Saturday, 26 April 2014

Giving for death.

This is probably one of them articles where people will read it and think "omg, you're so wrong for saying this, he's dying..." etc, but, it has to be said, i'm sickend by society at the moment.

Most reading this will have heard of the "stephen's story", which is based upon a man who's losing his fight against cancer. At some point he's set up a bucket list of things to do before his end comes, which is fine. One of his things was to raise £10,000 for a cancer charity. It was on his bucket list and fund raising had been going not too bad, but for some reason (more than likely the fact he's dying) it was picked up by a few celebs who tweeted about it and asked people to donate, which of course their fans would do aswel as passing on the info to other people. Within a few days, it's like his story has gone viral and today, his fund raising has reached just over £2.5 million.

Now, this is all well and good, but let me ask something.... would he have raised as much if he wasn't dying? The truthful answer is, no. But, because there's a sad story with it, people will hand over their cash. Now don't get me wrong, it's nothing new for this to happen, i mean, even tv shows cash in on the sob storys these days. Infact, i think you have to be auditioning for a dying person to get on the x-factor and do well these days, or somebody has to have died in your life at some point for you to be able to make the finals on 'got talent.

Let me explain something to you though.

Stephen's story isn't anything new, cancer is still a big killer. Treatment is expensive at best and the cure rates while going up, are still not at 100%. While we can throw all the money we have at possible cancer cures, were ignoring the other costs related to cancer treatment that are not coverd by the NHS in the UK.

Take for example a case that i've worked on fundraising for, Millie-Rose.

Millie-rose hadn't long celebrated her first birthday when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is basically a very agressive form of cancer. Only basic treatment for this is available through healthcare providers in the UK, but, an operation is available for her (provided she can make the journey) in germany. To do this, the family have to pay for everything. Flights, hotels, meetings, the operation, pre-op's, post op's, follow up appointments.... everything. I believe when they first looked into this the case was looking to cost around the £1 million mark.

The local community rallied together, putting on fund raising events, car washes, car boot sales, raffles... you name it, it's been done and then some more. However, to this day, the money still hasn't been anywhere near what is needed to get this proceedure carried out. Some charities have stepped forward and said if X amount can be raised then they will cover X amount and all that jazz, but even with that... it's not enough.

So can you imagine how i feel at the moment. Without meaning to sound rude or disrespectful, you have Stephen, who as sad as it is, has come to terms with his battle against cancer being almost over and it being that the cancer has won. On the other hand, you have Millie-Rose who is turning 3 this year, possibly her whole life ahead of her and yet the money needed doesn't exist. The charity that Stephen is fundraising for.... they don't cover costs for the likes of Millie to have her operation in other countries.

With Millie, although the fundraising carries on, the money Stephen is raising, could be spent elsewhere, giving people the fighting chance that they need.

So, if you want to donate to Millie-Rose's case, you can find all of the details on the facebook page, click here to be taken to the page.

But if anything, i hope this has given you food for thought. I'm not against dying people raising money, but i am against money of this scale being given to a charity, while others could be using the money to give them a fighting chance. It's like to some that Stephen is the only person who's dying of cancer at the moment and that's all that matters, the truth is, other's are dying too, and they need your money more.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Make it illegal to pay for sex?

Sorry, i just didn't know more of a perfect song to open this with, and lets face it, we're going to talk about sex here, so, it just needs music.... and this is quite a good song to be fair.


Some ex tory minister today is saying how it shouldn't be legal to pay for sex... my reason for writing this? Is to ask.... WHY?

I mean don't get me wrong, i thought it already was ilegal, so, i don't know when that got changed, but thats not the point here.

In my wild nights out i've met people who are involved in all aspects of the sex industry. Everything from the lap dancers who work up people into a state of arousal, to the people who will actually turn up to your room in your hotel, bonk your brains out and then take your cash in return for their time and services. I've met them all and often spoken with them about their job.

Now, what i will make clear here is that i am against people, of any age, race, sex, sexuality being FORCED to work in the sex industry, that, is not ok in my rule book. However, those who chose to work in the industry, doing whatever it is they want to do, then if they are doing so of free will, well who am i to complain really?

We all have sex, we all want it and so why shouldn't people be allowed to sell their time in the sex industry.... lets not beat around the bush here (no pun intended here), sex if done right is actually quite amazing, so, whats wrong with it?

