" Madam Miaow Says: August 2007

Friday, 31 August 2007

Princess Di - she dead!


Ten years on ...

Yes, she wanted to be queen and rule over us. Yes, she wanted her "boys" to continue the monarchy. Yes, she had dreadful taste in music. And men.

But having been used as a brood mare, Diana refused to play the game and sod off and die. Her subsequent upstagings of the dull royals were a source of amusement as she fought back with wit and style. And only someone with a heart of stone wouldn't give a person points for resisting their oppression which, as her experience showed us, exists even at the top of society.

She did seem to genuinely care about people in pain, although my hopes of her shaving her head, getting pierced, developing her concerns about injustice into a discovery of Marx and taking a humanities course at some Redbrick uni as the ultimate in revenge, were always going to remain an unrealised fantasy.

I was watching the late movie on the BBC when the news of the Paris tunnel crash first broke - Reds, directed by Warren Beatty, about American journalist John Reed's time with the old Bolsheviks who, in weird synchronicity, killed off their monarchy. Ironic, huh? Life imitates art. Kind of. Should do.

Princess Di - she dead!


Ten years on ...

Yes, she wanted to be queen and rule over us. Yes, she wanted her "boys" to continue the monarchy. Yes, she had dreadful taste in music. And men.

But having been used as a brood mare, Diana refused to play the game and sod off and die. Her subsequent upstagings of the dull royals were a source of amusement as she fought back with wit and style. And only someone with a heart of stone wouldn't give a person points for resisting their oppression which, as her experience showed us, exists even at the top of society.

She did seem to genuinely care about people in pain, although my hopes of her shaving her head, getting pierced, developing her concerns about injustice into a discovery of Marx and taking a humanities course at some Redbrick uni as the ultimate in revenge, were always going to remain an unrealised fantasy.

I was watching the late movie on the BBC when the news of the Paris tunnel crash first broke - Reds, directed by Warren Beatty, about American journalist John Reed's time with the old Bolsheviks who, in weird synchronicity, killed off their monarchy. Ironic, huh? Life imitates art. Kind of. Should do.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

A funny thing happened at Mirth Control


It's not only on TV that you're battered by an avalanche of fear and testosterone-fuelled aggression. A night out with mates increasingly means running the gauntlet of bullies and nutters.

At a recent London Mirth Control gig, a burly thirty-something comic, who the MC assured us was "the next Ricky Gervais", went into meltdown and threatened to fight my friend, a bespectacled grey-haired intellectual some 20 years his senior, because he hadn't laughed the last time he was at the venue. In full-on tantrum mode from the moment he took the stage, and throughout the entire course of his "set", the comic heckled us, demanded my friend be thrown out or he wouldn't continue, then demanded that we both leave or he wouldn't continue.

We stayed and he continued, breaking off every few moments like a diva whose dressing room has been painted the wrong shade of lavender, to shout at my friend whom he said he hated because he didn't like his "attitude".

Meanwhile, there were big rugby player types who the comic didn't threaten to fight. But he did bravely simper and ask who their favourite rugby player was.

The comic declaimed that we should appreciate his tremendous success, playing, as he had, the Labour Party Conference in 2005, the troops in Iraq, and having been booked for a ship's cruise a la Jim Davidson.

More shouting at my friend along the lines of, "I can't perform with you in the room, it's all about love and I'm not getting it from you. Leave. Leave now."
"My (Irish) wife knows dodgy people and they'll come and do you." "C'mon, upstairs, I'm going to fight you." Variations on this last one went on for ages as he tried to whip up a lynch mob to get us turfed out. Sycophantic titterers aside, the audience was having none of it, and several expressed their shock and empathy in the interval.

Is this normal?

I note that the comic's Unique Selling Point is "the traumas of being a sensitive man in a macho world".

Is this satire?

He ended by flouncing out, vowing never to play this Mirth Control again.

Should we break open the champagne in celebration?

A funny thing happened at Mirth Control


It's not only on TV that you're battered by an avalanche of fear and testosterone-fuelled aggression. A night out with mates increasingly means running the gauntlet of bullies and nutters.

At a recent London Mirth Control gig, a burly thirty-something comic, who the MC assured us was "the next Ricky Gervais", went into meltdown and threatened to fight my friend, a bespectacled grey-haired intellectual some 20 years his senior, because he hadn't laughed the last time he was at the venue. In full-on tantrum mode from the moment he took the stage, and throughout the entire course of his "set", the comic heckled us, demanded my friend be thrown out or he wouldn't continue, then demanded that we both leave or he wouldn't continue.

We stayed and he continued, breaking off every few moments like a diva whose dressing room has been painted the wrong shade of lavender, to shout at my friend whom he said he hated because he didn't like his "attitude".

