Friday, April 29, 2005

An uncharacteristically political plea.

I have a lot of friends who are much nicer than me. When Tony Blair went to war on Iraq, they got very concerned about the legality of it all, and went on marches holding banners saying "Not in my name!" and "Bush's lapdog" because they felt it was the right thing to do. Bless them.

Me - I'm MUCH more hard-headed and realistic. I was GLAD that Blair went to war - and I didn't give two hoots that he might have lied about it. All politicians lie. That's how it is. For me it's about good lies and bad lies. The only things Mr Blair did wrong was not telling a good enough lie and then getting caught out. Saddam was an evil shit and I'd have gone a lot further than lying to get rid of him. But as I said, my friends are nicer than me and I never said any of this to them because they have proper principles and ideals and don't believe that the means justifies the end.

But now we have an election and some of my friends still haven't decided whether they should vote Labour or whether it would be too awful to do so, and perhaps they want to "send a message" or "give Blair a bloody nose" instead, to show just how upset and betrayed they feel.

Well kids - the "send a message" policy happened in Australia a few years ago - and now they have a right-wing government. And something similar happened in America with Ralph Nader - a few idealists voted Green and now they have a right-wing government. So, please, unless the Conservatives aren't even standing in your area - leave your lovely ideals at home on polling day. And just vote Labour.

Cos if The Conservatives get in, you'll be complaining about how nasty they are within months. And you so don't want to give a hard-headed realist like me the pleasure of saying "Told you so, bitch!"

Sunday, April 24, 2005

MUltIple pErSoNAliTy BlOg dIsoRdEr

I am starting to hate my 18-year old alter-ego Jamie4U. That vaccous bitch made the Guardian's "must list" last week after I'd only written his blog for a few months - while on here I've been slogging it out as Lubin Odana (critical commentator and psuedo-intellectual) for years in obscurity....

I guess I'll have to accept that I'm more interesting to the world when wearing skin-tight jeans and with only 25% of my IQ intact.

Worse still - I've had a number of emails suspecting that Jamie4U is actually the "real" person and Lubin Odana is the parody/alter-ego. Apparently Jamie4U is more believable! Jamie my lad - you are going to SUFFER when I write you up tonight.

This was told to me the other night.

The four prisoners puzzle.

Four prisoners of war are buried up to their necks in the ground. They are told that two of them will be given black hats and two will be given white hats. Prisoner A is looking to the right while the others are looking to the left. The prisoners cannot look behind them. There is also a brick wall between A and the other prisoners, so A can't see anyone and the others can't see A. The prisoners are told that unless one of them can work out which colour hat is on his head and shout it out, then they will all be killed. They have 10 minutes. The prisoners aren't allowed to talk to each other either.

At the ninth minute one of the prisoners correctly shouts out the colour of his hat. Which prisoner was it and how could he be so sure?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Bye bye Tanya

Footballer's Wives will never be the same again now that Tanya has been helicoptered to South America in disgrace. Well, she did swap some babies over and then only cried for three seconds when one of them got smothered to death by a dog.

Footballer's Wives hasn't been as good this season - the only highlight so far has been a rather contrived storyline involving trying to identify which of the footballers had a tattoo on his bottom - which sounds like something from a rejected Carry-On film script. I suspect that Tanya's bye-bye is a "jump the shark" moment. If not, then the appearance of Peter Andre in next week's episode most certainly will be.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

I am reading "Watching the English" by the anthropologist Kate Fox. It is a fascinating book, particularly because it has so much to say about social class (one of my preoccupations). When I was younger, I always thought that the more money you earned, the higher up the social class you got. This obviously isn't the case - and in fact the uppers and the lowers are far more similar to each other than you would think - the most important thing being that they both don't care what anyone thinks about them. It's the middle-classes and all of the substrata (lower-middle, middle-middle, upper-middle) who are the guardians of the country's morals, diet, language and so on.

Here's a checklist of some of the more memorable things in the book - use it to find out what social class you really are:

egg and chips, putting the milk first in tea, lavish weddings, bling, clothes that reveal skin, gambling, sport, beer, unironic kitsch, television, cropped hair, spells in prison: working class.

any form of diet, coasters, keeping a neat lawn, having the same coloured toilet paper as your bath, minimalist new furniture, ambition, education, cocktails, ironic kitsch, gap years: middle class.

threadbare inherited furniture, scarves in good weather, unkempt gardens, being thick, gambling, sport, eccentric kitsch, floppy hair: upper class.

Fox's main thrust is that the English are mainly very awkward socially and this has led to things like our ironic sense of humour, our love of "fair play", our hypocrisy and tendency to moan. She also has a lot to say about male and female differences - the most notable point being that English men gossip as much as women but are only allowed to do it in an unemotionless way - no "ohmygod, she never?" Also, English men are only supposed to show three emotions: surprise, anger and triumph. I recognised a lot of myself in the book, but then again, I am English, so I'm supposed to!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

10 men who go to my gym:

1. The box. I call him this because he looks so very square. I saw him putting up some "Vote Conservative" signs yesterday in a field. Quelle surprise.

