Monday, September 29, 2003

I am not a Dr Who fan (although I was when I was a teenager). My fella, however is
a huh-uge fan - and I have learnt to live with his regular bed-time watching of Dr Who videos and finding cds of audio-only adventures scattered around the house. During an argument I once declared that Dr Who was bad because it had very little character development in it, particularly of the main character, whereas the Star Trek programmes have lots of character growth and interaction. I didn't really mean it.

What is sad though, is that Dr Who hasn't been on tv for years. Rumour has it that Michael Grade hated the programme for various reasons, despite the fact that merchandising has been a money-maker for the BBC for an awfully long time. My fella often complains that it is a sad testament to the UK's sense of dejection that we can't even imagine ourselves as a society in the future or in space any more - think about it, other than Red Dwarf, how many British sci-fi series are there? Most of our sci-fi comes from America, the Federation is pretty much American, with the odd Brit thrown in here and there to provide eccentricity or whatever.

Dr Who has also been the target of lazy journalism for a long time. The usual cliches about
Wobbly sets 1 and Daleks that you could defeat by walking upstairs have been a staple of bored media types with little of consequence to say.

Fortunately this is all about to come to an end (although the wobbly set stories will still abound) as there is to be a new series of Dr Who, penned by Russell T. Davies who did Queer As Folk. My fella got a bit tearful with joy when he found out. Popdizzy has given his own perspective on what this will look like. A lot of Dr Who fans are also gay. There is even a gay Dr Who fan society. I wonder why this is. Dr Who is not gay himself, although he is single and often quite camp or dandified. For camp value for money, I've always preferred Blakes 7 - thanks to the magnificant Jacqueline Pearce as Servalan, or Deep Space 9 and Garak's little quips. Perhaps someone could explain to me the gay appeal of Dr Who?

Still, I'm bracing myself for more late-night Dr Who video marathon sessions.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Thursday, September 25, 2003

In a shameless attempt to lure my regular readers back (who have all deserted me since I stopped writing here for some reason), here are some
gratutitous pictures from Living TV's stripsearch (tonight)

Your hosts - Inez and the Posh one. Inez is the one with the lips.

All kinds of men auditioned for strip search, including Odo from Deep Space 9
who is now living on a council estate in the west country.

Inez didn't like this guy, saying that everything about him was small. I beg to differ.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

My garden.

Since moving house I have become a little obsessed with home interiors - ohmygod, I'm turning into one of those men from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. It all started with
three months ago with a trip to Ocean in Manchester, and since then I've gone mad over their giant suede floor seats, curved white minimalist vases, computer workstations that hide themselves into cubes when no-one's using them and beech bedroom furniture. My home has become a shrine to Ocean: tasteful, clutter-free, with feature walls, pictures in anti-glare frames and vast windows looking onto lanscaped garden. I've become one of the happy people you see in magazines.

But it didn't stop there. One too many visits to expensive hotels has resulted in me not just making my bed in the normal way (e.g. pulling the duvet across it), but folding a colourful blanket across the bottom and propping up coloured suede cushions against the pillows. I have started buying Home Interior magazines, grouping candles in threes in my living room and discussing the pros and cons of plain or patterned carpets with anyone who'll listen. Did you know that you're supposed to have 4 types of lighting in your bathroom? Yes, four! Natural light, task lighting, ambient lighting and spot lights. I only have two! What am I to do.

