Disclaimer: This blog was (badly) written between 2011-2012 and is no longer active. For current writing examples, please see @misspallen on Twitter.
June 2011: I began this blog as a way of communicating my opinions on various parts of popular culture, because shouting at the telly just doesn’t cut it in the 21st Century. I’m a recently qualified journalist with a critical eye on the world of literature, art, fashion, television, film, music and news – but my prolific blogging on fashion and art had previously left the other topics by the wayside. I didn’t want to baffle my readers with multiple points of interest if they’d only visited to discuss shoes or the joy of textual art, so this second blog was born out of that desire to compartmentalise and create order. I also set myself the personal challenge of using WordPress for the first time, so it gave me a chance to learn a new skill as well.
So, what are my cultural interests? As a rough guideline…
Books – I’m drawn to outsiders and narratives that leave you questioning them for a long time after you’ve closed the back page. My favourite authors include Edward Rutherfurd, Anais Nin, Sarah Waters and Albert Camus. However, my guilty pleasure is a Jackie Collins novel: punchy, fast-paced and pure escapism.
Art – Still life paintings of fruit bowls leave me cold. I studied art as an undergraduate and enjoyed the work of Barbara Kruger, Tracey Emin, Sally Mann and David Downton. As for more traditional artists? Alphonse Mucha, Hans Holbein the Younger and Phoebe Anna Traquair made an impact for me. You can read my art reviews at: http://www.artface.co.uk.
Fashion – The silhouettes and patterns of Vivienne Westwood are always at the top of my list, whilst newer design talent such as Rodarte and Gareth Pugh are equally fun to watch. On the high street, I love COS, New Look and River Island.
Television – As a fashion lover with a strong interest in the business of retail, I loved Mary Queen of Shops. I can also be found engaged in serial dramas such as Dexter, or worrying about the Mitchell ‘faaam-leee’ in Eastenders.
Film – I’m a bit of an Almodovar addict; his multi-layered comedy dramas get me every time. Aside from that, I really enjoyed This Is England, and I’ve been known to curl up in front of a black and white movie from time to time.
Music – It’s rock all the way. From the Ramones to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I am a sucker for a guitar solo.
News – I’m particularly fascinated by feminist issues, such as the ‘Glass Ceiling’ of women in high-powered jobs, or the worrying social media-based jokes about a woman’s place being in the kitchen (if anyone tried my cooking, they’d soon realise why some of us really don’t belong there). Forever reading a newspaper, there’s a good chance I’ve found something that’s caught my eye in today’s bulletin.
My views are completely my own, and do not express that of my employer, friends or colleagues. You, as a reader, are also perfectly entitled to speak your mind and have your own thoughts on the issues I choose to discuss. I welcome constructive criticism and feedback, and I don’t mind if you haven’t quite formed an opinion on something and just want to read my writing and leave silently. That’s fine, too.
If you want to get in contact with me, please don’t hesitate to email pollyallen89[at]yahoo[dot]com.