Friday, 20 November 2009

I'm a Celebrity get me Out of Here

Dear God, have you been watching 'I'm a nobody, keep me in here this week'? Now I am not a fan of reality shows in general. I used to watch the X Factor but when I realised the level of manipulation involved on the part of the production team - you know what I mean - the 'my father died before he could see me on here as it was his dearest wish but I know he's watching from above' type of tugging at the heartstring statement as he/she wipes away a tear, I stopped watching. In the thick of severe depression and the menopause, I'd sit with tears streaming down my face until I realised I was being played for a mug.

I'd laugh like a drain when someone came on and sang like a bag of spanners in a tumble drier and Simon Cowell would put them straight - but my laughter was reserved for those little angels who had been told by mummy and daddy that they were special and then let rip a foul mouth string of abuse at Cowell for telling them the truth. It didn't sit comfortably with me that the other poor hopefuls chasing their dreams got sharp shrift and summarily dismissed. Perhaps it's best they know and find another dream but we seem to have spawned a plethora of Cruelality TV programmes where the criticism is delivered with unqualified glee.

The only show that I'd beat a path back from the pub at speed to see was 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here'. I reckoned that as these celeb's were trying to kick start their careers and get paid and humiliated for the privilege and were adults capable of rational decision, then what the hell, I'd have a laugh at their expense. And that was fine whilst the public voted for characters and not simply out of spite. I can't bear Celebrity for Celebrity sake - the Paris Hilton's, the Katie Price's of this world. If someone can act, sing, dance, and work hard, then great they deserve to achieve success in the bear pit of the arts. If they need to keep their name at the top of the next casting director's list then why not get themselves more air time because there are too many talented actors out of work, too many chasing the same parts. It's a tough ole world out there so good on them I say, although many would say that the rag bag of celeb's that go into the show are pretty devoid of talent but I find it refreshing when you see someone you previously disliked coming up trumps and changing your opinion of them.

But for the love of God, this year's offering has become the 'let's beat the crap out of Katie Price' show. If you read the comments on the articles about the show on the Daily Mail web site then you would think this girl was a paedophile. She has a great many haters who spit venom and vile and keep voting her in to do the bush tucker trials. Anyone who tries to point out the simple truth that to keep voting for her is to continue to supply her with the oxygen of publicity and if they stopped we might get to see some of the other celeb's have a go, gets shot down in flames and red arrowed - nope that wasn't me - I don't bother my arse to comment. As much as I despise the cult of celebrity - and I don't mean the reverence afforded to the great iconic actors, singers, comics and so on that have talent - I am sickened by a demographic of society who behave in the manner of spectators holding their thumbs down as a Christian was thrown to the lions. I know she has courted publicity when it suited her and I know she divides opinion into those who love her and those who hate her. It has been argued enough about how she is iconic to a section of young impressionable people who think they don't have to work hard and just want to be famous. But for all I hate to see column inches about this young woman as frankly she just annoys me, no one could say she got there by not working hard at it. That's the message that doesn't get across to those seeking fame for fame sake.

IACGMOOH has become a ritualistic virtual stoning of a young woman whose life has been spiralling out of control since the breakup of her marriage. We are seeing the public destruction of a celebrity without really realising that she is a person who doesn't always make the right decisions in her life. I know I've made some horrendous decisions in my life but I've been able to lick my wounds in private. I know my life fell apart when relationships have fallen apart but I raged, cried and grieved in private. We all know just how duplicitous and wicked the press can be but we still fall for their tricks and read the papers believing somewhere along the line that there is no smoke without fire and so she becomes a figure of hate. She should have taken herself away and recovered in private but she is a product of her own, her fans'and the press's making with 'Brand Katie' to protect. She clearly went full-on to attempt to win the ratings war against the husband who left her. In her hurt and humiliation and most likely reeling from a broken heart she reverted to her alter ego 'Jordan' and seemed out of control as she blundered from one photo opportunity to another, each one showing her in a worse light than the one before. I mean who of us hasn't lost weight, acquired a new hairdo, and changed our wardrobe in a futile attempt to show the git that dumped us that we've moved on, ready for action and say hey, just look what you lost? In her desperation to wash that man right out of her hair, it seems that Katie went back to her alter ego of the glamour model Jordan, to a time when she was successful before Andre entered her life. She should have moved forward, not back. Doesn't that seem like a poorly advised woman who reverted to type and tried too hard to pretend her heart wasn't broken; the Sod you Mr, I'll show you how little you mean to me when all she really meant was come back and stop the hurt?

Her apparent panic attacks each time she is chosen for a trial didn't ring true to me as she's been in there before and coped admirably with the tasks. But I swing between believing it's an act of public manipulation and then wondering, given the knocks she is taking and the realisation that she is so disliked, if it is hurting her psychologically. Who can really say but although she is an ace manipulator I'd rather err on the side of caution and get her out of there pronto. But the mighty buck rules all and I doubt the producers of this show are too keen to lose their cash cow before the public oust her at the first chance. I find no comfort or laughter any more in seeing her do the trials.

