Sunday, 30 October 2011

Halloween: horrors

I don’t watch TV often, as I resent paying the licence fee for my family enough without watching the rubbish (especially BBC propaganda) myself. However, it being Halloween weekend, I thought I’d have a look at the two films on BBC2.

Rick Rosenthal’s 2002 Halloween: Resurrection had me turning to the Sunday Mail crossword within 15 minutes. The violence was realistic – the reason Vincent Price left Hammer Films – and held up too accurate a mirror to society for an example of the genre that has acquired the epithet “popcorn gore”.

click to go to the Ginger Snaps 2 websiteJohn Fawcett’s 2002 Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed was a dog of a different colour. The original film, Ginger, had been criticised for overegging lycanthropy as a metaphor for (female) puberty, but by the sequel it had found its paws.

We rarely saw the werewolf, but that seemed the point. The beastie was a prop on which to hang elements of a story in a feature-length meditation on the disparate ways we exploit, decieve and hurt each other underneath a civilised façade. The evils were all the more frightening because, contrary to Michael Myers (or Damien in The Omen, Dracula in the original, etc) they were subject to no aim, no unifying persona and had no motive other than human nature. Ginger Snaps 2entirely deserves a place in the hallowed company of films like King Kong and Nightbreed, where humanity is the ultimate monster.

But what of the popcorn gore film-makers? We could put them to work chronicling the real, quotidian horrors that comprise the picture in the attic of the gingerbread house many politicians insist we inhabit. For a start, I would recommend they tackle the almost unspeakable murder of Charlene Downes in Blackpool. That would tick all the boxes: violent, sick, and featuring monsters to make your blood run cold.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Friday, 14 October 2011

a paedophile joke for Ricky Gervais

click to go to the Channel 4 site for the show"Ricky is quite at home delivering thought-provoking rants and tongue-in-cheek political incorrectness about subjects as diverse as religion, racism and obesity."

Thus Channel 4 advertises Ricky Gervais' one-man show "Science", in which he states "racism and homophobia are borne of fear and I’ve never been part of them." This at the end of a show laced with elements of racism and homophobia: political correctness is the opposite of truth, and Gervaise’s statement is a boilerplate declaration designed to put the politically correct gatekeepers of our media back to sleep.

What really offended about Gervais’ show, however, were the jokes about paedophilia. He defended himself by saying that he’d never joke about paedophilia to a known paedophile…so what’s he doing telling these jokes on TV? I’m sure the beasts in the special cells had a whale of a time listening to him.

But I’ve decided at long last that if you can’t beat them, join them. I’ve written a joke about a paedophile for Gervais, whose lengthy rant about Noah and God being in a homosexual relationship assures me his courage will hold in front of all religions equally.

History records that Mohammed married Aisha when she was six and first had sex with her three years later, and a simple exegesis shows that the consummation took place before she had first menstruated. She was, if fact, in every way a little girl.

So here’s the joke: Mohammed goes into a bar, but sees a sign saying "only adults served here", so he walks out disappointed.

What do you think? Will Gervaise have the bottle to tell the joke on TV?

If you have been offended by anything in this post, I suggest you take a look at what you are doing to rid our national life of the filth infesting it.

Joe Daniels
300 words

Monday, 10 October 2011

Strictly and Summer Wine: ageism overcome

click for Last of the Summer Wine on YesterdayIt’s fortuitous that Freeview station Yesterday chose to show the first episode of Last of the Summer Wine as the BBC light-entertainment leviathan Strictly Come Dancing is in its opening weeks.

click for Last of the Summer Wine on YesterdayThe 1973 pilot introduced us to the surreal adventures and whimsical musings of three older men and their friends who refused to behave according to the conventions laid down for people of their age. It presented people d'un certain âge as independent, sometimes bolshie and always with a touch of Yorkshire grit.

What Summer Wine never did was display nastiness or agression, which is where it parts company with Strictly. The bullying and subsequent resignation of John Sergeant from the dancing show in 2008 was the predatory atmosphere of the BBC in microcosm, and displayed the ageist culture that dominates the Corporation in all its ugliness.

Last year, however, Ann Widdicombe entered and was totally unfazed by nastiness and condescension. This year Edwina Currie answered a question about how she’d deal with the judges with the observation that she’d been shouted at by Margaret Thatcher.

click for more about Edwina Currie on the Strictly fansiteCurrie [right] was voted out on Sunday, which I found a great shame: not only did I enjoy her dancing, but it’s always good to see people who are famous for something, as opposed to being famous for merely being famous. What has Nancy dell’Olio, her rival, actually done that doesn’t involve the reflected glory of the men she’s been photographed beside? Edwina, in contrast, not only had her Parliamentary career but performed the political equivalent of jumping on a grenade when she broke silence in 1988 about potentially deadly salmonella in eggs.

In fact, she’s a strong woman of the type that scriptwriter Roy Clarke loved to put in Summer Wine. Will there be a role for her should he resurrect the series?

Tony Urquhart
300 words

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Angels' voices will be heard

As a Conservative voter, I wondered why I was part of the English Defence League Angels’ demonstration on Saturday 8 October.

The Angels are, of course, the women of the EDL, who “stand beside their men, not behind them.”

It was because David Cameron had said something about the English Defence League that I still find hard to stomach: we are sick, and there are “none sicker”.

This was unfortunate, especially as Cameron had stated in his Berlin speech that multiculturalism had failed. Personally I felt let down, and this sentiment may follow me to the ballot-box.

I found some EDL supporters in Parliament Street, and nobody batted an eyelid at my Glaswegian accent. After some apprehension at how the police would react, it became clear that they were expecting no trouble from us. After the demonstration, we were escorted to Victoria station by the Met, as UAF demonstrators were causing trouble.

We were given free rein in a square, where one lady speaker asked why paedophilia was outlawed except when a Muslim child was given in marriage to an older man; if female genital mutilation might become legal in the UK should enough (male) Islamists push for it and whether, after the long struggle for female emancipation, women’s rights were to be effaced should Islamist men demand it.

I hope Cameron reminds himself that any party which aspires to form a government has to appeal to women. Margaret Thatcher, for example, cruised to victory three times not by appealing to any class, but by capturing the votes of women who had to bear the social costs of political programmes aimed not just at themselves but at their perhaps more ideologically-minded husbands, sons, fathers and brothers.

He only has to address Britain’s women with three little words:: “I am sorry”.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words