Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Ashton Kutcher: Grrrr


I really hate these articles. Oh, thank you, Ashton Kutcher, for telling me what you don't find attractive in a woman. It's wonderful "advice". No, really:

Tip One: He doesn't like too much perfume. He warns us not to be "that woman", the one who oversprays and chokes you with her scent. Call me crazy, but eight times out of ten, the oversprayer is a man and his Lynx. This is not a 'woman thing'.

Tip Two: Don't say mean things. It's sexy when a woman is nice and quiet and sweet. Bollocks. I don't trust anyone who never says a mean thing.

Tip Three. My absolute favourite - "Dress how you want to be treated. If you show respect for yourself, you will be respected." GAAAAAAHHHHHH. How fucking dare you? If I have a bit of midriff on show, you get to treat me like crap? GAH. Oh, but you still have to look sexy, you don't want to be Hillary Clinton, now, do you? So Tip Three is essentially "Dress exactly the way I want you to dress. Not doing so gives me the right to be a shithole to you."

Tip Four: Don't wear too much expensive jewellery, because it means you're a gold digger. Yeah, Ashton, women don't ever have any money. You tell Demi Moore not to wear expensive jewellery because everyone will think she's sponging off you? Do you? Seriously, what world is he living in? No woman has any money, and all men have loads.

Tip Five: Don't be selfish. "Don't worry about what you are getting; worry about what you're giving." HAH. So what he's saying is, he wants a nice doormat who won't complain if he treats her like crap. Honey, please. Stop worrying about what you're getting out of this relationship. Selfishness is so unattractive.

Tip Six: Don't drop brand names. "Have you ever heard someone say 'Do you like my new Prada sweater?'" Well, no, actually, Ashton. I don't know anyone who can afford Prada sweaters. Get out of Hollywood, man, your brain is melting. As a side note, I was particularly amused by his assertion that "most guys...couldn't pick a pair of Louboutin shoes out of a line-up" because a couple of weeks ago my father, apropos of absolutely nothing, dropped the name into conversation and proceeded to describe the distinguishing mark of a Louboutin shoe. So sucks to you, Ashton. My fifty-six-year-old brain-damaged father can do it.

Articles like this make me want to throw things. Actually, what I really want to do is get on a plane to La-La Land, find Ashton Kutcher (he's probably hanging out with a unicorn or something), go right up to him and scream, "IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU, YOU KNOW! SOMETIMES, WOMEN DO THINGS BECAUSE THEY WANT TO, WITHOUT ANY REFERENCE TO WHETHER OR NOT A MAN WILL FIND THEM ATTRACTIVE! I'LL WEAR WHAT THE FUCK I LIKE, AND IF YOU CHOOSE TO DISRESPECT ME BECAUSE OF IT I'LL KNEE YOU IN THE SOLAR PLEXUS, YOU FUCKING ARSEHOLE!"


Tip Three is the most straight-up offensive, but Tip Five actually frightens me. It reminds me of Buffy, when Warren programmed his Aprilbot to believe that crying is blackmail and good girlfriends don't do it. Everyone has to be selfish. A man who tells his girlfriend, or women in general, not to worry about what they're getting is a misogynistic wanker. It's one of the things on my private 'abusive man' red flag list. And let me tell you, if that one wasn't there, I would be absolutely fucked now. I hate these articles, but just once I'd like to see one that says: "I like difficult women. I like honest, self-aware women who will call me on my bullshit and do whatever the hell they please with reference only to their own moral code. Not to society's, not to mine. I like women who own themselves." Half-formed wish, probably, but I'll continue to keep half an eye out, just in case.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Worst. Show. Ever.

I didn't expect to have to write this. I'm not normally a person for in-depth reviews, but even though the traffic on this blog is pretty much non-existent, I feel this should be out there somewhere.

Last night, I went to a comedy gig. I do this quite a lot - I love stand-up. So far, the general rule is that when you go to a comedy club, the entertainment is quite bad. When you go to a comedian's show, the entertainment is quite good. Well, last night, the rule did not hold up. Adam and I went to see one Sean Lock. I normally like Sean Lock. I like him on QI, I like him on Have I Got News For You, I liked his chat show and I liked his sitcom. I thought this would be guarantee enough that I'd have a good time. Wikipedia informed me that he'd been booed off stage at Wembley, but all recent reviews assured me that he was brilliant. So, feeling fairly confident, off we went.

