Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mad Man

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is Mad Men.

During its 17-month hiatus, a ridiculous number of shows have come along which TV critics everywhere have lazily dubbed "the new Mad Men", because it's also set in the '60s, or also features people wearing suits, or also is a show that is on TV.

But finally, a show has come along that really is "the new Mad Men." What is this show? It's the AMC drama Mad Men.

It returned this week and it was as brilliant as ever. Apart from one scene, which provoked a feminist shake of the head from me.

Sorry Don Draper fans, and I am one of you, but that was rape. Well, it started as rape, but of course it turned out that she wanted it all along. And she didn't actually mean it when she said "No". And "Don't". And "I don't want it". The problem is one that feminist philosophers Rae Langton and Catharine MacKinnon raised about the silencing of women. This scene is a perfect example. It tells us that when women say "No" to sex, they don't mean it. This legitimises rape. She says "No", she says it clearly, she repeats the rejection again and again. But she doesn't mean it, she wants Don Draper because he's Jon Hamm and she's a woman. So when women say "No", they mean "Yes", the confused idiots. That is the silencing of women, and it's dangerous. It might be familiar to you from pornography, but this is Mad Men. That episode was watched by 3.5 million people in the US alone, and it's telling them that "No" doesn't mean "No". I expect sexism from the characters of Mad Men, but not from the show itself.

It's not just the US who are guilty of sexism in their TV shows; the BBC's own 1960's drama White Heat (the new Mad Men) recently caused another feminist shake of the head. Obviously you first have to get past the relentless lingering shots of people staring out of windows and into mirrors. It is a BBC drama after all. Because you're all too important to watch TV, I'll briefly explain the context.

This is Charlotte, played by Claire Foy, the Abi Morgan of acting. She's a feminist.

See? That's in her bedroom. She's a feminist. That's her thing.

This is Jack the uber-creep, played by Brian May, probably.

They are sort of together. But he treats her like shit; he tells everyone, over dinner, that she shaves under her arms; he sleeps with her for the first time, makes a remark about "a bit of uncomplicated sex", slaps her bum and fucks off; he sleeps with her best friend. I told you it was a BBC drama. This is what happens next.

So all it takes for Charlotte - did I mention she was a feminist? - to forgive charm-void Jack is a nibble on the hand and a lazy cliché? In the space of a minute, she goes all gooey about him. Because she's a woman, and as feminist as they claim to be, they still can't say "No" to a man, no matter how much of a dick they are. This show says that you can take the most strident feminist ever, give them a minute with a thing with a penis, and they'll melt like Silly Putty, the silly women.

We deserve better representations of women on our TV screens, not shows that patronise and silence women. The new Mad Men is really good though.

Thank you for reading, I'll leave you with the song by The Hives that this blog is named after, and a slap on the bum. Enjoy!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

People = Shit

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is people.

Do I really have to be more specific? Fine, here's three types of people who need to be retired by a Blade Runner.

3. Imagine you're at a party. That's a surprisingly large stretch of the imagination for some of us. You're there at this party, playing with party poppers and eating Party Rings (and remember, if you're at a party and there are no Party Rings, shout: "What? No Party Rings? I thought this was a FUCKING PARTY!" and storm out.) and you get chatting to someone. You're getting on brilliantly, when the conversation turns to music. "What's your favourite band?" you ask, and they reply: "The Beatles."

What do you do?
A) Punch them, or
B) Punch them.

Now don't get me wrong, The Beatles are great. But how boring would you have to be for your favourite band to be The Beatles? As far as I'm concerned, if you have regular access to the internet, you have no excuse for The Beatles being your favourite band.

Again let me clarify, I have nothing against The Beatles. I could just as easily have said Queen or The Killers. We have an incomprehensibly rich tapestry of music at our fingertips, and your favourite band is Queen? Them who did I Want To Break Free?

Or how about this: Imagine the conversation at the party turns to TV and they tell you that their favourite TV show is Friends. Let me stress that I like Friends. But your favourite TV show? Do you realise there are 5 channels now, at least?

