Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Me me me on the Bee Bee Cee...

Done a couple of things on the Lag Mags subject over the last couple of days. Firstly I was interviewed on BBC News24 on the subject. I don't think I can find the clip on the web but they put me up against a representative of newsagents who said that no newsagent would put them on a low shelf or sell them to under-18s.

Firstly, yes they would. We've all seen them lined up next to the Beano and Dandy. Secondly, if they already do this, changing the law will not affect them whatsoever so lets just pass the bill anyway. Too easy.

Then I've written a piece for the BBC website as part of a "New" Lads Mag. It's quite fun. I also wanted to write a spoof quiz too on the same theme but it was a bit too saucy for the BBC, which is fair enough... For those of you who'd like to see it though... here it is!!

Would a woman sleep with you … twice?

So you’ve finally managed to seduce the woman of your dreams. Great! Good for you! But is there really any hope she’ll be back for a second date? Test your re-shag-ability in our quick and easy test!

1. While out on your date together you run into her friend. What will she say about you while you’ve popped to the bathroom?
a) I didn’t know the zoo let you take your sponsored animal out for walks …
b) Not bad, has he got a rich brother?
c) I hate you. You get all the good men!

2. Massage is …
a) “Only five dollar to you, meester” from a lady boy in Bangkok.
b) Two minutes of muscle kneading on the physio table after the match.
c) Once I get her feet, she’s mine!

3. Your idea of foreplay is …
a) When you deliberately aim at someone in golf.
b) A few minutes of snogging while you take your clothes off.
c) When you keep teasing her until she tells you that if you don’t put that condom on right now, she is going to beat you to death with a wooden spoon.

4. To spice things up in the bedroom. Do you …
a) Beg her to take it “up the Khyber”.
b) Suggest downloading some internet porn.
c) Start by kissing her shoulders and gradually work your way south!

5. You could tell she was enjoying herself when …
a) She didn’t seem to flinch much.
b) She smiled politely and assured you it was “very nice”.
c) The neighbours came round to complain about the noise.

6. Did she have an orgasm?
a) Org-what?
b) She grunted a bit but it might have been asthma.
c) She lost her voice screaming “YES!! YES!! YES!! …”

7. When you were coming, you shouted …
a) Nothing in case it woke your parents.
b) “Who’s the king, baby, who’s the king?!”
c) Her name.

8. After sex did you …
a) Throw your clothes on and sprint for the door?
b) Fall asleep after the mandatory five minute cuddle?
c) Cuddle and pillow chat until you were ready for round two?

9. The next day did you …
a) Go to the pub to watch the footie, you didn’t stay over anyway?
b) Call her up to tell her it was great and schedule the next time?
c) Keep shagging and send out for Chinese?

10. When her friend rings up the next day to ask how it went, will she say …
a) I’d rather not talk about it.
b) Well, I got laid!
c) I’m sorry, I can’t, oh … talk right now …


Mostly As – How on earth did you manage to seduce her the first time? We’re not sure how you did it but we’re pretty sure you won’t get away with it twice, unless she’s as drunk as she was the first time. It’s time for a serious re-think of your social skills.

Mostly Bs – Well, you’re pretty average. Unless she normally finds her dates from the cast of The Flintstones, she’s probably not impressed. She might give you a second shot, but only to see if she caught you on a bad day the first time. If you want a third date it’s time to up your game between the sheets!

Mostly Cs – Congratulations, you’re the master of the mattress mambo! She’ll be back, beating down the door and begging for more, but then you probably already know that. On the downside, if you break up with her, she may hide in your shed for a couple of years. You won’t care though, you’ll be out every night dating all her friends!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Adrenaline, Etcetera

More Adrenaline coming up in London. I'm doing a series of "pre-dinner" shows 6pm (finished by 7:15pm) on 7th, 8th, 22nd and 23rd July. They're at the Etcetera Theatre, upstairs from the Oxford Arms on Camden High Street. Tickets are £7.50/£6 concs and you can book 'em on 020 7482 2857.

Last couple have gone really well. You can see what people have written about me on the chortle website here (then click on my name).

Lad Mags again...

A Labour MP, Claire Curtis-Thomas, has put together a motion about Lads Mags, asking for a new body to be set up to ensure they are kept on the top shelves of newsagents. Of course it's only a 10-minute motion and these very rarely lead to any actual legislation. Still it at least draws attention to the situation.

The article on the BBC goes on to quote Piers Hernu who wrote for and edited vadious of these mags.

