Saturday, 30 April 2011

Easter Japes and Debates

I have shed my Dorset skin and made my cheery way back to Southampton living. The sun is out and lord am I feeling grand. Famous last words but currently not even three stodgy essays due can get me down. I think I am a sufferer of Seasonal Affective Disorder - I am unfathomably happy in this beautiful weather. Friends: be prepared to feel my wrath if it changes any time soon. Apologies in advance.

Easter has been an interesting period. I spent one half at home and the other half at home. The other home. With my other family. This alternative family consists of several people, namely feminists and allies, and our relationships are ones consisting predominantly of emotional support and heavy doses of humour and debauchery. We also endeavour in political chitchat when we have nothing better to do but since our opinions rarely differ, such debates are excellent for re-establishing our initial beliefs but can hardly be deemed challenging. We sit, self-righteously, putting the world to rights. My blood family on the other hand provide ample levels of heated debate so I don't feel like I am missing out on much. Our latest was the AV referendum. A contentious issue when under the roof of one Tory, one Liberal and one floating voter (who reads the Daily Mail), I can assure you.

My father's argument went a little something like this: "First Past the Post isn't properrr democracy but it's the way it's always been and we shouldn't change that". Oh cripes. I understand that to someone who has got used to something, change can seem daunting. Like having to buy a new pair of shoes to replace a really lovely but resolutely worn out pair which you have lived in for five years. They have holes in them and make you an eyesore at any civilised occasion but they used to be great and it's nice to own something so comfortable. But one must step - literally - into a world where shoes evolve with the times ... or something. My argument to my father was then based loosely on the principle that not everything traditional has been great. It used to be a tradition to keep a black slave, that wasn't great. It used to be tradition to beat your wife, far from ideal. You get my jist. I shall say no more - in my last blog someone got offended by an apparently insensitive reference to the Holocaust. Yikes. To conclude: AV is sexy, let's do this shit.

Speaking of insensitive jokes, I couldn't help but get rather peeved with the "boob-gate" story which circulated a few days ago. See if you had the privilege to miss out on such a tale. Thank you Lucy Jones, serious and demure journalist extraordinaire, you've done women all over the country a real favour by reminding millions of people that sexism is inherent and unremitting in politics. Let's all have a good gawp at a young lady's rack because of course, since a small portion is on show, she is fully deserving of such lewd attention. It's not as if she's wearing a really smart suit and she's an extremely professional politician sitting and listening avidly in the Cabinet and the mammary glands that her sex equips her with to feed her young are protruding by approximately one inch. Oh no, wait. If everyone could grow up and accept that women have breasts and some times you can see them, that'd be lovely. It really does make a lass resent being gifted with the means to provide for your newborn. And as for comments which state that it was her fault because she was dressed inappropriately, do me a favour and SHUT UP. That attitude smacks rather sharply of the ignoble dross that imbeciles spout on rape cases: look at what she was wearing, she was asking for it. Nobody ever asks to be raped. And certainly nobody ever asks to have a picture of the crack of their chest circled sloppily on Paint and thrown around the internet like some jaw-dropping pornographic image, completely undermining your already very tricky to maintain sense of political authority. .... And breath.

In related news - SlutWalk is hitting Britain! I expect a blog shall be dedicated to this cause sooner or later so I'll save it until then. But do get involved, it's going to be a riot. Of the best, most "slutty" variety. - the event - the page - the history

Monday, 11 April 2011

Ranting, Relationships and Ritzing.

It's been a while, I know. To you, my one long-suffering reader, Miss Harri Notton, I apologise. Feel free to have your "femme sesh", giggling under the covers, as per. That's usually my motivation to write and today is no different. Though if you could tell me how much you love reading my essays, that'd probably be a help. 

Today, someone I know planted a comment upon my Facebook wall to tell me that my name had gone out in an email from their insurance company. This spooked me beyond belief. I suddenly had wild visions of half of the student population out looking for me, a runaway insurance trickster, with posters "have you seen this girl?" with pictures of me looking much like Bellatrix Lestrange. Snarling and all. Of course, the name dropping was in relation to the blog that they (foolishly) pay me to write for them and when I had sussed this, I felt slightly better before feeling undoubtedly worse. Somehow, the prospect of being a named and shamed economic fiend was slightly more welcome than the notion that I was actually being promoted as a blogger worth reading. I have probably done more to secure my reputation for the former in the last month, henceforth I am pulling up my proverbial socks and aim to spend more time at my keyboard (as opposed to all those hours I spend shredding documents and laughing derisively).

Life has become increasingly more interesting. Of course, with jolly japes comes great responsibility - or something - so stress levels directly correlate with aforementioned merry inclines. I am most certainly not complaining though. You know how people always say "the first rule of a diet is that it always starts tomorrow"? Well I feel that is quite apt for my degree and I. We parted ways some time after December of Fresher year and now we just bump into each other on the odd occasion. Usually it's a social gathering with middle aged people and when asked what I do with my days, I unabashedly abuse my poor old degree, thrusting it at people to make me sound more arty before chiding it for another few months. It just doesn't know where it stands with me.  

In more exciting new, last night I went "Facebook offish" with my new beau, Joe. Chlo and Joe. Mclo. (I know.) Cripes, it was practically written in the stars. Or it was written in the birth certificates at least and that's as good a place as any for something to be written in. I'm cynical about the stars, I've never seen anything written in them; the closest I got was when I once thought I saw Jesus in cloud formation and I'll be the first to admit that I was sceptical of my own vision. I like things to be written by tangible means. Which is why it's now on Facebook. Because nothing is real unless it's on Facebook. As we all know. There's not masses of attention for the Holocaust on Facebook, perhaps that's why some people choose to deny it? ... Sorry, that was most uncharacteristic - I've no idea why I'm being so dry, I'm happy as Larry! Cynicism is a defence mechanism for genuine unadulterated joy. 'Joe', Greek for bringer of many a giggle. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch - I spent the weekend like a posh person. It was very bemusing but quite enjoyable. My aunt has always wanted to have high tea at The Ritz and she's not currently in tip-top shape so we thought we should all go. Why the bleedin' heck not, eh? High tea we went for and high tea we certainly had. I wanted to get my £40 worth (which was funded by a winning Christmas scratch card, thank you gambling addiction) so I had eight stupidlyandaimlesslysmall sandwiches - sans crusts of course -, three scones - my cousin was all ready to cause a ruckus before I pointed out that the green flaky bits were in fact apple -, and what must have been about four cakes. Om nom. It's intriguing to see how aristocracy, or the illusion of, has radically changed in the last hundred years. The Ritz is now full of Green families, laughing loudly and oohing and aahing the cutlery while frantically snapping pictures of everying, skirting boards included, having spent the last month rooting in their wardrobes for a suitable outfit and trying it on six times to be sure, while the intended (affluent) demographic quietly fades somewhere into the din. The working class looks much like the upper. The only difference is the enthusiasm and the slyly employed faux accents. Luckily, I didn't have a problem there. My Dad, on the other hand, wasn't as successful. But who's serving the fancy diners if we're not? One can assume it would be those lower down the pecking order than the working class, which at The Ritz is Eastern-Europeans, apparently. There's trouble at mill, as my mother insightfully commented. Quite, quite.

I am home for Easter, attempting to get several hundred winks in anticipation for the severe lack thereof heading my way. Post-Easter is set to be sheer havoc: three essays, one exam, Black Comedy, some kind of handover for Equality and Diversity Officer (I'm assuming...?), FemSoc's new era, Edinburgh preparation... Golly. I'd best start sleeping now. Cheerio.