Daughter. Sister. Friend. Believer. Warrior. Writer. Voracious reader. Shoe Lover. Car Accident Survivor. Quasi philosopher. Prone to circumlocution. Beyonce stan. Retired cynic. On a quest to make a dent in the universe. Impossible to summarise in a few words.
As we are all aware the music industry is in dire straits. It’s over-saturated by under-fed Indie bands who look the same, sound the same but are apparently different, made for ringtone rappers and ex-stage school kids that all seem to lack the ability to independently construct sentences containing polysyllabic words. An absolute mess.
Anyway things seem to be slowly improving. So I recently caught up with up and coming singer-songwriter-producer-musician (yes she really is all those things) VV Brown (Universal/Island) who is a sure sign that perhaps major labels have finally woken up and are starting to get it right.
VV! What inspired your single ‘crying blood’? Crying blood came out of a suppressed lonely situation I was in a really dysfunctional relationship and I moved back to London and was really heartbroken. The lyrics contradict the melody. The melody is happy and major, the lyrics are really dark. The contradiction came out of the fact I was really sad and leaving the guy, but subconsciously I was really happy to have the strength to move away.
Looking at your myspace pictures etc it’s really apparent your style is as quirky as your music, how do you put your clothes together? Before I got back from LA I was really broke. I was forced to buy vintage/second hand clothes, this was before it became trendy and just was what I could afford at the time, and I was forced to be creative with my clothes. As I started to find myself as an artist again, I became bolder with my clothes. Do what I wanted, how I wanted!
Which do you prefer studio or live? That’s a hard question, nothings greater than being in the studio then ten minutes later writing a song that could change your life. But then there’s an energy that can’t be described from live music, it’s almost like an electric current! Performing live is slightly more exciting than being in the studio, but both are special. But live you get to connect with the people in a way you don’t in the studio.
At this point I realised the interview was becoming one of those generic interviews that I start reading but don’t finish. So I thought ‘screw it’ her music’s brilliant, let’s get to the questions that really matter. Hope you’re all still with us lol!
VV, what makes you rant? What really annoys me are people that are extremely famous for no reason. They’re famous but they actually don’t do anything. I find it really difficult to understand that. I mean if you were a model, or a presenter, or a singer, then I could respect that because you are being credited for your craft. But if you are famous for nothing, then that frustrates me because there are so many people that work hard for something! So that would be one of my ‘rants’.
You’ve met a genie, he’s given you three wishes and you can change three things in the world? What would they be? First wish would be a million wishes.
You can’t say that, that’s cheating! LOL
(Well she didn’t say LOL that would be weird, but she laughed out loud. Just thought I’d clarify that)
On the basis of your last answer I’m not sure if you’re going to be good at this next bit but we’ll try. You have to pick one thing out of the two. Critical acclaim or commercial success? (Pauses) …..That’s very difficult. With this album or over my whole career?
Over your whole career. Mmmm, that’s a very hard question. (Pauses) Critical acclaim.
Crocs or Uggs? What are crocs?
That is the perfect answer No but what are they?
They’re those weird rubbery shoes, absolutely hideous. Oh I know those rubber shoes! Uggs!
Topshop or Urban Outfitters? Urban Outfitters, always!
Bush or Blair? Blair
Night in or night out? Night in
High street or designer? (Long pause) High Street, I’d rather invest my money in property and save
You clever girl. Tupac or Biggie? Tupac
Gym Freak or Couch potato? I fluctuate in the middle, but at the moment couch potato
Brand new or vintage? I think I know the answer to this one. Vintage
Hats or sunglasses? Hats
And the question on the worlds mind……..(drum roll please)…Obama or McCain?(This was a definite deal breaker for me because if she had said the wrong thing, I would have probably terminated the interview) Obama, with capital letters and a million exclamation marks!
Glad were on the same page. Now we have to get back to the ‘business stuff’. Where can readers of ‘Christiana Rants’ (shameless plug) pick up your single? The single is out on the 3rd of November on limited 7” and you can download it from iTunes (You hear that guys buy it, don’t steal it!)
VV, you have been fabulous, thank you and all the best! Thank you!
Ranters of the world unite! Support VV Brown. She’s talented, impossible to pigeonhole and quite unlike most of the ‘popstars’ we are currently being tormented by. Beyond that she’s endorsing Obama. I think that settles it.
VV Brown an oasis in the current desert of musical foolishness.
Of late I have realised that as much as old adages are thrown about so much that they seem meaningless, they still hold much truth. Take the saying ‘never say never’. I am now convinced the moment we state that we will never do something again, the chances we will, double! It’s just one of those random things about the universe. Like how we are always missing the other sock.
1) I will never………..do an ‘all-nighter’ and study for a crucial exam the night before
Every single academic year there is that one module/subject that is torture. The lectures are agony; tutorials even worse and you end up using the textbook as a doorstop. Each week we state were going to buckle down, but for some reason we never do. Studying for it is like pricking your pupils with toothpicks, so we don’t.
Then we get our examination timetable and we realise that in spite of attending the odd lecture/tutorial we know absolutely nothing about the course. Heck at the final lecture none of the concepts seem even vaguely familiar. So we claim were going to do a marathon revision session during Easter break……but we don’t.
Next thing we know it’s the day before the exam and we start suffering from palpitations. So begins the ‘night before the exam routine'. This involves drinking so much coffee and Redbull we get the shakes, popping a couple propluses, printing off information from wikipedia and then calling our only friend on the course that actually did the work and grovelling for their notes.
Then we study for 12 hours straight, have a 15-minute nap, wake up and head straight for the examination hall. When the exams over, you leave the exam hall having lost half your body weight in sweat and not remembering a SINGLE thing you wrote.
And when your friend asks ‘how did it go? ’ You respond ‘I will never do that again, next year I’ll revise properly’. But do we? Hell no!
2) I will never……….drink that much again
There are nights out when we were so inebriated and so badly behaved we would rather not remember them. Actually we cannot remember huge chunks of the evening but the pictures on Facebook indicate that if our parents were made aware of our behaviour they would probably have strokes.
It’s not the fact that we threw up, started seeing double or danced on tables in public, it’s the fact that we said things that we can’t take back. So we say to the victim of our verbal onslaught ‘don’t worry, I will never drink that much again’……it lasts till the next Saturday!
3) I will never. ………renew my contract with T Mobile/your respective mobile network
Perhaps this is a London thing (enlighten me) but growing up if you weren’t on T Mobile (then known as One-2-One) you were a pariah. I remember people saying they were with ‘Orange’ and people acted like they had used a racial slur ‘Orange? Orange?’ Anyway! Due to the fact I still bear the scars of peer pressure from my secondary school days, one-2-one's propensity to crash at random intervals (which meant free calls) and the fact no one would call you if you weren’t on T Mobile, I am in my early twenties and still with the same network provider. Even though they have sabotaged me on countless occasions and are evidence that capitalism + bureaucracy = inefficiency.
Each time T mobile disrupt my life or send me a phone bill that I KNOW cannot be correct I inform their call centre employee ‘Don’t worry I’m going to leave you crooks as soon as I can’. In the days leading up to my contract expiration I tell everyone around me with glee ‘Me and T mobile are finished, never again’.
Then I phone them up to cancel my contract and upon hearing the words ‘customer loyalty’ ‘free’ and ‘ substantial discount’, I renew my contract without even thinking twice. And the 18-month cycle starts again.
4) I will never………go on holiday with them again
We all look forward to our first holiday sans the parents/wider family because it means that not only can we do what we want but we don’t have to do touristy things like stare at old buildings that we couldn’t care less about, can't pronounce and can't spell. So we decide to go on holiday with a group of friends. A good idea in theory but in practise, this often proves slightly problematic.
Crucially the anticipation for the holiday is so high its bound to be somewhat of a failure because it can never match our expectations. The clues that all will not go swimmingly start with the person that decides to hold up the booking process by not paying for their flight/hotel because apparently ‘they’re broke’ even though their new clothing says otherwise. Coincidentally they are also the person to nearly make the clique miss the flight.
So you go on holiday and it all begins to go tits up. Someone hooks up with a random dude/chick down the corridor and makes things awkward for the rest by making you all have to constantly avoid them, someone decides to complain about everything, the climate, the hotel, the food and everyone has at least one trivial argument. Invariably by the end of the fortnight, the big group of friends have split into two camps with one person floating in the middle trying to play peacemaker.
When you land at Heathrow and your dad comes to pick you up you say ‘I will never go on holiday with them again’.
However every year has a summer and making new friends is a chore. So as you stand at the check-in desk a year later, waiting for the same person to turn up for the flight, you wonder ‘What on am I thinking going on holiday with these people. I will never…...'
