First of all, thankyou for everyone that came to the ladyfest comedy gig and made it as undeniably awesome as it was. I had a brilliant time performing and felt privalaged to do so.
It has inspired me to do some things.
1. Perform more, and push myself more, to stop being so moany and 'but I hate the local scene' blah blah blah, to get out more, be more confident and more like a duck in terms of letting water fall from my back.
2. To get a new blog. I have been writing this for a few years now and I reckon some of this waffley stuff can be archived and removed from the internet. I want something a bit more organised and proffessional in its approach.
3. More ladyfest comedy nights! Less shame about being a comedian, it doesn't really help matters, I just need to be realistic about things and keep checks on whether I am turning into a massive wanker.
4. Eventually to get a proper website.
But yes, I would like to keep this blog until the stats at the bottom get to 10 thousand but, just to let you know I am putting something else together at the moment
Sitting at home watching Aventureland, it hasn't finished yet, I shouldn't write a blog review of it until it's over - so far though, it's enjoyable, but I'm bored (if I was that gripped would I be writing this? probably not). I'm bored of gaining an insight into what it's like to be an intelligent white, sexually pent up middle class indie boy who suffers setbacks but is ultimately surrounded by beautiful mildly fucked up women, who he can feel all artistic and anguished over.
I feel like I have seen that film so many times I could play the lead role. I feel like I have seen this movie so many times throughout my teenage years and early twenties I have morphed into a weird female version of that character.
As I type there is a Cure song (I won't spoil it by telling you which one) of course there is...the fucking cure - did everyone in the eighties express their longing through Robert Smith? Genuine question, I was too young to have any longing in the 80s. I remember expressing some early longing to the supernaturals, which is definately not something you should admit on the internet.
So basically a boy wants to go around Europe, but it turns out his parents can't pay for him anymore so he has to get a crappy job, poor wee lamb. Luckily though, he manages to find a job in a kitsch place with 'characters' and indie T shirts, and a lot of hot women and other white people of his age he can bond with. In particularly a rich girl who has problems, lucky for her she is skinny and can express her anguish through mild promiscuity (as well as the Velvet Underground and a Lou Reed T shirt). Everyone gets drunk, stoned - there are sexual mishaps,unpheasable virginity and family conflicts.
The film really isn't as bad as this facetious review makes it seem. I think it hit a bum note with me, partly because I can't afford to do postgrad study after Uni (a fact that this movie reminded me of, though I'm not nearly as whiney). Also I get bored of the message that beautiful fucked up promiscuity is what intelligent teenage girls should aim for (cos that what the creative boys like, you can be a muse!!)BORING. I'm also a bit bored of the woes of the relatively affluent (male/female - good soundtrack or not)
I'm not saying rich white people shouldn't be in movies, just not every movie.
On the plus side, I heard the song 'Amadeaus' for the first time in this movie, which is referenced in the Selma marries Troy Maclure episode of the Simpsons, in the wonderful song 'Dr Zeus'.
Comedy Night: Sian Bevan and Guests Local comedy-circuit regular Sian Bevan (**** - The List) hosts your evening's entertainment, featuring Jojo Sutherland, formerly-bearded lady Liz Ely, and others. Doors at 7pm Edinburgh City Football Club, 7 Baxter's Place (Top of Leith Walk) Tickets £4
So yeah, come down and see me, make you smile... Also come to other Ladyfest things - if you pay a tenner you can get into EVERYTHING saving you literally A FEW POUNDS !! Which you could buy cake or whatever with really.
In Edinburgh there is the current possibility of a bin workers strike. At present refuse workers are on a 'work to rule' action - this means you do only exactly what is required, follow every bit of health and safety nonsense to the letter and intentionally slow things down.
So at the moment, bin workers are doing the bare minimum and already Edinburgh is a mess. To me this is both fantastic news and an important issue for feminists, as disparity between male and female rates of pay are part of the reason for this dispute.
Bin workers are having their bonuses scrapped to bring their wages in line with the gender equality duty, which affects other 'masculine' council jobs like grave digging. More 'feminine' jobs like teaching assistants and cleaners never received these bonuses and there has been a massive disparity in pay between genders*.
Obviously, taking money away from some of the lowest paid workers in the name of gender equality is not the answer, and we should be united in demanding more pay for all, not reduction in the wages of already low paid men.
I think part of what makes this dispute interesting is the fact that the council/press have not really emphasised the fact that this is about addressing a sexist issue. To do this would highlight the fact that the council have had a massively sexist policy for a long time, leaving them open to being sued by female workers. Thus the cuts are called 'modernisation'.