2. The best-looking man in the gym. And I almost killed him once by taking too much weight off one of the barbells, sending it all crashing to floor right where he was lying. He (understandably) looked furious, so I asked if he'd like to punch me in the face. Thankfully, he forgave me.

3. The orange builder. There are a gang of them who all go on the sunbeds a bit too much. I suppose some people would label them chavs, but they're actually quite nice to talk to.

4. The closet case. He never speaks to anyone, is often seen with girls around town and gives everyone furtive looks. But my Database can reveal that he cruises for sex on various gay websites.

5. The bored old queen. He sits in the sauna and talks about how much money she has, how many "famous" people he knows and how bored she is. Once she slipped her phone number into my gym bag. I didn't call him up.

6. The hulk. He has an (almost) obscene amount of muscles and an unfortunate shaggy/mullet hairstyle. He lives to power-lift and he's *always* there when I go. I think he has no home to go to.

7. The tart. He's had all the gay men in a 20 mile radius, and now has to face the indignity of being surrounded by an army of exes and one-night-stands whenever he goes to the gym. Still, it doesn't actually bother him.

8. The mtf transsexual. I haven't seen her for a while. Incredibly tall and a bit scary, everyone'd be nice to her face, but as soon as she left they'd exchange significant glances and cough...

9. The boring straight bodybuilder. There are actually dozens of them. They go around in packs, their conversation never deviating from: cars, computers, sport, drinking or women. Always painfully aware of their place in the pecking-order, they struggle and jostle for position.

10. The man with one leg. He leaves the plastic one lying up against the wall in the changing room. And thankfully nobody ever steals it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

3 links

1. Via comatose

Who Should You Vote For?

Your actual outcome:

Labour 24
Conservative -37
Liberal Democrat 38
UK Independence Party -17
Green 5

Although actually, I'm going to vote Labour. Sorry Charles.

2. I used to run a soap opera with dolls called Doll Soup. It was as silly as it sounds, with plenty of stalking, murder plots, gender confusion, social climbing and obsessions about Faberge Eggs. However, Poseable Thumbs takes the idea of dolls a little further and shows them in a variety of compromising positions. Naughty dolls!

Poseable Thumbs

3. I am currently addicted to iSketch a kind of online game of Pictionary. You'll find me in the OUT room under the username Lubin. Be warned - I draw a mean crocodile!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Inspired by Welshcake

Alter at will.
Spoilers ahead - look away now kiddies...

Playing it Straight is Channel 4's new Friday night reality tv dating show with the now expected twist. Zoe, the up-for-it female contestant has to figure out which of her male suitors are gay and reject them accordingly. If she ends up with a straight one, they get to share £100,000 (barely enough for a deposit on a house in London these days), but if she ends up with a gay one, he gets all the money. Hosted by the laconic June Sarpong (OK, so she was in a coma), it is a camp-fest of silliness, with a Mariachi singer acting as the Greek Chorus, narrating the events as they unfold.

From left to right: Raphael, Pritesh, George, Daniel.

In the first episode, the girl rejected two contestants - camp as tits Raphael (he had a King Size jar of vaseline, more shoes than Imelda Marcos and an aversion to shovelling shit) and Pritesh (whose only crime was to own hair straighteners). It turned out that they were both straight of course. Poor Zoe - it was obvious she was set up to reject the most camp men - and she fell right into the trap.

I am hoping that Alex from Cardiff is gay - as Mae West would say, he's a great big hunk o' man.

Meanwhile, one of the other contestants is definitely gay. The most butch of them all - Ben won Mr Gay Uk in 1998. Who knew! Here's one of his "glamour shots".

Sunday, April 10, 2005


As revenge for naming him on a meme about music, Dan has got me back with this one....

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann. It's an anti-romance novel, with some terrific camp scenes in it - notably a wig-pulling incident to end them all, tarnished innocence, drug addiction, massive weight gains and suicide attempts - it's like a copy of Heat magazine fell through a time magazine to the 1960s and landed in Jackie's lap so she turned it into a novel.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye. When his teacher started "stroking" him in the night, I was hoping that he would respond favourably, instead of jumping up and running away. Silly closet.

The last book you bought is:

A Young Man's Passage - the autobiogaphy of Julian Clary. The first sentence is "Nobody had told me I had become an old queen." Which I think is up there with Jane Austen's "It is a truth univerally acknowledged..."

The last book you read is:

"Make Room! Make Room!" by Harry Harrison. A classic sci-fi novel which was made into a film called Soylent Green (starring Charlton Heston). It's about over-population - something I like to think about quite a lot.

What are you currently reading?

A book called "The Worst Films Ever Made". Another autobiography of British actress Diana Dors. And I'm halfway through the Guardian's Weekend magazine.

Five books you would take to a deserted island:

Vanity Fair - it's so sly and nasty, and Becky Sharpe is a great sassy heroine.

Mapp & Lucia - wonderfully British and 1930s, about two great battling snobs whose deadly weapons are the Bridge Party, raspberry fool and the cutting retort.

Take It Like A Man - The (first) autobiography of Boy George. He's deliciously frank and catty.

