Thursday, November 27, 2008

Virtual Insanity

Ah, online love. We've all heard the story. Man meets woman, man weds woman, man has cybersex with other woman on online game, woman divorces man. Er, riiiight...

Is there anything good about games like Second Life, where you can create a sexy, dashing avatar that looks nothing like your flabby Caucasian self, buy yourself a virtual dildo and let rip upon the world like the sexual conquistador you long to be? Or is it a well-meaning naive Social Networking site that simply got overrun by people who take the phrase "sex sells" too literally?

It's so easy to screw with people (pardon the pun) when they're not in your immediate vicinity. If you want to get rid of your girl- or boyfriend but don't want to hassle of - you know, actually seeing them, because that's so tiring - you can just erase them from FaceBook, break the news via your MSN display name or simply send a well-thought, articulate, personal text: "SRY UR DUMPD :("

Yes I know, sour grapes and all, but receiving a voicemail detailing all of your personality flaws and exactly why you're not perfect for the person you want to be with is not nice, whether you've just had your first date or you've been together for years. Even if your other half makes Attila the Hun look like Winnie the Pooh, don't they deserve to be told face-to-face that you don't want to be with them?

Personally I love the idea of Second Life, FaceBook and MSN. I've got friends who moved to Australia, I've got friends who moved to Coventry; and I can keep in touch with both of them on the same site through the same medium. I don't need to worry about them losing a letter in the post or not getting my phone message. But why, God, why would I want to watch my pixellated creation doing sexual position 67 with person X from location Y? Some say it's no different from a one-night stand. Er, of course. I'll save you the patronisation there.

What's the point? You want sex, get sex. There's porn out there, and I'm not going into the seperate argument about what is acceptable in the pornographic industry, but please leave the social networking sites as they are, and please have the common human decency to TALK to people.

Neety - "Is there an option to have a fat avatar??"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Presenting....The Naked Truth

I've been metaphorically chewing this article over and over today whilst on the train to Wincs, which has not only given me a headache but also probably given me the gormless look of one who is indeed, chewing on a piece of gum. I'd like to point out that I hate that visage with a passion and this is why I seldom chew gum, but more on that story later.

It was all because I was reading The Guardian (yes, I know, thank you) and therein I found an article about a mother who had had a portrait commissioned of her, sitting on the edge of a swimming pool in the nude. Nothing special, just a totally un-airbrushed, warts-and-all picture of a forty-something woman. When asked by viewers at the unveiling what she was going to do with it, she replied that she would put it in her hall.

"Where your son can see it?" they asked. "Yes of course," she replied, and she has my full and unwavering support. If she wants to show her son that his mother is a prime example of womanhood and what's more if she wants to begin a life's worth of moral education within the sanctity of her own home, why should she be stopped? Or perhaps her challengers would prefer their children to grow up on a diet of MTV, E! News and The Sun's page 3, expecting all girls to walk out of glossy magazines and into real life.

I have an anecdote here, and sadly it begins with that cliched "Once, when I was at college..."

I was sat in the Cafe killing time, and my friend from Graphics class came through the door with a wrinkled brow. At this time we were all in the middle of a module, I don't remember the details but it all had something to do with pushing the boundaries of traditional media (hence my 'banned adverts' research). She had decided her topic was going to be something about the boundaries of censorship. She was taking pictures of girls, and was missing two models: one size 16 and one size 14. She asked me politely if I didn't mind filling in for her, I voiced my consent, and we went into the loos where she hung a backing sheet up and asked me if I wouldn't mind undressing momentarily.

So yes, somewhere in a forgotten portfolio there are printed t-shirts of size 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 girls. The 14 is me, and I'm quite happy to admit this. The shirts were printed with one word of a five-word phrase across the bare breasts: I can't remember the phrase, I know one of the words ended up getting printed with a letter the wrong way around and I think the phrase included "OFFENSIVE?" I was also photographed leaning casually against the wall reading a newspaper, then later sat down cross-legged reading the same paper (I am ashamed to admit that it wasn't The Independent).

Would I do it again? Under the right circumstances, yes. Simply because I saw the photos, and I looked totally different to the girls of size 8 and 10 - not because they looked skinny or malnourished, they were both beautiful girls and were very petite and bijou. And there's my point. Even if it only got through to a bunch of EdExcel examiners, the difference between size 8 and size 18, double-As and double-Ds, 32" and and 52" inch waists, black skin and white skin is that they all belong to a different woman. Not a different culture.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sweet Nothings

As touched upon in an episode of terrifyingly quirky comedy The Adam and Joe Show, all snack foods, however tasty and gratifying, are doomed. Doomed to grace the shop shelves fleetingly before being whisked away into obscurity.

Personally, I'm very angry with Revels. So angry, in fact, that we may not even be speaking any more. You may have realised, if like me you have no problem whatsoever with casually browsing the chocolate aisle reading the backs of the packets, that Revels held an "eviction"; the idea is you vote out your least favourite confection and it is then replaced with something infinitely tastier.

Spot the flaw in the plan? It's quite obvious, from the very beginning, that the coffee flavoured Revel would be the first up against the wall when the chocolately Communists came. I mean, look at the advertising campaign. Watch me and Liz on our girly-nights with a bag of Revels - chancing upon a round, smooth sweet, Liz will bite half into it, and depending on the outcome will eat the remainder or make a horrified face and begin to gag while I eat the rest of the sweet. So yes, Coffee is gone. But what have they replaced it with?

Strawberry. Quite nice, you think, until you taste it. It taste not so much like strawberry, more like the confectioner (har, har) has scraped a ball of bacon fat from under a grill with his fingernail, rolled it in sweetener, and with a tiny pipette has piped ONE DROP of strawberry juice onto it. So, from the proverbial taffy-making frying pan into the hot, hot fire of about three months of me not buying Revels.

Marathon Bar. Nestle Double Cream Bar. Taz Bars. All, faded into obscurity...

But perhaps now it is time for Liz to be the girly-night's chocolate taster.