Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Ouch! That Hurt

Watched an episode of Two And A Half Men the other day, (please don't ask what episode of what season), the long running American sitcom just as 'famous' for the off screen antics of it's star, Charlie Sheen.  But this episode featured Charlie in the days before rehab, show suspension, sacking, public slanging, court cases etc when Charlie was 'ok' and all was well with the world.
This was before Charlie (can I call him Charlie or is it too familiar of me?) rejected 1 million dollars an episode as 'too low' and eventually settled (phew, thank goodness, we were getting worried) for 1.7 million dollars.
Yes, you did read that right. 1.7 MILLION DOLLARS AN EPISODE.
Anyway, in this episode, Charlie's, (yes, the character he plays is called Charlie as well, described as 'a hedonistic bachelor, alcoholic, jingle/childrens song writer') (strange this but I met up with an old friend the other day who is having alcohol problems and I couldn't find anything funny about it at all) brother Alan, ('who is conscientious but continually stricken with bad judgment') has just moved in with his girlfriend Lyndsey.
To exemplify his (Alan's) 'bad judgement' he has also been seeing Melissa, ('Alan's receptionist who briefly dated Charlie before starting an intermittent relationship with Alan').
Still with me?
So Charlie persuades Alan to end with Melissa and stay with Lyndsey. Alan texts, (yes texts), Melissa telling her it is over. Alan leaves the house to go to Lyndsey's.
Cue knock at door which Charlie opens. It is jilted Melissa. Oh, how embarrassing, much laughter. Melissa wants to know where Alan is. Charlie won't tell her. Melissa is angry. Lot's of laughter still. Angry jilted Melissa at the door, 'innocent' embarrassed Charlie other side of door. Ha ha ha.
So Melissa knees Charlie 'in the nuts'. Hoots of laughter now.
Oh man I'm crying now, ha ha ha ha ha ha.
Charlie is doubled up, on the floor, in pain, being sick in the bin. 'She kneed me in the nuts'. Hilarious, oh how funny, lots and lots of laughter. Charlie tells her where Alan is (well you would, wouldn't you?). Melissa leaves to go and 'do the same to Alan'. Scene ends.
I want you, if you will, after the laughter has died down, to just humour me for a minute here and allow me to present this scenario to you in a slightly altered fashion (you're ahead of me already, I can tell).
I want you to imagine a hit comedy show called, shall we say, Two And A Half Women. In the particular scene of this imaginary (but very funny) hit show about a hedonistic, alcoholic woman and her hapless sister, the sister has just moved in with her boyfriend but is still seeing another man (I know that women of course don't cheat, or are ever economical with the truth, it's only men who do this, but stay with me a bit longer). Sister persuades other sister to see sense and dump the 'bit on the side' which she does, by text. Then goes to see boyfriend she has moved in with.
Cue knock at door. Sister answers door. It's jilted by text, and of course angry, 'bit on the side' ex boyfriend of her sister. Ok got it? Angry wronged man at door, 'innocent' sister of the 'text jilter' on other side of door. Ha ha ha?
Ok, on we go. Jilted angry man want's to know where the sister who jilted him is. Sister at door won't tell him. Gosh how funny and embarrasing, still lots of laughter from the audience?
So, jilted man knees her in the, what shall we call it seeing as she has no nuts? The crotch? Ok, jilted angry man knees the sister of the woman who jilted him in the crotch. Ha ha ha ha ha ?
Imagine her writhing on the floor, doubled up, being sick in the bin.
Then angry jilted man, after getting the information he wants, leaves to 'do the same' to sister who jilted him.Oh, ha ha ha ha ha gosh how funny, hoots of laughter from the audience?
I doubt it.
Cue massive media outcry. Cue, well I think we all know the next bit of this particular story.
So, still funny the kneeing the man in the nuts? Still ok to portray violence towards men in this way, just for the laugh?
Or just me being arsey, having no sense of humour?
I'll leave it to you to decide.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Red or Black is not so Black and White

