It’sÂ been around seven monthsÂ since this blog was updated and aside from it being the perfect opportunity toÂ crack such a witty littleÂ jokeÂ in theÂ naming of thisÂ entry,Â I alsoÂ wanted toÂ make an attemptÂ atÂ reanimating this blog in more of a ‘personal’ capacity, whilst brieflyÂ updating you all on what I’ve been up to in the meantime.
Those of you who know me will be aware (to be fair I’ve made itÂ increasingly difficult for youÂ to avoid) that I launched a new website back in January of this year. Passing Nightmare was the culmination ofÂ an ideaÂ which had been festering away inside my brain for 12 months prior and something which I’d made a failed attempt at launchingÂ several monthsÂ earlier.
As I becameÂ increasingly interested in politics,Â economics and the mediaÂ I felt I needed somewhere to scribble down my ideas and thoughts on issues which were important to me, or where I had strong views. I also wanted to collaborate with other writers and spread the articles across social networking websites.
Six months later,Â the site has been relatively successful at meeting those originalÂ aims.Â It nowÂ containsÂ around 20 original articles, many of which are quite considerable in length. Some of my favourites are listed below:
- An Epidemic of Benefit Fraud? The Demonization of Welfare Recipients – This post talked about the levels of benefit and otherÂ fraud in the UK, and contrasted it with media coverage of ‘scroungers’.
- Austerity Politics & Blaming Labour – In this article I spoke of the trend towards blamingÂ Labour party spendingÂ for the fiscal deficit, whilst overlooking the massive problems caused by theÂ banking crisis. It looked at austerity politics and discussed whether this could eventually cause more harm than goodÂ during a period of recovery.
- A Future That Works – My first hand report from the ManchesterÂ NUS/TUC rally on the 28th January, during which I was temporarily contained by police. Several arrests were made on the day, although the media narrative of protester violence was severelyÂ overemphasised.
- The Death Penalty Doctrine – This piece looked at the continuing emphasis onÂ capital punishment as an appropriate form of punishment. It looked at the history of the methods and argued that the death penalty can never be fairlyÂ or accurately applied.
- Why I Will Never ‘Love That Advert’ – My latest article argues that advertising damages our society in increasingly negative ways and that we shouldn’t sit back and accept the massive influence it has over the way we perceive ourselves, the way we treat others and the way we receive information about the world.
An early success forÂ Passing Nightmare was achieved in JanuaryÂ when the Guardian newspaper quoted my articleÂ on the levels ofÂ benefit fraud in the UK, andÂ with the help of TwitterÂ the post eventually went viral.
Various other websites, students, journalistsÂ and academics have cited or commented onÂ the articles and it’s been deeply heartening to see someÂ the responses I have been receiving so far. Its not always been easy fitting work on the siteÂ around my full-time job and my university degree, but its something I’m passionate about and I sincerelyÂ hope I can continue to put in as much effort during theÂ upcoming months.
I’m planning to update thisÂ blog more frequently now as it begins toÂ take a more personal slant on me and the various goings on in my life, so feel free to add me to your feeds and subscriptions. I shall try not to disappoint.