Thus we see an intersection of class and gender, whereby value is placed on more masculine jobs. Equally, when the bin workers see their pay cut, they strike immediately highlighting perhaps, the higher levels of entitlement felt by male workers. I think the bin workers are right to feel that entitlement, I just wish that more female workers would realize their potential for change through strike action. I don't blame this on the cleaners or classroom assistants who may be bringing up children on their own and can't risk losing their jobs, this has to be the role of the unions and other activists.
On another note - I was reading this guardian article about swine flu, and I got rather annoyed that the journalist felt it necessary to comment on the chief of the WHO's body and choice of shoes. Not cool. Neither is the Andrew Marr show for giving Griffin a platform to spout nonsense on sunday morning. He is not a legitimate politician and should not be treated as such. The tits behind most of the media presumably think that they can expose Griffin's racism, but by giving him a platform they take him seriously, and open up the possibility that he might be right.
Self aware disclaimer.... what I am about to propose is something that would uphold and solidify damaging gender norms, and you know, capitalism and that. As such it should be read for entertainment purposes only.....
There are a lot of things that I would do if I didn't have a soul, one of which is advertising and marketing. I think I would be good at it; it's also probably a really fun job for those bereft of a social conscience.
I came up with an idea the other day which I think could make me millions. Inspired by the patronising pinkification of items which though fairly neutral in and of themselves, have become more associated with men. Girlie gardening, pink computers, pink tools - all over the place women are encouraged to buy 'boys toys' by companies making pink versions*.
All this is obviously making someone somewhere some money.
So what-about Macho Housework? Plenty of companies are already using this approach, like Coke Zero - which claims to be a healthier diet drink, but is largely a product intended to tap the body conscious dick market.
So why not market traditionally 'women's work' to men by making it macho?
I have lots of ideas for products which would cover a broad range of household tasks....
* The Footie Machine - it's a green front-loading washing machine with a football for a door!
* For use in your Footie Machine... blokey detergent! It comes in a suave black box, with silver writing and geometric shapes. Comes in a variety of flavours - beer, bacon, and Lynx (possible joint product?)
* Action Hero Washing line - it's a retractable washing line with your favourite action hero on one end! Watch him zip line from one side of the garden to the other. Available in numerous varieties including Sly Stallone, Indiana Jones and The Terminator. Comes with pegs featuring your favourite movie characters! Available in Sci Fi or Action Movie. Pegs also come free with special packs of Blokey Detergent - can you collect the whole set?
*The radio-active Mancrowave - it's a microwave with snazzy radiation warning stickers!
* Part of the same range as the Mancrowave, is the Radio-active mop. This mop has power. This is the sort of mop that Jack Baur would use to mop up nuclear waste; or as a creative implement of torture. Available in black and green with snazzy radiation warning stickers!
*What could be more manly than knives? How about knives SHAPED LIKE GUNS! Also available as swords.
* Are you Hoovering, or are you controlling your own monster truck van, or space-ship? That's right, a hoover shaped like monster truck, van or space-ship.
In truth my intention was to come up with stupid products, but actually some of these sound quite fun, more fun than pink garden shears anyhow.....
* or chose more expensive pink versions of products they would have bought anyway which is probably more likely the case.
I've been thinking about applying to teach first but looking at the website for it makes me feel a little bit ill.
All these lame ass cartoons of smiling graduates going into rough, sorry I mean 'challenging' schools, looking serious, thoughtful, ready for action, ready for their temporary teaching mission.
Now I'm not suggesting that aren't any good intentions behind this scheme (though I am suspicious about the fact that it is business funded). The problems do seem to outweigh the positives.
Having read the FAQs on their site, I have a few of my own....
Like, doesn't it de-value teaching as a profession by suggesting that it is something you could do for 2 years before you get on with your real job?
Why do you want to attract people who hadn't considered teaching?
Aren't the best teachers the ones who think that education is the most important thing in the world, and want to do it for reasons other than a career stepping stone?
What do you mean by 'exceptional' graduates, and what experience prior to Teach First do these graduates have of 'challenging' schools?
Why are you giving the most needy schools poorly qualified teaching staff?
Why do you think these schools are challenging?
Do you think young middle class enthusiasm is the best solution to all social ills?
Are there any ethical qualms about challenging schools (or disadvantaged youth ) being used as a leadership stepping stone by those who are (relatively) privileged?
I'm not saying no good ever comes out of this program, frankly I don't know. The premise of Teach first seems worryingly ill conceived.
I did Project Trust, which was sold as a year to be proud of, and though I am proud of some things, my abiding feeling is one of massive conscience ache. When I read over these profiles of how teaching poor kids helped Henry Whatshisface-smythe come up with examples of his leadership skills to get a job at JP morgan, I can't help but feel that it's all just a bit gross.