My experiance of talking to people who are, without the proper job title, prostitutes, they have been some of the nicest people you could want to meet. They have an understanding of what they will do for money and are happy to do that, and i can also reveal... there's quite good money to be made having sex for a living.

Look, we shouldn't look to ban people working in the sex industry, we should allow it, in my opinion.... but what do you think about this?

Monday, 21 April 2014

Food banks, where i stand.

In 2014 while the UK seems split down the middle on what the government are doing to get us out of recession, it seems that we are allowing our poor to go poorer and the richer to keep growing their nest egg's any way that they seem it fit to do so, even if it means avoiding paying the right amount of tax.

Over the past few years theres been a surge in the number of food banks that exist, the use of them has gone through the roof.... yet, what at the top is being done?

Personally, i love food banks. It's charity at it's strongest, because you can see in your own community the impact that these are having on people, who for the first time in what could be a while, are able to have something to eat. I personally know what it is like to have no food in the cubards, to have to turn the heating off during winter because the money to pay the pre-payment meter just doesn't exist. I know life can be quite shitty at times.

However, many people are against food banks, they don't seem to grasp how so many people these days don't have enough money to be able to feed themselves and so of course they will then claim that they don't earn enough money etc, which is of course people just wanting something for nothing. In reality, the main ways to get use out of a food bank is to be refferd by a doctor or even the jobcentre. Some food banks operate where they will only allow the homeless in.... there's a wide range of types of food banks, but all of them are having a positive impact on the most poor people in society.

We as a nation, have a crisis on our hands. You look at the likes of africa and think "naww, thats sad", because you see about the people that have no food, no water, literally, nothing in the world. While you're right to feel bad for them, trust me when i say this, there's many people like that in the UK, right now. We need to take action, and fast.

In some shops, supermarkets etc, you may see a trolly over to one side with a note on the front. In many cases these are donation trollys for food banks.... stick something in if you can. I'm not saying to go and spend hundreds on food for them, unless you can afford to do so, but put it this way, you might only be chucking in a can of beans, but that 1 can of beans may be the difference between a child going to bed hungry, or not.

While you're online, give a little google to foodbanks, see if they need help and if you can, donate some of your time. Find some petitions and sign them, lets get the top dogs to ACTUALLY do something about this.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Worlds toughest job... the video.

Ok, probably most of you have seen this, it's the video that went viral showing a "company" that had posted a job and you join their journey as they interview some people over something like skype it'd seem, and blah blah blah.

Now don't get me wrong, this isn't to place ANY disrespect at the feet of any parents. I know it can be tough having children and all that jazz, but can we all please man up for a minute here?

Firstly... what kind of company does its interviews over the internet, using something like skype?

Even the "job role" as we're told about it, sounds completely fake. Firstly, i know of many mothers that can get enough sleep. Sure, you might have to get up once or twice during the night, early mornings etc, but it's certainly not a role where there's never any sleep. Constant bending over? Fucking hell, are they recruiting a mother here or a whore of a gay man?

But this is all to just tug at your heart strings and make you think "N'aww, isn't my mum the best" and of course that'd make you want to buy a card from this company or something like that.

It's hopefully going to make me forget about the times, like when i didn't want to go to school, so my pissed off mother jabbed me in the back with her car keys to vent some anger. It's trying to make me forget about the time that my mother kicked the bathroom door off its hinges because i refused to get my hair cut.

All this... and yet... i didn't shed 1 tear at the video.

So yes, mothers are great and most do a wonderful job at raising their kids and blah blah blah.... but for fuck sake, man up! This is a promotional video for a company, designed to make you spend your money this mothers day, and nothing else.

Back to work

Today, i'm able to confirm to the world.... i am heading back to work after a nearly 4 year long stint of no work. This is purely to explain to you what i've had to go through over the past 3 and a bit years and to tell you how i managed to get into work.

Firstly, thanks, yeah, i know, great news isn't it, yes, no, temp but on going, yeah full time and min wage for 12 weeks and then about £10 an hour after that, so all's looking good..... are just a few of the things i've had to say over and over today to friends and family who are thrilled with the news.

How did i get the job?

Well, this is a job agency that my friend works for. She'd simply posted on her facebook one day asking if anyone wanted a job packing/collecting and if so, get in touch... so of course this seemed like another job application that i could tell the job centre about and they'd be happy with it, and tbh, i wanted to know abit more about what this job was, so i sent her a message. I registerd with the agency and was told to wait and hear for news. I didn't hear anything for a few months and then today, i was asked to go in and find out the details of when i start working for this new employer.