Sean Lock comes onstage looking like the Proclaimers' uncle. He has an utterly shocking widow's-peak combover. Well, it makes me giggle. He then gets off to a terrible start by mumbling, bumbling and rambling. He talks about his voice, and how it makes everything he says sound sarcastic. That's a lie; it makes everything he says sound nasty. It also sounds nothing like his TV voice. He attempts to personalise the show a little bit by mentioning the taxi strike taking place. He asks us why. We tell him. The cab drivers are striking in protest, because the council have painted all the cabs navy blue. He basically says "oh" and moves on. Oh, come on, man! Striking over blue taxis! That's a comic gift! At this point, I really wish I was watching Ross Noble. He'd have had a field day with blue taxis. Sigh. But back to Sean. He rants on about swans for a bit (Adam believes that Sean Lock must have had a previous bad experience with a swan), but it's neither of the funny kinds of rant - the fiery, angry, biting rant or the charming, bewildered rant. It's a man standing on stage grousing. It's a bitter old uncle. His timing is completely off, too - he's not an improv comedian, and the whole show is scripted, but you wouldn't believe it. There are awkward pauses, mumbles and qualifiers like, "So that's the joke." Bristol was not impressed, and Bristol wasn't laughing much. So, as you would, he panics a little bit. For the rest of the first half, every time he gets a laugh he pushes the joke far beyond its funny conclusion, until the audience is staring at him in stony silence. Then he says, "I've put the shit joke at the end again, haven't I?" This seriously happens five times. He then offends me a little by claiming that breakdown rescue vehicles shouldn't prioritise single women. Why not? Because he has to wait for three hours. Loser. This comes just after a right-on bit about racism, so I'm not impressed, particularly when he follows it up with a jab against transvestites. Men who eat salad are transvestites! HA HA HA. More grumpiness about the bits in orange juice. Your lovely reviewer is bored, and wonders whether or not to skip out during the interval. She decides not to. Bad idea.

Sean Lock re-emerges, and my hopes are raised a little when he makes a David Cameron joke (which is very funny but, naturally, he pushes it a few sentences beyond funny). He goes on about the environment, most of which isn't joke-based. It's "yeah, some people really care, I care, but not a lot" for twenty minutes. He smushes the odd joke in the middle (he'd been to America and came to the conclusion that compared to their level of consumption, him recycling was like bringing a dustpan and brush to an earthquake. I laughed), but he seems to lose his place repeatedly. He talks about showing his daughter Finding Nemo without realising that Nemo's mother and siblings get eaten by a barracuda one minute in, and why isn't there a warning? Which, YES! I saw that at the cinema, I was so upset I missed all the jokes! Everyone thinks I'm nuts. He wanders off into Scarface, and I marvel that a show which rips on David Cameron and Finding Nemo isn't even the slightest bit engaging. Sigh.

At this point, I'm still thinking, "Perhaps he's just not cut out for stand-up" and prepare to come away unimpressed, but still with an affection for his TV work. Then he says that a near-death experience can teach you who you really are. He describes sitting on a plane with engine failure, next to an old woman who is very upset. He says he yelled, "FUCK YOU OLD LADY! BLAH BLAH BLAH GOING TO DIE ISN'T IT FUNNY THAT I'M AN ARSEHOLE! HA HA HA!" (Naturally paraphrased because I'm not writing all that shit out).

Huh? No, Sean, I'm sorry. Yelling "Fuck you, old lady" qualifies you as neither witty nor charming. I don't know if you noticed me in the third row, totally silent with a contemptuous look on my face. If not, it would do you well to pay attention to your audience in future.

He moves on. He talks about hair. He stands on stage for twenty minutes flipping his hand about on top of his head. Seriously, twenty minutes. Pretending his hand is some hair. This is a centre parting. This is me on a pier. Be careful if you play tennis. You can literally hear five individual people laughing. The rest of the room stares at him. Just because he acknowledges after fifteen minutes that it's pretty shitty of him to be standing on stage flipping his hand around doesn't make it better or funnier. Your lovely reviewer and her companion are exchanging eye-rolls every two minutes now.

