Thursday, 21 February 2008

Death - Are we encouraging it?

I couldn't help but write something on this topic.

With the recent cluster of suicides in the Bridgend area of Wales (UK) and the latest announced on the 20th of February as the 17th young person to fall victim to the tragic trend over the last 12 months, many questions are being asked of the causes. Is the internet to blame or should the media be held accountable in some way for “glamorising” the issue as the parents of the last couple of victims have claimed?

Interestingly the suicide rate in Wales has apparently not changed much over the last seven years whilst the rates of other UK countries has dropped, most notably Scotland’s suicide rates, which were at one point significantly higher than Wales. The reality is there doesn’t seem to be an actual rise in suicide cases as the media coverage may be leading the public to believe, the recent spate of reported and covered suicides have been fuelled by connections and apparent links between the young people in Bridgend but there is a clear bias occurring in the media, unsurprisingly.

Suicide is a global issue and is among the three leading causes of death in people of both sexes aged 15-44, which does not include suicide attempt figures which are more than triple that of reported suicides. Going back to the suicides in Bridgend and the questions being raised, one figure that really stands out for me is the ratio of men to women, I’m not going to ask why more men commit suicide than women. According to statistics women attempt suicide more often than men, at least 50% more. But men seem to be more successful in committing suicide than women. Bridgend is a prime example of that, 12 of the 17 suicide victims were male, whilst only 5 were female; it’s also relevant to mention that recently there was a thwarted alleged suicide attempt by a female in the same area.

Can I take this opportunity to mention (in case you haven’t already noticed) I have intentionally avoided using the victims names and their images because whilst I don’t entirely agree, I do believe the media has sensationalised this serious issue to a certain degree, just as I believe the internet has a normalizing effect which could also have a part to play in this "trend" of suicides and other anomic, egoistic and altruistically destructive behaviours. Its sad that so many people feel their lives are not worth living but I think the focus should be on raising the issue of awareness and supporting the living, giving them the skills to recognise that their lives are precious and supporting them to make the most of it.

If we insist on glamorizing and sensationalising such issues we will only continue to fuel the fire in which we’re currently bathing the future of our world in.

- Mr. Devo

Friday, 15 February 2008

Roses, Valentine's and Singles

Well, I hope V.Day was all it promised.

I had a wonderful time, spent the night shaking my ass and singing along to the Star that is Tawiah.

She's A truly PHENOMENAL talent and her band......

...Really, I was speechless (After screaming Hooooorn Section 20'000 times)
The only way I could describe the performance of Tawiah and her colletive would be by giving you a big hug whilst dangling 1000ft upside down, hanging on the underside of a jet, wrapped in a HUGE duvet; such a beautiful, eclectic and insatiably, passionate sound.
Her first EP 'In JodI's Room' is out this monday, February 18th. Available on iTunes, Amazon, HMV and all good record retail outlets. Get that or Get out!!!!



I usually "Don't do Valentine's Day" as so many out there claim but this year I thought I'd make and effort for a certain somebody and decided to get them a Rose, but not ANY old garden Rose, it had to be perfect.

I had to go to about four different florists before I found one in perfect condition, some people really take little pride in their jobs! (and I can be a bit fussy - BAD COMBO)

Whilst out for the night last night I noticed almost instantly the amount of single people actually out on V.Day. There was a very distinct single ladies corner going on in the bar with loads of starved, dribbling ladies sitting round tables leaning in close, like baited scavenger birds, sharing their tales of failed relationships and embarrassing history. I couldn't help but over hear the very light whisper of pain and desperation in their seemingly hearty laughter! why don't 'seeking singles' stay away on the one day that is dedicated to celebrating love and relationships?
They just stood out like a pimp at a holy communion!

Disclaimer: If you're single and see V.Day like any other day and were out for that reason, I'm not referring to you.

- Mr. Devo


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Merry Day, Legends and Legends

I was mistaken for Robert Louis Stevenson yesterday during a writing workshop at London Bridge based consultancy
'The Writer'.

As part of the workshop, we were asked to re-write the closing lines of Robert Louis Stevenson's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and then vote on which one we thought was the actual ending from the 6 versions read back to us, 5 of which were selected at random from the group and the original ending. 9 out of 12 writers failed to vote the original with my version voted most likely to be the original written by Robert Louis Stevenson himself! That quite tickled me. BUT even better, this morning whilst reading the local free rag I came across this and I just had to smile:

The World's Smallest Body builder!!!!

Isn't he the cutest thing in the world!?! I love it, he symbolizes everything right in this world ok maybe not everything, but it would be so hard to be glum whilst he's in the room bench pressing a foot long sub!
Indian born Aditya 'Romeo' Dev, is only 19 years old, he stands 33 inches tall, weighs 9.25kg (just under 1.5 stone) and has a chest measurement of 20 inches.

Love it!
- Mr. Devo


Sunday, 10 February 2008

Camden Fire / RAMP @ Jazz Cafe

First off let me start by saying I'm glad to be back on the blogging path, I've neglected the expression and recording of my human experience on the web for too long.

Since I last blogged much has changed in my world and the world around me, I'm now focusing a lot more on self improvement and building for the future.



Lastnight I was in Camden to take some shots at the return of Rare Groove supremo's RAMP to London's Jazz Cafe on behalf of Black Butterfly Studios

I arrived at about 7pm, to capture some shots of the RAMP ladies in make up. Not too long after I arrived a member of the bar staff alerted me to a big fire forming in the Camden Market area just 2minutes from the Jazz Cafe.

Naturally i grabbed my camera and went for a brisk look to capture a glimpse and a few frames:

When I arrived on the scene

About 10 minutes after, the flames were visibly more intense

As I walked away

Apparently there was a large explosion heard soon after 7pm and the blaze took 3 hours of battling from a large number of Fire fighters to control and suppress. The full extent of the damage caused to the Camden Market area is yet to be ascertained, but the financial, personal and sentimental loss to local business and residents will undoubtedly be incalculably devastating.

Here are a couple of shots from the reason I was in Camden;
The fabulously funky - RAMP.

That's it from me for this entry, but I do aim to pick up form and contribute a lot more in future.

- Mr. Devo