I went in and was told what to expect, when i was starting, the working conditions, what the job involves doing, the hours, the pro's and con's basically.... and yeah, i'm happy to do it.

So, what have i been through to get to today?

Back in the november of 2009 i was released from my contract at KFC GB LTD (a part of Yum! brands) because of me being in hospital all night with a co-worker of mine after she'd been taken there by ambulance. She too had missed her shift the next day, as i had, due to being completely knackerd and not getting back home until about 9am after a night sat up waiting for news and trying to contact her family.

Also, the store manager just didn't like me anyway, if it wasn't for him chances are i'd still be working there to this day.


After i was released from my contract i recieved my final payment and went off to Bangor for the weekend to go and see my friend who was in uni there at the time. We had some giggles and it was a welcome boost to what was a pretty bad time for me overall.

I set back to looking for work upon my return but as you have all seen, the job market basically hit a brick wall and failed. While i was still signing on at the job centre i became a regular going in every 2 weeks, feeling a little bit ashamed each time to be going in through the electric doors because, well, what if someone i knew saw me... eurgh!

Anyway, at first, the help and support given by the job centre was ideal. They would sometimes send me to see a new person who'd want to see a copy of my cv, update bits on it, talk about jobs in the local area and sort of... put a plan together about getting back to work. This was really helpful because it gave you time to look for work and of course extra help was available if you wanted it.

In 2011 i was lucky enough to win (after almost a year of bidding) a bid on a flat near to where i was living. This would help me get back on my feet. The idea being that i could work any time i wanted and not have to tip-toe around when i came in from work at whatever time, it meant that if i was out of work or off, my friends who would often work up until about midnight could pop up and see me after work and we could watch some films or something like that... it was ideal, so on 11/11/11 i signed the dotted lines and got the keys. I was just so happy and of course over the next few months i began to decorate and get furniture together for moving in.

In the december of that year my nana (grandmother) was having a serious heart operation. Dr's were telling her and my mother at meetings that the chances of her dying on the operating table were high, even higher was the chances of her not surviving in post-operative care etc. This was a stupidly horrible time for all involved to have to go through and so of course as time grew closer to the operation, all plans and everything to do with the flat were put on hold. On the 14th of december she went in for the operation and we heard back later that day that everything had gone to plan, she was back on the intensive care unit and was showing sign's of doing really well. Over the coming weeks, she began to come back around (and i say started to, she was high as a kite on the drugs they were giving her, so most of the time she wouldn't know we were there, but we did, and thats all that counts).

As it was coming closer to the time that she'd be coming out of hospital, we all decided that i'd move out. My nana could have my old bedroom, my brother could have his room and that would be ideal for everyone. So, on new years eve, nana made it home at about half past 5. We were all over the moon, because for weeks before we'd been told that this may never have happend, any of it, and yet, here she was, sat in the kitchen, cup of tea in hand and talking as if nothing had happend to her.

I moved into my flat and began working hard to set it up as i wanted. Over the coming months i found it hard to make ends meet. Don't get me wrong, i'd set myself budgets to stick to and while i'd always stick to them, it never left me with a spare penny to my name.

One day on twitter, a friend of mine had commented to people about how easy it was to claim jobseekers allowance, how much money you got and how it was easy to make ends meet.... yet, i was living proof that it wasn't. So, i wanted to show him exactly how i was living, i wanted him to tell me how he could cope on the money i was living on. So if you're one of the 12,000 people that has since watched what i did next... that's the story behind the video.

Now of course this video was picked up on social media and to this day i still get comments about how i'm lazy, should be looking for work harder... all that jazz that i've become immune to hearing over and over again. Thing is though, not long after i made this video, the DWP (department for work and pensions, who basically own the job centre) changed things.... and NOT in a good way.

I was told eventually that as i'd been signing on for over 9 months that i'd have to go on a work programme. It was to last 2 years and designed to help me get into work. Me thinking that this could actually help me get back into work, went along for my induction and had to sign about two thousand bits of paper, basically signing my life away to be a part of this... or have my money stopped. After about 2 meetings i decided that this wasn't going to help me look for work, since most of the time you were placed infront of a computer and told to look for work. There was no help or support, this was basically all's i was doing when i was at home anyway.... so what was the point in me going?

i2i must have noticed my attitude towards them because over the coming months and year, they began to not post details to me about appointments, so of course i wouldn't attend and i'd recieve a sanction off the job centre. Infact, in 2013, i was subject to 4 financial sanctions from the job centre, 2 were active at the same time... go figure that one out, how do you take a persons only income off them twice at the same time?

