Girls & Boys

https://www.wtnh.com/news/connecticut/hartford/100-girls-to-be-inducted-into-boy-scouts-for-first-time-ever-in-hartford/1744918307?fbclid=IwAR158N6wI2Ff8bHmdXeRb8YFB6nYp1eEaQu4EMSlAZXeK2yVL8ozVDggPtE

I was browsing through social media when I noticed a really interesting article, which you’ll find via the link above. Apparently, for the first time in Hartford, USA, a number of girl scouts are joining the boy scouts. Or to put it another way, a more mixed scout group.

Although I welcome the movement, it’s not exactly the first time that’s occurred, which I shall go into detail about in a bit. As many people may know, the Scout Association was founded by Robert Baden Powell, a former soldier, in 1910 and incorporated in 1912. For some decades, the gender groups were separate. This was until 1976 when somewhere in the UK, the girls were allowed access to the Venture Scouts which at the time was aimed for those in their late-teens. Although there are mixed gender groups nowadays, it seemed very rare back when I was a member of the Association. I’m a former Scout member myself.

When I was a primary school student, my brother was already a member and my mom persuaded me to have a go. First I joined Beavers, which is like the first level. I was six at the time. Then as I reached the age of eight, I ‘graduated’ to Cubs. I’d say I found that part of the Association more memorable. I didn’t go to Scouts, as in the third level, because I had quit before I joined. One reason being was because at the time I was still in Cubs even though I had just entered Year 6 in the school year and thought, “I should be in Scouts by now”. But another reason was that I started to get bored with it and wanted to do other things.

Looking back, I didn’t find the experience too bad. I do have fond memories of being a member of the Scout Association. I can remember the games we participated in i.e. Traffic Lights, Dead Lions, the beans game, Frog On A Log (In The Pond), some to name. I can also remember the songs we sang. One of them, which makes me laugh just think about it, was the Coca Cola song sung to the tune of Frere Jacques (“Coca Cola x2, Makes you burp x 2, Have another bottle x2, Burp burp burp x2”). I remember singing the belching song to the tune of Bingo. It went like this; “there was a man who opened his mouth, and this is what came out of it”, and then I took a sip of water and ensured it was still in my esophagus by the time I sang “B-U-R-P” and then belch. I did that three times and then I sang “Of course it was a” and then belch. Those were good times. Plus I can’t think of anybody I didn’t get on with.

But the con was that neither the Beavers group nor the Cubs group were mixed, gender-wise. It was just boys, aside from the group leaders. It was like being in a same-sex school and I’m lucky I didn’t go to a boys school. However, it seemed odd. I remember one of the boys once quoting “girls don’t go to Beavers”. I couldn’t remember if it was at that or Cubs. Sometime later, my mom said that “girls go to Rainbows/Brownies”. Apparently, she wanted to join when she was younger, but didn’t due to financial reasons. The next thing I noticed, when I moved on to Cubs, we each had a handbook and I remember seeing some pictures on the front cover and there was one of boys and girls mixing together. I thought “wait a minute, of course girls do go to Scout clubs. How come we ain’t mixing?”

Oh well. I’m not saying all that just to be PC. I just think that it’d be a great opportunity to include both boys and girls in a Scout Group. Therefore, and even though it’s strange that the movement has not occurred before in Hartford, may it commence!

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Top 11 Overrated Music Bands

“Their music is so iconic,” “They’ve won awards,” “They’ve dominated a charts,” oh tell that to someone who gives a damn! Just because of them things, doesn’t make their music so great.

There are some bands that you feel receive far too much credit and/or don’t find as good as many other people do. Well I make no secret about which bands I consider to be overrated. For this list, my opinions are based on popularity, level of commercialism, the quantity of positive reviews and so forth.

Before I begin, I want to point out that I don’t dislike all of the bands that I have listed. My reasons are mainly due to the mis-understandable credit they’ve received. So here is my Top 11 Overrated Bands.

