The Groucho Letters By Groucho Marx Review!

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The Groucho Letters (1967) by Groucho Marx is a wonderful read.

 

We get to see lots of his letters to his family and friends and their responses. He came across as someone with a great sense of humour and maybe someone who used humour to combat harder elements of life. It is so interesting to see how his life was changing throughout the different times of the letters and it really is excellent that these letters survived to give readers a glimpse into his life and his relationships with those he loved and cared about. You get to hear about lots of things from the mundane to the big moments and he seemed really, really interesting and cool to be associated with. It is wonderful to see the effort he put into crafting his letters. A great writer and so much funny moments in his writing that you would laugh a lot as you are reading this book. He had a great interest in many topics and it was very interesting to read his thoughts on the many topics he was interested in.

The book has a great introduction by Arthur Sheekman and is divided into different sections which makes it easier for readers to look for a particular type of letter. There is sections like Movie Business, Private Life, Broadway and Hollywood, Friends Abroad and The Faintly Political Scene amongst others. The collection was requested by the Library of Congress who the letters were donated to. 

Very interesting and enjoyable.

 

To purchase The Groucho Letters by Groucho Marx go to:

For more about Groucho Marx and his work go to:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/43244.Groucho_Marx

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

Here is my five video suggestions for this week. With Christmas coming up this week, it is Christmas-themed. 🙂

History

From Biographics here is the story of the true and absolutely adorable saint who inspired the creation of Santa. Really interesting to hear the story and how the creation of Santa Claus has evolved over the years as well as some lovely Santa-related stories.

Geography

From Geographics we have lots of information about Rovaniemi in Finland and its connection to Santa Claus and Christmas. Again really, really interesting.

Music

Here is a wonderful Christmas classic The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole. Absolutely gorgeous! 🙂

From a classic to a new release. Here is the new release Love This Christmas by Rick Astley. Very fun.

TV

From 1963 here is The Judy Garland Christmas Show where she is at home with her family. Many guests feature and lots of Christmas songs are sung. Great show, very fun.

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everybody! 🙂

I am back with another 5 video suggestions post for you today:

Social Issues

This very interesting video by Vox explores the problematic history of casting predominantly white actors in the roles of Asian characters. The fact it ever happened and the fact it happens still today is an utter disgrace.

Books

I am listening to a lot of Agatha Christie audiobooks while I am writing at the moment. This short story was one of Agatha’s books I hadn’t heard of before but of course it’s brilliant. David Suchet and Hugh Fraser who are pretty much the ones I mostly think of as Poirot and Hastings due to the TV adaptations are performing and narrating.

Drag/TV

Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is starting soon and recently we met the queens who will be participating. It seems like a great cast. I of course have a few early favourites but they all seem cool.

History/Mythology/Supernatural

Christmas is coming so it seems a good time to watch a bit about the history of Krampus, Saint Nick’s nemesis. It was really interesting to hear the history of Krampus as I do not know much about them and learning about all the countries who have celebrations which are Krampus-related.

Music

From 1973’s Top of the Pops here is the Christmas classic Merry Christmas Everybody by Slade. Very fun tune.

5 Videos To Watch This Week On YouTube!

Hi everyone! 🙂

It’s that time of the week again! Here is my five video suggestions for this week:

TV/Music

In this really interesting video, reigning Eurovision winner Duncan Laurence talks about his experiences since winning the contest last year. I could very much relate to what he was saying about coming from a small town.

Music

Kill The Lights by Alex Newell & DJ Cassidy with Nile Rodgers is just so good to dance to! The beat is amazing, Alex’s voice is sensational and this video is just perfect too. I dare you all not to dance to this! 🙂

TV

I was reading about this new show It’s A Sin which is set to air in 2021 on Channel 4. I am definitely excited to watch this. Russell T Davis is an absolute writing genius and an early inspiration to me as a writer though I am nowhere near as good as him. I love Years & Years and seeing Olly Alexander from the band is in this is really cool. He’s a really good actor too. I remember he was brilliant in Skins. I love the Pet Shop Boys too so everything really works for me here. The cast looks amazing in general and the story is incredibly important too. Below is the trailer for the show:

Make-Up/Drag

Here the amazingly talented season 8 winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race Bob The Drag Queen (and I have seen Bob live at Christmas Queens in the past and she was superb that night) doing her Aunt Fester version of Uncle Fester from the Addams family. Really great make-up and really great costume by Bob’s drag daughter Free the Drag Queen.

