Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Jess: My New Face/ Britain's Youngest Grannies/ The Virgin Daughters

I've been laptop-less so hence the lack of bloggage; apologies. I'm still without the tools of the trade, but I'm doing a sneaky one at work, shh, don't tell the children.
So with little to do except clean out my cupboards at home, Eminem-stylee, I have been catching up on some taped TV.
I very much enjoyed Jess: My New Face, a documentary about 17-year-old Jess Lee, who was born with a facial disfigurement due to a condition called apert syndrome. hate to be a BBC snob, but the quality of this documentary seemed a lot better than the usual Channel 4/5 churn-outs. She was a likeable character, torn between having surgery to look more 'acceptable' to society and maybe get a boyfriend, and wanting society to change and accept her (good luck). It was touching when her dad spoke of standing between her and the general public to protect her from their stares as a child.
Her deformity wasn't THAT bad anyway, but the surgery she had was quite dramatic. I was surprised they could change her face to that extent and she looked very normal afterwards. However, her own personal choice to have surgery didn't quite gel with her quest to meet other people who differed from the norm and accepted themselves more fully. Did she want people to take her as she was? If the other people she knew who were disfigured were 'beautiful on the inside' then why couldn't people see that beauty in her, too? Of course, this is relative; I don't blame her for having the op. It is a complex philosophical question that won't be answered in Heat magazine anytime soon.
So, Jess went off to meet one girl with a similar condition to her who looked more 'normal' after an op. Then Jess met a striking redhead who was a burns victim and was badly scarred, but somehow still seemed beautiful.
I liked the Japanese albino; she was really stunning. But then I'm the sort of person who sees different i.e. unique as good, not bad. There is a whole sub-section of society who is happy to point and laugh. Well, let them be stupid. And I'm sure Jess will get what she wants in the future, more surgery or not. Not everyone out there is ignorant- just most people.
Talking of which; Britain's Youngest Grannies was at completely the other end of the scale of programming; lowest common denominator stuff. Women who got pregnant at 16, and then their daughters followed suit. These women were only five years older than me, and grannies! Actually though; everyone seemed quite happy with their lot. I thought there would have been more of a judgemental tone; but actually the grannies were (and were portrayed as) quite happy, fun-loving, and good parents. So they also liked nights out on the town having a snog? Fair enough. But as a programme, not very ground-breaking or interesting.
The Virgin Daughters on Channel 4 was a bit of a let-down, too. I normally like all the fire and brimstone, but this was a bit of a damp squib. So the creepy dad who seemed permanantly attached to his daughter's shoulder gets her to parrot crap about STDs and purity. I've heard it all before. As Russell Brand so recently quoted someone else (I've forgotten who); by putting 'SEX' at the forefront of people's brains, even though the message is 'Don't have SEX' it's still 'SEX' that is the key word, and it makes people think about nothing but. That's the key problem with these people; they're obsessed with sex.
Is it a good idea to marry the first guy you kiss and have your first kiss on your wedding day? In a way it sounds magical. It sounds like something out of a fairytale. Yet, generally, it seems it's just the girls who haven't done it before, the blokes have been around the block, because, hey, they're allowed. Bang goes the fairytale.
There's nothing wrong with girls who love their fathers a lot. There is something wrong with fathers pushing their own agendas on their children.
So what have I learnt from these three programmes? Love yourself, don't have kids at 16 and don't marry the first person you snog. Oh. I knew that already.
Come back laptop, I love you.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

America's Next Top Model- Series 10 (My Two Jays)

Now I no longer have Sky I have to get my ANTM fix via torrent (and we're a series behind in the UK, the indignity!) But I'm going to watch it in sync with the Living series and pretend. Don't ruin the magic!
ANTM seems more like groundhog day with each passing series (sorry, CYCLE, Andy!) than X Factor. The only thing that's different is the girls, but the fit their little cliche characters so nicely. They even look the same after a while. I heard there's a new judge but I haven't seen one yet. Jay is the same (silver-haired, insincere smile). Miss J is the same (the least convincing tranny in history). Tyra is the same (attention-seeking psycho). So to pretend it's different they set up some stupid school theme. Hmm, paedo heaven.
So who do we have this year... One with unusually large nostrils. 'A punk, an artist.' Paris Hilton.
Alison is The Bitch. She has Jennifer Connolly eyebrows. One who refers to herself in the Third Person. One who called herself 'crazy'. The Fat One. A tranny. A pretty Polish one. A black Paris Hilton. A girl with no clit and a sewed up labia. Eek. An anaemic tree-hugger. I liked the car one, she was a bit mental. Then they started arguing. And arguing. Oh, God, here we go again.
My pic at the mo is Amy the Mormon. You heard it here last.

