Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Jade: As Seen on TV

The last time I wrote about Jade, she was alive. After that I watched her wedding, which was riveting TV; tense, sad, calculating, moving. It was her final job, really. Oddly, she was about the only one holding things together that day.
Then there was the overblown funeral (not forgetting Jack's poem) but after that, it seemed to go pretty quiet. Maybe it's because Jack was in prison (hanging with Boy George) and Jeff (wisely) flew away. But there seemed to be few pickings for the vultures. So here we are (just in time for the new series of BB, and there's an advert for BB, how convenient!).
Why was Jade the most successful Big Brother contestant? I dunno. Because she was stupid, bawdy, silly, funny? Because she was a contradiction?
Hmm, don't know if Patsy Palmer is great doing the voiceover, she doesn't exactly have the most pleasant voice. But maybe that's the point.
What's Rod Liddle pontificating about Jade for? At least she was honest, even if she was common as muck. It was weird seeing all those old clips of her; just how big she got before the whole race hate.
Interesting to see how they dressed up all that. It still made my stomach curl up in a ball; even now. I will never forget how Big Brother tried to protect her; she didn't deserve it. Her whole exit interview was primed, scripted, pre-prepared. And that's not what Big Brother was about. Miranda Sawyer does herself a disservice by saying 'when you are angry you'll say anything' because I (and many others, I suspect) wouldn't say something racist under ANY circumstances.
Yet weird see Gordon Brown condemning her then; he couldn't even get her name right when she died, but instead said he was sorry about 'Jane Goody'. Doh.
I learnt bugger all from this, it was just the last bit of gold from the (dead) goose.
I wonder what that PJ wanker is up to now? They didn't have him talking about her I noticed. Funny old world.
Will there ever be another Jade? No. Big Brother is nearly on it's last legs too; it's the end of an era. And all we can do is watch (or not).

Event: Book Launch- What We Were Thinking Just Before The End

In the absence of our Moz (and human touch) I will be reading at the launch of the second Willesden Green Writers Group's anthology (the first one won a prize, have I mentioned it?) which is catchily titled (ahem) What We Were Thinking Just Before The End (I know, it makes Morrissey song titles titles look succinct).
So if you're in London, and you want to hear some excellent readers (the group is of a really high standard) then please come along. If you want to shoot me, or throw things, perhaps give it a miss.
PS: Big Brother soon! I'm excited despite everything.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Films: Coraline vs Let The Right One In

I went to see Coraline in 3D this weekend, and very good it was too. It is a quirky animation, following the story of a girl with inexplicably blue hair and with parents who are pre-occupied with work. She finds a trapdoor in her house that leads to another world, which is essentially, a trippier version of her own. Her parents are nicer, except her 'other' mum and dad have buttons for eyes, and want Coraline to join that crazy club, too. She's not so keen. The whole thing had a very creepy feel to it, and was quite scary in parts I thought, for little kids. But I liked a lot of it, the cat, the garden, the dogs, it all felt a bit rabbit-holeish (that bit with the old women doing the play, for example- most peculiar). The 'other' mum was particularly alarming; especially when she turned into a particularly mean version of Victoria Beckham towards the end. I'd say see it at the cinema in 3D for the whole experience. But I think Coraline needs a good square-meal, her legs were looking a bit stringy.
I also finally got round to watching Let The Right One In, which you may or may not know is named after the Morrissey song Let The Right One Slip In (which got mis-translated from Swedish). Not sure how the two relate, but Mozzy and vampires are alright by me (although he's ill again, perhaps some blood-drinking might help?) Anyway, LTROI was beautifully shot, well cast, and definitely very unusual. My friend said she thought I'd find it slow, but I thought it was compelling enough that the pace was acceptable, and the story was always moving along.
It wasn't particularly scary, more focusing on the love story between the two main characters, a 12 year old boy and a vampire who was hundreds of years old, but looked like a 12 year old girl. So why did she fancy him? Was she a paedo? I was quite accepting of her character as a killer and a potential kiddy-fiddler, oddly. Anyway, he WAS quite cute, I liked his hair.
I was somewhat perplexed that the police didn't seem to be looking for the killer throughout the film, but hey, why let technicalities like that get in the way of a good yarn?
It kind of lost it for a minute when there was a very dodgy bit of special effects involving some cats (what is it with vampire films and cheapo effect; yes I'm taking about you too, Twilight), but the ending made up for it. Very much recommended.

