Why can’t men just boil bunnies?

Well. It’s sure been an interesting few weeks in terms of psychopaths, hasn’t it?

We’ve had Mr Raoul Moat gunning down his young ex-girlfriend and killing her boyfriend in jealous rage, whilst also managing to squeeze in the shooting of an off-duty copper into his busy schedule. Then we had the added bonus of hearing the disturbing, hate-filled outpourings, (and admissions of violence), from the famous Mr Mel Gibson.

Yes, the Mel Gibson my mother absolutely adores, or more likely, used to adore.

Now both of these cases are extremely unpleasant, but from what I could see from the media reaction neither were that shocking or surprising. Indeed, the Moat case seemed to focus upon his ability to evade the police, with most quarters more interested in possible police failures than what had caused the situation in the first place. Eventually Moat shot himself; thus ending a lengthy siege with complaints about the way it was handled. Sure. Like there’s ever a perfect outcome when dealing with a jealous, homicidal halfwit? In fact, some idiot even launched a special tribute page for Raoul Moat, the ‘RIP Raoul Moat You Legend’ page.


Then there was the Mel meltdown; vile, vitriolic rants down the phone aimed at, and secretly taped by his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. I’ve read the transcripts, (I couldn’t bear to hear the poor old duffer huff and puff through the actual recordings) and he definitely admits to hitting her whilst she was holding their baby daughter. This is really something that should be universally condemned. Heck, Oksana could have spent Mel’s treasured antique coin collection in the fruit machines down the laundrette and he still wouldn’t have been justified in hitting her. The thing is, the press seemed more interested in a certain racist word used by Mel to describe the pack of rapists that the mother of his child would have certainly provoked if she’d gone out looking like a ‘pig on heat’.

Is this not a bit weird? It gets my goat, for some reason. The fact that the media has chosen not to focus on the fact that these stories revolve around violence against women somehow suggests a trend towards tolerance of this kind of thing. Have we really become that casual about it?

Now, I know there will be plenty of people out there who sympathise with these men. Yeah, I saw Raoul Moat sitting by himself on the bank, the gravity of his situation slowly sinking into his addled brain; I can understand that some folk will think he was ‘driven’ to it by his disloyal ex. Then we have poor Mel, who in his ravings admits to having no real friends and believing that his career is over. Oh bless.

I, however, choose to save my sympathy for those who can acknowledge that they need help, rather than give it to those who would punch, shoot or wish to hit someone with ‘a bat to the side of the head’. From the evidence we can see that Mel is certainly troubled. People who have been systematically cheated out of their life savings and had their kidneys stolen react more rationally. However, the likelihood of him seeing the light anytime soon is extremely unlikely.

It’s just thought but maybe, reformed abuser, David Soul should give Mel a visit before he does something truly terrible.


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Off The Wall. (And through the wall.)

Dear Michael Jackson,

I suppose I should start by telling you that I never actually bought any of your records. Ever. My big sister did though, and you nestled snugly in her cassette rack, oft played and well loved. I would hear your unmistakable, boyish voice through the thin walls between our bedrooms, as I played cheerfully with Lego bricks and Care bears, and I must admit I did have my favourites. “Farewell, My Summer Love,” and “Ben” to name two I liked the best, the latter probably being the song that most comes to my mind when I think of you.

It’s rather telling that such a young lad could have made a song about a killer rat quite so sweetly melancholic and beautiful. The fact that a painfully lonely, sensitive, shy boy was clearly struggling in the grasping, confusing adult world of showbiz should have been quite plain for all to see. Were we just too distracted and dazzled by the pixie dust and star shine of your fame to notice? It’s possible that we may have thought, as we often do, that all the money and success was a perfectly good replacement for a secure and balanced childhood. Still, I can’t help but wish that someone in your life had seen it, and cared enough to have done something about it. Tough thing; seeing through eyes filled with dollars signs though, I guess.

Looking at you now, I can see something distinctly ‘Autistic Spectrum’ about you. Your prodigious talent comes to my mind, along with the shyness, your obsessiveness, your awkward sexuality… the inappropriate and eccentric behaviour. Unfortunately, I don’t imagine anyone would have had a clue about this kind of syndrome at the time, even if they’d had the heart to try and make life easier for you. I can only guess how nightmarish certain aspects of your life may have been, and that immersing yourself in the world of your musicality and talent would only ease your pain to a certain level. It’s quite understandable that you would have used your wealth to afford you an escape; often weird and wonderful; sometimes woefully inappropriate and, ultimately, tragically lethal.

Too much has already been said about the plastic surgery, the bizarre marriages, odd pets, court cases and allegations of abuse. To be honest, I have nothing to add about it. In any case, I truly doubt we’ll ever have a clear picture of what your world was really like. It seems entirely possible that you weren’t made out of the same kind of molecules that the rest of us comprise of, and instead made out of something quite different. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have been accountable for your actions but rather that your life was too unique; too unprecedented for anyone else to have been able to even begin to understand.

