Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last tune played on my iTunes of 2006: 'And This Day (Revisited) by The Fall.


Hmmm, the sounds of sporadic explosions outside suggests that whatever my plans for this evening, going to sleep before half past midnight shouldn't be one of them...

Happy new year folks!

The Everpresent Now.

(Warning, spoiler for early episodes of season three of Battlestar Galactica)

If you've watched Lost you've seen it. If you're watching Heroes you're seeing it. I suspect that Twenty-Four may use that but I've never watched an episode since the first season ended (although I know enough to say 'dust to dust and fun to funky, we know Major Jack's a junkie!'). Continuity is a pain in the neck for TV shows. They would be happy if they don't have to worry about what happens in week 13 when writing and producing week 14. But continuity is in. If a viewer is expected to give up an hour of their time to watch some crummy show they generally like to feel that if they do this more than once they get more out of the experience than someone who only does it once. But that takes effort.

Shows that can't be bothered tend to operate in the Everpresent Now. Rather than the forty-five minutes being a self-enclosed little world it's that episode and the preceeding two or three that matter. Anything before that gets forgotten. It's then less obvious that nothing else has happened in the episode other than making some glasses for the redneck. Or, take Heroes . I'm currently about six episodes in. The slightly sleazy politician is still refusing to accept that he has the ability to fly, despite doing it at the end of the first episode or a few episodes later. This is because it didn't happen in the Everpresent Now but instead the Forgotten Past and thusly, never happened at all. Battlestar Galactica doesn't tend to fall into this trap in quite the same way, it instead consigns whole plot-threads that might have been active as recently as last week to The Forgotten Past only to return them to The Everpresent Now several weeks later. The wherabouts of Little Baby Hera was of paramount importance to Xena the Cylon during the Occupation and, by it's end, she'd got her claws on the little tyke. Hera is then not even mentioned for about six episodes, not even in some "hey, what did you do with baby Hera?" "Oh I gave her to the Cylon Granny Service", aside. But BSG scores over the other shows by not filling it's episodes with self-contained and often fairly pointless quests. More on this tomorrow maybe, when I've had time to think this through some more.

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Creepy Lesbo brings us Jesus's Christmas.

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The view from Baghdad Burning on the execution of Saddam Hussein:

Why make things worse by insisting on Saddam's execution now? Who gains if they hang Saddam? Iran, naturally, but who else? There is a real fear that this execution will be the final blow that will shatter Iraq. Some Sunni and Shia tribes have threatened to arm their members against the Americans if Saddam is executed. Iraqis in general are watching closely to see what happens next, and quietly preparing for the worst.

This is because now, Saddam no longer represents himself or his regime. Through the constant insistence of American war propaganda, Saddam is now representative of all Sunni Arabs (never mind most of his government were Shia). The Americans, through their speeches and news articles and Iraqi Puppets, have made it very clear that they consider him to personify Sunni Arab resistance to the occupation. Basically, with this execution, what the Americans are saying is "Look- Sunni Arabs- this is your man, we all know this. We're hanging him- he symbolizes you." And make no mistake about it, this trial and verdict and execution are 100% American. Some of the actors were Iraqi enough, but the production, direction and montage was pure Hollywood (though low-budget, if you ask me).


Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights... Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue.

Is the American soldier that died today in Anbar more important than a cousin I have who was shot last month on the night of his engagement to a woman he's wanted to marry for the last six years? I don't think so.

Just because Americans die in smaller numbers, it doesn't make them more significant, does it?

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The Sun report that Saddam Hussein is dead with the gloating 'Iraq butcher sent to hell'. It wouldn't surprise me if NewsCorp actually have a foreign correspondent down there filing an exclusive report... In other 'unpleasant dictator' news, Fidel is looking rather peeky too.

The Independent and the Daily Mail both report on the New Years Honours, the day after Hussein was hung we find out that John Scarlett, who wrote the tissue of lies or 'dodgy dosier' with which Tony Blair made his fallacious case for invading Iraq, has been knighted. So who says crime doesn't pay?

There's an article in The Observer on diaries and those who keep them. I've kept a journal since September 1994, when I went to university, it's part of the reason I don't treat either this blog or my LJ as straight diaries either. This article does at least reassure me as to the mundanity of my recollections, as Samuel Pepys and Bart Simpson know, what seems normal today will baffle and amaze the people of the future, so presuming the Quiverfulls don't kill everyone first we may all have some fame after our deaths.

I received Michael Palin's first set of diaries for Christmas and am about halfway through. As he observes himself, there is next to nothing about Monty Python's early years in there, it only starts cropping up with any regularity when they've reached the third series, started to make the Monty Python films, touring the stage show, making the album and bickering about making the TV show until they aren't any more. It goes to show that we will never know what may be important down the line, I did realise the 11th of September 2001 was going to cause trouble for someone somewhere, although at the time I don't think I realised the scale of the ambitions of Bush and Blair for global change. A quick flick through the diary for 2005 doesn't reveal much of the depression that I remember as being the key thing about last year, someone who read it not knowing me might have been a bit surprised when I wrote in January this year that I was seeing a counsellor about it. Still, when I came round to compiling a list of things I'd done or experienced in 2006 that made me happy I came up with twenty things but it took me all day to remember them, and that was without looking at my diary, so who knows what's happened that never makes it in to the pages.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bonny Jock Hussein is deed and gow'n. Still, it's not as though there was a serious danger of his death making things worse in Iraq.

The ethically ill celebrate the news.

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Friday, December 29, 2006



Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Government's ID Cards schemes might be falling apart around them but they struggle on regardless, with claims of it being a voluntary scheme buried in the dim and distant past with the careers of Blunkett and Clarke, we now have the fines you can expect if any of the data is incorrect. I wonder who gets the blame if any of the biometric data doesn't work?

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Weird National Rifle Association comic (evil, evil PDF). Everyone's a victim these days. Apparently the national association for shooting people is actually dirt-poor simple folk that just can't afford the litigation that the International Zionist Conspiracy shadowy forces are using to take away their guns in court. Hmmm, has Charlton Heston died yet?

[via BoingBoing]

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas one and all!

Tony Versus Paul.


Current Affairs

No ifs, no buts.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Season's greetings from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to sell honours openly and use the money to complement the National Lottery's good causes. To make them accessible to all we suggest a starting price of a pound a peerage.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

A neat little video that shows you the scale of various planets and stars. If you know someone that's into astronomy then they should enjoy this clip.