Sell Out: World's Smallest Condom

I don't get sent things very often (and why not, send me some crisps, dammit), but here's the world's smallest condom, to promote National Condom week.
The lipbalm is really nice too, and it's raising money for HIV and all that, so it's not just about the freebies for me, it's about charity, innit.
Apparently there's only 10 of these condoms, and I have one, so if you need to borrow it, just let me know.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

American Idol: Feet Don't Fail Me Now

*Spoiler! Do not read this if you do not want to know the result!!!*
I spent the entire DAY avoiding Facebook, Twitter and Google in case I saw the result. Although I haven't blogged it much due to me generally being late watching it, I have absolutely LOVED this series of American Idol, mainly due to Adam Lambert (aka Feet Wentz). I didn't like the cut of his jib at first, but he has an extraordinarily good voice, and you don't hear me say that about reality show contestants very often. Obviously if he releases an album it will be shit, but I'd rather he had the cash than dull monkey-boy Kris Allen. What is he even doing in the final? It should be Katona-lite. Sexism!
Randy was looking quite natty tonight in his tweed. Paula looked like she'd had an accident at the Orangina bottling plant. Simon forgot to do his shirt up.
Why do they sing the same songs again? It's a swizz! I don't think Adam did Mad World that well the first time, he shoulda done Ring of Fire again. He looked cute in his flasher mac. And lovely teeth n all.
I think Aint No Sunshine is a good song for Kris Allen. But he's still sub-standard. Simon is teasing us! He can't really think Kris is better.
Didn't like Adam's suit or second song much. I like that guy who plays electric guitar though, he's cool. Ooh the judges seemed to like it, though. Why??? Simon Fuller's song choices blow!
The winner's single always reveals who they REALLY want to win. Adam sounded like a woman! Which is good, obviously. The song was shitty though, but it will still sell by the skip-full. Randy: Adam is not pitchy!
Fuck, I thought Kris sounded better on the single! Boo. I can't bear to look at his chimp-face no more, mountains or otherwise. That chin is getting out of hand.
It took me several hours to download but I just watched the result; I hope you've got a lot of patience because they sure do like dragging that shit out. They dug up Fergie, Cindi Lauper, Rod Stewart, Brian May... it was an aural tyranny!
Weren't Adam's wings nice? It was very Brandon Flowers/ Patrick Wolf-esque. And the platforms too. Did you notice he busted out the glitter eyeliner once all the votes were in! I never knew he was gay before (ahem).
And then; and then. I just can't believe the result. I was honestly stunned. I did not think Kris could win it for a second. The only good thing I can say about it is that Adam doesn't have to release that turgid single and he can go get a band together or something. He is so phenomenally good compared to Kris Allen it is actually pitiful how stupid and backwards the result is. 100 million votes? These people aren't fit to be left in charge of a phone! Perhaps it was that dog who accidentally rang 999 taking over the entire United States switchboard, that's the only explanation I can think of.
I still enjoyed the show untold amounts. But honestly. Adam was just brilliant. Justice has not been done. I demand to know figures, see vote counts, and if necessary, have Kris Allen killed.
Now I really need to go to bed.

Equality... maybe in the next world

Was incensed by this 'lighthearted article' in the Daily Hate today by no-one's favourite horse-faced harridan Amanda Platell (I think the usual policy of not attacking people's personal appearance can be waived when discussing someone who makes a living from doing exactly that in the most disgusting way possible).
Amanda has written an article standing up for poor beleaguered men, and adverts taking the mick out of them (ironically whilst posting images of decades worth of sexually-insulting adverts aimed at women). And it's not like sexist adverts against women have stopped, as anyone who saw the recent(ish) BT advert with that plod from My Family on and his girlfriend going 'I lost the folder'- as if even merely glancing at a computer if you're a woman causes the entire hard-drive to spontaneously combust. Very subtle.
And what about that advert where that guy is watching the football and ordering is girlfriend to get his dinner? I don't know what that's for, but it offended me.
Platell goes on; 'As a society, we have become so institutionally sexist against men that it is now accepted practice to treat them as secondclass citizens. ' Oh well, not to worry, in the developing world women are still being stoned to death for not being virgins on their wedding night, so it's all swings and roundabouts, hey? And presumably 'in our society' the pay gap miraculously closed overnight and all the battered women's refuges were closed, and half naked men are appearing on Page 3 of The Sun now, yeah? How's that for a bit of role reversal? Gotta love equality!
She continues; 'On a more serious note, think of the raft of legislation that has been put in place to benefit women, and indeed positively discriminate in favour of them, often at the expense of male interests.' Like what? She doesn't offer a single example! Is she, a working woman, referring to maternity rights? (which incidentally do not apply to childless women- I can't personally think of any benefits I have over my male colleagues- and statistics have shown time and time again that men get paid more). If she is referring to maternity leave, then the implication is clear: get back in the kitchen and raise those babies, and keep your mouth shut, just like in the 'good old days'.
Does it not occur to this thick, humourless excuse for a woman that women have been ridiculed and abused for THOUSANDS of years? So now my boyfriend has to watch an advert where men are made fun of every once in a while. I think he can handle it. I don't think he needs you rushing to his defence, you traitor to your own sex, and a traitor to causes actually worth fighting for.
Even if men were routinely raped, beaten, mocked and paid less than women for the next ten thousand years it still wouldn't scratch the surface of levelling the playing-field. Doesn't she get that? And i'm not saying that I want that to happen, I'm saying that a couple of stupid adverts isn't exactly a big price to pay for a zillion years of supremacy.
I'm not even going to go into the bigoted drivel she spouts after that about any given minority, but her claim to speak for 'most people' is just plain offensive.
(Not) funnily enough, there was also a small story about a woman being sexually assaulted by a migrant, in an area where another woman was also raped. I can't find the link, but a police spokesman said (and I quote)... 'We constantly advise women not to walk alone in that area.' Can you see how insidious that language is? Oh, I see. So it's the victim's fault for being in that area! Silly woman, what was she thinking? Here was I thinking it was a free country, here was I thinking that the police might actually do something to protect women in a dodgy area, not wag their finger and go 'well, we did warn you...'
Equality... you're right, Amanda, we're far from it. And you disgust me.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

