Wednesday, August 31, 2005

End of festival

Well I really went out with a bang on Monday night, performing in a BBC-run "60 acts in 60 minutes" show - I went on 30th marking the halfway point of the hour - and right before the legendary Tim Vine which made me feel like I was in brilliantly good company. Lots of my comedy chums were in the audience and everyone said I did really well. We were all given a free tequila shot as we came off stage so ended up with loads of acts all getting very drunk. One of the acts, who shall of course remain nameless, had brought along some very powerful "space cake" and although I'm not normally a big partaker of such things I figured what the hell for the end of the festival and ended up out and about talking absolute rubbish until 7:30am!

Train back yesterday and chatted with a mate the whole way through the hangover and many many cups of tea. Slept for 14 hours non-stop last night. Has been a brilliant experience but nice to be back in the real world now too.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ironist of the year awards...

Is that even a word? Well most ironic moment/person seems to me to be a clean sweep for born-again Christian Pat Robertson who has suggested on television that the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez should be assassinated. Now there are two key points I wanted to make on the subject:

1) Check your bible Pat. Mine says "THOU SHALT NOT KILL". In fact I seem to recall those words were engraved on a big stone tablet. Don't recall God putting an asterisk at the end and a footnote "*thou shalt not kill Americans, Venezuelans are fair game".

2) The BBC article, linked above, has a wonderful concluding line: "Venezuela is the fifth-largest oil exporter and a major supplier of oil to the United States. ". I'll leave Cru-blog readers to figure out why that information might be relevant to the story.

Anyway while we're conducting the day's round-up of noxious perpetrated by persons of a religious persuasion here's a nice one from Japan. Nice in the sense of vile.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Rat...

The new Pope has apparently warned against "the dangers of secularism"! Now if he got up and warned about the dangers of Islam, the dangers of Judaism or the dangers of Hinduism I think there'd be a bit of a kerfuffle. He doesn't seem to have pointed out what any of those "dangers" actually are but weirdly he warns that of minority breakaway religious groups "some are even able to make a profit from it". Mmmm, I can't help thinking he's not doing too badly out of organised religion himself. Nice house, private cinema, bowling alleys (seriously he has private ones in the vatican), nice car, lots of big jewellery, etc.

The real issue though is that he's trying to encourage catholics to listen to everything he says not just the bits that suit them. Now the number one area where I don't know a single catholic who really does what the Pope says is contraception. And good. I'm glad no-one listens to the old Nazi whinge-bag. Partly because I don't like to see thousands of people dying of AIDS, but also because the less kids born into religious families, the less religious people in the next generation! Statistically (got this from the NSS) two religious parents gives 50-50 secularist and religious children, one religious parent gives 25% chance of the child being religious and when neither parent is religious there is an almost 0% chance of the child being religious. Like it or not we secularists will eventually take over the world! [Manaical laughter...]

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Some voices of reason

Have had a couple of very cool links sent in to me, wanted to share them. Firstly this great piece which explains why intelligent design is not a credible alternative to evolution. Secondly this piece from the Guardian about the role that religion has in society and how much better off we would be if people just admitted it was nonsense and stopped treating religious beliefs as different to any other gibberish people subscribe to. Love it.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The official rating system for prejudice

I am dead against all sorts of prejudice. Seems to me though that we have different reactions to different kinds of prejudice. Today rap musicians are talking about homophobia. And rightly so, there's no doubt that there is a problem with homophobic lyrics in rap. Hasn't anyone noticed though that sexism is also rife in rap lyrics? I don't know any other type of music where women are routinely referred to as "bitches" and "whores". But of course if I complain too loudly I am being racist - the least socially acceptable prejudice of all - because the genre is "black music".

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone who was discriminated against could unite against all types of prejudice?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Four stars!

