Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Extended holiday listening...

Gosh can't the holidays drag? Well fear not. A full two-hour show I did on On.FM about abortion is up on Mix Cloud. It was a debate show with two guests on each "side", but I think I do the majority of the talking. Its so long it's in two parts. Part one and part two. That's a lot of listening though so I won't be offended if you-all don't finish!! Net conclusion: I'm right! Well actually the whole debate is rather "over" first when the anti-choice man (yes, man!) says he opposes all sex outside of marriage, and all sex not for procreation purposes, and all forms of contraception. And second, it's all over again when the host reveals his own mother died from a backstreet abortion.

Festive good will!

Here's an article and a picture of me doing a festive comedy engagement workshop with a group of older people in Oval. I do quite a few of these though Silver Comedy around London and they're really fun for me and the participants! Do get in touch with George (who runs Silver Comedy) if you know of a residential centre or a drop-in or community centre that would be interested in holding one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas thank you list

I thought I would write my Christmas thank you list earlier this year. I was thinking about the how some of the most vilified people in our society actually are doing incredibly important work. So thank you to:

1) Health and safety inspectors. Yes some of us appreciate living in a society where children aren't allowed to be send up chimneys and scaffolding can't be made out of cheese. Is it getting in the way of your massive corporations mega-profits? Oh well maybe don't put your employees at risk then, no?

2) No-win, no fee lawyers. Legal aid is harder and harder to get hold of in this country and there's a recession on so less and less people can afford legal support when they've been injured or ripped off. If you've had a serious injury and are having difficulty getting back to work the financial distress can be huge. So if that injury was caused by negligence or dangerous behaviour you're entitled to get some compensation. If it's not a real case, judges can throw it out.

3) Chuggers - aka "charity muggers" the people who accost you in the street and ask you to sign up to charitable direct debit commitments. Yes, I know, I've sworn at them sometimes too, especially the animal charity ones! But the point remains - charities desperately need money. I'd much rather they were in the street than going door-to-door and waking me up. And regular direct debit donations are a much better way of funding charities, giving them long term funding and predictability of income. If you don't like being interrupted in the street or worry about the amount of your donation that might end up in the chugger's pocket (though they're entitled to earn a living too!) why not find a couple of good causes and sign up online now? How about Eaves Housing who support women who have been trafficked to the UK and Wateraid who build water and sanitation pipelines in the third world?

So thanks very much to those much-maligned people!

I've been super-busy the last few months both with the never-ending excitement about the Atheist Bitchslap and with a gruelling touring schedule for a variety of reasons. So I'm taking Christmas off now (though I will moderate comments, etc every couple of days) and leaving town for a little bit. My plan is not to perform while I'm away but if any blog/bitchslap fans are in L.A. and want to arrange a festive drinks night, please get in touch.

Happy Winterval all!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


So London Green/green online magazine The Big Smoke asked me to write a Sunday Sermon. So I did. You can read it here!

Friday, December 16, 2011

More radio spots

So yesterday I was on two different national BBC radio shows. Firstly the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio Two, where we discussed the paucity of coverage of women's sports in the media. You can listen again here for seven days - my part starts just after 1h36minutes in to the show - and one little note, after the discussion Jeremy thanks me and it sounds like I'm leaving but actually I ended up staying and discussing some of the texts and calls that came in.

Then in the evening I was on the Tony Livesey Show on BBC Radio Five. We were talking about Micheal Buble and his use of "bad" language onstage. I'm on from 54minutes into the show on this one and again it's up on listen again here for seven days.

I also performed last night at The Laugh Goodbye - a benefit gig for mental health charity MIND in memory of Mackenzie Taylor, an incredibly talented performer and a good friend of mine who lost his battle with mental illness and committed suicide last year. Sorry if you missed it - it was completely sold out and a lot of money raised. At the end of the show in an echo of something Mackenzie did onstage at a show once the comics were brought back onstage and the right to spank us was auctioned off for the charity. Mine raised a rather measly £10... It was an amazing night though so I was really glad to have been a part of it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Diversity audit on music blog...

This blog post seems to have been doing the rounds today: 12 extremely disappointing facts about popular music. It's about how some acts of dubious quality hyped up by the music industry have outsold some "classic" acts. But check out the subliminal sexism...

Of the 12 examples:

Men who "shouldn't have been" more popular than other men: 3
Men who "shouldn't have been" more popular than mixed sex groups: 0
Men who "shouldn't have been" more popular than women: 0

Mixed sex groups who "shouldn't have been" more popular than men: 2
Mixed sex groups who "shouldn't have been" more popular than other mixed sex groups: 0
Mixed sex groups who "shouldn't have been" more popular than women: 0

Women who "shouldn't have been" more popular than men: 6
Women who "shouldn't have been" more popular than mixed sex groups: 0
Women who "shouldn't have been" more popular than other women: 0

And of course: jokes about Justin Beiber: 1

Including Beiber there are 12 acts who they are suggesting are over-rated, or deserved less success: 6 solo women, 2 mixed sex groups and 4 solo guys. And there are 15 acts who they are suggesting are under-rated, or deserved more success: 100% male.

Maybe the most disappointing fact about popular music is that in the 21st century brilliant female acts still find it incredibly difficult to be taken seriously.

Which is a miserable note to end on, so instead I'll leave you with proof that women have been rocking out pretty damn hard for a long long time... Sister Rosetta Tharpe, I particularly urge you to pay attention to the guitar solo she launches into about 1m20 in. But frankly the whole thing is a joy!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

More radio, Ada Lovelace and less Clarkson (please?!)

Well I hate to say I told you so (I don't, I love it) but three year's ago I wrote an article called "I HATE Jeremy Clarkson", and today 21,000 complainers to the BBC agree with me. I was invited on the BBC Wales phone-in show with Jason Mohammed to discuss it at length (for a whole hour!). It'll be available for 7 days to "listen again" here, I'm on throughout the first hour.

[Celeb gossip aside - when I arrived at the BBC studios there were tons of paparazzi outside, apparently they were hoping to catch both Chris Martin and Jessica Biel who were coming in for interviews. Both came and went while I was on air, so I didn't get to hang out, they could probably see I was busy!]

Another lengthy item for your listening pleasure, finally up online is the show I hosted celebrating women in technology for Ada Lovelace Day. It was recorded by the ace Pod Delusion team who I have given interviews and soundbites to before on other subjects. I am on and off doing bits and bobs as host throughout but you'll also get to hear Maggie Philbin, Gia Milinovich, Helen Arney, Sue Black and Suw Charman-Anderson who are all fascinating.

Finally just now I was on George Galloway's TalkSport show discussing how totally rubbish it is that the Sports Personality of the Year Awards shortlist is 100% male. They don't have a function to replay it but the clips often show up on YouTube, let me know if you find it!! Basic conclusion: Yes it's rubbish. The nominations are chosen by a range of sports editors including those working at "Lad Mags" (i.e. soft porn and misogyny titles like Nuts and Zoo) and even the supposedly mainstream sports editors cover basically no women's sports aside from the Olympics and Wimbledon. Plus there's a lack of funding for grassroots level sports across the board, but especially girls. And with eating disorders and obesity at epidemic levels it needs sorting out. The end.

Oh and footnote on the general internet abuse situation. The response on Twitter to my remarks suggesting Clarkson shouldn't have said the horrid things he said about striking public sector workers:

Chris Morgan
love to track you down and give a good slap bitch

And footnote 2: Thanks a gazillion to photographer Charlotte Barnes who took the photo at the top of me leading the march at Reclaim The Night 2011. I love it!!