BT= Idiots

Exitainment reserves the right to go a bit Watchdog, but only on occasion. Did you hear Anne Robinson's coming back? Hurrah, she has ended the Campbell tyranny. Aw, I kinda liked him a bit though. And Julia. Not that charisma-void android woman off the One Show though.
Anyway! This month my BT bill came for three times the usual amount; not surprising as it was quarterly, when normally I pay monthly. I called up to be told I had set up the quarterly direct debit! That must have been the other side of my split personality, right? So can I change it back to monthly, which I have been paying happily for the past year? No.
I can however pay the quarterly amount back in three lumps. But if I change the direct debit now 'people will get confused and it will be a whole lot of hassle'. When I got a bit angry, he said 'I'm working with you, can you work with me?' No because I've worked all fucking day and I just want life to run as it was before someone pressed the idiot button at BT towers! What does BT stand for anyway, Bastard Twats?
So now I have to wait until the 17th august to reinstate my monthly direct debit, for no particular reason I can ascertain (except he couldn't be fucked).
Conclusion: BT are wankers. Oh and their call-back system is nice in theory, but if your battery goes, don't expect them to ring you back a couple of minutes later, because they DON'T.
And no I DON'T want to take your customer survey, here's my thoughts, though, you can have them for free!
And relax.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Morrissey Live at the Britannia Pier, Yarmouth

Wow, what a beautiful weekend in Yarmouth. I expected Yarmouth to be some sad, fading town dying on it's arse, but actually it was lovely, very pretty with a really great pier. I personally couldn't be happier than in a place that's quite deserted, smells constantly of fish and chips and sells every kind of tat. In fact, that's my idea of heaven.
And then throw Morrissey into the mix. Did I ever doubt Morrissey would turn up? From the second we booked the tickets. As soon as he cried off the Albert Hall, I wrote him off. Yet there he was on Friday night; I saw him with my own eyes!
Britannia Pier is a bizarre venue, advertising such wares as Jim Davidson and the Chuckle Brothers proudly at it's door. At around 2pm we walked up the pier and saw 5 or 6 very insane people already queueing (some of whom I recognised; ah, the Morrissey community, we're so close- ahem). My boyfriend and I began queueing at 6.30 (doors opened at 7pm) and despite at least a hundred people in front of us, we got incredibly lucky for seating, about four rows back and right next to the middle aisle, which gave us a fantastic view (my photos were SHIT though, as you can see!). The seats were tiny and people were complaining about the leg room, but I didn't really mind. As we sat there, neither of us could really believe that Morrissey was actually going to turn up, on that stage, right by that person selling popcorn. It just seemed impossible.
Now for the really weird part: the support band, Doll and the Kicks, were actually GOOD! I know; I was stunned. They had a really strong front-woman who looked studenty and petite but she had a big old voice on her, quite Karen O-esque. Very impressed indeed.
Next there was a bizarre animated video with giant Morrissey heads on and a song that appeared to be called 'lighten up Morrissey', which was quite amusing. However, after that Morrissey was still hawking that same fucking intro video from what feels like two decades ago with the bloody New York Dolls clips on. He must be sick of it by now, surely? And I'm going to have to watch it another twice more, the bastard! I swear he's just trying to annoy the crowd so we are more happy to see him when he comes out.
And then... he was there, on this giant backdrop of a muscly man. I had never seen Morrissey with my boyfriend before, and I can honestly say, I've never seen either of us look so happy. The excitement for the first 20 minitues or so was just so intense, I was screaming my head off, and I lost my voice afterwards. We just couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces. Morrissey looked great; very smart in a dark blue blazer. He was in fine form, opening with This Charming Man, followed by Irish Blood, English Heart. I won't ruin the setlist TOO much in case my best mate reads this; we're going to see him shortly, so it's nice to have a bit of a surprise. Personally, I've been ducking and diving the setlist for months now. The set was quite Smiths-heavy I thought; I preferred hearing stuff off the new album, just because I'd never heard it before and it sounded damn good live. I really enjoyed Sorry Doesn't Help; which is weird, as I don't even particularly like that one on the album. The setlist was also quite Quarry-heavy; which is good, and he played NOTHING off Ringleaders; telling! We were treated to Seasick from Your Arsenal, and Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself from Vauxhall. Some Girls are Bigger than Others is probably the worst song off the Queen is Dead, but actually it was quite lovely live. The set lowpoint had to be The Loop; does anyone care? But I was very relieved that he appeared to have stopped hawking the new and un-improved Southpaw, and we heard not a peep of Best Friend on the Payroll OR Reader Meet Author; good! I don't think he played a thing off Malajusted either; I wouldn't have said no to Trouble Loves Me.
I think on the whole, considering he didn't even play my two favourite songs off Refusal, the setlist was excellent. It was just such an enjoyable gig, we could see so well. Seating venues do suck, but it's nice to have that little space of your own too, and to be able to see without being crushed.
Morrissey seemed in a good mood too, saying 'Is this the Royal Albert Hall? No.' and making references to 'outpatients' and changing the lyrics of Squeezing My Skull to 'it's a miracle I made it to Great Yarmouth'. I also enjoyed his joke about you being able to find 'Skull' if you had a large spade (although it's your fault Moz, you could have given us some b-sides, couldn't you?)
He was also passing the mic to the crowd, and just seemed in good spirits. A few stage invaders tried their luck, and there looked to be a brawl kicking off at the front at one point, but all in all the atmosphere was amazing. The show seemed so short; with just one encore, and he was gone. It left us on such a high; it just couldn't have been much better.
Just don't mentioned what happened to me in the 80s bar afterwards. Personally, I blame Rick Astley.
Next: Troxy, and Brixton. I'll be the one with the massive grin!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Live (ish) Blog: The British Soap Awards 2009

