Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's Happening, Why Am I Suddenly So Angry?

I think it might be because I've been reading this article in the Daily Fail about wristbands potentially (not) being developed to "let men know" when a woman is suffering PMT. Either that or I better pop out and buy some more tampons.*

Well obviously these items are deeply offensive to women.

Firstly - if women are experiencing depression or mood disorders for whatever reason and want those around them to know - they can tell them (y'know what with us being sentient adult beings and all that...). One would hope they would be treated with sympathy and support.

On a larger scale though - for centuries women have been told that their femininity renders them inferior. We've been assigned everything from "the vapors" and "consumption" to the insistence that we have "feeble minds" and claims that periods render us everything from "unclean" to "incapable of making sushi"(seriously - this is why in Japan sushi chefs are almost all male!).

All of these theories have emerged to be completely false and the notion that women are less capable of managing their emotions during certain times of the month seem likely to hold just as little water. Note that these wristbands have not actually been invented - because a wristband absolutely 100% could never tell what stage a woman's menstrual cycle is at. The suggestion by the company that has raised the idea is that it would respond to subtle temperature changes but fertility testing kits which work based on body temperature take that temperature orally or rectally so you would literally have to stuff your wristband up your arse!!

Instead this story just serves to continue to promote the idea that women's menstrual cycles are the source of some problem and that men need "warning" about the stage of the cycle a woman is in (not mentioning that she may be pre-pubescent, post-menopausal, pregnant, suffering amenorrhea, trans-gendered or for any number of medical reasons, not having periods). Two women a week are murdered in this country by their male partners. Perhaps men should wear wristbands that read "I'm a man, I might attack you"...**

*Yeah, like fuck, we all know I have a Mooncup right?

**Hey trolls - why not quote this sentence out of context and then claim I hate men? Wouldn't that be fun? Try to spend all week doing it so you'll not be bothering me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Trouble With TV

Here's an article from Chortle about a new TV show that's searching for new comedy talent. And a quote: Freddie Foss-Smith from producers Big Talk ... said: ‘I’m looking for unknown and relatively new comedians that might not necessarily have even done a gig before but might just have what it takes.'

Right, let me stop you there. Cos I happen to be of the opinion that one of the things that "it takes" to be a successful comedian is "to have done a gig before". The idea that comedy is innate and that people "just have" it or "just don't" is ridiculous. Not that some people don't have more or less natural talent than others, but if you look at the really really brilliant comedians of the last few decades: Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard, Victoria Wood, etc, one thing they all have in common is they have put the hours in learning the trade the hard way*.

On the good news side meanwhile a TV pilot show I wrote has been commissioned to be turned in to a 13-episode series. It's a satirical news show called Network. It'll be broadcast by Press TV (Iranian) but all Sky customers worldwide will be able to watch it if they dig far enough through the channel listings. I'm not in it (Mr Cru is) because will funding coming out of Iran it's an all-male cast. Still I am listed as chief writer and actually I'm the only writer aside from a bit of input from the cast themselves and the director. Hopefully it'll lead to more work for me.

* And by the way "the hard way" is also "the only way that works".

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Mini-Mail line-by-line

Have you eaten something with sugar in in the last 48 hours? Fear not, the Daily Fail's "femail" section is here to judge you in a classic piece of woman-bashing called "Chocolate bars for breakfast, HobNobs at work... Keeping a diary of treats will help you stop calorific snacking". Here's the first three lines:

"Diets are doomed to fail because British women snack so much, experts claimed earlier this month."

Of course it's only women who are on diets. And no, before you read on, no information is supplied about the academic track record of these "experts"...

"More than half of us admit to eating at least two unhealthy treats a day, with an alarming one in seven confessing to five episodes of naughtiness."

Naughtiness? As far as I know the word "naughtiness" is generally reserved for the under-fives and people who like to incorporate some light spanking into their foreplay.

"But does the average British women really gorge on more than 1,000 treats a year?"

No she doesn't gorge on 1,000 treats. She EATS 1,000 treats. How many treats a year do men aggressively binge on? And by the way - lager counts.

Then there's a very boring passage where a woman (Lorraine) makes a list of the "naughty" treats she's had this week. Its not clear to me whether she doesn't count desserts (maybe you get 1 hour from starting to eat to count it as part of the meal) or doesn't eat them (cos, you know, she's a woman...). And in between our "expert" Zoe criticises these food choices without sympathy. And apparently the main advantage of not eating snacks is "not feeling guilty". Hmm... No-one seems to care that the disadvantages of eating less treats are (1) being fucking hungry and (2) not getting to eat nice things that you like.

And then there's a conclusion:

"I've eaten an extra 3,690 calories in just a week through snacking — that’s nearly two days worth of extra food and would result in a weight gain of a pound if eaten on top of the 2,000 calories the average woman needs a day."

Yeah but half of the snacks were instead of a meal. And they included things like nuts and cheese. Things you could quite legitimately include in a meal.

"I’m staggered and feel distressed not just by the number of calories, but by what I’ve discovered about myself. "

You discovered you like sweets and crisps? And that's distressing? HEy could be worse - could turn out you like crack...

"I genuinely thought this diary might be a bit thin on the ground because, until I wrote everything down, I was convinced I didn’t snack that much. But I just haven’t noticed that I do."

Thank God for the Daily Male - handing you a big stick to beat yourself up with...

"So how do I stop? I call Sian Porter of the British Dietetic Association for advice."

I sure hope she's on emergency speed-dial.

"‘It’s quite hard to refuse a friend, so if they’re cutting a cake, ask for a small slice and eat half,’ she says. "

Really? My friends actually like me so they tend not to force cake on me if I politely say no thank you.

"‘If they reach for a packet of biscuits, say: “Don’t open them on my account.” "

Or - stop press - no thank you.

"‘It may seem strange, but use the same tricks as people with eating disorders — tell others you ate before you came out or that you’re going out for dinner and don’t want to spoil it."

Yes use the same tricks as people with eating disorders ... survive on 500 calories a day until your bones become brittle and damaged, your internal organs start to digest themselves and you, erm, die as one in five eating disorder sufferers do. If an expert from the British Dietetic Association advised women to act like they have an eating disorder, I think that expert should be struck off. Obviously.

"‘And if you know you’re going to miss a meal, plan ahead. If it’s dinner, eat a larger portion at lunchtime or have a healthy snack such as a bowl of soup or cereal at 5pm. That will tide you over until you get home."

So I can have Cocoa Pops at 5pm and that's healthy? Bonza...

"‘Be prepared so when you get hungry you have something appropriate — buy single servings of dried fruit or nuts. And have a rule that you eat only when sitting down at a table — most snacking is done standing up or on the run.’"

Now first up early on you were telling her that nuts were "naughty", make your mind up. And of course most snacking is done standing up or on the run - that's the definition, and the point, of snacking isn't it?

"It’s advice I plan to take to heart. And before you start criticising my snacking, why not jot down everything you eat. You may be surprised . . ."

I wasn't going to criticise your snacking. I was going to tell you you clearly have a busy life, maybe you should focus on your achievements and not bother with a pointless diet.