FUELLED BY CAFFEINE

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 22/07/2018

Read Time: 5-6 minutes, 770 words

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Fuck You, Hollywood

Fuck Hollywood. Fuck their play it safe approach and their risk aversion. Their antiquated, backwards, archaic mentality. Their decision to never back, and indeed to actively quash, alternative, independent productions. Fuck their capitalist monopoly. It is difficult to feel sympathy for your eroding empire, Hollywood, when you are not even close to achieving the greatness that you could have and appeared to stopped even striving in the last 40 years.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 15/07/2018

Read Time: 9-10 minutes, 1,543 words

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The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me: Is it OK to Still Like Brand New?

Full disclosure, I loved Brand New. Before the release of their latest album, I had listened to them with constant and unwavering awe for the last 15 years. I had attended every show that they had headlined in my native Scotland, including when they played an intimate style show at Glasgow University's School of Art that had sold out almost instantly. I'd obsessed over Vincent Accardi's guitar riffs, pored over Jesse Lacey's lyrics and dreamed of writing a song as good as 'The Boy That Blocked His Own Shot', or pretty much any of the songs that graced the classic album of this article's title. As such, when it came to hearing their latest, and final, album, 'Science Fiction', I approached the digesting of it with the respect a Brand New record commands: no distractions; no passive listening; no awful ear-buds or tinny phone speakers. Only dedicated and focused attention without any interruption, would suffice.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 02/07/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 944 words

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Goodbye, Alcohol

A few months ago, I decided to lay off alcohol. The story of why I chose to do so is a long and complex one. I’ll try my best to give you a quick rundown of my relationship with alcohol and how that relationship has evolved.

Author: Siobhan Lumsden

Date: 24/06/2018

Read Time: 5-6 minutes, 614 words

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Upside Down

Not so long ago, just a few moons back, things felt a little out of balance around here. A dart pierces through the light-hearted air, but instead of landing smack bang in the middle of the board, it slices downwards, smashing every inch of the glass table. Cups crumble between my fingers. The pavement seems to be waiting for me to trip. The buses are deliberately crawling along at a snail’s pace and there is nothing any of us can do about it. The world is battling between flashbacks to days gone by and glimpses into the future. It seems impossible to just ‘be’ right now. To lie back and read a chapter without having to go back and reread every single word again twice, because the first time around the words seemed to slip off the page and fly away. And good luck retaining any of that freshly inhaled knowledge because brains are just in their own little world at the moment. We’re trying to go forward but we’re constantly being pulled back. Computers crash. Phones freeze. People say things they don’t mean. We’re all confused. But there must be a reason for it all, right?

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 20/06/2018

Read Time: 8-9 minutes, 1,048 words

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Top Five Split Records

This week's Top Five runs through the best Split Records ever released. Splits are often overlooked in a band's back catalogue, but frequently deliver great songs as bands bid to appeal to a new audience.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 17/06/2018

Read Time: 3-4 minutes, 392 words

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Let's Play Capitalism

This week I decided that I would write a poem. On reflection, I am awful at poetry and I am clearly working at a very rudimentary level. However, I did find it a fun experience. I accept I am a slave to rhyming, which I know is not a prerequisite for any passage to be considered a poem, but I just love the way that the flow works when the end of the lines rhyme. So, whilst I accept any criticism that is coming my way, I never claimed to be a poet.

I recently bought a house, amidst every one saying things like, "rent is just paying someone else's mortgage", "rent is wasted money" etc. I can't help but think this is the propaganda of banks wanting to lock you in to a £200,000 debt that they will hold over you, creaming interest off for 25 years. Anyway, enjoy.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 13/06/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 867 words

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Top Five Albums From 1994

It’s hard to argue that 1994 wasn’t one of the most important years for music in recent history. It’s a year which saw the creation of music that would define a generation and, more importantly, stand the test of time. People would be forgiven for believing this was a year dominated by the Grunge scene, it was certainly the pinnacle year of the “Rock Star” that would then decline the day Kurt Cobain committed suicide.

When you look across every genre, it’s amazing to see how many important albums were released in this year. Everything from Weezer’s blue album to Definitely, Maybe by Oasis. There were punk releases such as Stranger Than Fiction by Bad Religion, Troublegum by Therapy? and grunge masterpiece Superunknown. In the metal scene, this was the year that Far Beyond Driven, Burn My Eyes and Korn’s self-titled debut that would birth the Nu-Metal domination of the late 90's, hit the shelves. It was also the year In Flames released Lunar Strain, an album that would play a pivotal role in influencing the great artists who rose to give us the Gothenburg sound. In Norway, this was the year that gave us some of the best Black Metal records ever created, some of which – In the Nightside Eclipse, D Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Transylvanian Hunger and a whole array of others by just about every important Black Metal artist in existence.

