Friday, 25 November 2011

Jordan vs Jo Brand

Graham Norton interview with Jordan

Norton: "But does your mum, or your girlfriends, or do you ever consider that thing that like someday, Junior, Princess -- they'll turn to you, and they'll kind of go 'What the hell were you thinking that you dragged us through this circus? Why didn't you kind of keep us out of the limelight?'"

Price: "They might do, but I've been doing it since I was 17. I don't push 'em in front of the camera. They like it. Harvey's always saying 'Smile at the camera', and he's always following it about. I would never ever ever put them in that situation, but they don't know the difference."

Norton: "But they're kids, they're kids, I mean, you should kind of be making the decision for them."

(Audience claps)

I remember watching this episode at the time and being shocked by what she said. And thinking that what he said in reply was a good way of telling her to look after her damn children without offending her. It doesn't seem quite so shocking watching it again. What I noticed more this time is how clever and hilarious Jo Brand is (of course, I noticed last time too, but watching this with fresh eyes and after reading Caitlin Moran's comments about Jordan, the contrast between the two women's mental capacities seems enormous). "Hey, that's enough of the 'bleating on', thank you very much. Bleating on about children? Yeah, 'cause they're not important. I don't feed mine, they're annoying." More Jo Brands in the world, please. Also, she looks lovely and she seems to have really found her style. I remember seeing her on an episode of QI dressed in 12th century style clothes and they really suited her. She looked like she had stepped right out of a Chaucer tale. It's so nice so see people being different and looking great. Feels like an 'in your face' to the homogenization of, well, everything. Plus, according to wikipedia, she shares my birthday.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Stuff I found interesting after staring at a screen all day

During what technically counts as research for the 4,000 word report on a publishing company I'm supposed to be writing, I came across this little article on Amnesty's website. It's from their magazine in 2006 and is an article by Patrick Stewart (Sir Patrick Stewart now, I think) on his experience of domestic violence as a child and why he supports Amnesty's campaign to end violence against women. I have to say, I was a bit surprised by this - I think subconsciously assumed that famous actors that have got to the 'national treasure' stage must have had perfect lives, with no problems whatsoever, even though consciously, I know that's not true at all. Here's an extract:
"As far as the authorities are concerned there have been great advances - and there needed to be, because as a child I heard police officers in my own home saying 'well, she must have provoked him', and doctors saying 'well, Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight'. Well, they had no idea."
One of the reasons I keep this blog is to have a record of articles I come across that are inspiring or interesting, and I think this one covers both. Patrick Stewart is pretty damn cool.

Also, did you know that today is International Men's Day? I didn't until about 10 o'clock this evening, having spent all day on the computer inbetween doing work and milling around on the internet and not heard anything about it. Why is this event so low profile when International Women's Day seems to be a lot better known? I guess it hasn't had as long to build up a following. Anyway, their aims sound pretty interesting:
  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  • To celebrate men's positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  • To focus on men's health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  • To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
  • To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
Right, I'm off to bed, and hope I can finish off this awful report sometime tomorrow.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

"It's a moral dilemma"

I know my time could perhaps be better spent not reading terrifying articles on the internet, such as this one about honour killing I found through a link from one of my friends, but stories like these remind me that I really do want to do something that makes a difference in the world, and I'm not sure that publishing, if I can even manage to get into it, could ever do that.

I finally had the time to go into the Oxfam shop in Morningside yesterday, and I realised how much I miss volunteering there. Sure, you always get the customers that are real weirdos - inevitably, charity shops tend to attract them. But generally, the vast majority of the customers are friendly, and many are interesting if you can get talking to them. There are lots of reasons that someone might be shopping in a charity shop, and it's always interesting to hear them.

I also loved coming across hidden gems, especially when I was working in the stock room going through new donations. I love coming across books with the previous owner's name written inside the cover. There could be so many stories about that person. What did this book mean to them, how have they lived their life, what have they achieved, and why have they ended up giving this book away? What did it mean to them that it doesn't mean any longer? Pretentious, I know, but I find it fascinating.

And sometimes it was boring, when there was nobody in the shop for an hour and you had nothing much to do, sometimes the people were unfriendly or just busy, but at least it was something to do, and something that was worthwhile. At the moment I sometimes feel that what I'm doing is useless, and that if I wanted to get into publishing in any way, I'd have to move to London and stay there for the rest of my life. And I don't want to live in London. I don't like it and I don't know it. I don't even know where I'll be living next year - that all depends on things I can't control.

The problem is you don't get paid for charity work. So far, I haven't even been qualified enough to get a job in a shop, so who knows what I'll end up doing next year. I feel torn between doing something vocational and doing something worthwhile, and by worthwhile I mean something that makes a difference. Nothing that's worthwhile seems to pay enough, but even for something as seemingly harmless as publishing, I'm always worried that I'm selling my soul. Publishing is for profit. I accept that and I've always known that was part of the deal. What I haven't yet got to grips with is how to reconcile that with my values without selling out.