He says: "Parents and teachers are not up in arms about minors buying lads mags simply because they do not".

Yes they do. 25% of Lad Mags are sold to under 18s. I know parents who worry about their kids being exposed to them. And I know teachers who have had to ban children from bringing them in to school.

Then as usual he goes on to have a personal attack on the MP, calling her "embittered". She says "I'm not embittered. I'm a woman of 48 with three young children. I happen to think about their welfare first and I put the profits of... companies like yours second, and most of the people in this country share that sentiment."

Desperate Housewives

I was on BBC Radio Leeds yesterday discussing this article and the use of the term "housewife". My view is that as far as individuals are concerned whatever term they want to use is fine but the name for the job which these people do is "home maker". Keeping a gender-specific term can only serve to stigmatise those men who wish to do it. And the "housewife" term isn't just inappropriate for men who keep house but also for unmarried women. Given the diversifying range of people who do that set of jobs these days we'd need "housewife", "househusband", "houseuncle", "housegrandma", "housefriend", ... much better to use the term "home maker" as the default term.

Of course there was someone of the other line to accuse me of political correctness gone mad. I don't really know what that means. I think our use of language has a very powerful influence on our perceptions so if we can change our language to better describe what we mean then we should. Why not? The implication is that a new word or two is too much for these people's tiny minds. Which I suppose it might be.

Also there was someone on air with the "my wife likes to be called a housewife" line. Great but so what? One case hardly proves anything, in her case it may be the correct term, doesn't mean anyone who does a bit of ironing wants to hear it. Also kinda funny how the wife herself wasn't on air to express her views. Probably too busy darning his socks for him ...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Tabloid Politics

Lord Falconer is out and about advocating the victims-have-a-say-in-sentencing thing again. It's wrong. Completely wrong. He wants families of murder victims to be allowed to speak in court before sentencing takes place. What is the point of this? Should a criminal receive a longer sentence if the person they murdered has a particularly emotionally appealing parent or partner? And should sentences be shorter for murdering people with no immediate family around them - orphans for example, the homeless, tourists over here on their own? Or do they imagine families will be honest about the balance of the situation and thus help judges out: "in fairness your honour, my mother, who was brutally murdered, she could be very irritating...".

Either the judge is going to re-calibrate sentences based on perceived suffering of families. [Cruella runs from axe-wielding maniac shouting "don't kill me, my sister's a great actress..."] OR sentencing will not be changed based on what the victims families have to say and in which case it's just a waste of tax-payers money paying for the justice system to sit around ignoring some people crying.

No amount of input into the court process is going to bring back a murdered loved one. The healing process is not something the courts are there to help with. Families should be offered support outside the court process, and judges allowed to get on with their jobs efficiently.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Adrenaline in London

Had a fabulous time in New York. Thanks to everybody who came along. Especially Elayne who I know only from the blog-o-sphere and who made a four-hour round trip to come to the show and join me for curry afterwards.

For those in London, my formal preview run in London starts this Saturday at the Etcetera Theatre, upstairs at the Oxford Arms pub on Camden High Street.

Sat 24th june 9.30pm,
Sun 25th june 8.30pm,
Then 7th, 8th, 22nd, 23rd july 6pm.

All shows £7.50 (£6.00 concs),
Box Office: 020 7482 4857

Hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Adrenaline in New York

OK got all the details now.

Adrenaline: Kate Smurthwaite

Sunday 18th June, doors 5:30pm, show 6pm, $5

cinema classics
332 e 11th st
new york city

If you need directions click here. There are no advance bookings, but it seats 50 and I've never played the US before so I don't have any particular following. If you get there at 5:30 you should get a seat. The other advantage of the early show time is that we can all have a drink afterwards and a chat.

Please bring friends, tell people, etc. It's too late for me to engage in any real marketing so I'm really just relying on word of mouth. Dead excited about playing in New York though!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Curious to know what other people think...

Had a great show tonight (Crack Comedy Club in Kingston with Dave Ward, Paul Kerensa and Tony Cowards) and was all full of good cheer on the way home when some bloke walks up to me in the street and without saying anything deliberately obstructs my way. He does this with his arms out so I can't walk round him, and starts chuckling at me: heh, heh, heh... then gesturing at my tits and chuckling some more. In proper middle-class fashion I slapped him round the face with a copy of the Observer and told him to "F*** Off, C***". Twenty yards later another guy deliberately blocks my path and says "Not so fast gorgeous where do you think you're going?" so I swore at him too. Further down the road a car pulls up to the side of the road, stops next to me, beeps the horn at me, winds the window down and a guy says "Want a lift darling?" while his three male friends laugh loudly and three cars further along another car beeps, opens the window and two guys shout "Oi slag, you want some?". And by then to be honest my good mood had given up the ghost and I was felt more like crying.