Sadie and the Heckler

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Blairwatch point out that when unsourced allegations appear in the press it's normally collusion between the Government and Murdoch's rag. So claiming that an immigrant who wasn't chucked out of the country because his nation of birth is a mess escaped justice by leaving the country wearing a niqab and was unchallenged at the airport, really covers all The Sun's favourite bases but as yet has no basis in provable fact. Not that that concerns The Sun at all, they're now campaigning against the veil on the usual 'if you've done nothing wrong you've got nothing to hide' grounds.

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Does Tony Blair want to start another war before he leaves power?

"It puts the lotion in the basket..." Latest suspect in Suffolk Strangler case was apparently 'a cross-dresser'.

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Lembit Opik is in that most unusual of positions for a Liberal Democrat MP, he's threatening to become interesting. He worries that the planet doesn't have any protection from meteorites crashing in to us, he was going to marry an ITV weathergirl and has swapped her for one of the Cheeky Girls instead. There are questions about whether he's done a Blunkett and used his influence to get her a visa to stay in the country but that's quite obviously nonsense, he's a Lib Dem, he doesn't have any influence.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Also in the Mail, sloppy journalism ahoy with Indian silver medalist female runner fails gender test. Yet it seems that she actually passed, as she has a gender.

Girl woken from coma by James Blunt song. Poor girl, so the brain damage is confirmed then.

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The Daily Mail have excelled themselves. They've discovered who is responsible for the murders in Ipswich and have named the guilty parties here.

I don't know how the Daily Mail can claim that drugs are bad when A.N. Wilson was clearly on crack when he wrote this?

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Over in Camden Library users are demanding the council spend more of the library budget on books.

Alan Templeton, chairman of Camden Library Users Group (CPLUG), told its annual meeting at Belsize Library that in the past year just under £380,000 is estimated to have been spent on books, out of the borough’s estimated £7.6 million libraries budget. Mr Templeton said: "Camden spent five per cent of its budget on books – the national average is nine per cent."

the best quote though, which should win some award, is the next paragraph:

"Almost 21 per cent of Camden’s budget goes on support services but what are they? We don’t know. Something is very wrong there and we need to take it further. There’s a possibility of transferring money from support services."

Obviously, if Mr Templeton doesn't know what something is then it can be shut down with no adverse effect on the service.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

What Happens To Your Body If You Drink A Coke Right Now?. Fucking crickey! And I bought a can of Coke this morning... [via Link Machine Go]

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Note the new strapline.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Little Disappointment: Torchwood.

I think I fancy Owen.

Girls and boys having sex is boring and for children. Do something adult for blimey’s sake.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Soy makes you gay.

And fat.

And a woman.

In fact, soy makes you a gay, fat woman."

If only there were some evidence to prove people were gay, fat or women before the widespread use of soy in food...

[via Tranniefesto]

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Monday, December 11, 2006


Spoilers for both series of the new Doctor Who and all episodes of Torchwood broadcast to date.

It's rather irritating that Torchwood has insisted on being so variable in quality after I tried to be so positive about it's first night of shows. But, other than the odd glimmer here and there and a couple of decent-ish episodes, it has remained stubbornly half-arsed and humdrum, looking like a village panto version of Doctor Who, rather than a real show by the same people.

Some blamed must be laid at the feet of Russell T Davies. A watching of the episodes that he has written for Doctor Who show someone who is wildly inconsistent when it comes to quality of plot (see the 'running around Number 10' that takes up most of World War III or the badly thought-out anti-vivisection parallel in New Earth) but peerless when it comes to emotional content (see The Parting of the Ways, the Lady Cassandra subplot of New Earth or Doomsday for the parting of the Doctor and Rose). So it's not that surprising that what he's brought to Torchwood, in terms of deciding on the premise of the show isn't that well thought out. Torchwood is, as we are repeatedly told, ultra top secret, at one point Captain Jack Harkness can be heard phoning the prime minister to give him a ticking off for telling the Leader of the Opposition that Torchwood exists. So, why do the Torchwood team drive around in vans with 'Torchwood' written on the side, order pizzas to be delivered to 'Torchwood' (although Owen admits this is a stupid thing to do), tell anyone in earshot when they arrive at a crime scene that they are Torchwood and apparently have computer files that can be hacked so that (as seen in the latest episode Invisible Eugene) members of the public even know their names. They have a base under the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, so presumably under the large body of water in Cardiff Bay as well, which must feel safe, considering there's any number of dangerous aliens around and any number of dangerous items they're playing with at any time. It's good to know that if they were playing with a power source and it were to explode, they could guarantee taking most of central Cardiff with them. It all looks cool, but breaks down under five seconds of serious thought. Indeed so much so that you have to assume that the production team would say, if challenged, that it's 'only a TV show' or is just meant as a bit of escapism. The usual excuses for this kind of thing.

Once the first few scripts started rolling in, these problems should have become apparent. But it seems that no one talks to one another, certainly no one talks to the scriptwriters and tells them what one another are doing, so they can make changes accordingly. Take Ianto Jones. For the first few episodes he's fairly suave, non-descript and discreet, acting more like a butler to the rest of the team. Come the episode Cyberwoman and he's suddenly a stuttering bag of nerves, first smuggling in a scientist to try and save his girlfriend who was half-Cybertised in the Cyberman invasion of London at the end of season two of Doctor Who and then threatening the lives of the other members of Torchwood when that all goes wrong. The next episode, Small Worlds goes by without any mention of Ianto, but the next episode, Countrycide, written by Cyberwoman writer Chris Chibnall, Ianto is now all moody and depressed whenever he sees anyone having any fun, and has to remind everyone that his girlfriend was killed although, quite fairly, they are rather insensitive discussing relationships around him. The following week? All is well. In the first week we have a gauntlet that brings people back from the dead for all of thirty seconds. At the end of the episode it's locked up and must not be used again. It's then forgotten about for another seven episodes before it becomes the lynchpin in a very convoluted plot based around it having properties we never saw in the pilot and a character having completely different motivations.

Character, ah yes. In Doctor Who Captain Jack Harkness, played by John Barrowman, was irrepressible and full of life, flirting with anything that had a pulse and the first openly bisexual character in Doctor Who. In Torchwood he's mostly dour and very much all business, and also immortal. We don't know whether this is due to Rose bringing him back from the dead in The Parting of the Ways or involved in some way with his getting from their back to here, we don't know how long that takes him (the one episode so far that deals with Jack's past puts him in India some time prior to the Second World War, whether that was pre-Doctor as a Time Agent or whether perhaps he overshot between Doctor Who and Torchwood and has made his way through the centuries has not been explained yet). When writers remember they do give him snappy lines but most of the characteristics that make him him are absent. In one of the early episodes Gwen talks to the others about Jack and there's speculation from them that he's gay and that he flirts with anyone. Nine episodes in and we haven't seen him show any interest in anyone, male or female. It took him about thirty seconds of being in the same room with the Doctor and Rose.

