THE DAILY GRIND

Narcissists VS Feminists: The war on the #nomakeupselfie


Cancer is not a gender specific disease, we know this, and yet women have jumped on the no make-up selfie bandwagon by the bus load to unite ‘some’ of the sisterhood to take off their makeup, take a selfie, donate money to charity, do a good deed, take themselves a little less seriously and put themselves out there. What the hell is the problem?

Has it or has it not raised millions of pounds in a matter of days and sparked debate and widespread articles in The Independent, the Guardian, The Telegraph, BBC News and beyond? Has it not also now sparked the Cock On a Sock campaign with hopefully equal success?

I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that despite having a big circle of fabulous girl friends, I’m most often found scratching my head to figure out not just myself, but most women I encounter (calm down boys). However, somewhere along the way the clouds parted and revealed the shockingly resilient sisterhood. Now, I have always been the one shouting from the rooftops that marriage symbolises nothing to me and hell will have frozen over the day I give up my surname (says she, engaged). Where am I going with this you ask… Well…

Yes damn it, I consider myself a modern feminist (or at least that’s what the growing concensus is), whatever that means, and I’ll be damned if I’ll be judged by a bit of female solidarity about a genderless issue. I’ve read article after tweet after status after comment from women at large that seem to want medals because they never ever wear make-up, while suggesting us imposter women who do wear makeup daily are somehow masking our vanity with narcissistic philanthropy.

This cancer awareness campaign did what it said on the tin. It communicated awareness despite suggestions that membership to the sisterhood for all female selfie participants has now expired, presumably along with our self-worth, self-respect, street cred and intelligence? A common opinion among the polarised high-horsed critic it would seem. That said, I’m not intentionally fighting fire with fire here, but I’m struggling to find a problem with the social good this untraceable campaign has achieved. And if you bring my intelligence or vanity in to this s$&t-stirring argument once more, so help me.

A selfie gesture won’t cure cancer, nor does it communicate the how-to of copping a feel of one’s balls or boobs, or tell us of the 200+ cancers in existence. Tell me something new for goodness sake, and end the belligerent assault on social media and women at large. If I’m not mistaken, it was never a cancer type specific campaign. If you asked men to moon the web and give £3 for testicular or prostate cancer, or just cancer in general, I’m pretty damn sure that thousands would, and are now starting to do. You may as well ask what red noses or comedy has to do with aids or people in need!

This campaign is highlighting far more than cancer awareness, it’s highlighting humanity in all its pejorative and pigeonhole glory, and the opinion-led backlash does far more damage than a harmless community led selfie ever could. It feeds the monster of intellectual hierarchy and gives the Katie Hopkins of this world a loaded and poisonous soapbox to shout from.

The media backlash (predominantly female led) suggests that the #nomakeupselfie explosion is damaging to women’s mental health, self-confidence, and is not courageous or brave. Give us some bloody credit! There’s no denying that the campaign could do with a little refining and direction, but would it have been as successful? Has it or has it not been a staggering success all flaws included? How is it that we have come to a point where we critisise successful communications campaigns for the greater good along with ourselves?

Ask me to take a picture of my bare arse and I’ll show you a brave woman, but bravery is not to be measured in comparison to life threatening illnesses. This selfie campaign doesn’t seem to have been born out of narcissitic bravery. It’s just a brilliantly effective social campaign that found flight and is harnessing the power of social media for the greater good. I hope to see far more bold and creative social campaigns from now on. So let people get on with their balls, boobs and selfie posts. All cancer research will benefit. That much I’m certain of.

Share your bare mugs and jugs near and far and donate the £3 to your local or national cancer charity or hospice, or text BEAT to 70099 to donate £3 to Cancer Research UK.

by Sam Jordan

©2014

Contact: howtosurvivehumansandearth@gmail.com

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LIVE. LOVE. GRADUATE

THE SECRET SAUCE TO LIVING


Today I found myself wondering about how to live… Six weeks after handing in my Masters dissertation I’m naturally searching for the hidden meaning in life and dark matter. Naturally. I was asking because part of me had no idea. Dreams in the night were coming hard and fast about what I would do with the rest of my life, while memories of my poor little on-hiatus blog nibbled on my heels. Then I watched this.

I thought of all my fellow graduates in the immediate aftermath of graduation, and the relentless questioning from family and friends about what we were all going to do now.

I suppose I wasn’t asking about how people live, but rather how can one live every day? What is living? How does one get up in the morning? How do YOU do the same tasks repeatedly every day until it is your last day? I’ve asked this question for as far back as I can remember. As a child I used to wake most mornings before school with either dread or questioning. The dread was largely down to the fact I hated the school system with every fibre of my being, but I suspect that was more to do with being yanked out of one school and into another after my parents separation (queue the violins). What child wants to explain themselves and their newly changed circumstances that they have little to no understanding of to a gaggle of pre-pubescent 9-year-old girls who have judgement at their very core? Anyway, I digress. Back to living and the question of how to.

