Thursday, April 28, 2011

This week I have been mostly thinking : about the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William

So, we’re on the eve of the Royal wedding and I feel it is my duty to expose it as the sham it is. I am about to tell you a story which may shock and appal you, which may stun you to your very core.
Brace yourself............I was the clandestine male lover of Prince William for 5 years.
It was a true, but sadly forbidden love, between a prince and a pauper, a wonderful fairy tale but without the happy ending it so deserved.
Our eyes first met across a crowded room at a charity ball. I remember it like it was yesterday.
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful it’s true. I saw your face in a crowded place and I don’t know what to do, cause I’ll never be with you. That’s what I thought on that fateful night when I returned home to my lonely flat in London. Little did I know the adventure that lay ahead of me.
It was a whirlwind of romance, each stolen embrace forever treasured in my aching heart, but why must we keep our love a secret, surely a love this right could never be wrong.
It all came to a head one frosty night in November 2010.
Willy: ‘Spod  I must marry Kate’
Me: ‘Why Willy? I love you, isn’t that enough?’
Willy: ‘You know very well why I must, I must have an heir to carry on the Royal line, and nature will not allow you to bear my children’
Me: ‘What about Harry?’
Willy: ‘You know as well as I do he’s not my real brother, the heir would not be legitimate, this doesn’t mean the end for us, just look at my father....’
Me: ‘I won’t be your Camilla Willy, I just won’t. I can’t just fade into the background and watch as you deceive that poor woman’
Willy: ‘I’m the future king of England, you will do as I say’
Me: ‘You heartless bastard....’
Willy: ‘That’s right. Just walk away like you have from everything else in your life..and don’t think anyone will believe you if you go to the papers about us’
Me: ‘How could you...I would never stoop so low. Goodbye my precious lord of Cockermouth’
And that’s the last I saw of the man in person. My heart was broken and I fled the country. I just hope that on his wedding day, perhaps as he is goose stepping into the Nazi themed reception Harry has arranged for him at Buckingham palace, that he spares a thought for his first and only true love.
Now, that story isn’t actually true.
I just felt compelled to write something about the Royal wedding, which at this moment appears to have inconceivably captured the attention of the entire planet, and when I sat down to think about it, I discovered I had no opinion about it whatsoever. I was totally ambivalent to the whole thing.
I can’t explain what the obsession is and I haven’t got the inclination to even ponder what it means. Perhaps it’s just a media fabrication and nobody actually gives a monkies.
It reminds me of the last time there was an extraordinary outpouring of emotion about a member of the royal family.

What are your thoughts about the Royal Wedding, will you be dabbing the tears from your eyes or the drool from your terminally bored chin? Please feel free to comment.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This week I have mostly been observing: the demise of X Factor winner Altiyan Childs

It makes me feel dirty , I feel unclean, I feel how I’d imagine a young lady would feel after an ill advised sexual liaison with Kyle Sandilands, but I must, I really must, reluctantly force myself once more  to return for hopefully the final time, to the subject of Australian X Factor winner Altiyan Childs.
There’s no point in complaining about X-Factor anymore, it’s what the general public want after all, and very much like facing up to your own mortality, I faced up to the fact it was an immovable part of popular culture and gave in and watched it last year.
Altiyan Childs was of course the only palatable thing about it. Cheesier than a lump of Brie, the aging, dishevelled rocker displayed a certain amount of underdog charm which proved irresistible to Joe Public.
So Altiyan brought it home and got the contract with Sony. He released the inevitable epically bland ballad ‘Somewhere in the World Tonight’, (the musical equivalent of painting a piece of wood and watching it dry) which was quickly followed by the cash in covers album.
Of course X Factor isn’t about music as an art form; it’s about producing a product, a product that is precision crafted to appeal to as many people who aren’t music fans as possible, it has to be inoffensive, can’t grab your attention, in essence, it should be the perfect gift for mother’s day.
It is therefore crucial that the winner of X Factor must not display anything resembling an X factor.
It seems that Altiyan doesn’t fit the bill though, and his life has definitely not imitated his art, having more sensational plot lines than an episode of Home and Away and Neighbours combined.
He signed with a suspect manager straight after winning the show (who allegedly has a criminal record longer than the extended version of ‘Hotel California’), and shacked up with him and 7 others known as the ‘Altirage’ in a suburban household which was subsequently found to contain a drugs lab,  a large stash of Marijuana and some illegal firearms.
He’s also, despite a platinum selling album, stone broke, engaged to a 19 year old girl he met on Facebook and is currently embroiled in a scandal concerning his alleged dubious relations with a 15 year old female fan.
Without a doubt Altiyans career as an X Factor champion is over, he was just too rock and roll to fit into the X Factor world. (He even trashed a hotel room in Hobart for God’s sake, does it get more rock and roll than that?).
Which begs the question; who at X Factor and Sony were advising him, and more importantly who cares? I would wager they realised that Altiyan was an oddball, that maybe he wouldn’t be as easily manipulated as your standard X Factor automaton, so they just cashed in on the moribund single and covers album and left him to his own devices, knowing his outlandish behaviour would quickly give them reason enough to sever their ties with him.
And what’s more, where in the name of all that is Irish was Altiyans mentor from the show, Ronan Keating?
I’ll tell you where he was, he was too busy to think of Altiyan in his hour of need, he was snuggly situated in his underground lair, wringing the last drops of fetid sour milk from the scabrous teat of the diseased bovine that is Boyzone. Probably. I’m not sure where he was to be honest.
So where does this leave us?
In conclusion:

The X Factor show was a success, and they made their cash from Altiyan.
Altiyan got his 15 minutes of fame and got to act like a rockstar for a few months, which is more than most of us will get. Let’s hope most of the sordid tales about him aren’t true.
And for the rest of us, well, we don’t get anything except the enduring memory of Altiyan Child’s spine tingling live version of ‘Lady in Red’ and the unshakable feeling that the whole sorry enterprise is further evidence of the downfall of western civilisation.
Still, you have to laugh don’t you?

Friday, April 8, 2011

This week I have been mostly watching: The Biggest Loser Australia

It’s awful isn’t it? The Biggest Loser I mean. The sight and sound of the ‘Reality’ Television barrel being noisily scraped for the last moribund morsel of vacuous entertainment it has to offer.
Well yes, but I must admit that I’m slightly obsessed with it at the moment.
Without a doubt its manipulative; the way the camera pans in accompanied by mournful strings and plinky plonk piano onto the blubbering face of an outrageously overweight man, standing on an industrial sized weighing scales in a pair of unflattering tight lycra shorts as he admits he can’t tie his own shoe laces because he’s just too darn fat, is obviously designed to eke every last drop of sympathy out of you.
And it also can’t be doubted that certain elements of the show are staged and edited out of context.
One audacious example of this from last week is when two of the female contestants were relaxing in the Biggest Loser lounge. One of the women happened to be eating yoghurt; in fact, by pure chance I’m sure, the very brand of yoghurt that sponsors the show.
So the cameraman thinks ‘hmm...let’s take a real good close up of that yoghurt pot’, and the contestant responds by saying, totally unprompted you’ll understand, ‘Wow, I can’t believe this yoghurt is only 71 calories’.
Simply outrageous product placement.
I also find the contestant commentary during the weekly challenges unintentionally hilarious and utterly pointless.
Imagine if you will, the contestant Joe (everyone loves to hate Joe don’t they?  That backstabbing Judas), struggling up a sand dune with two five litre buckets of water in hot pursuit of Lara (an unbeatable weight loss machine), it looks like he might catch her before she reaches the top. It’s tense. I can’t predict what’s going to happen.
Now, let’s cut away to Joe in the gym, and ask him what his thoughts and emotions were at this point in the contest. Go ahead Joe:
‘Well I was struggling up the dune with my two buckets of water, Lara was just ahead of me, and I thought; If I push myself here and give it 150% (could someone please tell these people it is in fact impossible to give more than 100% in any given situation?), I might catch her’
Thanks Joe, thanks for that enlightening comment, you’ve offered us a real window into your soul there.
Enough about what’s bad about the Biggest Loser though, let’s focus on its redeeming feature for a minute, which is undoubtedly the change the contestants go through from their initial state as bloated, unhealthy and desperately unhappy people into slim and rosy cheeked members of society who have regained their self respect.
It really is heart warming to see a man who before he started training could barely walk, actually be able to run up a flight of stairs unassisted, bust out 50 press-ups, and tie his own shoe laces again.
The bond forged between the trainers and their charges also appears genuine. Who can forget that fateful weigh-in when that impenetrable hunk of a man Shannon openly wept with pride as Charlene (the 50 year old Mum who he’d fiercely battled with in the early days) posted a 6kg weight loss for the week.
So in conclusion, what I’m trying to say is; although it’s wrapped up in the form of a vapid prime time TV show, it’s hard not to find this triumph of the human spirit over adversity inspirational.
Admittedly it is the kind of self inflicted adversity which sums up everything that’s wrong with society today; the fact that if you’re miserable, the only way to make yourself happy is to consume. Whether its fifteen pints of lager, cocaine, meat pies, plasma screen TV’s or overpriced Justin Bieber memorabilia, and as the Biggest Loser helps to highlight, this is surely not the road to happiness.
I’m not saying watching the Biggest Loser will put you on the road to happiness either mind you, but it’s certainly more entertaining than watching re-runs of ‘Two and a Half Men’.
Now, have a butchers at this clip, I dare you to tell me its not television at its finest