The Alternative Grammys

It’s still January. The comfort and joviality of Christmas seems so long ago, and yet the holiday paunch and unpaid overdraft are hanging around. While many mere mortals are struggling through a self-imposed dry month and detox from sequinned items, famous people are partying as though December was simply a few dynamic stretches before the main event. (This is another point to add to the long list why ‘Celebs Are Actually Nothing Like Us’, no matter what People magazine tries to tell you.)

In the spirit of the event, I thought I’d cast my eye back over the last 12 months in music, and hand out some awards of my own. Sadly I don’t have any fancy statues to accompany these prestigious titles, but I’ve still got the strawberry creams from a box of old Quality Street that I’d be willing to part with? With no further ado, I present to you……

The 2014 Alternative Grammy Awards


Best Irony-Bypass Award
Runner-up: Robin Thicke

2013 was quite the year for Mr Thicke. Before, he was a middle-of-the-road R&B crooner, who had enjoyed relative success with his previous albums. After, he was responsible for the year’s biggest selling hit, and inadvertently became the human dartboard for all number of complaints.

Blurred Lines sold loads but was banned from being played in certain places, was described as “rapey”, and was became a starting point for many sexual politics debates. This negative attention would destroy a lesser artist; fortunately Robin has been able to rise above it all, shrugging off criticisms that his song displays a worrying attitude towards consent and that the accompanying video is just a leeeeettle bit creepy.

R-Thicke believes we’ve all missed the point of Blurred Lines completely and it is, in fact, “a feminist movement within itself.” Well, I for one feel stupid that I completely misinterpreted the repeated insistence of “You know you want it”.

Winner: MTV Video Music Awards

Last year’s MTV Video Music Awards are primarily remembered for our runner-up in this category, one R-Thicke, and 20-year old, latex-clad, destroyer-of-foam-finger-sanctity, Miley Cyrus wiggling around in an unfortunate and uncomfortable manner. After the event, feminism’s new poster-boy subtly distanced himself from all the hoo-ha and gallantly laid the blame at Miley’s door.

Meanwhile, MTV sat back and delighted in it all: “We’re still relevant!!! LOOK at all our column inches!” Yes, MTV can still, nearly thirty years on from Madge performing Like a Virgin and more than a decade since Britney turned up on stage with a real live snake, take up far more than its fair share of post-ceremony analysis and navel-gazing. But this is merely a distraction from the painful truth: MTV is not cool anymore.

MTV doesn’t even bother actually showing music videos anymore – you know, the thing it was originally set up to do. We are living in a world where children are growing up to believe that MTV’s most significant contribution to pop culture is Snooki, rather than Billie Jean. And yet each year, the guys in suits insist on trotting out a show that has largely become a parody of itself, to hand out awards for a musical by-product that they no longer bother to show on a regular basis. Guidos over videos, my friend.


Most ‘WTF’ Moment
Runner-up: Miley Cyrus

How do you top the performance that shocked the world and had actual news broadcasters actually discussing the event in all seriousness live on air? You employ someone to come up with a computer-generated, lip-synching kitten, that’s how.

Miley had already exhausted most avenues labelled ‘Shock’ and ‘Horror’ by the time the American Music Awards rolled into town. Lighting a spliff on stage and grinding on a father-of-one was sooo two weeks ago. She knew she needed something good; The Internet would surely malfunction if her performance were not worthy of at least ten differently angled Daily Mail stories and three Buzzfeed lists.

So Miley got on stage at the AMAs and sang her number one single Wrecking Ball, and instead of being accompanied by fellow twerk-ers or a Beetlejuice impressionist, we were forced to sit through the entire performance with a weird, possessed-looking cartoon cat, mouthing the words slightly out of time on a giant screen behind her. I mean, seriously, WTF? I think it was a bigger cry for help than the apparent phobia of trousers with crotch still intact.

Winner: Britney Spears

To announce the announcement we all knew she was going to announce, Team Spears flew over 1,300 Britney fans to somewhere in the middle of the desert and made them all dress as Britney circa 1998. It was a reportedly $100,000 marketing ploy to generate publicity for Britney’s upcoming Vegas residency, and I’m sure you’ll agree, money damn well spent.