5) God I will never (insert sin of choice) if you (insert request of choice)
I don’t care who you are or what you claim to believe when things get really hopeless and you’ve tried every other avenue, you will send up a prayer. There is nothing wrong with this, were human, we can’t control everything and in my opinion prayer is the only logical option at this point (even if you’re an atheist).
What is hilarious is the fact we attempt to place terms and conditions on our requests in order to coax God into helping us. I do it all to often. I say things like ‘God if you come through for me on this one thing I will never swear again’.
Sometimes we get our miracle, other times we don’t. Either way we generally go back to the ‘sin’ we swore to a sovereign deity, that we would never do again.
6) I will never............................... speak to that %^&* (insert expletive of choice) again!
We all have a friend or family member that we come to blows with approximately every 7 months. The argument may be over something trivial or something meaningful, regardless it is blown to mega-proportions and every time we re-tell the story we say ‘I will never speak to that ^&*( again’. The thing is the people that we have really explosive, deep, crazy, passionate arguments with are usually the people we love the most or love to hate the most. In short we cannot live without them.
That means for everyone that has made the above statement, 99.9% of the time they end up speaking to their ‘foe’ again and proceed to act like nothing ever happened, well until the next argument anyway. And for the 0.1% that hold onto their vow of silence, they spend so much time speaking to people about the argument, its evident that in their own special way they are trying to ‘keep the beef alive’ in order to retain some connection to their ‘enemy’.
However I think this is the one ‘I will never’ I’m glad we generally fail at because grudges are never good and life is far too short to spend it being angry with people.
7) I will never call……………….. him/her again!
Every time a person makes the above statement about a member of the opposite sex they tell us 3 things: -
a) They are angry b) They are sprung c) They will call them (even if its on private number and then proceed to hang up)
My conclusion, I’m giving up saying ‘I will never’ because it doesn’t work. However I will start saying ‘I’m going to try….’!
Inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue: one need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within Michelangelo
As babies we posses an innate quality that means we have the will and determination to do things without being told we can. We sit up, we crawl, we walk then we talk. No one tells us we can do it, we just observe the adults around us and then act. As children we were fearless and resilient. If we fell over, we’d simply cry for a little bit, then literally leap up, keep running with bloodied knees! But the older we get it seems when we fall over, we cry for longer and sometimes we stay there choosing not to try again.
I often wondered where the boldness and confidence of children goes. You know the way they walk into rooms like they are the epicentre of the universe and say what everyone is thinking. Or how when you ask a 6 year old what they want to be when they grow up, they respond with ‘a doctor’, ‘a singer’, ‘a pilot’ and they say it with such self-belief and determination in their eyes, you also believe they will achieve their dream.
Then I realised life happens. We get chipped away, we discover disappointment, realise things often don’t work out the way we would like them to and conclude that our childhood dreams, were only dreams and were never really possible. Somewhere along the road of our transition to childhood to adolescence someone tells us, (often without malicious intent) that we are not good enough. Or that we don’t have the capacity to achieve something we had believed was within our reach. Maybe it’s a teacher, a kid in the playground, our parents or even the absence of a parent. Whatever it is those words stick and echo in the back of our minds. And so begins the lifelong journey of the erosion of our confidence and as teenagers our dreams mutate, and we begin to manage our expectations.
So instead of reaching for the things that at one stage we believed with all our might we were destined to achieve, we begin to settle. Some of settle on our choice of university, choice of employment, choice of boyfriend/girlfriend, choice of friends. We settle and choose to ‘attain’ things that our clearly within grasp as opposed to things that are apparently out of reach.
Growing up I don’t remember experiencing blatant racism but I was constantly told it happened. So after awhile I started to believe that by default of my race and gender there were certain things that I would never be able to achieve. Furthermore the brick walls of racism and sexism were so dense and insurmountable; there were certain things I shouldn’t even attempt because they were impossibilities for ‘people like me’.
I have now come to conclude that was the most poisonous stage of thinking in my life and one to say I am glad I have overcome. I realised that I had bestowed so much power to the social ills that seek to hold us all back, that I had essentially relinquished the tools within me designed to overcome them. So now I’m on this journey of rewiring my mind. Reframing myself and completely changing my mentality. Trying to become who I was as a child and like the children I saw around me. Fearless, brash, precocious, confident, brimming with self-belief and above all determined.
However recent responses to my blog (isn’t this the best blog ever??!) and aspects of personality have made me realise when you choose to live a life where you eradicate diffidence you will be informed that you’re arrogant. You see the world feels uncomfortable around people brimming with self-belief because insecurity is the easier option. But after waiting around to be informed by the masses that I’m special and not enough people did it, I’ve settled on validating myself. Don’t get me wrong I don’t have delusions of grandeur. There are many things I am no good at, such as being tactful. However in spite of my faults and the faults of those around me I am still a firm believer that in each and every individual there is at least ONE thing that makes them special, one thing that makes them brilliant. Therefore everyone on this earth has the capacity for greatness if they tap into that one thing, (or many things) for some people.
But unfortunately were not taught that in schools or even by our parents. Were taught to play by the rules and amble through life and if you’re lucky you’ll die old.
It all starts with the bleeding abacus.
I have always hated abacuses and I will never ever give one to my child. I hated abacuses because they were fixed. I couldn’t move the stupid spheres diagonally, or up and down, I could only move them side-to-side and even then they had limited room for manoeuvre. According to the abacus I could only count to 100 and there was no world beyond the 10 times table. Were told ‘rules’ such as if you multiply 2 by 2 it equals 4. That’s the way it is, that’s the way it has always been and that is how it always will be.
That’s how it starts and how most of us chose to live. In a mainframe of rigidity where only certain things are possible and our outcomes are pre-determined.
So after reading this rant and my attempt at ‘self-help’ you have a choice. To live within the rigid paradigms that you will be what the world expects of you and less than what you can be. Follow the rule that 2 x 2 = 4 and that’s the way it will always be.
Or start afresh.
Choose to throw your now twisted, jaded and cynical ‘abacus’ out of the window and find what makes you brilliant. Choose to grasp the truth that irrespective of the opinions of those around you, in spite of what you have been told or been through within you is the capacity for greatness.
2 x 2 can equal 3 bleeding million if you need it to.
Marx got it wrong. Reality TV, not religion, is the opium of the people. Nothing crystallizes this more than X Factor 2008.
It’s not the judges, alongside Dermot O’Leary they remain its redeeming trait. The combination of the lovely Cheryl Cole, kind Louis Walsh and dark Simon Cowell are great. Danni Minogue is absent from the list because her judging a talent show is like an obese alcoholic with an assault charge mentoring me about restraint. It makes no sense. Could we get Sharon Osborne back, please?! If it weren't for the great Kylie Minogue and the fact I fear Danni will attack me with the botox syringes she obviously carries in her handbag, I would go harder. But I’ll stop.
So last Saturday I decide to watch the ‘live show’ and didn’t everyone have a sob story.
" Oh my goldfish died then my dog ran off with the milkman so I'm singing "baby come back” to make him come home"
' My life up north has been so tough I can't afford a comb and look this week I wore out my last pair of shoes and have to perform barefoot"
So we are tormented (and the weaker minded masses manipulated) by their ‘heart breaking’ life stories. Each contestants moans and moans and moans. In order for us to empathise with them and really believe grasp how hard their lives have been, emotional music in the background (always by a Sony/BMG artist if you notice). Then they say to the camera "I really need this if it doesn't work out I don't know what I’ll do………’ (Vapid contestant stares into the distance eyes welling up)
Here’s a thought, get a proper job you talenteless troll.
Around week 5 of the live shows the producers will really mix it up and the favourite (who normally looks like a boxer in drag) will say
‘I'm really worried this week because I've lost my voice"
Funny how each year an X factor contestant will lose their voices, yet are somehow miraculously healed to make our ears bleed Saturday night?
Anyway! Out comes the gorgeous Dermot O’Leary (the messiah of that show I tell you)
‘Ladies and gentlemen with "endless love’ ex-drug addict, former life coach, now faith healer and housewife.... Its Shelia"
And Shelia begins to sing… Quietly
The runner holds up a cue card.......... it reads ‘applause’.
Lost in the depth of her horrendous vocal, Shelia is blissfully unaware of the cue card. So she hears the claps and incorrectly interprets this as a sign that the entire audience and not just her grandma with one ear due the parrot accident, believes she's good.