 

#11;

ABBA

I’ve gone off ABBA for sometime, not that I dislike the band, but a lot of radio stations play their material way too much. ABBA have released some awesome material i.e. Take A Chance On Me, Does Your Mother Know, Super Trooper and Waterloo, one of the reasons why I place this band quite low on the list. But then, they’re over-shadowed by stuff like Fernando and I Have A Dream, both of which I’m not keen on. With that said, much of their stuff seems to be all about their break-ups, nothing really unique.

That’s of course with the exception with Waterloo which you can easily guess what it’s about, hence the title. I do think Does Your Mother Know is also great not just from the point-of-view of someone observing the music, but if you listen to the lyrics, it’s about a girl who’s persuaded not to get too close to the narrator, because she’s very young and he doesn’t want to turn into a pedophile. But it’s mostly just love songs.

ABBA may have had a hell load of number one hit singles, but it doesn’t mean that BBC Radio 2 or Smooth Radio or whatever has to play their songs over and over again. And did I mention its constant use at parties?

 

#10;

Bay City Rollers

The Bay City Rollers sure were popular back in their day. My mom recalls being irritated by her friends’ obsession with the boy band. Personally I don’t blame her. Because I don’t think their songs are that good. Bye Bye Baby, Shang A Lang, I couldn’t care much for.

The band were around during the glam-rock era as were ABBA, but that’s the thing; glam-rock maybe a favourite genre of mine, but try and compare ABBA and The Bay City Rollers. ABBA at least had more memorable songs, even if the majority was mediocre. I can only remember a handful of songs by the Rollers, hence the above two, Give A Little Love and of course their cover of Dusty Springfield’s I Only Want To Be With You.

Many of the glam-rock artist may be a little commercial, but like most teen idols, the Rollers relied a bit too much on the commercialism.

 

#9;

Culture Club

Boy George is a transvestite and gay. Big deal. I’ve seen David Bowie’s various styles of dress and I heard him declare that he was bi-sexual. And I’m sure even Elton John and Freddie Mercury came out as gay even before Culture Club existed.

And another thing, Culture Club are nothing that spectacular. I mean don’t get me wrong; Karma Chameleon is good, but not great. As for Do You Really Want To Hurt Me, I just find it so boring.

It’s like people are trying to shove Boy George’s sexuality and the band’s so-called “uniqueness” right down our throats. We get it, he’s gay. No need to be so PC about it!

 

#8;

One Direction

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of vocal-groups and One Direction are certainly not one of my favourites. They’re only popular, just because they were finalists in a season of the X-Factor. I’ve always preferred instrument playing bands to vocal groups. The reason being is that those bands demonstrate more creativity compared to vocal bands.

I first heard about them when they performed at the London Olympics back in 2012. The reason being is because I didn’t watch the same season of The X-Factor that they’d won, since I gave up on the show sometime before then. The show was just becoming commercial for the sake of it and was clearly forgetting that it’s supposed to be about the singing talents.

UK Number ones or no UK Number ones. One Direction’s music will still be forgotten about.

 

#7;

Frankie Goes To Hollywood

I only know two songs of theirs; Relax, which is okay, but they always over-play it, and The Power Of Love is without a doubt, one of the most boring Christmas songs I ever heard (see my list of worst Xmas songs).

Frankie Goes To Hollywood is just another 80s band who people are trying to use to ‘define the decade’. I don’t get how they can be defined as ‘iconic’. Try to compare them to the Human League and Madness, bands with more creativity, memorability and so forth. I’m talking about another band relying too much on commercialism. Not that I minded Relax being used for the soundtrack to Zoolander. That film was the only thing I could use to get into Frankie.

 

#6;

Maroon 5

I never really liked this band. This Love, Moves Like Jagger, none of them songs got me into the groove. And speaking of Moves Like Jagger, that was the song that got overplayed in discos and I had soon got bored with it. Just because they collaborated with Christina Aguilera. And guess what, she’s also overrated! Obviously, they’re referring to Mick Jagger and I sometimes wonder if they even know who the guy is.

I’ve known all along who Mick Jagger is; the front-guy who’s been playing with The Rolling Stones for so many years and is the father of eight children, one of them called Jade, and the youngest who’s been born only a few years ago. Moves Like Jagger sounds like it’s trying to sell Mick himself to the listeners as if we’re too dumb to know who he is. I remember when I began university and that song was being overplayed at the nightclubs I attended and I soon got irritated by it. Sometime later, I found out that Maroon 5 was the one that released it (with Christina Aguilera of course).