I wouldn't normally watch the soap awards (as I'm not clinically insane) but I thought it might make for an amusing blog. Only you can decide if I was right or if I should have watched The Apprentice instead (I'm gonna watch The Apprentice anyway, ner!)
Oh dear, it didn't bode well when I hardly recognised anyone at the start. But then I only watch Eastenders and Corrie. I was amused to see Luke Strong doing a rude boy style hand flick at the cameras- bo! He's keeping it real down Underworld. He likes what he's seen so far. Unlike me, which is Barbara Windsor looking like a corpse and a vomit-rainbow of dresses. Aww, Shaun. I miss your manic charms. Andrew Sachs! Die! How am I going to cope when he's actually IN Corrie? Stop ruining my life!
Why is Phillip Schofield on EVERYTHING? He's about as humourous as an episode of Eastenders. Zzzz.
1st up: Sexiest Male. God, there's fuck all totty at the mo, that new doctor they've foisted upon up in Eastenders makes me wanna go gay. Ooh I vote Tony from Corrie! I've got the sickest crush on him and his white shirt black tie combo. And he's one of the options. Bizarre. As is Peter Barlow? I'm not that desperate! Or Shaun, I'd pick him too, I like gingers. Ah Christian is up for it as well. He's my boyfriend's pick. God, they nominate about 500 people. Next it'll be Dev, Dev's uncle, Ken, Norris and Billy Mitchell. Urgh, Jack from Eastenders won! He looks like the missing link. I'd rather go dogging with Phil Mitchell. His speech was quite funny, he said it was 3 hours in make up. Boo!
Sexiest Female. My boyfriend likes Becky and Tina from Corrie. Is Stacey Slater sexy? My mum says she's pretty but I think she looks like a hamster. Hmm, no nominations for Roxy or Ronnie I see. Tina won. She is cute. Oh dear, I'm actually getting into this. Bye bye non-existent credibility.
Villan of the Year HAS to be Tony. Those masks were fab. Ooh Archie is pretty bad as well though. Tony won! Hurrah. Well deserved. I was so pleased when they kept him in Corrie, he's a great character. He looks hot!
'Comedian' Lee Mack made a gross sexist joke. Haven't you been replaced by that other twat comedian now (Macantyre?) Just fuck off. Oh he's introducing Best Comedy Performance. It's gotta be Blanche, she's basically got her own scriptwriter she's so good. What she's not even nominated! Zenab Masood??? Is she meant to be funny? She's always fucking moaning. She's about as funny as getting run over on the way to get chemotherapy. Where was Norris? Becky? Even Dev, for fuck's sake. This award is an abomination, an injustice right up there with Guilford Four. I demand a recount!
Spectacular scene of the Year: I can't even think of any except that naked picture of Dev and thats cos it was yesterday! Oddly I'd seen the Emmerdale one at my mums. She's always going on about how good Emmerdale is, but I need another soap in my life like I need a pay cut.
Best Dramatic Performance: Oh dear, Doctors isn't winning anything, I wonder why (not). Bianca was actually pretty good in the paedo storyline. I thought that episode was excellent. Shit, Doctors did win! Wtf? I watched that once because my friend was in it, and even he was wooden.
Best young dramatic performance should go to Simon, he's amazing! He almost makes me like children! And that's just weird. Bianca's ginger spawn is quite good, too.
Best Exit. Yay, Liam should win that (cos of the masks!) but won't as he wasn't there. That Doctors exit did look good, it was like Final Destination. Ooh Liam did win after all! Very very rock n roll.
Hold up; how come Jordan and Peter are presenting an award? When did they film this? I feel cheated. Best Couple should go to Steve and Becky, and surely will. WHAT! The Masoods?!! You've got to be shitting me? Am I on a different planet to everyone else? They are SHIT. The only one thats good is the speccy kid. What next, Nasty Nick for Best Actor? Fuck me. The world is so out of kilter with my own perception of things, I wonder who's got it right. Obviously it's me, but still; fuck you, world.
Oh fucking hell, then Barbara Windsor won some lifetime achievement thing for bellowing 'GETOUTTAMYPUB!' and that's about it. She gets on my nerves. Oh shut up about Carry On films. Get over it! Aw, Shane Richie came out and called her 'the duchess'. Cute.
OK I'm flagging now. Surely the lifetime achievement award should be at the end. This show is exactly an hour too long. Still, I'll suffer the rest just for you and bankroll it later, even though you never asked me to.
Best storyline. Doctors won?! Who watches Doctors. No fucker, we're all at work. How ridiculous.
Best Newcomer: I like David's mate who works in the butchers, he has a very amusing voice. I think Whitney is excellent too, and a really good actress (and cute- she's not underage anymore, right?) David's mate won! Cool, especially as I can't even remember his screen name.
Best Episode should have gone to the Bianca/Whitney one I reckon. I thought that was about the only good episode of Eastenders in a year. Steve and Becky's wedding was awful and totally over-acted. It was actually quite embarrassing. Doctors won! Who knew.
Best Actor went to Shaun Slater- fuck a duck. I fancy him as much as the next person, but his acting is dire! Even he looked embarrassed. These awards are a shambles. Fair play that he said Max Branning or Phil Mitchell deserved it more, because they do (even though Phil Mitchell seems to have forgotten how to act drunk lately.) Who's going to win Best Actress now, Heather?
Becky won. I think on the whole she is a good actress, and her character is good, she just had an off day on the wedding. I can't believe they showed that clip straight after, it actually made me cringe it was so bad.
How the fuck did Eastenders win Best British Soap? It is so badly written it's untrue. Coronation Street is so far ahead in terms of writing, comedy, characterisation, even drama, it's unreal. Choosing Eastenders over it is like offering someone a holiday in the Bahamas or a trip to Blackpool and people choosing Blackpool because they don't like 'that foreign muck.'
Who is voting for this shit? You should have your pens taken off you, you fucking idiots. Or is crayons?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Album Review- Eminem: Relapse

