Two days good. Four days bad

I can not be the only person in the country who is itching to get back to work, surely?

Yes, I’ve had a lovely break – in a fantastic city and a gorgeous hotel with a truly lovely person – but I’ve had enough time off.

I’m bored.

I need to be back in the office.

I need to be busy.

I’ve already tidied my loft (yes I know!) and rearranged the studio.

And done three loads of laundry, changed the bed linen, done lots of guitar practice and sorted out ‘summer’ clothes for my wardrobe.

And I’ve only been back in the country 27 hours.

Maybe we could aspire to a few more three-day weekends spread throughout the year, rather than this four-day weekend malarky?

In other news, a new series of Big Brother starts tonight. I shall try to keep my addiction for rubbish television under control.

Yeah, right.

Big Brother, season 11

Updated 16th July 2010, edit identified below

The (allegedly) final series of Big Brother is upon us and do you know what? It’s nowhere near as bad as the previous series.

This year the C4 selecting panel have been cut down by a devastating attack of common sense.

As a result of this sensible infection, the Big Brother house has been inflicted with a collection of almost normal people. Or, to look at it a slightly different way, the selectors have chosen a completely normal selection of the kind of people who would apply to go on Big Brother.

Gone are the attitude-challenging, psychotic, bodily-pierced, tattooed, one-legged, circus-dwelling, high-wire-walking, fire-eating, deep-sea-diving, bisexual lesbians from Lithuania.

Thank fuck.

As we near the end of the first full week of occupancy of the Big Brother house, it’s time to take a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at this year’s cream of the BB crop.

Josie, the big, brash and brazen Bristolian, whose view on the world  is as skimming and as lightening-fast as her wise-cracking brain. Josie’s accent actually puts her somewhere outside Bristol because she doesn’t put the letter ‘l’ on the end of words that end with an ‘a’. She talks a little more rural than Redfield; I’m guessing she’s from the Hanham areal. Did you see what I did there? Right, anyway. It would be easy, if one didn’t know the Bristol speech pattern, to put Josie down as being just another dumb blonde from the sticks, but no. She’s got attitude and she has a sharp mind. I like Josie and we’d love to see her carry the flag through to the final.

Steve is the hugely disabled, former squaddie, father of eight. I have a problem with Steve. He comes from Leicester. I’ve known – and worked with – a number of people who have come from Leicester and they’ve all been incredibly… boring. Dull. Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. Steve, conversely, isn’t boring, but his accent automatically brings down the shutters of concentration in my head. But when I dope myself up on Red Bull and extra caffeine, I warm to Steve, I really do. He is one of the truly genuine ‘salt of the earth’ types that the Big Brother selectors have studiously ignored for years. He is also an ex-squaddie so he will know everything about obeying rules and keeping his (metaphorical) head down. As a battle-hardened veteran, he will also be a quiet yet studiously accurate observer of his fellow housemates. Steve exudes honesty, integrity and a simmeringly wicked sense of humour. I’m not sure if his Leicestershire personality is strong enough to see him through to the final, but he will add more value to this house than most of his fellow housemates – combined. p.s. Steve snores. So what? Get over it.

Ben is a cypher. It’s too easy to see Ben as just another posh bloke; we need to look hard at this one, we need to see what’s below the surface. So far Ben’s big talent has been asking questions. Ben has a brain, that much is clear, and his strategy of encouraging others to talk about themselves has, so far, succeeded in keeping his own personality submerged. Is Ben a Daily Mail-contributing crypto-fascist with misogynistic leanings, working hard to expose everyone else’s weaknesses before his own traits come to the surface? Or is Ben a harmless guy whose personality needs the support of everyone else to survive? You decide.

Rachael is as shallow as the most shallow thing you could possibly imagine, and then multiplied the shallowness by ten. Her Beyonce-lookalike days are already fading and, like her career as a sleb-double, her chances of winning Big Brother are slipping away by the hour. Flashes of her real personality and traces of her manipulative skills have so far revealed a couple of cracks of unpleasantness and a nasty attitude lurking below Rachael’s public demeanour. Are those flashes of wholly-owned bitch indications of Rachael’s true personality that she keeps submerged below the far-too-many layers of makeup? There’s only one way to find out.
Edit: 21/06/10: And so the British public did the finding out thing. Rachael was the first to be voted out. Good.

Nathan, the viewers are led to believe, is a 25-year-old tosser from Yorkshire. Actually, I’m not sure he’s really 25. I’m very sure he’s a tosser. It’s proving difficult to find helpful things to say about Nathan, so I’ll stop trying. Nathan doesn’t have the personality to be a very early casualty once the voting starts. But when he does eventually go, it’s safe to say that no-one will miss him.
Edit: 09/07/10: Nathan’s out with 89% of the vote. Yet the truly ironic thing about this result is that Nathan was only put up for the eviction vote because that scheming argumentative bitch Caoimhe swapped her nomination for his name when she won the eviction task.