He talks about relationships. He goes to some lengths to prove that he's embarrassed to have any feelings for his partner. This is so 1970s it's unbelievable. He tells a boring, hackneyed story about coming home to find his ex in bed with an old friend of his "And I couldn't remember his name!" YAWN. So, he decides to go on the offensive and tell his ex that he never insulated the loft and is actually the Riddler. He takes off his clothes to reveal a fluorescent long-sleeved Lycra jumpsuit with a question mark on it. No, really, he does. We then have to endure half an hour of him standing in his jumpsuit, looking awkward, giggling at himself and making knob gags. Again, the fact that he acknowledges that knob gags are rubbish doesn't make it any funnier. At this point, he definitely notices me and says, "Some people think it's funny, some people are concerned." Concerned? For myself, yes. He says "I'm glad you like it" eight hundred times, then leaves. Phew.

Oh crap, no, he's not finished. He comes back. He talks about the fluorescent jumpsuit some more. Then he says, "I'm probably one of the straightest men in the entire world." Oh, fucking hell. He's going to try and prove his sexuality. His partner calls him "such a bloke". He does a charming routine which can be summed up as: "Gay men can't do DIY". Then he makes some blow job jokes. Yes, blow job jokes. What is he, twelve? Fucking blow job jokes. Let's mention ladyboys! That's funny. They look like ladies, don't they, but now listen for five minutes while I make very loud orgasm noises. I'm not kidding. We paid thirty-five quid to watch a man have a fake orgasm. Fucking loser. He then says something so disgusting about post-op transsexuals that I absolutely refuse to repeat it under any circumstances. And it was his closing joke! Sean Lock is a serious homophobe.

I've seen a lot of bad gigs, but I've never seen one this bad when I've paid to see a particular comedian. This wasn't the most sexist show I've ever seen (stand up, Simon Clayton), but it was without a doubt the most homophobic. And despite his right-on racism bit, he still made a joke about lynchings. Nice one, Sean. But what bothered me most about this show is that I now harbour a serious personal dislike for him. He's not just a bad comedian. He came across to me as unpleasant, creepy, misanthropic and self-indulgent. At the interval I complained to Adam about the rescue breakdown bit, and he assured me it was just the lead-in to a joke. After the show, it seemed to both of us like a genuine gripe. He is genuinely cross that because women get attacked, he has to wait for rescue breakdown. My only solace was that every time he said something particularly sexist, one guy at the back laughed and clapped all on his own, and Sean had to backtrack a little. You don't want the arsehole in the corner being the only one on your side. You could, I suppose, say that that's his onstage character. If he wants to stick with this "character", he'd better get a hell of a lot funnier. Very, very fast. The show in general seemed very 1970s, and every single one of his references was at least a couple of years out of date (Robbie Williams? Gail Porter's hair? Oh, for fuck's sake).

Before the very end bit, I would have given the show an overall rating of two out of ten. One point for Cameron, one point for Nemo. However, the end bit was the worst ten minutes I have ever sat through in my whole life, and I will hold that transsexual joke against him forever. So, Sean Lock: Worst. Show. Ever. That should be the name of his next tour.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

I'm Terribly Juvenile


Note: This is only funny if you know the back story, if you don't like Lembit Opik and if you know how disproportionately annoyed he gets when someone dares to make fun of him. I meet all of these criteria, and am feeling terribly juvenile this evening. So: HA HA HA HA! Insert "Touch My Bum" joke here. Snigger.

I do apologise.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Prescott Has Bulimia (and Jen Swears a Lot)

John Prescott has suffered from bulimia. Good grief.

I'm impressed that he's talking about it. In his position, I certainly wouldn't. "John Prescott is fat" jokes have long been a staple of British political humour (example: "He can't wear a tie and a belt at the same time, or he'll turn into sausages"), and I'll be keeping a close watch on next week's edition of Have I Got News For You to count the bulimia jokes. Because bulimia is funny. It's a fat joke and a vomit joke, all in one handy little package.

He says it was brought on by stress:

"The only break I ever took was to eat. That’s all I did. Work, and then quickly eat something. It became my main pleasure, having access to my comfort food. So what I did was stuff my face with anything around, any old rubbish, burgers, chocolate, crisps, fish and chips, loads of it, till I felt sick - but at least I’d had the pleasure of stuffing my face and feeling really full. Then there would be a weird kind of pleasure in vomiting and feeling relieved."