As for the others, on one level the problem is that the scripts often call for them to be really stupid. In episode one we find out that Doctor Owen Harper orders pizza to be delivered to Torchwood's secret base. He, Toshiko Sato and Suzie Costello make a habit of taking alien artefacts home to experiment with them. In Greeks Bearing Gifts Tosh is given an alien machine that allows her to read minds but spends the episode worrying about what her team-mates think about her than about the woman who gave it to her. In episode two, when Gwen starts snogging a woman that the team know is possessed by an alien energy force (released by the team due to their bungling) they spend a while watching the hot girl-on-girl action before strolling unconcerned down to the Torchwood cells to pull them off one another. Gwen Cooper, played by Eve Myles, is the Everywoman character, a policewoman who Jack recruits mainly, it seems, because the drug they use in episode one (but which again is never mentioned again until episode eight) to wipe people's memories fails on her. It's hard to define what qualities she brings to the team. Toshiko Sato, Naoko Mori, was last seen dissecting the fake pig-alien in Aliens of London, turns out she's the sexually repressed computer genius of the team. In Small Worlds she autopsies a body proving, I suppose, that medical things aren't her strong point as afterwards Gwen, from several feet away, notices the victim's throat is stuffed with rose petals. Ianto Jones, Gareth David-Lloyd, doesn't get to do much before his big plot arc involving his girlfriend with the tin-tits. After that they let him out of the office and he starts to loosen up when allowed to run around on location with guns but otherwise wooden but polite is how he'd be described. And then there's Doctor Owen Harper, played by Burn Gorman. He's also an Everyman character, in the sense that he's the kind of character that's not above using the devices he finds for his own advantage if it suggests himself. In the first episode he has a deodorant that makes him irresistible to others, using it first to get a girlfriend for the night then, when her boyfriend objects, to make him make love not war as well. This has led some to characterise him as a date-rapist and certainly most of the rest of the time he's a sleazy, lazy toe rag who doesn't appear to like anyone else much. In Ghost Machine he suddenly swings to becoming an urban vigilante, determined to punish an old man who, through the power of another alien device, he sees raping and killing a woman some half a century previously.

Every serial story ever made will have episodes based around individuals making mistakes or acting out of character, when Torchwood relies on almost every episode having some character break the rules or do something that belies their supposedly being an expert in their field it attacks the integrity of the show. At the moment Torchwood-Cardiff look like a very slipshod operation.

Torchwood is shown later in the evening than Doctor Who and aimed at an older audience. You can tell this because there's swearing, sex and occasionally slightly more graphic violence. However, none of the stories as yet have shown the intelligence of the better Doctor Who episodes, or the warmth. Before the series aired we were told by Russell T. Davies that all the characters would have a same-sex kiss at some point and that sexuality would be treated by the show as being more fluid than on DW. So far we've had Gwen seduced by an alien in Day One and Tosh seduced by an alien in Greeks Bearing Gifts. Of those only the former was completely gratuitous. On the male side only Owen has done the deed so far, to avoid a pummelling from the aforementioned boyfriend of the woman he used the Lynx effect to get. So there we have male-male sexuality used for comic relief. Then there's this, tucked away on one of the several sites based around this show. At the end of They Keep Killing Suzie there's a very odd exchange between Ianto and Jack about meeting up in Jack's office to play with a stopwatch that Ianto has. No mention of this has been made in the subsequent episode but this web page would have us believe that Jack and Ianto spend time flirting by IM after a busy day clearing up the messes their colleagues make in Cardiff and the surrounding area. Whether any of this makes it to screen before the end of the series is anyone's guess.

However, compare this to Doctor Who, a 'kids show' for all the family. Although Captain Jack is initially played more lecherously by the end of the series there's the famous kiss of Rose and then the Doctor to say goodbye. We have the whole thing with Rose meeting her Dad and then telling her Mum about it, then sacrificing herself to become the Bad Wolf and save the Doctor ("I wanted you to be safe... My Doctor") then him doing the same to save her, then the whole second series but especially School Reunion, The Satan Pit and Doomsday about the two of them being split up and what they mean to one another. Torchwood strives but so far has failed to meet that emotional depth, it's difficult to care when Owen feels the pain of the woman who's raped and killed because he's an unsympathetic character who in the previous week used alien drugs to coerce other women to sleep with him. The most blatant tug at the heartstrings was last night's Invisible Eugene which is, in many ways, an attempt to replicate Love and Monsters from the second series of DW. In both stories we move away from our core cast to follow the story of someone on the periphery, someone who's been touched for better or worse by the life our main characters lead. In Love and Monsters this is Elton and, what starts as a comic story about the misadventures of him and a group of mismatched individuals trying to track down the Doctor becomes tragic as he discovers the role the Doctor played in his life when he was young and strangely life-affirming, as Elton says: "the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better." In Invisible Eugene a character who, despite having been able to hack Torchwood files so as to know the names of all the team and yet not get one of Ianto's memory-wiping pills in his breakfast, dies yet hangs around as an invisible ghost to watch as Gwen slowly figures out the circumstances behind his demise. Here the tugging on our heartstrings becomes obvious and therefore fails. Without any warning at all Gwen, who is shown at the start of the series to have a nice, dependable boyfriend, suddenly embarks on an affair with Owen mid-season. It's so sudden and out of nowhere that you have to wonder whether Owen has got his hands on the love-spray again whilst similarly everyone seems to have forgotten that Gwen has a boyfriend, he's not even mentioned.

Torchwood is being broadcast on BBC3, along with such shows as Tittybangbang and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and seems to be aiming to be Hollyoaks in Wales, with aliens.