Eventually, after my 2 year stint, i was told that i no longer had to attend i2i and that i'd now be going for the next 6 months on the "post work-programme activity". It involved (for me) going in once a week and possibly being sent back to the work programme providers, training courses, work experiance.... basically the job centre could do what they wanted with me and i had to either do it, or go through more months with no money to pay bills.

That's where i'm at today. I'm still on the post work-programme activity and funnily enough, they had wanted me to be going on a 2 week training course, starting on the same day that i'm now starting work.

Over my time with the job centre, i have been set-up by staff, so as i'd slip up on the paperwork and could recieve a sanction. I have had it confirmed to me by several members of staff at different job centre locations that they are indeed targeted on getting people sanctioned. I've seen companies with huge profit margins be taking in staff that not only do they not pay, but they are paid for taking on for periods of about 2 weeks at a time. I have been to the brink of putting myself into serious problems because i have had no food in the cubards, having to sit in the cold during harsh winters, because i couldn't afford to put the heating on and i had to call on people to send me money.

I've had to miss out on times when i've wanted to go out because i simply couldn't afford it. My love life was put on hold, because i couldn't afford to go on a date with anybody. I've been at the brink of wanting to take my own life, because what is the point?

Over all, it has NOT been easy. Being unemployed for a long time is possibly one of the hardest things you can do to this day and certainly in this society. The help that the job centre once gave, has now been sold to private companies who are only interested in draining the public purse of money rather than help you. You're more likely to find work with no wages, because why would a company with a multi-million pound profit company be able to afford your minimum wage job, in this financial climate.

Look, seriously though, the treatment of the unemployed people is not acceptable. I may now myself be off to working, but i know that still too easily i could be one of the ones who's back in the job centre in no time at all. Even if i'm lucky enough to stay in work, then i, personally, will not let the voice of the unemployed fall silent. They need help in every way you could think, yet not one government body is speaking up for them. Thats left down to the likes of boycott workfare or a social media parody account, all of whom join in the shouting that this kind of treatment needs to stop.

Tv shows like benefit street will still be made, to put the unemployed into the bad books of the country... with no real reason behind it, other than the public want somebody to dislike, so why not let it be some of the most poor people in the country.

End of rant.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Being gay feels wrong.

In my own sort of version of the speech given above, i thought I'd share with you my experience of how i feel about this and why it's wrong, but cannot be helped.

The gay community at the moment almost world over, in one way or another, is still fighting for equality and for many different reasons. In Uganda, the gays are fighting for the simple fact of, they want to live. In Russia, they have to avoid gangs who want them dead and are supported by anti-gay laws. In America, UK, Ireland, Europe... Marriage equality is being fought for.... and it's having an impact.

Now, regular readers of this blog will understand me when i say that the equality fight for the LGBT community has a large similarity to the fight of black people not even 40 years ago. They couldn't marry who they wanted, they were told day and night that the white mans god didn't want them, that they should be kept as slaves. The term 'nigger' used for nothing more than to describe people who were exactly the same as the rest of us, but seen as nothing more than a worthless slave.

Of course many films now document what happens next and the freedom that was gained and while yes, racism IS still a part of society today, it's a lot less than it once was. So let's look at the LGBT community for a moment here then.

We don't have the freedom to marry who we love, world over, at the moment. Laws prevent us from being able to give blood in the same way that our straight allies can. People get too used to using the word "faggot" to describe a gay person, forgetting that a faggot is actually an item of food.

So how does all this impact on me?

Well, as you heard in Panti's speech, turning on the TV to see your own future being spoken about is abit of a kick in the balls at times, because you do just want to be treated like everybody else. You try to speak up yourself about these issues and you're told by people around you that Gay's don't have it that bad these days, that it is a topic worthy of being spoken about by everyone.... and all this time, you're sat at home, wanting to be treated the same.