I had terrible trouble with comfort eating as a teenager. I never threw up, but I was a binger for years. I still find a sick sort of comfort in a giant bar of chocolate. With that fully disclosed, I bring you the comments left on the article, horrible spelling and grammar left intact.

"Ah poor Prescott... not. He ought to be grateful that he could pay the bills unlike the 5 million poor people [blah blah blah fishcakes]."
"All that taxpayers' money down the drain, literally, as you can be sure that the food bills would have been paid out of expenses." Seriously, what does that have to do with it? Why are they harping upon about taxpayers? Gah.

"Even as a bulemic [sic] he is a failure." GAH.

"What a cheek to try and gain public sympathy by blaming the stress of office for his greed and his Neanderthal lavatory etiquette. It seems from some of the earlier posts that a few gullible souls have already been taken in." GAAAHHHH.

"...talk about a Big Girls Blouse." (I feel ever so slightly comforted that none of these idiots can spell or punctuate. Don't ask me why. It's Big Girl's Blouse, ass.)

"Bulimia - what a laugh - who has ever seen such a gross overweight, over eating man like Prescott suffering from Bullimia - what a load of rubbish." Oh, fuck off. Fuck. Off. Take your horrible sentence formation and your nasty views and fuck off.

I'll stop there. I'll ignore the tremendously amusing man who compares bulimia to throwing up a kebab when you're pissed and all the other posts talking about "greed". This really frightens me. He's too fat to be bulimic? Huh? Most of the time I love this country. I love the people, I love our collective attitude towards life. I love that no politician is too high or too important to take the piss out of. The one thing I truly hate about the British is our refusal to have personal sympathy with someone whose professional decisions we don't agree with. It disgusts me that people are proudly claiming they'll never feel sorry for him because taxes are going up (bear in mind the man is now retired and has nothing whatsoever to do with the Auditor's new tax plans), or because he's got more money than them, or because he's got a memoir coming out. "Ooh, what a coincidence," says someone sarcastically, having not bothered to read the article. This is IN the memoirs. That's where the story came from. The memoirs are about to be serialised by this newspaper. Dipshit. I hate these people.

Look, I'm no John Prescott fan. I thought he was incompetent as a politician, terrible as a public speaker - like the wonderful Linda Smith, I suspect language isn't his first language - and awful PR for Labour both as a party and a government. If you're an MP, you don't punch protesters. Even if they have thrown an egg at you (ooh, egg! That's food! Look out for a "Why Prescott Really Threw That Punch" bulimia joke coming soon to a comedian near you!). I thought he was completely useless. I still think that, as a professional politician, he was completely useless. However, it doesn't follow that he deserved to get an eating disorder because he was so useless. His uselessness doesn't preclude my now admiring his courage to be honest about it. He's a 69-year-old gruff Northern man with a big stomach. Eating disorders, in the public imagination, are the province of skinny, whiny suburban teenage girls. A man who gets an eating disorder is pathetic. A fat man with an eating disorder is just asking for it. I intend to make a John Prescott Bulimia Bingo card for my personal use when watching TV for the next couple of weeks.

To John Prescott, I say: Well done, that man. Well done. And I apologise for the utterly shitty quality of this post.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Personal Lexicon: The Auditor

I didn't want to tack this on the end of my last post, because I'm still pathetically excited about the idea of having a series. So just a short one this time.

The Auditor: Gordon Brown. After Terry Pratchett's Auditors. For when Brown is pissing me off and being a bit scary.

Prime Minister FridgeVoice: Gordon Brown. For when he's pissing me off and I'm feeling especially juvenile.

Thoughts on Gordon Brown

This... isn't really relevant. I just wanted to pretend Gordon Brown had done something interesting so I could talk about it. But no, he hasn't. He's gone to America, he's spouted a few nice cliches, he just lurves Bush and McCain and Clinton and Obama, he has no opinions that he'll state out loud, and I STILL can't take in a word he says because that man's voice is exactly like the hum of a fridge. I try to listen to him, I really do. I sit in front of the news and I concentrate hard. I take in the first sentence. I'm so pleased that I've taken in the first sentence that I miss the next couple of sentences. Then I realise I've forgotten what the first sentence was. Since he's become Prime Minister, I've tried to listen to numerous speeches he's made, and I've retained two things: "The EU treaty is not a constitution because it specifically says it's not a constitution" (as though that will have any effect on the content, which most people say is essentially the same - I tried to read the proposed constitution when the French were voting on it, planning to do a easy breakdown of it for my website, but they've deliberately made it unreadable. I think I got fifty pages in and went loony. What happened to the notes I made, I've no idea) and, from the other day, "Oh yes, I love American TV." Come on, Gordon, you do not. Unless you mean you love the craftsmanship on the fine American-made TV set in your hotel room.