What says ‘this will undoubtedly be the greatest show on earth’ more than thousands of women dressed up in school uniform, in the wilderness, at 4 o’clock in the morning? That’s right: nothing. Nothing else says it more.


Best Attempt at Career Self-Sabotage
Runner-up: Justin Bieber

You’d think the Biebs would be a shoo-in for the top prize after the year he’s had. It began with turning up nearly two hours late to his own concert, and ended with a police investigation for causing $20,000 worth of property damage armed with some, one can only imagine, seriously heavy eggs, and an arrest for alleged DUI and drag-racing. It’s not a good time to be the Justin that’s not a Timberlake.

The vom-inducing outpourings on Twitter from Justin’s ‘beliebers’, promising that they’ll stick by him and attacking anyone who dares to suggest that this is nothing more than your average 20-year old acting out, seems to suggest that Brand Bieber might make it out unaffected. But the cold hard facts tell otherwise. A few years ago, floppy-haired phase one Justin sold albums, movie tickets, perfume, and merchandise better than anyone. He could have sold snow to the Inuits at his peak. But his latest musical and film offerings have bombed, and it would appear that it’s just been one too many gobs of saliva over the hotel balcony for some beliebers to handle.

Winner: Lil Wayne

It would have to take something really special to leapfrog Biebs to the top spot for this award. And Lil Wayne did not disappoint.

You may have been able to avoid coming across his contribution to this particular category, but let me be the kind friend who enlightens you. A few months ago, amidst fanfare equivalent to a cake ‘n’ carbs party at the local Weight Watchers meeting, Paris Hilton released another single. And Lil Wayne, apparently under no duress, agreed to be a featured artist.

Just how bad do things have to be before you agree to appear on  a Paris Hilton single? OK, so maybe he needs a bit of quick cash, that’s understandable, we’ve all been a little hard up at least once in our lives. As long as he delivers some decent lyrics and perhaps elevates the quality of the song somewhat, he can emerge with his dignity intact, and we’ll all forgive this little blip.

…Oh god, he’s tried to rhyme “French” and “treatment”. And now he’s given up on the half-arsed rapping and has actually started – is that meant to be singing? He hasn’t even bothered to attempt to rhyme his remaining lyrics! No. No matter how bad you are Biebs, you will never be this bad.


The “Who Said Nepotism Is Dead?” Award
Runner up: Blue Ivy

Baby Blue has had more hit singles in her two years of life than Gary Oldman has had Oscar nominations. Not only has Blue Ivy made special features on both mum and dad’s songs, but she became a world record breaking artist as the youngest person ever to place in the charts. I guess you don’t want to look like the underachiever in the family when your parents are Bey and Jay.

Blue Ivy has also managed to eclipse Suri Cruise’s presence on Tumblr, owns a wardrobe probably worth more than your house, and got to hang out with Destiny’s Child at her second birthday party. It’s unlikely that she’ll be an accountant when she’s older, isn’t it.

Winner: Simon Cowell’s baby

Simon’s unborn son is to be heir to a glorified karaoke empire, his cot paid for with crushed dreams of young hopefuls; his mini replica Lamborghini bought with a pool of last-chance tears. It is unclear whether Simon will push his child into the entertainment biz, knowing intimately how merciless head honchos can be. But I’m sure he will impart all his hard-won secrets for turning humiliating the unfortunate and spouting empty clichés into a multi-million pound empire to his offspring. And the possibility that we could still be watching contestants make songs such as The Climb  and At Last “their own” in fifty years time is reason enough to start taking your vitamin C pills on a regular basis.


Best Shade-Thrower
Runner-up: Lorde vs. Beyoncé 

Don’t worry: no lamps were harmed in the creation of this category. The shade being thrown is much more subtle. You may have come across Lorde in the last year, she’s done alright. Her debut track Royals was number 1 in the US, UK, and numerous other places. Wonderful; it’s so nice to see the young ones doing well for themselves. However, Lorde may have forgotten the one crucial rule of the upstart: don’t come straight out the blocks and start challenging the Order Of Things among the big guns.

In Royals Lorde sings, in a tone that can only be described as laced with challenge and usurping-intent, “Let me be your ruler/You can call me Queen B”. The news must have made its way to a certain Ms Knowles, who, furious at the encroachment on her territory, was forced to release a game-changing visual album before the year was out. That ought to put Lorde in her place.