The show is not completely without promise. Ghost World is actually a pretty good story if you accept Owen's sudden burst of humanity. Small Worlds is a story of a little girl and her imaginary friends who, surprise, surprise, turn out to not be imaginary. Unfortunately the character of the little girl is so irritating that you soon start wishing for things to happen, some nice people get murdered and by the end of it Torchwood achieve absolutely nothing and wouldn't have made any difference if they'd spent the episode in HQ wit their feet up. Countrycide is genuinely unsettling and ramps up the tension quite nicely, although it goes a little awry in the last few minutes. In They Keep Killing Suzie a case the team are working on leads to Suzie Costello, a team member who went rogue in the first episode, threatening to kill Gwen and shooting Jack in the head before killing herself because she hates what working for Torchwood has done to her and sees no way to escape. Only now it turns out that she had everything planned to hypnotise someone to start killing people in a way to attract Torchwood's attention so they'd use a gauntlet they'd found to reanimate Suzie, she programmed the gauntlet to suck the life energy from one of the team to completely reanimate her and... It requires a real leap of faith to accept such a ridiculously intricate means to escape Torchwood when it seems they have difficulty tracking what their team members are up to outside of the lab. Invisible Eugene is unforgivable, a cast of misfits who are given to strange utterances because the scriptwriter has no idea how to advance the story. When Eugene's Dad suddenly starts singing 'Danny Boy' at Eugene's funeral we're supposed to think that this is some emotional breakthrough moment as he ran out on the family when Eugene was twelve. Instead, we just wonder quite why he's started singing and whether anyone else is going to stop him or join in. At the end Gwen is crossing a road along which a car is driving. For absolutely no reason at all Eugene suddenly becomes solid and is able to push her out of the way and save her. For a few seconds everyone is able to see Eugene before he flies up in to the sky and we follow him away from the UK, then the world, then the screen goes white. Unfortunately this whole episode would appear to contradict the previous week when Suzie told Jack that there's nothing but darkness after you die and there's something hungry out there that's coming for him.

The special effects and prosthetic work is being done by the same people that do DW so depending on what you think of that TW is equally as good or bad. The theme music is rather annoying as, for the credits, it appears to be the same ten seconds looped for about two minutes.

I don't know what the viewing figures are for Torchwood but it would appear that Robin Hood has enough to warrant a second season and TW has the added disadvantage of being on a digital channel, even if it's repeated midweek on BBC2. But unless the last three episodes pull something pretty damn special out of their collective backsides no one will mourn if it disappears into the ether and is never seen again.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Lesbian pulp fiction covers retouched to include Janeway and Seven from Star Trek: Voyager.

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Pills and Potions

Pills and Potions
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

Yes, this is my life now. Well, almost...

For some time now, I'm not sure how long, I've been having problems with my digestive system. I've been gradually giving up various different types of fruit and veg because I assumed they were what was giving me wind. But despite giving things up any relief was short-lived. My maternal grandmother and my Mum had or have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or thought they did, so I wondered if that was my problem too. Of course, I didn't do anything as dynamic as go to the doctors to ask about how one gets tested for IBS, if I dealt with my problems rather than worry about them what would I do when I'd sorted them out? What would I write about here?

During the summer my parents had been referred to a Natural Health Clinic over the other side of the town they live near. They'd been checked out and analysed and poked and prodded and now were on various regimen for various food allergies and gaps in their diet. Seeing as they are in their late fifties and their diets have been fairly consistent for around thirty years they did feel they were better after just three or four months on these pills. So, when they suggested it I decided to give it a try.

The Clinic uses the 'Bio Energetic Stress Test'. In lay-persons terms this basically means prodding your hand with a metal stick while you hold a metal rod in the other. This supposedly allows them to test your body for foods it is allergic or intolerent to along with the various vitamins and minerals your body is deficient in.

It was pretty painful really.

It ended up with me being told I didn't have IBS. However, I was intolerent to dairy products. Not all of them, but I was told to give up 'soft' dairy products, milk, yoghurts, ice creams. Ever since I was a child I was brought up to drink milk, even nowadays I probably drinked more milk than I did tea or water. It was also suggested that I give up any products with wheat in them, not permanently, but just for a fortnight. And what has my breakfast been for best part of this year? Weetabix, with milk. While I was sceptical about Alternative Therapies and the kind of treatments peddled by these places, the simple act of switching my milk use to non-dairy and my breakfast to a non-wheat cereal has relieved a lot of pressure in my stomach. I was told that I didn't need to give up cheese but I'm wondering whether the twinges I'm still getting are due to that. I'm thinking of giving that up for a few days as well and see if my problems go away.

I'm also on a number of supplements for dietary deficiencies. Supposedly my stomach isn't particularly good at digesting the food I eat (presumably because it can't handle the milk and yoghurts I've been consuming that buggers it up when it tries other foods) so they are there to encourage my stomach to start working more, if that works then I should feel more energetic and less tired. During the process the technician/clinician/poke-r asked me whether I had problems with depression. When I replied that I had it turned out the electrical wossname in my brain was low, which would result in me having low moods. She recommended I eat more oily fish and/or take omega 3, 6 and 9 supplements.

So, where are we now? Well, as I said above, cutting dairy and wheat (as best I can) out of my diet has made me feel better. I am intending to reintroduce wheat back into my diet after my fortnight quarentine is over, trying to go wheat-free is a pain, wheat-free bread is mainly dry and unappetising. However, looking at having less of it is a possibility and my mother and I are considering whether fresh bread from a bakery would be better for us than the pre-processed junk on the shelves in the supermarket. And I'll wait to see if the other stuff stops me feeling so tired, so low, or seeing the fairies that tell me to take a high-velocity rifle up to the roof of the town hall and let loose.

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Complaints Choir of Birmingham


Complaint choirs of the world.


Is anyone surprised that the Daily Telegraph misrepresent the Civil Partnerships Act as a 'gay marriage' bill so they can use scarequotes throughout this article on how evangelical Anglican churches around the UK are barring liberal priests from entering them in the row over gay clergy who are apparently all 'marrying' their boyfriends?

They also have an article on what BBC bosses of the time thought about Monty Python's Flying Circus. Mind you, these people didn't see anything wrong with The Black and White Minstrel Show.

It seems Scientology is a charity in the UK, not a religion.

The Sun find it newsworthy to report that there may one day be a Muslim Prime Minister. This has the predictable effect on the paper's constituency, lots of references to Churchill rolling in his grave and 'Enoch was right', 'hopeless1974' says This country is already being run by those not from it. The current government as always only gives a dam about themselves. So why not throw the country to the non-English and the muslims, let's hope that when they take over they give hopeless some spelling and grammar tips. More ignorance is on display at The Sun's message boards. I'm confused by these people that claim that Britain is already a Muslim state, but then I suspect that they are the ones that also think the country is run by a female-Jewish-homosexual cabal whenever someone is foolish enough to ask them for their ill thought out opinion.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Happy days are here again?

Are they going to go look for the gay gene AGAIN?

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"Death to Fanatics!"

Tony Blair decides on a policy of intolerance towards the intolerant.

"Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain, Britain. Conform to it; or don't come here. We don't want the hate-mongers, whatever their race, religion or creed,"... "I think it is great that in British politics today no mainstream party plays the race card."

Faith schools are to be required to abide by guidelines on teaching tolerance and respect for other faiths, and will be encouraged to twin with schools from different religions.

Phew, I'm sure that now no-one will worry about faith schools.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Wow, this film looks like it's going to be worth watching, presuming you like something full of lies and misinformation about the way the world works.

