Saturday, 22 January 2011

Don't take me out

I’m watching an incredibly silly programme on the television at the moment called Take Me out, which sets women’s lib back roughly 20 years. There seem to be about 30 women in the studio; all of them horned-up and screaming their heads off like a load of fish wives. Periodically a man arrives from a lift, dancing to some inane music, and the women throw themselves at him like girls in a single-sex public school seeing a male teacher for first time. The man parades around for a bit, reveals what an innocuous waste of space he is, and then the women decide if they’re still interested. Each of them has a light, and a switch, and they turn their lights off when they can stand things no longer, which is usually at the very last moment because these women are all tragic attention seekers, and the concept of disappearing into darkness is tantamount to their having the use of their sunbeds revoked. The catch-phrase of the show is the supremely inane “no likey, no lighty.”

The presenter then rushes up to the women who’ve turned their lights off and asks them why they’re no longer interested. The reasons they give are fairly astonishing. “Because he has a nose ring” “because he’s too old” “Because I don’t like his shoes” “because he has a weird accent” “because he still lives with his Mum.” Fortunately, the tables are turned right at the end of each sequence, and the dull bloke gets to decide which of the tragic women who still have their lights on he’s most attracted to. The audience starts screaming, and the women with their lights still on begin to plead for him to take them on a date, as though they were pleading for their lives. It’s a deeply undignified display. The woman he eventually picks gets to go on a date with him, and they spend 12 hours sitting in silence on some Mediterranean island, before announcing how much they hate each other. It’s a load of smutty nonsense, yet it’s utterly compelling. I’m also pleased to announce that they played “Fantasy Island” by Tight Fit as one couple left the studio, which added a rather camp glow to the proceedings. If things weren't already camp enough.

Shocking attention-seeking slappers on the set of Take Me Out

I spent the rest of today working. Saturdays in my world are no different from any other day and I was hugely keen to get the revamped version of Alice Through the Looking Glass off to the group who are performing it. I managed to do this at about 7pm, which means I can tick another thing off the giant list of things I wrote for myself to do at the start of the week. I keep adding things, and it seems to be never ending at the moment. I’ll get there. In any case, when I have nothing to do, I only end up panicking!

I now have to take myself off to Hampstead to deliver a copy of one of my films to someone who wants to play it at a lecture. Very bizarre.

January 22nd 1660, and Pepys spent the day in important meetings with important people feeling incredibly important. He had a “little dinner” with his wife, before heading into Whitehall to buy some 17th century spectacles, which were bound to be pretty rubbish. Pepys then went for a drink with the historian, Thomas Fuller, who regaled him with tails of his latest publication, which was a history of all the families in England, which seems like a pretty major undertaking. Pepys was astonished to discover that Fuller knew more about the Pepyses than Pepys himself. They also talked about Fuller’s extraordinary memory. He was apparently considered to have the most remarkable memory of his generation. He could repeat 500 random words after just one hearing. Not that it did him much good. He caught a fever and died on August 15th of that very year. Poor bloke.

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