I have a troubled love for politics. I wish I could be one of those people who think all politicians are the same so it doesn't matter who you vote for. Actually, I kind of do think that. For some reason that makes it worse. It's vital to me that David Cameron never gets within whipping distance of Number 10, even though he'd probably be, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same as Tony Blair. I don't say Brown, because he's a different bucket of aardvarks. I don't hate him as much as Cameron, because Brown actually knows what he's doing. Problem is, I really don't like what he's doing. I've finally worked out why he makes me so uncomfortable: Gordon Brown is an Auditor.

There just aren't enough Pratchett references in political blogging, and I think it's a damn shame, so this is the first of my attempts to correct it. I fully expect to have a lot of explaining to do. Stephen Fry and QI will help me. I love QI. Somewhere in my Top Ten Most Used Phrases is "It's true. Stephen Fry told me." Stephen Fry told me and BBC viewers in general that 90% of the universe is missing. We don't know where it is. It's slightly embarrassing. Terry Pratchett, who is one of the great unacknowledged philosophers of our time (he is. Just because it's funny doesn't mean it should be disregarded) suggests in Thief of Time that "nine-tenths of the universe is the paperwork." Said paperwork is done by the Auditors. The Auditors are basically grey robes, with nothing visible inside the hoods. They have no real voices - should they wish to communicate, the words arrive in the other person's brain without passing through the ears. This is exactly how I feel about Gordon Brown's voice, although I clearly have some sort of reverse Babel fish in my brain which immediately translates everything into intangible nonsense. The Auditors also hate humanity, because humans are irrational and irregular. If they could eliminate humanity, they could get the filing finished.

I would swear that Gordon Brown wishes there were no people in Britain so he can finish the filing. He always seems so affronted when we object to something. Blair would sigh, grit his millions of teeth, and tell us that he understood where we were coming from, but this was very important and we must trust him. And yeah, that was irritating. It's not as irritating as Gordon Brown's "What do you mean, no? You can't say no. I have decreed that this is what will happen. You can't object to it. I'm Gordon Brown. How dare you attempt to disagree with me?" Which, in turn, is less irritating (though scarier) than David Cameron's "You disagree? Oh no! Panic! Well, you're right, of course. Of course you're right, I totally screwed that up. Sorry. We'll try it your way instead!" Repeat ad nauseam when it turns out that not everybody agrees on everything. Dumbass. More about him another time.

Gordon Brown is scary. He's fundamentally scary. His default expression may be, "oh bugger, we're out of loo roll again. Why are we always out of loo roll?" but when he attempts some sort of expression, it always looks like some variant on "man who is going to kill you, probably because he thinks you took his loo roll." His 'happy' face looks like that. His 'angry' face looks like that. His 'neutral but relatable politician' face looks like that, and he's been practicing it a lot the past few days. It doesn't translate well, because Americans don't say 'loo roll'. It was a nice image, him and Bush strolling around together. Bush stole an election, Brown didn't even bother to have an election.

Goddammit, Liberal Democrats, why did you have to draft in Baby Cameron as your leader? Anyone else and you would have had my vote! I'd even have voted for old Ming above Brown and Cameron, and he was a corpse on wheels! Anyone except Baby Cameron! You know I can't support anyone who bears any political resemblance to Cameron! (I'm looking at you, Obama.) Alright, I wouldn't vote for Lembit Opik, but that's because he's shagging a Cheeky Girl and expects us not to laugh. I used to quite like him, but really, a freakishly thin Transylvanian in silver hot pants who was rejected in the first round of Popstars who sang a song called Touch My Bum written by her mother and a twisty-faced Lib Dem obsessed with doom-mongering asteroid theories, and we're not supposed to laugh? He seems to think he's too important to be laughed at. For fuck's sake, Lembit. You're in fucking Britain. One, you're never too important to be laughed at here. Two, you're not actually important at all. Three, it's hilarious! Have some self-awareness, man, yikes. (Sorry.)