The Monstrous Regiment of Women, The Gunn brother’s second documentary, goes all out to demolish the feminist worldview. From a consistently Christian perspective, they will show how feminism has had a devastating impact on the church, state, and family.

So that's one out of three things to be concerned about.

[via Feministing]

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The American Family Association call on it's usual coterie of busy-body, homophobic, Christianist fanatics to write to someone or other to insist that the Muslim who was elected to Congress last month swear his oath of office on the Bible, not the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

Ri-i-i-i-ight. Reminds me of:

Daily Show - Glenn Beck and Keith Ellison

Just because a group of voters were stupid enough not to be bigotted there's no reason why the rest of the United States should let it's guard down.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tender Tory Love

Tender Tory Love
Originally uploaded by Loz Flowers.

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Another week, another article in the Daily Mail telling women to quit all their jobs and get back in the kitchen.

Quite simply, women are preprogrammed to feel dependent on men. Even today women may be richer and enjoy all the trappings of success but, deep down in their psyche, they fear they can't survive alone... Happiest of all were women whose husbands brought in at least two-thirds of the household income, regardless of how much they helped with domestic chores. In short I suspect women will never feel truly comfortable earning more than their men. The need to rely on a man is driven by such a deep-seated biological urge, I cannot see it ever being eradicated completely.

So what about lesbians then? Or m-to-f transsexuals that are sexually attracted to other females? Oh sorry, it's the Daily Mail so it's junk science from a world that bears no relationship to the one we live in.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nirpal Dhaliwal - Watch Part Nine.

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight.

The Lizpal Joniwal soap opera goes on. And on...

In LizJonesWorld, we discover that Nirpal has been screwing around again. And that every day he finds new ways to make Liz's life hell.

In which I stab him with a pen and make him cry ; Liz Jones's diary
The Mail on Sunday (London); Oct 15, 2006; LIZ JONES; p. 138

After I had read the email from Daphne arranging to meet in New York, and he had told me he just wanted to apologise to her for dumping her in the way he had, I still didn't believe him. I screamed at him and punched him on the leg. I tried to hit him with one of his awful trainers, and I stabbed him with a pen. He tried to hold my wrists and I threatened to call the police. I told him that he had betrayed me, had schemed against me, had known full well that if he contacted her again I would throw him out. 'I am not going,' he said. 'We can work through this.' I asked him how he could contact her when I had taken him back at Christmas, we had just moved into the new house and my mum was sick. He had promised he would never contact her again but he did, in the most duplicitous way.

We fought and he cried. He got down on his knees, tears whooshing out of his eyes, his lashes all spiky and stuck together, and begged me not to throw him out. 'I love you, I need you,' he sobbed. I told him that if he loved me he wouldn't scheme against me, and that I had no reason to have him in my life.

I told him I was sick to death of his evil looks and his silences, and that I had told my mum when she was staying with us that I couldn't stand him any longer. I was so angry that at about 1am I phoned his mother. She was drowsy and could hear from my voice something was wrong, but she still tried to wish me happy birthday. I gave him the phone and made him tell her what he had done. It got to 4am and I was so exhausted that I wanted to go to sleep. And so we slept.

The next morning I made him log on to his secret email account (Emine had warned me that he would just get craftier and set up another email account, but I had told her he would never do that). There they were, about ten emails from Daphne. She mostly wrote about trying to get a new job, how she hasn't been well, about her new boyfriend, whom she is thinking of moving in with.

They discussed meeting in London. She told him she would have to ask her boyfriend first; she asked if he had told his wife that they were back in contact and he admitted he hadn't. His emails to her made me want to vomit.

'It was so great to hear your voice' he wrote. In another he sounded all concerned about her job, her health. One said, 'I know I talk a lot of rubbish but I get kinda nervous around you.' 'How old are you?' I spat at him. 'Twelve?' She mentioned thinking about having children.

'Did you talk about having a baby with her?' 'Only in a very flip way. I told her if we had a kid together it would be very cute.' He had once said exactly the same thing to me.

So, I told him, you were scheming to get back with her. You lied, again, last night.

'I was thinking about it, I suppose,' he said.

'Didn't you realise how I'd feel if you betrayed me again? That the person I loved most hated me and wanted to harm me?' He didn't have an explanation.

He just said he had been an idiot. He told me that he would change, that we could go into counselling (when have I heard this before?), that he would die without me. He even told me that when he had gone to see Daphne in London just before Christmas, she had been with her friend Emma, and that he had tried to find out her friend's phone number so that he could cheat with her behind Daphne's back.

I told him I had given him three opportunities to leave me and be with her.

That I don't need him, that I am perfectly happy with just my work and my cats. That he walks around our gorgeous house as if he is in a concentration camp. I told him that no sane, reasonable woman with any self-respect would ever have him. I told him I no longer love him nor even like him. I told him that Daphne is welcome to him.

Liz Jones's diary
The Mail on Sunday (London); Oct 22, 2006; LIZ JONES; p. 98

I decided to hack into his secret email accountto read every word he and Daphne had sent each other

I find out he thinks about Daphne every single day So, two days later, I flew to New York for the fashion shows. He called me as soon as I got into the taxi to the airport, and we were still talking when I stood in line to check in. He told me that Daphne didn't mean anything to him, then or now. That he had been a jerk.

That he wanted to change.

I got to my room at the Soho Grand feeling about 100 years old, and logged on to see if he had emailed me. He hadn't. He phoned the next morning, though, and again begged me for forgiveness. I even started to think I had overreacted; after all, he hadn't actually met up with her. We started to talk about going to India, as planned, in four weeks' time. That day, I booked a Brazilian and leg wax, hair tint, pedicure and triple oxygen facial so that I would look my best when I flew home. Will I never learn?

Anyway, on Monday night, after a long day at the shows, I logged on to my computer. I suppose I was bored because my Frasier box sets wouldn't work on the hotel room's DVD player. I decided to hack into his secret email account to read every word he and Daphne had sent each other it wasn't hard, his password was Daphne. Here is the first one he sent her Dear Daphne, How are you? I've wanted to ask you that for so long. I hope you're well and that things are going great for you. You have no idea how much I've missed you.

You must think I'm an a***hole and you'd be right. I am so sorry for cutting things off between us the way I did in December. But my life was so confused and things were so f**ked up that I didn't know how else to deal with the situation. That's not much of an excuse, I know. I am still with Liz. Life is going well right now, but I think about you pretty much every day, and whenever I do I get sad. I've been hoping I'd forget, but I haven't. So I guess I had to get in touch. I know you might not reply, but I really hope you do. Please let me know how you're doing. And forgive me. nx Dear Nirpal, It is really good to hear from you. And I am not upset with you.

