Category Archives: UK

Papa Needs a Brand New Brand

The thing about Russell Brand is, he’s not a bad fella. I have no doubts that his motives are well-intentioned, if a little (lot) self-serving. His clumsy manifesto seems routed in a genuine humanity and – at times – is well researched, and supported by some strong academic discourse.

 

Also, it’s pretty easy to pour scorn on Brand. He’s a character who admits to his own gargantuan ego, and said ego permeates every facet of his over-worked performance. He’s overbearing, smug, over-stylised, self-satisfied and seems to lack any sort of humility whatsoever, which is at odds with his frequent verbal attempts to be self-deprecating, in a false, “I think this, this and this [showboat face] but what do I know, Guv?” sort of way.

 

Despite all of this, there is something likeable about him. He is genuinely witty and robustly articulate, which has stood him in good stead when arguing with right-wingers and generally proffering his new-found revolutionary spoutings.

 

He’s managed to beguile Jeremy Paxman, Katy Perry and even some yank filmmakers, and there is no denying – even if you aren’t won over by his 19th century porno-pirate costume – that he does have some charismatic charm.

2011 MTV Video Music Awards Arrivals(2)But this new incarnation as leader of the People’s Revolution is fundamentally flawed on a number of levels, and someone needs to nip this shit in the bud before it gets any worse.

 

First, Brand is the sort of figure that the Ruling Class absolutely loves. The reason for this is because he poses no real threat to the establishment. I’m not talking about his ridiculous faux pas about not voting. It was a stupid, ill-advised point though. But it’s bigger than that.

 

Nobody in Whitehall is shitting themselves about Brand’s new brand of politics; they’re pissing themselves. And quite rightly.

 

You could look at the farcical, fucked-uppery of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and their absurd bumblings, replete with deer-hunter hats and comedic slip-ups, but the truth is both of those people have a clear agenda.

 

Farage is preying on the irrational fears of the disenfranchised, with policies based on a hatred, which is anchored by fear and perpetuated by insidious propaganda.

 

Johnson… well, I’m not sure what the fuck Johnson is doing. He’s just a very lucky idiot and his village is London. Further proof that the north is the real intellectual hotbed of England.

 

But both of these people are politically successful with their gimmickry and personal indignities, because people feel let down by identikit, humourless politicians in too-tight suits, speaking in ridiculous sound bites they’re too afraid to deviate from.

 

Which should make Brand a dream for those wanting an alternative, which isn’t imbedded in racism or offensive gaffes.

 

The problem is, Brand isn’t really offering anything. He talks about revolution, and overthrowing hegemonic imperialism in the very broadest terms. And – put simply – revolution will not be about rhetoric, but action.

640px-CheHigh

The single most revolutionary event in the UK of the last ten years was the London Riots. It came about as a direct reaction to a perceived injustice over the death of Mark Duggan in August 2011. It was not orchestrated by any spokesperson, it did not need endless discussions about the distribution of power, but it was very clearly revolutionary.

 

More than any organised political demonstrations, sound biting, or posturing from self-appointed figureheads (bumbling, funny or otherwise) it was direct anti-establishment activity that absolutely threatened government and big business and was a clear demonstration of a general dissatisfaction, as well as a commitment (albeit anarchic and unstructured) to change.

 

Does this mean I think rioting is the solution to overthrowing our oppressors?

 

Perhaps not. The truth is, though, that is how revolution begins. And direct action is what’s needed in order to implement radical change. In any country that has achieved revolutionary political change within the last two hundred years, it always begins with the poor – very often the youngest poor (average age of the Bolshevik party members was fifteen) – rioting. It’s not something that will occur little by little through European Human Rights legislation, or workplace laws. Significant change will involve direct action, some of which will be unpleasant and possibly unlawful, because the laws only serve to protect those in power. By any means necessary, and all that.

 

The rhetoric used during the riots by politicians about the “real cost” of the riots being incurred by small business owners was clever, but misleading. The bigger cost came to the government, which is why rioters were so ridiculously penalised in the aftermath, and to insurance companies – who did their best to squirm from financial obligations, but ultimately lost a great deal. But nowhere near the cost that small business owners undertake to protect their businesses, so let’s not get daft about it.

 

I do think those riots were infinitely more meaningful than Russell Brand showboating on the Jonathan Ross Show. And more importantly, so do the establishment.

 

I’m under no illusion that Cameron and Co. are having a giggle about Brand’s antics, and despite the low-level attempts to smear him in the press, he pretty much smears himself because this new-found political identity is really just another vehicle for Brand’s ego.

 

He went from MTV Presenter, to comic, to DJ, to columnist, to full-time shagger, to film star and I don’t begrudge him any of it. Not even the shagging.

