EN4News in Numbers: Sports

The news week can be a busy one, so don’t miss out on any  the sports stats that have been making the headlines. We’ve got everything covered from F1 potentially losing the Silverstone race track from its calendar to the philanthropic adult entertainment cycling club that lost its affiliation.

 

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(Credit: Jade du Preez)

EN4News in Numbers

In a world of constant news bombardment, some info can fall through the cracks. We’ve assembled a list of interesting factoids so you don’t have to worry about missing out! This weeks list includes some special International Women’s Day facts. 

Copy of Copy of 2.4-2

(Credit: Jade du Preez)

Reality TV: A very real killer

Reality TV seems to have become an inescapable part of everyday life. You can’t move for news of what a Kardashian is eating or what clothes someone from Made In Chelsea was seen wearing.

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(Credit: Dean Leu)

People can make an insane amount of money from reality TV: there are deals to be made, paid advertising to be displayed and the odd magazine cover to grace. Talk about yourself on live television, make sure your life is interesting, maybe stage a big fight and you’re laughing. Of course this is all made easier by the ridiculous sums of money you’re paid for drinking some special water brand and appearing on our screens every single day.

The old saying goes, ‘if it looks too good to be true, it probably is’ and there sure are some downsides to a life in the limelight – lack of privacy, threats on your life and constant trolling on social media? It’s what you get if you want to have all that money! “Suck it up sweetheart, you’ve got it so easy with your mansion and 17 sports cars, you don’t live like the rest of us!” We’ve heard the same rhetoric over and over with each new face that pops up on our screens but nothing is changing, and the growing problem of reality star suicide isn’t changing. Between 2004 and 2016, at least 21 American reality TV stars took their own lives with suggestion unfurling about whether reality TV attracts more unstable people or whether it’s the aftermath of their new found fame that drives them to such actions.

The unstable theory is an interesting one. Ever thought to yourself, ‘I could never go on TV and have my every move followed like that’? Well for those people this theory makes total sense – they think that it takes a certain kind of person to live the reality TV lifestyle, and that person must be more unstable, more needy, and more self conscious. They must be different to us ‘normal’ human beings! We couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it! Wrong… and this is where the two theories intertwine. The second theory being that the aftermath of those 15 minutes of fame is what leads to a downward spiral. The paparazzi badgering, the maintenance to stay relevant and current, the harsh celebrity treatment, it’s no wonder that some celebrities find being thrust into a totally alien lifestyle can be too much. We treat celebrities like we own them and dispose of them easily because we know there will be someone else to fill their shoes. We stalk them on social media, in real life and on our TV screens, then we ridicule them in gossip magazines, Instagram and forums, and when they’ve had enough of our disgusting behaviour? We throw them aside because some new show has come along. And when you’re led to believe that this is your job, you have to perform or else the rent won’t get paid, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll play along. It’s a twisted tug-of-war against the humiliation of admitting defeat (that you couldn’t keep on top of the fame) or letting the reality TV mill defeat you entirely. It’s unsurprising that we see people struggle under the cast iron grip of fame in the modern era.

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Constant attention (both from the public and the press) can be detrimental to mental health. (Credit: Shena Tschofen)

Just because we see people on our TV screens doesn’t make them a pawn in our game – they might look like it, but they’re not Barbie dolls to be disposed of. You shouldn’t rip the arms off them and then leave them at the bottom of your garden, forgotten and used up. And yet this continues to happen, very few reality stars of last month are remembered, let alone those of yesteryear. Our harsh view of them should never drive someone to suicide, but we continue to overlook the scrutiny and continue consuming whatever the big bosses of Reality TV-Land have to offer us; another Kardashian series? Yes please! A new spin off of The Only Way Is Essex? Why not, it’s something to fill your Tuesday night void.

We don’t have to remember every single person that joins a reality TV cast, it wouldn’t be possible to, but if we treated them a little bit gentler and with a tad more respect, then those grim suicide statistics will drop. Some people will have underlying issues that we are not to blame for, but the incessant trolling and bullying has to go. Don’t poke the fire that has already claimed too many lives, don’t endanger more lives – just be kinder to others and remember that the reality you see is a loose definition, not necessarily a definite truth.

For more on celebrity privacy, read Luka Kenyon’s article on celeb social media.

Fictional King, Real Life Horror

A writer’s worst nightmare – your debut novel inspires the death of 8 people and has to be pulled from shelves 20 years after it was published.

This very scenario became a sick reality for Richard Bachman, who published Rage in 1977, but discontinued its printing in 1997 after it became infamous as fodder for school shooters. The book follows a mentally challenged boy who holds up his school after he is expelled. He shoots several teachers and takes his classroom hostage, creating an impromptu therapy group with his fellow students. All present begin to realise that each hostage has divulged a secret except for a one, so they all turn on that student when they realise that none of them are really there against their will. After beating the lone hostage, the shooter attempts suicide by cop, which fails. He is then found not guilty by reasons of insanity and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

In the real world, things started relatively tame – the first two shootings were more like hostage takings but both had a copy of the book in their possession or had a reported fascination with it. Then 1993 saw the first fatalities – Gary Scott Pennington fatally shot his English teacher and then the school’s custodian in Kentucky. He had written an essay on Rage just before the shooting and was angered when he was given a C grade from the teacher that he had killed. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for 25 years.