I get it, I understand you had to break off contact in fact I think it was the only thing you could have done to get yourself back again. You seemed very confused and not content with yourself at a time when you really should be happyand I always thought that you needed to at least give your relationship with Liz a real try not run away from it all. I was in London not long ago and stayed with Emma, whom you met.

When we went for a walk, we popped into a bookstore and I saw your book on sale, and I was so proud of you. I thought about you and was very sad that I couldn't just call you to say hi and congratulations so I am happy that you got in touch now. All is good at this enda lot of things have happened over the past six months. I met someone who is moving in with me but I am having doubts about him and am wondering if this is really it. He's a great, great guy British actually and loves me a lot, but I don't seem to be able to let him in. Maybe with time. Then I have been feeling out of sorts healthwise, which is strange for me; it meant not working out as much any more. I have no reason to be unhappy in any way, yet something seems to be amiss. Take good care Nirpal, big hug, Daphne.

There are some more vomit-inducing emails, and she tells him she is about to come to London, so he sends this Dear Daphne, Would you have time to sneak off and have a coffee with me while you're in London? nx To be continued

LIZ JONES'S DIARY In which he continues to call me 'my old mum' ; Even though he is supposed to be on his best behaviour, he is still intensely annoying
The Mail on Sunday (London); Nov 5, 2006; LIZ JONES; p. 114

...To be honest, even though he is supposed to be on his best behaviour, he has still, over the past seven days, managed to be intensely annoying. He still tries to belittle me, and calls me 'my old mum'. He keeps grabbing my tummy and saying, 'You won't find that on Nicole Richie,' which is mildly amusing the first couple of times, but at about the 50th wears a little thin. At the same time, it is hard and pathetic to admit it but there is a large part of me that worries about what will happen if he does leave. I will pad about my perfect house wiping paw prints off the cat flap, with only reruns of Sex and the City for company. My friends all tell me I will meet someone else but I know I won't. The other week, at a colleague's leaving party, a man I had always found attractive started talking to me. Later, Kerry came over excitedly and told me she was sure he was flirting with me. 'He so wasn't,' I told her. 'He said, "Come on, Liz, when were you born the 60s or the 50s?"' 'Oh dear,' she said sadly. 'But that doesn't mean you should stay with Nirps.

He doesn't make you happy, and he never has. He will cheat on you again. And then you will look up and it will be too late.'

Liz Jones's diary ; In which we 'celebrate' our wedding anniversary: I think I am partly responsible for creating such a monster baby, who behaves like a giant flatmate rather than a supportive husband
The Mail on Sunday (London); Nov 12, 2006; LIZ JONES; p. 106

My main topic for discussion this week: is it worth staying married to my husband just because he is a very reliable cat sitter?

Well, tomorrow is our fourth wedding anniversary. Most people look back on their married lives with fondness, but can you blame me for thinking that the past four years have been something of an endurance test, with little joy or respite?

Perhaps we just bring out the worst in each other I am sure he doesn't tell Daphne that she is chubby, or that he thinks of her as his second mum.

I think I am partly responsible for creating such a monster baby, who behaves like a giant flatmate rather than a caring, loving, supportive, helpful-in-the-kitchen husband.

But we are still, miraculously, together. Don't ask me how, or why. I do genuinely believe that my husband loves me, but I don't think he is capable of making me happy, or me him for that matter. And although I know I would be better off on my own, there is something inside me that is quite enjoying having 'man trouble'. I've never had man trouble before, or torrid affairs, or one night stands. My whole life, until I met my husband, when I was already hovering perilously close to 40, had been an emotional desert, filled only with work and weird cleaning rituals and much loved pets.

Who else in the Western world has only slept with four men? And I only did it with two of those men a handful of times. I think I only slept with the Osama Bin Laden lookalike a grand total of twice. What is wrong with me? Why does nobody love me or desire me?

Why, still, when I move us into a Georgian minimalist heaven, with a sports car parked right outside and a plasma TV on the wall and a lovely wardrobe with his and hers sides and gorgeous handprinted wallpaper from Timorous Beasties winding its way up the stairs and four gorgeous fur babies, does he still want to cheat on me?

Why? Why? I haven't let myself go. I still separate my eyelashes with a pin and condition my hair every day with Kiehl's Coconut Hair Conditioner. I pay for everything. I drive. I am interesting. I am funny. I am not young, though, and I suppose there is nothing I can do about that.

By the way, I had an awful time at the fashion shows in Paris. For a start, the lift had mirrors, which meant I caught sight of myself at least twice a day. Argh! I was so depressed at the sight of my face the huge crevasses that run down from each side of my nose, the circles under my eyes that no amount of Touche Eclat can disguise, the regrowth at my scalp because I have not been within striking distance of my colourist. Staying young and dewy is so much hard work. I am sure Daphne never feels the need to wear makeup. I am sure she lets him see her with her top off. Oh God. What is to become of us?

Tomorrow, we are off to India for two weeks for a walking holiday in the Himalayas. I am not looking forward to it. I hate walking. I don't like holidays because a) I worry about the cats, and b) I live in fear of not being able to pay the bill at checkout time (believe me, this has happened on more than one occasion; the cheque to pay for our wedding didn't bounce only because NatWest took pity on me). This holiday is meant to be about us just being together, with no phones, no emails, no work, no Daphne, no telly, no box sets of Frasier. I am anxious not only about my bikini line sprouting unexpectedly, but also that we will have nothing to say to each other. Wish me luck.

In which he makes me cry on our romantic break
The Mail on Sunday (London); Nov 26, 2006; LIZ JONES; p. 154

After walking for five days through the pine forests of northern India, we arrived at our cabin in the mountains. The trek had been arduous I had read somewhere that muscles are supposed to have memory, but mine seemed to have forgotten their mid-80s aerobics classes. Also, what with my huge dark glasses and walking stick, my husband said it was like being on holiday with Roy Orbison not quite the look I was trying to achieve. Ah well. At last I was able to lie on a proper bed and look at the view of the Himalayas and the millions of stars and the crescent moon peeking over K2.

'Isn't this the most beautiful place on earth?' I asked him. I noticed he was wearing his wet nappy face, and I remembered that earlier in the day he had refused to hold my hand or help me to cross a stream. 'You obviously hate walking,' he said. 'You're not remotely interested in India. Whenever the guide tried to explain something, you looked blank. I've been on holiday in India with other people who didn't speak a word of Hindi and they were much more fun to be with than you are.' I was so shocked I could barely speak.