Dave is one of those rare people that it’s possible to dislike instantly. Setting aside, for a moment, Dave’s admission that he listens to voices in his head and acts upon them, Dave’s personality is just five degrees too fulsome and ten miles an hour too much to cope with. I wonder where the Big Brother residents will be able to hide from Dave’s larger-than-life personality and the interfering busy-body characteristics that most religious do-gooders display, because ‘run and hide for cover’ is my first reaction when I meet people like this. I’m sure that Dave is a lovely bloke. But so was Tommy Cooper, and you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a house with him for weeks on end with no respite, would you?

Caoimhe (pronounced: Caoimhe) hails from Dublin’s fair city. She has a brain but it seems she’s not terribly keen on using it. Apart from having lived in Spain for two years. When she spoke of her romantic interests, Caoimhe said she is currently seeing someone, but says it’s going nowhere. There’s a trend here. Caoimhe seems to have contributed nothing very much to the planet so far. I feel she will continue this trend during tenure in the Big Brother house.

Govan, sadly – like Steve – hails from Leicestershire. I’m trying to put my geographical discrimination behind me, but it’s difficult in the face of such overwhelming adversity. And evidence. Anyway. Govan declares himself to be bisexual and says he’s going in to the Big Brother house to (and I quote) ‘represent his ethnicity and bulldoze stereotypes’. Which is such a shame, because all I’ve seen him do so far is lounge around in bed and bitch about people in an almost non-stop fashion. Maybe he’ll remember why he’s there over the next couple of weeks, but until then I expect him to continue acting like a big two-faced, mealy-mouthed, bitchy little bitch from hell.
Edit: 26/06/10: Govan goes. What’s surprising about this poisonous little bitch’s eviction is the strength of the public vote. There were four candidates for election and yet Govan was voted out by 72% of the vote. 72%! Get out you nasty little piece of work.

Shabby (real name: Keeley, and let’s keep using that from now on) is a squatter. She says she’s keen to transform people’s opinions of squatters. Shabby/Keeley believes she is a citizen of the world. She can not spend more than six months in one place so has to move on. Probably because her room-mates want to kill her after five months. Shabby/Keeley comes across as a spoilt brat of a child, someone who is so used to having her own way that she sees no wrong in living on benefits and hand-outs and sponging off hard-working folk and stealing empty properties. Shabby/Keeley has already had a massive run-in with the Big Brother police over openly discussing nominations, but when she was challenged over her unacceptable behaviour, she responded by shouting that she didn’t understand and then turned to being belligerent and argumentative. What Shabby/Keeley actually represents is the embodiment of the ‘something for nothing’ sub-element of society. She’s not the fun person she thinks she is, and the only people she is challenging is everyone else’s tolerance towards her. Shabby/Keeley deserves the swiftest exit from the Big Brother house and needs to be instantly plunged in to the vat of total obscurity that awaits her. She also needs some professional help because Shabby/Keeley is displaying classic symptoms of Bi-Polar disorder.
Edit: 07/07/10: Unfortunately the Charlie Chaplin lookalike lesbian had some kind of an epiphany that told her how reviled she was by the British public. As a result of her uncannily accurate foresight, this contemptible piece of human garbage walked from the house, thus depriving millions of viewers the sheer delight of watching her get her arse roundly and soundly kicked when she was evicted.

Iffy Ify Ife. Ife is a very beautiful girl who seems to think that Steve is a racist – but stopped short of actually using that word during her nomination interview. Ife is on iffy ground. Has Ife got a chip on her shoulder, or has she got a valid point? You decide. But it will be interesting if any other non-Caucasian people do NOT come up with this thought. Aside from Ife’s almost-vocalised thoughts about Steve, she has contributed remarkably little to the house. Perhaps that’s her strategy. We could call it the ‘iffy do-nothing strategy’?
Edit: 16/07/10: She’s out! With 56.5% of the vote – in a three-way eviction! – Ife has been dumped by the public. Unfortunately she has still not contributed anything to the house.

John James, at first glance, seemed to be the World’s first personality transplant donor. But after five days he suddenly leapt out of his shell and started to show some excellent qualities. That John James has seen through the paper-thin veneer of a number of his housemates is good. That’s he’s had the nerve (or is it naiveté?) to begin vocalising his thoughts in public is truly brilliant. This is either a blinding display of gamesmanship or total stupidity. Either way, it’s epic television.

Sunshine, poor sunshine. I feel so sorry for her. It can’t be easy having a listening disorder. I said it can’t be easy having a listening disorder. Sunshine!!! I said… Oh, forget it.
Edit: 01/07/10: And so Sunshine was voted out. She won’t be missed. Not by anyone.

