Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Confessions of a Freeganist

Here in the US we are currently drowning in levels of hysteria not seen since the Second World War when people had to make cakes out of powdered egg and condoms out of shoe leather. Everywhere you look people are screaming about the price of gas being up to $3.60 per gallon!!!! Oh yea Gods the price of food has gone up 41% since October!!! Oh gosh the world is going to end right now.

Obviously I'm not panicking. I'm enjoying myself. There's nothing like a crisis to give me a reason for living. In fact, when the BSE crisis hit England ten years ago I was so pleased that all the beef was at rock bottom prices that I ate cut price mad cow beef for many months. And it hasn't done me any harm!

Basically, many people have started freaking out and making their own laundry detergent and even breast feeding instead of formula feeding to save money! They are becoming what I realize I have always been, self-reliant and a Freeganist! And that it looks dangerously like Freeganism is going to become fashionable. For years people criticized by work-shy work ethic, dubbing me a 'Slacker'. But I'm not a slacker. I don't have the stomach/temperament to be a true slacker, you know, someone who sits around for several weeks smoking huge bongs and talking out of his arse like the Freak Brothers:

And as my experiences with weed are that after smoking half a joint I fall asleep in the corner of the party/engage in dubious sexual experiments/vomit if I have been drinking, I believe I am not a fully paid up member of the Slacker Party. Also usually the next day I get massively paranoid and think that there are people watching me through the ceiling. So no, I am not a Slacker. So it was with something approaching a religious awakening that I realized that I was a Freegan!

What is freeganism? Well, freeganism is basically an anti-consumerist lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on "limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed."

I was particularly interested in their theories on work:

Working Less / Voluntary Joblessness

How much of our lives do we sacrifice to pay bills and buy more stuff? For most of us, work means sacrificing our freedom to take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony, and in many cases risks to our physical and psychological well-being.

I hear you brother!

Although I have to say, their theories on running cars on cooking oil strike me as just plain daft: Some freegans find at least some use of cars unavoidable so we try to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels by using cars with diesel engines converted to run on “greisel” or "veggie-oil" literally fueling our cars with used fryer oil from restaurants.

But that said, I hate cars, I hate the pollution they cause. I wish they could at least be run on ethanol or some alternative fuel. I hate packaging for products. I hate thinking about all the stuff in landfills.

The only way in which I am not a freegan is that I am not a vegan. I would be, only vegan food is pretty hard to make tasty and there's only so many cashew nuts I can take.

I do think the future is freegan though. I think most jobs suck balls. Hairy balls. Freedom from satanistic bosses is worth its weight in gold.

I am not totally freegan though. Even though I think fashion is stupid and exploits third world people, consumer goods are nuts and flatscreens should be banned, I do enjoy the occasional luxury holiday and I don't think I could ever wear a potato sack.

But generally I am so pleased that food is getting more expensive and gas is going up, because maybe now people will wake up and realize that the consumerist lifestyle is just utter utter bollocks!

This is it. I'm going to make freeganism the new black. What about you? Are you currently making clothes out of dryer lint and making laundry detergent out of old bars of soap to, you know, save a few cents? Do you embrace freeganism or shun it?

Going off now to knit myself a jumper from the hair of my neighbor's dead dog Pinky. All money saving/recycling tips will be gratefully received. However, keep in mind the long arm of the law. For example, digging up a human skull to use as a bong, while an ultimate freeganist idea, is also illegal.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hey Chicky Chicky

Okay, so I just read Emily Gould's article in the New York Times Magazine. In my defence, I was on an exercise bike at the gym and had nothing else to do but read 8,000 words of rambling droning drivel. For those who don't know this lady, she is famous for writing on a website called gawker which has a section where it spies on celebrities and she became famous from this TV clip where she looks like a total deer with Tourettes who gets grilled by Jimmy Kimmel.

Anyhow, she suffered a nervous breakdown after receiving lots of hurtful comments about her disastrous appearance on this show and finally quit the gawker gig. And then lay on the floor in the foetal position and started wondering whether she hadn't been a little too fast in saying that citizen journalism should be allowed, ie. that celebrities have no rights and should always be under the media microscope. Now, poor dear, she too was under the microscope and she couldn't cope. She also cracked up from the thought that she had written a lot of personal stuff on her blog and suddenly she didn't want anyone to read it anymore. She lost the will to blog for a while. Once she'd recovered, she managed to write the article for the New York Times. Why, if you wanted to no longer be under public scrutiny? A bit hypocritical really. Because now bloggers will be blogging about someone who is no longer a blogger. She must be so addicted to people commenting on her that she needs to be commented on even though it gives her panic attacks.

I was also intrigued to see her face up on chickipedia - the site for hot chicks - and then got angry because I wasn't up on it because I'm a hot chick too. So I put myself up there (hey, feel free to edit me if you like), and will not get upset if anyone leaves nasty comments because I like to think I'm not so naive as Emily. Although I am, cough, ten years older.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kiddus Interruptus

Having sex during the period your kids are young is something of an endurance sport. If you have, say, a spare fifteen minutes between grouting the kitchen tiles and unblocking the toilet, then you seize the chance of marital congress like a dying sailor reaching for Pamela Anderson's life rafts.

You certainly cannot afford to be 'too tired' or 'not in the mood' if you want to have sex any time before Christmas. You have to go from cold to hyper aroused in the time it takes a Ferrari to go from 0-100 mph. I've become adept at having sex with one finger in my ear to drown out the children's merry screaming (is that just me?) And things have been relatively fine apart from one thing. Sausage has become too damned observant for her own good.

You know how when your baby is born you hope it won't be a simpleton? Well I'm beginning to wish I had a daughter who was a little less 'on the ball.' She and her friend Meg were here the other day and I did a video of them and foolishly asked, "Do you know where babies come from?" and Meg screamed: "They come out of your pagina (yeah she said pagina)." And Sausage screeched, "Yeah, there's an egg in there and it hatches and the baby comes right out of your pagina!!!" At the same time she opened her legs and pointed up her pagina. I started mentally calculating at what age you can force your daughter to take Norplant.

Oh yes indeedy, Sausage, (4), is boy crazy. While her sister Scarlett, (7), thinks boys are merely okay, Sausage makes comments all the time about men, such as when a fairly cute guy knocked on the door trying to sell me an alarm, Sausage commented: "He was so handsome. I'd like to marry him." She also came home the other day crying. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was mad because Daniel, her 'boyfriend' hadn't noticed or commented on her new shoes. I don't think I will get through the teenage years without Valium.

Also, having sex while the kids are in the house is getting harder because they know we're having sex and thus want to interrupt.

The other day, the scene, we are in the bedroom, John has put a DVD on for the kids and I am three seconds away from having a climax when Sausage knocks on the door and shouts, "What are you doing?"

John opens the door a crack. "I'm giving mummy a massage."

Sausage: "Ah! Darn it! You're always giving mummy a massage. Can I come in and give her a massage too?"

John: "No, look, we'll be down in a minute."

I've got my fingers in my ears trying to think sexy thoughts.

Sausage goes away. Ten minutes later I'm three seconds from climax and Sausage knocks on the door.

"Daddy! Scarlett's crying. The video's too scary."

Me: "Oh fuck John, they're not watching Die Hard again are they?"

John: "No, it's some nature program. I don't know why it's scary."

Sausage: "There's a cheetah tearing the head off an antelope. There's all blood dripping out of it's head."

Me, shouting: "It's perfectly natural. That's what animals do. Just give us five minutes."

Sausage goes away and I force myself to get back in the mood.

I think I need to develop some kind of contraption, like a bike helmet which is soundproof that I can wear during sex so that I won't be bothered by the constant kiddus interruptus. Or maybe I just need some giant muffs? Or, any other ideas to keep the littluns at bay?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Want Your Sex

Hmm, smells a bit like a two day old shish kebab

I'm going to tell you something. And it may be quite shocking. And I'll understand if you don't want to come on my blog anymore. But this is the thing. I like George Michael. I don't mean I've ever bought any of his records. I mean sure, I used to listen to my flatmate's George Michael CDs, but I don't really buy CDs (I'm tight like that). What I mean is I have a soft spot for him.

He was just so sweet. Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, he was the slightly pudgy son of a kebab shop owner who decided to leave East Finchley (who wouldn't?) and become an international superstar. And how nice of him to just form a band with his best mate who was very good looking but who couldn't sing or play a note on the guitar. That is really a nice gesture, well I think so anyway.