Well the Amused Moose Comedy Hot Starlets show was reviewed at last on and they gave us 4 stars (out of a possible 5). Here is the link. Considering the show is a showcase of new and new-ish acts, this is great news.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The baby culture

Britains fertility treatment laws are being overhauled. There are a whole bunch of issues coming up. Here are some of them. I'll give my views but really I'd like to see what people logging on here think too...

1) IVF. I don't think we should provide IVF as standard for those unable to conceive naturally on the NHS. It's massively expensive, involves enormous physical discomfort and indignity for the woman and has a very low success rate. People who aren't able to conceive naturally can apply to adopt. We should really focus on stripping away the societal pressure on women to have kids and to have kids which are biologically theirs. People who are ultimately determined to undertake the process will have to pay for it. Very little media attention is given to those women who go through the process many many times without success, the stories are always about the few "miracle babies".

2) Embryo screening and "designer" babies. Well I think we should allow screening in cases where there is a medical need, i.e. to provide a bone marrow donor for a sibling or something like that. And I'd allow it in the case of a significant family genetic problem. Would have to be a significant thing though, a major disablity, not to be used to choose blue eyes and blonde hair. Also not to be used to choose to have boys or girls. Bit tricky this one though because those people who really really want it will end up going overseas and getting it.

3) Paid-for IVF and eligibilty. I think if IVF is being paid for then anyone who wants to have it should be allowed to. It really annoys me when I see women being refused treatment because they're not married or whatever. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not they are ready to raise a child. Trying to restrict fertility treatment to those we deem morally suitable for parenthood is one step away from a fascist state. I've yet to hear of an unmarried man being refused viagra so lets allow women to determine their own treatment options too.

Welcome to the famous Cruella-blog

Yes, that's right, I've been listed on the Metro guide to UK blogs so hopefully that means a fair bit more through-traffic on the site. Here's the link for anyone who wants to see who else made the cut or just revel in my reflected glory. Better still come up to Edinburgh and see my show!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Festival update

Show number five today for the Hot Starlets. We were very nearly full tonight, seems like momentum is gathering for the show. I'm really hoping we will start selling out eventually and then I'll be off the hook for flyering and more. Also momentum is gathering for me(!), I did two other shows today, a local pub's lunchtime show, which I compered, then a ten minute spot on Park's Circus - a really nice straightforward stand-up show nightly at Roman Eagle Lodge. They have a different guest every night and I was very flattered to be asked to do it. Was a lot of fun, nice crowd and nice evening.

In terms of other shows, I have a couple of recommendations: Firstly Appelby's Journey to the 21st Century which I can't go see cos it clashes with my own show but (a) she did a snippet as part of the Hot Starlets and it was great and (b) Debs and I are sharing a flat so I've seen the rehearsals and nearly peed myself in the living room. Secondly We Are Klang in Yee Ha Klang which I saw last night is a really funny sketch show. I'm going to go again later in the month, it's that funny!

Farewell freedom of speech

Note that radical Islamic clerics who support violent reaction to the situation in the middle east are now being threatened with the rather medieval crime of "treason". I believe the punishment is supposed to be deportation to the tower followed by decapitation. Now I think terrorism's wrong (including that perpetrated by Bush and Blair around the world) but I think people are entitled to their opinions. Without free discussion on the subject these problems will never be resolved. Just because someone's ideas are offensive, we can't make it illegal for them to hold and express those opinions. Like the BNP, their views are disgusting but we have to let them have them and express them. It's a basic human right.

Of course encouraging people to be violent is and should be a crime. But stating that you believe, for example, that a violent response to the occupation of Iraq is justified, that's your opinion and you are well within your rights to hold it and state it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Alternative theories

I am in stitches looking at this post from boing boing about an alternative to the Intelligent Design theory - the theory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster! If enough people send this letter to the Kansas School board, well they may think we're all crazy and they won't listen to any of us. Then again it is a very good point.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Another step backwards

I notice that Bush has been promoting "intelligent" design, i.e. creationism again. Its really obnoxious to have these kind of backwards ideas presented as credible scientific fact.