It is often said that there's never a bad year for cinema and 2014 emphatically proved that. In a year when cinema admissions were down on the highs of the last few years and no single film crossed the £40m mark for the first time since 2003, it would be easy to be pessimistic about the current state of cinema.
In the days of raging debates on internet privacy, consider this question if you are a novice on the topic. What kind of information do you reveal when you go online, do your searches, do your shopping, check your preferences, surf sites that interest you, read news, share information about yourself, express your opinions and upload pictures of a vacation you took with your family?
Given the stark and arguably dystopian nature of the NSA scandal, it is surprising that the world did not see an equally stark and acidic reaction in response. In many ways, until the release of CitizenFour the dialogue surrounding governmental surveillance has fizzled out, the world's political attention having shuffled on...
Why are so many of my fellow Muslims so gullible and so quick to believe bonkers conspiracy theories? How have the pedlars of paranoia amassed such influence within Muslim communities? When will credulous Muslims stop leaning on the conspiracy crutch? We blame sinister outside powers for all our problems - extremism, despotism, corruption and the rest - and paint ourselves as helpless victims rather than independent agents.
It is very difficult to interrogate the legality of a programme of surveillance, when the people having done it, refuse to acknowledge it happened. The UK programme, called 'TEMPORA' has been a bone of contention since the start of these proceedings. GCHQ refuses to acknowledge that it exists, despite tacitly acknowledging it exists, by defending the legal basis for its existence.
On this anniversary, I want to salute the bravery of Edward Snowden. His conscious courage has given us all a fighting chance against a corporate-industrial-intelligence complex that is running amok across the world. I hope that we can all find within us an answering courage to do what is right and indeed take back our rights. His bravery and sacrifice must not be in vain.