Even at the age of 9 and probably long before that, I found myself regularly questioning how I would do this FOREVER. This, being living and sleeping, waking, eating, doing, learning, walking, talking, being and breathing etc. How? What’s the secret to ignoring the boredom of repetitive actions? How are you to make decisions for your future when you don’t know what it holds? And therein lies the answer. We cannot. We cannot because there is only now. You can only do what is right in front of you, in this moment, this minute, this hour, this day. These micro-decisions become your past and form your future, and there is no secret sauce to living. There is only doing. The rest is planning. Good old fashioned planning. The physiology of our bodies require basic and rhythmic routine to work at optimum levels – eating, sleeping, waking and exercise. The rest is what you choose to add. If you’re fortunate enough to have a bed to sleep in and food to eat, then the world really is your oyster.

Perhaps all this time I was always asking the wrong question. Perhaps I should have been asking ‘how do I do’? How can I push myself? How can I drive myself every day of my life? How can I learn more about myself? How do I keep personally developing? Perhaps the answer is ‘just do’! Do sleep, eat, talk, go, travel, smile, exercise, walk, care, challenge, breathe, and wake. Do wake up with a sense of purpose, your purpose, your passion, your ideas, and your opinions. Just wake up. Open your eyes to the road ahead that you cannot see but can only envision. Forget dreaming, just visualise it. It’s there for the taking, but in order to get there you have to first wake up every day, and brush your teeth, and dress, eat, smile, talk, walk, travel, work, play, pay bills, stress, de-stress, love, laugh, hurt, cry, grow, re-build, remodel, rejuvenate, and reinvent. Because this, fellow graduates, young, mature, and more mature, this is living.

Whether you are a graduate of life or academia, there is only one foot in front of the other. Your feet and nobody else’s must move. If your feet stay where they are in the warmth and cosy snug of what you know, there will be no growth, no fulfilment, and no living. Life will just happen to you and around you and pass you by. The answer I wish I had heard over 20 years ago to my question ‘how do I live’? – Living is making life happen, not life happening to you.  Try not to over think your future. Just make it happen. And remember, failure is part of the process. As the saying goes ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

To all life’s graduates and the graduates of 2013 and beyond.

I declare How to Survive Humans and Earth reopened for business!!

 

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EAT OUT

GLASTONBURY GRUB ROUND-UP 2013


If like me you spent the week before last cocooned in a hedonistic musical bubble at Glastonbury, you might have spent LAST week as one of the following:

a) Tucked up on a couch in your sweats watching movies, re-bonding with your pissed off abandoned cats, and enjoying that extra day you booked off work to ‘regroup’.

OR

b) Tucked up somewhere else in your sweats or whatever doesn’t smell of wee, reading Glasto reviews, catching up on celebrities at Glasto pics or  reading the Q Glastonbury Review cover to cover while asking yourself why the hell you can’t recall it all, or what ever happens on a bloody Thursday?

OR

c) Still unpacking your rucksack, sniffing for that absent clean smell, while putting on your fourth load of washing and pulling dried mud and wax from absolutely everything you own (curse you beautiful candle flares).

OR

d) You might be working… Sorry. Book an extra day off next year yeah?

Whichever one you were, I’ll bet you’ve spent it reliving the hell out of your week and refreshing your Facebook news feed every 5 minutes to see which one of your Facebook posse/newly added Glasto friends have uploaded another suntanned snap of your burnt happy little drunk faces in a nod to how bloody fantastic the week was!!

Let me confirm for you in case you missed the biggest digital music extravaganza the BBC has ever seen that it was indeed a SPECTACULAR week both in music, frolics, and foooooood!  Sadly I couldn’t get to all corners of the festival, but with the food part always at the top of my list I give you my top 5 veggie grub vendors at this years Glastonbury Festival. Caution: Some names escape me.

1. Hidden away in the Green Futures area  near the Low Impact Building was an almost secret and nameless (because I can’t remember) little gem serving the only food that is grown directly on site at Glastonbury. For a steal of £5 we were able to grab a (real) plate of  delectable Moroccan tagine served with a vegan ‘slaw’ and orange & shoot salad. INCREDIBLE!!!! For afters, we simply continued eating their open fire pakoras until we burst!

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Open FIre Pakoras

Open Fire Pakoras

2. Fat Belly’s Puppet Café: Hands down the most scrumptious peanut and potato curry I have ever tasted. It was SO good that they could not keep that stuff in the pot!! But when people are willing to wait up to 30 minutes for a helping you know that shit is gooood!!! Amazingly run, amazing options for  carnivores, vegetarians and vegans galore.

Worth it's weight in fat bellies!

Worth it’s weight in fat bellies!

