Jenna Jameson.

Jameson, “The Queen of Porn”, started working in the adult film industry in 1993 and is now worth a whopping $30 million (£19.5)! This is the result of not only being the highest paid porn actress in the world but also being a successful businesswoman and author. This strike a chord with last year’s Celebrity Big Brother winner, Katie Price, who is worth an estimated £45 million, was originally a glamour model but now is more of a reality TV star, author and businesswoman.

It now begs the question - after reading about the pair’s fame and financial success, would you encourage or even allow your daughter or son to enter the worlds of glamour modelling or pornography? I have wondered for some time why it is so frowned upon. After all - practically everyone watches pornography, or at least the majority of us do. Is it not contradictory to partake in the viewing of pornography but frown upon the actors and actresses in the industry?

One of the main reasons I believe a lot of people would aspire to be a porn star is because they would be scared their parents would “disown them.” Why should you disown your child for taking part in an adult film? I don’t see what is morally wrong with performing sexual acts and having them videoed. After all, you are making a lot of people happy.  

What sort of career would a parent now be proud of? “My son’s going to Oxford to study law, hoping to become a barrister.” One could imagine a proud upper-middle class mum telling her acquaintances about her offspring whilst shopping at Waitrose. Why would you be proud of your child becoming a barrister? Barristers often defend people they know are guilty or try to prosecute someone they may well know is innocent. They could literally be allowing someone get away with murder.

"My son studied at London school of Economics and now is working as an accountant at London." Great, he can count and is probably also excellent at helping businesses with tax avoidance and politicians with expense claims.

“My son works in business and owns a successful chain of bars.” Why would you be proud of your child for being a businessman? Are you happy that he is probably very good at ripping people off? Why would you be happy if your child owned a chain of bars? Do you think it is good to encourage alcohol consumption when we are aware of how addictive alcohol is and how it can ruin people's lives?

Why is it then that these career paths are respected but glamour modelling and pornography aren’t? The answer is not because they consider sex or nudity to be unethical or that watching pornography is addictive but because of “education snobbery.” People perceive glamour models and porn stars as being stupid or uneducated while, on the other hand, one usually needs to have A-levels and a degree to become a lawyer, an accountant or be a businessperson.

Education snobbery is unethical and contributes to society's current woes. Tony Blair idiotically aimed for 50% of the population going to university which is why the conservatives had to increase university fees.  Parents often cannot accept that their child isn’t academic and push their unfortunate child down the education route which is futile and detrimental to both to the child's mental health and to society. In the “old days”, if you weren't the “sharpest tool in the shed”, no hoo-ha was made as children and their parents were able to accept that school was not for them and perhaps practical work suited them better and they may end up financially better off anyway - certainly looking at both sides of my family, my aunt ended up making the most money, having left school before even completing her GCSEs.

Not everyone is designed to be a doctor or a lawyer; some of us are designed to be joiners, hairdressers and, yes, glamour models or porn stars. Being "good with your hands" should not be something to be frowned upon. Non-academic does not equate stupidity. Katie Price and Jenna Jameson are two of the most successful women in the world and thus they should be worthy of respect.

Adam Henry Magee

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Question: Why did Jeremy Corbyn avoid addressing Labour's disastrous defeat in the past election? Answer: Because electing him as party leader was political suicide for the Labour party.

Question: Why did Jeremy Corbyn avoid addressing Labour's disastrous defeat in the past election? Answer: Because electing him as party leader was political suicide for the Labour party.

Jeremy Corbyn made his first official speech as leader of the Labour Party at the party conference held in Brighton last Tuesday afternoon.  Corbyn's speech was long and rambling with parts of it copied from a speech originally written in the 1980s. Corbyn spoke on how he was going to tackle issues such as global warming, his position on trident, and the Syrian crisis and how he wanted his politics to be that of “ordinary” people. Corbyn reaffirmed that he was focusing on issues that he has been campaigning from the beginning of his career; despite how the country and world has changed in the last 30 years.

However one subject which he failed to touch on was Labour's appalling defeat in May. Surely a new party leader should be critical and analytic of the past party leaders failure. How can Labour expect to win the election if they do not learn from their past mistakes?