Someone once asked me how I aligned my feminist principles with liking Eminem. I replied this:
I liked Eminem because he is the greatest rapper of all time. I read his book of lyrics before I got into him and it floored me, in the same way Speedway by Morrissey floored me. His mock misogyny/ homophobia comes second to his supreme talent (which admittedly, he pissed up the wall more recently).
I think Kim and Stan, which are highly misogynistic, are also masterpieces.

Oh, and he's also very funny. But his last album was weak. And his new single is awful. So how is this going to go? I fear the worst. Let us begin!
The first skit made me laugh, on the first listen anyway! 3am is good, I like his faux Jamaican accent, it makes his raps flow nicely! Ah, tales of bodies all over the floor. That's what we like to see. It's like a comfy blanket, you put a Morrissey album on; you expect to hear him lamenting how he doesn't, you know, like people; put an Eminem record on and if there's no Kim, his mum and some random killings, what's the point?
Haha, and the next track is called My Mom! He doesn't let us down! Lyric: 'I know you're probably tired of hearing about my mum'- no! Do carry on, Marshall. This is good, this is like Slim Shady era Eminem. Really catchy that one! He's doing a funny voice again, and I find it amusing! Am I a teenage boy? In some ways, I'm sure. Aw it's cute when he says 'I still love you' at the end. Dr Dre 2010? Don't get ahead of yourself!
Wow, Insane is really good too, except the mention of felching. He seems to be talking about getting abused by his stepfather. Interesting.
Bagpipes From Baghdad is BIZARRE, was that a Scottish accent?! Ooh, he mentioned Hello Kitty, hehe. I love this, it's fucked in the head! Ah- it feels SO good to have him back! It really does.
His rapping sounded really good on 'Hello'. This album blows Encore out of the fucking water. The tunes are actually good on it too. It sounds fresh.
Is it anti-feminist to find the abduction skit funny? It's ALL just so tongue in cheek, how can you get offended? It's designed to offend stupid people. Don't be one! This is kind of like Stan #2. Ooh, he said my name! Cool. Another good song! About murders!
We Made You (the single) is the worst song by a mile. I think he cheapens himself by making fun of all these z-list celebs who no one really cares about anyway. He's just drawing attention to them. Plus, the tune is dreadful too. This song is trying to be in the vein of Without Me but sounds more like Purple Pills. Skip!
Medicine Ball sees him offending bisexuals, so it's a new form of homophobia at least. Bisectomy! Raping the pussycat dolls... oh dear, he's going for it with this one. I don't it offensive so much as a bit tiresome. He says 'I guess it's time for you to hate me again' but it's more like you want to ground him or take away his pocket money. Christopher Reeve gets some more stick, but I enjoyed the use of the word 'armoir'. We used to have an armoir of awfulness. Ah, those were the days.
I didn't like Stay Wide Awake much, it was a bit dreary like The Way I Am (everyone raves about that song but I don't rate it).
Old Times Sake: yay, Eminem went 'chicky!' Dre does a bit of his pedestrian rapping, but he's still pretty cool. R Kelly dissing! Too easy.
Must Be the Ganga was good, it really reminded me of older Eminem stuff. Deja Vu does as well (as you'd expect!) Ooh, Kim and Hailie namecheck.
Beautiful had another dire sample, but at least it's not the James Blunt song (Dido was quite enough, thank you). I wasn't overly hot on this one, the lyrics and the tune were both on the weak side, and it was quite cheesy.
Crack a Bottle is a lighthearted one with Dr Dre and 50 Cent. 50 Cent got out-rapped, but what's new?
Underground is the last song, in which he tells us what he's been up to during his hiatus, and we got a bit of 'guess who's back'-yay. This song is overblown, but in a good way. He rhymes 'fanny pack' with 'trannies' which is quite nice. The end skit was a bit duff, but hey ho.
I'm being really pleasantly surprised by this album, hurrah! 15 actual songs too, with only 2 duff ones is pretty good value (yes I'm buying it!) I knew the little fella still had it. He's looking awful scrawny though. Go eat some hash cakes, MM. Pleased to have you back.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Documentary: Extreme Male Beauty