3. Dirty Burger Bar: Nestled between Glade Pizza (who severely disappointed!!!! I mean, who doesn’t give you a pizza WITHOUT cheese because its too difficult???) and Arcadia, was the delectable Dirty Burger Bar. Run by a big catering company (but you’d never tell) I can’t speak for the venison burgers or any other meat they were offering, but they slapped together the most lip smacking veggie burger I’ve probably ever had. An explosion of spices, lentils and goodness knows what else, mixed with top notch big ass buns and crunchy lip smacking pickles had us shouting and secretly returning in the wee hours for more! I checked in with some sausage lovers and they assured me that the meat was also damn tasty! Again, credits to the staff of this place. A tightly but fun run ship!

Dirty Burger Bar

4. (I want to say) Munch Falafels: However, it is possible that it’s not called this at all. Whoops. Festival cider at your service. Either way, located between a sea of chippies, crap burgers, noodle and curry vans is the best damn falafel wrap your pie hole has ever tasted. I had serious qualms about the prices at £6.50 a wrap, but I practically went to another realm through the eating process. Probably because by day 3 I was in serious need of Popeye spinach! The freshest  and crunchiest ingredients The Other Stage has ever seen.

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5. Badger Action Café: Stop The Cull Campaign Heroes (Veggies Catering Campaign) at this friendly and informative café and campaign space also happen to serve a damn tasty vegan burger that will have you chowing down AY. SAP and ordering a vegan brownie for desert. Great cause, great people, great vegan grub!!!

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That’s all for now folks. Of course there were tons more food options but these were some of the best!

Toodle Pip!!

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New Potato Season:
In my grandmother’s house the humble golden little new spud was a welcome guest in her kitchen. These little guys most likely came from a local farmer or from the boot of a road side food seller. They were lovingly adored from the minute you set eyes on them, to the second a steaming, salted, peppered, and buttered morsel hit your lips. Your eyes would close, your mouth would become some sort of man-made wind funnel to adjust to the temperature, and a smile would stretch across your face as you Mmm’d your way towards another bite. This, was ‘new potato season’, and this is my first one of the year.

HOT POTATO! Photo by Sam Jordan ©2013

HOT POTATO!
Photo by Sam Jordan ©2013

EAT IN

SEXY VEG.

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EAT IN, PRODUCT REVIEWS, VEGAN SURPRISE

I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT MAYO…


Welcome to the latest (and late) instalment of VEGAN SURPRISE! Does anyone remember when Utterly Butterly came on the market? Or, maybe you would best remember the leggy girls in tight lycra flying the Utterly Butterly plane? What do planes and substitute products have in common? Who doesn’t fly a plane while eating butter and wearing lycra?

utterly butterly

Anyway, I remember… the theme tune, TV advert, that odd couple at the gates of the factory saying “I can’t believe it’s not butter”. If memory serves, I also remember a character called Gary, and his sidekick woman who was hilarious in that kind of mental 90′s teenager way… Hit me with a comment if you remember the entire story behind those crazy Butterly Cats! OK, I digress… Rapidly into embarrassment.

Since I boldly moved to vegetarianism back in 2009, substitute products have two choices with me… Either you WOW me, or you BLOW! Because, either way I can get along just fine without them. There really is nowhere in-between. So it is with great pleasure, mighty awe and lots of OOOoooo’s and aahhhhh’s, that I give you… *DRUM ROLL PLEASE*

I Can't Believe It's Not Mayo

This is the little beauty that blew my mouth socks off… yeah, mouth socks are real!!! Humanna humanna!!!

Chipotle Mayo

Chipotle Mayo

This stuff is the SHIZ! It’s got a kick you’d be proud of if you like something a little spicy, and it really hits that craving for creamy mayo badness laced on bread or crackers. I won’t waffle on about it. Suffice to say, that this bad boy is truly a flavoursome vegan surprise find of the highest order!

BUY: If you live in London, you can probably buy it from a lot of other places, but this was found at the vegan shop ‘Vx’ on Caledonian Road near King’s Cross, or you can buy online from Vegan Store.

The nuts & bolts:

An egg, celery, gluten & soya free product, made with rapeseed oil, rice drink and chipotle pepper.

Aside from the sharpness of vinegar, which most dairy free versions tend to have, there is a nice little ‘kick’ of spice in the mouth.

Nutritional Values per 100g: 497kcal

Probably tastes mind blowing on a BBQ’d Linda McCartney quarter pounder burger!!! Now, if only we could move past this Winter in May business and go head long into Summer to crack out that BBQ…

VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Tasty Chipotle Treats... Down the hatch!

Tasty Chipotle Treats… Down the hatch!

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY AMAZING VEGAN PRODUCTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND I’LL DO MY BEST SPEED RACER IMPRESSION TO THE NEAREST STOCKIST!

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