Drag Performances

From one amazingly talented Drag Race winner to another, this is Aquaria’s first show which took place in Mexico City following her win on RuPaul’s Drag Race season 10. Everything about her show here I just adored and the support acts were really amazing too.

5 YouTube Videos To Watch This Week!

YouTube considering moving child content to YouTube Kids - 9to5Google

 

 

Here in a new feature on this blog. I hope it will give you some interesting and varied viewing. I am by nature a very curious person, always have been since I was a child and I love to learn so my viewing can be diverse as hell, you have been warned! I hope at least some of the topics will be of interest and I plan to do this weekly so without further ado and rambling from me, here is five YouTube video recommendations to watch this week. 🙂

 

Music

 

This powerful song has been put along alongside some powerful images here. We see activists who are ordinary people as well as well-known activists for the rights of people of color like Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Highlighted too are the rights of women and LGBTQAI+ people. A very emotional watch.

 

Social Issues

 

I am very socially-conscious but I hadn’t heard about Juneteenth until very recently. This video explains very well something I must look more into. Please do watch this video which talks about the day and it’s connections to slavery and the emancipation of so many people of color. It isn’t easy obviously to watch because the fact people were treated in that way is utterly disgusting but we need to acknowledge that terrible history and do better by our brothers, sisters and non-binary people of color.

 

TV

 

I am a huge fan of Aquaria and this is the opening episode of her On/Off series where she was out in the Philippines last year. A very interesting series detailing many of her work engagements from last year.

 

Relaxation

 

We all need a moment to relax, destress and get ourselves ok again. I have recently got into ASMR as a way to relax and I love videos by Mads Asmr. In this video, Maddie is scratching, raking and pinching and plucking away your stress.

 

Film

 

I am a huge Sister Act fan and this scene with Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier and Sister Alma never fails to make me laugh.

 

 

Thoughts About RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12

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If you are a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you will be very aware that quite a lot has come out recently regarding contestants participating in season 12 of the show which began airing just over two weeks ago. The season had previously been billed and expected to be the ‘nice queen’ season and the series of ‘RuPaul’s Best Friend Race’. Well that really went tits up, didn’t it?

Firstly, Sherry Pie has been disqualified from the season with rumours that she allegedly made the final, after statements made by several men saying she sexually harrassed them came to light. Using the fake name of Alison Mossey (apparently a top name in the acting business), Sherry tricked many men (nine at the last count) into believing they were going to land a huge part if they took steroids and were filmed engaging in sexual behavior such as masturbation. As her real name Joey she was encouraging them to trust in the fictious Allison Mossey with the aim being to saisify her own sexual pleasure via using their dreams to make a better life for themselves.

Secondly, an identified man has told how he was sexually assaulted by Brita Filter after a night out. The man was Brita’s drag daughter at the time and much like Sherry Pie’s victims was trying to make a better life for himself. Brita has not been disqualified because Sherry admitted to the claims and Brita has denied the man’s story.

In addition to all of this, contestants Dahlia Sin and Aiden Zhane have been embroiled in controversy following transphobic social media posts they made in the past. Though these situations are obviously very serious, they are obviously not in the same league of terribleness as the two previous situations discussed. However I think it is important to put the spotlight on how wrong and problematic their words were as well. Dahlia has never apologized for her opinions on this matter. However Aiden has apologized and has spoken about how she has changed and grown since that time and for that I commend her. It’s not an easy thing to do. It’s something many people never do and I applaud her courage and fairness to do that. While I am the first person who will call out dodgy opinions, I am also the first person who doesn’t believe in holding grudges against people when they truly appear like that is no longer who they are or how they think. If someone is being a better version of themselves than their past self then kudos to them and I wish Aiden all the best and thank her for her kindness to do so and to publicly state that she was wrong and she sees things differently now. I know many people will appreciate that.