Brave New World - I'm a sucker for dystopian sci-fi, and this one is so funny and clever. Soma, Alphas and Betas, ending is better than mending, thank Ford, orgy porgy! Love it.

Introduction to Sociology (because it's so huge and because I always crack up laughing when I read about how working class people are defined by how they arrange their sofas and their "what will be will be" world-view.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

Groc, because he got me on the last meme.

Matt - as thanks in advance for a book he's sending me.

Tom to punish him for having such a high profile and winning all those awards and stuff.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The 1981 tv series "The Day of The Triffids" is out now on DVD. Get it! This terrified me when I was nine years old. The opening and closing credits are particularly weird and chilling. And having watched the first two episodes (there are six in total), it's still good in a kind of plodding, intense way. If it were made now, it would be a 90 minute special, with all sorts of clever MTV-esque camera editing trickery and characters making ironic little asides every 2 minutes and Britney Spears. I sometimes really resent postmodernism, it's so omnipresent these days.

Here are some tunes I've paid 79p each for on Itunes:
Spooky (The Classics IV)
The One I LOVE (REM)
A Fifth of Beethoven (weird disco/classical mess from Saturday Night Fever)
Are you Gonna Be My Girl (by Jet, probably the most 'good taste' thing I'll ever do).
The Letter (Lou Rauls - totally understated Jazz singer - his version of California Dreamin' is amazing and much better than the Mamas and Papas version)

I've also been inspired to order a Bobbie Gentry album (I bought it off Amazon as it was cheaper than downloading it from Itunes. That admission suddenly makes me feel like a harried 45 year old working class mother who shops at Poundstretcher and uses 'money off' vouchers). Still, I was inspired to buy it because of a song on the album (The Girl from Cincinatti) where Bobbie apparently discovers that her boyfriend "turned out to be a (she literally screams the next word) QUEEEEEEN! He could not see my body or appreciate my good looks...". As Itunes only lets you hear 30 seconds of each song I'm not sure how all this is going to play out, but I'll keep you informed. I've always been impressed by the way that Bobbie manages to turn all her songs into little stories (usually about the travails of poor people from the Deep South), so it's nice to know that she appears to be tackling homosexuality in such a "charming" way. And we all thought Ode to Billy Joe was her "gay song".

Monday, April 04, 2005

Who's my favourite Pussycat?

In celebration of the DVD releases of 6 of Russ Meyer's films, I present my analysis of the characters in Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! It's the favourite film of John Waters, Jonathan Ross and me.

Evil ratingSatanic: 10Facistic: 8Hedonistic: 5
Power statusThe Queen of the Gang, what Varla wants, Varla gets: 10Varla's bitch, has to resort to useless sulking to get her own way: 5The 'lame', very much on probation and the subject of ridicule from the others: 2
Fashion choicesBlack right down to her bra: 4Groovy 60s Three tone top: 6White gogo boots and frilly sleeves; 8
Size of breastsHUUUUGE: 10Extra large: 7She had to have her bra stuffed: 2
What's your motivation?Violence, power and money: 6Varla, Varla and Varla: 4Booze, man muscles and cock: 10
Go-go dancing skillsActually quite scary: 6
Rather tired: 4Watusi-tastic: 8
Best lineI never TRY anything. I just DO IT. Wanna try me? 7We don't like-a nothing soft. Everything we touch is HARD! 8See you girls in church! 5

Actually, Billie is my favourite character, so I think I must have added up wrong somewhere!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

On a rather nicer note than my embittered little Pope-attack below, I have just discovered the Itunes music store and it is AMAZING. All these terrible songs that I've looked for, for ages (and quite wisely can't be purchased in normal shops) are now at my finger-tips and for just 79p I can own them all. I've just purchased the sublime/kitsch "Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy, which must be up there along with "Ode To Billy Joe" and "Fancy" as one of the weirdest/best songs ever written. It's one of those songs with a story that I love. It's about this weird, almost special needs girl, who has to be taken out of school, living "in a world of make believe", listening to her radio in her bedroom. Anyway, this neighbour boy breaks into her bedroom and gets sucked into her radio "never to be found". It has probably my favourite line of a pop song ever "It's so nice to be insane: no-one asks you to explain." It's one of those "what the fuck?" songs where you never forget where you were the first time you heard it.

Now if only I can find "One Way Ticket to the Blues" and "From New York to LA" I'll be happy.
So the Pope is dead. Apologies in advance to devout Catholics - but I think it is rather cruel for this old man's death to have been played out in the public eye like this. Can't the Catholic church realise how tasteless it is and retire their Popes at a decent point, allowing them to spend the last months of their life in a more dignified manner. I'm sorry but those shots of him being wheeled to the window and unable to speak were rather disgusting.

Also, he was rather homophobic wasn't he. And I've met too many gay Catholics who are fucked up and closeted to really have that much pity. My (non-denominational) "prayers" aren't with the Pope tonight, but with all the people who suffer because of the intolerance of the world's rather primitive and unnecessary religions. *Snaps fingers*

Hard words I know. But let's face facts.