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Friday, August 29, 2008

The (too much se) X Files

This is rather lovely for a Friday.

Apparently, David Duchovny has gone into "rehab", claiming to be addicted to sex. (Bleurgh. No, really, Duchovny? BLEURGH).
Anyway, the actor's agent asks us to "respect his family" or some such guff at this "private time". What the hell is private about publicly announcing to the world that your client can't control his undercarriage, like a mangy dog with worms?

Anyway I'm with Joan Rivers on sex addiction: "What they mean is, they're addicted to screwing people who aren't their wives"...

'US actor David Duchovny has entered a rehabilitation clinic for sex addiction, his publicist has confirmed.
In a statement released through his lawyer, the X Files star said he had entered the facility "voluntarily".
He added: "I ask for respect and privacy for my wife and children as we deal with this situation as a family."
The 48-year-actor, who has been married since 1997 to actress Tea Leoni, plays sex-obsessed character Hank Moody on the hit TV series Californication.
The couple have two children together.
Cable network Showtime, which broadcasts Californication, released a statement: "All of us at Showtime wish David and his family the best during this very private time."'

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eye for an Eye

Well, thank you very much, NICE. It seems that you've finally "decided" that it's a wee bit unfair to offer sight-saving drugs to people in Scotland on the NHS, while allowing people in England and Wales to go blind, forbidden access to the most up-to-date (and therefore prohibitively expensive) AMD drugs. "We'll give you the treatment after you've already gone blind. Seems logical to me," you said.

This is the kind of fucking blood-vessel-burstingly upsetting nonsense that sick people in England have to deal with all the time, of course, despite the fact that taxpayers in this country heavily subsidise the vastly superior NHS treatment available to the Scottish people, who repay us not with gratitude but by...erm.... hating us.

Still, AMD sufferers in this country might just get a fair deal now, and that is a good thing. It's just a fucking shame for all those people who've already GONE blind in one or more eye, isn't it? Because let me tell you, they're REALLY NOT VERY FUCKING HAPPY TODAY.

Now let's see if Gordon's government can come up with an even VAGUELY logical or sane reason why Scottish people are given their higher education for free, while the rest of us have to pay for it...

'All patients in England suffering from a disease which causes blindness are to get access to a sight-saving drug.
Lucentis treats wet age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of sight loss in the country.
The drug is already available in Scotland, while Wales and Northern Ireland have said they will fund it.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) had originally said patients should wait until they went blind in one eye.
The suggestion, made last summer, caused an outcry from campaigners and doctors, prompting a U-turn by the NHS advisory body in December.'

Stupid White Men

"If any middle class white male I come across says he wants to enter television, I say 'give up all hope'. They've no chance."

So says Jeremy Paxman, internationally famous political journalist and television presenter, who hosts the anchor, prime-time current affairs show Newsnight on the BBC. His salary in this role is over £800,000 per annum.

In his spare time, Mr Paxman hosts the long-running, much-syndicated programme University Challenge, which goes out weekly in a prime-time spot, also on the BBC. For this, he receives in the region of £240,000 per annum, the equivalent of £7,741 per show.

Jeremy Paxman is a white middle-class male.

'Jeremy Paxman, the veteran presenter of BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight, has rounded on the corporation's apparent prejudice against white, middle-class males. The grand inquisitor made his remarks at the Edinburgh Television Festival when he disputed claims that it is an industry dominated by men - and pointed to a string of powerful female executives.

"Do I think it's a man's world in television? That is the most ridiculous question I have been asked all week," he said. "The worst thing you can be in this industry is a middle-class white male. If any middle-class white male I come across says he wants to enter television I say 'Give up all hope'. They've no chance."

Paxman named Jana Bennett, the director of BBC television, and Jay Hunt, the controller of BBC One, as examples. However, his apparent contradiction of former BBC Director General Greg Dyke's remark that the BBC was "hideously white", has not impressed fellow broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, who was once told by a producer on Stephen Fry's show QI that there were so few women on the programme because "there just aren't any intelligent women out there".