But now back to the two situations involving Sherry and Brita. I think the producers of Drag Race firstly were very responsible in their handling of the Sherry Pie situation. She was very promptly disqualified and will not appear at the finale. With the news breaking so late, I have a lot of sympathy for them in the regard of editing because it is difficult to edit a whole season I would imagine which is already in the can. I don’t think it’s going to happen but personally I wouldn’t mind them delaying the season for a bit and editing it. However I won’t hold it against them regardless of what they decide because it must be a nightmare situation for a producer and I would not like to be in their shoes right now. I think (and all of the elimination order is unconfirmed) that Brita did not make the final so there was probably no need to disqualify her. However, I believe she will be appearing at the finale and that’s problematic in and of itself. Even if you were to take the statement as false, it’s still plobematic with that being out there and the possibility that it could be true swimming about.

My stance is with the people who are the victims in these two situations. Before I get into my thoughts on this, I want to give you all a little background on myself and the way I think with these situations as we are dealing with extremely serious issues here. Anyone who knows me knows I do not instantly take that stance. I don’t take a stance instantly with the accused either for that matter. I’m not a person who thinks I’m a terrible person because I don’t instantly take a victim’s allegations at face value and I equally do not say everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of the Me Too movement either. And I acknowledge a million per cent that more often than not most victims from statistics are telling the truth. However I am a writer and I also like to be fair to both sides before I form my opinion (and then it’s very hard to change my mind but that’s another story). So the writer in me done my research on these two cases to the best of my ability because obviously I don’t know the people involved on either side of either of the situations. I have also being a victim of an incident where I was touched in a sexual way and I think it’s important that I speak about that in a future blog because this sort of predatory behavior is rampant in every area of life. But just to be clear here, I have took a stance with people who have been accused of things like this who I didn’t believe did it too so my experience does not cloud my judgment in these issues.

But in these two cases, I believe these men who have come forward. My heart breaks for them that they went through these situations and I admire their courage to speak out with all the fears that must have been attached to doing so. It’s a truly frightening, violating thing to go through in any of it’s many forms and I respect their courage in telling these stories that they probably wish they could just bury deep in the ground and pretend didn’t happen. The fact that they know they will probably have to repeat these stories over and over or be asked to in any case must be incredibly draining. It must feel like partially reliving a trauma that you just wish you could leave behind. Don’t get me wrong, the platform they have to highlight this behavior is great and hopefully it helps many people but you kind of want to talk about very bad memories like this in your life on your own terms and in a way that I would imagine gets a bit took away and that can be scary. You don’t know who to trust. Are they using it for sensation or are they truly interested in highlighting the issue? I hope they have some good people around them.

I have to applaud the support these men have got from so many people. Whether that’s queens who have been on the show previously, the wider queer community or the wider community of people in general. People have been outraged and while that’s to be expected, people have been very vocal in comdemning that this type of behavior is not acceptable. I will say that it could be a bit more vocal about Brita but I appreciate that for a lot of people they might be nervous to say something about that because Brita has denied the allegations and in short, it’s a more frightening situation for many people to comment on because of that regardless of their own personal feelings on it. But to that man, thank you for sharing your story and know that a lot of people including me believe you for what that’s worth.

To make another point, I know a lot of people are worried about how this is going to reflect our queer community to people outside it. And sure a lot of bigoted people will take this as fodder to store away in their press of why it’s wrong to be queer. But the person who touched me inappropriately was not a member of the queer community. My point is not that people outside the community are always but that the actions of particular people in or out of the community do not reflect the majority of people in or out of the community. Most of us humans would find this kind of behavior deplorable and thank god for that.

I would like to say one thing and I want to preface this by saying this excuses nothing in either Sherry or Brita’s situations but be careful because you are still dealing with people. Over this side of the water, we have recently seen presenter Caroline Flack take her own life due to negative press attention and online trolls. Though Caroline’s situation is immensely different from what we are discussing here, the same humanity rules apply. By all means, have your freedom of speech. I am completely in favour of that. But sending hate and death threats to a person is not what I mean when I say that. If you find yourself in a bar and you’re hanging out with either of them and you want to debate it, go right ahead. You’re one person against one person and sure be passionate but don’t be cruel. But the internet is one person against thousands, millions. Think before you type or in particular tag someone with something very vicious because the mind is very fragile and if you are any kind of person you do not want someone’s death on your hands or to tremendously add to making someone have bad mental health issues. Comdemn by all means but be mindful of how you do so. Don’t lose the run of yourself. There is a human at the other end of that communication with insecurities like us all and please don’t forget that. I reiterate that by saying this I don’t condone the behavior. In fact I’m disgusted by it. I’m only saying be careful because even though I deplore their behavior and I don’t like them, I don’t want anything to happen to happen to anyone.

