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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Blog 124. I have T.I.T.s (Television Induced Tension Syndrome)

Regular bleaders know I suffer from P.A.N.T.S – see blog 53 - but after this half term I realise I also have TITs - Television Induced Tension Syndrome. It’s no laughing matter – it’s debilitating, scary and left me at one point feeling panic stricken and hopeless.

I often find myself mesmerised by the thing when I am in a house where TV rules, but this half term, at mum’s, I submerged myself in an ocean of TV over a 48 hour period and came up for air feeling vaguely brain damaged.

The root if the syndrome is – my own fault – a decade and a half without TV so that now when I am in the presence of the beast I have no defenses. I have lost my tolerance, my immunity. I have friends who manage to filter out the 89% rubbish and find their way to the rest – but they are skilled beyond my abilities.

And TV has changed radically in the last 15 years. Any chance of regaining resilience is thin. Where the prisoners at Abu Graib were reduced to pitiable, babbling wrecks with water-boarding, sleep deprivation and threats of death – the same results could be achieved with me in a locked room with a large TV showing – for example – only soap operas.

What has happened to soap operas? I recall watching Coronation Street with my folks back in the day – and the most exciting incident would be Ena Sharples changing her hair net. Now they’re packed with implausible, fantastical melodrama, underpinned by mind-numbing tedium and dull stupidity. That’s quite a balancing act.

Films are unwatchable unless you enjoy 3 minute interruptions every 5 minutes to view gormless women smiling at their cleaning products or gasping and groaning about their hair conditioner. Are they experiencing some sort of far-away ecstasy or do they have haemorrhoids?

I watched the iconic Come Dine with Me and thought that, for light entertainment, in the reality genre, I could cope with that. But then you watch two or three or four and the screen begins to swim before your eyes as the same people types in slightly different hair/make-up/clothes – all slightly delusional – slightly socially inadequate are paraded in front of camera to make fools of themselves. Do cameramen have to take special drugs?

Anything on Kid’s TV seems to be psychedelic and hyperactive and with plots that are un-childlike.

I clicked around until I found an infamous piece called Geordie Shore. I viewed 10 minutes of something so gross – so at-the-dog’s-arse-end of what humanity reveals of itself - as to be actually depressing.

And yet – when people find out I don’t have TV and haven’t for around 15 years – (and am not one of those people who substituted watching on-line for watching ‘the box’) they behave like I am the one who has a screw loose.

“What do you do” tends to be the main reaction. Like I must be frantically trying to fill the 16 hours a day that cannot be officially designated to bed-time.
Followed closely by “What do you talk about?”

I realise that in a society where there are magazines dedicated to the ridiculous on-screen lives of the soap-opera characters I may be a wee bit out of step. Every has-been comic now has his own chat show and/or game show slot, every ‘news’ presenter is a personality, the private lives of the cardboard cut-out breakfast show casts have become hot topics, food is entertainment not nourishment and the more ghastly bits of your personal life you expose or the more private the flesh - the more likely you are to be ‘trending’ in any 24 hours of the nation’s attention span.

What do I talk about?
Not bake-offs, not Davina’s waistline, not who is the most debased character in Geordie Shore...
Hmmm – what’s left?
Check out the BGOTR 2-minute Soap Opera
As you can see – I didn’t waste half term!!!!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Blog 123. When I am Queen by Kate...

... and Camilla.

Following the hugely warm response last week to the idea of me being queen (I’m blushing) I felt I should blog-flog that particular horse and - like that daft cow Mayers – (too much farm analogy?) do a book – or at least a post on royal rich people I don’t know.

I considered the more proper title ‘When One is Queen’ but there are two of em lined up. ‘When Two is Queen’ didn't work. Then of course Cam aint gonna be queen anyhoo . She’ll be HRH/something/consort. So that idea went to hell.

So I will stick with when I am queen in my brown girl blog world and perhaps call the piece
My family and other animals (who will live off the state but still look down on other people) - or something catchy like that.

So here let me build on the promises I made last week with my queeny powers (like superwoman powers but without the uncomfortable knickers.)

To the people of Britain and BG world…

For all those who read 50 Shades of Grey – I will have a word with God and see if I can get those hours back for you. If you went to the film of your own volition you’re beyond help.

I dealt with tax dodgers last week – but for those equally heinous beings who let their dogs crap all over the places where I walk and only pick up the turds when they think others are looking, I will write a particularly long queen’s speech. Offenders will be forced to listen to it in a limbo land where it is always Christmas day – they are always waiting for dinner and they can’t have it until the speech ends – which it never does.

Skankers who swear on the bus, women who get drunk on trains and force everyone to listen to their weekend’s sexual exploits and businessmen who STILL think its fine to do that mobile phone I’m-so-important posturing in train carriages where you can’t escape, will all be escorted off said public transport by patrolling Dementors.

