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Work, porn, Mary Whitehouse

So I'm sitting at work, compulsively hitting the refresh button on LJ, muttering "entertain me, you bastards" but alas, you're all sitting on your fat pumpkin pie-fed arses watching fine TV marathons or worshipping Mammon in the many voluminous malls of your fine country, being all thankful and shit, and us poor former evil oppressors are working

Do you have NO consideration?


It has come to my attention that when it gets to the point where you consider work as an inconvenient interruption to your internet surfing, it's probably time to be moving jobs.

Accordingly, next week I move to my new job. Four days a week, 11-7 (save for Saturdays), four grand pay rise, unionised workplace. What with the recession and everything, that should restore the "holy shit I could get *sacked*" frisson which I usually associate with work, and which makes me work harder. This is of the good I think.

This really has been the long goodbye though. If I can possibly avoid working three months notice when I leave my next job (which will be in just under three years time, if I stick to the pattern) I will. Happily, people I am not keen on are off next week, thus avoiding excruciatingly insincere professions of regret and mutual lurve.

* * *

The distinctly Frohike-ish plumber did not turn up again this morning. Second day running I have had to get up at 7am because he was supposedly coming round to fix the new bathroom before the frost buggers up the walls for good, second day he hasn't turned up. It's no joke getting up at 7am when you finish work at one.

I talked to the man who came round to refix the skirtings after the damp course about this (hasn't turned up on one occasion, phoned to cancel on the other) and he said that they were all freakishly busy and could afford to turn down work.

In my next life, I shall be a plumber. I will charge the earth, come and go as I please and have arse cleavage you could park a Harley in.

* * *

Mary Whitehouse died today at the age of 91. For those of you in the US, she was the president of the National Viewers and Listeners Association, a loose collection of god-botherers and quote-chasers who bravely watched all the depraved TV in the world for us, so that they could complain loudly about how it warped our fragile little minds and we wouldn't be allowed to watch it.

Amid that collection of prurient weasels, I always had a sneaking admiration for Mary Whitehouse, who was a battleaxe of genuine convictions by God, and stood up despite being roundly mocked (I suspect that if she'd lived in the US she would have been a superstar and considerably more powerful. Here she had an alternative comedy show named after her, in ironic tribute)

In the news obit, Bernard Manning -- a hideous comedian who was one of her favourite targets because of his sexually explicit, sexist jokes -- said: "She'll be sadly missed, I imagine, but not by me"

Which is possibly one of the most brilliant quotes ever, if a bit cruel.

Actually, I am starting to wish she was still around complaining, because late-night TV on Channel Five grows ever more pornographic. Yesterday night as I was waiting for Farscape on Sci Fi, I surfed onto Channel 5 briefly, and saw a show about how the European Convention on Human Rights now makes it legal to make and sell hardcore porn in Britain.

They were interviewing some scrofulous porn-maker called Phil McCavity (ho ho ho) about his series of "humorous" flicks called "Truck Fuck". He obviously thought he was a debonair sex god, whereas he was in fact a polyester-clad, priapic minger with a hand-held camera and delusions of Scorsese.

And I thought "where the fork is Mary Whitehouse when you need her to complain?" *g*

There's a lot of this stuff lately. Last Friday there was a thing about a discipline pub quiz, whereby if you get an answer wrong, you get paddled on the arse by a gimp, under the direction of Mistress Pain. Only the British could combine bondage and pub quizzes. No wonder the French treat us like social lepers.

I'm not saying that anyone should not do this, if they want to. Consenting adults and all that. It's just that I don't want to see it on unscrambled TV channels.

I know that the answer is "switch off" but it's kind of mesmerising when you're killing time. You wonder what awful specimen of humanity will show off their nipple piercings next or what hideously banal thing they will spout.

In the end though, you have to switch over or resign yourself to scrubbing out your brain pan with Domestos.

* * *

Speaking of the unspeakable, Julie Burchill's column this week is another triumph of baroque self-obsession but I love her dearly, because she says the unsayable and says it snarkily. And she makes me laugh like a drain.

She quotes Demi Moore and Tina Brown at the Talk magazine party, staring over the velvet rope at the gawping public and saying "Can you imagine what you and I look like to the people over there"

To which Burchill says: "a) an ageing actress who probably couldn't get arrested and (b) the popular singer Lulu" *snerk*

She's right though, there's nothing worse than self-important celebs who forget that today's news coverage is tomorrow's chip paper. But at least they add to the gaity of nations by saying stoopid things.