That was when I remembered This Love, one of the ugliest sounding break-up songs I ever heard. I’m sorry, but I just don’t like the way it sounds. The way they put staccatos in-between the chorus lyrics “This – Love – Has – Taken It’s Toll” etc. Oh my god! If there’s a song called This Love, I’ll go with the Pantera version, thank you very much.

 

#5;

Girls Aloud

It doesn’t strike me that one of the members happens to be a judge on a reality-talent show, nor that she’s married to a football player. The member I’m referring to is Cheryl Tweedy/Cole.

The only song I genuinely do like of Girls Aloud’s is Love Machine. Maybe it’s because of the awesome guitar riff, which alas is not even played by any of the girls. Can’t they even add any instrumental skill?

As for their other songs; No Good Advice, meh; I’ll Stand By You, I’ll stick with the Pretenders version thank you; Something Kinda Ooooh, as if; The Promise, never liked in the first place, mainly due to the rhythm of the chorus; Walk This Way which they did with the Sugababes, oh my god, I want to strangle this one! If people want to familiarise themselves with the song, they would’ve gone to Aerosmith.

Much like One Direction, Girls Aloud is just another one of them cash cows that only makes music just to make money off dumb listeners.

 

#4;

Metallica

If there’s one heavy metal band I class as overrated, it’s Metallica.

I’m all for heavy metal music, except when the vocalists growl so much that I can’t understand what they’re singing. I’ve listened to some of Metallica’s stuff and I can hardly remember a thing after one hearing. Yet, they’re usually highly ranked above Pantera and Slayer, both truly awesome bands. Seriously have you tried listening to both Cowboys Of Hell and Master Of Puppets? Well I can assure you the song I award the prize to for memorability is Cowboys Of Hell.

Metallica may have won a hell load of awards, but they don’t do much for me. I prefer their sister band Megadeth, who I once saw at Bloodstock festival. Though I will say that I do feel sympathy considering they did lose a bass player following that bus crash.

 

#3;

Take That

During one conversation I had with my mom, she once stated that during the aftermath of Take That’s split, she witnessed a lot of ladies crying, because Take That had ended around that time. My mom didn’t get it. She didn’t care much for the band, and neither do I.

I can’t really blame Robbie Williams for resigning from Take That. Personally I do also find him both overrated and boring, but at least the majority of his material was more memorable. I’m not saying that Take That’s material is truly forgettable, but I want to hear good songs of theirs and the only one I’ve ever come across in my entire life is Back For Good.

When they reunited in 2005, many people welcomed them back. I was not one of them people. I didn’t miss them one bit. Take That have not learned from their mishaps or changed one bit, aside from the fact that both Jason Orange and Robbie Williams ain’t with them no more, the latter who managed without them for some time. When Patience came out, I was bored by it. Same with Shine. I guess I give credit on the occasional instrument playing. Gary Barlow did have a go on the piano for some of the albums. But they’re still the same dreary old band. I’d rather listen to S Club 7.

 

#2;

Coldplay

“What?! You do not call Coldplay overrated!” Too late pal, I just did.

Many of my mates like them. But to be honest, I can’t get into them. I don’t understand all the credit they’re getting. I don’t even see how they can possibly be that great, when all I hear is the same droning song by them. None of them sound different enough for me to define any of them.

That;’s with the exception of Clocks which does have a nice piano riff. But I’d rank that song higher if I didn’t have to sit through Chris Martin’s groaning gibberish. I also know the Scientist off by heart, but I couldn’t give much of a meh about that one. Funnily enough, they’re both from the same album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, but that ain’t the peculiar part. My parents have got the album on CD. I even had a listen to it and even though it was no.1 in the charts, those are the only two songs I know how they sound.

As for the rest of the material, I can only recall a handful. Speed Of Sound – a load of crappy-crap-crap. Yellow – which I keep forgetting how it sounds, but then when I revise it again, I get disappointing memories. Let me rephrase that, I’m like “it ain’t as good as I remember it”. Sure all of their albums was UK#1s, but that just means people threw their money away on the albums.