Attention anyone who may be reading: For the headline "Thoughts on Gordon Brown", kindly read, "Thoughts on Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Terry Pratchett and his works, Lembit Opik, that whole stupid situation with the Cheeky Girl, and the state of Britain today if politicians forget that their entire purpose is to be criticised and laughed at." Thank you.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Useless Information from the Tuesday Pub Quiz

Not much to tell you today, because we only got two questions wrong. And really, it's kind of embarrassing. There's a "wipeout" round in the quiz, where if you put down answers for all 10 questions, you get an extra five points if they're all right and no points at all if you get any wrong. This week it was a lyrics round and I essentially got six points for knowing the words to "The Chicken Song". I don't know if this particular piece of magic is an international phenomenon, but the bit most people know goes: "Hoooooold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose..."

So this week, I learned that there are five seconds between each chime of Big Ben, and that the word "fuck" is used 257 times in Pulp Fiction. Use this information wisely, my friends.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Hey, Tesco, Leave Our Kids Alone

Tesco is selling padded bras to eight-year-olds.

Tesco says the bra is "designed to cover up, not flatter", but that sure as hell looks like a plunge bra to me. If it was designed to cover up, it would be a crop top. This is obviously meant for eight-year-olds developing slightly faster than normal (as in, A cup), and at that size you don't need a bra. Really. Making it into a bra, as opposed to a crop top or sportswear, does nothing but draw attention to the fact that the girl is developing. This is what early developers complain about - a bra is a stigma. YOU DON'T FUCKING NEED IT. Eight-year-olds sure as hell don't need an underwire. And if they do? Don't buy a £4 Tesco bra. Jesus.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

RIP Mark Speight

This is so sad. I'm getting all teary-eyed over a kids' TV presenter that I hadn't thought of in years before this whole chain of events began. It was sad enough when his girlfriend died (I am ready to snap at anyone who starts apportioning "blame" because there were drugs involved), but we as a country have watched him fall apart in little article-sized snapshots. He blamed himself, as you would if you'd been taking drugs with your partner and she died. Sometimes you see people unravel due to grief, but he didn't even do that - he just broke. It's taken a while for him to hit the ground, but he's been dead for months. Staying with his dead girlfriend's mother, quitting his job, making noises about a charity concert, and then they find a body. Of course they did. It's not been officially confirmed as his, but dead man he is nevertheless.

Like everyone else who keeps up with the news, I've seen probably thousands of photos of smiling people who are dead now. It's so common that I don't tend to think about it. There's the occasional one that just won't budge out of my mind, like Holly and Jessica, Peter Woodhams, Nick Berg. And with dead celebrities, we've seen so many pictures of them grinning away that even if we were admired them the picture is no trigger. I've been upset at the death of many a celebrity, because I'm a big softy, but the photos don't make me cry. For some reason, this one is different. I can't look at it because I burst into tears. And I don't know why. It's not just tears, it's a real wrench on my gut. Poor, crazy dumbass. Poor, crazy, talented dumbass with such an ordinary story. Girlfriend dies of an overdose and he loses it. There's no trace of celebrity in this story - she wasn't a druggie, it was stupid middle-class cocaine dabbling. I know a hundred people who would do that and think nothing of it. I know a hundred men who would fall apart exactly like he did in these circumstances. There's nothing special about this story. It's just a very human death.

Personal Lexicon: Naderbots

Look, another Part Two of a regular feature! I'm on a roll this week.

I was reading this excellent Shakesville post a while ago, and my intention was to use it to start a post of my own about the American elections. However, I took a glance at the comments first. Most of them are, for some unfathomable reason, by one guy banging on about Ralph Nader. The post doesn't mention Ralph Nader, but apparently this funny little man has absolutely nothing to say about anything else. Considering the original post was so interesting, this really annoys me, but someone used the term "naderbot" to describe him, and I'm always on the market for funny new words.