Now don't bother telling me that these guys just fancy me and want to let me know, or that they mean it as a compliment because they don't. If you think that's how compliments are paid then you shouldn't be reading this, it's past your bed-time, you also certainly shouldn't be allowed to drive a car. Don't tell me they're just drunk, the first two might be, but the second two are legally in charge of a motor vehicle. Now I don't think it matters what I'm wearing, I think that sort of thing shouldn't happen, but for the record I'm in a high-necked dress AND a pair of jeans, so unless the sight of a pair of naked arms is too much for you, you really ought to be able to control yourself.

I just don't know any women who behave like this. And - surprise surprise - men don't act like this when I'm out with my boyfriend either. It's horrid, it's misogynist and it really proves that there are a lot of men out there who really hate women. It also makes me wonder if there are any decent online burqa stores?

What am I supposed to do when this stuff happens? Any suggestions?

Stop Press, Cru-blog hits New York

I've been offered a space to do my one-woman show in New York next Sunday 18th June. 6pm. Save the date in your diaries! More details to follow! I wonder which airlines allow plastic crocodiles on board...?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Human Rights: Should Women Have Them Too?

The government has shelved plans to criminalise forced marriage. They claim that legislation might actually have made life more difficult for women in that situation who may have resisted reporting for fear of their parents being jailed. They also claim that existing legislation on kidnap should be sufficient to prosecute anyone they wish to.

Seems like we have lost our way a bit. If the existing legislation is strong enough, why are there so few prosecutions and still hundreds of (predominantly) women suffering in this way?

What is needed it seems to me is a decent-scale campaign to let women from "at risk" groups know that they have rights which we in this country consider sacred. They also need to know what to do if they feel they're becoming a victim, that support is available (and it needs to be available) and how to access it. Radical huh?

The Trouble with Men and Victoria Derbyshire

I took part in a live debate last night called "The Trouble with Men". The panel was me and a load of men with bees in their bonnets about one thing or another. There were a few points I thought were interesting:

1) A lot of men were saying they wanted more advice about parenting. Seemed to me that there is loads of info out there for parents, but these men wanted information aimed specifically at MEN. They weren't happy to read info for parents in general because they thought that was "women's stuff". Well that's really the price you pay for being a misogynist: I don't have any problem reading car manuals or football magazines if there's info in there I want... Get over it lads.

2) "Political correctness has gone mad." Don't people get bored of saying this? Now I've heard just as many old wives tales about people who insist on calling Heather Mills-McCartney under-limbed or pedestrianly challenged, but I've never actually seen it happen. I'm not saying that the line of what is and isn't acceptable can't be drawn in the wrong place but I want to live in a world where I don't hear terms like "nigger", "bitch", "ho" and "faggot" used without so much as a blink in mainstream media. I don't think political correctness has "gone mad" when those terms are considered unacceptible. And importantly I also don't think that just because a woman uses the term "bitch" or a black person says "nigger", the terms are suddenly not offensive any more. It's about what most people think, not one or two.

I was also on the radio (BBC Five Live) yesterday morning on the Victoria Derbyshire show talking about an old favourite: porn. There wasn't much new ground broken, they had a woman on who runs a porn business and claims the girls are treated well, earn great money and enjoy their work. All of which may well be true for her case. The remaining 99.9% of the industry doesn't have such an accountable past!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Terrible 'Orrible Murder

A german woman has been convicted of killing eight of her own newborn babies. Now I'm as horrified as the next person by repeated willful murder but in cases like this you really have to question what kind of environment these people exist in. In this case the defendant claims :"We already had three children, and my husband didn't want any more children, I always hoped my husband would notice the pregnancies of his own accord.". Now I may be wrong but that sounds very much to me like the voice of a woman in a deeply abusive relationship. So keen to please him she will kill her own children and he so self-obsessed he fails to notice eight times over that she's pregnant. Or he does notice but decides to ignore it. I'm not saying she should be let off the hook, although a secure mental home might be more appropriate than prison. What I'm saying is that the courts should look into her husband's behaviour and see if he needs convicting for anything... at very least failure to report crimes taking place right under his own nose.