I also want to say that there is queens in this season who are kind, good and this is their big opportunity to show the world their talent. I feel so terrible for them and hope that the events which have happened will not overshadow their moment to the extent that no one will notice the output of wonderfulness they put out there. Let’s put the spotlight on their achievements too and not let this overshadow how brilliant they are. I wish them all the best. It is hard watching certain people in the cast for sure but let that not take away from the amazing queens who are simply trying to get on, spread great messages and entertain us.

I stand with the people who are victims of these situations. I hope that they find some closure and peace even though I know you never find true closure and peace when you have been in a situation like this. As a victim of this sort of thing, I thank you all for speaking out but just as a person in general I thank you all for speaking out. You are all amazing for doing so and even more amazing for doing so because you all probably don’t think you are amazing for doing so. But there is a lot of us out here who are so glad you did because it highlights what a lot of us have went through and have to deal with, forget, achieve and pretend like the thought of that moment or for others moments in time doesn’t affect us when we think about it. For all those who speak out, thank you. For all those who don’t, don’t for one second think I don’t (for what it’s worth) think you are also amazing because you fight through it too and that is amazing whether you ever say it out or not. Situations are different and I’m very well aware of that. But thank you to these men because you are speaking out for a lot of us, making us feel less alone and for what it’s worth I totally believe you and I hope you all get the justice you deserve and you can somehow move on from all of this and be successful and utterly fabulous.

Duncan Laurence From The Netherlands Wins Eurovision 2019!

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Last night Duncan Laurence won the Eurovision for the Netherlands with his song Arcade in Tel Aviv, Israel. Winning with a total of 492 points (combined from public and jury votes), the win is the fifth win for the Netherlands but their first win in 44 years. The track which was hot favourite to win faced tough competition in a tight Eurovision battle. At the end, it came down to being between Sweden’s John Lundvik, who was the most popular with the juries, and Laurence. Ultimately the public vote decided the outcome giving Netherlands the win.

On the combined totals of jury and public votes Italy came second with Mahmood and his song Soldi, Russia finished third with Sergey Lazarev and his song Scream while Switzerland finished fourth with Luca Hanni and his song She Got Me. Rounding off the top 6 was Norway with KEiiNO and their song Spirit in the Sky and Sweden’s John Lundvik with his song Too Late for Love.

 

Another major talking point from the night was Iceland’s Hatari holding up Palestinian flags in support of Palestine when they received their votes from the public vote. The act also held up the rainbow flag and trans flag earlier in the evening. Hatari have proven themselves this year to be full of courage to use this platform to highlight both Palestinian rights and LGBTQ+ rights and I feel they are absolute legends and pure class. They have done Iceland very, very proud.

 

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Hatari

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Following Laurence’s  win, the 25-year-old who was born in Spijkenisse in the Netherlands said:

“Yes, yes! Oh my God! This is to dreaming big, this is music first always, thank you, thank you!”

 

Speaking to reporters after, Laurence said some absolutely beautiful words:

“I think the most important thing is that you stick to who you are and see yourself as I see myself, as I see (fellow contestants) Sergey, as I see Chris, as I see you, just a human being. As a person who has talents, who, with this trophy, will in however many years stick to what they love – even if they have a different sexuality. Stick to what you love and make the best of it, and love people for who they are. That’s the most important message. Dream big.”

 

It was a very well deserved win. Congratulations Duncan and all involved. Congrats Netherlands! 🙂

To watch Duncan Laurence’s Final and Semi-Final performances as well as his win, highlights from Eurovision 2019 and his  music video for Arcade you can do so below:

My Top 5 Tips For Eurovision 2019!