Because ScriptFrenzy is in progress (I refer to mine as Rent meets Yes Minister), I immediately thought of a whole chorus of Naderbots who show up at inopportune moments and sing about something irrelevant. They're going into my script as a chorus of protesters who turn up and sing about how great Ralph Nader is, despite the fact that they're in England and Nader has nothing to do with British politics. I foresee the Naderbots as a great recurring feature in my writing (what better way to pad out a Screnzy or NaNo?) - always referred to as Naderbots but given a new subject for each story. In NaNo '08, the Naderbots may sing about kettles. Screnzy '09? Punctuation. Dammit, I really want to write songs about punctuation.

Naderbot is soon to enter my everyday life as a term for someone who, no matter what is going on around him, talks about his chosen subject and only his chosen subject. No segues, no lame attempts to link it to the conversation at hand, nothing. In such a situation, Ralph Nader may be brought into the conversation as shown:

Naderbot: Blah blah chosen subject blah did you know that [insert crap fact] blah.
You: You know who's great? Ralph Nader.
Naderbot: What does that have to do with [chosen subject]?
You: Ralph Nader cares about the planet. How cool is that?
Naderbot: Oh. [chosen subject] blah blah.
You: Nader is awesome on Bacon-lettuce with cheese issues.
Naderbot: ?
You: Nader is not God, because we Nader supporters do not believe in a God, or Gods, or any master real or imagined.
Naderbot: !

Also, please note the original Naderbot's highly amusing outrage that he is not getting props from the feminists despite his support of sex-selective abortion in the third world. I kind of think he's a bored kid who thinks he's a satirist, but I really hope not. I took all the Nader-based quotes except the first one directly from the Naderbot, and I so want to believe there's someone in the world who genuinely speaks like this. I love the Naderbot. I'm having so much fun with this. He keeps referring to "imperialism" and "empire" (Naderbot thinks he's in Star Wars! and Nader rhymes with Darth Vader! Spooooky.) and anyone who disagrees with Nader not only isn't a progressive, but HATES progressives. That's his entire response to any contradiction.

Naderbot fun:
"Nader has sacrificed for us all, yet we show no gratitude."
"Jesus was a socialist, if he could get himself to vote...it would be for Nader."
"Deride, deride me if you must. But you know I speak the TRUTH!"
"Why do you turn your back on Ralph? Is it because he's Lebanese! You racist bastard."
"Your aloofness is very un-progressive. I also like Progressive Rock."
"Dude, I'm not gay, but I would blow you if you promised to vote for Nader."

There will never again be such an entertaining spammy troll.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

For Future Reference

The BNP occasionally seizes upon an issue of the moment - usually immigration or some such - to try and appeal to those of us who are white British. We would never treat you like that. Under a BNP government, you come first. Yes you do. Oh, you're worried about the non-white British? No, we're fine with them [snigger]. It's just those immigrants. We hate them.

I've seen this almost work on a couple of my friends. So I just wanted to link this, just so I don't forget.

"Rape is simply sex (I am talking about 'husband-rape' here)... Women enjoy sex, so rape cannot be such a terrible physical ordeal... To suggest that rape, when conducted without violence, is a serious crime is like suggesting force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence."

That is the sort of stuff that members of the BNP think. These people are racists ("show these ethnics the door?" What the hell was that?) and want non-whites returned to "their lands of ethnic origin". These people know that since they're excluding a large percentage of the population with their policies, it's not within their interests to alienate half their target demographic with such sentiments as the above, but those thoughts are there, within the party. Oh, and Nick? Force-feeding IS a heinous offence. If someone force-fed me anything, even if it was a tasty pudding, they would be guilty of assaulting me. Rape is a crime. Force-feeding is a crime. I'm almost tempted to make a "force-feeding you a knuckle sandwich" joke, but I'll just tell you to fuck off instead. Nick? Fuck off.

So for my future reference: The BNP are racist, sexist, stuck in the past, have absolutely no sense of empathy and must never, ever, ever be allowed within sniffing distance of power. EVER. Thank you.

Useless Information From The Tuesday Pub Quiz

(Look, a second post in a regular feature!)

A baby oyster is called a spat. As opposed to a regular oyster, which is a spit (I mean, yuck). I don't know who picks these baby names - it can't be the same person who picked "puppy" which is one of the loveliest words in the English language. It just sounds cute and fuzzy. Baby animals should have cute names, even if they're not cute. In previous pub quizzes, we've been asked what a baby pigeon is called. It's a squab. Which is nice, but nowhere near as nice as "pidgelet".

