Saturday, June 27, 2009


What it is about the female ego? It's not like the male one - for starters, it seems to come in more discreet packaging; it doesn't appear to extend to a one-foot radius around the 'bloke' in question (or two-foot radius if you're taling about a real Narcissus), but maybe that's the problem. When a woman, or for the purpose of this bleary-eyed metaphor, her self-esteem takes a fall, there's nothing there to cushion the blow. SMASH! And your ego is dented - which in turn, sounds like something Barry Scott might bellow at you.

For me, it's quite easy to give me a poke in the metaphorical eye (even easier to actually poke me in the eye, especially if I am sans glasses). Scrape hard enough at this cynical, wise-cracking exterior and underneath it is a snivelling, overweight drunk girl wishing to be scooped up by a big burly man and carried away to safety. It ain't a pretty sight.

Usually, such attacks upon the female ego (now referred to as the "Fego") are counteracted by any of the following
  1. Climbing into the bath with an entire cheesecake and not surfacing, despite the fact that you sent in a submarine search party three hours earlier
  2. 1AM phone calls to the significant other, consisting of either "Why did your colleague/roommate/nobody in particular have her hand on your shoulder in that picture on FaceBook? I DON'T WANT YOU TO TOUCH ME ANY MORE!" or, more likely, "Heeeeeeeegggihaaaatemyseeelfandilooklikea-hor-hor-hor-whooooooooooooore..."
  3. Opening the freezer and using your hairdryer and straighteners to free that Credit Card you froze back in January. Or rather, opening the freezer and inserting your own head.
  4. Occupying yourself in the kitchen and protesting "I'm just busy" when actually you are drinking Fairy Liquid from the bottle and pouring Vodka onto the dishplates
  5. Music Therapy. Usually this involves John Lennon, Colin Hay, Aerosmith's Ballads (excluding I Don't Want to Miss a Thing-era schmaltz) or if the dent is severe, the entirety of The Best...80s Ballads. Note: this can also be a sign of severe concussion.

What do men do when their egos are hurt? I know my boyfriend swears not to be the jealous type, but when a certain old acquaintance got over-complimentary he unleashed a 20 Questions-style interrogation on me that lasted the rest of the walk to the car and was conducted with the nonchalance of someone casually trying to get away with having a phone conversation on the toilet. But what goes through his head? Does she fancy him? Did she fancy him? Is she going to leave him for me? Will he come running out of the shop right now in slow-motion, artfully scattering a flock of pigeons while shouting her name, and will she turn around in slow-mo and run into his arms while I cry into my Primark bag? Will they begin having sex on the cobblestones in front of WHSmiths?

Men, please. Enlighten me, or rather us, the collective women who make up most if not all of the female interaction in your life. Because we want to know that when you don't think you're successful or good-looking or clever, you feel the urge to climb under the covers and wait for it to all go away.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The 'King of Pop' is Dead; Long Live the King

Sat up at 25 to 1 writing this as the news breaks, I feel almost like a proper journalist. No doubt you know: Michael Jackson has reputedly died.

Now it depends how you look at this: the sad downfall of a would-be convicted Paedophile, or the death of an icon?

On one side, Michael Jackson led a sad life. Allegedly, he was beaten and berated by his father over his appearance. He married twice; once to Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley and secondly to a nurse who was allegedly treating him for his 'skin condition' (something which was both supported and mocked in equal measure by media and press alike) and fathered three children of different maternal origin. Because of his naivety and ease with children, he set himself up for a downfall when allegations of inappropriate behaviour around children arose. He was dogged with health issues, and the mystery of his changing facial structure and skin tone was a mystery and even a source of humour.

But on the other side, he was blessed with a wonderful career: you only need to look back to Thriller and the 80s to see how influential he was. He is cited as the influence for many contemporary artists. Although allegations and court cases knocked his reputation, his fans were always loyal.

As FaceBook and Twitter go mad with responses, comments and tributes it shows the influence Jackson had on the young and old. Take a look at the Top Ten artists in the world now - if one of them were to die tomorrow, could you compare the reaction to the united grief in the pictures of the crowd outside UCLA Medical Center streaming from BBC News now?

Personally, I hope that the future will be kind to him, and he will be remembered for his life's work in music rather than the unfortunate low points of his career.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fairer Sex

You know the deal. It's a hot day and you're feeling good so this morning you left your jeans on the hanger and slung on a skirt or a cheekily low-cut top. You head into town to get a bit of shopping done, and on your way down the High Street you pass a group of workmen. The eyes are on you. The foreman even stops looking down the hole his co-workers have made, prises his Costa cup from his lips and looks at you.