After Wham! self-destructed George went solo. I was puzzled as a teen when all my friends fancied him. The cover of the 1987 Faith album showed a screaming gay in leathers sniffing his armpit. George later came out of the closet. Surprise surprise.

But what I really love him for was that hilarious 1998 incident in which a pretty boy police man called Marcelo Rodríguez lured GM to show him his penis in a public place in a sting operation in Beverley Hills (why? Do they not have any other more important crimes to investigate than how big GM's schlong might be?)

Then, when George was arrested, he just laughed about it and said, "Well, I was followed into the restroom, and then, this cop — well, I didn't know he was a cop at the time, obviously — he started playing this game. I think it's called 'I'll show you mine, you show me yours, and then when you show me yours, I'm gonna nick you'!"
He was completely unrepentant (unlike Hugh Grant who when caught being fellated by Divine Brown said, "I think you know in life what's a good thing to do and what's a bad thing, and I did a bad thing. And there you have it," rather than just being honest and saying, "I have a thing for being blown by black prostitutes, if you've got the money, why not?") Then Michael took the Michael and made a video for his single "Outside" based on the public toilet incident and which featured men dressed up as policemen kissing. You star GM!!

Anyhow, I recently saw that GM was touring in July in DC so I mentioned it to my husband, who promptly bought two tickets ($110 each!). So I said, "Oh bugger, I didn't know they were that expensive." But then he explained we were going to be in some kind of VIP area with our own seats and a buffet. Well, that was all right then. It is such a relief to finally be middle aged and go to a nice sit down concert.

Because, quite frankly, I have never understood what is so magical about going to Glastonbury and seeing live music amongst a bunch of stoned tossers and sleeping in a tent with mud seeping through your sleeping bag. Maybe someone can enlighten me? I suppose you've got to be into live music. And I'm not. And what about going to Wembley and almost being trampled to death by crazy fans? Been there, done that and lost my shoes in the mud. I don't think so.

I don't think I've been to more that fifteen gigs in my whole life. In particular, I remember missing a Red Hot Chilli Peppers' gig in 1991 in London because I was visiting a boyfriend in Manchester and couldn't be arsed to go. Not that I knew anything about them apart from that they had cold willies. And I was in love, what can I say? But I know a true music nut would have made the effort to see the Chillis.

Anyone else out there have a secret affection for a singer that is corny but not in an ironic way, like dear old Geogie-boy?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Ministry For Taste

Thanks so much for all your predictions for 2050. My biggest hope is that by then there will be a Ministry for Taste so that people of artistic sensibility like myself will no longer have to suffer. This is how it would go:

Police Report of the Taste Police for May 12 2050

1. Vile pumps, vile dress

Jamie Lynn’s grand daughter Chrystal-Meth was today given a caution for violating two of the Ministry's laws: that of the wearing of psychedelic maternity dresses and patent leather yellow pumps, both outlawed in 2022.

Punishment: Chrystal-Meth was sentenced to three months at fashion rehab.

2. Three counts of arse crack

Three men were detained today for sporting baggy jeans and exposing their boxer shorts. When asked by the Taste Police to pull their jeans up, one man gave the police the finger and said that "Arse crack was the new crack."

Punishment: All three men were given wedgies and told never to expose their boxer shorts in public again.

2. Massive haul of Kincaids

A man by the name of Rikki Richardson was caught this morning smuggling a lorry full of Thomas Kincaid paintings over the Mexican border into Texas. The poorly executed pictures (possession of which are illegal since 2011) - with a street value of $2 million, were seized by police and burnt in a bonfire. (Footnote: David Hasselhoff is rumoured to have some contraband Kincaids in his palatial home in Miami Beach).

Punishment: Mr Richardson cried when he was arrested, saying he only sold the Kincaids to feed his family and that celebrities like David Hasselhoff were his main clients. Police took pity on him and told him to check himself into taste rehab. Hopefully, a stint at Colorblind Acres should teach him that dealing sordid paintings in order to fulfil the depraved tastes of celebrities will next time carry a harsher sentence.