Winner: Lorde vs. Taylor Swift

Lorde has been quite vocal about her fellow popstars. When she’s not challenging Beyoncé’s leadership, she’s accusing Selena Gomez of being anti-feminist, questioning how relatable Bieber is for young teens, and suggesting that Miley might be acting out to prove to everyone that she’s DEFINITELY NOT HANNAH MONTANA ANYMORE,  GUYS.

Who does this girl think she is? And then, THEN, she has the nerve to call Taylor Swift out for being too perfect, saying Taylor is “too flawless and unobtainable”. Well I don’t know about you, but if anyone EVER said that about me I would be FUMING. Clearly Taylor feels the same, as country music’s Queen of Sass responded in the only way she knows how:

By inviting Lorde to her birthday party and texting her advice about interior decoration. I mean. Phewph. Do you want some aloe vera for that burn, Lorde? Step aside, ladies and gents, no one does shade like T-Swizzle.


Most Admirably Misplaced Sense of Self-Importance
Runner-up: Jay Z

It was difficult to choose the runner-up in this category: for an award that was basically made for all those who have compared themselves to god in the last year. There have been many. It is a path well-trodden, with predecessors including Lil Wayne (“I’m the god, and this is what I bless ’em with”), Nas (album title: ‘God’s Son’), and TI (“swear to god, I’m god”).

2013  saw Eminem proclaim himself the ultimate Rap God, Kendrick Lamar rhymed about how everyone else in hip-hop is rubbish compared to him, and Chris Brown insinuated, via an Instagram post, that the media’s unfair persecution of him is a modern day Jews vs Jesus scenario.

But there were two standout efforts from last year, the first of which was Jay Z modestly titling his thirteenth studio album Magna Carta Holy Grail.

The original Magna Carta represents the move to give power back to the people and was used as a guideline for the American Constitution. We’re talking official rules and stuff here, people! Obviously, the music industry is but a microcosm of these monumental historical events, and I guess this album makes Jay Z hip-hop’s Founding Father.

The Holy Grail part of the titles lets us know that we, the lay people, are almost too lay to truly understand the significance of what Jay Z has presented us with. Makes Moses’ attempt with all that ‘Ten Commandments’ nonsense look kinda lame in comparison.

Winner: Kanye West

The other guys tried hard, but there is barely anything left for them to do that Kanye hasn’t already done. Whether that is announcing rap is the new rock and roll, and “I’m the number one rock star on the planet”, or claiming that he invented leather jogging pants (any Zoolander fans getting flashbacks to Will Ferrell and the piano key necktie?), Kanye has truly been the self-ordained gift that keeps giving.

His latest musical offering went one step further than Jay Z: Kanye didn’t merely insinuate that he was producing an album worthy of the gods, he put himself up there as one of the big guys. Titling his record Yeezus was the most appropriate thing a man “so credible and so influential and so relevant” could have done. We are all followers of Yeezianity now. Don’t try to fight it. There’s a place for you in Rap Heaven, and a leather tracksuit waiting in your size.


Best Attempt at Denying Nature
Runner-up: Harry Styles

Of the five walking haircuts that make up One Direction, Harry Styles has the most iconic barnet by far. There is more charisma and charm in one of those luscious curls than the whole of The Wanted put together.

However, over the last year something worrying has happened to Harry’s ‘do. For years he delighted us with his swooshy, floppy locks, but being the world’s most famous curl owner appears to be becoming too heavy a burden. Harry knows that record sales would plummet and One Direction dolls resigned to clearance bins if he were to ever cut off his hair, but what other options does the poor boy have?

Well, he’s giving the alternative a valiant go: Harry has been seen in various places this year looking like Keith Richards’ and Mick Jagger’s love child with the help of some artfully wrapped bandannas, and apparently owns an infinite number of hats – resigned to wearing a beanie even in the hottest countries that One Direction are sent to tour, so long as he can go a day – just a day! – without having to run his fingers through his head rug.

When head gear isn’t appropriate, though, Harry has taken to doing this weird ‘pushy-back’ thing (that’s what I hear all the hairdressers are calling it), which looks like an attempt at having a quiff without looking like you are attempting to have a quiff. What was wrong with the old Bieber sweep? Harry, I know that curly hair can be the biggest pain ever, but just remember how Liam looked with a skinhead. Embrace the waves, Harry. Embrace them.

