slemslempike: (x: andrew n ed)
Yesterday I went to A Seriously Funny Attempt to get the Serious Fraud Office in the Dock with [ profile] stewpotc and [ profile] lsugaralmond. It was tres good. Beforehand we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner, and Carrie and I were very brave indeed. We seem to have the same ultra-sensitive taste-buds, and the yellow curry we had was delicious but a little spicy for me. Really nice though. I might try and make it myself some time. Then we went to Hammersmith Apollo to find out more about exactly what it was we were outraged about. It's the campaign to get the Serious Fraud Office to reopen its investiagation into BAE Systems dealings with Saudi Arabia, of which more details are here. And they said that they'd raised about £40,000 to do the challenge, which is really good. "Do the challenge" sounds a bit like they're going to run a marathon dressed in a wacky rubber outfit, but I can't think of the proper way of putting it. Raising the challenge, probably.

Anyway. The first half was compered by Jo Caulfield, who I don't like terribly much anyway, and this was exacerbated by the bit in her blurb which said that she was an inspiration to would-be fmeale comics, and chose this quote from The Times - "Jo Caulfield is the sort of female stand-up who makes you feel better about female stand-up". Jo Caulfield makes me feel slightly worse about stand up in general. I suspect that they mean she tends towards quite a laddish style of humour, so she doesn't make the review think of icky women things. Huh. Anyway, she was bearable. Did her Argos thing, which I could have done without.

The second half was compered by Phil Nichol, who was largely imcomprehensible, and when he wasn't being incomprehensible, was very loud. I did not warm to him at all, though I did like his song, "The Only Gay Eskimo".

I can't remember what order most of these were in, but the acts were:

Simon Amstell (doing bits of his Edinburgh show, which I still enjoyed the second time around)

Ed Byrne (also very hard to follow when he started because he was speaking so fast. Did stuff about homophobes thinking that Hurricane Katrina was sent to kill The Gays)

Mark Steel (annoyed me a little bit by saying that once you found out that Isaac Newton was gay it made you think of him in a whole new way, and then illustrating that by making double entendres in a camp voice, but was pretty good apart from that)

Omid Djalili (was lovely and very funny, but kept slipping out of his accent before it seemed that he meant to)

Josie Long (pleased to see her, as I've heard a lot of people's opinions (mostly very negative) about her, and hadn't been terribly impressed by the bits I'd seen on youtube, but thought that probably wasn't a good way to find out about someone. I thought she was okay, and I think I might have enjoyed her a lot more in a smaller gig, when she was doing a longer set. Also, although I am also a big fan of enthusiasm, I really dislike it when people describe everything as "amazing" and "lovely" as if to show how special they are not to by cynical. But I would make a minor effort to see her again, I think.)

Mark Thomas (hurrah, funny and right)

Robin Ince (good, more about science vs creationsim in schools)

Stewart Lee (oh, lovely lovely man. Bits from Edinburgh about BB racism and the values of the Carphone Warehouse, which when I saw him before he continues with a bit about Russell Brand having to do an apology for racism on BBLB, and so I was a bit gleefully hopeful that he might do that here, but he didn't. Which was possibly because the next person was...)

Russell Brand (I really, really like his legs. I could happily watch them for a long time. I think he's quite funny as well, though his faux-naivety can be a bit wearing)

and then at the very end there was a surprise thing, and it was Bill Bailey! Which I was very excited about, even though it meant I missed my train and took up the very kind offer of a bed from [ profile] lsugaralmond. Thank you again. I enjoyed the evening very much indeed, and at some point today I must dig out the postcard we were given and find out who my MP is and send it to him. I do know that he's tory, and I think he might be called Ben something, but I don't know his name. I have corresponded with him before (mostly about abortion) but through that writetoyourmp site.
slemslempike: (nemi: omg)
Anne Enright says " The statistics on how often mothers choose not to breastfeed girl babies are shocking." I had no idea that there was a difference - I don't think it occured to me that there might be at all. Does anyone know what the statistics are? Is it a culture-specific thing, or fairly widespread?

