Thursday, 18 August 2011

Perez Hilton is an idiot

Not that he writes any of his own posts, but the updates after a tragic event are so, so fucking hypocritical. The event in question was the suicide of Russell Armstrong, the ex-husband of a lady called Taylor. The pair were on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and had a five-year-old daughter.

Perez has been inexhaustibly providing updates, one of which was his sister revealing that he shot her. He was 6, and accidentally set off a loaded gun which their father left hanging around the house, so naturally Perez went with, "Russell Armstrong shot his sister" headline.

The next update?

"About six months ago Taylor confided in a close friend that she'd found history for a gay website called on Russell's laptop. He was also spending a lot of time at the gym, but his body wasn't changing, which she claims led her to believe he was meeting with men he'd met off the website and not spending time working out as he claimed. Not only was it going to come out that Russell was bisexual, but there were people on the record that were going to talk about the kind of sex he liked. He was into S&M type stuff; choking, rough-housing and slapping."

Wow. Such an unbelievable tragedy.

It's clear that this man was struggling with a lot of stress and personal demons, and we suppose that he just couldn't see a way out.

We just sincerely hope that regardless of what comes out about their family's private life, that everyone keep in mind that Russell was still a father, husband, and friend to many, and Taylor and her young daughter are given the appropriate space, privacy and support they need to come to terms with this inconsolable loss.

Our thoughts are with you guys. Stay strong."


And yet, I keep reading. I'm like the online equivalent of a rubbernecker.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Tier 1, or why immigration is so fucked

I love how the UK has managed to slip this one under the radar by bringing out the news in the middle of nationwide riots in England.

Tier 1 is a new law that is named all fancy so we're distracted by its Star Trek implications. It has been implemented to allow 'exceptional talent' to hold UK residency.

For the first year of operation there is a limit of 1,000 places. Between the 9 August and 30 November there will be 500 places available and a further 500 places available from the 1 December to 31 March 2012. This limit will be reviewed at the end of March 2012.

But what is exceptional talent? You can be considered if you have won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe or an Emmy Award or have been nominated in the five years before applying.

This means that a refugee fleeing from a war-torn country may (will) find it impossibly hard to get on the road to citizenship, but James Franco can shimmy up in here. James fucking Franco.

Immigration is fucked.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Time slips

They're an interesting thing, time slips. While I don't think of myself as Christian, or attuned to any particular religion - obviously due to an atheist upbringing and a healthy sense of snark - if I had to choose some line of religious upbringing, I would choose paganism. Nature has always seemed to inspire the most adoring and suspicious of reactions. You've got views that make you cry, you've got wind blowing unexpectedly on a flat plain with no clouds. I just think something is up with nature.

Time slips are basically when people experience a place, but not in its real time: the most famous incident being in 1901, when two lady scholars experienced Versailles as it had been in the plague. There's a fascinating story here, about three cadets that felt as though they had been taken back in time when they passed through the village of Kersey in 1957

The author makes a convincing argument for the boys basically just over-reacting, but there seems to be something in the mythology of experiencing a place as it has been, not as it is. I think I have experienced it, although not in as concrete a way as has been recorded: more of a feeling, a sens that you are not seeing things as they should be. Could one feasibly prove timeslips?

Friday, 5 August 2011

The guilty pleasure

Simon Doonan (arch-voiced window stylist and frequent guest on ANTM) had this to say on the guilty pleasure:

"The notion of the guilty pleasure allows tacky celebs to phone in a little token regret about rabid materialism while simultaneously wallowing in it. You can castigate your cupcake and eat it too."

Quite lovely. I am inspired to no longer feeling guilty about viewing sessions of 'The Real Housewives of Orange County', although I am pretty much resigned to quickly changing the channel if anyone vaguely snarky walks into the room.