Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

18th January 2015

You can’t spell YouTube without O-U-T
Posted by at 1.12pm | Gay | No responses

Twin brothers Austin and Aaron Rhodes phoned their dad with some news (spoiler alert: they’re both gay).

There’s a lot of cynical comment over their decision to film this moment and put it on YouTube. I, for one, am glad they did, as it highlights the immense difficulty that gay in coming out to their loved ones. I doubt there’s a gay person alive who doesn’t remember a moment like this. The tears. The anxiety. The sentence started but not finished: “I am…”

It shouldn’t be that hard. If we want to make life easier for LGBT youth, let’s start here. Educate parents. Educate teens. Stop making gay kids feel like they have some strange “otherness” to them that people won’t accept.

6th February 2013

Hampo Vlogs: Gay Marriage
Posted by at 11.34pm | Gay, Politics | No responses

Once more, I have stared awkwardly into a camera and edited the results together for your viewing pleasure. Today I tackle the tricky subject of gay marriage with my usual tact and sensitivity.

If you wish to comment, please go to this video’s page on YouTube.

30th December 2012

Happy New Tube
Posted by at 8.55pm | It's My Life | No responses

A couple of people have asked if I have any New Year’s Resolutions, and I have answered “no”. I stopped making them, as history has shown that I am about as good at sticking to them as Nick Clegg is to a promise (POLITICAL SATIRE).

However, I’ve realised that there is one resolution which I do want to make and really hope I can keep: that is, stop wasting so much time on the internet.

You see, between the 502 Group, my Open University course and my oft-threatened but so far unimplemented desire to do some proper creative writing (not to mention my surprisingly existent social life), I have quite a few commitments that I’m… er, committed to. In theory, I have plenty of time to get it all done: I usually get home from work around 7pm; factor in an hour or so for mealtime and that gives me four hours or so of spare time every evening to get stuff done.

However, more often than not, that free time dwindles to zero very rapidly. And it’s all because of this:

YouTube Related Videos

Yes, there is no bigger devourer of time on this planet than YouTube’s “related videos” sidebar. I can click on a perfectly reasonable link on Facebook or Twitter (two more time-sucking web sites, but let’s leave them to one side for now) and watch a very informative and useful video for five minutes.

However, in that sidebar, there is usually at least one video with an intriguing title, or curiosity-provoking thumbnail. I click on it and it takes me to another video page, with its own tantalising sidebar of videos. And so on, until I disappear entirely into a vortex of streaming Flash video.

I’m serious. I have lost hours at a time to that sidebar. I’ll go as far as to venture that, if YouTube et al had been around when I was at school, I’d have come out of my GCSEs with a G grade at best (assuming I was able to spell my name correctly on the paper).

I know, I know – I should just turn off the internet for a couple of hours. However, I’ve come to realise that I don’t have the discipline to do this. Instead I’ll sit there, clicking away. A funny sketch from Whose Line is it Anyway? leads on to a railway video which leads on to a great music video. Each time I’ll say, “just one more, then I’ll do something useful.”

Basically I need some discipline (not in an S&M sense, but that could be fun too). Will 2013 be the year I finally acquire some self-control? Let’s hope so!

22nd December 2012

Age and YouTube
Posted by at 7.50pm | It's My Life | 1 response

A new vlog! In which I survive the Mayan apocalypse, ponder whether I’m too old to mess about on YouTube, and put something in my mouth that makes me choke. All in the space of three minutes. Blimey.

20th November 2012

This time it’s personal
Posted by at 11.42pm | It's My Life, Meta | 1 response

We’re just over four months away from “celebrating” the tenth anniversary of this blog. 22 March 2013 will mark a decade of my writing borderline nonsense on a little corner of the Internet.

The only problem is, I’m not sure I want to carry on for much longer. Ten years is starting to feel less like a milestone, and more like a millstone. Around my neck, that is.