Corin. It’s not nice to say that someone is brain-dead. So I won’t. But she is. That is all.

Mario, the only inhabitant of the Big Brother house with star appeal straight out of the box. Yes, he spent his first few days dressed in a mole costume. Yes, he seems to have a teeth-brushing OCD fetish. Yes, he’s gay but not overly camp. Yes, he’s infatuated with one of his (straight) housemates. A little bit of unrequited love could go a long, long way for Mario. As the majority of Big Brother voters are female, I think they’ll take pity on this attractive-but-unavailable guy – in their droves. Mario for the season win. And a deserved win too for this likeable, quick-witted guy.

Random thinking

This is frustrating and infuriating in equal measures and I really don’t know why it has happened.

While I was having a cup of tea with one of my saner colleagues in Pret this afternoon, all my brain was doing was serving up images of Big Brother; the C4 television series.

What the fuck?

Have I been receiving subliminal advertising from Endemol via some concealed medium or other, and am I now performing my programmed task by talking about it?

This evening on the way home I had to restrain myself from googling ‘Alexandra De Gale’ (one of the most odious specimens of humanity to crawl from underneath a slimy, damp stone to take her place – momentarily – in the public spotlight that is provided by Big Brother, before being outed as a thoroughly reprehensible piece of pond-life and swiftly vanishing in to deserved obscurity once more), just to find out what line of criminality she’s up to these days.

Individual characters aside, I am perplexed that I find Big Brother so fascinating; it is a little like The Apprentice in that respect.

Both programmes have given us hours of entertainment; we have laughed (quite a lot) and gasped (even more) at the massive egos and even larger gaps of knowledge that many of the contestants have displayed. We have been jaw-droppingly amazed at how separated from reality the competing individuals are.

Who can fail to be amused by the 9ct solid gold words of Helen (from BB 2)? Her ‘I like blinking, I do’ is a quote that will continue to amuse for many years to come.

Yes, there is an element of voyeurism; watching a group of people with little (if anything) in common as they struggle to bond, form allegiances and eventually, become tribal is disquietly compelling.

There is also the slightly sadistic thrill of watching personalities develop, catch the eye of the media and then inevitably, once the self-induced veneer has evaporated under the 24/7 glare of the lights and cameras and the dreadful truth (like the aforementioned Ms De Gale), vanish. Some quicker than others.

Endemol say the programme is a social experiment, I’m not too sure.

The only thing I am sure about is that I find myself looking at the calendar and wondering how much longer I have to wait for the next series.

Celebrity Big Brother

I am sinning. I am sitting next to The Soph watching Celebrity Big Brother. I’m sorry but there it is. I’m addicted. I can’t help it.

We’ve only just seen the last of the celebs (Ulrika Jonsson) enter the house and the comedy is already in full effect.

La Toya Jackson looks disturbingly like the product of decades of experimental plastic surgery that most of the world calls Michael Jackson.

But the funniest point so far was (when greeting Mutya Buena) Coolio did a classic ‘Joey from Friends’ impersonation with a very credible ‘How you doin’?’

I may have accidentally pissed myself right then.

I’m really looking forward to the goldfish-bowl voyeurism that this season of the Celeb version promises to deliver.

I’m not sure about Celebrity Big Brother’s Big Mouth though, it seems that it is being presented by a complete and utter cock who doesn’t have two braincells to rub together. The jury is still out on that one. But not for long, I suspect.

B.

BB9

So Becks with the pneumatic chest has gone. Shame.

I didn’t really like her but she did bring her own distinctive flavour to the collective.

I shall miss Becks.

I shall also miss her distinctive ‘I love Cov’ T-shirt.

But perhaps someone should tell her that the word is spelt c.o.c.k.

And this evening Luke is being evicted.

Still, on the bright side, at least Luke is now spared the total shit that comes out of the mouth of Dale.

Earlier he said:

If I go and Mohamed stays, I’d rather not be here.

Brilliant Dale, completely brilliant.

B.

p.s. BT’s broadband package is currently delivering a massive 89Kb.

BB9 – the zoo expands

Just when, with the eviction of the odious Jennifer (Jen) Clark (who received a decimal point under 90% of the vote, so perhaps ‘odious’ is nowhere near strong enough!), you thought it was safe to dangle your toes in the shallow end of the gene pool, the Big Brother staff have given us a nightmare of almost equal proportions.

Belinda Belinda Belinda (as she introduced herself to everyone) is already making my skin crawl.

And why the strange introduction?

Because, she says, if you say your name three times no-one will ever forget it.

No dear.

If you say your name three times and then repeat the mantra, and repeat it again, and again, and again… then people will think you’re in love with the sound of your own name being carried by your own voice.

Also.

Not everyone is as mentally retarded as you are – and we’re actually capable of remembering a person’s name.

