Thursday 08 March 2012

International Women’s Day

Without sounding like a cliché of egalitarianism it’s a shame that there is such a thing as International Women’s Day as it serves to highlight the numerous inequalities that exist on the planet. I mean it’s a shame the day exists because of the bad things, not because I don’t want them highlighted.

Was it not Gandhi who said, “can we not all just get along and that?” Maybe not. I imagine he would have been a terrible guest on Room 101. I know putting things, hypothetically, into none-existence is not exactly being violent but it seems of that ethos. I can’t even imagine him putting violent protest into it.

Women are fucking great though aren’t they? And though I am a feminist and think everyone should be equal I am not crazy enough to be jealous of some aspects of womanhood. I overheard someone talking once about being jealous of women’s biological ability to conceive and carry children. No, thank you: my breasts are big enough as it is and the thought of shitting a baby out the end of my cock sends shivers up my spine. Hail the sisters.

Will Young Guns

I don’t want to be too negative about Will Young – I know everybody loves him and I don’t want to lose my last remaining half-a-reader. Really, I don’t want to be too negative about him because I quite like him. And I’m not overly fond of smug middle-class southerners as a rule. And that doesn’t fit in with my point the other week about middle-classes and smugness; Young is smug, he does a big inhale and smiles after something (he thinks) is really clever, after he says it.

Judging by Twitter I am in a minority in thinking he is smug and not as clever as he thinks he is. It is terrible place to be, this minority but no-one cares about the struggles of a white man in his 30s struggling from wasting money on clothes to expensive electrical equipment.

He was okay on Question Time tonight – but you’d think he has split the atom from the twittersphere. He didn’t really know the issues with the rail issues but pretended to know the struggles of the commuter, waffling on about driving to and from Manchester being cheaper than train tickets. Maybe if you get first class tickets on the train, you can normally travel quite cheaply on said, particular journey.

Clearly, he was there to be a voice in the debate about ‘gay marriage’ that have come to the fore this week. As sure as he said many things I agree with, he also did so in a slightly pompous way. He was a little…you know when someone knows they are in the right and so grandstands a bit? I’m sure he called some Catholic minister a mongle or something*. Just rise above it, dude. He’s in the wrong – you don’t have to insult him to get revenge on him. He is a dick. Not being a dick is revenge enough – especially when you are trying to educate those people who think the other guy is right.

And..is it just me or can we just call it marriage? Let all people – and I don’t know why – who want to get married get married.  Not gay marriage, not straight marriage – just marriage. And if people want to say shit about it, then they can – but just talk and it in a respectful way. No hate-mongering.  What is it with these people thinking gay people are so desperate to get married in a church they would do it somewhere their lifestyle was loathed? Or have I misread the situation? The way the woman from the Daily Mail (shock horror) then there are people worrying that vicars/priests/rabbis etc will be forced – at gun point – to marry two muscle-bound men in unitards to the lyrics of YMCA.

Let’s everyone just treat everyone with a bit of respect, yeah?

*Probably not mongle – something less offensive.

Rob Lowe Down

I was sure after finishing Mindy Kaling’s book that my next reading project would be the consumption of fiction. So it was somewhat predictable that I would begin to read another non-fiction book, Rob Lowe’s autobiography Stories I Only Tell My Friends.

I want to be very clear: this is not a review; I have not finished the book. These are just some observations on the early chapters.

I don’t believe these are stories Rob only tells his friends. If they are then his friends must be particularly bored of the conversations with him. Not because they are boring stories but there aren’t that many of them and they are fairly pedestrian anecdotes that his friends will have already have been told, by Lowe, when he was getting to know them.

He clearly likes the ‘sting in the tail’/’late reveal’ kind of anecdote and he isn’t afraid of using it again and again. By this I mean he does  anecdote kind of like this:

“I was working on an advert and I had to work with a woman who wasn’t very confident, though she was beautiful and great. The advert involved not being married to Tom Cruise. Anyway several years later I turned on the television and the on the entertainment news there was the girl from the advert…marrying Tom Cruise and I thought ‘Nicole, it’s a good job you aren’t still filming the advert where you weren’t married to Tom Cruise because you are now married to Tom Cruise’ because the girl from that advert was Nicole Kidman.”

(not  an extract from Stories  I Only Tell My Friends)

I have over simplified it, and though it might read like a parody it really isn’t that far away from several of Lowe’s anecdotes. One is about a TV show he was on for a few months – that got cancelled. It was about two divorcees and their children sharing a house. Half way through the run they changed one of the divorcees from being white to being black, and the children likewise (hey at the end of the 1970s those crazy TV executives would try anything to save a TV show). The change of cast didn’t work and one of the young girls playing the daughter of the black family was put off acting by her role in the short-lived show. (Lowe does this not mentioning her name bit that I am mirroring, I was already thinking is Janet Jackson? It is her by the way.)

He says he had a chat with her when the show got cancelled. She tells him acting may not be for her and she thinks she should try and make it in singing, like her brothers have – they are in a band together. Then a few years later he is watching the Grammys and when he sees this girl being presented with the Best Female Artist he knew she had made the choice. It was Janet Jackson.

He did similar reveals after describing his interactions with Sarah Jessica Parker, Daryl Hannah, John F Kennedy Jnr, Charlie Sheen, The Penn Brother, the film Star Wars.

It is quite a good read, though, so don’t let this put you off it: it’s not all badly disguised reveals.

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