'Yes, I know that you have been in India with someone who was far more fun to be with than me,' I said, referring to Daphne. 'Why did you insist we still go on this holiday? Why didn't you just leave on my birthday when I asked you to? You were the one who wanted to work through this. I knew you would do this to me. You have ruined my holiday.' I told him I hate the way he is always judging me, and that nothing I do ever seems good enough. To be honest, I had found the first few days bewildering I had seen a baby just left on a hot pavement in Delhi, and an old blind woman begging in a market and yet he hadn't tried to reassure me with a hug, or to share the experience with me. He had just chatted to the guide in Hindi, and when I asked what they were saying he ignored me. I was always lagging behind, and so by the time I caught up I had missed what the guide was saying. I am slightly deaf and need to look at people's faces when they speak to me. You would think after four years of marriage my husband would know this by now, but apparently not. I sobbed and sobbed. All I wanted was to be home with my pussies, in a hot, oily bath...

So, there we have it. If only Liz had a spine then Nirpal would be in trouble. He, for his part, acknowledges that he'd been unfaithful,

I've cheated again, but this time I'm sorry ; CITY LIVES
Evening Standard (London); Oct 11, 2006; NIRPAL DHALIWAL; p. 39

SIENNA Miller was on the record last weekend saying "monogamy is overrated".

That might be so, but it's nowhere near as overrated as infidelity. I've poked fun at monogamy, but now I've found out the hard way that cheating is useless and self-destructive.

I was busted (again) by my wife not long ago, when she read an email from a lady I was arranging a liaison with. I'd been a sneaky underhanded mutt and set up a secret email account for my shenanigans.

However, the lady in question had decided to cc this particular message to my regular email account, which my wife can see.

She quite rightly hit the roof.

Having used up all my excuses the last time I was caught out, and having promised not to be unfaithful again, there was nothing to do but face the music.

I hung my head and admitted that I'm a selfish, stupid jerk. Confronted by the wholly undeserved pain I was causing my wife, I had to face up to what an idiot I am. My wife was devastated and I literally had to beg for forgiveness, which I don't think I'll ever get. For the first time, I recognised the complete shabbiness of my behaviour.

I'd been a conniving, deceitful adolescent, who ' d given everyone the runaround: my wife, the other woman and, as a consequence, her boyfriend, too. Like a teenager, I paid more attention to getting my kicks than I did to the inevitable fallout.

Kingsley Amis regarded leaving his wife as an act of violence, towards both himself and her.

Infidelity is the same. It causes so much pain all round that it has to be considered a form of self-harm and aggression. It's a mindless act of vandalism. Rather than being adult and intelligent and talking to my wife about our issues, I cut myself off from her.

As my wife, she had a right to know what was going through my mind in order to know where she stood with me. Yet I never told her, and sneaked off behind her back instead. Even when people fall in love in with someone other than their partner (which I didn't), their other half deserves to know the situation rather than be messed around.

When previously I maintained that men are biologically prone to infidelity, it was just self-justifying guff.

If I can resist the masculine urge to punch a guy I have a problem with, why can't I resist the urge to pursue a woman who comes onto me? It's the same testosterone-driven thing.

Cheating, like fighting, provides a childish egotistical thrill of conquest. I was a sucker for wanting it.

Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. I know I haven't been the best husband in the world, but I can't have been the worst either. My wife's smart enough to have got shot of me long ago if I really were nothing but a worthless dirt-bag. I don't know if she and I will go the distance, but I do love her. However long we last, I'm determined to act like a grownup for the duration.

However, a month later and Nirpal is back to show who's boss in the battle of the sexes:

Marital spat that made a fool of me ; CITY LIVES
Evening Standard (London); Nov 15, 2006; NIRPAL DHALIWAL; p. 37

I ROWED with the missus last night. We were in the bar of the Electric Cinema, and she was gushing about Zadie Smith, having bonded with her during the movie we'd just seen (Woody Allen's Manhattan). I was already in a foul mood, having suffered a ghastly film about nerdy New York saps making boring conversation, and she was prattling on in the way that women do when they think they've made yet another new best friend.

She kept bugging me to go and say hello to Zadie, who wanted to meet me even though I keep writing about how lame she is. I couldn't be bothered. But the wife kept banging on, and I eventually told her to shut up.

She got all stroppy about it. I couldn't be bothered with that either so walked out on her. Sitting in the car, I figured it was too bastardly to drive off alone (seeing as it's her car) and sent her a text saying I was waiting outside.

I've gone soft. A while back I'd have left, picked up some pals and gone drinking, leaving her to fret about my whereabouts.

"Damn, how has she made me so weak, so unmanned?"

I waited over half an hour, with no sign of her. I then drove home to find she'd sneakily taken a cab back and had bolted me out of the house. I was left standing in the cold, ruing my mistake in giving her some consideration.

When making gestures of defiance, you have to nail a woman hard.

Kindness is weakness.

"I must not be kind, kindness is the dick-killer, kindness is the tiny death that brings moral oblivion."

I generally don't argue with women.

I think we've come full circle to where NDW started...

It's a wholly undignified thing for a man to do.

Whereas cheating on someone you've made a commitment to is the very pinacle of dignity.

It only proves he's let her get under his skin and affect his state of mind. There's nothing a woman loves more than knowing she's inside a guy's head, where she can then start making his decisions for him.

The basic difference between the sexes is that while women are mad, men are stupid. For us to bring the little intelligence we have to bear, it's vital that we retain our composure. I generally maintain a benign indifference to my wife's attempts to argue.

I've even plugged my ears and continued reading while she's screamed at me for "destroying her life" as she likes to put it.

Those wacky women and their funny little concerns about having their feelings of self-worth erased.

Smart guys keep their cool, quietly totting up the grievances they have with a woman and balancing the scorecard at an opportune moment. A girl I was once seeing finally got too annoying for me while we were walking through a shopping mall. I let her walk on ahead, then ducked down a side street and out of her life forever.

A lot of men I've known have a similar attitude. They grin and bear their partner's irritating ways, while getting their own back by screwing around on the sly. Women who congratulate themselves for finding a man who's patient with their neuroticism and neediness should be warned: inside the quiet, stoic facade, he's smiling about the girl whose salad he tossed out on Saturday night.

Rowing is a waste of time. Nothing ever gets solved by it. I'm still miffed with myself for getting riled up at the Electric. Losing my rag, and then feeling guilty about it, only gave my wife the chance to make a fool of me.

Silence is golden but women just don't get that
Evening Standard (London); Nov 29, 2006; NIRPAL DHALIWAL; p. 37

A FEMALE psychiatrist has proved that women talk three times as much as men. Dr Louann Brizendine's book, The Female Mind, states that women's brains have far more cells devoted to talking, and that the act of speaking triggers a hormonal rush that gives them a chemical high.