So what exactly went so wrong for the boy who had everything? Basically you didn’t love yourself did you? That was blindingly obvious. But you were loved. Your memorial service may have been a total circus but some very real and touching emotions were seen on display. Especially moving, in my mind, was Maya Angelou’s poem “We Had Him”; so simple in stating what was quite obvious; that the whole world was thinking of you; one way or another. The line, “Sing our songs amongst the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon,” may sound a little cheesy now but at that moment surely only the hardest of hearts could have denied you that final, celestial, vantage point.

One remarkable thing I noticed was how you suddenly became the name on children’s lips, again. They were all talking about you. Young children, who probably hadn’t even known who you were the month before were all suddenly your biggest fans. Their parents finding you again in the CD case and dusting you off and the kids hearing you with ears quite unused to pop music of such quality. You didn’t just become cool again, you were magic to them. Naff jokes aside; I can’t help thinking that that would have pleased you enormously. The ability to be magical to a child is a rare gift. I can only think of a handful of performers who compare; Astaire, Chaplin… maybe. I guess we all have our own ideas about that though.

Anyway Michael, it’s been a year and a pretty weird year at that. Lady Gaga seems to have taken on your mantle, successfully combining the media savvy of Madonna with your genuine eccentricity and outrageous private life. She also gives everything she’s got in her outlandish performances, till she bleeds almost, which she could possibly have learnt from your example. But while we all marvel, or tut disapprovingly, at her antics most of us would admit to missing the Real Deal. But, sadly, we know too well that the Real Deal has now left the building.

So, farewell my summer love. You were more than a glittery glove or a grabbed crotch to me. My deepest thanks to the little boy who sang so beautifully through my bedroom wall, with a voice that echoed the loneliness in my soul. I sincerely hope, with all my heart, that you finally found the acceptance you’d always been longing for.



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Women and Forbidden Fruit. Just part of their “5 a day” recommended intake?

I’ve always found it a bit unfair that Eve gets so much stick about getting us cast out of the paradise that was the garden of Eden. The matter then becomes even more perplexing when it appears that the whole fuss was about a mere piece of fruit. It doesn’t make sense to me. I mean, we get told that we should eat more fruit all the time, don’t we? Our parents nag us, our governments make cute adverts with animated plums and such like. Even the supermarkets drag in chummy celebrity muppets like Jamie Oliver, to tell us that satsumas are all luvvlie jubblie, in a bid to make us consume more fresh produce. With this in mind, I really do find it hard to fault Eve for simply taking up some unsolicited advice about certain dietary issues. Yes, I know some might accuse her of being more than a tad naive for allowing herself to be manipulated by a cold-blooded reptile who was clearly just smarming her into doing something that wasn’t in her best interest. But I’m sure if you look at QVC shopping channel you’ll see that most women are still falling for the same old trick and we don’t make them feel guilty about plunging us all into a life of sin and dirty stuff.

And as for the idea that it was universally understood that Adam and Eve shouldn’t ever eat this particular fruit… can we really be sure of that? Maybe the government warning sign wasn’t large enough? Or maybe the leaflets they produced informing the public about this issue weren’t clear in their message? Or maybe the whole campaign lacked the required impact in order for it to be effective? We can only wonder, but I guess they were still working out those kinds of things back then. It was less of the slick, professionally marketed, ‘informational overload’ style nanny state we have now and more of a ‘you’ll be turned into a pillar of salt if you defy me’ kind of thing, after all. Poor Eve stumbled into our eternal bad books by, basically, succumbing to the temptations that will always challenge the integrity of any typical lass; she was simply curious and wanted something she just plain shouldn’t have had. Ah well.

Casting my eye about today doesn’t convince me much that women have changed in the slightest since those charmingly naive days of fig leaf and frolics. Forbidden Fruit is still a biggie for women. Lucratively so. It seems to be the absolute, most popular device in some of the most successful fiction appreciated by women. I read The Thorn Birds when I was about 10, (ok, mainly the dirty and the gross bits) and I distinctly remember wondering why everyone was getting so excited about this story about the torrid, forbidden love between a woman and some dude called Father Ralph. I guess, back then, my badass, prepubescent self just wasn’t buying all the angsting about ecclesiastical duty versus uncontrollable passions. Plus, I might have been labouring under the misunderstanding that this Father Ralph was related to Papa Smurf somehow. Maybe. But youth and absolute stupidity aside, I did notice, even then, that women seemed to like mooning and fretting over the things that they desired rather than just having them instantly ( naturally, this theory doesn’t apply to either chocolate or shoes).

