Saturday, June 26, 2010

Miley Cyrus and Michael Jackson

Miley Cyrus, of all people, annoyed me this morning. (I barely know who she is, but her alleged fame entitles her to spout drivel down my radio in the mornings, apparently). She complained that no-one ever told Michael Jackson how great he was when he was alive, and we should make sure to tell our idols how much we love them while we can. Or some such. (It's a year since he died or was killed or faked his own alien abduction). "It's just crazy again with the media and all that. Nobody ever wrote an article just to say, 'Hey, Michael, we really appreciate what you do!' I wish I would have had the opportunity [to tell him how I felt about him when he was alive]."... "Not enough people told him [how great he was] and I think it's sad that you have to wait till it's too late... But I think he knows." Well, allow me to retort: nonsense and thrice nonsense.

Hahahhaaha at nobody ever telling MJ how good they thought he was. How many records did he sell, how much press did he get, how many awards did he get? Didn't he embarrass himself by accepting an 'Artist of the Millenium' award (that didn't exist) at some MTV award show?

Half MJ's problem was the adulation he received in his life and the uncritical yes-people he surrounded himself with or bought. Sure, there were people shooting him down but that man was protected by his money, his management and entourage.

Despite rumours and a prosecution or two, parents still allowed their children into private situations with a suspected paedophile. Whether it was that they believed he was innocent as a person, that they were star-struck, that they cynically sold their children's flesh to him or put their children there in order to falsely accuse later, I don't know.

Having a talent doesn't mean that everything you do is art, haha. Being good at one thing doesn't mean you're a good person or put you beyond criticism.

So shut up Miley.

It's the Polanski syndrome: where actors etc rush to defend the poor fellow, despite him fleeing justice at the time, because they 'know' him (as if abusers have, I dunno, beady eyes) or because his art is so pure or whatever.

I'll never understand fan-culture. There are people I admire, don't get me wrong, but this putting people on a pedestal? I don't get it.

They're just people, and most people are idiots (or worse) from time to time. I like Stephen Fry, but when he shrugs off MP's expenses as something we all do, I think he's a bit of a tit. Doesn't mean I stop liking QI or A Bit Of Fry and Laurie, or Jeeves & Wooster, or all the other things of his I've liked.

But when some actors or comedians or what have you come out or get married, there's often a backlash amongst fans, and I don't understand that.

Seriously, people, did you think if Brad wasn't married to Angelina or if Will Young was straight you'd be with him? What difference does it make to you, really? I can't figure it out.

I can understand with figures like Gary Glitter - what he's done is so heinous, that if I had any of his music I'd probably throw it out or burn it. But there must be something else going on when it comes to fans getting angry about actors getting married or whatever. Something I don't get.

To go into the list of stuff I don't get.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Horrible Her-story

I really love the Horrible Histories programme on CBBC: it's good fun, a little bit "naughty" for the children with its toilet humour while simultaneously making history interesting. We went to the Horrible Science live show a few weeks back, and it was great.

But one criticism I have is the routine use of 'girl' as an insult: "The Vikings were actually big girls". #Head-desk#

Half the programme's audience is female. If you don't think we still live in a patriarchal society with casual sexism/misogyny built in, ask yourself how come being a 'big girl' can be used as an insult. You cannot use 'you're a big booooy' as an insult, try as you might. #Head-desk#

And it would be so easy to avoid - there are so many non-gendered terms they could use instead. What about 'wimp' or 'wuss'? Neither are going to get parents in an uproar, surely?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Nuns in popular culture*

It's kind of weird that the Vatican endorses the Blues Brothers movie. I mean, it's 30 years old, so it's taken them a while. Although I suppose that's nothing on how long it took them to officially 'regret' what they did to Galileo (350 years). It's positively speedy, rather.

But having watched it last night, you've gotta wonder. Elwood and Jake consider themselves on a mission from god to help out these nuns, but it's all a bit 'ends justify the means'.

Small boy was up last night as we caught some of the film, due to a nightmare, and when he saw the nun he said "Gorgon!"

Which was hilarious.

I'm afraid the Sarah Jane Adventures have overlaid the nunnishness of nuns for him. While I just come over all Father Jack Hackett.

* A title that promises far more than it delivers, as this is not a deep and thoughtful post.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Conversation with a small boy

Me: Oh no, your shirt's a bit dirty - but [thinking: argh, run out of others, no time to clean it] it's not too bad.