Meanwhile, there were big rugby player types who the comic didn't threaten to fight. But he did bravely simper and ask who their favourite rugby player was.

The comic declaimed that we should appreciate his tremendous success, playing, as he had, the Labour Party Conference in 2005, the troops in Iraq, and having been booked for a ship's cruise a la Jim Davidson.

More shouting at my friend along the lines of, "I can't perform with you in the room, it's all about love and I'm not getting it from you. Leave. Leave now."
"My (Irish) wife knows dodgy people and they'll come and do you." "C'mon, upstairs, I'm going to fight you." Variations on this last one went on for ages as he tried to whip up a lynch mob to get us turfed out. Sycophantic titterers aside, the audience was having none of it, and several expressed their shock and empathy in the interval.

Is this normal?

I note that the comic's Unique Selling Point is "the traumas of being a sensitive man in a macho world".

Is this satire?

He ended by flouncing out, vowing never to play this Mirth Control again.

Should we break open the champagne in celebration?

Monday, 27 August 2007

Biff World _ to hell in a handbag

Welcome to my world. Broken, bleak and busted as it is, I aim to inject a bit of joy and illumination into the time you spend with me, even if it is a bit like getting made up by candle-light. Being the first of many blogs to come, thought I'd kick off with my current bete noire.

I can't possibly be the only person to despise The Apprentice, Dragon's Den, gladiatorial reality shows, the swathe of telly pulp celebrating abusive chefs, property porn and body dysfunction, in fact all the drek naturalising the disorder of things where you have to go begging for crumbs from a malign band of arrogant power-loving saddos who seem to have crawled out from under a giant stone in recent years in some post-apocalyptic catastrophe involving radiation.

Doling out humiliation and disdain like ennui-ridden doms in a Billingham bondage bar (apologies to Billingham), gleefully wrecking strangers' livelihoods and shaking their moneymakers in your face as they wave goodbye ... they are FUGLY!

Do up your house, do up yourself. Make yourself a more effective commodity. Compete, compete, compete. Sell, sell, sell.

Who commissions this crap?!!! And why is the BBC going along with it?

It's horrible, it's like the moneychangers in the Temple. It's like that scene in It's A Wonderful Life when James Stewart's character sees the world as it would have been without him and it all looks like Thatcher's wet dream with everything and everyone up for sale.

It's all turned into Biff-World in Back To The Future but with an unctious Evan Davis instead of the infinitely more honest Biff. At least you knew Biff was shafting you. At least Biff had the courtesy not to smile while he was ripping out the guts of the culture. At least he wouldn't have had to grease himself up with oily charm to fist you.

We're all Eloi being herded into the cattle pens by the Morloks. Don't let them kid you ... THIS IS NOT NORMAL. REBOOT. WAKE UP AND REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE.

I mean it.

X

Biff World _ to hell in a handbag

Welcome to my world. Broken, bleak and busted as it is, I aim to inject a bit of joy and illumination into the time you spend with me, even if it is a bit like getting made up by candle-light. Being the first of many blogs to come, thought I'd kick off with my current bete noire.

I can't possibly be the only person to despise The Apprentice, Dragon's Den, gladiatorial reality shows, the swathe of telly pulp celebrating abusive chefs, property porn and body dysfunction, in fact all the drek naturalising the disorder of things where you have to go begging for crumbs from a malign band of arrogant power-loving saddos who seem to have crawled out from under a giant stone in recent years in some post-apocalyptic catastrophe involving radiation.

Doling out humiliation and disdain like ennui-ridden doms in a Billingham bondage bar (apologies to Billingham), gleefully wrecking strangers' livelihoods and shaking their moneymakers in your face as they wave goodbye ... they are FUGLY!

Do up your house, do up yourself. Make yourself a more effective commodity. Compete, compete, compete. Sell, sell, sell.

Who commissions this crap?!!! And why is the BBC going along with it?

It's horrible, it's like the moneychangers in the Temple. It's like that scene in It's A Wonderful Life when James Stewart's character sees the world as it would have been without him and it all looks like Thatcher's wet dream with everything and everyone up for sale.

It's all turned into Biff-World in Back To The Future but with an unctious Evan Davis instead of the infinitely more honest Biff. At least you knew Biff was shafting you. At least Biff had the courtesy not to smile while he was ripping out the guts of the culture. At least he wouldn't have had to grease himself up with oily charm to fist you.

We're all Eloi being herded into the cattle pens by the Morloks. Don't let them kid you ... THIS IS NOT NORMAL. REBOOT. WAKE UP AND REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE.

I mean it.

X

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