Rosalind Coward says "the issue of date rape arrived in Britain, as American trends inevitably do". Yes, date rape is almost as annoying as Barbie. She then goes on to ask: “The question is whether in such situations we can really equate unwanted penetration with rape – penetration against our will.” She paints a nostalgic view of the time when a man could force a woman to have sex, and the woman would just chalk it up to experience. Ah, happy days. This is from her 1999 book Sacred Cows, which is subtitled "Is Feminism Relevant to the new Millennium?" - unsurprisingly, she thinks not. And I can see why she thinks that, because apparently she hasn't ever considered that feminism might be anything more than the seventies' media stereotype.

One of the most offensive things she does (and as you can see, there's no shortage) is appropriate the term "womanism" for her own ends: "What I have called 'womanism', a sort of popularised version of feminism which acclaims everything women do and disparages men. Womanism is feminism's vulgate." I think she thinks she's invented the term, which would come as quite a surprise to many African-American womanists/feminists such as Alice Walker. That Coward could blithely ignore the history of womanism as a term and a movement and use it to describe a "vulgate", a lesser, dumbed down version of the "proper", (white) feminism is disgusting. Surely, surely at some point in the publication someone must have said "oh, that's actually already a term, and it doesn't mean anything like that?"

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at the awfulness of the book, as she writes approvingly of both Melanie Phillips and Katie Roiphe, and has a quote from Fay Weldon on the cover. Still, she is providing me with material that draws together many of the strands of my work.
slemslempike: (qi: looking things up)
I was on Question Time yesterday! In the audience, as they have not yet recognised my genius and invited me on to the panel. It was very interesting. When we got to the Guild Hall in Preston they were separating us into two lines. We thought it was men and women for being patted down, but then it turned out that it was people carrying bags in one line. Which was almost all women - gender performativity in action. They were not terribly thorough. [ profile] jekesta was carrying her sonic screwdriver, but they let that through. The fools! She could have done untold damage if she weren't so restrained.

The panel were Tim Razzall (Lib Dem trade and industry, and the best name ever - Lord Razzall!), Kat Fletcher (NUS President), Teresa May (Shadow Leader of the Commons), Peter Hain (Minister for Northern Ireland... and Wales) and John Sergeant (yay! He's John Sergeant!). They were all really good, I thought, except for Peter Hain, but then I always do feel rather sorry for the single Labour person they have there, as they do get all the scorn and everything. But then he was being particularly fatuous.

We were sitting right at the back, towards the left. You could just see [ profile] nerdcakes at the very start, and [ profile] jekesta popped up on screen quite a bit. Apparently I was visible once (in a blue pi t shirt and glasses) not clapping something. I'm rather a lazy clapper. I didn't see me on TV. We didn't have to ask a question, although I put my hand up because no-one was mentioning the voluntary meaning mandatory with passport renewal thing. But then Teresa May (whose shoes were mentioned in the press release thing they gave us - Peter Hain worked against apartheid in South Africa, and Teresa May has flamboyant shoes.) talked about it, so I could put my hand down again. David Dimbleby is adorable. He grins at the audience while the panel are answering questions, and he was teasing people before they started recording. We got to clap a lot of things that people said - the fine opportunity for the disapproving noises was the man who said he was a "proud member of the BNP", and we were largely too stunned to make our chuh noises. Then we clapped vociferously for the panel to drown out his complaint. Ahaha. Other strange parts:

Peter Hain explaining that we needed to have a biometric ID card so that we can park at Disney. (Query: can't we just go to EuroDisney?)

Man in the audience saying that the smoking ban hadn't been thought through properly because now fewer people would die of smoking, and we'd have to spend more on care for older people.

Woman in the audience explaining that if you read everything on the internet you'll know the TRUTH about ID cards. (I do see what she means. But she was so touchingly trusting about the information you find online.)

The warm-up before the show, where people said what they hated. One man said he hated train announcers who spoke in a regional accent. Can't they just use a middling accent?

OH! And I navigated us SUCCESSFULLY to the Guildhall. Not accidentally, but really and truly we followed my directions and it was where I thought it would be. I AM A GENIUS.