News: Evil Competition- Men vs Women (Men still win)

I was interested to see the case of Joanne Hill who murdered her disabled daughter in the news. Interested because she got a minimum of fifteen years, unlike this guy (just the title of that article tells you all about who’s fault it really is, the slut of a wife, who may or may not have been having an affair- well, she was probably thinking about it, so she deserved all she got, right?) who is basically already out.
Of course men have been killing their children left, right and centre all week and last month but hey, at least they had the decency to off themselves, and oh, they’d been under such terrible strain and were such devoted fathers. The use of the words ‘devoted fathers’ when describing men like this is grotesque, by the way, newspaper editors of the world. Devoted fathers protect their children, and they certainly don’t kill them out of spite, as is so often the case in these murders (the ‘if I can’t have them, no one will’ mentality- which was not in action in the Joanne Hill case).
Of course, murder of innocent children is murder whichever way you dress it up (diminished responsibility doesn’t cover your wife having an affair in my personal opinion). But how come the 15 years minimum sentence for Joanne Hill? She was an alcoholic with a history of depression and clearly at the end of her tether. She was obviously desperate (she pleaded with her husband to get the child adopted and he said no). I’m not making excuses for her; she could have just left. But I doubt if she’s going to run off into the sunset to live happily ever after, celebrating her actions, so surely 5 years would have done, or the usual ‘life’ sentence doled out to the kind of people who kick people to death in the street for a laugh. Or how about those lovely ex-boyfriends who hunt down and kill the woman who dares live without them? Is Joanne Hill really a threat to anyone else? Is she going to be a lesson to other mothers going out of their heads, or will they just suffer alone, and maybe crack, or maybe just go on struggling, like they are meant to?
The word ‘evil’ is bandied around a lot, especially when women kill, and especially when women kill children. It is seen as totally disconnected from the norm, whereas men killing their families is as common as Monday morning. The blame is attributed elsewhere; money, society, but most of all, women. Just look at Fathers for Justice; they virtually do a eulogy for these murdering bastards.
Well, women don’t make men kill. And men kill in far, far greater numbers than women ever will, such great numbers, that the vast majority of the time, it doesn't even make the news. Until the spotlight is put back on this truism, more families will die at the hands of the men who ‘love’ them. Joanna Hill’s sentence changes nothing. The judge is out of touch. But then, what’s new?

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Leslie Ash: Face to Face

I used to work for a cosmetic surgery chain, and every single day the first op was a repair job. Not a repair of someone's wrinkly face, or saggy boobs, but of the surgeon's botched last job, a redo. It was treated as casually as can be (as were issues of hygene and privacy, on my first day there I was shown a woman on the operating table getting her boobs cut open, and I don't think she had much of a say in it). I could have got cut-price plastic surgery, had I wanted it. I could think of few things I want less.
Never has there been a harsher lesson in vanity than for Leslie Ash. Utterly disfigured and mocked and all because of a freebie lip job (and also allegedly beaten by her husband, then hospitalised and nearly paralysed, but that's another story). I thought she came across as a very honest and emotional person in this documentary. You could see how much it was affecting her at times. It must be so horrific to be basically deformed by your own hand and for everyone to be so unsympathetic. I felt sorry for her, and I liked her.
At the fake botox party how rude was that woman saying 'my dad told me I was going to come back looking like Leslie Ash' (to Leslie Ash!) I thought she took that quite well. It is mad anyone (i.e. not a doctor) can inject cosmetic fillers; that is just plain wrong.
The guy Barrie who had plastic injected into his face and his nose nearly dropped off didn't look too bad now, but it looked horrific at the time. It must be awful to be quite vain anyway and to be that unlucky.
That injectable boob job looked quite good. I bet they deflate quite rapidly though. It'd be rubbish if you were having sex and that happened.
I can't believe someone let Leslie Ash inject their lips. Madness! That's got to be bad luck, at the very least.
Fuck me, Toyah Wilcox's facelift looked good. That would tempt even me. God, turkey neck! I'm so looking forward to getting old. Remind me not to go clothes shopping with Toyah, though, her bare-faced telling Leslie Ash she was beautiful was scarily convincing.
So, would I ever have botox? No. I have this other great solution; a fringe!
But would I say never to plastic surgery, like when I'm 50? Even though I'm a hardened feminist and believe it's what's inside that counts and all that bullshit, do I totally rule it out?
No way! Besides, in the future it'll be all painless and foolproof and stuff. Shit, I keep forgetting the future isn't light-years away- it's nearly here! (so why haven't they invented flying cars yet!?)