Three years later, another shooting. This time Barry Loukaitis killed three people before he was wrestled to the ground and disarmed by a gym coach who volunteered to be his hostage for safe passage out of the school. It is believed that Loukaitis quoted Rage, but he actually reportedly said, “this sure beats algebra, doesn’t it?” after fatally killing his algebra teacher.

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Infographic (Credit: Jade du Preez)

The next year, Michael Carneal shot eight students at a prayer meeting in a Kentucky high school – three of them died. Carneal had a copy of the Bachman omnibus including Rage in his locker, and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He took the book off the publication line in the US, although it remained in circulation in the UK for a while longer. In a story that warps fiction and reality, the water grows murkier – Richard Bachman isn’t who he says he is either. He’s actually Stephen King, famed horror novelist who started writing under the pen name of Richard Bachman for two reasons.

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The 1st edition cover of the novel.

He wanted to see if he could replicate his popularity under a secret identity because he was unsure of whether his success in horror was due to talent or luck (he had a deep addiction to alcohol and drugs from the 70s to the late 80s). At the time most authors were only allowed to write one novel a year but King is known for his ability to write several novels a year. It is also said that he wanted to write several novels each year without these restrictions, but he did not know the devastation his debut would cause.

Whether such horrific acts would have taken place without the presence of Bachman’s novel will never be known, but in 2018 one school shooting occurred roughly every eight days in the US so the novel’s removal from shelves seems to have done nothing to deter some minds from picking up a gun. Atrocities like the Parkland Shooting still happened, and 113 people were killed or injured last year in the US in mass shootings. Even without the book, there probably would have been some other novel or film or music that someone unstable enough to commit such a crime could place their blame on.

EN4News in Numbers: Sports

In a world of constant news bombardment, some info can fall through the cracks. We’ve assembled a list of interesting factoids so you don’t have to worry about missing out on any of the action! This is a sports version of our News in Numbers series so you can keep up with sports news, too.

Copy of Copy of 2.4

Infographic (Credit: Jade du Preez)

EN4News in Numbers

In a world of constant news bombardment, some info can fall through the cracks. We’ve assembled a list of interesting factoids so you don’t have to worry about missing out!

Copy of 2.4-2

Infographic (Credit: Jade du Preez)

 

Moving Zwiftly into the future

In the ever-changing world of technology which is increasingly relied on for convenience, things are taking a turn for the physical in eSports. Gone are the stereotypes of gamers being couch potatoes who lounge in their man caves, there’s a new breed of gamer and they are drastically different from the ones you might think you know.

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Credit Jade Du Preez.

But gaming has come a long way – the 70s was the golden age of the arcade game which actually forced gamers to leave their homes and game in public, the 80s saw tech like the ZX Spectrum and Commodore VIC-20, 8-bit computers that you could code your own games on (you plugged it into your TV!), then the 90s saw more handheld gaming with the Game Boy console finding a new niche in the market, then the turn of the century ushered in the most popular age of gaming and eSports captivated the world.

eSports is different from just gaming at home – you take part in a tournament that is often live streamed to people around the world, and not just anyone takes part, it’s normally always the upper echelon of players who battle against one another. It’s the cream of the crop and there’s normally a lot of money at play.

The prize pool for Dota 2’s The International 2018 tournament was over $25 million and people have been making a living out of eSports gaming for years now, and that looks like it’s going to stay as Fortnite creators Epic Games are looking to offer $100 million in prize money for tournaments during the 2018-2019. Dota put $38 million in for the previous season ($25 million of that going into the International 2018 tournament).

There is serious money backing eSports, with millions at stake, and that’s a drastic change from when Dennis Fong (also known as his gamer tag of Thresh), recognised as the first professional gamer, was playing Quake and Doom. Over his career, he made roughly $16,000 and famously won a Ferrari 328 that was owned by id Software CEO John D. Carmack. The players who finished 17th and 18th in the International 2018 tournament made $63,830.00 – that’s almost four times Fong’s entire career winnings.

But where are things changing? Yes, gaming has become a spectacle watching by many and held in huge arenas, but where does it go next? The answer could be helpful in cycling and running video game Zwift. It allows users to connect their turbo trainers (stationary bike technology that gathers data on performance) to their account and cycle indoors whilst playing the video game which simulates a world. You can connect with friends across the globe to cycle together and the video game aspect comes with power-ups (short performance enhancing the character on screen).

So, if eSports was like a game of chess, Zwift is like playing chess whilst on a bicycle peddling up a steep hill – not easy at all. The video game really comes into its own when Zwift introduced their eSports league – the KISS Super League – which enables four Pro Continental, nine UCI Continental teams and two Zwift community teams to race each other for 10 weeks on Wednesday nights.

 

A Zwift spokesperson told EN4News: “We are now in an exciting position because we are able to connect the Zwift community with the lofty heights of the professional peloton. KISS will be a demonstration sport, illustrating how we can do this – the KISS Super League will provide high octane action for spectators worldwide featuring some of the best riders in the world.