It’s been hard for me to choose a Top Five, but here are some of my personal favourites from a vintage year that had us spoiled for choice.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 10/06/2018

Read Time: 6-7 minutes, 689 words

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A Grenade Without A Pin

I was driving along the motorway at around 70mph, give or take, as I overtook an arctic lorry. The rain was bouncing off the road as the storm worsened. I was trying to pass this thing, but the spray coming off its wheels blinded me. No matter how fast I turned up the wipers I couldn’t make sense of the road. Music was playing at a low volume, because when I need to focus I turn the volume down, but that wasn’t enough for me to make sense of the road and if that really was a bend up ahead. It may have taken me several seconds to get by, but I felt every second like they were forever. It had been a day where I had sensed that a change was coming, and that I could mark it on the calendar as a day of significance. There were signs everywhere that I looked, even when I wasn’t looking. I picked up a magazine with the title “Ghosts in the Machine” and laughed to myself, because all this shit started that day in San Antonio when a guy offered to perform an exorcism on my broken laptop. That was the beginning of it all, really. But here we were, thousands of miles from there, and things still weren’t the same.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 03/06/2018

Read Time: 9-10 minutes, 1,303 words

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In Defence of...Scottish Football

'In Defence of...' is a series of articles that attempt to make an argument for issues that may on the surface appear indefensible, abhorrent, outlandish, or downright stupid.

I get it, you are thinking, 'Ok Ian, you have made an argument for subjects as ridiculous as abandoning democracy as we know it and defending the ludicrous notion of national pride, but how can you possibly make an argument for Scottish football?'. Well strap in you animals, because you are about to read why Scottish football is the best in the world.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 30/05/2018

Read Time: 5-6 minutes, 699 words

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Top Five Songs From Slam Dunk

Last weekend I attended Slam Dunk (North) Festival in Leeds. Which, despite being the Northern most of the three one day events, was still several hours south of my home. The drive down was pretty horrible in bank holiday traffic and in sweltering heat for a Scot's man (about 20 degrees). However, the trip was definitely worth it and beers and the sun was enjoyed by my friends and I. For this week's top five I decided to let you all in on my top five favourite tracks from the festival.

To give you an idea of this rather unique festival, instead of it being in a field in the middle of nowhere, a section of Leeds city centre is fenced off and several stages are erected for bands to perform, alongside a pre existing gig venue; the O2 arena. Dispersed between the stages are food carts, bars, merch tables and porta-potties. Bands playing this year included, Every Time I Die, Good Charlotte, Reel Big Fish, Frank Carter, Goldfinger, Twin Atlantic, Paris amongst many others.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 27/05/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 945 words

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What Makes a Person Good?

It’s 2018, society is unravelling at an alarming rate, we’re all against one another, we’re at each other’s throats, the internet has descended into a war zone, victims are hung from cyber lamp-posts, their carcasses desecrated by the masses as their personal reputations are stamped into the mud, in the background someone is wearing a V for Vendetta mask, they’re spray painting Carpe Diem onto a wall as someone photoshops a cock into Donald Trump’s mouth. The only way we navigate this terrain is by placing each other into pigeon holes labelled “Good Person” and “Bad Person.” What side are you on?

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 23/05/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 910 words

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Top Five Books

That’s right, I’m laying it all out there. This is the motherload, the list most sacred to the heart of every book lover across the globe, one which cannot and should not be undertaken lightly. Truthfully, I have never even contemplated this list, not even mentally, it’s not like all the other lists we share with friends, we’re not rating Star Wars films here, people. This shit matters, for those reading you will be getting a look behind the curtain, a wee peek at the spectre who rattles they keys of his laptop, this is deep, it’s personal, I’m excited to see what makes the Top 5. So, fuck it, here we go.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 20/05/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 988 words

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Stop "Raising Awareness", Start Making Changes

Mental Health Awareness Week has just passed and with it came a glut of posts on my Facebook and Twitter feeds from well meaning people of all genders and ages stating that we need to shatter the stigma around talking about mental health and convince people to talk about their issues and seek help. Often these statements were followed with the hashtag of, #itsoktonotbeok. Whilst I obviously agree with the sentiments of these messages and believe the sincerity of those who were sharing them, my feelings on the subject is that the stigma, at least amongst my peer group, has been shattered, but the issues lie with the actual access to help. Of course, it is excellent that people are supporting one another and offering an ear and to help in any way they can to those that are struggling. However, deep seated mental health issues often require specialised help from medical professionals.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 16/05/2018

Read Time: 4-5 minutes, 480 words

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Top Five Horrors of the Last Ten Years

Horror films have a bad reputation. You don't get Horror films winning Oscars, Emmys or even Golden Globes. They are a slave to troupes and are often completely devoid of any originality. That being said, I love the genre, and enjoy the remakes and even films that may as well be remakes, such is their lack of any original elements.