So the one million pound winner of Red Or Black (which is, as far as I can make out, a television game show hosted by Ant and Dec and owned by Simon Cowell's production company Syco) has a criminal conviction and has spent time in prison for it.
It seems that when he applied to appear on the show he declared this and said it was for aggrevated burglary and ABH and that he attacked a man. He spent five years in prison.
Apparently this was ok, he was allowed to compete and he won. End of story? No. It turns out he assaulted a woman, his ex girlfried at her current boyfriends house. I don't know the full facts.
And of course now it has become known he assaulted a woman there was a move to get the prize money back but ITV have said their hands are tied and they have to pay up. Simon Cowell (Syco) is 'furious' and wanted £250,000 of the prize money to go to his (the contestants) female victim.
So it's ok for him to assault a man and commit aggrevated burglary but not to assault a woman? Hmmm I smell something here.
And he admitted his conviction, even though he lied about the sex of the person he assaulted. And he served five years in prison. Isn't it the job of the courts to convict and sentence and punish?
Would Simon Cowell have been just as furious and wanted the same reparation made if it was 'only' the male victim as originally thought? And what about some money to go to a charity for the victims of crime like burglary?
'ITV have insisted more rigourous checks will be made on future applicants and said had they known the full facts of this case they may have come to a different conclusion about letting him on the show'.
Oh, only 'may'  have, not definately have?
I'm not condoning assaulting a woman but I am appalled by the double standards here. This has got nothing to do with rights or wrongs but concern for television ratings.
And we get this when convicted criminals win the lottery as well. Should we have CRB checks when we pop to the local shop and buy a lottery ticket, or enter a raffle?
If we are going to condemn and write off people who commit assault (and burglary) could we at least be fair about it and condemn them whoever they assault (or burgle), not just give preference to one of the sexes? And what about women who assault men, or other women, is that ok as well? Could we at least have some continuity in our double standards?
In my opinion it's wrong to assault another human being whatever their sex or age or colour or religious persuasion or job or status in society etc. And isn't burglary just as vile, an indirect form of assault, just as traumatising to the person or people who's property is broken into.
It seems to me that the outrage here is misplaced. Never mind the fact that a television game show has allowed a criminal to win (and who can honestly blame anyone for wanting win a million pounds). What about the fact that in the current economic climate, when people are losing jobs and incomes are falling and prices are rising, when people in their twenties have never worked and maybe never will work, we have a very wealthy individual (whom I have nothing against personally and certainly not his wealth) who can produce a game show, along with a television company, that is geared, and let's be honest here, to making him and them and the presenters even more wealthy (when is enough money enough) on the pretext of making one person wealthy too. And then, to top it off, vilify that person when they do win.
How about setting up a company or a foundation that will employ people and give them and others hope and opportunities, or access to an education (like Sean Connery and J K Rowling and others have done).
Wealthy people without a social conscience, aided and abbetted by the television obsessed and game show addicted public.
This is the real crime. This is what makes me furious.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Here's One I Prepared Earlier

I came across this browsing through my stuff.  It's from a poetry workshop I attended a few years ago. It was just sitting there, forgotten and forlorn, amongst my notes and I thought I can't have this and decided to share it with you.
It's also September and I have not blogged for a while so it's the proverbial two birds with one stone thing innit like.
There is no title. The workshop was on the theme of dreams which might make a bit of sense of the nonsense, or it might not.
Oh well, places to go, people to see etc.....

I started falling backwards,
as I had nothing else to do.
I tried to stop but was higher than I thought.

Landing underground, and not knowing where I was,
The bike came in handy.
But the square wheels made it hard to ride.

I turned to face myself, behind,
and stared at me for a while.

I knew I must know the way back,
as I had come from there in the first place.
But everyway I turned, kept coming back to where I was now, to me.