It's this drip-feeding of culture that's the problem; people will just accept whatever is waved in front of them the most. When something is widely popular it's because it casts a wide net. Something that broad can't be anyone's favourite. Your favourite band, or TV show, or film, or whatever, ought to say something about you. If your favourite song is Mr. Brightside, all it says about you is that you're not someone I want to be around.

So seek stuff out, don't just lazily wait for something so bland and diluted to drip through the cracks into your living room.

2. Imagine you're at a party. You've walked away from that boring idiot whose nose is broken because he must have walked into a door or something, and you get talking to someone else; picture someone who is confident with themselves. You're picturing a cunt, aren't you?

People don't like overconfidence, and rightly so, because overconfidence is arrogance. But I didn't tell you to picture someone who was overconfident, just someone who was confident. And you pictured a cunt. Because confident people are cunts.

Confidence is celebrated, while self-consciousness is seen as a bad thing. It should be the other way round; I want to reclaim self-consciousness. Because it's about questioning everything, including yourself. Obviously there's nothing wrong with a bit of confidence, but any more than a drop is bad, like with Nando's Extra Extra Hot Sauce, or heroin.

As the wonderful Bertrand Russell said: "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." We should always be full of doubt. We should be self-conscious and confused. Because who isn't? Idiots.

I've met confident people, and they are impossible to like. I just think: What happened in your life to make you this sure of yourself, and why has no one ever told you to stop being a dick? In fact, "Stop Being A Dick" is practically my mantra. I should get it tattooed on my arm, along with "Write Essay" and "Go To Bed."

1. Imagine you're at a party. Your confident friend didn't think much of your incoherent rambling about reclaiming self-consciousness, and got bored and wandered off to loudly spout bullshit at anyone who'll listen. So you venture into another insufferable room and get into conversation with someone else. It's going great, when the conversation turns inevitably to TV again. "What's your favourite TV show?" you ask, confident that whatever they say, it'll be better than Friends. You are wrong. They reply: "I don't really watch much TV."

You stare at them as if they've said: "I kill people with a screwdriver." You eat a Party Ring to keep from passing out, and ask them why. "I just never have time." That's when you attempt the first ever murder by party popper.

How fucking arrogant do you have to be to "not have time" to watch TV shows? Three things: Firstly, I am hugely doubtful of that claim. What could you possibly do all day and night that makes you not have time to watch TV? Are you a Superhero? Secondly, you make time to watch TV. When you have a choice between watching TV and something else, you watch TV. The same applies to films. Thirdly, when people say this, they feel superior. It's like this, which I've talked about on here before:

What kind of psychopath would choose that over a thousand hours of TV? These smug, self-satisfied psychopaths. Ironically, I'll stop watching TV just to avoid those army adverts.

I'm sorry, I shouldn't be angry at people who don't watch TV or films. I should give them my pity. If you really are so important that you literally don't have time to watch TV shows or films, then I feel genuinely sorry for you. Because you will never be happy. You don't know how to relax and wind down. You're missing out on some truly incredible work. You'll never see Community or 30 Rock or Six Feet Under or American Horror Story or Peep Show or The Thick Of It. Your life is shit.

You walk away from this beacon of smug, as they stand covered in party popper streamers with a baffled expression on their stupid face. You walk home alone and angry, and try to vent by writing a blog which attempts to justify your inadequate way of life; your sheer laziness and lack of confidence. But it's no use, and the blog ends up sneering and nasty. Exhausted, you fall into bed, dreading tomorrow but longing for sleep. And you can't even manage that.

THANKS FOR READING!!!!!!! I'll leave you with the lovely Slipknot song that this blog is named after, enjoy!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Party Politics Part 3: Appleyard With A Vengeance

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. One of those things that I love is the New Statesman. Again.

Today the sun was out, and so were the idiots. There's something about a nice warm day that makes them bash their laptops with their flip-flops in the hope that some semi-coherent Facebook status falls out which points at the sky and notices that "it's sunnyyyyyyyyyyy!"


This is a similar kind of response to those that lazy journalists have whenever secularism comes up in the news. They instantly churn out tired, knee-jerk articles about "militant atheism", with the unfailing, unthinking reaction of Pavlov's dog, complete with salivation.


