Nothing to do this weekend because your friends are all at ATP festival saying goodbye to holiday camp chalet fun with the indie kids? You know Slint's playing? Not that we care. And Shellac, obviously, else it would be the one ATP they didn't make. But, you know, while it might be the end of an era for ATP, and people will be providing anecdotes for years about how they were there, we have some festival stories of our own to share. In totally non bitter tones and everything...
This week we have been dividing ourselves into teams. Are you #TeamNigella? I note there isn't much of a #TeamSaatchi, even though I wouldn't join it, but I'm not sure I'm #TeamNigella either. I am wary of a woman who tried to casually insert the phrase 'Christmas welcome table' into the English Christmas lexicon,and messes about with perfectly good sprouts. I am #TeamAntiDomesticViolence but that takes up a lot of my 140 Twitter characters and apparently that isn't the focus. Whether or not you like Nigella is.
This week in a case unrelated to Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi's divorce allegations have come out concerning Nigella and her alleged drug use. The TV chef's two former assistants, sisters Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo have been accused of fraud by Saatchi for misappropriating over Â£300,000 which they spent on designer clothes and plane tickets.
Yesterday we had two reports concerning the nations sexual health in the news. The Office of the Children's Commissioner for England released the results of its Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG). The Deputy Children's Commissioner, Sue Berelowitz, called the results "chilling."
They are chilling. They are chilling in the same manner that crime thrillers can be, where our hero makes the discovery that makes their blood run cold. They've been working alongside the perpetrator all along. Berelowitz explained: "We have found shocking and profoundly distressing evidence of sexual assault, including rape, being carried out by young people against other children and young people."
I'm a word person. I like words and therefore I like definitions. I don't like it when words change their meaning. I understand that the English language is something that develops and changes (see I picked those words rather than 'evolves') because it is alive. Which is why sometimes things are done for prosperity, or people will earnestly announce that pacifically speaking the grocer's apostrophe doesn't matter. Sometimes I can just groan a little and sometimes these things annoy the hell out of me. Usually it is the latter.
We recently learned that the latest Bridget Jones, Mad About The Boy missed out on being nominated for the prestigious Literary Review Bad Sex Award. Which, we think Mister Wallaker would agree, is a shame. Oh, oh. All that SAS training, wasted.
The purpose of the prize, according to the Literary Review is "to draw attention to the crude, badly written, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it." We think there are a few other bad habits authors have developed and they should be discouraged. So here are some more awards we suggest the Literary Review consider for next year...
This evening is the first time since I started back at uni in September, that I have not been racing to finish to meet a deadline. Packed into these few short weeks have been a comparative seminar presentation on social welfare in Europe pre 1914, a survey design which first had to be piloted, an evaluation of how I will go about a 5000 research essay on race and the inclusive society, a 2500 word essay on Health and Illness, a 2500 word essay on the political impact of social welfare around the Franco-Prussian war and finally, my share of a group presentation to be delivered next week on whether ageing is all about decline and disadvantage. Right now I think it might be! And exactly none of our lectures and seminars is in the Sociology building; they are scattered to the four corners of campus and to get from one venue to another you have to be sharp about it thank you very much.
Have you been watching Masters of Sex? If you haven't, you should. Right now. It's NSFW, though I hear most offices frown on you watching online catch-up TV on the clock, so maybe not right now. But it's worth a (what the Oxford English Dictionary would call) binge watch over the weekend. Even if it is purely to see Janis from Mean Girls doing so well. Masters of Sex tells the story of Masters and Johnson (I know, you couldn't make it up) who, from 1957 to 65 recorded some of the first laboratory based data, using direct observation, on human sexual response. This data allowed them to debunk the previously believed thought that vaginal lubrication originated from the cervix as well as many other misconceptions about sex and orgasms.
Happy International Men's Day! Hey guys (and I mean guys), this one is for you. I wrote about International Men's Day a while ago, mainly because I had forgotten about it. Unlike International Women's Day, which usually has various events and few articles asking if women need such a day, International Men's Day creeps in surprisingly quietly. Unlike a man at a feminist meeting who likes to point out in the middle of your point that not all men are like that, International Men's Day seems to not be so invested in making a big deal. Or they need a new PR.
So, last week we had the feminist debacle where people, or rather Twitter feminists (who are people, this is just the preferred medium for them to converse in) were torn over the Lily Allen video. In which a few things were perhaps unintentionally overlooked in order to get a slightly botched feminist message across. One message at the expense of two others on my last count. 'It is the new feminist pop, you can't dismiss it, it has feminist intentions!' or 'this in-fighting weakens feminism.' If you truly think putting on a united front is more important than getting the front right then it's possible you haven't thought the end result through as much as you believed.
This week saw a newfeminist anthem thrust upon us. As when anything is called feminist and presented to the feminists it got ripped apart. Some feminists loved it and hailed it as the beginning of a new pop video era. Some feminists did not care for it because it did not satirise the music industry in the way the director and singer might have intended.
But! Let's not dwell, instead let allow us to direct you to Woman's Hour's interesting discussion on the subject and decide what our feminist anthems are.