As Panti also spoke in her speech about that gay person, who is quite feminine, or, camp, as i call it, why should i feel ashamed to be around him? People will tell you of how people won't think twice about beating up a gay person, how we should hide our campness inside until we're alone. Was it possible for black people to hide the colour of their skin.... IS IT? Lets not beat around the bush here, people still want to harm others based on the colour of their skin... so should they hide their skin colour from the world?


In life we are often told by people that there's dreams and then theres reality. But if you don't have a dream, you cannot have the reality you want.

As a gay person, i don't think a day goes by that someone in the world doesn't accuse me of having raped children, caused divorces between straight people, conspired as a part of a gay agenda or of course, worked in the education system to poison the minds of young children, in a bid to recruit them to being gay. I do find it offencive, these messages are not maybe seen as directed towards me, because it doesn't hold my name, but those who doubt who it is that these people want to talk down about, ask yourself this. When was the last time you saw someone say that straight people shouldn't be allowed to adopt? When did a religion close its doors to you because of something you cannot help, even if that religion teaches to love thy neighbour.

It doesn't happen does it?

Yet here we are, people try to tell me what it's like to be gay, and will openly join in with others saying about how i shouldn't be allowed to marry in a religious place, why not? You would be the one 40 years ago to say that you don't think people of different skin colours shouldn't be allowed to marry, would you dare to say something like that in public these days? No, you wouldn't. So why is it acceptable to say the same thing but about gay people?

Not many people know about my sexuality when they first meet me, and it's not something i hide, but it's not something i go shouting around to everybody. Not through shame, or fear, but a simple thing in the back of my mind which makes me think "it's 2014, i no longer have to come out of the closet anymore.". So of course i still get people talking to me about what they believe, and don't get me wrong, i will correct some people, but others, i find it more amusing to sit back and just listen to what they have to say, while thinking that one day, they will eat them words.

Like 2 weeks ago, i was talking to another DJ, who for about 15 minutes was explaining to me that the only reason that marriage equality was passed the in the UK was because Elton John and Graham Norton have money and paid the MP's to vote for equality. He told me of how TV is being overrun these days by the gays, that churches are for straight people only.... that gays shouldn't be allowed out to places where he is djing.

Now I'm not a vengeful man, I do believe in karma, but i think he will learn, more than be hurt by the gay community, and that's why I'm not going to name him, and haven't to anybody.

BUT, you change what he said there to straight people, or black people.... what is your reaction then, and why is it different to it being in its orig context of gay people?

There's times when i have to go out and just, escape the real world, because it isn't fair. Gay people are still, world over, treated as second class citizens. Now granted, many are too dumb to realise it, but those that do realise it and call for change are often told that society is right, nothing needs to change and how somethings shouldn't change.... that you will just have to live your life as a second class citizen.

At times, on my walks, i will think about just giving up and accepting that i can't get married where i want to. Just accept that my gay friend who wears make-up in order for him to be able to cover up what he feels are imperfections with his look, will always be the shame of me and that maybe i should talk to him and ask him to "calm it down" when he's around me.

Then i remember something.

Silence gains us nothing. We have gay pride around the world so as we can celebrate the things that make us different, so as we can shout at the top of our lungs that "this is who i am and if you don't like it, well, fuck you". We have gay people in many parts of the world that are beaten daily, to death in many cases, because they are who they are... and god damn it, why should that ever be acceptable?

So no, i won't be silent. I will use my voice to speak out for people who are over-powered by a society that knows no place for them. I will use my voice to shout, until the law makers can make me the same as everybody else, in every single sense. I will stand next to my make-up wearing friend and be the one to tell you where to shove your comments when you dare to criticise him for wearing make-up and daring to be a little bit different than you.

I will not lead my life under a label of "gay". I will lead my life being, me.

The dog fight... and what you need to do...

Over the years i for some reason have been called "good with dogs". Be it that on a day to day basis i didn't mind taking a dog for a walk, playing with the toys... even yes, eating dog treats, i've never been afraid to get in there and handle looking after man's best friend.

There's times though when your management of dog's will need to step up a notch and i'll explain why in a moment with a bit of a senario for you to think of.

While we look at dog fights i think what we need to establish here is that there's different types of dog fights, in the way that they happen, the reason behind them happening and of course, the outcome. All of these factors need to be quickly and calmly taken into account when it comes to you and how you react to the situation, theres some massive do's and some massive don'ts, and you will learn more about this as we go on. I will point out at this moment that im not a dog trainer, advisor or anything like that, this is just my experiance.