"He lists women because he couldn't possibly name all the men in positions of power in TV because he would be there all bloody day," she says. "He talks about middle-class white men being a beleaguered species on television. Well, excuse me, but... look at the Today programme, Have I Got News for You, Newsnight. It seems to me that TV is a fantastic place for middle-class white males."'

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prison: like rehab, only cheaper!

I opted some months back to refrain from comment upon the activities of the mangy, cretinous little crack hound that married Amy Winehouse, or the self-indulgent and deluded torrent of effluent that seems to pour forth, in a neverending fashion, from both his parents and hers, but I felt moved to draw your attention to this....

Georgette Fielder Civil - the mother, or possibly step-mother of the rat-faced husband - was in the paper at the weekend, to tell us that Amy Winehouse should be in jail instead of snorting coke in public view in Camden pubs (I bet the landlord of The Monarch was overjoyed when s/he picked up the News of the Screws and read about that...).

Now, 'Amy Winehouse does coke' is clearly of virtually no interest to anyone. This remark, on the other hand, was rather revealing:

'Mother-of-three Georgette, 45, told how she was overjoyed after visiting Blake for the first time in his new Category C prison near Newmarket on Sunday.
She revealed: “Blake’s been given his own room with an ensuite shower.
“He also has a TV, CD player and a shelf full of books in his room.
“He even has his own key so he can lock himself in if he wants privacy.'

So what you're saying, Mrs Civil, is that prison is a great place to send your irresponsible wanker offspring for an all-mod-cons little spell at rehab (we'll overlook the fact that the nasty, grubby little c**t is actually in there for nearly KILLING a man)...?
Prison 'works' because it is plush and clean, and because drug-addled fuckwits like your son get the best medical treatment available, but best of all, because it comes out of the taxpayers pocket rather than out of your own?

Friday, August 22, 2008

A quick lesson, because I only plan on saying this once.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are often grouped together with other dog breeds under the 'Pit Bull' moniker.
In the media, the term is vague and may include - alongside the English and American Pit Bull Terrier - other breeds with similar physical characteristics, such as the Perro de Presa Canario, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Alano Espanol, Japanese Tosa, Dogue de Bordeaux, Cordoba Fighting Dog, Bull Terrier, Antebellum Bulldog, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, American Bulldog, Boxer, Valley Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Renascence Bulldogge, and Banter Bulldogge.

These breeds are rarely listed by name in breed-specific legislation, but they are sometimes included when the term is defined broadly and based on physical appearance.

In shelters worldwide, Pit Bulls or dogs that appear to be Pit Bulls comprise a large portion of the shelter's population and may be destroyed due to the stigma associated with the breed (or because of overcrowding). In the UK alone, it is estimated that over 100,000 Staffordshire Bull Terriers are killed every year.

Where a dog is genuinely dangerous and aggressive in its behaviour, it is almost always the fault of the dog's owners - staffies, along with other bull terrier types, are unfortunately very popular among people who do not behave as responsible dog owners, and who are specifically looking for dogs with aggressive characteristics to enhance their own 'image'.

It is those owners' lack of proper socialization and training of their dogs that is most likely to result in a dog with aggressive tendencies. Under the care of an overly-permissive or uneducated owner, with a lack of proper exercise and a poor diet, 'Pit Bulls' can become dangerous dogs - as can ANY BREED of dog when mistreated. Indeed, only this week it was reported in the newspaper that a rottweiler was killed after attacking a child. It was reported that the dog's actions were a result of it being 'a dangerous dog that never should have been sold'. Only later in the report are we told that the dog had received NO EXERCISE at all for 5 MONTHS. Who's at fault there: an intrinsically 'dangerous' animal, or a completely irresponsible and cruel owner? The owner of the dog that was put down was not, in that instance or indeed in many others like it, punished or even held to be responsible.

As a result of ignorance, a lack of preventative action and widespread misinformation around these facts, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a target of breed bans. This mistaken belief that staffies are dangerous dogs is, as stated earlier, due to many people branding Staffordshires under the same name as pit bull type dogs. The German government tried to ban the breed in September 2000 across the EU, but were stopped by representatives from the British Kennel Club.