The ultimate in interior design, and my current Goddess is Ms Naomi Cleaver (name tells all) - she has a big blonde stylish bun in her hair, a selection of tasteful overcoats and a received pronunciation British accent that can summon up unseen depths of disgust when saying words like "suburban", "cream" and "beige" (three things she hates). Naomi presents "Other People's Houses" - a rather cruel programme where she follows the travails of various people who wish to redesign their homes. Naomi offers advice (which they rarely take) and them jumps in during the last reel of film to tell them exactly how they've cocked up, ripping their dream homes to bits with lines like "Your bedroom reminds me of a processed cheese sandwich/novetly Homer Simpson tie/carehome". Her catchphrases include "It's not my cup of tea" and "But they love it, so that's what counts." She likes bold statements and authentic retro houses, so I'm sure she'd turn her perfect nose up at my boring sofa which doesn't curve round a corner and clashes with my carpet. That's the trouble with caring about your house. It's never good enough. I know it won't bring me happiness. But it'll at least bring the appearance of happiness. And in today's surface-obsessed culture, where happiness doesn't really exist anyway, that's all that counts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Frank Bruno was sectioned last night. Friends said they had been worried about him for months. I wonder if Frank was watching E4 last week when an episode of the “hilarious” new comedy programme “The Pilot Show” aired for the first time? On The Pilot Show, celebrities and ordinary people are conned into making pilot tv programmes for crap fake ideas. This includes programmes such as Lapdance Island and Catch the Sandwich. Frank Bruno was in one of these programmes, called Celebrity Advice Bureau, where an actress posing as a member of the public told him that since her pregnancy her “flaps” were distended and she couldn’t enjoy a normal sex life. Other celebrities who were ridiculed on the programme included Dean Gaffney, Anne Diamond and Debbie McGee – the sort of people who are hungry for work. In other clips, ordinary people, even more desperate for fame showed themselves willing to cut themselves off from their entire families, possibly forever, or humiliated themselves in a sex-related DIY show. The Pilot Show is Poison TV. I feel dirty and bad about myself after watching it. For all I know, Frank Bruno et al could actually be in on the joke too, but I doubt it. Nasty, nasty E4.

Another programme, shown on BBC3 at the moment, also plays practical jokes on members of the public, but in a way that isn’t offensive. 3 Non-blondes features three black women who engage with passers-by, asking them bizarre questions “Excuse me, are you black?” or getting them to do things “Can you undo my zip so I can use the toilet?” Where the programme succeeds (and the Pilot Show fails) is that 3 Non-Blondes doesn’t hate its victims. Instead, it is often the actresses who are the butt of their own jokes (for example, in one joke the actress asks a passer-by directions and her dress (or wig) falls off, in another she has a speech impediment, in another she raps… badly). And the British Public are shown on the whole as being exceptionally kind, tolerant and helpful when faced with these bizarre situations. On the other hand, the Pilot Show plays on people’s hunger to be famous – as a result, nobody comes off particularly well in it. Not the poor patsys and certainly not the smug, cynical makers of the programme.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

This is a good time for trash tv. UK Living are celebrating their 10th anniversary (that long!) with Strip Search - a programme which redefines what trash is. It's like Pop Idol, but with male strippers. That's all you need to know. The judges are a slightly posh fitness instructor and a bargain basement Samantha from Sex in The City/Leslie Ash/Caroline from Big Brother 1 dance instructor called Inez who has a bad attitude and says things like "I have a degree darling!"

I don't find stripping sexy. Frustrating yes. Embarrassing yes. Sexy no. Yet I concede that on the couple of occasions that I have been in bars and strippers have been on, they've at least been quite good at it. However, what is interesting about Strip Search is that we get to see BAD strippers - 48 year old men who Should Know Better, pasty-skinned, pigeon chested, ginger-pubed men Who Don't Know Any Better, and embarrassed, steroid-induced acne-scarred nightclub bouncers Who Don't Know Anything. To give them their due, the two judges oozed nastiness, barking out put-downs such as "Why do you think you're sexy to women?" "Have you ever thought of waxing?" and "Is there something wrong with your legs?" When the fresh meat gets a little stale, they turn on each other which is even more fun to watch. Throughout the programme we are offered top tips from an Australian stripper guru who tells us things like "Women like men with tans" and "Take your shoes off first!" There is something for everyone, with chicken-queens, size-queens, muscle-queens and all manner of -queens getting to view the goods.