Vain men. Could there be anything less sexy? British men are spending 920 MILLION quid a year on male grooming! How?! A couple of deoderants and a bottle of shampoo is about a tenner.
I admit, I am highly sexist on this particular issue (but that's OK, because it's a trifling one) but men beautifying themselves just turns me right off. It's bad enough women are so browbeaten into the advertising myth; now men too? It's tragic. They should look at what it's done to us and run a mile.
Tim Shaw, investigating (nothing) looked quite slobby but that's about it. He wasn't hideous or anything, just average (can't you tell from the way he mentioned beer and the missus- sigh). He decided to try and change his body in 8 weeks. Well, makes a change from women doing it, I suppose. But it's still dumb. His wife was very youthful looking and pretty, which probably didn't help.
To prove something, he went and stood half naked on a podium whilst women said they thought he was rough. One lone voice said she hated vain men. Actually, the responses were quite varied; women hated all types of men, vain, skinny, muscly!
Then he went to talk to men about their grooming routine (in some showers, for no apparent reason), including shaving their pubes off! URGH. Just leave it alone! I didn't like the way he talked about 'tits'- he came off sounding like a sexist wanker.
Afterwards he went to meet some numpty who wanted to look like Peter Andre, but who looked more like Mario of Big Brother infamy. For some reason we were forced to look at his naked, fat body and him shaving his balls. We could have had a warning first. Wow, he lost 12 stone via gastric bypass surgery but it left him with man boobs. Shame. The show turned into Ten Years Younger, as the plastic surgeon was drafted in. Doesn't it rather defeat the object of trying to look good by having all your flabby bits put out on display on TV? Afterwards, he was still gross, just in a different way.
Then there was some tedious stuff about steroids- zzzzz. And muscly men taking their tops off- vomit. Personally I favour either average or thin. I'd even rather have fat than athletic or muscly. One, they'd be boring, and two, I'd be frightened they'd burst.
This show was nowhere NEAR as good as it could have been. These sorts of documentaries are so hit and miss. But I'll probably still watch the others, if only to see what Tim Shaw ends up looking like in the show. I saw a picture and it wasn't good.
PS: read Charlie Brooker on this show, he was funnier.