The worst of these in the wake of Baroness Warsi's recent spewings came from the Telegraph, which argued that Dawkins' ancestors owned slaves and he is therefore EVIL. But even the Independent couldn't resist some Dawkins-dumping, calling him "puffed-up, self-regarding, vain, prickly and militant", before adding, "and that's not a lazy cliché," despite that being exactly what it is.

So, my bleeding brain in hand, I turned to my beloved New Statesman. "The NS is sensible," I thought, "they never fall back on boring hack material." Clearly I'm the biggest idiot of all. This was the front cover:

I didn't realise it was Make Your Respectable Current Affairs Magazine Look Like A Sensationalist Tabloid Day, nor that the new editor was Michael Bay.

Now held in a mental headlock, Bryan Appleyard repeatedly punched me in the face with this article.

He starts by casually mentioning that he was having dinner with three of the foremost writers of our time, and continues to smugly refer back to this Greek meal.

Let's look at some quotes from Appleyard's artidull:

"The talk is genial, friendly and then, suddenly, intense when neo-atheism comes up. Three of us, including both atheists, have suffered abuse at the hands of this cult."

Calling neo-atheism a cult may be superbly clever, particularly when in the dining company of these intellectual giants, but it's not accurate. "Cult" according to

A particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

OK, so does neo-atheism fit this definition? No, quite the opposite in fact; it's a lack of religious worship. And there are no rites or ceremonies, unless you include the annual ritual slaughtering of a Christian, obviously.

"Dawkins, the supreme prophet of neo-atheism..."

Do you see what he did there? He called Dawkins (famous for his lack of religion) a prophet (a religious leader). THIS IS WHAT I FUCKING MEAN.

“Immediately [Dawkins] was out of control, he said, 'Oh, God!'" Warsi recalls, "so even the most self-confessed secular fundamentalist at this moment of need needed to turn to the Almighty. It kind of defeats his own argument that only people who go to church have a faith."

It's hard to know where to start with this drooling piece of cluelessness from everyone's favourite unelected idiot. Using the expression "Oh, God!" is not an admission of religious belief. That's like if Baroness Warsi said "Shit!" and I went, "Ah! So you admit that you need a shit!" Although, she probably does have to vocalise each time she has a bowel movement.

She ploughs on: "Even the most self-confessed secular fundamentalist at this moment of need needed to turn to the Almighty." But a "secular fundamentalist" might well "turn to the Almighty." Obviously Dawkins isn't, but secularists can be religious. What Warsi has done is to confuse secularism with atheism. Appleyard warned against this earlier in the article, but he claimed that, "Neo-atheists often assume that the two are the same thing." Clearly a greater problem is journalists and politicians making this mistake.

But the main point is, "Oh, God!" is an expression, that needn't have philosophical implications. I'm genuinely angry that I have to explain that.

De Botton: "[Dawkins] stands at the head of what can really be called a cult."

It really can't.

"There had always been an anti-religious strain in science..."

One which makes sense if you stop and think about it for just one second between smashing plates.

Fodor now chuckles at the memory. "I said we should write back saying we had no intention of reading his review but we thought it was all wrong anyway."


Fodor: "If you found something with two heads and a horn in the middle you could cook up some story from evolution saying it was just dandy to have two heads with a horn in the middle. It's just sloppy thinking."


"Religion is not going to go away."

I'm with Appleyard on this one, but all this means is that I have no sympathy for claims that "religion is under attack." Religious privilege is under attack, and rightly so, but religious belief can stop acting the victim.

Then Appleyard mentions that they all laughed at a question that Dawkins had asked Hitchens, which brings to mind the thought of them all sitting round their moussakas and pretensiously cackling away at the desperately unfunny like the worst type of dinner party guests.

I know it was Bayswater and not Montreal but considering I just grafted four of the smuggest faces ever onto a picture apparently taken in hell itself, you could give me a break.

Thanks for reading, if I do many more of these sequels I'm going to seriously struggle with puns on fourth and fifth parts of film franchises. This blog is named after a Catch-It Kebabs song, again, and I'll leave you with a different song of theirs, again. Enjoy!