Perhaps the reason why you have to say your name three times is because you’re an instantly forgettable person?

Annoying yes, but forgettable.

And irritating.

To the point where we want to just push your name right out of our heads because, let’s face it, there are far more valuable pieces of data than your name.

Like, for example, the fact that next door’s cat has had a dump underneath Soph’s car this evening.

See what I mean?

Far more valuable.

But, come next week’s evictions, things aren’t that simple – it isn’t Belinda Belinda Belinda or someone else.

It’s between Belinda Belinda Belinda and the vastly irritating Rebecca (Becks or Bex) Shiner.

How can we choose between these two awful examples of humanity?

It’s a tough call.

And yet, at the same time… so easy.

So come in Rebecca (Becks? Bex?) Shiner.

Your time is up.

B.

Hooray the bitch is dead!

Big Brother 9 contestant Alexandra (Alex) de Gale has been thrown off the programme.

Why?

For threatening her housemates who nominated her for eviction.

Here’s the transcript:

TUESDAY 17 JUNE 2217BST

Darnell:
“Sylvia is keeping it real, said if it had been me, I’d have thrown water over somebody.”

Alex:
“I’m not throwing water at anyone. It’s bigger than that. This is three months, do you know what I mean? Three months in a house.

“Everyone’s got to come outside the house. Personal offence is never forgotten, do you know what I mean? We’re just inside the house.

“I’ve got a very, very, very, very, very strong team outside the house, strong, so solid, strong. I look forward to whatever the result.

“If I get out first, I get out, make the plans. Everyone’s got to come out after that. Every single one of you come out afterwards, remember I told you. Like I say, my team is strong, so strong.”

“I just can’t wait to see my mans [sic] and them and see what their plans are, who they got…I’m not talking about those mans, I’m talking about my gangster friends.”

Darnell:
“Collabos.”

Alex:
“They got some instructions to follow out.”

Darnell:
“That’s what I mean…I’ve never seen anything like this, the people in here aren’t real. It’s like that movie shit, like movie people in here.”

Alex:
“If you go, you get to make all the plans that you wanna make. When you’re in here you can’t do certain things. In my life I’m used to doing certain things.

“You know people piss me off and I do something, like. I can’t actually do that while I’m here. But like I say, I get to go out, see everyone’s friends, I get to see their family. I get to do the shit that I wanna do. Pow, pow, pow.”


Message for Alex:

You’ve proven that you’re a loud-mouthed, ignorant, hypocritical bully.

You call yourself a Muslim yet you behave in the most un-Muslim manner I think it’s ever been my misfortune to witness.

You are contemptible.

You add no value to this planet or any of the life-forms that exist on it.

I would wish that some good comes of this experience – I would wish that you learn from this exposure of your faults before your peers.

But I don’t think you are capable of learning just how nasty you are.

However I do fear for your mental state Alex.

My observations of you and your behaviour clearly indicate that you’re unbalanced.

Seek help fast.

B.

BB9 – unacceptable

Well here we are.

One week in to Big Brother 9 and already we have on display one of the most contemptible examples of the human race.

Alexandra de-Gale is much more than the gobby, self-centred, uncaring person she appeared to be.

She is a loathsome, hateful, argumentative woman who has absolutely no regard for the feelings of anyone other than herself.

She’s already behaved unacceptably.

Her aggressive, bullying manner is coldly calculated to intimidate – and bury by weight of continual verbal onslaught – her opponents.

At the start of the series the BB management told us – the viewers – that after the Charlie Uchea bullying affair last year, that BB would be tough.

We were told that unacceptable behaviour would not be tolerated.

And yet…

The horrid bullying little gobshite that is Alexandra de-Gale is still on our television screens.

So not only is Alexandra de-Gale unacceptable.

But so is the lack of action by the Big Brother production company.

We should boycott the programme – until this scum is removed.

B.

The saddest thing about Big Brother 8…

There are lots of good, bad, high and low events in the 2007 bunch of cnuts Big Brother inmates.

But the saddest thing by far has been exposed by the requirement that housemates read aloud portions of text printed on cards.

Sam and Tracey; they’re at the lowest end of literacy.

Neither of them is a competent, confident, fluid reader.

They stumble over the simplest words.

They are unable to pronounce common words and phrases.

And this, my friends, is the saddest thing about Big Brother 8.

That our schools - and the teachers in those schools and the parents of these children who attend these schools - are happy to produce young adults to a standard of education that third-world countries surpased a decade ago.

That’s the really sad thing about Big Brother 8.

B.

Comedy gold

Big Brother 8.

The half-way housemates game.

In their boxes.

Shanessa pops up and says ‘I’m free!’

Dressed in a cow’s suit.

With a cow’s head on.

We laughed.

And then the cow slumped and put her head in her hands.

We laughed more.

Comedy gold.

B.