Winner: Justin Timberlake

Harry’s predecessor right down to the follicles. Justin seems to think that if he breezes along pretending cameras didn’t exist before 2002, we’ll all start to think it, too. I mean, it’s Justin Timberlake, right?! Are you questioning Justin Timberlake?

But the truth is Justin, no matter how hard I try, I can’t un-see those pictures of you with a peroxide brillo-pad on your head. That happened. It’s out there. You were the beacon for kids with unruly and occasionally unflattering hair everywhere, and you have openly and blatantly rejected that responsibility. First you shaved it off. It was a shock, but it’s OK, hair grows back. When it did, you only let it grow back a bit. It was short, but there was a discernible wave. Fast forward to 2013, and you answer many prayers by announcing that you’re focusing on music rather than movies for a while.

BUT WHAT’S THIS? Your hair is now long, really quite long, but you have chemically relaxed the shit out of it! It’s so straight! It looks like even more effort than the tub of gel you used to comb through your curls every morning. You didn’t even do a follicle-throwback for the long-awaited N*Sync reunion at the VMAs. I’m happy for you to do your thing Justin, but just know that it hurts.


The ‘Almost-but-not-Quite’ Award
Runner-up: Lily Allen

After a few years in the musical wilderness (in real-life raising two kids and getting married, but whatevs), Lily Allen returned with some original music in 2013. Taking aim at managers/general industry/wider society that insist their female artists need to be cellulite-free and twerk-ready on all occasions, she released Hard Out Here with lyrics that include: “Don’t you want to have somebody who objectifies you/Have you thought about your butt, who’s going to tear it in two?” 

However, while the heart of the idea was in the right place, the accompanying video was like a kidney transplant inserted upside down. To shame those who make music videos with scantily-clad girls and a tendency to treat them as props, Lily made a music video that featured… scantily-clad girls that were being used as props. Maybe getting some scantily-clad men to wash her car would have made the point better? Maybe filming the entire video with everyone wearing polo necks and mom jeans would have been more effective?

Winner: Lady Gaga

She has been hailed by some as a feminist icon (Caitlin Moran dedicated nearly a whole chapter to the matter in How To Be A Woman), while Gaga herself has flat-out stated that she is, in fact, nothing of the sort. So it’s hard to say how much of a feminist reading can be made from her single Do What U Want. If we ignore Gaga’s opinions on her own feminism completely, I guess the song could be seen as fairly empowering. It’s new-age liberalism! It’s perfectly acceptable to give up your bodies, ladies, if that’s what you want! 

So everything’s great and Gaga’s telling us it’s perfectly fine if we want to do stuff without our hearts and minds and other bodily organs getting involved as well. And then she invites R. Kelly to the party. Nothing more disturbing in the past twelve months comes to mind than hearing R. Kelly repeatedly singing, “Do what I want/Do what I want with your body”. I don’t know if I can forgive or forget, Gaga.


“Think Not I Am What I Appear”

Against better judgement I have started watching the current series of I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. I’m not here to defend this choice, as tempting as that is, but to write about some significant points that the show – in less than a week on air – has raised about appearance, achievement, and the media’s approach to the female body.

Rebecca Adlington is one of this year’s contestants, and a personal hero. When I was younger (I’m talking 14/15) it was my dream to be an Olympic swimmer. I blame some incredibly slow twitch muscles for my failure to succeed (if you can’t join them – blame your genes!), but would like to think I have a small inkling of the sacrifice and dedication it takes to make it to the starting block of an Olympic race, let alone finish with a medal.

That is why it has been particularly heartbreaking to witness, despite all her achievements, Rebecca’s deep insecurities. Earlier this week she was reduced to tears by what began as a discussion of Miss Universe winner Amy Willerton’s life as a model/beauty queen. Rebecca acknowledged in the privacy of the camp’s ‘diary room’ that she had spent almost her entire life dedicated to making her body perform in the most active sense of the word. Wiping away tears, she admitted, “It’s making me very, very insecure that I have to look [a certain way]. For me, I was an athlete.”

