Vigilante manners police

At midnight a couple of days ago an angry Welsh man phoned my house.

“Is that Lynn?” He said.

“Yes,” I replied. Lynn is, after all, my name.

“Where the … [rants something about a phone in a barely decipherable accent],” said he.

“Excuse me, who am I speaking to?” I asked.

“[confusing angry rant]” he said, Welshly.

...continues here

Alcoholism: One for the golden oldies.

While supping on a Lidl’s gin and tonic at a party a while ago I was told by a friend that his gran drinks gin as a thirst-quencher, “she’s not an alcoholic,” he stressed.

Why not? I wonder. I fully intend to be an alcoholic when I’m old. I don’t really care about the addiction side of things, I’m going to be drinking so regularly that it’ll hardly matter. There’ll be no point looking after my body which is sure to have all but given up, and chances are my mind won’t be up to much either.

I’m also contemplating developing a drug habit. Probably when I’m about 80. I plan to collect my pension from the post office, nip round the back to meet my dealer then hobble home with a gram of smack in my cheek.

...continues here

Westboro Baptist Church

Westboro Baptist Church’s propaganda is all over the internet. Not in a sinister way, but the news that they plan to picket Heath Ledger’s funeral has been posted on facebook and myspace walls everywhere and emailed to death.

They are all too easy to dismiss as a bunch of loons. Because they are a bunch of loons. The fact that they’re so interested in other adults’ sex lives is more than a little bit pervy, and I think all this gay-bashing is more of an excuse to hold signs with rude pictures on them (see madman below) and bond with their peers than anything else.


Really, if you were going to make a serious point would you use a wee picture of two people shagging? I think no.

...continues here

Uggs is for muggs

Everyone has an opinion on the ubiquitous Uggs, and I am no different. But, being a fickle sort of person, mine changes every few weeks.

As my fellow blogger and pal Sarah notes, Sienna Miller was wearing her Uggs (so named because that’s the noise they make you do when you see an otherwise perfectly good outfit ruined by them) four years ago. So they should be right out of fashion by now.

And they are truly minging, are they not? They make the wearer look like an am-dram lunatic who has forgotten to take their pantomime horse feet off after a show.

...continues here

Too many Nigellas spoil the BBC

Nigella was bad enough. It took me a long time to stop hating her stupid, vacant face and to accept my mum’s explanation that she’s calculatedly hamming it up to give (idiot) men what they want. Now my sister has started using her cookbook I can confirm that her food is truly delicious (as anything with mountains of sugar and butter in it tends to be). What’s more we can be fairly sure that she’s not actually a halfwit as she has a degree from Oxford...

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Keffi-what? Fashion vs. politics

I may well be the only person who didn’t already know this, but uber-cool indie-schmindie scarves of the variety pictured below are called keffiyehs and are a symbol of Palestinian solidarity.

...continues here

Who would have thought the Vatican would go in for PR stunts? Well it seems it's all for them: anyone who makes a Pilgrimmage to Lourdes within the next year gets less time in Purgatory, says Ben.

The... um... special offer(?) is to mark the 150 years since the vision of the Virgin Mary is supposed to to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes.

According to the nuns who taught me an hour of R.E. a day throughout my formative years at the now defunct La Sagesse Convent School, Purgatory is a pretty rubbish place. It's where St Peter sends those of us who are not bad enough for Hell, but need a bit of punishment for their (non-mortal) sins before they're good enough for heaven. So a buy-one-get-one-free offer on time there's a pretty good deal.

Having said that mortal sins, which include perjury, adultery, lust, masturbation, murder, contraceptive use and abortion, are enough to get you sent straight to hell, so I might just forget the flight to Lourdes and spend the £200 on Russell Brand tickets instead. Woohoo!

Image from xkcd

I did something quite uncharacteristic over the weekend. I preened.

It was my twenty-three-teenth birthday on Sunday, I had a joint party with fellow Maglabber Rachel in the trendy Cardiff bar, Buffalo, on Saturday night. Since it was a special occasion I ignored my teeny £35-a-week budget and bought a rather lovely gold silk dress from Kate Moss's Topshop range.