This is going to be this Autumn's Sleeper hit.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

I was in London earlier this week and happened to be by Tower Bridge, where David Blaine is spending 44 days in a box. Apparently he has received a mixed response from the British public, who have thrown eggs, banged drums, aimed golf balls and bared their breasts at him. It is very fashionable to show a lack of interest in Mr Blaine's 'stunt' or to claim it's a trick and he's not really in the box at all. In fact slagging off David Blaine has become so ubiquitous and predictable, I have declared it to be boring and unfashionable. So I am going to do the opposite and say that I thought his stunt was interesting and different - it had certainly attracted large crowds of people - the majority of whom were supportive, smiling and waving at Mr Blaine - who smiled and waved back. Of course, this is not as news-worthy as someone throwing eggs, so the newspaper reporters have failed to mention it.

There is something a bit grotesque about watching someone on a self-motivated media hunger strike (what would Bobby Sands make of it all?) but on Day 3 Mr Blaine looked happy and well, even a little chubby. I wonder what he will look like on Day 43?


When I moved house a few weeks ago, the removal men found a strange object under a chest of drawers by the bed. It was a catholic cross, on a pink chain. I have no idea how it got there - we were the first people to occupy the property, and I am one of those control-freak people who know where every single object in my house is at any given time. I have been wracking my brains to think of who may have slept in my bed and left such an item behind. I do go away a lot and have invited various people to house-sit and look after the cat. But who would own a feminine catholic cross? I can't think. If it was you, please confess, as large numbers of my in-laws are now convinced that it is a psychic manisfestation.

Monday, September 08, 2003

A trip to Leeds to see my sister and go to a conference. My sister's new baby Hugh is a very kicky baby who likes lots of attention. My sister was a bit frazzled at looking after him so much so I sent her to the shops and offered to play Daddy. I think I did OK, although she did point out that I put his nappy on backwards. Hugh also vomitted and weed on me - something I will hold in reserve to tell him when he is older.

Saw the film "Camp" which was. The best part was a production of the Turkey Lurkey song from an almost forgotten 1960s musical called Promises Promises. Almost every 1960s dance stereotype appears in this. I have bought the soundtrack on ebay.

Overheard in the middle of the night while in Leeds: "Walk away while you still can! Walk away while you still can!" The next morning my car was covered in dried blood. How lovely.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

It's true, Jeepers Creepers 2 is the gayest horror film ever made (even more gay than A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). Not only does it have a mostly shirtless Al Santos in it, but it features high school jocks shrieking lines like "Tippi!" when someone gets scared by some birds and "This morning you were waving pom-poms, now you're a psychic hotline!" Said jocks also sunbathe on top of a bus and urinate together, standing a little bit too closely for their own good. There's also insinuations of jock-strap sniffing. See it.

I haven't been updating this much because I've moved house recently and am getting used to having a garden and making the most of the swansong of summer. I have had to say goodbye to air conditioning and Sky Plus, but hello to broadband, Tivo and proper (ie not velux) windows, so I suppose it's a good trade off. My new place also has a lot of squirrels around (I'm always suspicious of people who say that squirrels are just rats with tails - I've even dumped a boyfriend for that (he went fox-hunting as well though) I quite like rats as well though, so such remarks are wasted on me.

I have also been writing like mad for the last couple of months - usually when I'm not writing in here, it means my life is busier and more interesting. Ironically, it's only when I'm bored and have little going on that I can be bothered to write in the web log - and that's probably when I shouldn't write.

Graffiti seen behind the HSBC in Lancaster town centre: "Leeanne is a slag and a hore."

Damn ebay snipers. There should be a law against them. Along with spammers they occupy a very low place on the internet hierarchy.

I love My New Best Friend (Channel 4, Friday nights). It's horrible, but watchable. The premise - a person has to convince everyone that the annoying new man in their life is their new best friend for a weekend. If they win they get £10,000. If they give up, they get nothing. So far the funniest was a blokish chap paired with a camp gay man who made him come out and perform a bizarre live sex show to his friends. Last week's went a bit too far, when the NBF started talking about eating women in Bangkok.