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The Eurovision final is just around the corner. Literally. It’s in a few hours! The semi-finals are done and dusted and tonight a winner will be crowned. Here is my top five tips for Eurovision glory:

 

  1. Iceland

 

Performers: Hatari

Song: Hatrio Mun Sigra/Hate Will Prevail

Odds: 18/1

 

 

2. France

Performer: Bilal Hassani

Song: Roi

Odds: 40/1

 

3. The Netherlands

Performer: Duncan Laurence

Song: Arcade

Odds: 4/5

 

4. Switzerland

Performer: Luca Hanni

Song: She Got Me

Odds: 7/1

 

5. Sweden

Performer: John Lundvik

Song: Too Late For Love

Odds: 14/1

 

 

Special Mentions:

Ukraine

I loved the song from Ukraine which was banned from going too.

Performer: Maruv

Song: Siren Song (Bang!)

 

Ireland

Well done to Sarah & the gang for representing us this year.

Performer: Sarah McTernan

Song: 22

 

Good luck to everyone tonight! 🙂

Cameron Cole Wins Big Brother UK!

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On Monday night, Cameron Cole became the final ever winner of BBUK as the long-running reality show came to it’s final curtain call. Cameron (19), a vlogger from Norwich faced competition from Akeem Griffiths who finished in second, Zoe Jones who placed third and Cian Carrigan who took fourth spot. Cole was not only the last winner of the show but also the youngest. Jones and Carrigan left the house together first leaving Cole and Griffiths to fight it out for the win.

 

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In the end, Cameron who came out as gay, had a coming out party and celebrated his birthday in the house came out on top which I felt was very well-deserved. His friendship with Lewis was my highlight of this year’s show and I just love the both of them.

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Following his win Cameron said,

 

‘I am completely and utterly shell-shocked. I thought I was going to be out first week. I didn’t think I’d be liked. I thought I’d be irritating, annoying. I didn’t think I was going to fit in. I can’t believe it. It was a dream to get in. I don’t even know what you’d call this. It’s a miracle.’

 

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Speaking about his friendship with Lewis he said,

‘I love [Lewis] to bits. I can’t thank him enough. He changed my life. It was a brotherhood. We looked at each other and it was an instant connection. We could both be grumpy together…over think together. I love him to bits. I could never sit here without him. I would never have done it without him. I’d only said it to like five people before that. For him to help me the way he did, I could never…’

 

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Well done Cameron! And all the other finalists too! 🙂

 

You can watch Cameron’s winning moment below:

 

Why Cameron Cole Is My BBUK Winner …

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Tonight the curtain falls on BBUK’s last ever final and I am hoping it ends with Cameron winning. Here is five reasons why …

 

His Coming Out Moments

 

In 2018, no one should still be fearful of the reaction they will get on coming out as gay (or anything other than straight for that matter) but in reality there is still far too much prejudice in this world. A quick Google search will show that to you and Cameron coming out that he was gay even today is still a very brave thing to do and it will help a lot of viewers to be true to who they are and I salute him for his openness despite his fears at such a young age.

 

 

His Friendship With Lewis

My highlight of this year’s show has been these twos’ friendship. I think they are going to be friends for life. The bond they have is brilliant.

 

Saving Akeem

 

Tactically getting rid of Akeem was a better option as Akeem was higher in the betting than Isabella but Cameron chose to save him as he was there from the beginning. A brave, kind and correct move.

 

His Nerdiness

 

Being a fellow nerd, I find myself drawn to nerds! Cameron (and of course Lewis too!) have definitely being the nerds of this season with their stimulating chats and their desire to talk about something other than sex. While I’d be very much in the nerdy crew with Lewis and Cameron talking about world issues if I’d being a housemate, I might still have snuck off to chat nookie with Tomasz too!

 

His Plans To Defend Cian

 

Nikki Grahame came in and insinuated that Cian was a dirty old man for his crush on Cameron referring to Cameron as “a young boy”. Utterly pathetic in and of itself as there is only five years in age difference between them. But when Nikki was gone, instead of play the game of making Cian out to be a dirty old man, Cameron and Cian sat down to discuss how they would deal with questions outside with Cameron vowing to defend Cian when he was asked about their friendship and Cian’s feelings towards him in the house. Now that ain’t a young boy to me. That’s a very responsible man not in the mood to destroy someone else’s reputation. Take note Nikki.

 

All the best to Cameron tonight and to all of the other finalists! 🙂

Cameron to win! 🙂