Also, I have no interest in watching Mulholland Drive, but is there really a scene with three women in spangly dresses and two grinning clean-cut blokes singing in what appears to be some sort of diner? I'm just checking, because Cheese has a habit of not checking the answers, and people singing in a diner doesn't tie in with what I've heard about the film. But then, perhaps it's some sort of cosmic lesson. It's probably not right that I retain my position as the team's resident film expert when I've barely seen any films. I read film reviews and have a worryingly good memory for plots and actors and such, but I have the world's lowest gore-and-violence tolerance. Out of the IMDb Top 250, I've seen 25. Ten per cent. That's a bit crap. I really must watch Annie Hall and boost it up one.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Personal Lexicon: The Davidson Effect

Today, the BBC informs me that there is no point in allowing mass immigration because it has little to no positive effect on our economy. I think this is an interesting subject, mainly because there is absolutely no answer that won't make you a) naive or b) a bigot. For example, clearly if the entire world immigrates to Britain, Britain is screwed. Whilst the entire world is obviously not going to immigrate to Britain, but there will come a point where there are just too many people coming in. If you disagree, you're naive. Someone will do an impression of a floaty, brainless hippy who thinks people can survive with no food is only they love each other. If you agree, you're a bigot. Someone will do an impression of a Nazi.

I do believe, for example, that immigrants should have to learn English. I won't even go abroad without learning at least "hello" and "thank you" in my destination country's language. I wouldn't dream of moving there and expecting them to accommodate me, even though most people do speak English now. Some people thought it was bigoted of Gordon Brown to suggest mandatory English classes for immigrants. You won't often find me standing up for Brown, but how on earth is this a problem? I'd hate to live in a country where I couldn't understand what was going on. If someone offered me free language classes, brilliant. Reading back over that last paragraph, I can see that it may, to some people, appear that I am bigoted against immigrants.

I have a term for this - The Davidson Effect. Named after World's Most Terrible Comedian, Jim Davidson. When writing the above, I worried all the time that my sentiments were ones Jim Davidson would agree with. For those who don't know (lucky bastards), Davidson makes racist, sexist, homophobic jokes (he also hates the disabled, but I'm not sure what the right word for that is), and commits the worst crime of all by not even bothering to make said jokes funny. Some comedians can make nasty jokes of this kind and be hailed as "pushing comedy's boundaries" and "having a refreshing disregard for political correctness". Davidson, however, is regarded as a pathetic, out-of-touch '80s throwback. If a new stand-up's comedy stylings are compared to Jim Davidson's, you can be certain that it isn't a compliment. Jim Davidson's fans are regarded in much the same light as he is. For example, if I were to admit to liking America's Next Top Model (sorry, it really is entertaining), people would just think I was suffering from a lapse in taste. They wouldn't assume that I was everything the show was - i.e. shallow, fluffy, camp and a waste of most people's time - but Jim's fans are assumed to be exactly like him.

In his stand-up, Dara O Briain told his audience that he'd made a very bad joke that had offended the gay community. I think he made it when he hosted Have I Got News For You, and was a really shit joke about Elton John and Billy Elliot. He received an angry letter from OutRage ("For those of you who don't know, one of the previous targets of one of their campaigns was Robert Mugabe. And now me.") and explained that once he realised he'd fucked up, he backed down immediately "because if I hadn't, I might just as well have started playing golf with Jim Davidson." If the joke itself didn't offend you, and the letter from OutRage didn't sway your thoughts, then this line tells you all you need to know: it's wrong because Jim Davidson thinks it's right. Golf has often been shorthand for exclusion and bigotry, and it only serves to ram the point home. If he hadn't backed down once he knew he'd been offensive, he would be a sad old loser with absolutely no place in the modern world. "Playing golf with Jim Davidson" has entered my personal lexicon as the actions of someone who has embraced his or her own bigotry. O Briain was also disturbed to receive a letter of support from some "concerned citizens" who wanted to praise his "comments on the link between paedophilia and homosexuality." They ended by expressing their support for his "stance against the forces of sodomy". Yes, forces of sodomy. O Briain finished reading the letter and added a sardonic, "Yours sincerely, Robert Mugabe", which is an extremely handy phrase to throw into a conversation when someone has said something particularly shocking.

I can't call this a regular feature yet, because I've done that with half my entries so far and haven't yet done a second one for any of them. Oh well.