Don’t Call Me Baby

We did Friendship on Wednesday. Today is Honesty. Some of you guys don’t like this as a concept on the Internet, that much is abundantly obvious. You’d rather maintain that air of mystery that helps make you look and feel like some kind of better, more worthwhile person. I’ll be over here, calling bullshit, and sticking you on mute. For everybody else, there’s a rule-set established in lots of other places apart from here. The basics bear repeating.

Put the fake disbelief away before you begin.

You’re a Brand, Charlie Brown.


Please, enough with the indignation already. EVERYBODY on Social media who are using the platform to promote themselves COUNTS AS A BRAND. By far the fastest way to make yourself look like a total tool is to start a fight over ‘brand loyalty,’ and yet I watch people do it almost daily. Bait is surprisingly easy to spot once you’ve been here long enough… and the ‘well it’s my feed, I can post what I want’ excuse only works to a point. Learning your lessons on Social media means understanding when you stop selling, or start listening.

Most importantly, if you start a conversation with only one thing in mind and then get upset that your intent isn’t grasped? You weren’t clear enough, it’s your problem to solve. If someone else decides to hijack you and it all goes horribly Pete Tong? Mute + block if it gets messy, and just mark it down to experience. Or, you might get lucky and your nemesis vanishes because they finally got a life away from the Internet. Anything is possible.

Talking of bait…

Asking for Trouble has Consequences.


I see you, dangling your controversial shit in my timeline. Yes, I’m pretty certain this is 100% brutal honesty here, but this is the moment to remind the room we don’t think alike, you and I. In fact, no two people do cognitive awareness in quite the same fashion. You may see that guy as a political extremist, I consider this the efforts of an attention-seeking twenty-summat desperate to be liked. Until they actually post summat I consider flagrant or fucking stupid, they can stay. The key here is to have people on your feed you don’t agree with. It makes stuff interesting.

There’s a point of course where honesty is fine until you decide to challenge it. Twice now in recent memory, someone’s made a comment about what I’ve posted and my response alone has been enough to trigger an unfollow. No, I will not do what you tell me to do. No, I’m not going to play along with games. I’m not a big fan of people making it about them when all I did was post what I felt, and yet it will keep happening because of those people’s perceptions of their feed. Every single thing I post is there for a reason. If I’m self-deprecating, there’s a reason too.

The ‘All About Me’ Party is No Fun.


Twitter is not where you should do therapy, I have decided. This in itself is a fairly controversial opinion, for a generation who feel the desire to share everything both pictorially and aurally. I do realise that for some people Social media has become their escape and often the alternate reality required to survive the real world they are uncomfortable and nervous within. The fact remains, however, that to remain a functional member of society, solving all your problems via anonymity will only work to a point.

I have accounts that are periodically muted for this reason, but I don’t unfollow, and here is why. I have my own, complex issues, which on some days I struggle to deal with. When there’s enough strength to feel I could be helpful to others like me, I listen to everyone. When the days are darker or there’s a struggle, these people are quietly moved away from. It doesn’t mean I care any less, I’m just a shit listener and don’t feel I have anything helpful or useful to add. History has shown I’ve done the most damage previously when I don’t curate noise out.

I think some of you shouldn’t say half the stuff you do in public.

My honesty continues to get me into trouble. I doubt that will ever change: that’s best for everybody, even when the whole thing falls down on me with a thump. Now you know this is a brand, and this content is all part of a process of awareness not simply for peace of mind, we can all just carry on.


I didn’t write anything yesterday. I was too busy. History will remember it as the day modern women pointed out that yes, cross us at your peril. It was the day where #alternativefacts from the White House made everybody, including the Press, realise that we are most definitely NOT in Kansas any more.

However, we got through it.

There’s far worse to come, of that I am certain. However, at least we now know what to expect.

This is no longer a game. We’re not here to be clever or be covered in glory. It is time to up your game, check your privilege at the door and get down into the fucking filth with everybody else. Your hero status is revoked. You cannot use the past as your CV. Only now, in the moment, will the true saviours of the Planet be forged. The press, who have been fucking shambolic up to this point, will now hopefully understand what they have to deal with. Your fantasies of a ‘West Wing’ style press room are over. The only way you win now is by standing up and being prepared to be shot. I wonder how many people will stick on the flak jackets and wade in.

For the satirists, of course, it’s Christmas and New year rolled into one.

However, when you read past the protest and indignation, there’s an awful lot to do.

Hundreds of thousands of people peacefully protest. There are four arrests (if I believe what I read.) Nobody wears riot gear. Nobody breaks a Starbucks windows. No Nazis are punched. In fact, across the world, millions of women who were personally incensed by the President’s opinions, angry that this man got to be in charge, offended they are considered as merely ‘property’… I assume that the collapse of the social order means all these women should have all stayed at home and done laundry or something. The responses on that tweet vary from right to left with an almost predictable regularity and I’m almost tempted to follow this Sheriff ‘person’ as I suspect it might be a useful counterpoint to what I’m seeing in the majority.

If you think yesterday was the collapse of the social order? That’s hardly the most auspicious of starts to a Presidency, is it?

