Just An Observation
It would seem that during my extended sabbatical from writing this column that the world has shifted from making me feel as if I live in a parallel universe to believing it has gone quite insane.
In a few short weeks that paragon of everything which is wrong with our society and its attitude to people, Katie Hopkins, has gone from pariah to social necessity and that a vote in the upcoming General Election for SNP actually translates as a vote for UKIP-eh?-, The Baftas occurred without me even knowing caring or even being aware of most of the films nominated whilst over in B&Q the staff, along with those of the emergency services, are primed for a weekend rush coinciding with the soft porn antics of the screen adaptation of the pile of junk ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Meanwhile, in other sad news, the original ‘Fades to Grey’ icon, Steve Strange, has departed this world at the relatively young age of fifty five. How much greyer can we get?
First up though is the disbelief I feel that Katie Hopkins can come second in anything voted for by the public that validates her thinking or methods of spouting it. I had no intentions of watching this year’s Celebrity Big Brother but having heard so much about it via social media my interest was piqued and tuned in only to discover that it was essentially a battle of wills between her and the other megalomaniac egotist, Perez Hilton.
Seriously it was hard to decipher which of these two was the more obnoxious although for me Hopkins won that one; however irritating and worthy of disapproval Hilton was his irrationality usually occurred after he felt attacked and generally the attack had been engendered by Hopkins’ actions or agenda. Aside from this I felt he was merely being himself however despicable that was but Hopkins was just as bad-worse even- but played a more underhand game.
Although I had no sympathy for either of these vile creatures I was always glad that he never backed down when she savaged him so brutally. Personally I feel her nastiness and problems-even if she doesn’t consider nastiness a problem- all arise from the fact she is ugly. Not ugly in the ‘she is not quite pretty enough’ way but ugly in the true sense; when the bile inside actually shows on the face and no matter how many gesticulations and girly shaking around of hair she adopts in a misguided attempt at femininity nothing can hide the fact she is the ugly face of our culture which breeds such people.
Apparently her straight talking has endeared her to certain parts of the nation although there is a difference between straight talking and rudeness and bullying. Even in losing she was ungracious and attacked the person who beat her-Katie Price who for the first time ever I was glad to see beat someone- as an unworthy winner who didn’t deserve her victory. Whether she did or didn’t is irrelevant but the sour grapes were unnecessary.
The personification of this sort of bullying can be found in a character in the Bafta award winning film ‘Whiplash’ in the guise of music teacher Terrence Fletcher played by JK Simmons. Admittedly I was unaware of this film until I saw it mentioned in a Bafta round-up on Monday and decided to give it a chance. Actually I am embarrassed to say that I was actually unaware the Baftas had even taken place until Monday but this is probably due to my being underwhelmed by the majority of the last year’s film output and my boredom with the self-congratulatory nature of awards ceremonies in general.
Set in the fictional Schaffer music school in New York the film deals with talented musicians who are ‘encouraged’ in their craft by Fletcher who constantly belittles, humiliates and bullies them to get exactly what he wants with no regard for the psychological impact his actions actually engender. Despite this noxious character the film is actually okay-one of the higher recommendations I can give this season’s films so far- although be warned it does come with an extended drum solo at its finale but for once this is something endurable and quite necessary to the story.
In politics I read somewhere this week that voting for the SNP actually translates as voting for UKIP in some weird tactical voting sort of way. I am unclear how this actually pans out and I think after 2010’s election when so many of those who voted for the Lib Dems-they will get a fraction of that support this time I believe- realised they had actually voted the Tories into power that this is just scare tactics by a system and media who are constantly being exposed as corrupt. In the long run a vote for UKIP is always going to be a vote for UKIP, with all that represents, but a vote for The SNP or the Greens is a vote for integrity and a society which needs serious positive change for everyone.
After much brouhaha ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ hits the screen this weekend and in expectation of a rush on rope and other ‘DIY’ accessories B&Q have instructed their staff to read up on such practices so they can advise customers on what would best suit their requirements in their soft bondage experiments. The emergency services have also been told to expect several cal outs dealing with people getting themselves into situations-ahem- they can’t get out of. I must admit I find this all highly amusing and it is a shame the film looks like a steaming heap of trash and that Jamie Dornan who was excellent as psychopathic serial killer, Paul Spector, in the BBC2 drama ‘The Fall’ has chosen this as his next career move, as although it will launch him into the stratosphere it sort of undoes all the good work he had done as a credible actor. I also find it amusing that it takes a piece of mainstream Hollywood soft porn to encourage people to explore their sexuality in this way.
On a sadder note the news came through last night that Steve Strange, pop star, singer in Visage and leading light of the early eighties New Romantic movement had passed away at the age of fifty-five although the irony of shades of grey and fades to grey both being headline news on the same day would probably not have been lost on him.
‘Fade to Grey’ will always be his signature tune- the video alone taught a generation how to pose moodily and look vaguely exotic and interesting even when they weren’t- but there were other hits, notably ‘Night Train’, which also stand the test of time. Although there is no secret that he had his troubles and his addictions I do remember meeting him when he put on his club Kick in Edinburgh in the late eighties –I think but if you remember the eighties you weren’t really there- and he was a pleasant and charming character but you were always aware he was a canny hustler underneath this outward charm. Therefore to get in the mood for weekend I am going to sign out with the ‘Fade to Grey’ video to set the tone for the weekend which I hope, despite all signs indicating the opposite, is not a grey one.

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