Since the 12th of August 1991, Pit Bulls - 'Specific breeds and similar cross-breeds' - have been the subject of a ban under the Dangerous Dogs Act:

'The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a piece of UK legislation that was introduced in response to various incidents of serious injury or death resulting from attacks by aggressive and uncontrolled dogs, particularly on children. These incidents received heavy tabloid attention, causing widespread public concern over the keeping of dangerous dogs and a resulting legislative response.

Under the 1991 Act (and as amended in 1997) it is illegal to own any Specially Controlled Dogs without specific exemption from a court. The dogs have to be muzzled and kept on a leash in public, they must be registered and insured, neutered, tattooed and receive microchip implants. The Act also bans the breeding, sale and exchange of these dogs, even if they are on the Index of Exempted Dogs.[1]

Four types in particular were identified by the Act:

Pit Bull Terrier (a description which has led to some confusion, as the "Pit bull" is not a breed in and of itself but encompasses a range of breeds)
Japanese Tosa
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brasileiro
The Act also cover cross breeds of the above four types of dog. Dangerous dogs are classified by 'type', not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is prohibited under the Act will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited 'type'. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court.'

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are, in fact, extremely good natured, non-aggressive and social animals by their nature, with a natural intelligence and great affinity with humans. It is known to have a character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. This, coupled with its affection for its friends, and children in particular, its off-duty quietness and trustworthy stability, makes it a foremost all-purpose dog. It is one of only two breeds named as 'Good with Children' in their breed standard by the UK Kennel Club, from over 190 breeds. It is THE ONLY BREED OF DOG that has been classified as 'Totally Reliable' in it's breed standard.

Here endeth the lesson.

Asda - bunch of twats

'A children's book by Dame Jacqueline Wilson is to be altered after parents complained it was inappropriate.
Publisher Random House says it received three complaints about a vulgar term used in My Sister Jodie, which is aimed at children aged 10 and over.
In future editions, the offending word will be altered by one letter and replaced with "twit".
Dame Jacqueline, creator of Tracy Beaker and a former Children's Laureate, has sold more than 30m books. She is known for tackling gritty social subjects such as teenage pregancy, domestic violence and failed suicides.
The decision to alter the text came after supermarket chain Asda announced it would stop selling the book.
Their move followed a complaint from one shopper in Stanley, County Durham.'

I've long been fascinated by the work of the silverhaired elf that is Ms Wilson. I think she's a very clever lady and she's undeniably one of the country's most popular writer for kids, but her books ARE a wee bit ridiculous and unrelenting in their 'kids in care, mums with tattoos' motif. It illustrates very well how fascinated children are with 'dark' themes in their literature: almost as well as Roald Dahl's books, in which there's barely a single parent who isn't dead and a child who isn't orphaned and horribly mistreated (and, in some cases, is forced to take themselves off and live in a peach as a result).

However, I digress. The fact that Asda were planning on dropping one of Jacqueline Wilson's books from stock because it contained the word TWAT, while happily -and agressively - pushing sausages that cost 2 pence each, that are singlehandedly helping to destroy the British pork industry and that are made of substances unfit for human consumption strikes me as the worst kind of hypocrisy.

"We'll act as guardians for your children's psychological and moral welfare, but we'll feed them virtually inedible shit that will one day kill them. Every little helps! Oh no, hang on, that's not us".

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The World, according to Max Clifford

Jade Goody is a not-especially-interesting woman from Bermondsey who appeared on a reality television show a few years back.
Having been demonised for the entire duration of the original show ("Kill the Pig" was, I believe, one particularly glorious Lord of the Flies-esque Sun headline) for being working class and lacking intelligence (her type are allowed on telly, you understand, but only if we can perform the televisual equivalent of poking sticks at them through the railings), she was latterly 'taken to the nation's bosom' after the News of the Screws' finest sobered up and realised that they might've gone too far.

Fast forward a few years, Jade's done alright for herself: she's found a lucrative niche putting her name to a rags-to-riches autobiography and selling the obligatory weight loss DVDs, alongside featuring in yet more reality television nonsense where she parades her stupidity and perceived lack of social grace for the public's entertainment, in a modern take on the Victorian freak show. She's got a couple of kids, a big house and all is going far better than she'd ever hoped.

