Meet Paul Singer: the greedy capital vulture forcing whole nations into poverty

Our 21st century version of monarchs and dictatorships!

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the world today)

The fact you’ve probably never heard of Paul Singer says a lot about the way the world is run today.

Whole nations have been driven into poverty by Mr Singer and millions of people forced to live in extreme penury by his greed.

Singer doesn’t lend money  – he buys up old debts then like an old-style gangster he demands outrageous interest payments for them.

The private companies which do this are known as vulture funds and Singer is the greediest vulture of them all.

As just one example example of his activities, a few years ago Singer bought up the Republic of Congo’s historic debts for $10 million and demanded the poverty stricken nation pay him back at a rate of over 1,000%.

The country – scared of the consequences of defaulting – duly paid Singer $127 million, money which could have been spent on roads…

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The Corpse Bride, or How I Made A Wedding Dress for £10

Getting married? Hopelessly/ridiculously out of pocket? Want to look like a dead child on your wedding day? Never fear! Here, I spill the secret of how to make a wedding dress for £10 (as long as you don’t mind looking dead).

Ok, first ingredient, a cheap, white, shit maxi dress from Ebay

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I think it cost, like, £4.

Then I bought the CHEAPEST white ‘lace’ I could find in my local fabricshop, and used some leftover white fake organza from my box of fabric (for box, read carrier bag stuffed in the corner of my bedroom).

I added cute cap sleeves

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Then cut up the back and inserted the fabric I had bought to make a long train

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I added a bow to the back of the train to make it extra pretty

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And then I covered it in blood and used it as a costume for a murdered child in my play

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Happy Wedding Day! Hope you don’t get murdered!

Super-cool embroidery technique – A La Game Of Thrones

So I recently produced the first production with my new theatre company…Yay! And really want to share with the general interweb an awesome embroidery technique that I used for one of the costumes. It’s ultra time consuming but also ultra-fun, and I’m planning to one day make a whole piece using it – maybe a leather jacket even!

I’m a HUGE Game of Thrones fan, and I got the technique from the website of Michele Carragher, who, for those of you who don’t know, is the supremely talented woman behind the embroidery on the Game of Thrones TV show costumes.

Do you remember Dany’s dress for a lot of Season 3? This blue number: 3A - DAENERYS STAGE ONE - GAME OF THRONES EMBROIDERY BY MICHELE CARRAGHER

Well, this dress (and most of Dany’s subsequent dresses) have a beautiful Dragonscale embroidery technique worked into their shoulders. Just take a look at the close up

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Notice the scaly textured blue bits? That’s Dragonscale. And Michelle gives a wonderful guide on her website on how to master the technique.

Well, I wanted to use this technique from the second I saw it. It’s so detailed and beautiful, yet really tough and powerful. And, see, my play had this character…A ballsy, fiercely protective mother who ends up murdering her husband. And I just knew that she needed some dragonscale on her costume.

I bought a cheap black blazer from ebay, took off the hideous gold stud beads on its shoulders, added shoulder pads for added essence of Dynasty…

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And added my dragonscale!

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Voila! Sorry for bad picture quality BTW, I’ll try and do before/after/process shots now I’m officially a blogger!

My dragonscale looks different from Dany’s, partly because it’s nowhere near as neat! But also, I used a very shiny, tough fabric (almost plasticy), and decided not to go with the final step Michelle recommends, of pressing the dragonscale flat, as I wanted the shoulder pads to look as Fierce as possible!

Anyway, that’s my first experiment with dragonscale. Now to work my way up to that leather jacket…

#YesAllWomen

I thought I’d add myself to the long, long list of women taking up the cry of #YesAllWomen to document their experiences of sexism, harassment and abuse. *Warning: obligatory #notallmen part coming up* As others have pointed out, by writing this I do not aim to indite all men, I’m only trying to add to the vast swathes of evidence, on the internet and elsewhere, that all women have experiences like this.
So here goes. #YesAllWomen because…