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

She's in Fashion: Side Ponytails

Fashion! Not my usual forte, but I've noticed the resurgence of the side ponytail in the soaps of late. I've been rocking it for one, then Nicole (aka Rex's girlfriend) had a ratty one for her eviction (not cool).
In Corrie I've spotted two, first on Fizz (always fashion forward, our Fizz) and then Becky with giant gold heart earrings. Also wearing hers with Ratners-style chav jewellery (chewellery?) was Whitney, the kiddy-fiddler's delight in Endersville. Whilst the side ponytail is not as iconically cool as the fringe, which will never go out of fashion, the good thing about it is, it's just temporary.
It also looks good on six-year-olds.
Becky in Corrie has been quite a fashion inspiration lately; looking like a gum-chewing Pepperami with a dirty-blonde wig on. Stacey in Eastenders though has a whole market stall to choose from so there's no excuse for that leopard-print binbag. Perhaps she couldn't shift it.
It was weird when Bianca came back to Enders still wearing that same silver Puffa jacket; if she couldn't hang onto six or seven men, why would she bother carting that thing from council house to council house? I fucking hate Bianca, but I digress.
I used to quite like the things Violet wore in Corrie, before she fucked off with Jamie and Sean forgot about them in 2.5 seconds. But former trend-setter Janice isn't the same since she lost a few stone and ditched that fleece with the horses on though. RIP.
PS: what is the point of that Polish woman in Corrie? She had ONE storyline where her mate died due to a trip hazard (Mario was right!) and that's IT. She's got less of a character than Tracey in Eastenders! I want to know if she's really Polish though, but I always forget to look at the end credits.
Next thing to remember: to get a life.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Bodyshock: The Girl With Two Faces

Here it is! No, not the story of some lying teenager, despite the title. Bodyshock! or Freakshow! as I like to call it.
The girl with two faces was actually a baby born in India to a very poor family. It often seems to be the case that these strange phenomenons happen to very underprivileged people. Or maybe they just need Channel 4's cash more.
It was interesting that the baby was celebrated as a goddess when she was born, over here they'd probably chuck her in the dustbin. They celebrated her difference as being special and godly, not peculiar and ugly. She didn't look that freaky, just like those sheep you sometimes see on page three of the Daily Mail.
What are the advantages to having two faces? I guess seeing through four eyes could be handy. Unfortunately she might also be 'in two minds' (crap puns r us). It's not too healthy to have two faces so she needed an op to see exactly what she did or didn't have two of.
Before this could happen, however, she became gravely ill, due to being malnourished. Then the family faffed around instead of admitting her to hospital and she became close to death. She started to improve but then died of a massive heart attack. Oh.
I suppose it's better in a way. It wouldn't have been easy to grow up like that. The families' grief was no less real though. The priest refusing to do the funeral because they were of a lower caste than him was gross.
This freakshow was alright, but I prefer the adult freaks, as you get more of a personal angle. Until next time...

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Sunday Afternoon Listening

So since TV is dead to me, I downloaded a couple of albums to listen to. Disclaimer: I'm not reviewing these properly, just giving vague, mildly offensive sweeping statements. Firstly, Jenny Lewis's album Acid Tongue. I was quite hopeful after the first song but then it went downhill rapidly. Don't get me wrong, it's not as bad as the last Rilo Kiley album (or was that her solo? I've forgotten and can't be arsed to check my facts if she can't be arsed to write good songs anymore). But does the world need another song called Fernando? Not this one they don't. I actually miss the country music. Weird. The song 'Godspeed' was alright, like a sub-par Rilo Kiley song. But that is faint praise indeed. The song 'carpetbagger' was particularly objectional; especially as I thought it was something rude and it turned out to be something boring (and that bloke's singing on it was dire). So yeah, don't bother with that.
Next I decided to have a go at The Streets new album Everything is Borrowed. Look's like Mike Skinner got a new Casio keyboard for Christmas! The lyrics seemed lazy, and the tempo seemed very similar from song to song. I only really like two Streets songs, Turn the Page & Blinded by the Light. I still only like those two. His videos can be quite funny though, but then so can any old shit. Pass!
PS: TV is not dead to me. We're just squabbling. In fact Eastenders was dead good the other night, with Bianca's husband and her daughter and stuff. I even got a laugh or two out of the X Factor.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Bedsit TV

