Thursday, 24 July 2014

Hotties turned notties

Alright. This is fluff. This is toss. This is pointless rubbish that I'm writing because I don't want to do anymore god damn work today. So instead I'm plundering Netflix to the very depths of shitey films.

So far I've watched Gothika with Halle Berry (so bad. So very, very, very bad. SO BAD. Robert Downey Jr is still eminently cute, watchable and a general fox though, so not all a waste of time). And now I'm watching Twixt, which is purportedly directed by Francis Ford Coppola. But I'm not sure that can be true. He made Apocalypse Now for fuck's sake. This can't honestly be anything to do with him.

It's an absolute shitefest of a confused morass of gothic imagery, incoherent plot lines, disjointed story telling and bizarre rather too improvised acting. It feels like a film I should like because it has ghosts and goths and writing and the Devil and a pseudo Twin Peaks air to it. But all I can think about is that it's answered three specific questions I had. To whit.

1. Whatever happened to Val Kilmer? Answer: this.
2. Whatever happened to Ben Chaplin? You know, the agoraphobic one from Game On? Game On with Samantha Janus? Don't you know ANYTHING? Anyway. The answer is playing a very unconvincing Edgar Allan Poe in this.
3. What in fiddly hell happened to Val Kilmer's face?

And it got me thinking. Time is a cruel, cruel thing. As evidenced by what has happened to the following men who I, at one stage or another in my life, on whom I had what is called a 'crush'. You may scoff at some, perhaps all, but I did wish I was bumping uglies with all at one time or another.

JAMES SPADER. Yep, I used to fancy James Spader. Briefly. Remember Steff in Pretty in Pink? Remember how much sexier he was than bloody Blane. Who the feck is called Blaaaaane anyway? So yeah. James Spader. Previously oddly bangable. Now looks like a dinner lady.

JUDD NELSON. John Bender. The guy I grew up wishing would suddenly turn up at my school. Although as I was weird goth girl that means I'd have ended up with the jock. That pleases me not at all. Anyway, in The Breakfast Club he was hot. And he smoked. And he looked like he'd know what to do. And from the vantage point of a 12 year old, he looked very much like my ideal man. Now he looks like my old boss. Who was a woman. 

JUDE LAW. I've thrown Jude Law in at a friend's suggestion. The idea goes that although he could pull of the early years of pretty spoiled rich boy charm, he has now become weasel like and looks like a bit of a perve. However, I have studied this photo in depth and I definitely still would. I'm on the fence. He's on the Rogaine. 

MEL GIBSON. My first proper grown up crush was Mel Gibson as Riggs. Even though he had a mullet. Mel was a gorgeous man. I don't know if you've noticed but in all of his early films there are many scenes of him running. Running very fast. Often in wet clothes or with a bare chest. It did something to me. His voice did something to me. That bit where he drank a lot and nearly killed himself did something to me. And then somewhere along the way he became really fucking horrible. And the more horrible he became, you know with the anti semitism, weird political stance, abusive behaviour thing, his looks seemed to shrivel along with his popularity. Now he looks like an old, drunk, sad country and western fan who spends a lot of time trying to make his hair all bouffanty to cover up the bald bits. He's a jowly horror.

VAL KILMER. From Top Gun (I was WAY too young to realise it was all very gay) to Real Genius to The Doors, Val was fit. He was damn sexy. And he was funny. Have you seen Top Secret? If you haven't, you should. And when he started impersonating Jim Morrison my ovaries didn't know what to do with themselves. And then something happened. Something that possibly involved a solid 15 years of eating pizza. Pizza covered in lard. I don't know. I don't know what and I don't know how but Val is literally a different person these days. Maybe he ate himself. 

ADAM ANT. Prince Charming got old, man. And did something weird to his beard. 

AXL ROSE. Perhaps the hardest one of all to write about. Oh Axl. What happened? How? The drugs weren't worth it were they? Although people frequently express disbelief at my crush on Axl - a crush that lasted right up through Use Your Illusion, parts one and two, and probably up until around 1996 - I found him almost unbearably sexy. Unlike Slash, who seems to have looked the same since he was inexplicably conceived in Stoke on Trent and Duff, who actually looks way better now than he did in his bloated heyday, Axl has morphed into a fat old lady. In a wig. 

This post has made me nostalgic for the time when men smoking fags and doing drugs was still hot. For the time when Axl was a snakehipped sex beast and Mel was Mad Max. For a time when Val had ice chips for eyes and abs you could bounce a 50p off.

So, to cheer myself up, I decided to finish this post with a reminder that although time is very very cruel to some, it makes not a dent on others. Witness the god like and possible vampire Keanu Reeves. Thank you Keanu. I can always rely on you.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Don't call my dog vicious...

I need to finish that title.

Don't call my dog vicious you clueless chav slice of ignorance. You heinously clothed, moronic shitebrain. You utterly revolting waste of skin.

I was walking my three legged rescue dog, a survivor of street dog life in Romania, the other day. I was with my friend who had a 15 year old rescue pug in a pram and two other dogs - one a survivor of the dog meat trade from Thailand, newly arrived and very shy and unsure and the other a survivor of street dog life in Ireland.

All dogs were on leads.

This is because we are a bunch of misfit dogs who are not always predictable around other dogs. This is because these dogs are defensive occasionally, having lived through a hell we cannot fathom. Imagine being afraid every single day of your life. Imagine that every person you meet might hurt you, try and impregnate you, bite you, take your food, hurt your babies, make your life worse. Imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from or whether you'll make it through the next day, or the next week or the next pregnancy alive. Imagine not being sure whether every person you see isn't going to beat you and take you somewhere where other people hurt you.

It doesn't take a fricking genius to see that some dogs need some space. Some time. And if a bunch of dogs are on leads, what you don't do with your designer lab puppy is let it bound towards said bunch of dogs. Particularly if it is not trained in the slightest and ignores every pathetic attempt you make to call it back. You also don't take your sweet fucking time getting your fat ass across the park to control your dog. The fact that YOUR dog won't hurt anyone is not the point. The point is that YOUR dog is affecting other dogs and their comfort and calm.

And then when you finally get your puppy under control, you don't then tell the person who had their dog ON A LEAD that they shouldn't be allowed out in a public park and that their dog is vicious. You scum sucking mouthbreather. It was your irresponsibility that caused the problem, not anyone else's.

Let me add that Sushi nor any of our other misfit pooches went for anyone or hurt anyone or even came close to it. Sushi may have let out a discreet growl of disdain. She can't stand chavs all up in her grill either. Very intelligent pooch that one.

Making Jesus sad

I saw this thing about Mormons the other week. It could have been a month ago. I have no idea what's happening to time anymore, except I seem to be living in some kind of weird vortex where one moment it's January and then I blink and it's fricking July.


"What was that?"

"That was your life mate."

"That was quick. Do I get another?

"Sorry mate, that's your lot."

It'll be Christmas soon. Yay.

Anyway. This thing was about Mormons. Specifically about the Mormon missionaries. It was fascinatingly awful. Like watching the longest, slowest, most depressing car crash you've ever seen, over and over. It followed a lad being indoctrinated into the Missionary thing they do.

If you didn't know the story behind those freaky weirdos who try and barge their way into your home to talk shit about some made up shit, this is it in a small nutshell. Some guy in around 1840 decided that he wanted to become powerful and rich. So, as L Ron Hubbard was to say over a hundred years later, the best way to do that is start a religion.

So he did. This dude told everyone that he found these words written on GOLD PLATES in a language that was UNKNOWN and that an ANGEL came down and told him that these were the actual word of God that had been buried in NEW YORK under a hill after Christ had risen. Oh and Jesus visited the US of A after his resurrection. He was probably Jonesing for a massive serving of some kind of lardy burger and some fries, I'd imagine. Or maybe he wanted to go and watch some baseball.

So this guy just came out of nowhere and spouted all of this gobshite which, coincidentally put him in charge of, like everything. He got to tell people that sex was bad and that gays are bad and that booze is bad and that coffee is bad and, basically, the only way to ensure the salvation of your soul is to do everything he says and let him marry your wife.

And they lapped it up. For reasons unknown people turned this douchebag into the leader of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. They had to move around America because people kept saying: "Er, nah, you're mental mate," until they settled in Ohio or somewhere like that. And then he got killed because he was clearly a mentaller but, as is always the way, another mentaller took over quick smart.

A few generations later and the Mormons are hugely wealthy as an organisation. Not that you can find out for sure, because they won't disclose their financial operations, much like the Church of Scientology. It could also be something to do with the fact that they basically rob their members, who have to pay extortionate amounts of money in order to stay in the church.

Which they do. Even in the UK. The boy at the centre of the documentary was one of six children who had been brought up as Mormons. At first it all looked kind of nice, they all went to church a lot and all the kids played with each other and, although weird and restricted, I found myself thining, well, what's so awful about this.

And then he went off to the Mission. This is where every able bodied boy and some of the girls get to spend TWO YEARS of their formative years locked up in a strange compound. They are not allowed to be alone at all, ever for the duration of those two years. They are stripped of their name and called 'Elder'. They are deprived of sleep and forced to partner up with a mentor dude who basically doesn't leave their side. That means they cannot be left in a room ever by themselves EVER. Let that sink in. You're 16 years old and you're never, ever left alone. No wanking for you. Oh no. None of that. In fact, what you get is a completely unnatural view of sex and masturbation and homosexuality.

Masturbation is a sin. Talking to women is a sin. Being hugged or touched is a sin. Drinking tea is a sin. Not wearing the correct 19th century style regulation underwear is a sin. Yep, underwear. Jesus cares about your underwear apparently. These kids then have to wander the streets for 12 hours a day knocking on doors and signing people up. They have to sign three people up every day. They usually don't get anywhere near that, but they do get plenty of abuse.

They're not allowed to see their mother or family or friends for the entire two years. They are only allowed to make two phone calls a YEAR. They have no access to news, internet or any kind of outside influences. They are sat in classrooms while absolute wanky lies are drummed into them.

If it sounds a bit like brainwashing, that's because that's exactly what it is.

It was one of the saddest things I've seen for a while. All this boy's life drained out of his eyes as the documentary wore on. He told the interviewer he was willing and happy to do this. He told her that while crying.

I don't think Mormonism is about being nice people at all. I think that Jesus would be a very sad made up person indeed if he knew about all of this.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The lure of Catfish

"So, you've been talking to Brandi for a year? And she's a model? And she was Miss Teen USA in 2003? And she is famous? And she messaged you randomly on Facebook? And now you want to move out of Bible Belt weirdo Deep South and live with her in NYC? When you normally spend time tipping cows and going tractor herding? Yep, yep. We should look further into this, huh?"

I'm addicted to Catfish. I bloody love it. I love Nev and I love Max and I love the way they have to keep straight faces while 'investigating' the most ridiculously obviously fake stories ever.

"Everything was true except my pictures, my name and my job."

That's the kind of thing they say.

But it's genuinely interesting. Some of the Catfishers are genuinely rather broken, lonely people who hate themselves so much they create fake personas online and use them to get the attention they don't get in real life. A vast army of invisible people desperately reaching out to others who are lonely, or gullible, or kind.

I've watched episodes where the Catfisher is an obvious troll who just wanted to be on TV, I've seen episodes where some really sweet people come out and apologise for pretending they were someone else. And some are stone cold sociopaths who don't even get what they're doing is weird as fuck.

A blonde southern hick with bad teeth and a really sweet demeanour convinced himself that a famous model found him online and was in love with him. Despite the fact they have never met. Or even seen each other's faces. They get so far with these constructs of relationships that it eats up years of their lives. It turned out to be his 'friend', Rose, who was doing it for shits and giggles. And because she doesn't look like Miss Teen USA, presumably.

The boys on the end of these stings (and it's usually boys) are always shy, lonely types who should KNOW that they couldn't attract the women that they think they're talking to. You can tell by their conversations that they do know this really, but for whatever reason, have decided to invite MTV along for the humiliation.

I am definitely charmed by Nev and Max. I mean, I'm cosnidering setting up something similar myself just so I can meet them. They're dreamy. Both of them. And their relationship is not at all homoerotic or anything. I could listen to Max all day talking about how weird people are and how sad it all is.

Because it is.

Allowing for the fact that a lot of it is reconstructed for the show, the stories are real and it's not a secret that loads of people pretend to be something they're not online. The average Facebook user is guilty of showing only one tightly edited face to the world - no one lets all their crazy hang out (even when they appear to) and no one airs the humiliations and horror of every day life (unless in an artful video blog that they hope will go viral. Soon everything in the universe will go viral and it will become a meaningless term. If it isn't already).

People don't speak the truth online. They create content. Whether it's a slightly airbrushed version of themselves for a couple of social media channels, or 25 fake profiles, all with their own intricate back stories. Perhaps the only thing between most of us and total online psychosis is the fact that we look up from our screens some of the time.

I'm aware not everyone is hooked into the internet but for my generation and most definitely for the one coming up hot on our heels, it is.

Catfish is the beginning. In a few years none of us will actually need to leave the house, we'll just let our avatars interact with each other in a kind of simulation of our lives. As we swallow Soylent Green and hook ourselves up to catheters and have sex with weird add ons to our iPads.

But for now, I'll watch stories of people who are lonely and sad and scared awkwardly come face to face. The scales drop from the men's eyes as they see the overweight, plain Jane in place of the Victoria Secrets model they so clearly hoped was there. Even though they KNEW. They guilt trip the girl and tell them they were so honest. What they mean is: "You're not hot." They're not hot either but that's irrelevant.

Sometimes the couple ends up together. Well, they do in the heat of the moment. With the cameras on them. But a couple months later they can't deal with the betrayal. They didn't get their movie star ending.

As an online dater it makes me think everyone is a fat Texan woman with massive issues, but that's OK. Maybe I'll like her when I meet her.

Monday, 7 July 2014

The fight against fags

It's the 7 July and I haven't written a blog post yet this month. How unusual. My brain, although full of general bullshit, is struggling to compose anything that resembles complete sentences. Bit of a problem when one is a freelance writer. You know. Just a tad of an issue.

I've been stymied by insecurity and a bizarre and unwelcome self critical vibe. Yep, I've been depressed. The black dog has been back to play. And I bloody love dogs but I wish this one would fuck the fuck off for good. Go play on a motorway or something. Go and live on that farm everyone talks about.

In the past, every depressive episode has been met with some kind of crutch. Booze, drugs (back in the day, like. Not now, and not for about 15 years, just in case anyone is actually reading this and it's important that they know I'm sober as a judge these days. Celibate as a nun. Bored as a motherfucker), fags. Something to take the edge off.

Cigarettes really do take the edge off anxiety. For me, that was the big hook. Oddly enough, it wasn't the obvious cool factor that comes with exhaling smoke out of one's nostrils. It wasn't the extortionate cost, to both my health and my wallet. It wasn't the fact that I really enjoyed smoking even though it was almost definitely a huge contributory factor towards my father's death.

It was because when the anxiety gets too great and I can't breathe and my chest hurts and my guts are churning and all I see is black and panic and terror, a fag really helped. And also I liked to smoke while drinking gin. Or coffee. And at the end of the day. I really really liked the last cigarette of the day. And after sex. Although, let's face it, that's hardly an issue anymore.

I'm trying to replace this with exercise, therapy, yoga and soda water. It works some of the time. It helps some of the time. I can deal most of the time. But the last couple of days have been so dark and black and hard (and how ridiculous is that? I'm an able bodied humanoid, with no pressing financial problems, nothing bad is happening to me, nothing bad is likely to happen to me in the near future and yet I find myself rocking on my bed unable to breathe). And all I have wanted to do is light up.

I have a pack of ten cigarettes in my drawer. I bought them on purpose when I gave up. Weird I know. But I wanted to know that if it got too horrific I had some. Their presence reassures me.

I was extremely close to just saying fuck it over this weekend. Fuck it, I'm going to smoke. What does it even matter anyway? We're all going to die. Maybe I'll die five minutes sooner than I would have done without this cigarette. Maybe I won't. No one has a fucking clue anyway. We're all just attempting to ward off the inevitable, so if a fag helps, why not?

Other people have things to help them, I thought to myself. Why can't I? My whiny inner bitch was really really ON at me just to pick one up. After all, I don't do anything else. I don't drink, I don't imbibe, what does it matter if I smoke? Go on, you deserrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrve it.

But I didn't. Because I've come too far. Because this is the first time in my life I've chosen to give up something that I didn't want to give up. Drugs and booze were a picnic compared to this. I was ready to give them up when I did, so it wasn't difficult. I wasn't addicted. It wasn't a big deal. Not drinking is easy as piss, and actually something that I might reverse in the near future. Not smoking is something I think about every day.

At the moment, I think about it when I wake up and when I go to sleep.

But it will pass. Just like this black mood will pass. And somewhere along the line it became more important to me to not smoke. Smoking is the most masochistic slow death to inflict upon oneself. It is a sign of my self destruction and lack of care about myself. It's bullshit. It's weak. And it's not coming back. No matter how much I really really really want one. I've come too far and I'm not going back.