Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Stating the Obvious. Slowly.

Hope you all saw me on BBC One this morning explaining why expecting kids to wear school ties is (a) pointless - they will always push the rules and wear them as untidily as possible, (b) out-dated - no-one from investment bankers to boy scouts wears ties any more and (c) classist - if we teach kids that you must wear a tie to be respected we teach them to respect accountants and lawyers but not builders and shop-keepers. All went pretty smoothly. The guy I was debating with (Nick someone - I have no idea who he was) was a significant idiot...

Dressed like a Victorian dandy, cravat, silk hanky, cuff-links, leather briefcase and probably sock-suspenders but I tried not to look. In the waiting room the floor manager came through and said they were ready for us in the studio. I leaped up and headed for the door, he started making a cup of tea as though a national television show would be happy to wait for him. Oh yes we'll just fill in chatting about the weather until you prepare yourself with Pimms and a quick twenty minutes of birch twig self-flagellation!

Then - and this was really the amazing bit - while we were waiting for the cameras to come to us he asked me what I did for work and I said I was a stand-up comic to which he said "good grief, what is the world coming to?". Not sure what he thought WOULD be appropriate work for me: scullery maid? seamstress? lady in waiting?

Once the sound was rolling he said "Jesus Christ" loudly, resulting in the presenter having to apologise to viewers for the blasphemy. I'm no fan of the religious anti-blasphemy lobby but really before you go on air the only thing they tell you is "don't use bad language", how hard is it?

Anyway here's how prepared he was for the interview - half way through he admitted that "if we're going to use logic" I was right. And then kept talking as though listeners had tuned in to a news show to hear his illogical faeries-and-pixies-based theories!

Another quickie for this morning - an article from the BBC about the joys of sexism. Apparently men with "sexist" views about the role of women in the workplace earn more than men with more liberal views. Now I don't quite get their point here, they seem to be saying: Career path moving too slowly? Try misogyny for an instant boost!

Maybe the point(s) to be concluded are a little more subtle, maybe (1) people who are a**holes in one area are a**holes in other areas too. Maybe being an a**hole in general gets you ahead in business. (2) Maybe guys with old-fashioned beliefs also believe that it is their responsibility as men to be the bread-winner, to earn all the money to support the whole family. So maybe they are more incentivised to do that, even when it means sacrificing family time or indeed principles. (3) Maybe guys with sexist views about a woman's role are likely to marry women who want to stay home and look after kids, etc and maybe when your partner does that you need to get ahead in work in order to support the family on a single income rather than sharing that burden. Or (4) maybe it's because these cultural dinosaurs are more likely to be wearing a Hawke and Pilkington kerchief and cummerbund combo tied in a reverse triple Windsor knot with Queen Anne tassles unachievable without three years at finishing school and a very open-minded man-servant!!

Can someone remind me which century this is? I seem to have missed a meeting!


Unknown said...

I love it "If we're going to use logic..."

I don't know how you resisted the urge to say "oh, please do. Being a delicate girlie, I simply swoon at a chap who can make a super-logical argument, because with my pea-sized brain, I'm forced to rely on wild intuition and random whim."

I'm sorry I missed the show - sounds brilliant!

Chris Coltrane said...

I hate it when we have to use logic. Why can't we all just make up an opinion based on bile and anger, and stick with it forever regardless of evidence? All this "thinking" causes far too much admin.

Sad to say I missed your BBC spot - is it on The Listen Agains anywhere?

Clair said...

I used to work on a magazine for which Mr Foulke wrote. I was told never to talk to him, as he would be incapable of understanding any of my cultural references.


Cruella said...

Ah yes, that's who he was - Nick Foulkes. Strange man.