 

Do I think that Brand has a disrespectful attitude to women? Quite possibly, but not resoundingly so, and his well-documented succession of sexual partners doesn’t seem to form a pattern of promising women any sort of romantic future – aside, of course, from that one he married, but we can’t condemn someone for a failed marriage – so it’s all fair dos. In any case, I don’t think his attitude to women is overtly worse than any other man in the public eye. In fact, he always seems to be fairly respectful to the opinions of women he engages with publically, which is a step further than many other male celebrities.

 

The problem is though; this politics stuff is a folly. That’s the perception, and that’s the second biggest problem with Brand. He initially warmed us up with talk of revolutionary change in newspaper columns, with Paxman and on subsequent political panel shows and was received so favourably, that he wants to press on.

 

He’s a good orator and the more attention he receives the further he wants to take it. Cinemas up and down the country, screening Brand calling for (a very vague and unstructured) revolution, without equipping us with a strategy for what that revolutionary change will look like is pretty fucked up.

 

It’s actually quite dangerous. Someone who’s in it for the gratifying applause, but without the personal strength and long-term commitment to what is truly needed to lead people into action, is an easy target and a threat to positive change.

 

The other thing – and it’s fairly fucking pertinent – is that Brand is not an ordinary person. He’s from a working-class background, a recovering addict, and from a single-parent family, but he’s also a film star who marries pop stars in elaborate Asian ceremonies. Despite his funny and not-unreadable sports columns and chirpy cockney persona, he’s actually very rich, very well protected by law, and not subject to the same oppressive struggles some of the rest of us face. He’s white, he’s a man, and he lives his life indulging his faddy diets, trendy quasi-religious dabblings, and knocking around on film sets. If he wanted to be truly revolutionary he’d give up his wealth, refuse to work with film companies that operate in intrinsically capitalist ways and reject much of what it is he’s attempting to convince us he is opposed to. That’s the truth.

 

It might sound churlish to ask him to make such personal sacrifice, but if he is sincerely speaking of revolution, whilst living in a way that contradicts this sort of change, how can anyone take it seriously?

brand_sm

It’s very easy of course, to be cynical and dismissive of those speaking political truths by dismantling them as people. The truth is, much of what Brand is saying is absolutely right. Therefore shouldn’t we just be glad that someone is saying it? It seems that that is what Brand is asking of us. To accept the sincerity of what it is he saying, whilst accepting he is a flawed leader and himself a part of the establishment, without asking anything else of him personally.

 

Let him talk a good talk, which is at the very least progress because not enough other people are doing it well, and because he is a high profile figure? Well, ok except that – and this is my final major point – much of what he is peddling is not his own work.

 

For years, Brand has incorporated little snippets of intellectual trivia into his act so as to make him appear more knowledgeable and worldly. I never really minded, because we all do it to a certain extent and because when he was on Big Brother’s Big Mouth and referring to his cock as a winkle, and interspersing it with throwaway comments about Wittgenstein, it was entertaining. His flourishes could be a bit annoying, but on the whole the whimsy was fun.

 

It’s not fun when you’re using the work of other academics – sometimes successfully, and sometimes slightly clumsily and out of context – to peddle your own career in entertainment.

 

You’re an entertainer or you’re a politician because this shit is too important to use as a public wank vehicle. It might not be as important to you, with your LA mansion, famous mates and blood-type diet. But for the people you’re purporting to represent it really is life and fucking death.

Advertisements

We All Know What You Are

I’m loathe to write a blog about Ched Evans, given the fact that everyone else has written about him, and also because it’s about the most straightforward thing you could ever write about. It transcends an opinion piece, because an opinion piece suggests several truths and in this case there is only one:

 

A man had sex with a woman who was too drunk to definitively consent. Sex without consent is rape. The end.

 

There is nothing remotely interesting about this case. We’ve seen women defend their spousal rapists before. We’ve seen family members defend their rapist relatives before. I mean – to a very slight extent – there is something very unusual that it is not the crime they’re disputing, but whether or not what occurred actually constitutes a crime. They have been told, in a criminal court case, at subsequent appeal hearings, and by everyone with even the slightest sense of humanity and intellectual comprehension that rape does not fall within a narrow set of behaviours, but is an umbrella term for sex without consent. That should make it easier for people, and yet it doesn’t.

 

The Justice for Ched Evans campaign have systematically embarrassed themselves for over three years and much more significantly, have hounded the rape victim to an extent where she has been given a new identity after being labelled a slag and worse by fellow footballers, and others.

 

Recently released, there is some debate about whether or not Ched Evans should be allowed to play football again, and the answer is: he absolutely shouldn’t. Many job vacancies aren’t open to criminals – even as minimum wage employees – this is an additional price convicted criminals often pay for crime, and personally I’m not sure this is fair, but it is a resounding truth. The idea, however,  that someone earning many times over the minimum wage in a highly competitive industry and being held up as an example for young people should continue gainful employment in the same industry after being convicted of rape, is abhorrent and offensive.