So she sings louder and then begins to shriek. Shelia sings so horribly and so out of tune for a moment the sound engineer is convinced he pressed the wrong backing track. But no it is the right track; she's just in the wrong key. And as the mangled backing track crescendos on comes the choir/dancers. Or if were really unfortunate both. So there it is. Choir, dancers and a concussed housewife (didn't I mention Shelia was in a car accident 3 months ago and left A&E to go to her first audition). And as she belts the final note, she looks like she’s had a hot flush and ends hands upright. Torture. Absolute torture.
And we have to watch that multiple times. Just in varying manifestations. If its not a homoerotic boy band, who insist on singing flat, blatantly have eating disorders and never had growth spurts. It’s a precocious stage school kid, with annoying jazz hands, wrote their own musical at 4 and I want to punch in the neck.
I have had enough. Yes there are flashes of semi- brilliance, but when you look at the whole bunch, if it was the BBC inflicting such nonsense we would be fully entitled NOT to pay our TV license for the next decade.
I wouldn't mind the producers deliberate attempts at exploiting blatantly psychologically damaged egomaniacs if they could sing. But they can't. So to each contestant that says with eyes welling up "all I want to do is sing". You don’t need to be on the X Factor to sing. Last time I checked we were free to sing anyfreakingwhere, this is a liberal democracy. If you have any more "singing urges" go to an open field, where there is no human life for miles around and belt your heart out. Furthermore what you really mean is ‘all I really want to do is be famous’, don’t patronise me.
By its own merit the X Factor should be cancelled. The only star it has discovered and we have been actually quite privileged to watch blossom is Leona Lewis, however in all honesty she was a star waiting to happen, and the X Factor was a catalyst not a cause. At least American Idol can boast of alumni who have careers beyond the credits rolling on the season finale. Carrie Underwood, Fantasia, Chris Daughtry, Jennifer Hudson, Elliot Yamin, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Clay Aiken, Kelli Piclker. Bar a few exceptions The X Factor delights in showcasing people that lack any sort of factor, intelligence factor, singing factor, iCan dance in time factor, it is the holy grail of musical mediocrity. And should be renamed the ‘The Road to Panto/….'' Or ‘The Road to temporary fame then obscurity”.
The real winner of the X factor has always been and will always be Simon Cowell. Each winner is signed to his record label ‘Syco Music" (you couldn't make it up) and signs a contract which means not only will they’ be famous but broke for a very long time, lack creative control, won’t get to write any of their material so screw the bulk of the royalties and probably won’t even own the rights to their own name. Blissfully unaware because they probably didn’t read the small print which reads ‘I own you bitch’ they fulfill all the ‘X Factor’ winner duties; pop promos, switching on Christmas lights, cutting ribbons at your local Lidl and inevitably hit number one. But by the time Cowell and his lot share the spoils of the sales and merchandising the winner ends up with about 500 pence. If they’re lucky.
I do admire Simon Cowell he has not only created but managed to star in such a lucrative franchise. The reason he spends half the time grinning like a Cheshire cat with halogen veneers is not because he can’t help but find 85% of the performances amusing but because he is rich, very rich. Simon if you're reading, I want you to be my mentor.
In the perfect world all the contestants would revolt, have a mini-revolution, unite, form The X Factor Trade Union and refuse to go on the show unless the terms of their contracts were re-negotiated. Yes I said it The X Factor Trade Union – fighting for better pay, a larger share in profits and a better stylist. Even if it tanked it would be hilarious to watch. But that’s not going to happen because this isn’t Utopia and despite the tears and apparent humility most of these contestants actually believe they are the next big thing. (Sighs). Oh Jerusalem, Oh Jerusalem.
So who will win this year?
I would bet a million pounds on whoever Simon Cowell and the execs at Sony/BMG believe will make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time, whilst remaining as subservient as possible.
Peace, Love and Donny Hathaway (now that’s talent)
For some bizarre reason I woke up this morning and didn't feel like writing. I wouldn't call it writers block because I'm a firm believer that creativity can never be stopped unless you lose the will to create. I just didn't feel like placing my fingers on this keyboard and trying to write something semi-coherent and entertaining.
You guys may or may not be aware but I do spend a silly amount of time on another keyboard. My gorgeous piano Ethel. Ethel and I are in this constant battle. A battle of wit, creativity and swagger. 85% of the time she wins as I am yet to truly master her. But today after hearing Lil Wayne on the radio I had a burst of inspiration and I think I beat (if not tied) with the ivories.
Lil Wayne receives as much adulation as he does criticism. Is he the greatest MC of our generation? Is he a gimmick? Is he glorifying drug use ? (heck even my mum knows its not water in that cup). Is he the living embodiment of what music has become? Fleeting, shockingly brilliant but so damaged it is destined to burn out.
I don't know.
All I know is that Lil Wayne with his music and lifestyle sparks discussion. A discussion about things people would rather not talk about. Discussions about money, sex, drugs, poverty, pornography, misogyny, values, musical integrity, I could go on, but I won't bore you.
What I do know is that I appreciate the depth and sheer brilliance of his craft. I'm not claiming that he is the greatest lyricist but he makes do with what he has and in turn has more lines than a coke addict.
He hasn't got the greatest flow, however his voice (even sans vocoder) has the ability to hypnotise. And the songs.....well one song in particular as crude as I find it in substance, I marvel at it as a musician. Four simple chords, built around a sparse number of notes, with a syncopated phrase that even a 9 month old can mimmick 'la la la la la lollipop'. Genius.
So today, I sat with Ethel and decided that as much as we love playing (or trying to play) Art Tatum (or whatever comes to mind when we play together) my attempts at mastering Bachs two part inventions would have to be on another day. Because today we were going to discover the world of Lil Wayne.
So that was it, for a few minutes whilst I figured out the key and the movements I wanted to do, we debated on what was best. So I decide to interpret Lil Wayne, because I'm not sure my instrument was built to imitate his flow, voice or swagger.
However he did inspire me today. So Lil Wayne thank you.
So here it is, my interpretation of Lil Wayne's Lollipop.
In life you never know when you’re dealing with a person that is borderline psychotic. But generally by the time you discover your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend is a complete fruitcake it’s far too late. You’ve had to file a restraining order, change your mobile number, and can only frequent certain parts of the city at particular times.
Recent incidents have made me come to believe that most people that I come into contact with totter between being sane and insane. This may be a reflection of myself and perhaps I need to make character adjustments but for the time being I remain convinced that there must be something in the water.
Anyway! My dislike for unnecessary drama has meant that I am implementing measures that will ensure I avoid bullshit as much as I can. I have concluded that one of the best ways of discovering a persons mental health and gauge levels of the likelihood of future drama is their iTunes library, in particular their ‘Top 25 Most Played’.
Why judge by their Top 25 Most played? The music we listen to is often a reflection of our state of mind.
So when I’m jogging, I listen to Hip-Hop songs about hustlers, pimps, hoes and other socially damaged individuals. Basically men claiming they engage in activity that I find abhorrent. However the sheer venom with which they spit, the fact I find the drive (not the deeds) of a hustler inspiring and the often hypnotic baselines means its just what I need to ensure I make it up the hill, without retiring to my house to eat cake.
Or if I’m getting dressed for church I play something soul- feeding (yes I know extremely hypocritical when juxtaposition with the other content in my iTunes library, but I just can’t play the Devils music on the Lords day)
Hence why when women go through a nasty break-up, they play songs like ‘Irreplaceable’, ‘Me, Myself and I” or whatever the heck is current and promoting female empowerment. You know to make them feel ‘worthy’ or like they can get over it.
Whether we like it or not the content (not necessarily quality) of the music we listen to says a lot more about us than we would like to admit. So my advice to my readers that are snoopers, go through iTunes, with the credit crunch its cheaper than a private investigator and quicker than asking around.
I will admit going through a person’s iTunes, as a form of mental assessment is on some level a complete violation of their privacy but I defend it because a) You can’t get caught because most people haven’t cottoned on to the abundance of information iTunes has b) I believe snooping through emails/mobiles/Facebook inboxes should be a prisonable offence
In short it’s the best next alternative.
How to use iTunes as a mental assessment
The number of Songs You must not judge a persons psycho factor by their complete iTunes library. The fact is that most people insist on downloading music illegally despite the fact it is robbing artists/songwriters of the money that they’re due. Since our generations conscience has been seared to the point you all jack musicians on a daily basis I won’t rant about it. I just want to point out that not only will psychoanalysing a 10 GB iTunes library be time consuming but any conclusions you come to won’t really mean much. It just means that they have got a bit ‘click happy’ on Lime Wire.