Perhaps the reason why Corbyn choose to ignore this issue is because Tony Blair and other colleagues of David Miliband argued that Miliband was too left wing and that was the reason why he lost the election in May. Miliband believed that Labour could win the election with its openly socialist politics, despite the fact this hadn’t occurred since the 1970’s. He believed that due to the financial crisis the electorate had lost faith in center-right politics.

Labour's defeat against the conservatives in 2010 and 2015 has strongly suggested otherwise. Since the conservatives have got back into power there has been a steady decrease of our deficit and unemployment as well as a steady growth in our economy (which is now the world’s fastest growing major economy); this may have reinstalled the public’s faith in centre-right politics and is why the conservatives were victorious.

Observing this, it seems absurd that Cobryn (being even more to the left) has managed to become the new party leader at all? Were the electorate’s heads not screwed on that day? Electing him as party leader seems like political suicide for the labour party. Seeing as Labour were defeated due to being too socialist in the past election, there does not seem be this large mandate which Corbyn believes he has to bring back left-wing politics (in fact according to YOUGOV only 12% of the general public consider themselves to be fairly or very left-wing).

Thus Corbyn strategically avoided addressing the party’s defeat in the past election to not alarm the party that with him as party leader they will not see victory again for a long… long… time. If Corbyn believes that he has received a strong mandate for socialism, then his proposition for a minister for mental health may be just what we need - for him and whoever voted for him because they are deluded.
Adam Henry Magee


Saturday, 3 October 2015

My Review of Satisfy - Boombox Belfast freshest Saturday Night!

Taken from : http://culturehubmagazine.co.uk/satisfy-launch-party-boombox-review/


Satisfy Launch Party – Boombox  | Review
Satisfy is Belfast’s freshest Saturday night on the LGBT scene and it launched on the 26 September with a bang, hosted by two of Belfast’s drag queens Sassie Longshaft and Electra La C*nt. The club was packed and the bar was filled from as soon as I entered at around 11pm. DJ C-Boy kept the music pumping with house music that made it impossible for me to stop dancing the entire night! They had a special guest host Austin Armacost who is famous from being on the reality series the A-List, Celebrity Big Brother and being Marc Jacobs ex who did a meet and greet and partied all night long with the club goers.
According to hostess Electra on Satisfy: “It’s happening every single Saturday, it’s a revamp of the  Saturdays in Boombox, we wanted to give a bigger fresher feel to what we do on a Saturday night. We are always trying to change things and keep it fresh.” Boombox is certainly very fresh for Belfast, it provides a cool, trendy alternative to union street and Kremlin, it reminds me of the types of clubs that are present in Vauxhall, London.
For those who have never been to Boombox before – Boombox opened up last May and is upstairs from the Maverick Bar.  When you arrive upstairs the bar is in front of you and to your left are small tables. Around the corner from that is the dance floor with a stage (which I definitely did not get up and dance on). The VIP area is raised opposite the dance floor. On the other side of the bar is a seating area with three booths with egg chairs. The smoking area is behind the VIP area, which is small but the club is also. It the decor is dark with funky patterned wallpaper.
The drinks were cheap considering they had drinks promotions (which are rare for a Saturday night) – rum and redbull tropical and Kopparberg strawberry and Lime were both £2.50. The rest of the drinks were standard Belfast bar prices.
My main and only critique would be that the bar get’s too busy after about 12.30pm. I found it almost impossible to get a drink at one point! Saying that, I am not the most patient person in the world when it comes to waiting to get a drink (or anything else really), so this would of seemed more distressing to me than normal.
I do have another critique but, it is more of a suggestion; to open the upstairs and downstairs into one. The main criticism I heard from club-goers of Boombox is that in comparison to its main rival “The Kremlin” it is small and can feel a bit cramped, if they opened the bar and club into one on a Saturday night I think this would solve the problem as well as solving the bar problem. They could also have two different styles of music going which could attract more customers.
Overall Boombox does a brilliant job of what it is, a small gay club which provides a fresh alternative to its cheesier rival. I certainly had a ball on Saturday and Satisfy left me pretty satisfied.
Adam Henry Magee