Even that Bo’ Selecta parody of Chris Martin couldn’t convince me to get into the groove with Coldplay and nor could their performance on Live 8.

I like to see someone try and convince me that Coldplay is a superior band, without me responding to a person next to me “So anyway, you was saying about that new Cranberries album?”

 

Before I reveal the number one pick, here are some honourable mentions;

Kaiser Chiefs

Keane

Paramore

Sex Pistols

Westlife

Wet Wet Wet

And the number one most overrated band is;

Spice Girls

This may be after the wake of their announcement for their reunion tour, but that doesn’t stop me from ranking Emma, Geri, Mel B, Mel C and Victoria (I won’t address them by their nicknames. It irritates me and those are their real names anyway and I’ve always addressed them like that), together known as the Spice Girls at number one.

Here’s the thing. The Spice Girls was my favourite band when I was a kid and now I question why that was the case. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I can think of way better bands to listen to.

Even in my younger days, I cared not a jot about what position the Spice Girls was in the charts. When I was in my teens, I did some general research and noticed that they had a s**tload of number 1s. More bloody cash cows who just want to make money rather than also consider the artistry! Added to that, I hear Victoria, along with her husband David, spoils her children. Did you know that their daughter’s birthday party cost a ba-jillion dollars?

I’ve bad-mouthed the majority of vocal groups long enough. But it’s like the Spice Girls are taking it a step further. Geez, I don’t want to listen to musicians that are “iconic”. Just music in general. Rather than focusing on the quality of their songs, the Spice Girls are like shoving their outside personalities right into our faces. And when I say personalities, I’m taking about how much they go by their nicknames and I shall talk about each member one by one.

Firstly, there’s Emma, known as Baby Spice – I’d like to think that considering that she’s the youngest, but is it possible that they’re trying to make her look much younger? Sounds a bit creepy.

Geri, known as Ginger Spice – well, I suppose that’s accurate, considering her hair is scarlet. Though a possible reference to the fact that there’s ginger-phobes across the world.

Mel B, Scary Spice, or should I say so-called Scary. She may be a great singer, but c’mon, I’ve seen scary and that does not include adopting a large fluffy afro or dressing in leopard skin clothes!

Mel C, Sporty Spice – definitely going by the name, showing us the impressive back-flips. But I have a feeling that she spent too much time on the acrobatics and less on the singing.

Victoria, Posh Spice – fair enough, she’s called Posh, though I’ve seen posher.

It’s like they’re trying to be the female version of the Beatles, or the Monkees, or even Queen. And did I mention that movie they was in, Spice World? Pretty corny, wasn’t it? Still, I can remember the bit where the bald guy climbs out of the loo.

I remember my mom asking me “which Spice Girl is/was your favourite?” and I was like “What kind of question is that?” and she was like “A lot of fans had a favourite Spice Girl”. Well, in answer to that, I didn’t. I’m not of them jocks who’d approach them and be like “‘allo darling. I bet you’d like a bit of it”. Nor would I even criticise any of them for their features. That’d so be discrimination.

Song-wise, meh. Though I give Spice Up Your Life some credit. The majority of their lyrics in general, it’s like they’re acting big-headed and boasting about how ‘great’ they are. Stop, for instance, I have fond memories of, but during the bridge, they’re like; “You need less speed, get off my case / You gotta slow it down baby, just get out of my face”. Not my kind of words.

I don’t hate them. I think they’re okay. They may be a so-called ‘iconic’ 90s band known for their slogan; “girl power”, again I say meh to that (and if you’re going to be over PC about it, there’s no need for that). I just don’t find the Spice Girls as awesome as I used to find them. I feel that they rely too much on the quantity than they do on the quality. And sure, they were a hugely successful group when it came to sales. But guess what; Michael Bay’s movies suck!

So that was my list of what I consider to be the most overrated musicians in music history. If I upset any viewers, I’m sorry, but I stand by my silly opinions. Do feel free to leave your comments below i.e. what you consider to be overrated, etc, and as usual, I shall see you for the next post.