On the other hand, if anyone has an iTunes library with less than 200 songs and their laptop/PC is over 2 months old. I would forget them. This means they either procrastinate too much or don’t listen to music. Both groups of people are a waste of time.
‘My Top Rated’ Don’t judge them according to that stupid ‘star’ count it’s meaningless and only people with far too much time on their hands actually use it. I mean do you really need to remind yourself of your favourite song?
Playlists Interesting, but not that revealing. Unless they have a playlist called ‘Getting Over George’…..I would avoid someone that obvious
. Genre You mustn’t judge by the genre of music they listen to. In my opinion genres don’t exist. Genres were created, imposed from above to divide and to make music marketable. So when we speak about genres, were really speaking about markets. I can’t pigeon the world and claim that certain type of people only listen to a particular style of music, that would be living in err. Good music is good music, full stop.
In essence the genre of music is pretty much irrelevant, we are all free to listen to what we like. It’s the CONTENT you analyse. If they only listen to filth e.g. everything is marked as ‘Explicit’ I would tread carefully. They probably have real anger issues.
However if a person is so closed minded they only listen to ONE ‘genre’ of music, I would give them a pass. I hate music fascists. They are some of the most disgusting individuals I’ve ever been exposed to; furthermore they have a tendency to steal things
The Top 25 Most Played
Any man that has more than 7 R&B ‘slow jams’ or ‘sex inducers’ as I like to call them in their Top 25. They are a womaniser; the music is part of their ‘game’. If you don’t want to play ‘End of the Road’ for the next 6 months, move on swiftly.
Anyone that has more than 5 Coldplay records/Any other bands whose music will send you into comatose if in constant rotation. They are either a) Trying to hard to be ‘with it’ (yawn) because lets be honest no one really likes that kind of music b) The human equivalent of rice with no stew. BLAND!
Any female over the age of 21 who has a Spice Girls/any now irrelevant 90s band e.g. Five, A Teens, B*Witched, Another Level, A1 (Ha, I’m going WAAAAY back into irrelevance) in their Top 25. Run. They have issues with letting go. If you do hook up they will build a shrine to you and make your life a living hell if you dump them.
Anyone who the bulk of their Top 25 is dedicated to
a) Break Up Anthems b) Let’s sing a song because my stylist/dog/dad/plastic surgeon died records c) Let’s save the world music
I hate people that wallow in self-pity. You know the ‘I’m so depressed type’ who play songs that make them feel even more depressed. Life is not that bad! The fact that you even own a laptop and have electricity to power it means you are part of the elite. Still don’t believe me? Book a flight to Darfur.
Anyone with a Disney song in his or her Top 10. The songs are good, but not that good. Snap out of it, your childhood is gone. Yes there’s a recession and I do agree that ‘Under the Sea’ is certainly better than the current employment market however no matter how many times you play ‘A whole new world’, this universe will not be a better place. Get off your magic carpet and join the rest of us on planet earth.
If for some unknown reason you are exposed to a person that DOESN’T use iTunes and has some program like windows media player, or is one of those super Nerds who built their own music programs just because they can. Call the police. That is a sociopath.
Anyone that has Milli Vanilli, Vanilla Ice, or Soulja Boy’s one hit in their Top 25. Especially the Soulja boy record, anyone that it takes so long to learn such basic choreography that the horrendous song made it into their Top 25, is a definite cause for concern.
Anyone that a good number of their most played was recorded before 1998. They are obviously someone of great wisdom as anyone with a grain of sense is aware since then 80% of the records made by commercial artists has been the height of musical nonsense.
Anyone that has 2-3 songs from the same artist/same album. They’re loyal.
Anyone that won’t let you near their laptop/ has a password function on their machine. They’re either
a) Smart b) Hiding Something (who isn’t?) c) Fully aware they shouldn’t trust someone like you around their stuff
Growing up I really wasn’t into films, I wanted to be in them rather than watch them. Therefore my childhood isn’t filled with pleasant cinema memories as I hated cinemas then and I despise them now. But if I was forced into a cinema trip the one thing I just knew was that Disney/whichever studio made the film, were lying to me. And not because the people were playing make believe, but in the sense the agenda they were pushing and the idealistic fashion most films seemed to end, just didn’t add up. Maybe there is a gene code for cynicism, but I remember vividly watching the Lion King and when the strangely handsome Simba defeats Scar and thinking ‘sure’, then wondering if the hyenas would plan Scars funeral.
A warped child perhaps, but growing up I have discovered that I was on track. The films (especially those that claim to be based on true life events) lie. I’ve always been pessimistic about pockets of the human race. So although apparently good prevails over evil, do the right thing it always pays and other banal platitudes that some choose to live by are true , contrary to the moralistic Hollywood blockbusters, where we see handsome, kind and just man save humanity and get the beautiful girl (without even getting a second degree burn) in real life the opposite occurs with such frequency we would all be justified in suing Disney for giving us false hope as children.
The only film that kept it real was Titanic. The bastard got on a life-boat by grabbing some random urchin and pretending he was their father and the decent bloke that finally got his dream ticket to America drowned at the expense of some rich bitch, who faked fatigue so she could push him in the Atlantic. The truth is good guys…lose.
I know it sounds awful but its true. To appease the moralists out there I guess they win if we look at the broad context of life. Do the right thing; you’ll always be a winner, yippee. However when we look at situations in isolation and how women treat them, they are losers. Good guys hear from women they are in love with, would potentially die for and treat like gold… ‘I just see you as a friend/brother’ and from their employers ‘we just think you’d make a better team player, than project leader’.
I actually feel sorry for good guys. I see them all the time, acting as taxi drivers and human ATM’s for unscrupulous women who exploit their kindness. You know genuinely good men, that women say things such as ‘oh he’s so sweet’, ‘he’ll make someone a good husband some day’, when they leave the room. And eventually he will, but not without being rejected so many times or mistreated by callous women that if not for the few women out there with sense, he would become as wicked as the rest!
Whilst writing the waste man chronicles I actually had a moment where I realised that though ultimate blame lays with the Waste Man the truth is there are women (for whatever reason) would pick a Waste Man over Good Guy, any day. There is a massive (growing) market for the Waste Man. So I write with deep regret that most (not all women) like men that have a dangerous streak. I am convinced that the writers of ‘The Rules’, ‘He’s just not that into you’ and other romantic self-help books are wasting their time. If a woman finds a perfect man she will still be unhappy. Women don’t want a perfect man; they want a damaged man they can bitch about.
But by the time they realise that damaged man, equals accelerated heart rate, equals a man that has so much drama you are near cardiac arrest, its too late. Because a woman with sense has got the good guy or he’s decided stop being used as a doormat and join the rest. Simple. Anyway, before I risk being a complete traitor to my gender let me stop!
I’m convinced that secondary school/high schools are institutions built to drain us of any fibres of innocence or goodness we may have left, so it is often surprising to meet what is categorised as a ‘Good Guy'' However, they do exist, they really do. I don’t think they should be applauded as it’s like congratulating someone on being a law-abiding citizen, its what you should do. I haven’t got time to congratulate people for what they should be doing, but I will acknowledge their efforts. So good guys, I acknowledge you. This is not a rant asking you to change, please stay the same, the world needs you!
Recently whilst I was having one of my random thought journeys and examining self I had a profound moment. I realised that as often as I complain, bitch, moan, lament, holler, scream (I’ve run out of verbs) about some of the gentlemen (used in the LOOOSEST sense possible), I attract. The reality is the drama occurs because not only do I entertain the trolls in the first place but more importantly I often say no to alternatives, because they are ‘too nice’.
I am an incredibly picky eater. Not only am I careful about what I eat, I am careful where I eat. But now I am 21 not 10 so there is nothing cute about being picky, I just look like a bitch. I have many friends/acquaintances/associates that often invite me to eat at their homes and wonder why I always seem to be on a detox. The truth is I have had far too many experiences with food that I wouldn’t even give to Mugabe’s cat, I say no to be on the safe side.
Unfortunately were in a recession so I’m going to have to curb the amount I eat out (sobs). So my credit crunch tip for the week is ‘eat in’ don’t ‘eat out’. However credit crunch or no credit crunch I will always struggle with being disingenuous and people will persist in inviting me to their homes for dinner. Therefore I’ve decided to come up with my ‘dinner rules’. Yes I am aware it is presumptuous and downright rude, as after all someone is making the effort to cook for me out of the goodness of their heart. However I’m trying to pre-empt situations where I’m offended regarding what I’ve eaten and you’re offended with my behaviour.