 

The fact is though, he will continue to play football. We hear about the humanity in second chances. We only really hear about the beauty of second chances when it comes to crimes like rape and domestic violence and a plethora of misogynistic crimes, and the reason we hear about the power of the second chance is because those calling for it are usually indulging their own latent misogyny.

 

We do not – for example – hear about giving second chances to convicted terrorists and bank robbers. We also, as a society, tend to overlook the systemic issues affecting drug addicts and the reasons they burglarise us. No, the alarming charitable consideration afforded to people like Ched Evans is because misogynists want to indulge other misogynists.

 

I will not spend any time while I’m writing this focussing on the victim. Much has been made of comments she made after she was raped, but these are irrelevant. Equally, so is her intoxication. I have been very, very drunk in my lifetime, and the chances are, so have you. I do not deserve to be raped. If what we are asking of women is to never be vulnerable to potential rapists, it would rule out almost every conceivable activity on the planet. Women have been raped at work, at school, as children, by teachers, by doctors, by nurses, by spending short amounts of time with celebrities… why do we still consider it reasonable to critique the behaviours of rape victims, as opposed to the rapist every single fucking time?

 

What knickers did she have on? How drunk was she? How many boyfriends has she had?

 

Michael Buerk this week said that Ched Evans’ rape victim, “deserved no credit due to her being drunk.” And Judy Finnegan (I just feel like smacking my fucking head on a wall repeatedly when it’s a woman) said on Loose Women this week that the rape was, “Unpleasant…” but then added that the victim had “…had too much to drink.”

 

Why is the girl the issue? Why has the victim in this case – and many other rape cases – been centralised? What behaviours could we be looking at? What do we all agree as a society are the sort of behaviours and sexual history that constitute reason for someone being able to have sex with you without your express consent?

 

There’s a prevailing sense that some rapes are more rapey than others, when they aren’t. There’s also an idea – usually proposed by men, and even sung about by Robin Thicke – that sexual consent isn’t always explicit and overt and that there is ambiguity in sexual consent.

 

There isn’t.

 

There never is.

 

If there’s any ambiguity, ask. If there’s still ambiguity, don’t.

 

There was also some talk by Judy Finnegan about violence and brutality.

 

Rape is always a violent act, because it’s a violation. It’s a violation if you fucked the person half an hour earlier when they consented and now they don’t. It’s a violation if you’re married, or in a relationship. It’s a violation if you’re on a date, if the girl is absolutely hammered, or if you’re high. Sex without consent is about power, control and violating someone. Rape is used in war and in prisons as a mode of brutalisation. So regardless of whether or not someone is known to you, has chased you down an alley, or got into bed with you after you came home drunk with their mate… if you are incapable of, or have not given your consent, you’ve been raped and therefore brutalised.

 

But as I say, I didn’t want to blog about Evans. I didn’t want to write about Ched Evans mostly because he’s a thick, rapist. He’s from a family of thick, rapist-apologist bores and they’ve all already had too much of our attention. We’ve indulged them into thinking there is any debate whatsoever about whether or not Ched is a rapist. There isn’t, because he is.

 

The Justice for Ched campaign – never a more profoundly ridiculous title was given to a group of such inbred, woman-haters since the Tea Party Movement in North America – don’t dispute the act. Their problem is that they don’t know what rape is.

 

Ched Evans’ mother this week had the audacity to claim Ched had been a victim of online feminists, of which I am one. I find it hard to afford her any compassion, because more crucially I’m a mother. I love my son unconditionally, and would continue to love him if he’d raped someone. But I would live the rest of my life in absolute torment to have raised a creature who thought so little of a woman that he would think it legitimate to not garner consent to have sex with her, rape her and let me spend over three years making a mockery out of other women and myself by trying to defend him.

 

The thing is, Ched could spend the next ten years playing magnificent football. He could win World Cups (unlikely – Welsh) and live in extravagant mansions with a steady stream of pretty women after he inevitably bins off this one who’s made a holy show of herself for three years (although he’s probably going to have to marry her first), and he could get hundreds of awards and accolades. But ultimately, it’s not online feminists who convicted Ched Evans, it’s the British Justice System. The British Justice System who only ever manage to jail around 3% of actual rapists, so it’s fairly fucking conclusive.

 

No, if I were Mrs Evans I’d ask why I failed in my duty to raise a son who didn’t rape women. Perhaps if she were the sort of woman who had a clearer understanding of what rape constitutes, she’d have been able to impart this on her thick rapist son, and maybe… just maybe… none of us would have had to endure this ridiculous, non-existent debate.


Ode to Idris

I would watch my parents fuck. I would watch them as they work their way through the Karma fucking Sutra. I would watch them work through the Karma Sutra, as both sets of grandparents – some of whom are dead – lay around watching, or handing out towels.

I’d have a non-essential organ removed with minimal anaesthesia, and then eat a slice of it cooked on mouldy toast.