Men, of course, aren’t like this in the slightest. Men like things straight away with the absolute minimal amount of thought involved. What are the odds that Adam would have just eaten the Forbidden Fruit by himself, sooner or later, simply because he would have been slumped on the couch and feeling too lazy to go and walk over to the Not Forbidden Fruit tree? I doubt if he’d have worried for a nanosecond about any consequences. You see, men don’t have the same perverse love for worrying about doing the ‘right thing’ that women do. This becomes very apparent in their choice of, ahem… ‘erotic fantasy material’. The way things are going, it seems to me that men and women’s preferences for this kind of thing are sliding in totally opposite directions. I give us ten years before male/female relations simply stop occurring at all because women will all be plugged into some Twilightesque holographic daydream whilst the men will all be getting friendly with cheerfully soulless, female androids with realistic pink bits.

Mark my words.

And as for Twilight I say this, if you can’t beat them, write your own piece of sexless fantasy drivel and get stupidly rich in the process. My own series will be about a kooky, shy girl (who doesn’t realise how beautiful she is) meeting a strange, impossibly handsome young man… who just happens to be a vampire and a priest, who comes from the wrong side of the tracks and who is also the secret Prince of a fictional country. It will deal with their forbidden love and their endless moping and moodiness and will climax with the stunning revelation that he is actually… half smurf.

And unfortunately for her, it will be his bottom half.

I can hear the box office till ringing in my ears already.


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And on the subject of being Lost…

Can I just say right now, I’ve not watched any more than 5 minutes of the TV series ‘Lost‘, which finished its six season run this week with a big crash, bang, wallop of a finale. Now, I want to be clear that that’s not me saying I thought it wasn’t an enjoyable or exciting show, it’s just I never found it to be my particular cup of tea. However, what I couldn’t fail to find interesting about the whole phenomenon was the sheer hysteria I sensed building up in its humongous fan base as the promise of ‘closure’ loomed ever nearer.

Now, I’ve looked at a synopsis of the whole saga and, let’s just say, I imagine it only looks silly to those who haven’t sweated and strained along with the poor buggers who landed on that fateful island back in 2004… but phew, they certainly tested the audience to the limit there, didn’t they? Did the writer get the idea, subliminally, when he did that weird thing when you fall asleep in front of the telly watching ‘Lord of the Flies’ and wake up to find that ‘ Twin Peaks‘ is on and it’s been invading your subconscious while you slumbered. I mean, we’ve all had that happen, haven’t we?

Still, it got me to thinking about how entertainment marketing hasn’t changed much since the days of P.T Barnum, bearded ladies and circus sideshows. ‘Lost’, with its outrageously complicated plotlines, has always been hyped to perfection. Nothing wrong with hype they say. Hype is not the same as outright deception. If you can make a punter feel like they had the experience of their life, what does it matter if that experience was nothing more than smoke and mirrors? Whether ‘Lost’ lived up to the hype (or humbug as Barnum prefered to call it) really doesn’t matter… masses of fans will tell you that they enjoyed having their heads messed with, and don’t really mind the fact that a lot of loose ends were never tied up… so ultimately it’s all been very good value for money. Indeed, part of the fun seems to be the fact the audience knew that they were being swindled. Kinda.

But it’s not just big flashy drama serials that use these old-fashioned showman style tactics. The Channel 4 documentary series ‘Bodyshock‘ had some great titles to draw in the punters. Anyone else remember their eye being caught by episodes like, ‘The Girl Who Cries Blood’, or “Megatumour‘, whilst they were gaily breezing through TV Quick? And surely the opening rounds of X Factor are nothing but an excuse for the audience at home to have a giggle at the expense of the desperate, the sad and the borderline mentally ill that shuffle past. It seems that Simon Cowell has saved us all the trip to Bedlam, which is very convenient. Plus we actually get to hear some nice singing, sometimes. Sometimes even some of the assortment of the sad, the desperate, and the borderline mentally ill types make it big too. Which is nice.


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Hello, are you lost?

Yes, well… here I am trying to work out what all these knobs and whistles do. It’s alright for you lot, you’ve probably had a lot more practise… and possibly even a dishy man hovering over your shoulder giving you handy hints and tips. For me, alas, there is no such support. So, I apologise if things go a little awry from time to time, it’s just me and my gigantic fingers making a right ruddy mess of things.

I decided to blog because I am phenomenally lazy and I thought it would motivate me to do things in order to have had something to write about. That might just work, we’ll have to see. Plus I would quite like to see some of my other creative ambitions bear some fruit. Hopefully that will work out too. Right now I’m making myself a brown tote bag with fabric that wouldn’t have looked out-of-place in a seaside bed and breakfast in 1974. I think I have to exorcise my inner flower child. Anyone got any Agent Orange?

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