My Dinner Rules
1) What we eat
If I have accepted the invitation to eat at your home it not only suggests that I trust you (to a degree) but that you’re aware of all my pedantic habits when it comes to food. Therefore I won’t bore with you with the fact that I don’t eat pork, don’t drink juice that’s from concentrate or would rather drink a glass of spit then eat caviar.
In regards to what we eat there is one main rule. Do not invite me to your home for a ‘home cooked meal’ then present me with something you simply punched with a fork and placed in the microwave. Giving guests ready meals is like using tracing paper as an aid then trying to sell the picture. It’s cheating and even more insulting than the rant I will most certainly write about you as soon as I get home.
As you all know I hate bacteria. So anything that is cooked must be cleaned thoroughly before placed in the pan/wok/pot/whatever!
Let’s take my favourite dead food - chicken. Chicken is a bird. Birds have feathers. I don’t know who in the poultry supply chain is meant to deal with plucking feathers, but they never do a good enough job. Therefore if you cook chicken, you burn the stray feathers left, first. Then clean it until you can almost see your face in it.
Now in years gone past when women stayed at home and didn’t work they would do things to fill their time. Like iron socks and handkerchiefs and season food overnight. Now women work so that’s not possible. However there is no excuse for giving me food that is as dry as cardboard. It just won’t cut it. So please if you are going to give me something dead to eat, season it sufficiently.
To those on the other end of the spectrum. I don’t want to take a bite of something then cry/choke/cough/melt or all the above. Excessive pepper isn’t good going down and it burns on the other side as well. Do not try and assassinate me with chilli. Moderation is the key. 3) Cooking Period
I remember growing up and watching cookery shows such as ‘Ready Steady Cook’ and always thinking ‘you need to put that right back on the stove because it needs to cook for double the time’. I don’t know why but food on cookery shows, rarely looks……cooked!
I want my ‘something dead’ whether its lamb, chicken or beef…well done. Not rare, medium or medium-rare. Well done or nothing! Quick note, sushi is the obvious exception for which I will forever love the Japanese and would campaign tirelessly if the powers-that-be decided to invade them.
On the other hand please do not give me a dish that could substitute as a burnt offering for whatever God you choose to worship. Burnt food is only tolerable at barbecues and even then we pretend to like it then cuss the hosts in the car on the way home.
I love Dim Sum, but it doesn’t make me feel full. It’s like McDonalds, you eat, feel content for about 15 minutes, then burp and your stomach feels empty.
If you invite me to your home for a meal the chances are I won’t have eaten before I got there. Therefore, unless we are ALL on diets, please don’t give me a portion, which matches the size of my fist. It’s not fair, give generously.
5) Don’t ask
If you have made me a meal and I have not commented on how good it is, the likelihood is that I’ve have been filling the napkin on my lap with the contents of the dish. I would love to be a bulimic and eat your trollop then throw it up later, however I binge but don’t purge. So if I haven’t said I like the meal, I probably didn’t. So don’t ask, because being tactful is a skill I’m yet to master.
So those are my rules if you can match that I’ll be at yours next week, otherwise…let’s eat out.
Peace, Love and Honesty is Healthy
P.S. Massive thanks for all your messages in the shoutbox, emails, comments, spreading the word etc. You guys absolutely rock! Luv Ya!!!!
I no longer have the energy or patience to attempt to decipher what has contributed most to the erosion of any concept of decency that we once had as a society. All I know is that in the last few years, there has been the explosion in behaviour that I have taken as personal confirmation that unless something dramatic occurs, our generation will probably be the one to ensure the world is completely ruined.
Sunglasses in the night.......indoors I don’t know who started this trend but it is the most illogical, backward fashion faux pas that can ever be done. They are called sunglasses. There is no other accessory that has a name more indicative of function. They are meant to shield ones eyes from the sun. So what in Palins name are you doing wearing them indoors, at night?
For some reason an increasing number of males between the ages of 18-30, who are neither blind nor suffering from an eye infection, insist on wearing sunglasses in nightclubs. I’m not sure if you’re all part of some secret society or it’s a secret signal that you’re on the downlow. Whatever it is, stop it, you’re creeping me out.
The Champagne Photo Facebook has meant that taking pointless photos is what we do when we go out and I’m not going to criticise anyone that preens more than they dance. Truth is I am a founding member of the ‘were so vain we take pictures all night’ brigade.
What I find bizarre is people insisting on taking pictures, not with other humans, but with bottles of champagne/expensive bottles of alcohol…..(CONFUSED FACE). Now I understand the ultimate aim is to project the false reality that you have a lot of money, but let me let you into a little secret. You’re a fooling nobody.
The truth is we are all quite aware that you saved up for two months to purchase that bottle of glorified piss (Belvedere). So yes we can understand why you insist on taking a picture of it, because it is evidence that if you strive you will achieve. But please do not front like you buy Belvedere like I buy Volvic. That’s annoying.
Pregnant Midriff I will admit pregnancy is a beautiful occurrence - when we speak about it. However when we look at it carefully, there’s nothing physically attractive about pregnancy or childbirth for that matter. If you look attractive and pregnant, you look attractive in spite of the fact you have massive bump, not because of it.
I don’t want to see the huge line in the middle of your stomach, or your stretch marks or even if you’re one of those blessed women that didn’t get stretch marks. Midriff is sweet in your teens, tacky in your twenties and when pregnant it’s indecent exposure. Enough of this nonsense!
Blaming the Credit Crunch I recently spoke to a young man who blamed his unemployment on the credit crunch.
Not on the fact that he hadn’t filled in a single job application.
Or the fact that spending secondary school and college playing blackjack had meant that he wasn’t even in possession of a sympathy grade ‘U’ the government give to ensure no child’s self-esteem is completely crushed.
Or the fact his CV looked like it had been typed up by a sugar high four year old.
Oh no, he didn’t have a job because of the ‘credit crunch’.
The credit crunch now means we can blame an outside force for our mishaps but gain sympathy as ‘everyone’ is being affected by it. Why don’t we all be honest, it’s not the credit crunch, it’s us!
iCant walk alone There was once a time when if we went out with friends, we went out in twos, threes or if we were being really adventurous fours. Anything beyond that would be impractical on London’s narrow streets. Not now. For a variety of reasons, that I haven’t got the time to explore (I’m trying to shorten my rants!) now people roam in sevens, eights, nines and tens.
A quick lesson . On a night out, anything in excess of 5 humans means that the combination of human insecurity and the fact that the 6th, 7th and 8th humans are normally sympathy/obligation invites, means your night is likely to descend into absolute folly.
Writing your name on your back ‘JOJO'
To all the above that told me their names as I walked behind them this morning on Oxford Street, I don’t care, never have cared and never will care.
I have no issue with tattoos, I’ve wanted to get inked up for a while but my fear of bacteria and things that buzz have meant that I’ve yet to walk into a parlour. But it seems, nowadays people are so forgetful they have long spells when their names escape them. To avoid the embarrassment they tattoo their names on their back in huge italic Arial font, with a long dash underneath, so if they do forget they can run into their nearest clothes store, find a mirror, pull up their tops, twist their heads around, and be reminded. And if they’re really creative, they tattoo their name in Mandarin…..in case they forget their name whilst in China.
Lack of Respect I was raised to believe that no matter how wrong an adult was, due to the fact they were older than me, to disrespect them publicly would mean that I would end up in trouble. I was a very opinionated child so I struggled with obeying this rule, but over time I have come to realise that despite the fact I may not agree with the opinions and deeds of many older folk, the fact they have been on this wretched earth longer than me, means no matter how I feel they deserve my respect.
So to that vicious young lady, who was unnecessarily rude to the elderly bus driver this morning - if you happen to be reading my blog this is just to let you know an attitude adjustment is necessary. I sincerely hope that if you ever burden the taxpayer with your offspring, you teach them the value in respecting their elders.
In life we often ask people questions to be polite and we don’t really care about their response. For example we run into an old acquaintance and say ‘How are you?’ and they respond ‘Fine’ even though their house has been repossessed. We all have given meaningless responses to what were in one time, meaningful questions.
So when we start to run out of things to say to the old acquaintance we start asking about their friends that we couldn’t care less about ‘Oh my gosh how’s Sammy and what about Jane, Lisa, Frank’, they respond ‘fine, they’re all well’ and just as you’ve nearly exhausted names of people your shocked you even remember they mix it up by responding ‘Oh Mark…we drifted apart’. (Cue awkward silence).
The phrase ‘we drifted apart’ is one of those loaded euphemisms we use when we don’t want to let the world to know our business. I personally never use the phrase ‘we drifted apart’ but try to be honest (without being slanderous) and attribute the split to myself or the other person.
Truth is the term ‘drifted apart’ like all euphemisms do, makes things out to be better than they are, but humans are not pieces of bark on a bleeding river, they won’t just ‘drift ’naturally. We are the most complex, devious and fabulous characters on this earth, therefore normally something explosive occurred and neither party wants to admit it.
What people really mean when they say ‘we drifted apart’.
1) He/she became an envious troll
Its always rather unsettling to discover someone you thought was your friend isn't. Most people go through the 'I trust no one" phase begin to doubt the veracity of the words and deeds of everyone them. A healthy dose of paranoia never hurt anyone so I think such seasons in life do more good than harm. But! It is even more unsettling and hard to recover from when you discover that a so-called friend has an issue with you because they are envious of you.
Now envy is a natural human emotion. I had the biggest wave of shoe envy the other day, when I witnessed a woman whose feet were shod in Louboutins that I’ve been lusting after on netaporter.com for the last month. As this woman’s fiery red sole mocked me I didn’t dislike her but I simply resolved in my mind to do everything within my power to purchase a pair before the years out (credit crunch or no credit crunch, we don't want Louboutin collapsing do we?). The moral of my shallow story is that its not necessarily feeling envy that’s the problem, but how you act on that emotion. If you mistreat someone because you’re envious of him or her and decide to make their life hell…you have a problem.
If you're reading my blog I must conclude you posses swagger and flyness in such abundance, you are essentially a walking envy advertisement. As such you often have to deal with the rigmarole of haters, idiots and friends that decide to become Judas'. As a consequence of who you are there will always be some feckless character attempting to jack up your game. Therefore when you say ‘we drifted apart’ what you really mean is that they couldn’t stomach your success and started to act in a manner which meant that if you continued to roll with them it would be the equivalent of living with an assassin that has you as its next target.
You can pre-empt this situation by
a) Only making friends with egomaniacs who are so consumed with self, they couldn't care less what you do. b) Becoming friends with people who are doing something of substance and you strive together. c) A blend of a and b (my personal preference)
2) The spare became the heir
Wasn’t it funny that after years of being best friends Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie suddenly stopped talking when Nicole lost a whole heap of weight, got a decent stylist and picked up her own DUI charge? My analysis of the root of the problem is the spare (Nicole) suddenly became the heir and Paris didn’t like it.
When the spare becomes the heir, often the heir doesn’t know what to do.
Sometimes this happens when the plump one in the group looses all the weight, gives up her role as cock blocker and is now the centre of attention.
Or the apparently ‘dumb child’ in the family ends up the richest.
Or the ugly girl gets laid…..then married.
When a person that people expected little from suddenly becomes quite successful, it will inevitably rock the boat. People have to instantly re-evaluate perceive the person and how they treat them. If you have a decent bunch of friends they’ll be happy for you and work harder themselves. But generally (I’m sorry if I’m being pessimistic) people will choose option 1 (envy) or become offended that someone else has become successful.
For some reason there are people on this earth who in their little minds have played God and decided how life will pan out for everyone. They will achieve greatness and the rest of the world will look on in awe. If anyone happens to be so audacious to surpass the limits they set for them, they will start to treat them with disdain, not because they are envious, but because they are offended.
So what they really mean to say is ‘Well they became more successful that I had estimated/wanted and it offended the hell out of me, so I cut them off’.
3) They changed
Perhaps one of you morphed into an asshole or super bitch
Or maybe one of you was always horrid and the other finally had enough.
Or one of you became man hungry/money hungry
Or perhaps one of you decide to live according to the Four Noble Truths
It may have been in a moment or over a long period of time but someone changed dramatically. Responding to that change one (or both) of you made a conscious decision not continue the friendship. You didn’t drift apart; you’ve cut them off. But don’t worry we’ll play along and act like we believe you when you say you always ‘miss their calls because nowadays you call nobody’, or Facebook doesn’t deliver your messages.
4) They sleep with the enemy
Within a female clique there is always one member who is so unfortunate that no one likes their boyfriend. What usually occurs is for the first 6 months the demon boyfriend is tolerated and the clique bitch quietly behind their back. Then around the 9-month mark the ‘trouble maker’ of the group lets the cat out of the bag. There’s a massive argument and the person with the ‘demon boyfriend’ is ostracized or decides to ostracize herself.
On the other hand if it’s a male clique, someone in the group finally decides to settle down (or gets trapped by some conniving female) and now they’re on lockdown and are nowhere to be found.
So when everyone says ‘Wow, we haven’t seen Tim for a long time" you shrug and say 'oh we kind of drifted apart’. But we know it's because you can't stand the witch he's living with and she can't stand you.
5) It took me ages to get rid of him/her
Most people have a friend they have been trying to get rid of for years. Maybe the friends a chatterbox, boring, overly opinionated, unattractive (don’t gasp, its true, this is the Facebook/Profile Picture generation we are fickle), annoying, untrustworthy, or you’re just bored with them. However the friends we try and get rid of are always as relentless as stalkers so it takes some outside factor for you to ‘drift apart’.
So if God decides to shine upon you and this friend changes jobs, university, or leaves the country (massive bonus points here because we never really stay in touch when people migrate) you can lie and say you've drifted apart, even though you never wanted them around in the first place.
I ran into an old acquaintance the other day and there was something noticeably different about her. She looked absolutely amazing and had clearly experienced the ‘Rihanna Effect’*. I spent the best part of half an hour trying to figure what on earth was different about this girl. There was no obvious weight loss, her hair was the same and though her fake tan was no longer a D.I.Y job, I still couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it hit me, she got a nose job.
This is not a rant about how society has affected us so much that girls in their late teens/early twenties opt for surgery as opposed to accepting and embracing their bodies, it’s so endemic its far too late to rant about it. I can count at least ten females I know personally who have had cosmetic surgery and they are all under 25. Heck, I met another acquaintance a few months back that I saw and shrieked ‘My God you’ve gained weight’ and she responded ‘I’ve just had liposuction’ (you see why I have few friends left).
Young girls undergoing painful, unnecessary procedures in the quest to fit in is sad but a brutal reality. I can’t be the judge of them, if it makes them ‘happy’ and if their parents are willing and able to fund such diabolical activity, I must hold my peace. However there are a few reasons, why personally (unless my personality/character completely mutates with age) I will not get cosmetic surgery.
1) Same Nose Syndrome
It doesn’t matter if your rhinoplasty surgeon is the guy who hooked up Ashlee Simpson or the butcher who made Jacko wacko. Every single person that undergoes rhinoplasty is given the same nose. The same weird small device, with a pinch in the middle and point at the top. Horrible.
Perhaps the cosmetic surgeons buy the new noses from the same manufacturer who hasn’t taken facial dimensions, ethnic background or common sense into account. I’m not sure. I just know I don’t want to change my nose and look like a distant cousin to everyone in Hollywood who ever went under the hammer.
If I ever despise myself enough to believe my nose needs to be moved to a higher point in the worlds nose hierarchy, I would still wait until plastic surgeons got a lot more creative in this department, because any nose job in their current manifestation will only make you look like you have an invisible peg attached to your face.
2) It just doesn’t match the real thing
Every time I meet a female with ersatz breasts, I’m really confused. Yes your breasts are bigger and perkier than they were but silicone (or Soya implants for those that really care abut the earth) will never be an adequate substitute for breast tissue. As much as I would love my proportions to resemble Jessica Rabbits, until they invent a procedure where they can clone breast tissue and breed it up to a 32DD, I think I’ll pass.
You see implants never seem to look real enough. They don’t move, sit at an angle that real breasts don’t, need replacement every few years and the greatest irony is though they will set you back a few thousand pounds/dollars, they still look cheap. Why don’t women save themselves the money and the scars and buy a wonder bra and chicken fillets?
Or take liposuction. A person is always better working their abs at the gym (and I hate gyms), than going down the quick fix route. If you still can’t shift the fat think ‘Screw it, I’ll eat cake’. Isn’t eating cake better than having a flat yet mysteriously bumpy tummy that obviously has had some suction device attached to it?
Beyond that, even if a surgeon does an amazing job, it is never authentic enough because we comment ‘My, her plastic surgeon did a great job’. This demonstrates that no matter how good a plastic surgeon is it will always be impossible to match nature.
3) Something isn’t quite right…
Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Cher are all absolutely stunning women. They don’t look great for their age, they look great full stop. But as great as they look something isn’t quite right. Maybe its the fact that their faces have been drained of all life as botox has paralysed any access we may have to their true emotions ,or the fact that their faces testify they worship at the ‘fountain of youth’ on a Sunday morning. I’m not sure.