Men and women who wear so much perfume/aftershave that you can feel your lungs and eyeballs dissolving within 6 feet of them will not be allowed to board public transport (I’d rather sit next to one of those stinky old men who haven’t washed since 1993)

Harriet Harmon will be forgiven for coming up with the utterly ridiculous, condescending, patronising, pathetic, demeaning, embarrassing idea of a pink van to attract women voters – because prior to that she’s been ok.

I shall be forgiven by my teenaged daughter for the countless times I have ‘ruined’ her life. I do now know all the names of the members of 5SOS.

On my subjects birthdays (and whenever they feel fed up) they will be able to stay in bed, eat very messy almond croissants and watch old episodes of Columbo. Ditto when they're ill / tired / it’s raining or they feel like it...

For me - when I am ravenously hungry my gran will be flown by private magic eco-jet to Edinburgh airport having prepared roti and curry for my tea. I will eat this in vast quantities slurping and burping and dribbling and laughing like Henry VIII – but without the gratuitous bloodshed and without Hillary Mantel in the background going on about how they 'wouldn't have eaten that in Tudor times'. (How does she know?)

And we wouldn't need food-banks because I would set up an institution to see that resources were distributed fairly. I would call this thing – oh I don’t know – PARLIAMENT.

And we’ll all live happily ever after.

When I am queen.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Blog 122. Britain’s First Mixed-Race Monarch - Queen Amanda I

Following the recent hoo-hah over an unofficial biography of HRH Charley by some mad stalking bint called Mayers – the heir apparent has apparently let it be known that he ‘knows how to be king’.

Well – I’m pretty sure I’d know how to be queen – should the situation ever arise. I was, after all, on the front page of my local paper when I was 8 because I sent a letter to (and received a reply from) QEII.

Not only could I let all my family be supported by the state and live in a big house for free with people to bow to me and wipe my bum - my birthday is even on the same day as the queen’s. So - er – zeitgeist I think. Destiny. Fate. Providence.

I would do more than just be queen bee. Once in situ I would restore a proper monarchy; do away with this ridiculous celebrity-magazine nonsense. It's cruel to continue with a situation where they get all our dosh but are just cardboard cut-outs in daft clothes behaving like they were pickled in the 1950s.

And I would rule better than anyone.

Recently I heard Nickers Clegg pitching his election promises. After I stopped laughing I made a list of my new better-than-everyone-else queenly way of ruling Britain - 

I would – like Nickers – promise to cut less than the tories and spend less than labour.
I would be less faux-fascist than Farage.
I’d be more Mother earth than the greens.
I’d be more leprechaun than Fine Gael.
I’d be more haggis than the SNP.
I’d enforce Magna Carta so that we no longer have a situation where people on benefits are hounded to death for small debts they can’t pay while rich people get a polite request from HMRC for taxes they deliberately side-stepped.
I’d be more chocolate than Charlie.
More tennis than Serena and Venus.
More enigmatic than the enigma code.
Thinner than a model’s personality.
Fatter than a tax-avoiders off-shore bank account.
Softer than ‘hands that do dishes’.
Harder than an action hero’s chin stubble.
In the same way Tories argue that Scottish politicians shouldn't be allowed to vote on ‘English’ issues - I’d rule that you couldn't vote on anything to do with the NHS if you have private health insurance. Ditto education.
Tax avoiders would be rounded up and sent off to live (with all the other selfish spiteful people) on an atoll made entirely of money, adrift in shark-infested waters.
I’d be truer than Atticus Finch.
Faster than Usaine Bolt.
Calmer than Angela Merkel.
Braver than Frodo (and I would do even better death scenes than Sean Bean).
Sadly because my family is very mixed I can’t promise the in-breeding thing BUT...
I’d make sure everyone got at least one hug a day and everything including the internet and Stephen Fry’s gob would be closed on a Sunday.
I’d be the bestist queen ever ever ever.

God save me

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Blog 121. Apple’s iProfit Success Secret is...

...Consumers are MORONS.

One has to assume this to be Apple’s working model.

I’m not sure how to spin this week’s blog out to the usual 700 – 1000 words because there is little else to say.

Apple’s £11.8bn iWatering first quarter profit is based on people buying shiny new shit because of a. sophisticated advertising b. the cynical, contemptuous short-term obsolescence built in to the last bit of iTat.

iConsumers are MORONS – is maybe a company mantra?

Perhaps if you’re one of the iPurchasers who bought new because the glossy thingy Apple sold you 6 months ago no longer does-iT, just repeat,
Consumers are morons’
until you get to about 800 words...

N.B in case of confusion
A customer is someone who buys what they need/want

A consumer is someone who shops for what is advertised regardless of price-benefit ratio.

If instead of reading my rantings you'd like some comedy poetry, I'm doing the feature at The Blind Poet on Monday 9th Feb - proceeds going to Crisis.