  1. At 12, being made to pick up litter in my teacher’s classroom during an afterschool detention, and whilst I was on my hands and knees, hearing my teacher say ‘that’s a woman’s place’.
  2. At 13, being jealous of my friends because they got beeped on their way home from school by men in vans and I didn’t.
  3. At 13 and up, having to text my friends to let them know I got home safe and getting them to do likewise whenever we’d go anywhere after dusk. Never having to do this with my male friends. Still doing this now.
  4. From 13/14, ever since I grew my (large) breasts, having them be an open topic of conversation for anyone to mention, stare at or touch whenever they like, and me feeling that I had to be ok with this and even make jokes about my own breasts.
  5. At 14, in my first job (at a newsagents), having a married dad with kids my brother’s age that I knew from church give me his mobile number.
  6. At 14+, taking out my key and holding it inbetween my fingers as self-defense when walking home in the evening (from a friend’s house 2 minutes away, in a sleepy village) – Still doing this now.
  7. At 18+, being touched up in clubs, every time I’ve been in a club.
  8. At 19, being told by my manager at a well known pizza delivery chain, over facebook, that I had ‘nice breasts’ and that he wanted to ‘touch them’. Having to explain to him why it was not ok for him to say this.
  9. At 20, working at a large arts festival and being persuaded back to my 40 year old, married-with-kids colleague/superior’s flat, at which point he lunged at me for a kiss, then denied he had.
  10. At 21, working packing boxes in a warehouse and being told that only the men packed the heavier stuff because they were stronger. By a man who weighed less than me.
  11. At 22, being forced to listen to the radio at work, which for a 6 month period played Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ at least three times every working day. People thinking it was hilarious to sing it at me and watch my reaction. People deliberately forcing me to watch the explicit version of the music video to it because I’d said I was uncomfortable about it.
  12. At 22, being warned against meeting with a potential theatre collaborator at his home, even after I’d already met with him a few times in public and was working with him. Allowing this to worry and scare me. Feeling reassured, not because I knew he was a good person who wouldn’t randomly attack me, but because I was pretty sure he was gay. Never having this problem with any female collaborator/colleague.
  13. At 22, going to a burlesque club and the MD commenting negatively on a group of women who had just walked in, saying ‘the strippers have arrived’. At a burlesque club. Where people strip…
  14. At 22. being aggressively approached by a middle-aged guy whilst in a pub with my two sisters (aged 19 & 25). He was asking my younger sister about herself, and whether she was a student. When he asked me and my older sister the same question, we told him we were sisters. He got very offended(?) and pointed at my older sister (who has darker skin than me and my other sister) and shouted ” She is NOT your sister!” He then refused to go away until my other sister threatened to go and ask the bar staff to make him leave us alone. This was obviously threatening but also just bizarre and kinda racist?
  15. At 23, having to sit at the table in a restaurant listening to my fellow diners joke and laugh about the ‘good old days’ when they used to go clubbing and grope the girls in the clubs.
  16. At 23, and watching my partner try (unsuccessfully) to explain why he objected to a comment about how he’d been ‘raped’ at a video game.
  17. At 23, feeling a million times safer walking down the street (no matter the street, time of day or clothes I was wearing), when I’m walking with my boyfriend or any other man.
  • Because I feel lucky as one of my only friends who has not been sexually abused or raped.
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to my friend who was raped at a party and no one believed her, not even her parents. She decided not to press charges because she knew the guy was a ‘nice guy’ and she didn’t want to ‘ruin his life’.
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to my friend who was raped by an acquaintance who spiked her drink at a party, and was told by the police that there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to my friend who was driving an acquaintance home from a club when he refused to get out of her car until she gave him a blowjob.
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to my friend, who had the colleague/superior who lunged at me (point 9), lunge at her too, but was too drunk to say no. He raped her. I know it was rape because she told me she was in and out of consciousness when it was happening. She doesn’t see it that way.
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to my friend who was hit and sexually abused by her stepdad when she was a child.
  • Because I feel lucky, compared to a girl in my town who was raped as a baby and toddler by a relative.
  • Because I read more news articles about cases in which women have lied about rape than about women who have been raped.
  • Because more than two women are killed a week in my country by men.
  • Because of Elliot Rodgers, and other men who think they’re entitled to women’s bodies, and that if women don’t want to give them their bodies, they deserve to be punished.

What are your reasons for #YesAllWomen?