January is always the month to sit back and look shocked as your waistline joins forces with your wallet to reap revenge for the indignities you’ve made both suffer in the name of ‘having a good time’. Despite all my very good intentions and to the best of my knowledge, having had a pretty lousy Christmas, my bank balance is indeed shrinking in direct proportion to my increasing girth.
I refuse to become one of those people who start hitting the gym with a vengeance just because it is a new year. I remain convinced that this is little more than akin to taking a few steps along that proverbial well intentioned pathway to hell. I’ve peered through the windows and I’ve seen it. Gyms across the country are currently packed with people who remain convinced that paying through the nose for a crappy towel, water bottle and a shiny new gym pass is enough to make you the buff envy of your friends within a few weeks. They wobble around, staring in awe at the machines, occasionally trying a few of the more familiar ones – bikes and treadmills – before heading for a sauna, shower and the exit, never to return again. I know because I am often one of these people. This year I have vowed not to re-embark on working my booty until February at the earliest.
One good thing about January is that it means the return of ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. For those who don’t watch, it is a show which throws together a whole bunch of very minor stars with very major egos in one house and allows them to bitch, fight and whinge for Britain over a three week period while we eager viewers lap up their misery. This year it all got off to a steady start. The ‘celebs’ were as ropey as ever. We were offered Leo Sayer, H from Steps and former Kenny Everett sidekick Cleo Rocos. It had all the pulling power of a provincial panto. Then the producers played what they hoped would be a trump card. They introduced a new ‘family’. The better known element being all round ‘famous for being famous’ personality Jade Goody. She was joined by her one-armed ex-Rastafarian lesbian mother and nineteen year old football agent boyfriend. Fireworks immediately erupted, the media focussed on what it decided was racist bullying of another contestant Bollywood Actress Shilpa Shetty. To be honest, it gave the show the shot in the arm it needed. Before they arrived, it was about as interesting as watching paint dry. Channel 4 was vilified by the Murdoch controlled British popular press. From the outside looking in, the show seemed to sum up everything bad about British society.
We’ve become a nation that no longer gives people the benefit of the doubt. We no longer think it is our place to take people to one side and show them the error of their ways. Nobody has the time. We’d rather just have our opinions pre-packed and force fed. When the right bandwagon comes past, we happily leap on board. If someone is being called a racist bully, we’ll join in with the chants. It makes us feel good about ourselves, as if we personally are fighting racism or bullying. We aren’t.
In the aftermath of recent events, three girls’ professional reputations lie in ruins. They did little worse than any of the rest of us might do when faced with hours of boredom, a bit too much to drink and finding ourselves in a room of strangers, deprived of all friends or outside stimulation. They had a good old bitch fest, a right bellyache. Now they are being repackaged as the new face of evil. The press has stood by pontificating and yet still putting the boot in. The way these people have been vilified is equally unacceptable. Why should someone be subject to death threats and have their effigy burned on the streets? If ignorance is to blame, why can’t someone just sit down and explain to Jade and her cronies that what they did was wrong? And when they do show any remorse, why can’t we accept this. How much more do we think we have the right to demand from people whose names we would have been hard pressed to recall pre-Christmas?
I’m already bored with seeing long lens pictures of these nobodies, why can’t the paps get to work on something far more interesting? I personally would pay good money for shots of humourless food Nazi Dr. Gillian McKeith PhD (qualification from a non-accredited US correspondence college) tucking into a bucket of KFC and a four pack of Special Brew on a park bench. Why does someone who claims to promote good health look so poorly?
Much as I want to say ‘enough with the moaning’, I can’t. I know now that it is a part of my heritage. The other day I was speaking to an Australian guy. The subject got around to ‘Whinging Poms‘. I wasn’t insulted when he told me that he was tiring of hearing the Brits he worked with indulging in a good old moan, because he is right. We love nothing more than a whinge. Personally I feel my day is wasted if I haven’t had a good old whine about some stupid Dutch law or the utter lack of customer focus in this country. I’d be as bad back home though, so no need for any one nation to take this personally.
I’ll close then by having a good old go about the weather. Why isn’t it getting cold? This is January for goodness sake. Normally I wouldn’t mind, but I really do think it is getting beyond a joke now. We need a decent cold snap. In my street, trees were starting to blossom on New Year’s Day! What is worse is I’ve already been bitten by my first mossie of the year.
Fact of the Month: