CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME, THEY SAY. So where exactly does that leave the homeless?

At the risk of appearing a miserable old git, which I’m honestly not, I’m going to eschew Duk-Duks, summer walks and other such trivalous frivialities yet again this week to write about more serious matters, like local politics, social injustice, and, erm, charity wanks. If you’ve just popped in for a bit of a laugh then feel free to have a butcher’s at the latest page (14) of the Hackenthorpe Book of Lies and to give the blog a miss this week, but that said I will try to work in the odd joke or two if I can, because the subject I’m writing about is, in my opinion, a bit of a laugh-or-cry one and I’m not really one for crying in public. Well not without a belly full of booze, at least…

Many readers will be unfamiliar with the concept of ‘charity wanks’, mostly because it’s a term I invented just a few weeks ago while under the alfluence of incahol, so I’ll make a brief diversion to explain that it’s got nothing to do with ‘charity shags’. A charity shag, of course, is a very special and lovely thing that a young lady can offer to a young man she likes but does not particularly fancy in an effort to cheer him up or boost his confidence. I’m guessing that can work the other way too occasionally, but suspect that in most cases it would have very little to do with charity and more to do with opportunism – or would that be judging today’s young gentlemen too harshly while projecting outmoded and unrealistic Freudian ideals of virtue and chastity onto today’s young Miss? Either way, I am wandering even further from the point and will stop it. Continue reading “CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME, THEY SAY. So where exactly does that leave the homeless?”

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PARALYMPICS: They can be heroes… Just for a fortnight…

A bit of soap-boxing about disability, social injustice and prejudice. Normal service (with added duk-duks!) will be resumed as soon as possible…

Two pieces of TV scheduling have caught my eye in the past week, the first being the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Channel 4 and the second a documentary on ITV called ‘Don’t Hate Us,’ investigating a massive rise in the incidence of hate crime against the disabled. I mentioned in my blog a couple of weeks ago my concern that the ‘superhuman’ aspect of Channel 4’s coverage of the games would draw focus from the real issues of disability, so I was pleased to see, however shocking or harrowing, the documentary offering a wider perspective on what it means to be a disabled person in the UK today.

The documentary, along with several articles I’ve read on the same topic recently, suggested a link between political propaganda targeting benefit cheats and the rise in the incidence of hate crime. While I think that is a key issue I think it would be too easy to get sidetracked by it and to overlook the many other social changes that, IMO, also contribute, because my guess would be that most hate crimes are not committed by those in regular employment who have taken to hate crime as an after work leisure activity. I may be wrong, but my suspicion is that statistics, if available, would reveal a majority of abusers themselves dependant on benefits, or at the very least living in environments where poverty and welfare dependency are more common and where violent and intimidating behaviours – long-established bedfellows of poverty – are more regular features of everyday life. Continue reading “PARALYMPICS: They can be heroes… Just for a fortnight…”

Hey Fatty Bum Bum (Again).

Today’s blog is a long one, and not generally played for laughs. If you decide to go for it strap yourself in tightly, but feel free to bail out at any point if it gets too much…

I don’t generally recommend books – especially non-fiction ones – but I’ve been reading Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and I think it’s something that most people should read if they get the chance. For non-overeating, regularly exercising fat-knackers like me it’s reassuring to find somebody answering the questions we’ve been asking for most of our lives like “why do I get fat when none of my four brothers, who eat far more than me and exercise less, don’t?”, and for sedentary, habitual overeaters it offers explanations for why they might overeat and be reluctant to exercise that look beyond the hateful and inappropriate stereotypes of gluttony and laziness.

More importantly, it also exposes the hypocrisy of those nasty, nasty finger-pointers who eat junk food like it’s going out of fashion and do bugger all in the way of regular exercise yet still remain slim, who have the audacity to take the moral high ground and claim their trimness is somehow related to their ‘better’ lifestyle or ‘greater’ willpower. In so doing it explodes the myth, through careful analysis of decade’s worth of research, that weight maintenance follows a simple model of calories in versus calories out and explores the complexities of the underlying biological, physiological and genetic differences that might make one person a racehorse and another a carthorse regardless of pretty much anything they might do in relation to food and/or exercise. Continue reading “Hey Fatty Bum Bum (Again).”

Trying to Find a Happy Medium…

So just what is it with Superdry t-shirts and their sizing, then? I mean, I know they’ve got that Japanese retro thing going on, but is it really necessary to size clothes so that ‘medium’ equates to about 5ft nothing with waist and chest sizes that would seem more appropriate as collar sizes? No: It’s stupid – and I’ll be glad when the tide of fashion has turned against them and their overpriced, undersized products and normal service has been resumed.

And the same applies to ‘skinny jeans’, which look good on around 10% at most of the people currently wearing them and pretty bloody awful on everyone else. Had I not used it just a couple of weeks ago to illustrate the insanity of women injecting themselves in the arse with bathroom sealant and superglue I’d have dug out my stock photo of Kenny Everett impersonating Rod Stewart to make my point, but as I did I won’t. Instead I’ll just remind all skinny jean wearers that unless you fall precisely within the correct weight-to height-to-build ratio – which has a leeway of about three ounces tops either way, making it highly improbable – you’re more likely to look like Max Wall or a pair of burst skool sossidges from behind than you are to look like Kate Moss or Russell Brand. Continue reading “Trying to Find a Happy Medium…”

I BLAME CLIFF RICHARD…

…and Madonna, and anyone else who sets us up in song to believe that a (so) nice holiday would be the perfect way to inject some fun and excitement into our dull and humdrum lives. As the parent of a fifteen year old (next week, actually, but to call him fourteen until then seems churlish) I’ve got up almost every day for the past week or so, looked up into the grey skies overhead and muttered ‘bugger’, cursing skool holidays, cursing Sir Cliff and Madge et al and cursing the unrealistic expectation they’ve forced upon me to deliver ‘fun and laughter for a week or two’ without the aid of a double-decker bus, Una Stubbs and the camp little bloke from It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum.  I mean, it’s a tall order, ennit?

Adding to that frustration, the skool hols kicked off this time with the totally unexpected gift of blistering sunshine. Reader’s of my blog two weeks ago may remember my vow to ‘make hay while the sun shines’, and the sore arse and shoulder I was suffering as a consequence of a week spent cycling around the local parks and lakes and dragging Ben’s clubs around a variety of local golf courses while he played replace-the-divot and hunt-the-lost-ball. We knew even then it couldn’t last, but we weren’t expecting it to be over quite so quickly. Continue reading “I BLAME CLIFF RICHARD…”