Due to just how many poor Horror films there are, and that Hollywood enjoys spewing out one a month given their relative low budget, and of course around six every Halloween just because of...capitalism, it becomes all the more powerful when a good Horror is released. Think of the hysteria around the original Blair Witch or more recently, the fanfare around the new Blair Witch...ah shit, maybe they have run out of ideas.

Behold, our Top Five Horror Films of the Last Ten Years:

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 13/05/2018

Read Time: 7-8 minutes, 1,081 words

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Scotland's Relationship with the Monarchy

Is it time for Scotland to give up the monarchy?

This may seem like a controversial question to some, but to many in Scotland this would be answered with a straight forward yes and a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders. Should the question ever be put to the nation, it would be hard to imagine it being an issue that would create a lot of debate. Of course, the UK government would likely intervene, and the newspapers would circle the wagons to defend the Monarchy, but I’m not sure they would succeed. I’ve lived here for over thirty years and there is so much of a contrast on this issue between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. It is nothing like the debate on self-governance we’ve had.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 09/05/2018

Read Time: 6-7 minutes, 873 words

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Top Five Songs to Listen to on a Wednesday Evening

When my good friend Ian Morgan suggested that we do a weekly top five list, I was completely on board with it. Mainly, because my first thought was “That’s High Fidelity as fuck!” But once I began thinking about potential lists, it soon became apparent that I may struggle for material. I’m not a person with specific tastes, someone who has a wealth of knowledge in specific subjects, I’m very much a person who tries the buffet of life – a little bit of everything. So, you should know that a great deal of thought has gone in to each of my lists.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 06/05/2018

Read Time: 5-7 minutes, 886 words

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In Defence of...Nationalism

'In Defence of...' is a series of articles that attempt to make an argument for issues that may on the surface appear indefensible, abhorrent, outlandish, or downright stupid.

I think that we can all agree that on the face of it, Nationalism is one of the most ridiculous concepts to which anyone could adhere. There is estimated to be around a one in 400 trillion chance that you are born at all: that is the statistic that you should fixate over - not the fact that you happened to be spat into the world on one side of an imaginary line, rather than the other. Nationalists believe themselves to be superior based on this clusterfuck of biological, natural, economical and historical chance.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 02/05/2018

Read Time: 4-5 minutes, 670 words

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Top Five True Crime Podcasts

Every time you hear about a serial killer, it is mentioned that they had themselves an, 'unhealthy obsession' with serial killers. This makes me shudder every time, as I myself have the same obsession. I consume true crime podcasts, documentaries and books as if I require them for sustenance. To date, I have not killed anyone.

Due to how busy I am with other things, and my other half's dislike of watching 'Born to Kill' every night, I have found that podcasts are the perfect format for me for getting my fix. As such, for FBC's first of a (hopefully) weekly list of top fives, I give you my Top Five True Crime Podcasts.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 29/04/2018

Read Time: 2-3 minutes, 296 words

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Pipeland

Now that better weather has finally arrived in Scotland, I’ve been out exploring some old haunts from my youth to help inspire my writing. It’s been some time since I last looked upon these sights and part of me was shocked by how much decay has taken over the place. These places have become unsightly and mostly abandoned. But when I thought about it, we are the ones responsible for the state it’s in today. We abused the place, we drank every drop of life it had and left it dying. It’s no wonder people avoid it now. Below is a poem I wrote inspired by old haunts.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 22/04/2018

Read Time: 4-5 minutes, 735 words

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In Defence of...Scrapping Elections

'In Defence of...' is a series of articles that attempt to make an argument for issues that may on the surface appear indefensible, abhorrent, outlandish, or downright stupid.

Democracy is the thick, velvet, stage curtain behind which hides the oligarchy. The fig leaf that hides the shrivelled up genitalia of multinational conglomerates. Elections are sold to the highest bidder and positions can be purchased by the biggest spender.

Author: Ian Stewart

Date: 15/04/2018

Read Time: 4-5 minutes, 831 words

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Finding Happiness in Not Growing Up

Today I’m writing this to share my experience of finding happiness with you all. I know happiness can be found in many forms, and if you’re someone out there who feels complete and is content with life, then good for you. But if you’re someone out there who feels lost and is being weighed down by the pressures society places on you, then I want to hear from you.

I suppose I should start off by explaining who I am. I’m a person, now in my thirties, who doesn’t feel like they’ve ever grown up.

Author: Ian Morgan

Date: 02/04/2018

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Welcome to Fuelled by Caffeine, a blog packed full of thought pieces, short stories, travel and lifestyle articles and much more. The blog is written by a collective of contributors, all of whom are in the process of publishing novels. It allows the exploration of new writing styles and topics that would otherwise not be taken on by the authors.