Read the rest of this post »

8th September 2012

Park Bench
Posted by at 11.20pm | It's My Life | No responses

A little gem of a film I stumbled across on YouTube:-

I am the guy in this video. Too timid to approach someone, too shy to make the move, too nervous about what might happen. And then, afterwards, kicking myself for doing nothing.

At Liverpool Pride, I was in a pub where I saw a guy eyeing me up. It was so obvious even I noticed it. And yet, despite the cajoling of my friends (who even offered a pen and paper for me to give him my number), I couldn’t pluck up the courage to talk to him.

I’m sure in twenty years time, when I’m celebrating my 15th anniversary, I’ll look back on those missed opportunities and laugh.

Well, maybe.

27th December 2011

Posted by at 10.30pm | It's My Life | 4 responses

Way back on January 1st I said I wanted to make video blogs. This proved more of a challenge than I thought, as it turned out that talking to a camera is hard.

Anyway, I had time on my hands tonight, so here is the first of what promises to be a series of at least one videos.

7th June 2011

Remove all the coloured chalk from the classrooms
Posted by at 6.49pm | In the News | No responses

Do you remember that episode of The Simpsons where the school has an “Independent Thought Alarm”? That came to mind when reading the story of Jack Christie, a Canadian student who was suspended by his high school after they discovered the videos he’d been uploading to YouTube.

Each animation is replete with exactly what you might expect from an 18-year-old male, suburban Canadian or otherwise: explosions, profanity, guns, and copious references to sex and drugs. What is atypical about the videos is their sense of humor and breakneck absurdity.

While we may find the animations entertaining, Durham District School Board spokeswoman Andrea Pidwerbecki was not amused. “If something is considered detrimental to the positive moral tone of the school, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen inside the school [for us to get involved].”

This does strike me as grossly unfair – what happens outside of school should not be any of his teachers’ business. Thankfully Christie is not taking this lying down and has responded to the school, the only way he knows how.

1st January 2011

The Resolution Will Not Be Televised
Posted by at 3.14pm | It's My Life | No responses

I’ve decided to make public my new year’s resolutions and hope that this gives me more motivation to keep to them. There are only three, and none of them are too exciting, but here they are anyway:-

  1. Lose the weight – I don’t need to drop much but this has been on my list every year for as long as I can remember. This year, however, I’m confident that I will actually succeed. Ignore the fact that I’m drinking a can of (non-diet) Coke while writing this blog.
  2. Travel – I made a good start last year with visits to Scotland, Brighton and London. This year I’d like to go abroad somewhere – maybe Paris, Berlin or – if I’m feeling particularly adventurous – somewhere in the USA.
  3. Make a video blog – written blogs are all well and good, but wouldn’t my ramblings be much better if you could actually see and hear me rather than just reading my writings? Er, probably. Anyway, I have a YouTube account which is itching to get some proper content on it. Be afraid, internet, be very afraid.

The secret to new year’s resolutions is to make them achievable and realistic. So this year I have left off “cure world hunger”.

30th December 2010

Twenty Ten – again

What a year 2010 was! It had twelve months, each consisting of at least 28 days. On some of those days I made blog entries. Here are the highlights.

I began the year in January fretting about an alleged Crystal Maze remake starring Amanda Holden. This story fortunately turned out to be utter bollocks. Ginger people again proved that (yours truly excepted) they have no sense of humour or perspective. Britain experienced a deluge of snow, and Merseyrail impressed everyone by soldiering on throughout, a feat which they would surely repeat next time we experienced awful weather… right?

I finally joined the Wii owners’ club, just as the console stopped being cool. My rekindled love for video games did not result in me getting rickets. I also celebrated my first Twitterversary and cautiously welcomed the iPad.

I also took time to blog at length about a US comedian no-one has heard of over here, illustrating my post with YouTube clips which have now been removed for copyright infringement.

In more serious matters, the Haiti earthquake occupied people’s thoughts as a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded in the devastated country.

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