The AUT ballot result came out, and it's in favour of strike action (as well as less-than-strike action), which is excellent, as that was what I voted for. Had I remembered to send in my ballot, that is. I filled it in, and then left it at work on Monday by mistake, and then when I was in again on Wednesday I was about to run to a post box, when I noticed that the envelope was a second class business envelope, and the deadline was on Thursay. I am rather rubbish at voting. I've never voted in a general election. I have voted in two European elections though. Surely that counts for something?

Today I am going to finish polishing up my proposal, which is now at least a decent length, even if it's complete tripe, and watch series four of Soldier Soldier. Hurrah!
slemslempike: (feminism: body is a battleground)
Last night we watched Hot Tub Ranking, or whatever the vile Channel 5 show is called. It was absolutely vile, and the worse because you find yourself getting into their mindset, and saying "oh, but her boobs are much nicer than the others'". Five women take part in the show, and there are four rounds during which they must rank themselves 1 to 5 according to face, breasts, bum and overall. While they do this, there are three men sitting behind a two-way mirror, who also rank them. For every ranking that matches, the women win £500.

On the episode we watched, one of the women was black. She was pretty much systematically excluded from the decision making of the other women (which was mostly "oh, I think I'm maybe two or three" and then the others say "oh no, I think you're one" and they simper it out amongst themselves, because women aren't allowed to think that they're the prettiest), and they invariably put her in fourth or fifth place in each category. They didn't allow her to be part of the discussion, just sent her to whatever spot they chose. She was the only person whose rankings agreed with the men's every time. It was really vile. And it is the women's rankings agreeing with the men's, rather than the other way round. When the women are being praised for "thinking like a man" or chastised, it's explicitly that the men's opinions count. "Oh, you should have had more faith in your breasts, the men placed you first", "you thought you were good enough for second place, but the men put your bum LAST".

At the end of the show, the tables are turned, except not. They're only ranked once, and there's only three of them, which isn't quite as devastating, and, of course, men aren't systematically and normatively ranked on their appearance every single day as women are. It is the most horrible and devaluing show I've watched in a long time.

Then we switched to a music video channel, which was offering to tell you if your partner was a cheat. Jekesta is 94% of a cheat. She doesn't care who knows. She has partners in every part of Lancaster. The text told me so. I, on the other hand, am practically a saint. I am so trustworthy as to be untrue. Then Jen pointed out that we had just paid 50p each to take part in a meme. Not even a good one. But still: she is unfaithful, and that is the truth.
slemslempike: (feminism: body is a battleground)
I am incensed with news coverage about rape. Three primary aged girls were attacked in a park and the police are questioning a fourteen year old boy. The news reports insist on saying "suspected rape" and "alleged attack". It disgusts me. When I look at the headline of newspaper, if there's ever a story about rape, it always has liberal use of quote marks. Girl, 15 "raped" by gang. "Police hunt for suspect in "sex attack". This isn't about presuming innocence of suspect before they are proven guilty (or more accurately, let go without charge, or in the unlikely event of a court case, get found 'innocent'), it's about making sure that everyone understands that women lie, that most so-called 'rapes' are stupid sluts changing their mind, or just making it up all together.

I have never seen a report saying "family angry after 'burglary'", or "man in hospital after 'mugging'". The victims of those crimes aren't automatically disbelieved, even though there's no proof that mugging victims didn't hide their money, stab themselves and throw themselves downstairs to get some bruises. Or that people don't say "please take my stuff" and then decide they didn't mean it and they want the police involved. It's just rape, and it's purely about casting women as liars. It's revolting.


Apr. 15th, 2005 06:04 pm
slemslempike: (Default)
There's a political survey going around. Economically, absolutely no-one is to the left of me, apparently. However, the second (LESS IMPORTANT, I'd like to emphasise) told me this:

Based on the answers you've given us, we judge that of the well-known parties, BNP voters have views most like yours.

I am outraged. I hope hope hope hope that that means that there are some "jokers" claiming to be voting for the BNP. Especially since according to the bar graph thingy, BNP are more left than Green voters. Ten percent of Daily Mail readers are apparently to the left of me. I agree with none of the right wing sentiments.


slemslempike: (Default)

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