I’d watch a pissed-up Katie Hopkins heavy-pet Jeremy Clarkson stopping briefly to agree on the worrying scourge of Benefit Scroungers, while an enthused Anthea Turner narrated.

I’d nurse Eamonn Holmes through a particularly nasty bout of gastric flu, whilst he continuously referred to celebrity golf tournaments he’d attended as the guest of Sir Alex Ferguson.

holmes and fergie

I’d watch a George Osborne/ John Terry role play sex tape. Osborne playing Lord of the Manor and Terry his bit-of-rough gardener, with nothing in common except their unyielding sexual desire, and thinly veiled racism. The money-shot would involve John Terry covered in male ejaculate, sobbing with deep post-sexual joy, resting his head on an equally joyous George, and wearing his full football kit underneath his gardening gear.

terrycrying-osborne_2538948b

 

I would let my mum see my entire search engine history -unabridged – and talk her through it.

I’d watch Keith Lemon programmes on continuous loop for 48 hours.

I’d listen to Ellie Goulding breathlessly butchering the entire Toots and the Maytals back catalogue in an intimate venue – without booze – as Dermot O’Leary hosted the event and described each performance as a modern day classic, and called everyone buddy.

And I’d get up every morning at 6am, for a year, for a televised Bikram Yoga session with Samantha Cameron and Tim Lovejoy…

… For approximately 24 minutes under here.

 

Training for my next Film. Bastille Day. Grinding.

A post shared by 7dub (@7dub) on


No-one likes a Rick Tease

We all know lots of people who hate reality television, because they feel it affords them – by the very rejection of it – a certain intellectual gravitas…

 

“Ugh, how can you watch this shit?” they sneer, as you chuck the remote control at their condescending fucking faces.

 

The answer is of course, you watch it because, whilst you appreciate this is a staged and often scripted reality, edited and -in many cases – directed toward a conclusion that ultimately reinforces patriarchal, capitalist hegemony, you really want to see the fragility of humanity reflected back at you so you feel less repulsed by yourself and, ultimately, less alone.

 

Plus you really like watching people twat each other.

 

But while the Anti-Reality TV crowd – much like the Anti-McDonalds crowd – are miserable, obsessive, neo-liberal twats, there’s no denying they do have a bit of a point.

 

X Factor’s become unwatchable.

 

There’s nothing I love more than watching a Fish Factory worker from Dudley have their dreams dashed after a four-minute sob story about how their dead granddad wanted them to make it past boot camp more than he wanted to recover from a terminal illness, but all the fun has been taken out of dream-bashing by having to watch Cheryl Cole try to squeeze a tear out after a particularly sketchy version of “Get Here if You Can.”

 

Last week reached new levels of bore after Simon Cowell (replete with three-day-old-bloated-corpse face) kept making hilarious gags about how a woman was the “twin” of Cheryl Cole, because she’d worn a Cole-esque outfit and was singing Cole’s hit singles (I’m using the word “hit” here very loosely). And Cole had a sort of “I’ll allow Simon to take the piss here, because I’m clearly spectacularly attractive and an all-round superior human to this woman…” expression as we mocked said elder woman who couldn’t sing, but otherwise didn’t really resemble Cole. But let’s not forget we’re only a decade on since Cole was doing Community Service for drunkenly assaulting a nightclub toilet assistant, so let’s not start queuing for our Damehood just yet, cocker.

Cheryl-Cole32

And there is something very odd about a load of poor people watching a load of poor people being ridiculed by several decidedly unworthy rich people.

 

Jeremy Kyle, for instance. That’s a rum state of affairs, isn’t it?

 

He hates every woman that he encounters, unless he finds them attractive and when he does his surmising of the domestic dispute is that the fella involved “Cannot believe his luck, landing someone like her…”

 

He stands, surrounded by eighteen stone bodyguards, screaming, “I’m not scared of you, mate!!”as spittle flies out of his angry body, shrouded in an ill-fitting Burton suit.

 

“Get a jobbbb!” screams professional oppressor Kyle, as he’s handed those “all-important DNA test results.” A sentiment that is resolutely echoed by the rest of us as we observe the jumped-up little shit in action.

Jeremy Kyle looking aggressive

This bear-baiting thing has been raised before, I’m adding nothing new. But it’s not the actual bear-baiting that most repulses me. I can read between the lines. I know my own political position. I know that I’ve never hated a single Jeremy Kyle guest with the same ardent fervor that I despise Kyle himself, and nor will I.

 

But, what has really prompted my break up with reality television, more than even X Factor and the insufferable Kyle (I can’t watch Kyle) was the recent series of Celebrity Big Brother.

 

Actually, not the whole series, because I just dipped in and out.

 

But there’s a certain scene that plays out on nearly every reality television show that involves romance and relationships. And that is the concept of the Reality TV Pricktease.

 

The Reality TV Pricktease – much like her better-known cousin, Common or Garden Pricktease – doesn’t actually exist, of course.