Would a male athlete have been reduced to tears in the jungle, comparing himself unfavourably to a male model? A large part of perfect bodyRebecca’s reaction stems from her own self-esteem (or lack thereof), but this has been compounded by the ideals of femininity presented in the media, coupled with targeted attacks on her Twitter account. The likes of Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Sir Chris Hoy do not have to put up with relentless messages that tell them their thighs are too big, or that their ears stick out too much.

Men’s achievements are still taken more seriously in some quarters (I stress – in some quarters); the spectacle of the race is entertainment enough. The topic of outfits is another discussion entirely, but consider all the ridiculous commentary surrounding the women’s volleyball during London 2012. Women are expected to be able to perform and present an appealing aesthetic. In fact, it probably doesn’t matter if she comes last in her race, as long as she looks good doing it.

Really taking the biscuit has been the subsequent coverage of Rebecca’s upset. *Certain* media outlets – I am referring to the ones that perpetuate the idea of what constitutes female beauty and belittle any who fail to achieve it – have taken this golden opportunity to partake in their own favourite sport. That is, pitting women against each other. Yay! There’s a fun pastime, right there: highlighting women’s ‘flaws’ and ‘mistakes’ and then sitting back to watch as they tear each other apart.

The same paper that took such glee in reporting on the supposed “showdown” – it was a tetchy discussion! – between Amy and Rebecca, posted another article (for want of a better word) a day later blatantly squaring them off. There is a table of comparison and everything. You can have a look here if you have the stomach for it.

The tone is deliberately skewed to make those in the comments (oh god, the world of internet comments) pick a side. The same paper that has been salivating over pictures of Amy in her bikini since before the show even began has decided that women should hate her, because she represents an industry that makes women hate themselves. Amy is obviously beautiful: slim, tanned, long hair, the works, and she knows this. I mean, you don’t win Miss Universe and still question your own attractiveness. But why should knowledge of her own beauty be a Bad Thing?

In the bizarre world of tabloids, Rebecca’s pre-existing insecurities have been used to black mark Amy. The thought process is that tea“real women” (a phrase that deserves to be trapped in an eternal bush-tucker trial) must devalue Amy in order to empower all the women (probably, sadly, a majority) like Rebecca made to feel that they are not good enough because they cannot fit into a pair of size 8 jeans.

How, how, is this in any way a viable form of female empowerment?! Instead of dismissing Amy’s successes – pitted against a gold medalist I’m sure most of us would feel our achievements pale in comparison – why not celebrate both for rising to the top in their respective fields, no matter what your opinion of their respective career paths? By fueling these petty rivalries and playing on women’s self-doubt these media sites manage to distract from the real issues facing women both in the public eye and in ‘normal life’.

There was another significant moment during the week, which involved fellow camp mate Matthew Wright and a women’s swimsuit. For those who know anything about I’m a Celebrity…, Myleene Klass and the white bikini is folklore. Basically, by the simple act of showering under the camp waterfall everyday in a certain two-piece, former Popstars winner Myleene was able to successfully reboot her career upon leaving the jungle.

The “subject” of ladies in swimsuits has been turned into an annual competition; another classic divide and conquer tactic. Matthew, a television presenter and newspaper journalist, took the chance to poke fun at the tabloids’ barely contained excitement over who would provide the “Myleene Moment”, by donning the famous white bikini and taking the role himself.

It was funny, it was ridiculous, but it also made a point. The roles in the jungle are much more tightly defined for the female contestants than for the men. As fun as the show may be, I’m a Celebrity… is not immune to the frequent reality series’ pitfall that sees women compared and judged, not for what they can accomplish and overcome, but how they present themselves.

Sadly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, Matthew’s joke (that I understood as poking fun at the sort of showbiz commentary he once wrote) has been misconstrued by some articles as his attempt to mock “attention-seeking” female camp mates. How reassuring to know that women will always be responsible for their own bad press.

“Good Things Come To Those Who Bake”

Until a few months ago, I had never seen an episode of The Great British Bake Off. I was immune to its immense popularity and presumed it to be twee and dull, never even having attempted to, you know, actually watch it before passing judgement. It is particularly odd that I made it this far in the show’s run without even seeing a snippet of Mary judging someone’s soggy bottom, given that I lived with a Food Science and Nutrition student during series one and two. I think I had the genuine excuse that I was trying to finish reading and analysing Moby Dick before the turn of the next millennium.

But all changed a few months ago, as I was flicking through the channels unable find anything worth staying on. I have been watching an increasing number of cooking shows over the last few months, (which isn’t exactly hard, there is a strong case to be made that BBC should be renamed British Baking and Cooking with the amount of chef-fronted shows on the menu every night), and on this particular occasion decided to finally give in and see what all the fuss was about.

Well, oh my god. By the end of the hour I was completely hooked. Excuse the over-baked pun, but this show just has all the right ingredients. Mel and Sue are hilarious, both on and off camera (apparently if one of the contestants is having a proper meltdown they start swearing so that the footage can’t be used). Mary has long been a baking hero of mine, thanks to her recipe for banana bread that I have been using since before I even knew how to scramble an egg. Paul is good in his Simon Cowell-lite role – he’s the one you want to impress with your flavours and crumbs. And of course the main factor, the sponge that makes all this icing worthwhile, is the contestants. They are not there with any hidden agenda, to play games, or bag themselves a front cover Heat magazine interview. They are there because they are already very talented, and want to get better.

I loved them all. I really liked Howard, who reminded me a bit of Jeff Goldblum. I thought Glenn was brilliant at keeping the mood light and was sad when he had to go. I shed a tear for Christine’s departure. I loved the finalists and wouldn’t have minded who won. I had a soft spot for Ruby because of all the unjustified criticism she got online, which seemed to stem from her honesty and self-deprecation on camera. It didn’t help her case that she is young and beautiful and obviously clever to boot.

After the final aired, I felt lost in that way particular to those of us when a show to which we have become too attached ends. I still get that feeling every time I finish the Buffy box set, even though I know I’ll end up watching it all over again in a year or two. There was now a void in my Tuesday evenings. To get over my heartbreak, I decided to bake (it has not been good to my waistline). I love a good bake. It is satisfying in a way that I don’t find cooking – probably because the sugar involved in cooking is minimal to none – and I like having something to show for my work, that will last a few days rather than a few minutes on a dinner plate.

I have started making bread, which is not as difficult as I thought. Admittedly I’m still making fairly basic loaves, but it only takes so long because you have to keep letting it prove* for hours. Below is a picture of the first loaf I made, using a recipe from the newspaper. I enjoyed making (and eating) it so much, that I have since bought and been using recipes from series three runner-up James Morton’s book, Brilliant Bread. It’s really very good. (The book, I mean. I wouldn’t say my baking’s really good yet. Certainly not publicly. Modesty becomes one, etc.)


And this is James’ blog, which is very fancy and has loads of other interesting recipes:

*BBO, Before Bake Off, my ignorance was such that I thought prove was a term more suited to the courtroom than the kitchen.

It is too soon for books from this year’s bunch, but most of them have blogs. I made some cheese, onion, and sage scones following Kimberley’s advice at her blog



She says not to overwork the dough and that combining the ingredients should take about 30 seconds, but I wasn’t very good at this bit. They weren’t too complicated to make otherwise, and fairly quick. Just make sure that they are cooked all the way through when you take them out the oven! I’ve been enjoying mine for breakfast the last couple of days.

I sent this picture to Kimberley on Twitter to thank her for the recipe, and she replied! How chuffed was I? Does this make me a fan girl? Is this how Beliebers feel when Justin notices them?


My next Bake Off-inspired effort was a recipe from Ruby’s blog: – a good old WordPress account!

I made her orange and white chocolate loaf cake, which, even though I made it and shouldn’t boast like this, is seriously drool-worthy. It’s more to do with Ruby’s techniques than anything to do with my skill to be honest!

cake 2 This recipe uses lots of zest and juice. This is my mix after adding orange and lemon zest to the butter and sugar.

You need to have a fair bit of time on your hands to make this one if, like me, you don’t have a food processor. Altogether,

cake 1with the time it took to get my ingredients prepared, combine the mixture and bake (plus injury time to patch up the bit of my thumb that I grated along with the oranges), it was about two hours.

This was my cake straight out of the oven. You might be able to make out from the picture that it has been perforated with a skewer. Ruby has this genius tip to pour a mixture of heated sugar and orange and lemon juice over it all once it’s baked. It makes for one great smelling cake. Oh, and you also have to add on a bit more time to wait for the cake to cool, before you can add…..

……MELTED WHITE CHOCOLATE!!!!! Seriously, you have to try this