Senario -

You are playing happily with 2 dogs, who both want to play with the same toy. You're throwing it and they're both running for it and bringing it back, with a playful attitude trying to take it off each other and of course when you try to take it away from them, they both team up and playfully growling and pulling so as you can't get it. Suddenly, one dog lets go of the toy and begins to attack the other dog, the dog which has began this attack has bitten into the other dog's neck and of course, it's causing pain... what do you do?

My way of dealing with this -

1) Remove the toy from the area, so as no dog can have hold of the toy. This might be putting it off the floor onto a table or a couch, but away from the two dogs in either way.

2) Keep calm. A strong authority cannot afford to break at this point. Be firm in your actions and know what you want the outcome to be.

3) Focus your attention to the dog who began this attack.

At this point, it is important for you to see exactly what is happening here. Is the attacking dog holding on to it's victims neck or is it still trying to get a hold (which will look like its still trying to bite the other animal). If it is the first option, the dog has a good hold and shows no sign of letting go, it is important that you do NOT try to pull the dogs apart. This could cause the victims neck to have the skin torn, causing futher damage than what is already being done. It is not a case of having to wait, but don't put your hands near the mouth or the victim's neck, you could be putting yourself at risk by doing do.

Raise the volume of your voice, but lower the tone. Make short, sharp noises, a loud but low tonned "OI" is usually a good one to go with. Make sure you get the attention of the attacking dog, so as you can reaffirm your status as the leader. Most dog breeds will have a scruff of skin on the back of their neck, on the attacking dog, grab hold of this, remember not to pull, but grab a hold of this skin and keep hold. If the dog is still trying to get hold of the victims neck, follow this next bit.

Eventually the grip will loosen on the victims neck, but don't let your grip on the attackers neck. When puppies are learning, they will often get into fights as they learn their limits and the mother or father dog will nip at the puppies neck and in extreme cases, hold the puppy down to the ground until it is calm, this is what we are going to do here.

When the victim has been let go, we can now set to work on the next step. At this point, the situation could still be tense. The victim could easily turn around and counter-attack... you don't want this to happen, so keep your eye on what the victim of the attack does, if they hang around or come back, push them away, firmly. You have hold of the attacker by the scruff of the neck, it is very rare for them to be able to turn around enough to be able to bite you should they still be in attack mode. Keep tight hold and bring the attacker down to the ground, manually move their legs if you have to, you want the animal lying on it's side.

If when lying down the attacker is making noises of an angry/upset nature, remember, you are the leader in this situation and YOU need to show who has the power, so remember to use your voice. Be louder.

Next, we're going to work on calming the attacker down. Stroke them. Keeping hold with one hand of the scruff of the neck, with your other hand, stroke from the neck down towards the tail. Do this calmly, eventually it will calm the animal down. Loosen your grip on the scruff of the neck. Does the animal still seem calm? Trying to go away? If it's not calm and is trying to go away, then keep stroking until the animal is calm (it shouldn't take longer than a few minutes, but keep at it).

Eventually, you should be able to let go of the animal and it will remain on the floor. On your command the animal may move. At this point this is when i'd usually send the animal to a "time-out" area, like the animals bed, or away from other people in any case.

Problem delt with.

Now, this is only a guide, but the morals of what to do remain the same, for all breeds and at any time of the day. Dog's need to remember who is in charge here and the only way you can do that, is by being bigger, faster and stronger. Dog's are man's best friend, but sometimes need a reminder of who is actually in charge here.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Jumpin' Jaks - what a memory that was!

Some of you may be reading this and thinking "Oh no, has Jaks closed?" but let me be honest here.... Jumpin' jaks closed it's doors a LOOOONG time ago.

My first ever night out to a night club and i ended up going into Jumpin' Jaks at their Wigan site. I was instantly hooked on the club. It's cheesie music, bar staff dancing on the bar's, live entertainment on the stage and some of the best party songs ever played, made sure that everyone who was in there really knew it was the best party in town.

That was until i threw up on the bar and had to be removed from the building, but that's for another story.

Over the years i kept on returning to this club and began to notice when change was happening, and i didn't like it. Infact, for about 2 weeks i worked behind the bar in the Wigan site and as fun as that was... it really wasn't for me, i was better off to remain as a customer, although i did have fun working there don't get me wrong.

Let me tell you about the Wigan site when i first started going....