The biggest single issue I see is truth. If you believe everything Government tells you without doing some basic searching? This is going to be a very blinkered 4 years. Fortunately people are already preparing for this eventuality. It is time to listen to everyone, not just the people you thought you trusted. It’s not just the US doing this either, it transpires my PM may have known more than she let on an abortive Trident launch before a vital Commons vote. The Orange Man is not simply our enemy. The fact Mrs May’s rushing to meet him and trying to make it look like she’s going to be strong for womenkind? Oh shut up Teresa, nobody believes you. All flies are attracted to shit, you can’t avoid it, it’s where your eggs are laid. This woman does not represent my interests anyway, but that’s a Blog Post for another day.

Right now, the satirists are your friends. These are the people who grasp more truth than you are ever likely to hear or see. It is their job to keep up to date with facts so they can destroy the lies and make you laugh as you cry. Listen to these people. Check the truth, at every possible opportunity.

These will be dark days ahead, but together we will overcome them all.

Funny Girl

As another actor of a certain age passes away, I have pause for thought. British comedy, since at least the 1950’s, has been a product of the era it represented. That means Hancock in the 50’s, That was the Week that Was in the 60’s and Python in the 70’s. Fawlty Towers, which played between ’76 and ’79, was even more a product of that time period, because it combined the anarchy of the Flying Circus with a comedy trope that had been established with programmes such as Love Thy Neighbour.

This was how the English dealt with people who weren’t English.


You could argue it was a colonial hangover, that portraying people not born and bred here was always going to have this element of distrust and sometimes abuse. It would take quite some time before it wasn’t about making fun of people because of where they came from was considered acceptable… except, hang on, no. That’s still happening. TV shows might no longer use race, sex and place of birth as means to make fun of other people, but it doesn’t seem to be stopping politicians. I’d post that clip of the Orange Man mocking disability as an example but fuck that for a game of soldiers.

Sometimes, you don’t focus on what is funny and instead look for a bigger meaning.


Language can be funny, yet the best bits of Fawlty Towers were physical, to the point where you could argue a clip round the ear solves nothing. However, there were clever pieces of interplay, using Spanish and misunderstanding thereof as humour. Nobody will ever fault that Andrew Sachs was a superb actor, and I’m not here to say anything else about that. Bernard Manning was a comedian, but now is often considered a liability. Rolf Harris was an entertainer, but won’t now ever be remembered as that. All of this is seen with hindsight, and that colours certain sections of history with a far less flattering light.

What worries me more is that people have short memories, and forget how shit it is to treat ANYONE badly. I don’t want to go back to the 1940’s, the 60’s or the 70’s please. In fact, the further we pull ourselves away from the Dark Ages, the better it will be for EVERYBODY. So, remember this. At the time it was funny and, for many people who like to indulge in a level of nostalgia as a means to deal with current issues, it still is. That doesn’t make it free of criticism, and it certainly shouldn’t be used as an example of how comedy is universal.

This country looks inward more than it really should, and still has an awful lot to learn about foreign relations.

White Punks on Dope

I was having a chat with someone about this Amazon advert yesterday on Twitter, and a cursory look on Google reveals that it has upset quite a few people, including my husband. His argument was quite simple: if this had been a woman, with a guy wanting to buy a meat thermometer, this 30 seconds of film would probably never have made it to air. Somehow making this a bloke allows this to be socially acceptable? That’s not true either, as that article by Ragen Chastain points out. Using shortcomings as humour might have been how silent films made the world laugh a century ago, but a lot has changed. Certain forms of humour have always been a dangerous game, especially now as social media allows the visually viral to sweep around the planet in days.

Then I went to my own reaction to this, when I first saw it in the Gym, to understand where I now exist in Western society when it comes to humour. Yes, it made me laugh the first time I saw it, but it wasn’t in surprise that this happened, but in shock. It’s that moment when you’re in a conversation with somebody else and you realise they have no idea that their joke just offended you, or their attitude is making you feel uncomfortable. It is the sad truth that sometimes, trying to be funny just makes things worse, and not better. No more so is this true with jokes that attack weight, disability and sexuality, although many people will tell you they really don’t care whether your routine is in good taste or not, it is if you laugh or not that matters. I think the best humour make you think, or can be told without the need to use the physical at all.

Eddie Izzard is a brilliant comedian for many reasons, but that sequence isn’t funny because of the humour, I’m laughing mostly in embarrassment at the way my country used to turn up and appropriate territory without a thought for hundreds of years. He was front and centre last week on Question Time when told to ‘shut up’ over his argument with Nigel Farage. There’s another blog post in that subject too, and that again focuses on the power of imagery to make a point (and often to be altered in able to do so.) But I digress: Izzard’s done stand up in three languages, and I listened to him explain how this works: you have to remove the specifics from your comedy. You can’t make a joke about Curly Wurly’s in Germany, because they won’t know what that is, you need to use the phrase ‘chocolate bar’ and base your humour around that. That’s what using the fat bloke does, it allows this humour to be ‘relevant’ across Europe for Amazon. Except as time goes on, that’s not good enough.

We need better metaphors than laughing at each other’s failings to sell shit.

We need people like Dove. Oh, and Always:

It is incredible to think that the same company who can take the piss out of a lone guy having the balls to do yoga in a class full of women also made this:

Times are changing. One can only hope advertisers keep getting the memos about how it’s not about the stupid any more, but the truth. You can’t lie any more to people, not with the way the World now operates, because in the end they’ll see right through you. The irony is, of course, however good you think you are, there’s always room for improvement, and no more is that true than when you talk to someone else.