Album Review: Outer South- Conor Oberst & The Mystic Valley Band

So here I am with Conor's new CD in my hand, yes, I still buy his stuff, because, y'know, it's him. The sleeve is nice, shiny and colourful with lots of posey pictures of them all looking a bit awkward. There's 16 songs on this album, so that's value for money, at least (but how many is he doing the lead vocal on?). The Daily Mail said Conor was in danger of producing 'quantity over quality'. But he's always been prolific. I listened to his last (almost) solo offering in this flat too, so it wasn't so long ago. But I'd rather prolific and a bit shoddy than retired.
Slowly (Oh so Slowly) reminds me of Gentleman's Pact. To All The Lights in The Windows sounds like a soft rock song, like Conor is trying to be Bruce Springsteen, but there are flashes of good stuff. His voice sounds kind of raw and live on it, a bit under produced, which is nice.
The third song has a crossed out title; cute. From the lyrics, I suspect it's really called 'big black nothing'. Uh-oh, it's one of the others singing. I was afraid of this. Actually, it aint too bad.
Air Mattress also has another one singing, but his voice is kind of nasally (and not in a good way) and the song is a bit cliche. It makes me pine for Conor's vocals. Oh god, that guitar solo is unnecessary.
Cabbage Town is pretty good, probably the most Bright-Eyesey yet. I quite fancy going to Cabbage Town. Again, Conor's voice sounds good, a little bit ripped up and echoey. Definitely less studio-fied than on the last solo album.
Ten Women is quite nice, it has a gentle tone to it, and is probably the least country. Difference is Time is good too, even though it's another lead vocal from someone else, his voice is quite nice (although he sounds a little drunk). It's got a kind of Neva Dinova feel too it.
I thought Nikorette was a bit tedious, wasn't that meant to be the single? They always do a duff single! It's just TOO country, that guitar makes me want to puke.
White Shoes (with just Conor singing with a guitar) reminds me of Lime Tree (with a bit of Lenders in the Temple). It's kind of atmospheric but tuneless, like it could be beautiful but doesn't quite find it's feet. It's lyrically gibberish, which I'm sure means something to Conor, but not very much to the listener. The echo on his voice is cool. This will either really grown on me, or just end up leaving me cold.
Bloodline sees one of the others singing. It's OK but goes nowhere; it's country nothingness. Spoiled is quite good, it has a nice pace to it and the lyrics are sweet. It's a bit poppy. Worldwide feels like more interchangeable country; it feels like it should be Conor singing it.
Roosevelt room goes glam rock, which is a bit weird at this point, but at least Conor is shouting a bit, and he sounds angry. I've heard this before live. I absolutely HATE that 70s guitar sound, but at the same time it's good to hear something a bit different, which doesn't say much for the album. This song is too derivative, but the whole album is. It feels like a waste of Conor's genius.
Eagle on a Pole is not as good as Eagle on a Pole which is on the 1st album. Getting sleepy now.
I Got The Reason #2... wasn't this on the last album? When you're doing two songs with the same name and songs with the same name, but version 1 & 2, maybe you are too prolific. I do really like this song, but I know it quite well, anyway. The version I have is quite understated and quiet, but this version is good too, at least he's loud on it. It's probably the best song on the album.
Snake Hill is an awful ending to the album; it's the mega nasally one again. B-side!
Anyway, I've heard this is a grower, so all comments are pretty much null and void until a couple of weeks time. But it felt like a slog. Conor is such a talent; why does he insist on selling himself so short? And with himself, us.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Claire Richards: My Big Fat Wedding

I rememember seeing Claire Richards (of Steps infamy) on BBLB a while back and thinking 'oh my God.' She was FAT. Like so fat if you were her, you'd avoid going on camera at all costs. She was definitely the prettiest one out of Steps, but went from being a size 8 to a size 20. That's a lot of eating, trust me, because I eat a lot of bad things, and am overweight, so I can well imagine how much you'd have to eat to get that big.
Christ Steps sold 15 MILLION records, getting 13 top five singles, only beaten by The Beatles. Woah. I wonder how much of that cash they saw? Not much, I reckon.
Anyway, after leaving Steps she spent five years eating, and doubled her dress size by eating a zillion McDonalds. At her heaviest, and at five foot six, she weighed 16 and a half stone. Wow, that's quite a bit. That's some impressive eating. Fair play to her for letting them take pictures of her fat, and all her stretch marks, I'd just go hide in a cupboard somewhere.
It was funny how she looked fat; kind of pumped up. I know I've said this before, but my face doesn't get fat when my body does, so I just look in the mirror at my face and pretend I'm not fat. I'm sure the second I got a double chin, I'd become anorexic. But then my stomach is gross and I just try and ignore it and focus on my boobs looking good. That's one thing most fat girls do have; big boobs! In your face, skinny, long-legged girls!
Anyway, Claire's boyfriend proposed and she vowed to get down to a size 12, by losing four stone. A size 12 sounds managable, four stone sounds HARD!
It was kind of sad when she was looking at her old stage costumes; I've never been a size 8 in my life, so to go from 8 to 20 must be hard.
I liked the look of her wedding food; cheeseburgers and chips, Britney Spears stylee! That doesn't exactly smack of a healthy eating regime, does it?!
Six months later she went to get her photo retaken and when she looked at the old photo the photographer said 'that's horrific!' Nice, I'm sure that made all the fat women watching at home feel good about themselves. Then he said 'the heffer is no more'. Bet you didn't call her that then, did you, you cheeky fucker?
I thought she looked stunning as a size 14. But then she went to a health and fitness boot camp where you can lose a stone in a week. They were up and running around at 6.30am! Personally, I'd rather be fat.
Isn't it interesting that women are willing to put themselves through hell just to look good in a photo? Her boyfriend proposed to her when she was big; it's not like he was bothered. I didn't see him starving himself, either.
She ended up being ten stone six, which is a brilliant loss really, six and a half stone. Good on her, because she looked really good in her wedding dress, it was beautiful; and I respect the amount of effort she must have put in. But even fat she was still a trillion times more attractive than Lisa Scott-Lee.
Will she keep it off after the wedding, I wonder. I hope so, because she seems like a nice person and it's what she wants. But at the same time, fat people aren't horrific. And some men like fat girls. Some men like goofy girls, or ginger girls. Not all men like skinny. Not all men want the same thing. And not ALL women want a man, anyway. I once had an argument with a man who said if women were on a desert island on their own they wouldn't wear make up, because what was the point if there were no men around? But they would. They would do it just to feel better, just to look better. I would.
PS: wedding dress shop woman; not EVERY WOMAN dreams about the day they'll wear their wedding dress. I have never thought about it for one second, not even as a child. Some of us dream about space, or writing, or other women, or something else entirely.
There is more to life than weddings, or being skinny. But getting married to someone you love skinny is probably better than doing it fat. My feminist principles can't deny that one.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