Then comes the immortal line: "Nice boobs!" (Or "Nice legs!" of course.)

What do you do? How do you respond to that?
  1. Ignore it, roll your eyes and walk on
  2. Shout "PERVERT!", yank down/up your skirt/top and hot-foot it away
  3. Thank them for the compliment.

Yes, you read the last option correctly. They have just complimented you. Yes, albeit in a bit of a cack-handed way, but that's their idea of charm. It's what you'd expect - maybe if it was a guy at a party or a social gathering, you might expect him to phrase it a little differently, for example "That's a nice top you're wearing".

I saw an advert on the TV for a new reality series, following the exploits of one Kendra Wilkinson, ex-Playmate and one-time girlfriend of Hugh Hefner. The three-minute ad involved "Questions for Kendra" in which a leggy brunette with a cutesy voice asked questions posed by the show's viewers. One question was along the lines of "What do guys do that really turns you off?"

I personally can name a few things. Sleep-farting, yawning during sex, admitting that yes, he probably would sleep with Lady Gaga given the chance. But Kendra, bless her pink fluffy heart says, "When you're walking down the street and a guy, like, whistles at you or stares...ewwww!" Yeah, Kendra. You're just minding your own business, walking down the Boulevard in your tube top and short shorts, and some guy dares to look at you. The impudence.

OK, so I don't go out dressed like that at all, and neither does the average young lady. But the average young lady might find herself the attention of your average male, particularly if she has made an effort such as shown a little cleavage or leg. But in my book, generally I show off my legs or boobs because I am particularly proud of them; maybe my boobs are nice and tanned, or I've just bought a nice new top, or I've managed to shave my legs without nicking myself this time. I'd be delighted if someone noticed I'd made the effort.

Girls! For God's sake! It takes a lot of pluck for a guy to put down the drink, ignore the jibes of his mates and walk over to look at you properly, let alone say you look nice. I mean, they're so used to opening their mouths and then finding themselves slapped that some guys blurt out a line and immediately lean backwards, like some sort of complimentary Jack-in-the-box. Give the men a break. After all, don't we just want to be complimented?

Saturday, June 13, 2009


It might be a little obscure, but I have found myself answering the hypnotic call of Film4 recently. Sadly, it's gained reputation as one of those channels they can't even give away, coining the phrase "Buying Virgin/Sky+ has given us a whole new range of channels to turn off".

I now find myself having the odd look now and again. It's like driving past a Sex shop that just opened up down the busy street; you know you should be walking briskly past but you wouldn't mind just poking your head in. You know, just to see what you're missing.

Me? I like to not knock it before I've tried it: Cigarettes (couldn't inhale afterwards), 45% volume Gin (couldn't exhale afterwards), festival-induced 'natural highs' (couldn't inhale or exhale afterwards). And I can honestly say I liked Film4 a lot more than I suspected I would.

What I really wanted to say is this: Who created the likes of Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans? (Actually I know full well who came up with them: I'm trying to see if I can issue a Fatwa without changing my religion.) With these 'films', it doesn't even matter that they're slated for relying entirely on the current celebrity climate for gags and will henceforth be obsolete in 6 months, by then they'll have churned out another one.

Now I'm all game for poking fun at Paris Hilton and her ilk, but aren't these films stooping down to her level anyway? Hilton will do anything it seems to stir up a frenzy and so do they. I for one can't believe the involvement of Leslie Nielsen - he of Airplane! fame, which was a fantastic film and an example of timeless satire. I appreciate his efforts to bring satire to a new generation, but give me Airplane! or Naked Gun over the awful Superhero Movie ilk any day.

Good satire: Observational comedy, some sight gags, puns, a little light double-entendre. Think early Nielsen, Hot Shots, Mel Brooks from Silent Movie right up to The Producers. As little pop-culture gags as possible - it doesn't make for a 'timeless' movie.
Bad satire: Constant crude/sex-oriented jokes. Relies too much on pop-culture references which are obsolete in six months time. But then these movies are not timeless; nor are they meant to be - they're meant to rack up as much cash as humanly possible so the production company can churn out another one as quickly as possible.

They won't be getting any more cash from me - I'd rather spend my money on a classic DVD, or better yet the licensing fees.