Science has finally confirmed what men have always known: women get off on the sound of their own voice.

A lot of women will say the disparity in words spoken exists only because women have to say everything at least three times before a man takes any notice of it. There's some truth in that. I have a friend who deliberately delays the completion of a domestic task - eg paying a bill - by 24 hours whenever his girlfriend commands him to do it.

Wilfully ignoring the edicts of women not only helps a man maintain his self-respect, it compels the woman to perform the duties herself.

And after all, that's what women are for, right?

Biology is also definitely behind it. Every woman I've spent significant time with - my wife, mother, girlfriends and acquaintances - has shown a physical inability to stay quiet. Women maintain an extraordinary running commentary on their lives.

Every banal activity comes with a soundtrack of asides and observations.

When my wife cleans the kitchen, she has to tell whoever's unfortunate enough to be around the exact state of every shelf in the fridge, and describes her meetings with friends with exhausting "he said, she said" monologues, recounting every uninteresting detail. But she's no different to any woman.

Women are only shy retiring wallflowers until you start going steady with them. Then they talk your brain to sleep.

Does the inane chatter get on our nerves? Luckily, we have developed the ability to tune it out. Dr Brizendine says that testosterone reduces the part of the brain that deals with hearing. This enables men to go deaf, even when women are presenting the most logical arguments. I often go into this mode, particularly when I'm being told what a lazy, cheating scumbag I am.

My wife understands that I no longer respond to verbal instructions or warnings, and instead emails me her demands, and hands me detailed, annotated shopping lists that I subsequently leave at home.

Gay men are the only guys who can really listen to women. I don't know if it's being gay that enables this, or whether it's actually hearing what women have to say that makes them decide to be gay. Any honest gay man will tell you about the inordinate-bitching that women indulge in, and the late-night calls and endless never- resolved whining they subject him to.

Women complain about men's inability to join in chitchat, but men know that reticence is their most powerful weapon in the battle of the sexes. Just as nature abhors a vacuum, women cannot bear a silence.

When their pathological need for conversation is met with impassive male indifference, it drives them wild. A taciturn man will turn a woman's head into a cauldron of anxiety. Not knowing what her man is thinking, she will imagine every worst-case scenario and endeavour to keep him happy.

The more a woman talks, the more she lets men know how much of a sucker she really is for the silent treatment.

The Liz'n'Nirps show. I hope The League of Gentlemen are reading and taking notes.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

I was going to talk about my bowels but sadly I don't have time right now. We shall return to this at some point in the future. I'm sure you're keen for that.

Now Shrubya seems to be all confused that things aren't going his way. Firstly the media isn't playing along with his game any more (and I know Patrick will pop up and claim that the American media always hated Shrubya and has always tried to screw up his devious plans for eeeeevil but I'm going to ignore that, he doesn't know how supine the American media is compared to the UK media) and is calling a spade a civil war, and now Congress isn't allowing him to have someone who doesn't believe in the right of the UN to exist as the US ambassador to the UN. And he really doesn't know what to do. People are disagreeing with him and now have the power to do something about it! Oh noooooooes! He clearly doesn't know what to do, "I am deeply disappointed that a handful of United States Senators prevented Ambassador Bolton from receiving the up or down vote he deserved in the Senate,". Of course, he's not had to worry about people having differing opinions to him over the last six years. Welcome back to reality Mr President!

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Oh no, the Nigerian scammers have emigrated!

From my inbox: I am Sabrina Gold an attorney at Law and the official receiver in charge of administering the funds from the sale of the assets of the bankruptcy estate of Sphere Energy, United Kingdom . By virtue of my position as the trustee of the bankruptcy estate, I have processed the claims of all the creditors and also issued out cheques for their claims. However, a certain surplus amounting to about Fifteen Million Seven Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling is yet to be disbursed out. To this end, I am seeking your assistance to transfer about Ten Million British Pounds Sterling to share in the ratio of 50:50 percent. I would require your full names, physical address, telephone and fax numbers to facilitate the preparation of the necessary paperwork that will legitimize your claims and further lead to the release of the said funds(Ten Million British Pounds Sterling) to your account for us. Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
Sabrina Gold Esq.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Hello again my beautiful children. These are the words of your saviour. Read them. Devour them. Then go out and seek bloody beauty. Oh yes.

Things have been a-changin' recently and, like most of my blog buddies I've been going through some ennui and dissatisfaction. I've had a fairly fallow period in the last month or so in cultural terms, never did get round to seeing Children of Men while I'm hoping to find some time to see Pan's Labyrinth. The books I'm reading at the moment don't particularly inspire me to write about them or their themes (I'm currently slogging through The Shape of Things to Come by Greil Marcus and finding it not as fun as his mighty Lipstick Traces). I may try and write a post at some point to explain why I spent around four days depressed after reading A Christmas Carol but I suspect that would just depress me more.

I did take advantage of the weak American economy to get ahold of Alan Moore's Lost Girls but was eventually unimpressed. Moore's script is all right but I just did not enjoy the artwork of his partner Melinda Gebbie at all. The vast majority of her panels come off as flat and don't give any sense of depth at all, so much so that I'm still in two minds about whether it's actually supposed to look like that or whether it's some clever metatextual commentary on the one-dimensional nature of characters in pornography. But all the characters, with the exception of the plump Monsieur Rougeur, seem to be cut from the same body template, quite often it's only the hair colour that distinguishes between the three main characters, despite the fact that Dorothy is in her late teens, Wendy her late thirties and Alice somewhere past fifty.

Televisionwise I'm finding Heroes to be entertaining and fun, after a strangely unengaging pilot. It's great to see a show that can support a large cast, even if it means that individual stories run as slowly as a typical episode of Lost . I'm only up to the fourth or fifth episode so am hoping that as I watch the rest and catch up that we'll actually get some backstory and explanation for exactly what is going on, that we're not in for another Lost -style 'going round in circles'-jerk. But of course it's Battlestar Galactica that is front and centre in my affections at the moment. For the first and early parts of the second season I was insistent that there needed to be an overarching plan for the entire show or else it would be rubbish. Since then it's become obvious that they are making things up as they go along and, strangely, I'm prefering that. The free-form approach does have some drawbacks, namely in those middle-block standalone episodes, but I'm coming to realise that having a five year or seven year show bible that details exactly what happens when is no more a guarantee of good stuff than doing it on the fly. For more BSG-related discussion, check out the Read Less, More BSG vlog. Show-related critique and gender theory through fluffy animals.

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Friday, December 01, 2006

There is no 'special relationship'. This is apparently news.

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Hi Dave!

Normal behaviour will resume shortly. In the meantime, let me distract you with beautiful images of flames.


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