But when I see pictures of Helen Mirren, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dame Judi Dench and I’m so fortunate to be around older women who carry their age and wisdom on their faces, it dawns on me. There is beauty in ageing. And as gorgeous as Cher and the like are it is clear that in spite of their maturity in years they still haven’t grasped or chosen to live by one of the most beautiful, meaningful and somewhat clichéd truths. Real beauty flows from the inside out.
4) I don’t trust them
I have friends studying medicine who have brilliant minds and could have made an absolute killing doing some corporate job, but decided to dedicate their lives to the service of others. I admire them.If you are cosmetic surgeon that operates on children and adults with deformities or bodies maimed to the point that their lives cannot function with a degree of normality, I salute you, because you make a difference and cause positive change in peoples lives.
But cosmetic surgeons that solely deal with superficial, baseless, unnecessary procedures that feed into the world’s insecurities make this world an even more fickle and damaged place. It frightens me that anyone that intelligent and skilled would choose to dedicate their lives to enabling vanity rather than help people that really need it. I think these cosmetic surgeons are as vapid as their patients. I can’t go hard at them because they are simply responding to the demand for a service, but I don’t trust them.
As you are aware I do not engage in activity where I have to sign any sort of disclaimer regarding loss of life or severe injury. Furthermore I have issues ceding control and giving trust to people/institutions/devices I deem unworthy. Hence why I don’t do lifts, never ever played blind mans buff as a kid and go on a fast before I get on planes. The only risks I take are those that will enhance my life not potentially destroy it.
These facts and the firm belief that cosmetic surgeons are such ignoble characters, they are the last people I would want in a room with me if I ever happen to be in a self-induced coma, means that I am frankly too afraid to go under the knife.
5) Black…don’t crack
As you will be aware I despise generalisations about any race, good or bad. It's mind boggling that people still believe that all Jews are rich, all Asians are cleaver and all White people are always early. Generalisations can never be true, and I’ve always held that they are phrases that society uses to project their prejudices.
However. In complete contradiction to my first paragraph, by looking at my family, the family of friends and the world at large, I have come to discover that for some reason, black people don’t age. Well they age, but they don’t age badly. In fact they age beautifully. I look at my grandmother who lives in a country where if you hear bangs at night you don’t assume they’re fireworks but know they’re arm robbers, kidnappings are so common ransoms are included in expenses and life is to put it nicely stressful. But you cannot see a trace of this on her face. She looks amazing, her skin is 20 years younger that she is and I can assure you she does not know what on earth crow’s feet are.
Facelifts are a redundant concept in my family. Our faces don’t fall.
Perhaps black skin ageing well is the universes way of bringing balance because on occasion it can get you unjustly harassed by the police, racially profiled and discriminated against.
But in the year of Obama, the Vogue Italia Black Issue and the fact that unfortunately Arabs are now the most feared ethnic minority in the world, being black is now (almost), cool.
Peace, Love and Andre 3000
* The Rihanna Effect occurs when a female implements a radical change in her appearance that takes her look and general swagger to new a height. Named after Barbadian pop artist Rihanna who after acquiring an edgy haircut saw her career explode out of this stratosphere.
There are friends that we have and just can’t live without. It’s not because of their positive aspects but because of the bad they bring. Maybe they make us feel better about our own dire situations, I don’t know, but for some reason we keep them around because, lets face it. We love the drama ……!
This friend is not poor but just really bad with money, ridiculously bad. They know the rents due but still buy a Marc Jacobs handbag or buy rims for a car that needs to be crushed. The idea of having financial obligations is a foreign concept; if they want something they will buy it, especially if they don’t need it. Despite the fact the phrase they say most is ‘I’m broke’ they ALWAYS seem to have money to buy more things and still get by despite their reckless spending.
Observing their madness, you decide to give it a try. Unfortunately your story ends with a mass of red letters and bailiffs at the door.
Curiously, when asked the ‘I’m broke’ friend, is evasive about how they actually get their money. So they can also be called the ‘Friend with a shady job/Benefit Fraud Friend’.
The friend that can’t function within a group
One-on-one they are an absolute dream, the perfect friend, happy, easy to talk to, sober, but as soon as there are more than 4 other people in the room, they start to play up. This ranges from being a hyperactive version of themselves, to being completely silent or just making such idiotic comments you’re embarrassed to be affiliated to them. More to the point due to poor rearing they have absolutely no idea how to behave around strangers.
Aware they cannot function within a group setting they do their best to ruin occasions for celebration. So on a night out to ensure all eyes are on them, they always end up drunk and miserable, crying over something that is so irrelevant and trivial, I’m stumped for a witty analogy that would adequately highlight their stupidity.
Too hood for their own good
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being from the ‘ghetto’ (an increasingly misused term but for the record there are no real ghettos in London darling) but the act of being ‘ghetto’ is what I personally choose not too tolerate.
Understand this ghetto fabulous people make the world go around (Diddy, Kimora, I LOVE YOU!) but ghetto people…….. grind it to a halt. In essence some people are far too hood for their own good.
We all have a friend that is just plain ignorant. It’s not their lack of cultural awareness or outlandish clothing (I love bright colours) its their complete and utter lack of decorum in circumstances where they should know better. Its like they have a ‘ghetto switch’, which means everything they say do from that point onwards is counter-reason. Let me be clear acting ‘ghetto’ isn’t excessive colloquialism, but unnecessary attitude, aggression and plain over-reacting in situations where there is just no need.
Anyway we keep them around because a) Baby Father/Baby Mother drama will ALWAYS be entertaining to behold b) They are the most loyal individuals on the face of this planet so if you ever happen to catch a case, they will be right beside you when everyone else disappears
They read into every single event as evidence of some unheard of social phenomenon. They use polysyllabic words when a grunt would suffice and throw in random quotes from historians hardly anyone knows existed. You can barely decipher anything they say but at the risk of seeming stupid you nod vigorously in agreement and feign interest. They can be somewhat pretentious but you keep them around because you suspect that one day they will occupy a position of influence and it’s always good to have a government hook up.
The hoe (female, male and transgendered)
Every single person on this earth has a friend/close acquaintance that is considered a hoe (I know its not the politically correct term, but harlot seems archaic and suggests they receive payment) and if you think you don’t have a hoe friend, the probability is that you are the hoe in question.
As much as you love your hoe friend to bits, you would never ever leave them around your significant other. Of late they have been involved in such scandalous activity (a midget and goat, really?) you instantly click de-tag if a picture of the both of you has found its way on the devils playground (Facebook).
However hoes are such joys to be around and are genuinely good people we overlook the fact they may have taken sexual liberation a step to far. And for all you cleaver so and sos who ask ‘what is a hoe’, I’m not going to try and define one, but believe me I know they exist…(in different area codes)!
Always on a diet
So the clique decide to go out for a meal and you’ve saved up your calories for the week and you’re all going to play make-believe and pretend you don’t care about your waistlines and can eat what you like. Oh but not this friend, the size zero wannabe obsessed twit is as quick as an anorexic on speed to constantly repeat ‘Oh no I can’t eat that, far too many calories’ and makes you feel like there is something wrong in enjoying food. They often shoot condescending looks at the plumpest person at the table as if to say ‘are you really going to eat that’.
They are always on some kind of diet. The Zone, Macrobiotic, Subway, Cabbage Soup, Atkins, Kimkins, South Beach, Rihanna, Cambridge, Weight Watchers, Hallelujah Diet (seriously this exists) Lighter Life they have done it freaking all.
Ironically contrary to their monthly announcement of how many pounds, inches or BMI points they’ve lost they look exactly the same. Furthermore they look great anyway so why on earth do they torment themselves?
The Religious Fanatic
One day they were a functioning adult with a decent moral compass but no strict religious affiliation. Then they have a transcendent spiritual experience and overnight we have a religious fanatic and the new messiah of your friendship clique.
Suddenly everything is forbidden and everyone is going to hell. They have made it their task to be a walking, talking spy for whichever God they have chosen to serve and constantly judge even though one of the main tenets of their faith is that they aren’t supposed to.
The good news is they speak less now they’ve converted because they’re so busy shaking their head in disapproval. According to them Obama is the anti-Christ and George W Bush was sent from God to restore righteousness….. (I know I don’t get it either)
However you keep them around just in case your clique is in a dreadful car accident and their presence in the vehicle saves you all from an early demise.
She is absolutely horrible to everyone, her friends, her family, puppies, work colleagues, even her boyfriend. She has a tongue as sharp as a razor, intent on destroying every being it comes into contact with. We keep her around because she appeals to our wicked nature, as her cruel comments concerning the sartorially challenged choice of clothing can make nights out extremely entertaining. However when she turns on you……..you wonder why someone hasn’t assassinated her yet.