I have some news. I have stopped liking some of my favourite programmes. How did this happen? Did I go all arty? Did I get a social life? Did I get old? No, I think it's living on my own. There is something empty about watching Deal or No Deal alone. And as for the X Factor? Forget it. Even my mum's enthusiastic text messages can't spur me on. It all seems as hollow as Dannii Minogue's face.
Maybe it's just the formats are tired, or maybe it's just me? I can't get into Cheryl Cole's monotonous drone (come back, Sharon).
I still enjoyed Big Brother as much as I could. But apart from that, I just seem to be filling up my recordable freeview with programmes and not watching them.
There does seem to be a lack of freakshow/ makeover-type stuff on at the mo, my favourite kind of silliness. I'll probably watch Secret Diary of a Call Girl. But what else is there to look forward to? I've gone off Wife Swap. Even Dragon's Den is boring me.
The weird part is though, I don't really miss any of it. I'm not exactly going out on the razzle every night (once a month though, come on, I've still got it), but I don't seem to get bored, or run out of things to do. I have a bunch of Eastenders and Corries to catch up on since Amsterdam, and it just seems like a chore, not a pleasure. I don't want to see Billy, Peggy, or Bianca. I don't even want to see Christian.
Have I weaned myself off shit TV? Or do I just need to get married or something to bring the valium-like qualities of council-pop talent shows and desperado-style reality TV back into full focus?
I don't want to feel this way about good TV, like Curb Your Enthusiasm though. I know I will regain the passion, it's in me, like my love of plastic tat.
On the plus side, I still like music, and I haven't taken up DIY or gardening, so there's still hope *clings onto youth*.
PS: It's not a bedsit, it's a studio.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Big Brother 9: Final Thoughts

Through sheer determination, I managed to avoid the BB result for the whole time I was away. Or maybe because it was Rachel no one cared. Or maybe BB has had it’s day. But either way, I studiously avoided newspapers (not easy coming back on the tube littered with London Lites) fully expecting a Rex or Mikey win.
By the way, I hate the last episode where they are all nice and charming and funny and you start thinking ‘oh, maybe they are not so bad after all.’ I want to hate until the end!
So, onto the final, which no one cares about anymore. It was probably the most anti-climatic final ever, especially with Darnell and Rex coming out first. Sure, it was a triumph of good over evil, but it was also a triumph of dullness. My predictions were as follows, Rachel, Darnell, Sara, Mikey, Rex. So I was pretty off. I just can’t BELIEVE so many people voted for Rachel to win? It doesn’t make sense that people would pick up the phone for her. But then the choices WERE crap. It was quite telling the winner got booed.
Darnell’s exit was quirky at least, I liked the pony and the fact he was wearing a bath-towel and a skirt. But what’s with wearing the same tops they went in in (Mikey/ Darnell)? Lazy! I was quite disappointed with the interview (so what’s new?) and Darnell’s Oprah-Winfrey style ‘thank you for accepting me’ rubbish. He didn’t seem to miffed to go out in 5th though. At least he beat Kat, hey?
Rex! Not as popular as I thought (or he did). Those misguided trousers were beyond parody, they were proper David-Bowie-in-Labyrinth style. And the Chris Martin coat! What a cock. His posing as he came out to a wall of boos was just embarrassing. Strike a pose Rex, you arrogant gimp. Now piss off. He was utterly unrepentant and Davina didn’t even start on him, she just showed him clips of his tyranny like it was a big joke. I’m annoyed he didn’t get his comeuppance. Also, Rex, are you bumming your own dad? Eww.
Sara; third. She looked stunning, she sounded annoying. I was disgusted that Davina seemed to think flirting deserved more of a grilling than rampant misogany and continued bullying. Davina, you are ‘sending out the wrong signals’ in your revolting choices of dress. Who are you to decide what signals are right or wrong? Sexist cunt.
Rachels’ face was a picture when she won, but her ‘best bits’ were about two seconds long. Mikey was more fun as an interviewee, and I enjoyed him bringing up she-who-must-not-be-named Alex (or Alec, as he seemed to think she was called). The vote was SO close. I think it says a lot about how we as viewers were this year; fundamentally split or indifferent. Wanting anyone to win who the housemates didn't suspect.
I was pleased that Rachel didn’t back down as Davina even had a go at her, and good for her for saying ‘I know who I am.’ I don’t think a lot of people in their 20s could say the same.
I liked seeing the old housemates (what, no Dennis or Alex? Shame!) especially Luke and Bex; Luke rubbing his fingers together in the international gesture for ‘grasping money grabber’ at Rachel was brilliant! No backing down from him!
I liked the round-up of the series at the end, even in a bad year like this it makes you realise why you still watch. It’s like a little bit of your life somehow. It becomes part of your memory whether you like it or not.
Will Davina be back next year? Will there be a Celeb BB? Will BBLB get canned? Who knows. But at least I can get back to writing about the latest dwarf documentary or indie CD no one likes. And I can catch up on BBUSA which I’m criminally behind on.
Will I miss our BB? This year… I actually won’t. Would I miss it if it never came back? Loads.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Big Brother 9: I swear on my mother's life; I love you