4. Sickening display of Figurines

In a raid on a dead woman’s house today, the Taste Police were shocked by the sheer number of Precious Moments figurines uncovered, the largest haul to date. Glass cabinets in every room displayed the sickening figurines. A constable from the Taste Police who thought she had seen it all, became physically ill when she broke into the premises of Miss Petula Pennstone, who had been dead for over a year. PC Sally Sollette said, “In all my years on the force I have never vomited. The smell of the dead body was pretty bad but I’ve smelt corpses before. But what really did it was seeing two thousand pairs of Precious Moments eyes staring back at me. I hurled that morning's donuts all over my shoes”

Punishment: Miss Pennstone was already dead so no punishment could be made for her heinous crime. But the figurines were ground up and sprinkled over her grave so that no one may suffer the sickly sentimentality of these nauseating figurines ever again.

5. Bikini Jeans Babe Behind Bars

A stunning six foot Brazilian supermodel called Fifi Sansolito was today found strutting down the street wearing a retro pair of Bikini Jeans. When police arrested her and told her that the obscene Bikini Jeans (which are held up only by a pair of ribbons) had been banned in 2009 she said, “I am so beautiful, why shouldn’t I show my punani off?” Irate police typed her name into their computer only to find that she had a warrant for her arrest for numerous misdemeanors including causing a traffic accident while riding a bicycle wearing only a neon orange bikini with a thong bottom, while glowing brightly with fake tan.

Punishment: The Bikini Jeans were confiscated and Ms. Sansolito has been found guilty of numerous taste violations. She is now serving a term in Taste Prison where inmates are forced to show little skin and to wear beige regulation pants and shirt.

All other violations of taste should be reported immediately to the Taste Police. Let’s eradicate bad taste from our community once and for all. Please report recent sightings of taste violations in the comments box so that these criminals may be brought to justice.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Future is Anthrax Beards

We all of us of a certain age who grew up in the UK remember nerds paradise Tomorrow's World. Sure it was fun looking at lots of hot new gadgets which would revolutionize our lives, but it was hard to take a technology program seriously that had a puffed pastry letter in its opening credits. Hardly cutting edge now was it? And falling ratings meant it got the chop in 2003.

I don't actually remember much of what was shown on it apart from the usual stuff about robots doing all our housework by the year 2000. And I vaguely remember some guy who said he was going to put music onto a chip and we laughed because we thought nothing could ever replace LPs. But most of it (probably 90%) never found its way into stores. Do you remember any of the other 'inventions' they talked about? And whether they ever saw the light of day?

I've always thought science fiction novels were a load of rot because they always put today's society into the future, just with different hairstyles. It is very hard to think outside of one's own time. Just look, for example, at this prediction for fashions in 2000:

A total joke, apart from:

1. The shoe predictions: Marc Jacobs recently did the cantilever heel:

2. These days all men do wear cell phones and many also sport Anthrax beards:

My fondest hope for the future is that breast implants develop to the stage when they no longer look like three elephants squished into a mini a la Natalie Rooney's rather unfortunate ones (or maybe the surgeon was a trainee and she got them half price):

So, I'm curious, what are your predictions for, say, 2050?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Loss of Faith

This case has really knocked me for six. An Austrian man kept his daughter Elisabeth locked up in a cellar for twenty four years, had sex with her, fathered seven children, three of which he and his wife legally adopted (his wife claims she didn't know her own daughter was the mother), the other three kids lived with Elisabeth in the cellar and never saw daylight. The last child died at birth and the abuser threw it in an incinerator. It is just so horrendous it is impossible to get one's head around it.

Usually you try and forget that people like that exist and are free and are walking around. And sometimes it is so hard to look my older daughter in the face when she is scared about something she saw in a movie and tell her that nothing bad is going to happen to her, that I will stop bad people from ever getting to her. But this case completely broke my faith in humanity. And okay, no doubt this guy had bad things done to him as a child. Yes, it is an isolated incident. But these people are out there and there is nothing we can do about it but pray they get caught and put in jail.

The flip side of the story is ironically, that the human spirit is surprisingly resilient. It is reported that Elisabeth and two of her captive children who are now being treated in a psychiatric hospital, are said to be in surprisingly good condition, except for the need to adapt to daylight.

One official said: "As we were driving with one of the boys towards the hospital he told me he was very happy to be driven in a car. He had seen cars on TV and always wanted to have a ride in one.

"I could not detect any obvious mental or physical malfunctions in him or his sister."