The kindest souls in the universe but you exploit them. You make them baby-sit your kids, pay your phone bill and drive you places you can’t pronounce. Fortunately/unfortunately (it’s all relative) pushovers are a dying breed as everyone is far to opinionated nowadays, furthermore its now everyone man/woman for themselves…I blame the credit crunch.
My name is ...but I don’t have a problem
Whether it’s an alcoholic, coke/weed/crack head, shopaholic (hangs head), obsessive compulsive cleaner everyone has a friend who clearly has some sort of addiction but doesn’t want to admit it. Being terribly British we overlook it and act like it’s perfectly normal to have Baileys with cornflakes. Beyond that we tolerate their random acts of madness because nothing is trendier than having a friend who has been to rehab.
Kind of prejudiced....
This is the friend were all uncomfortable having because when the revolution comes we have a feeling they will turn against us at the drop of a hat. We all have a friend that on the odd occasion makes comments/generalisations about social groups that are completely inappropriate and could get them locked up/beaten up and then laugh it off like it was a joke.
They say thing such as "that's the trouble with these bleeding foreigners" "Oh its the dreadful gays driving up the house prices" "if I had my way I would sink (insert country of choice) and start again' or end their rants with “don't get me wrong I have black friends....."
And we tolerate their odd blips because ‘he/she’s nice really’ and the truth is we all carry some prejudices, it’s just that we keep them to ourselves.
Always on the phone
Their phone is either glued to their ear or fused to their fingertips. They are restricted neither by location, time or battery life (they carry their charger).
They normally own 2-3 mobiles, each with a different network, two are line rental and one is pay as you go. They justify having 3 phones because, one is for close family/friends, the other associates and the last for people they don’t want to speak to. Despite their mobile hierarchy they seem to be on all of them for equal amounts of time, bar the 2nd line rental phone…that’s for texting us spam such as ‘Weathers gr8 innit?
In spit of the fact their enormous phone bills are self-inflicted they still have the audacity to complain.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend and she asked ever so innocently ‘If your boyfriend cheated on you, just once, would leave him, yes or no?
I hate closed questions that require yes or no answers. Life is not that logical. Sometimes two and two will not equal four and you don’t know why the heck that is, in essence yes or no will never suffice when answering a ‘life issue’.
So after challenging her biased method of questioning for about 2 minutes (you can see why I can count my friends on one hand) I finally convinced her that it was necessary for me to go beyond yes or no for her to get an answer or gain any kind of insight. By the end of our conversation we concluded that my response to the cheater would be contingent on one of three things.
a) How I found out b) How much I liked/loved them c) My instinct
a) How I found out
There is absolutely nothing worse than discovering something about yourself that everyone seems to be aware of apart from you. Like when you’ve left the price tag on the sole of your stiletto ($44.99 isn’t a good look when you’ve claimed they’re Pradas) or you’ve had something between your teeth all day. You know dreadful moments when you wish you could evaporate.
So if I happen to be informed by an OUTSIDER, that my significant other had a moment of madness when they lost any fibre of integrity I had assumed they had, it is likely that yes, the only future access they will have to me will be via this blog. It all comes down to pride. Private embarrassment I can do but public embarrassment inflicted by another’s stupidity? I think not.
Furthermore the greater the distance of the informant to my inner circle, the greater the likelihood that you will soon be dead to me. In the greatest irony EVER, the girl that has a blog values her privacy. Therefore if a random individual, who I can’t even deem an associate, manages to acquire my mobile number with the sole purpose of revealing sordid behaviour, believe me, a head will roll.
There are some things I don’t do. Like forwarding chain emails that will apparently save some kid with Leukaemia, stop them making a film about a Gay Jesus or messages that apparently prove my undying love for my nearest and dearest. They are pointless. So are ‘confessions’. I hate confessions and that’s because most confessions fall into one of two categories. Confessions because you got caught (unless you’re R Kelly) or confessions because you feel guilty.
Contrary to popular opinion I think the people that confess when caught are the most authentic and honest people ever to walk the face of the earth, not the people that confess before being caught. Confessions go against a fundamental aspect of human behaviour - self-preservation, therefore if you decide to make yourself a sacrificial lamb when there is a massive possibility I would never discover your act of madness, I am likely to view you with some sort of suspicion.
Perhaps I’m displaying my Machiavellian side but I do believe that people that confess in a dramatic manner are often the most twisted bastards and the people you need to watch. Those awful souls who call you and start the conversation with (cue dramatic music) ‘ There’s something I have to tell you’, they then proceed to skirt around the core facts for about 45 minutes, tell irrelevant details such as ‘and the funny thing is that night, I didn’t even have my car with me’ and then finally get to the point and act like it was the hardest thing ever. THEY PISS ME OFF. Why? Guilt is the natural human response to doing wrong to another person. Everyone feels some sort of guilt; if you don’t feel a speck of guilt you are a sociopath. A self-righteous, overdrawn soliloquy apologising won’t move me because it isn’t an indication that you truly love me or really regret it, it’s simply a cognitive response to a violation of a moral standard. In short it just means you’re human.
Don’t confess to me and think I will absolve you of your guilt or it somehow makes it better. I’m not a priest. The fact remains you still are a careless prick and I won’t be guilted into making you feel less guilty. Furthermore the biggest sign that a confession isn’t genuine is when someone has the audacity to become offended when you don’t forgive him or her at a drop of a hat.
I’m not advocating being duplicitous. I’m just saying if you happen to cheat, you must make the best of a bad situation. The principle of confessing wrong to a person is often grounded in the fact we want to make ourselves feel better, and in doing so we destroy another’s world. So to avoid moral dilemmas just don’t cheat at all.
To wrap it up I will take the middle ground. If I am informed by someone in my inner circle, confront the individual and they say ‘Well yes its true, I am very sorry but I was just hoping that you’d never find out’, I’d probably be so taken aback by their frankness I would be stunned into staying with them.
b) How much I love/like them
The concepts of loving/liking someone are so fluid, subjective and frankly impossible to define I don’t even know why I’ve included them in this rant. Well actually I do. The amount you love/like someone will affect how you treat them. So if I happen to love someone a lot I will probably overlook their discrepancies because I value them and what we share. However at the end of the day like/love/lust, all cloud judgement. Some people will always struggle with monogamy no matter how much they love someone and its not because they’re wired differently, it’s because they’re greedy, selfish and lack discipline.
So after much discussion my friend and I concluded that in actual fact our reactions would be determined not by how much we love the cheater, but how much we love ourselves and if we have enough confidence to believe we can do better.
I remember doing A-Level Economics and being taught that apparently rational businessmen and women, often made decisions of financial significance based not on the facts at hand but on something called ‘animal spirits’ This means that all evidence could point towards the fact that signing a particular deal would make them the next casualty in this ghastly recession (R.I.P Bradford & Bingely) but because they had ‘a feeling’ they would go ahead with confidence and do otherwise. The current state of the economy demonstrates that perhaps the charlatans should have used reason more than their feelings, but I do think the theory bears some weight.
I always trust my instinct. Like when I meet a person and they tell me their 'life story' but I know it’s an urban fairytale.I don’t know how I know, I just know.
So if my instinct tells me that the cheater will cheat again, in spite of the fact the deed apparently occurred ‘just once’ they will be given their marching orders. However if my instinct tells me otherwise, I’ll make them sweat for as long as I choose to and hope they pull a Kobe and buy me a diamond ring the GDP equivalent of a third world country.
Some would argue that factor b could cloud instinct. I completely disagree. Your instinct will always be accurate, you may lie to yourself and the world at large that its different, but your core will always lead you in the right direction.
Beyond that no one becomes ‘something’ overnight yes we all have blips and moments of madness but you don’t go from someone who stole penny sweets at age 8 to an embezzler in a moment. Character change (for good and bad) is a process, so for that ‘one night of madness’ there were often about a million clues along the way, which will inform your instinct.
So in response to my friend weird question, I’m still not sure. It’s all relative. However being aware that she was asking the question on behalf of a friend of hers, who wanted me to rant about it but wishes to remain anonymous, I will state that for the record I am a firm believer in giving second chances IF you have the capacity to give it wholeheartedly and the other has the to capacity receive it.
Anyway! For some bizarre reason my male friends that think that my rants have an ‘anti -male’ subtext. I disagree, I love men, one of my favourite people in the entire universe is a man (I LOVE YOU DAD) and contrary to popular opinion or whatever agenda the media try to push I do not believe that only men cheat.
Women cheat just as much, it’s just that they are so slick with it they don’t get caught.