 

The idea that attractive young women (they tend to be young and attractive) spend their days constructing a situation in which they want a man to feel he is definitely going to have penetrative intercourse with them, in order to willfully and deliberately refrain from said intercourse in a bid to… what? …Humiliate? …Subjugate? …Irritate said man? is as mythical as it is ridiculous.

 

The reason it serves us in wider society is because we all want to fuck the person we want to fuck, and society is weighted in favour of men. We live in a world in which men are more willing to say, “This woman doesn’t want to fuck me because SHE has a problem” (in this case a frankly laughable strategy to want him to fuck her, so she can cruelly refute his advances), than, “This woman doesn’t want to fuck me because I might not be particularly fuckable to her.”

 

Variations of this “Pricktease” problem occur on every Reality TV show (Geordie Shore, TOWIE, Big Brother, Real Housewives of Barrow-in- Furness etc) in nearly every possible permeation at some point, but this recent Big Brother thing just tipped the scales for me.

 

In this series, it was about some mid-twenties girl from TOWIE who had snogged some mid-twenties lad from Geordie Shore who apparently “really liked her.”

 

This resulted in loads of conversations, some of which were initiated by older FEMALE members of the house saying, “It could look a bit like you were leading him on…”

 

Leading him on for WHAT?!

 

What the girl involved tried to assert, but was slightly too thick to do properly, was that she fancied him at one point so she had a flirt, but then she stopped fancying him.

 

AND THAT’S THE FUCKING NATURE OF SEXUAL AGENCY.

 

On a more serious point, this is what people miss about some instances of rape (cue outraged responses that i likened Celebrity Big Brother to rape and that I want to chop dicks off and ‘why do these feminists want equal wages but they still want flowers?’ shite.)

 

We should be teaching women that if you fancy someone and then stop fancying them – for WHATEVER FUCKING REASON WHATSOEVER – that’s perfectly legitimate.

 

Further, flirt with who the fuck you want to for as long as you want to, and your future intentions – romantic or sexual – are completely legitimate and entirely up to you and flirting is not a precursor to ANYTHING.

 

I was genuinely watching women over 30 tell a woman under 30 on British Television in 2014 that she “wasn’t being fair” on some absolute half-wit, because “he really liked her.”

 

I heard the words, “Poor Ricky…” (Ricky is the half-wit’s name).

 

Poor Ricky got to have a snog with someone he really fancied, but she doesn’t want to snog him again.

 

Let’s do a charity gig.

 

screen-shot-2014-04-29-at-16-44-12-e1398786516909

 

The implication being that it’s unfair to kiss someone if they fancy you, unless the kissing is a precursor to intercourse or a relationship, or unless the kiss signified a mutual attraction.

 

2014.

 

I don’t know the reasons why one woman would even come to the conclusion that another woman is a Pricktease, because a Pricktease is a less convincing concept than The Loch Ness Monster.

 

What could one possibly gain from being a Pricktease? Perhaps we’re buying into this idea that because society has commodified women and reduces them to their aesthetic sexual worth that when women flirt with a man they may gain certain financial or emotional privileges from said man. But what this does is suggest that the man in the situation has either a) gained pleasure from the flirtation – in which case, everyone’s a winner, or he has b) assumed the flirtation releases the woman from her own sexual agency, which is pretty sinister.

 

So why, instead of sitting him down and saying, “She’s using you mate…” or sitting her down and saying, “Stop flirting with half-wit because he fancies you and you’re leading him on”, weren’t the conversations with him saying, “Wayhey you fancied her and she snogged you, you gormless dickhead! Don’t think she wants to shag you though, so stop moping and acting like she is obliged to because it’s 2014, she can do what the fuck she wants with her face and body, and let’s face it mate, you’re fairly unfuckable’?

 

I’m going to teach my male progeny that if a girl straddles your dick and then decides she wants to get off, be pleased about the dick straddle and look forward to an era where a woman’s fanny is her own.

 

And while I do appreciate Reality TV is a staged and often scripted reality, edited and -in many cases – directed toward a conclusion that ultimately reinforces patriarchal, capitalist hegemony and I really want to see the fragility of humanity reflected back at me so I feel less repulsed by myself and, ultimately, less alone; it actually made me feel more repulsed with myself for watching, and I felt infinitely more alone.

 

 


@JudeinLondon

I often disagree with my mate Jude. She has some shite taste in music and her disturbing devotion to mayonnaise over HP sauce irks me, profoundly.

We like who we like, and we hate who we hate when it comes to social media and it’s fair dos. We don’t have to follow and we can block and we can choose not to engage.

We can also go all out on starting a twitter row, and sometimes rows are fruitless and sometimes they resolve things. But the nature of social media is that you can confront sentiments you’re opposed to and if the other person is willing you can argue it out. Which is also fair enough.

But here are a couple of things I want to counter in the endless torrent of abuse @Judeinlondon receives.