One celeb who was not self-important was Charlotte Coleman, who starred in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit". She died last week at the age of 33, from a serious asthma attack -- but as ever it was what was not said, the information lurking in the interstices, that raised more questions.

There were hints of health problems, drugs, although that wasn't spelled out, and an unusual number of people saying how genuine and lovely she was, if somewhat batty. She she was found on Friday but the last time anyone saw her was Tuesday. That seems terribly sad.

* * *

Oh God. The night editor is talking about oral sex techniques. I need to leave the room.

(Or possibly stay and make copious notes.

Oops. I typed that out loud, didn't I.)


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 24th, 2001 08:38 am (UTC)
Do you have NO consideration?

None. I spent last evening finishing "Galveston" by Sean Stewart, making Farscape tapes (I was barely able to watch all of "...Different Destinations" on the second round), and watching "To Have and Have Not", which has been on the Tivo for weeks now.

So sorry not to have been around to entertain. And your plumber is a disgrace.

So what episode of Farscape did you watch?

I didn't do any real writing except a bit on this essay for Liz. Which is ballooning rapidly out of control. Yikes.

That porn-like stuff isn't on broadcast tv, is it? Because that would be a bit much.

And yay for the new job. It will be good, because more money is good, and more time is good, and a regular schedule is very very good.
Nov. 24th, 2001 12:31 pm (UTC)
hence the gah-ing
I watched That Old Black Magic, which was all good fun, but not stellar. I liked the bits of Crais background and also the glimpse of dark Zhaan, but all the fighting was a tad dull. However, the Rygel bits were excellent

In the long, long adverts they have on Sci Fi, I watched Vitas Mortis because, hey, I can multi-task! I have A-levels! *g*

Is it me, or did Ben Browder rise a level of snark in S2? There seems to be more... well, zap about the way he delivers the lines, more exasperation as if everything is a little funnier, or scarier or more annoying or whatever. Gah. I must buy a sofa so that I can actually watch TV without sitting on the floor.

And yars, the porn-like stuff (and there's not really any like about it) is on broadcast TV, not satellite or cable. And it just niggles me because it's cheap and nasty and just because they're disguised as documentaries doesn't mean they're not porn. It's post-pub TV for lads.
Nov. 24th, 2001 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: hence the gah-ing
Is it me, or did Ben Browder rise a level of snark in S2? There seems to be more... well, zap about the way he delivers the lines, more exasperation as if everything is a little funnier, or scarier or more annoying or whatever.

It's not you. You've seen the S1 finale sequence, right? After that everything gets more amped up. The real stakes are on the table, and yes, John's humor gets much more of an edge. I also think Browder just got bette.r He's pretty good in the pilot, but by the Nerve/Hidden Memory sequence he's really very good. Browder does snarky desperation very well indeed.

TOBM is not all that exciting, no, except for the bits about Crais -- and for the fact that John for the first time actually tries to kill someone. If Maldis hadn't zapped Crais away, John would certainly have killed him. Vitas Mortis is also pretty boring from an arc point of view, but it's also the first stand-alone in S2, and you can see a lot of the changes in the characters after the Gammak Base sequence. Note that John wears a pulse pistol from now on, and PK leathers. And some good Aeryn/Chiana tension.
Nov. 24th, 2001 06:29 pm (UTC)
Sean Stewart hasn't done any series in the conventional sense, but *Resurrection Man* (the book of his that tends to get the most praise) and *The Night Watch* (my personal favorite) are both set in the same future as *Galveston*, though *Resurrection Man* is set when magic's rising and *The Night Watch* when it's receding.

*Mockingbird* suffers from Sensitive Male Author at the end, but it does have a killer opening paragraph; *Passion Play* is much sneaker and deeper than it at first appears; *Nobody's Son* is a fairy tale in which the woodcutter's son performs three tasks and wins the princess's hand ... in the first chapter. Then he has to figure out what to do next. The only one I can't stand is *Clouds End*, which has a gorgeous opening but ends up being a lot of lovely prose about nothing for far too many pages. Not grounded enough.
Nov. 24th, 2001 06:31 pm (UTC)
You are my favorite former evil oppressor.
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