You had 3 main entertainers, Loopy Lindsey, who was an ex-red coat and always got the party started and kept the hundreds of people partying away until the small hours when the club closed... and you were always gutted when the party was over. Caino, a travelling scotsman who was making his way though the UK and got a job in the club, quickly became a really good entertainer, who to his own credit, has gone on to do some pretty amazing stuff within the entertainment world, and i believe now is a regular dj at the ministry of sound. Johnboy, who when i first started going i believe was the lighting guy, but wasn't affraid of stepping into the light when needed.

These three would literally party the feet off you all night long, along with some pretty good live singers / bands on a saturday night, along with drinking competitions during quieter hours etc. At this time the club was owned by a company called Luminair Leisure, which in it's peak, became the UK's largest leisure company, owning not only the "Jumpin' Jaks" brand but also... Liquid, The orange house (now known as mortimers) and sooo many other big UK-wide brands.

Some time ago now, as the leisure industry began to take a hit, Luminair felt the hit too, infact, too much. Luminair leisure filed for bankruptcy and tried as it mite to make the brands work. The way of doing this was to sell off venue's that were not bringing in the pounds as they used to. They tried to re-brand some famillier faces, like the liquid club in wigan had several re-brands and only last year had to close it's doors for the last time after rising costs meant it wasn't possible to make money.

But what lead it to that?

Alex who had been with Jumpin' Jaks wigan for some time left the wigan branch - Huge mistake for luminair to let him leave this site. He was replaced by several managers over the years who all tried to impress company bosses by seeing who could squeeze the budgets the most and have the biggest profit margins. Over the time of course, Lindsey left, Caino left, leaving Johnboy to run the show... and even he was restricted as to what he could do. It seemed that the staff were told to simply work and not join in with the party atmosphere, to, leave it to the music if you please.

Entertainment had become second to money-making and jaks began to lose customers hand over fist.

When it was announced that the Wigan site would no longer be opening, it was a shock, to all of us. Part of me was gutted because the story would never be finished off, seeing if Jaks could rise from the ashes and become the amazing place to be it once was... but no, gone forever.

Not long after the site was bought off Luminair and is currently trading under the Jumpin' Jaks name, although how, i have no idea because currently the site is just, awful.

It's smelly, in need of a good clean and alot of maintenance needs to be carried out... and of course, the most you'll find in entertainment at the club these days is probably the green flame effects they have on the upper part of the stage. It's all about the money these days and jaks only ever used to be about the party.

As for the rest of the brand, you can mainly only find bad reviews on websites, from when it appears the whole brand changed, and lost it's party atmosphere. People talk about the clubs and how they were filled with younger people, cheap and nasty drinks, missing toilet seats and next to no staff.... that was never jaks during the good days!

So why do i write this?

I write this because the UK club market IS missing what Jaks used to bring, we need somewhere to go that really is "the best party in town". Jaks these days... pff, never getting close to cutting the mustard.

Anyone else miss jaks?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Another shooting in the USA? ... Oh.

This is apparently becoming a problem because i "should be worried" about certain incidents happening... yet... i just can't seem to be able to show any emotion over this anymore because... well... kinda brought on themselves.

Look, i think i've made my stance on gun's very clear... i don't like them, don't want anything to do with them, don't think we should have them... and luckily in the UK, we don't. Not to say we don't have people that die of gun injurys every year in the UK, but the rate is alot less than country's that still allow them to be legal... such as... oooh let's say, America.

For some reason this most recent shooting at a texas army base in America has failed to rile up any emotion in me... and there's several reasons for that.

1) Americans for the most part (not all of them, granted) seem very passionate about having guns, so let them have them, but see... that's the explination of thing's like this happening, gun's are legal, so they will fall into the wrong hands and incidents like this will happen.

2) How many people have died as a result of american army troops over the years in the east, and that news never seems to make it to the tv. The American government will tell you it's to "fight terrorism", yet are you aware that more innocent people have lost their lives in the east thanks to the American army troops, than the number of those who died in the new york on 9/11? Who is actually the terrorist?

3) How many times do incidents like this have to happen before they take the guns off the streets, and thus stopping as many guns getting into the wrong hands?

And there we go.

Just a little mixture of the thoughts that run through my head everytime i hear or read "breaking news, shooting in America". It's time to either deal with the problem, and i actually mean deal with it, or put up and shut up.