 

Jude is racist, because she uses the term White Devils

 

I’m not comparing Jude to Mohammed Ali, but I’m gonna draw your attention to this…

“The day after he beat Liston, Clay announced publicly that he was a member of the NOI. There are no words for the firestorm this caused. Whatever disagreements one may have with the Nation of Islam, the fact is that the heavyweight champion of the world was joining the organization of Malcolm X. The champ was with a group that called white people devils and stood unapologetically for self defense…” – David Zirin; Author of What’s my name, fool?, The Mohammed Ali handbook & Welcome to the Terrordome: The Pain, Politics and Promise of Sports

 

Ali was regularly critiqued on his tone and intonation. Something leveled at Jude is that she is rude and confrontational. All great black activism – in fact any political activism – is rooted in anger and antagonism.

It’s not socialist, but in fact a hideous neo-liberal position to tell anyone engaged in political dialogue that they are too aggressive.

I’ve seen loads of you who would describe yourself as left-leaning pile onto the “Jude is nuts” wagon.

Here’s the thing.

Most of you are white.

THAT’S how you fucking know you’re on the wrong team. If you’ve spent the last day or two, tweeting about Jude while Tommy Robinson lives and fucking breathes YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

No one wants to be the problem.

Thirty-five middle-aged men into casual sports wear who would remotely align themselves to socialism, making snide tweets to each other:

“Have you heard this one, Phil? I’m racist…”

“Better get me Ku Klux Klan outfit for Halloween..” etc

You’re WHITE. You’re tweeting to another WHITE person about the intricacies of race in the context of labeling the black person in the “discussion” as off her head.

You’re WRONG, you jebs.

Tweet about ATOS vans, or the EDL, or the Tories if you want to prove you’re not racist. Don’t make shit gags to your white mates about the BLACK PERSON upon whom this discussion RESTS.

 

People who support Jude are sycophants

 

I’m not a sycophant. I wouldn’t kiss an arse, even if it belonged to someone fit and was part of some reciprocal lovemaking scenario.

I make my choice to support Jude because it’s a fucking easy one.

She asserts herself during conversations and describes herself as part of rude twitter, but I find her politics actually very measured.

I’m much angrier than Jude as a person. And if I were black – and I’m not so I’m just guessing – I think I’d be incandescent.

YOU CUNTS are incandescent about race and you belong to a race of people that aren’t even racially oppressed.

 

  Calling Jude, Dude in London or Drogba isn’t Racist or Misogynist

 

Yes it is. There are black men on my TL who are AT LEAST as politically opinionated as Jude and never get the same sort of horrible personal attacks about looks, gender and race.

She needs a shag, she’s on her period, she’s a tranny… all horribly race and gender specific.

The worst I’ve seen about the way Tommy Robinson looks on twitter is that he’s trying to emulate Tom Cruise in Top Gun, when he wore a dodgy outfit.

That’s because there isn’t language and semantics that could shame and vilify Tommy Robinson in the same way that people are attempting to shame and vilify Jude.

 

Jude hates men

 

Jude fucks men. The KillAllMen hashtag is used against her, even though it’s clearly in a context of wit, transposed within a landscape of genuine feminist critique.

It’s the same lads making jokes about paedophiles, trying to liken the KillAllMen hashtag to her wider, entirely sound political observations.

I saw a young girl – dense as all fuck – who tweeted something like:

“Can’t believe @JudeInLondon just called someone a misogynist then her next tweet – seriously – was KillAllMen”

You’re following cunts who regularly make gags about people who shag kids, cocker. Back to school for you, dickhead.

Just because some women too firmly entrenched in Patriarchy agree with you – the same dicks who are RTing your paedo gags and don’t choose to engage in internet politics (which is their choice, but I’m political EVERYWHERE) – don’t kid yourself you’re the civil ones.

 

Jude tweets too much

 

Jude can do what the fuck she wants.

Plus it’s not Jude hanging on to the fucking argument for days after like a fucking petulant teenager.

“I don’t care about the internet… it’s not real..”

You’re doing a fucking good impression of someone who cares, you relentlessly tweeting cunt.

Personal attacks on Jude’s grief

 

Once more, Jude can do what the fuck she wants.

Anyone questioning the solemnity of someone’s grief by whether or not she goes on the internet is a bad dickhead. And barrel scraping.

 

Jude is a self-appointed Human Rights Campaigner

 

Jude made a documentary for the BBC about women in DRC. Jude regularly contributes publicly both in person and in writing about women suffering in the DRC. Jude pursues a political dialogue within New Media despite relentless unnecessary abuse.

She’s not a self-appointed Human Rights Campaigner.

 

 

To conclude:

You don’t have to like Jude, obviously. You can hate Jude. You can slag Jude off. But if you’re in the “Dude in London…” thread, there’s no debate to be had. You ARE the bell.

 

I’ll get shit for writing this. Arsed.