BBC3: Kirsten's Topless Ambition

You may NOT remember children's TV presenter Kirsten O' Brien from the broom cupboard (that must have been after the Schofield/ Crane/ Anstis golden era) or Smart, the art show WITHOUT that creepy guy in it (no, not Tony Hart, Neil Buchanan- and yes, I did have to look up his name).
Having watched many of her contempories speed past her on the career ladder (except Mark Speight who sadly wound up dead), she wondered if a route to moving to the next step could be to get her boobs out. Great. What a good example to the next generation.
She offended me within the first five seconds by refering to her breasts as 'norks' and then 'puppies'. Blergh.
Aw, she wants to be Cat Deeley, Mylene Klass or Fearne Cotton. Personally, I want to shoot the three of them. But hold on, I don't remember them getting their bits out (and I'm sure I would have). Oh, they did bikini shoots in FHM. That could have just been a coincidence, though.
Christ, Kirsten's stand up comedy must be pretty dire if that was her best joke. It was sad when she went out on the street to see if anyone recognised her and no one did. I would have, peculiarly. But I probably wouldn't have been able to name her.
What kind of person calls their breasts knockers?! I don't even like the word 'tits'.
Kirsten went to meet her friend presenter Angelica Bell (who I'd never heard of, but she did look vaguely familiar- although, less so than Kirsten) who modelled for FHM and then got a job on the One Show. From what I've seen, pretty much anyone can get a job on the One Show, it's bloody awful!
Angelica said she was so flattered that they wanted her to do it, 'I thought i'd never be in a men's mag, who would think I'm sexy?' For God's sake, they have any old boot-faced nobody from Big Brother in them; it's not about sexy, it's about 'let's see who we can get to take their clothes off for cash!' Like in casting couch pornos, basically. If you think that says anything about your own sexual worth, I pity you. She said 'it's not hurting anyone, it's not harming anyone' but actually, as a children's television presenter, it is. It's saying the sum of your parts is your body, not your presenting skills, and it puts women back. Ant and Dec didn't strip off to get gigs. They just worked hard. Kirsten did make this point later, to be fair, but then she said, it doesn't occur for blokes but for women..' but doesn't she understand the reason WHY that is? Because it's the EASY option to just be that bit of fluff, that airhead on a magazine. It's easy for men to put us in that box, espeically when we're so keen to get inside it ourselves. It's also tragic. I only ever wanted to be brainy.
I found it interesting what the agent she went to see said about 'dressing for where you want to be, not for where you are.' That's a fair point. And he was right; as she is still working in kid's TV it could damage her career greatly to go down the sexy route.
It was weird when she went to Zoo and met some glamour model who just introduced herself with her boobs out and made no attempt to cover herself up. What a weird alternative universe.
I was amused when she went to see a 'stylist to the stars' who said he just saw her 'as some twat from the broom cupboard.' URGH, then he told her she needed to bare her soul (ie. spill the beans on the Mark Speight drug/suicide tragedy) 'not in a tacky way, but in a Grazia way'. Gross! I'm glad she said she wasn't willing to do that (even if it wasn't directly to his face) He said 'thats the way we use the media.' No. That's the way the media uses YOU. Then he told her very matter-of-factly, 'men are not going to wank over you.' Good. That should be the best news she's had all day.
She went to Front magazine (no, me neither) who said they catered for the more emo-girls-with-their-jugs-out market. How very alternative! The offices looked full of the biggest losers of all time; blokes who could only dream of losing their virginity once they move out of their mum's.
Next Kirsten went to Anthea Turner's (insert mention of OK/ chocolate bar here) mansion to ask her about getting her kit of for Tatler (I must have wiped that particular image from my brain). It doesn't really matter if it's Tatler or Nuts, it only takes one look at your boobs, doesn't it. But then Anthea's boobs were covered by a snake (insert joke about Grant Bovey here). Anthea advised her not to do it.
Kirsten's next stop was Hooters, where they look for girls 'with a bubbly personality'. So they'd employ someone who was a size 16, yeah? Don't make me laugh. I doubt if those shorts go much higher than a 12. Oh God, then she went to see Peter Stringfellow. Fuck me. His definition of sexy appears to be two-tone hair. He told her to go be the new Carol Vorderman as she wasn't sexy! I don't think Stringfellow was saying that you can't be funny and sexy (look at me for example..!) I think he was saying Kirsten isn't funny and sexy.
It was sad when she went to FHM and he basically said they weren't interested and she got her polaroids out. He said 'you're borderline, you have an acceptable face.' Charming! Then she said 'it's good to hear.' No it isn't! Even I thought it was harsh and he wasn't saying it to me.
So in the end, she decided not to do it (mainly because no one wanted her to). Maybe she can be the new Natalie Cassidy, or Alesha Dixon, doing frilly little documentaries about body image for BBC3. Oh.