Riding the wave of - if not affection - then certainly the public's bemused tolerance, Jade returns to the reality television format that made her 'name' (it brought serious cash, after all, if dubious public merit) and during yet another interminable run of 'Big Brother', took part in a little bit of light afternoon bullying against another grubby, fame-hungry glass-eyed contestant.
Unfortunately for the unsuspecting Jade - whose inane and preposterous public utterings had, up until that point, brought her nothing but pitying applause, a "gawd luv er" pat on the head and a banana - the ringleader of the nasty little bitching trio of which she was part - one Danielle Lloyd - was, while an utter guttersnipe, younger and considerably more attractive than Jade was, and not quite so unforgiveably and uncompromisingly 'common', despite making a living as a tit model. A scapegoat was needed and Jade, too successful for anyone's comfort by this point, was never going to come out of it well.
Oh, and to make matters far worse, the 'victim' in this case was Indian, and therefore Ms Goody's typically ill-thought-out jealousy-induce 'popadum' comments, fit only for a 1970s playground, were taken by the press to be a transgression of modern social values akin to that of Robert Mugabe's.

Jade's fall from grace was perceived, then, to be complete and irreversible. Jade herself didn't quite understand what she'd done wrong (let's face it, she'd done nothing differently) but she figured that she'd enjoyed the barely-earned fame and riches while they lasted.

But, people, Jade had one very powerful tool at her disposal, one that will never accept surrender, even in the face of unsurmountable odds, and/or Kerry Katona: step forward, Mr Max Clifford.
Nobody but nobody, rises to a challenge quite like Max Clifford. The man could publicly rehabilitate Stalin, given half a chance and the collusion of the tabloid press.

This week, Max scored the best - and truly the most tasteless - coup of his career. Knowing as he does that there's nothing the public loves more than a sob story, Max has apparently used Jade Goody's cancer diagnosis to shoehorn the poor cow back into the hearts and affections of the bovine-like British nation. Cancer, in celebrity world, is the trump card that beats every hand going: where once you were a filthy degenerate scrubber, suddenly you are 'vulnerable' and 'brave'.
As if that weren't perfect enough, the carefully stage-managed setting and manner of the relevation were positively fucking taoist in their circular perfection: Jade Goody apparently 'learned' that she had cancer, on the INDIAN VERSION of the same reality television programme that both made and broke her. Front page sympathies all round.

Max Clifford: You truly are an evil genius, adrift in a cynical world without anything approaching a moral compass. I would salute you, really I would, but I really, really don't want to.

'FRIENDS of cancer-stricken Big Brother star Jade Goody told of her terror last night.
Jade, 27, was said to be “very upset and frightened” as she flew home to London.
The reality star arrived at Heathrow in tears after the flight from Mumbai where she discovered her cancer bombshell during India’s BB-style TV show.
Jade, who returned for cervical cancer treatment, sobbed: “I don’t want this.”
Earlier her publicist Max Clifford said: “She’s very upset and frightened as you can imagine.
“The most important thing is to get Jade back and get her with the right people so they can take care of her.”

Jade had tests at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Essex, earlier this month after mysteriously collapsing four times.
She was given the diagnosis in a call from her doctor in the Bigg Boss Diary Room on Monday, as we reported yesterday. In footage obtained by The Sun, she is seen running into the main house to tell contestants that she had been given “bad news”.
Jade sobbed: “I have cancer. It is bad, needs urgent treatment. I immediately need to go home.” Jade then packed her bags before leaving the house. The scene was shown with her permission.

She knew there was “a strong chance” she had cancer before flying to India — but said she needed the £100,000 show fee to support her two sons.
Before entering the house, she said: “I have to pay my bills. And if I do face cancer, I need to make sure I can support the boys.”
She even offered to go back on the show after surgery. Jade wanted to make amends for alleged racist jibes at Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity BB in 2007.
Jade had been on Bigg Boss — hosted by Shilpa — for just a day.

Sun readers left messages of support for Jade on our online forums.'