Gold goes really nicely with red hair. It does not, however, go particularly well with the whiter-than-white Celtic skin that comes part-in-parcel with the ginger gene. In fact it made me look like either a ghost or someone with acute liver failure depending on the light. Thus, I decided to try fake tanning. After ignoring very sensible advice, "go to a salon and get a spray tan," from a fellow redhead, I took to the shower for some serious exfoliation.

Not being one to make this much effort usually, I don't have any of the equipment. My sister, a veteran fake-tanner, said I needed 'exfoliating gloves'. I don't know what these are. Instead I decided a nail brush would do just as well... they are after all a bit scratchy. Doing my legs was easy enough, as were my chest, arms and shoulders. Trying to 'exfoliate' (scratch the skin off) your back with a tiny 99p nailbrush is no easy task, and in the end I gave up.

Next I had to spray ridiculously expensive liquid evenly over myself, which I thought I did rather well. Again the back proved to be a bit of an issue, not really being sure of the standard procedure I held the spray can over my shoulder and waved it about a bit. That'd do.

Then came the waiting game. My Facebook status is testament to the length of time it took: "Lynn is wondering why she hasn't changed colour yet," came 3 hours after application. Things started happening about 3 hours after that at 6pm. There was a minor splodging incident in my armpit, but I saw to that with some more nail-brush scratching, and by the time I was ready to leave at 7.30 I was feeling rather smug about what a nice colour I was.

Off I went, to the trendy bar with all the trendy people. I started my kindly-friends-funded cocktail consumption with a Vicious Bitch and ended it with a Strawberry Iced Tea with a good few more in between. I ended up raving in the rain into the wee small hours before stumbling homeward via the chippy.

My surprise came the next morning. Having woken up at a ridiculously early 8am a bleary-eyed glance in the bathroom mirror told me that my 'tan' had continued to develop through the evening and into the night. I looked a bit weird, and worst of all had a bruise-like smudge on my neck which I sincerely hope had been covered by my hair the night before. More nail-brush scratching later, I am just about back to where I started and determined to embrace being pale and interesting.

---- Incidentally, this relentless ageing was already a cause for concern before I read India Knight's most recent Times column in which she says: "the time when you are most likely to conceive with no complications and have a healthy baby, is when you are young, which means late teens or early twenties." A recent discussion among the Maglab girls concluded that 27, 28 and 29 is late twenties; 24, 25, 26 is mid; which means, according to India, I only have 364 days left to give birth. Oh God. ----

I do my best not to read the Daily Mail for one very good reason: I like to pretend to myself the world is a nice place, and its terrifying outpourings of bigotry make that quite tricky.

Last week the lower-case-c conservatives turned their malignant attentions to Russell Brand. Now, vitriolic racism and being the embodiment of all that is wrong with society I can handle, but attacking a comedian I like? That I will not stand for...

On his BBC Radio 2 podcast (which anyone with the faintest whiff of a sense of humour should listen to every week) Russell mentioned a Mail article about his autobiography. It carpet bombed bile and criticism over the left, Russell, his fans, the Guardian, the BBC, the other tabloids, cat lovers and lonely people. Good going, even for the Mail.

Article author Alison Boshoff apparently thinks someone who had a Thai prostitute bought for him by his father should keep schtum about it. She also took exception to Russ having watched his father's porn when he was at primary school. So a boy had a premature sexual awakening thanks to a negligent parent. How it's conceivable, even in the most closed and hateful of minds, that it could be the child's fault I don't know. As for keeping quiet, it's a mystery to me what that would achieve.

Boshoff writes disapprovingly: "Auntie is keeping faith with him, no matter how distasteful the skeletons in his closet are." I don't know why I'm surprised at this attitude. It won't come as a shock to anyone that the Daily Mail is of the 'lock-them-up-and-throw-away-the-key' school of rehabilitation, but naively, I didn't think it would apply to ex-addict, promiscuous TV presenters who've never claimed to be anything but.

More worrying than The Mail's lack of compassion is its attempt to set itself apart from the other tabloids. In this article it calls The Sun "a downmarket red-top newspaper". Thus it allows its readers to think themselves 'upmarket' and tells them they're different to the 'yobs' who read The Sun or The Mirror. They probably are different: they're probably wearing suits and they probably have more abhorrent views.

No-one would ever think "I'm a Sun reader. I know about the world." The Sun is not for people who take politics seriously. The Mail, in styling itself as a paper that does just that is far more dangerous.

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