Jude knows – as well as I do – that we could pose in replica shirts and joke about anal sex and RT your jokes and not have a political identity whatsoever and get no shit at all from football fans.

Fuck that.


Why I Hate Banter – Rape Culture and Football

I woke up this morning wondering whether I was a megalomaniac arsehole.

And as I demanded family members make me brews and bacon butties, and revelled in the sheer majesty of my own reflection, I concluded thusly:

“No, Goddess. No you’re not.”

I’d been worried because I’d fallen out with some people as a consequence of a few on-line episodes involving misogyny and complicity. Which seems a ridiculous thing to get wound up about. Unless you’re an intelligent woman, in touch with culture and society, and have spent more than 45 seconds online.

You see, I didn’t particularly want to be an online feminist. I just wanted to bore the arse off people with pictures of my dinner and have a few digs at Coldplay like everyone else. But the problem is, I like football.

I like football, and I also like… and call me Mrs Picky… earning the same as men for the same job, feeling safe if I get pissed, not being judged on a different moral compass purely on account of the vagina, not being statistically more likely to be raped, or killed/ battered by a partner and the list goes on.

So where to start…? Ok, here:

Football and Feminism are not incompatible. Far from it.

From 1885 when working class people had successfully fought for the sport to allow professional participants, right up until the late 1900’s when a variety of factors changed the game beyond recognition – working class males were the imperfect audience for football.

Which brings us the combination of factors that have changed the landscape of modern football, to which many of us object. A grotesque mostly deliberate/ part accidental culmination of the formulation of the Premier League, an expensive television rights bidding war and the Taylor Report which resulted in all seater- stadia that led, in conjunction with new money in the game, to huge corporate areas and a focus on families (rich families) planted a seed in football which has led to the entire sport becoming a massive pile of corporate steaming shite that bears little resemblance to football past.

I’ve shorthanded there. Fuck it.

The very worst thing that modern football has done, however is to create a generation of real dickheads who “love” the sport.

These people are often from places like Shropshire or Surrey, and so have been shielded from the effects that football has had on big cities. They started liking football in the 1990s and are ignorant of the inherent politics that underpins football historically.

No sense of pride or value, they instead trawl the internet and use forums to espouse a caricature of manliness that they have been fed since around 1992 from FHM and those other shithouse publications. It’s a new version of misogyny that is directly entrenched in the values of modern football.

New media doesn’t help. The online football fans represent a very tiny minority of those who actually regularly go and watch live football, and very few people I know personally who have a season ticket have any online presence whatsoever.

Which means that a lot of the people we see on the internet participating in this modern football “banter” disease, subjugating women, targeting specific women and then hounding them in groups, tweeting disgusting shite to famous people, mocking tragedies etc… They should be considered victims.

They are victims of modern football, in much the same way others are.

I am regularly engaging with knobheads on the internet about what constitutes Rape Culture. Rape Culture is the prevailing sense that misogyny at a small group level, if not confronted, is connected to rape.

Those older, working class football fans who have a sense of understanding about struggle and a political perspective get it. Of course they do.

You’d have to be dense as all FRIG not to understand that when mates don’t say to their mates… ‘What you’re saying there is wrong” this leaves the misogynist under the impression that they have social approval.

That’s what Rape Culture is  and I apologise for patronising those of you with basic intellect for spelling it out so crudely.

You look at long-term football attendees who are a couple of generations older and they make off-colour jokes, they buy Viz, they have the craic… but there is no fucking way they’d participate in calling women a slut in groups. Online, or anywhere else.

No one I know – not even from rough as arseholes areas of Manchester – no one I know who is over 35 is a) gonna participate in bullying women at the football or b) allow other groups of men to do it.

In terms of football; it’s a new thing.

Every week new footballers are being charged with sexual assault. The focus is aimed at women who are drinking more, because of ladette culture (another media construct – guess which gender and class own the fucking media, fuckos?), not on the fact that these young kids are all over the fucking internet espousing views they’ve directly inherited from this shitehawk modern football, lad culture.

Because football has become so corporate, it’s no surprise that we see the trend for violence in sport being reflected in corporate capitalist America. We saw it recently in the Steubenville Rape case. A very insidious, new media-led misogyny serving to make women the focus of what is clearly a male problem.

Even Richard Keys – the poisonous little gnome – trying to ingratiate himself with the much younger Jamie Redknapp using the infamous “Would you smash it?” The visible look of disdain on Jamie’s face as he tried to hold onto his dinner, under his skinny tie.

George Lineker on twitter every day speaking about women like they are pieces of shite, meanwhile his father – the most prolific football presenter in the country – never publicly bollocks him.

Like I said, those people entrenched in football-fan misogyny are victims. They are victims of modern football, and in a very real sense, victims in life. They live for a football, the roots of which they are not in touch with, God love ‘em. Plus they’re mostly witless.

The real problem I have is with those people who are complicit. This is why I get narked. You expect people who express themselves as socialists, or as intelligent or compassionate to have the balls to stand up to their mates.

But we live and learn.

For the record, if you see a woman being abused by a man in the street it is always best to intervene if you feel able. Equally, if you’re maintaining friendships with people who bully women and you’re aware of it, you’re complicit in that bullying.

I will use this opportunity to say that I am fully aware that misogyny is not limited to football – modern or otherwise – and that footballers and fans have treated women badly prior to 1992. What I refer to here is a very specific sort of woman-hating that is directly linked to football within the last 20 years or so.

On a final note, I am fucking devastated Gandolfini is dead. He was the sort of guy that these new-age misogynists look up to, and would have as a picture on their social network account. Without even thinking for one fucking minute that this hero of theirs would never -in a million yearssss – been caught spending hours on football forums bullying women in order to solicit the approval of other men.


Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day again. Nice one.

 

In a week where a Fathers4Justice campaigner saw fit to daub the word “Help” over a portrait of the Queen, as it was hung in Chapter House at Westminster Abbey, I can’t help but be reminded of the sheer ineptitude of Fathers4Justice and the absolute preposterousness of the entire movement.

 

First of all: Fathers4Justice aren’t a group of male parents with a shared interest in the pursuit of social morality as it pertains, to law, social law and rightness.

 

No, Fathers4Justice and associated political remonstrators are more Fathers4TryingToExertControlOverWomenWhoHaveSomeSlightThoughByNoMeansComprehensiveLegalBiasInTheirFavourBecauseItHasBeenProvenToBeBenficialForChildrenInGeneralTermsToLiveWithTheirMotherButThisIsByNoMeansAbsoluteAndAGreatNumberOfMenAreAlsoGivenCustodialRightsOverTheirChildren, but I don’t think they could fit it on the website.

 

As some chubby oik squeezes on his Batman suit and haphazardly shimmies his way up a London landmark, let me tell you what most right-minded people are thinking:

 

“This lad is unhappy about the breakdown of his relationship. If he’d made better choices prior to and during his relationship with the mother of his children, there is a distinct possibility that he’d be sat in McDonalds or at a Wacky Warehouse with them now, instead of making himself look like an absolute swinging ballsack atop The Houses of Parliament.

Most people find parenting extremely difficult. Single mums I know would gladly accept the offer of shared parenting. In fact they are likely to jump up and down for joy at the prospect of a break. So the fact that after the breakdown of your relationship, your ex partner is wilfully withholding your kids from you, tells me a lot about you. Even if the Batman suit hadn’t.

Let’s say –for argument’s sake – that some of these women are mentally ill or using the “children as a weapon” as is proposed. This cannot be true of all the single parent females left to fend for themselves when raising their kids. In this country, men who have been violent to ex partners are still allowed to see their children. Men who are imprisoned for violent assaults are often allowed to see their children, and given custodial rights.

The truth is that for the vast majority of campaigning fathers, much like those men stood outside abortion clinics telling women what to do with their bodies, or those men who make up more than 70% of all parents killing their children (often in retaliation for infidelity or a break-up) this is all about taking the very few human rights and slight legal familial privileges women have away from them.”

 

That’s what we’re thinking.

 

In addition, on the Fathers4Justice website it claims that fathers have fewer rights than animals. Another absurdity. Fathers are subject to the full range of human rights afforded to the rest of us, in addition to their parental rights, which are extensive.

 

Also, Dads have better employment, health, housing, financial and societal statistics in their favour. Dads are less likely to be beaten by partners, raped, sexually harassed in the workplace or have to endure ex partners in Batman suits trying to control their waking minutes.

 

So that’s something to hold on to.

 

I’m dead lucky, I’ve never been involved in an acrimonious break up. I’ve had relationships with some fantastic people.

 

But the thinly veiled rage emanating from this Jeremy Kyle-style, “He has broken my ribs on a couple of occasions and slammed the door in my face, but I have to say he’s a fantastic dad…”

 

He’s not.

 

Being a good dad is not getting your nipper’s name tattooed on your bicep, then calling your girlfriend fat six weeks after giving birth.

 

Being a good dad is not holding your child aloft at family functions, then getting back to the house and passing the baby back to it’s Mam for all the menial day-to-day shit.

 

Being a good dad is definitely not splitting from your ex and buying the kid toys and shoes that you decide it needs because you don’t want your money being spent on anything of hers, you know what she’s like the bitch.

 

No. Being a good dad is about being a good human being, respectful of women, particularly the child’s mother and respecting the fact that when relationships end, you have a duty to retain some respect for the woman you had a kid with.

 

If you’re reading this and thinking I’m saying all dads are arseholes, then you’re not reading properly. Good dads are ace. But a major facet in being a good dad, in fact, the primary facet of being a good dad is being good to your kid’s mother. Think on.

 

 

Happy Father’s Day.