We are known for being a nation that puts people on pedestals and then doing our utmost to knock them down for becoming too grand and full of themselves. Perhaps she deserves a lot of time in the shade but this public show of tearing her limb from limb leaves me distinctly uncomfortable and is bullying at its worst. Her mother and brother were both interviewed on a day time TV programme, saying quite rightly that she was being thrown to the lions. But really, I think their efforts might have been better served nurturing her and advising her not to throw herself into the den in the first place.

I never watched her reality show on TV, I'd rather have my eyes gouged out with a red hot poker but in reading more about her this week than at any other time I found that the general view is she bullied Andre incessantly and that her ego is rampant. She seems to be narcissistic and single minded in achieving her goals but I wonder how much we would find that distasteful were she male? After all, the majority of successful type A personalities run huge corporations and will step on anyone to get to the top - I know, I worked with and was married to one! I knew he would reach the top and he's achieved his dream of holding top positions and lately becoming the Chief Information Officer for a Fortune 500 international travel company that we all know and love. He's quoted regularly in the business press and I always smile when I see a reference to him and avidly read his words of wisdom for he is talented and wily and manipulative and a great orator. He talks up a good storm and is very charismatic. He was also hard to live with, vain, unfaithful and controlling. But that wasn't the whole man. He could be loving and kind and loved to party too, it was just that in time, I only saw the negative and needed my freedom and as I slowly emerged into the nutter I am today, he found his lack of ability to control me as constricting as I found him and so he left me. My point? Yes he had some distasteful traits but that wasn't all of him, and none of us are perfect. Inside Katie Price is someone just like him. She might have set herself up for retaliation but the beatings are severe, quite out of proportion to the crime.

And if anyone wants a real bush tucker trial, just nip over to my old mate Garry's house. The stuff he knocks up would have the lining of your stomach on the floor.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Paper Anniversary

It was our fifth wedding anniversary on the 16th of October. It’s a paper gift kinda anniversary. I hadn’t seen any receipts from Aspreys or the like, no small packages secreted away in Himself’s usual hidey holes so I resigned myself to receiving a toilet roll as a keepsake. Useful I thought, you can never have enough bog roll. Even if you die, someone’s bound to nick it; it will never go to waste. I mean, how many times at work have you done a sprint to the loo in record times that only an Olympic medallist could dream of because you left the call of nature to the last minute and just as you are about to get down to the admin work you realise some light-fingered little toerag has made it away on their toes with the five rolls you saw in there earlier? There is nothing worse than the walk of shame as you shuffle off to another cubicle to remedy your acute distress followed by the need to torture the thieving little git with a shitty stick the next the time you catch them stuffing loo rolls in their oversized designer handbags that should have SWAG printed on the side. So all in all, you can never have too much bog roll I say.

As anniversaries go, it wasn’t all it should have been. Personally, I felt so ill that I should have been on a life support machine but Himself was determined we should go out and celebrate our wondrous union. I argued that being riddled with aches and pains, coughing up a storm and breaking a rib each time was probably going to take the edge off our romantic evening. Shivering like a washing machine on a fast cycle just added to my joy along with a runny nose that was barely contained by a truckload of tissues. I’d have been better off hooking a nosebag over my ears and just letting it run into that. Still, I’ll have the bog roll I thought and so, we reached a compromise and went to the pub up the road. I managed three small glasses of wine, purely medicinal of course, and enjoyed the look on the regulars’ faces as I told them it was swine flu. Hah, you’ve never seen so many backs rapidly disappear since the Great Plague of London. We almost got caught up in the slipstream of hasty exists.

And so it went with a whimper. “Never mind there’s always next year”, I consoled him as I headed off for a hot bath and back to my death bed, too ill to read Frankie Boyle’s autobiography that he’d thoughtfully chosen as my gift, as he knows I love his humour. So what, no bog roll then?

As a husband, Himself is wonderfully attentive and as these last two weeks have trawled by, he has enquired after my health to almost unheard of proportions, so much so, that I mooched off to check that my life assurance policy was still in the filing cabinet and not top-of-the-pile in his briefcase. I needn’t have worried, he still loves me and isn’t ready to dispose of my dismembered body parts quite yet. He was simply making sure I was in the rudest of health for a surprise two day trip to London; a city that I adore and lived in for ten years yet never did the tourist thing. He’s booked a fabulous 4* hotel behind Buckingham Palace, a theatre trip and worked out a wonderfully paced programme of top places to visit. What a catch eh? What a guy. What a totally adorable man.

And so we are off tomorrow morning to just be tourists. I am so excited I could dance, well almost. I can’t be arsed dancing really, never truly felt comfortable doing it. My blood runs cold when I see women dancing barefoot at wedding receptions. The sheer thought of some hefty eejit in stilettos piercing my foot makes me faint. So, as a nod to our wedding day where we didn’t have a ‘first dance’ here’s what himself and me would have looked like if we had. I’m the rotund one. Click here.