Small boy: It's ok - some people at school haven't got as good eyesight as us.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saw-argh-lha and homeop-argh-y

Nadia Sawalha was on the Wright Stuff this morning, bigging up homeopathy.

As evidence that it is "complementary medicine" and that a practitioner would never risk someone's life, she said that one night when her child was very sick with a chest infection, she rang her homeopath at 2am ("can't do that with your doctor!*" smugly) who told her to take her into A&E. Yay, good old homeopath saves the day, tells stupid client what she should have been able to figure out for herself.

To Nadia herself I say: You blue-pencilled moron. If you're that dependent on your homeopath that you need to be told by her/him to take a child with a major chest infection to the hospital, there is something wrong. Not with hospitals. With you.

I'm not unsympathetic to people needing a little push to get to A&E - sometimes you wonder if you're being a worry-wart parent, a fussing hypochondriac or if it could wait 'til morning. Sometimes you think "I can walk this off", as your leg hangs off by a string, haha. And you just need someone to say, "No, you're right to be worried, get something done about it".

But it completely undermines the point about complementary, if your first port of call is the homeopath. That makes it alternative or the preferred option, and conventional medicine your last resort, and that's just #sigh, for reduction in swearing# er, disapproved of by me. When it comes to children. By all means get some special water for your own illnesses. You blue-pencilled moron.

* Yes you can. You can call out doctors and they will come out (or tell you to go to A&E). You can call NHS Direct (who would tell you to go to A&E), you can call a blue-pencilled
ambulance, you can just blue-pencilled go to A&E and drop-in clinics.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Life's too effing short

I can't remember if I've ever read a self-help book before. I've flicked through a few at the library and hmmphed a bit at them, especially things like Women are from Venus type crapola. But I'm determined to branch out a bit in my reading, to try things I've never tried before. But this one, Life's too F---ing Short, was a bit of a compromise: it is written by Janet Street-Porter (whose autobiography I read recently), so a familiar voice mixed with the unfamiliar.

In this book, as to be expected, Janet Street-Porter tells it like it is. You feel she's having a good time sharing. It's about how she deals with things and she can't see any reason why you can't do the same.

If you were looking for a psychological treatise, emo-indulgence or sympathy - you'd be daft, this is Janet Street-Porter!
If you were looking for a swift kick up the backside, however, you'd be in the right place.

She's got a lot of interesting opinions and my granny would say she's got grit*. Some people would say that a woman with four marriages and several relationships behind her has a nerve giving relationship advice (in one chapter) but she sees her serial monogamy as success, and I liked that. She makes no apologies and doesn't appear to waste energy on recriminations or self-loathing. And in truth, what is the point of looking back and wishing you could change things and being down on yourself**? It is far better to view the past and who you are positively.

She kicks bottom.

I kind of feel it's a book she knocked out in her lunch-time, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's all you self-helpers deserve***! Haha. It's not a book that is going to change your life, but it might help you get your head on straight. I did find the changing font size and colours a bit irritating after a while, but over all I enjoyed the book a great deal.

* Although she would've disapproved of JSP, probably.
** Of course there is room for self-improvement and self-analysis (possibly not for JSP, but for most of us!), but it's getting the balance right.
*** Pretending to be a Janet Street-Porter.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A small victory

I noticed that the Cow & Gate advert now has an extra piece of small print that says that "cows' milk is not a good source of iron". I haven't heard from the Advertising Standards Agency since a letter in the winter, but presume their scrutiny has resulted in this change.

So yay! Bit better.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Bleat again

I'd never really listened to the lyrics of JLS's 'Beat Again' until yesterday when it came on the car radio twice - once on my usual station and then again on a station we switched to as we left Pirate behind.

And now I'm annoyed. It's all whining about how the girlfriend(?) dumped the guy and now he thinks he's dying. So he thinks they should never have broken up. Well, tough luck, it was her decision to leave and the 'would you cry at my funeral' stuff is emotional blackmail and controlling. What precisely is she supposed to get out of getting back together? Presumably it wasn't working from her perspective, and basically threatening suicide, yeah right, that'll make her hot for you. He doesn't attempt to make himself more attractive, promise to be a better partner, or try to work on whatever it was in the relationship that went wrong. Oh no. He just wants to manipulate and draw her back into an unhealthy situation through guilt.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Conversation with a small boy

The cat is sitting above the guinea pigs, looking thoughtful.

Me (putting cover over): Oh we don't want the cat to get the guineas, do we?

Small boy: No, we don't. We want them to survive until they die.