The KISS League, however, provides an accessible eSports league for the rest of the Zwift community to compete in. It’s important that we recognise both ends of the spectrum. This is just the beginning for Zwift – we have big ambitions and will be unveiling our big plans for 2020 in the very near future.”

Is this the future of eSports gaming? Gaming whilst physically racing on a bike is immersive and highly skilled, incredibly addictive to watch and possibly one of the coolest new steps for eSports. You might not physically be able to defend yourself from demons and the undead like Dennis Fong did in Doom, but you can conquer volcanos and Alpine-like mountains in Zwift. Ushering in a new age of fit gamers, Zwift’s contributions to eSports are ones to watch.

If you want to hear more about gaming from the EN4News team, check out Liam Mackay’s Review of Battlefield V!

 

Why Some Like It Hot hasn’t gone lukewarm

In a time where movies are disposable and often formulaic, how is one of the greatest movies of all time fairing in the cut throat world of Netflix and binge watching?

“Story of my life. I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop.”

That’s how it all started for Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, and how one of the greatest comedies of all time began, but the audience certainly does not get the fuzzy end of the theatrical lollipop. The picture follows two musicians who witness a Mafia murder and flee town disguised as women so that they can join a band travelling to Florida.

However, Joe (Tony Curtis) falls in love with Marilyn Monroe’s Sugar Kane and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) acquires a male admirer too. Their days in paradise are numbered though, as the Mafia comes to Florida to attend a conference and they see right through their disguises.

Some Like It Hot captured the hearts of film lovers the world over and continues to do so to this day. In fact, the film is celebrating a milestone birthday – 60 years old – and it’s still going strong, featuring on some of the biggest streaming sites including Netflix.

But how has it aged in a world that doesn’t necessarily ‘get’ the movie? Although it features on all the online viewing platforms, do younger viewers want to watch a movie that’s shot in black and white and features three leading ladies who have since passed away?

Well they should, and here’s why – because those three leading ladies are legends, even if the average 15-year-old can’t name them. They were Marilyn Monroe, who died only a few years after the film was released, Tony Curtis, who appeared in over 100 films and had a career spanning six decades (he was also the father of actress Jamie Lee Curtis) and Jack Lemmon, who won two Oscars from eight nominations over his career.

 

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Infographic by Jade du Preez for EN4News

 

But for their performances alone, they each shine in what was one of their best works. Witty and charming, Some Like It Hot has everything a good comedy should have and holds them dear, almost like it could foresee the formulaic production-line comedies of the 2000s and how they would mostly end up devoid of true, thought out humour.

Jack Lemmon sparkles in the film, often the butt of the joke but he always has a brilliant one-liner to show up Tony Curtis – like when he asks him why he’d consider marrying his admirer (another man), a thinly veiled homophobic sign of the times for the movie, snatched away when Jack Lemmon answers with ‘security!’

His attempts to dodge his admirer (who has no idea he is a man in disguise) is a highlight, which ends with the pair dancing the night away as he continues to lead and not dance like a woman. Jack Lemmon takes the challenge of playing a woman and gets lost in it over the duration of the film, and it is magical.

However, Tony Curtis seems like the leading man, the guy with all the charm and dashing good looks, but his venture into the female psyche is short lived when he also fronts as a very rich man so that he can win over Miss Monroe (when he’s actually pretending to be Jack Lemmon’s rich admirer).

Over the course of the picture, he plays three characters – Joe, Josephine (his female alter ego) and his millionaire trying to sweep Sugar Kane off her feet. And boy does he do them justice – you don’t really like any of his characters, to be honest, they’re all dimwitted and arrogant, but at the same time, you want him to get the girl and save the day. He somehow doesn’t let you dislike him enough to make you wish ill of him, and that might be because of his friendship with Jack Lemmon’s character.

But the absolute star of the show was Marilyn Monroe, she dazzled in her naïve showgirl character – but she knew so much more than she let on. Her line, “I don’t care how rich he is, as long as he has a yacht, his own private railroad car, and his own toothpaste” is what every girl is thinking.

So witty, yet so demure, you can see where the sex symbol comes out in her, but you can see this smart side to her. She’s clearly been cast as the dumb blonde, but she is so much more than that – she’s every beautifully flawed woman in film and literature, a real Rose Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. Don’t take this character at face value, dig deeper and remember the time.

A film like this one doesn’t just disappear, it’s remembered for all it’s smart one-liners and zest for comedy. It doesn’t fall flat, but maybe you should actually watch this one and not stare at your iPhone instead.

EN4News in Numbers

Too busy to read the news today? Or maybe you want to sound clever at a work function? Here are six interesting statistics we think you should know about, short but sweet.

 

2.4-2

Infographic by Jade du Preez for EN4News

EN4News in Numbers

Don’t have time to read the news? Here’s 6 interesting statistics we think you should know about, but don’t worry, we kept it short and sweet so you don’t have to read loads to get your news.

2.4

Infographic by Jade du Preez for EN4News

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