So NOW I understand what the afros were about!
Darnell. You were so OFF the money with your bigging up of Mo and Kat. How dare you tell Sara who she wants to win, or that her reason isn't good enough. Dickhead. His speech to Mikey doing both him and Sara down was horrible and in bad taste.
I liked them dressing up as each other, it was a good reality check for them (another good task- shock!) If it were me in there I'm sure I'd be annoyed as everyone went 'Morrissey! Bright Eyes! Crisps!' for an hour. It'd be cheaper than weeks of therapy.
Mikey in particular had his finger on the pulse as ever. Is it offensive to 'white up' your face whilst impersonating Darnell? Also; Darnell love, you could have a wife and kid if you stopped being such a whiny cunt.
Mikey impersonations! Scottish accents- shaky. Mikey rolling on the grass laughing; class.
The Rex wig was a touch! Where did they get those from? Rex looked mega uncomfortable as everyone did monotone, materialistic impersonations of him. Ha!
It's no surprise that Rachel's impersonation wound up with her being routinely insulted.
It was kind of ironic that Mo got evicted whilst they were all dressed as him. And Meatloaf his favourite song!? What? (by the way, what is it Meatloaf won't do for love, I always thought anal or watersports but he's probably so selfish it's oral or give his girlfriend an orgasm) I actually really liked Darnell's anger at Mo being evicted, it reminded me of when he got so angry about spitgate about a zillion years ago, back when he had a hope of winning.
Rex looked genuinely shocked when they said Kat's name, then smirked two seconds later! What a bastard! I loved it though.
That group hug was moving!!! I forgot I hated their guts for half a second then. Rachel; even earner herself a one-on-one hug with Rex! You'll pay for that later.
Darnell! Don't be so sure you're not hated. It's who we hate LEAST at this point.
NB. at what point that night would you have taken your Mo afro off? I would have taken it off the SECOND Davina rolled up.
(oh and I'm going away this weekend for a long weekend so no BB blogging! BUT I will sum up on my return. Enjoy it. Mwah!)

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Big Brother 9: Double Eviction (Cookie Hate)

How many different ways can I say I hate these people? Mo not giving Sara fags. Rex calling Rachel a pig (go kick a kitten instead, Rex). Kat's ickle sad face. Darnell: your misogynistic rant has not been forgotten. Sara; nice but just too, too needy. Mikey; the dictionary definition of creepy.
The goading of Sara over a simple eye mask was bizarre. I have an eye mask! I'm not a bondage freak! Oh, wait...
Rex vs the wasp: who's the biggest prick? That wasp had the right idea. Rex calling Rachel 'a dreamer' like it was an insult... sad.
The only good thing I can say about this final week is at least there's a bit of tension, and it could go any way for the final (not that I'll see it as I'll be in Amsterdam!)
It was kind of sad when Mo went, only cos it was a shock and they blubbed a bit. He should have been booed more though! He's gross. Who's want his manky dressing gown?
Mo interview. Davina went easy; in fact the only person i've seen her be an arse to recently is Lisa. You think he might have looked ashamed as they basically called him a fat cunt. But no. He was proud as punch. Interesting seeing him go in- he looked a stone thinner. Did Dennis gobbing in his face not make it to his best bits? In fact, it had been wiped from history. How unlike Big Brother to brush something like that under the carpet.
Kat: 'Big brother, please don't take any more of my friends away.' Ok, then, why don't you leave instead, you insincere bint. She was CERTAIN she was a shoe-in. And less people liked her than Rex. Hahahahahahaaa! I found the weeping and wailing hilarious. Her at the top of the stairs... 'Happy happy house... boo hoo...' Then: Boooooooo! See ya. That's entertainment.
That sucked that she was happy again after the break. Did someone give her a chocolate chip cookie? Glad they stitched her up in the interview. Didn't buy the whole Care Bear Friends Forever/ 5-year-old act. In fact... it was mildly sinister and teeth-grindingly annoying.
That was a classic BB eviction in more ways than one. The mighty have fallen. But the question remains. Why is Rex still in that house? Then I look at him, all sweaty and arrogant but still running rings around them all, and with a veneer of intelligence. And I think, anything could happen. And after the slog of this series, that's something to look forward to.