Monday, November 14, 2005

When I am king, you will be first against the wall

Following Marmite Boy’s Reasons to be Cheerful (not) and Lady Bracknell’s entry If Lady Bracknell Ruled The World, I thought I would have a go at world domination. My first attempt included such things as the Compulsory Vote (with option to abstain), Proportional Representation, deprivatisation of the rail industry and double council tax on second homes. But I thought these weren’t really in the spirit of the thing, so instead, here is the relatively trivial legislation my reign of tyranny would bring about.
    1. T-shirts with slogans on should be banned. There are a handful of humorous exceptions, but the vast majority of them are immensely irritating and lower the wearer in my esteem. Everything from those FCUK items through to any tight-fitting t-shirt which says Sexy! or Gorgeous! across the chest, as if labelling an item thus may effect its nature. I especially object to sexual propositions or misogynist assertions in t-shirt-form. What is that about?
    2. Everybody should adhere to a strict code of etiquette in their use of technology. When the phone rings during a television programme, either turn the television off (we have videos) or don’t answer the telephone (we have answer-machines). When guests arrive, the television on in the corner of the room is not conducive to comfort and fluid conversation – if children are present they can either bugger off, play quietly or engage in conversation like everyone else. When conducting a conversation on the phone or in person, one must resist the temptation to conduct a second conversation by text message. Technology gives us the power to do what we want, when we want. Surely we can take advantage of this such that we give each task and indeed one another, our fullest attention?
    3. All food manufacturers should be limited one layer of packaging. This is both an environmental issue and a consideration for less dextrous crips. Of course it looks nicer if it is in a box as well as being wrapped in foil or cellophane or whatever but it is essentially unnecessary. Like the packets of chocolate biscuits I have opened for my arthritic grandmother. They come in a cardboard box but inside they are wrapped in cellophane and inside the cellophane they are wrapped in paper and inside the paper they are wrapped in foil. They don’t taste any better for my efforts.
    4. A complete ban on all Women’s Magazines. In truth my dictatorship would result in greater freedom of expression than we have now, but I hate hate hate hate hate hate these publications. Typical contents of a Women’s Magazine for those who have never read one;

    1 True story - How submitting to violence saved my marriage.
    2 Eat yourself slim – how gnawing off your own leg could lose lbs overnight
    3 Recipe: Triple Chocolate Gateau
    5 Fat Cows – How being even slightly overweight makes you entirely worthless.
    8 Your man is probably cheating on you – find out with our fun quiz!
    12 Recipe: Mars Bar Fritters
    20 The Suffragette Diet – it won them the vote; it can make you a size 10
    32 Fashion - This season’s ninety-seven must-have items that you can't afford
    52 Beauty Feature - This week, anti-aging creams for the under-12s.
    84 Made-up Problems - Are you too suffering with this thing we just made up?
    136 Love Feature - Blackmail your way up the aisle
    220 Recipe: Lard chunks with a sunflower-oil dip
    356 You’re probably a neurotic bitch-troll from hell – find out with our fun quiz!
    576 Money Feature - How to defraud credit card applications
    932 Careers - We talk to a feisty woman who has a job, but really bad skin.
    1508 Health - The ten diseases most likely to kill you.
    2440 Sex Feature - How to fake a mind-blowing orgasm!
    3948 Horroscope - Your life isn’t your own; it’s in the hand of the stars.

    They really are
    that bad. Please double the amount of pornography produced if the shevles need filling; it is significantly less demeaning to women.

Sigh. Ah well, got that out of my system. Can't really think of anything else. Really very tolerant type, me. This despite the fact that I've had a tiny tiny bead rolling around under the keys of this keyboard, jamming keys at random (well not quite random - it seemed particularly keen on vowels and backspace). Aagh!


Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell is very much amused by the Goldfish's blueprint for a women's magazine.

She would venture to suggest, however, that one crucial article has been omitted.

There is always some drivel about the key accessories which will convert an office outfit into evening wear in a matter of seconds. This is generally accompanied by advice on "trowelling on extra layers of slap to achieve that glamorous evening look".

(Lady Bracknell does not buy women's magazines, but is given them to read when she is at the hairdresser's. Strangely, she has so far managed to resist the allure of replacing everything in her handbag with the "grooming products" used by some vapid, air-brushed, botox-ed, C-list celebrity with artificially-expanded bosoms.)

Marit Cooper said...

I just recieved a T-shirt from Wychwood Brewery because: "Whilst your pumpkin was not a finalist, we felt it deserved some extra recognition." It has the text "Afraid of the dark, Lagerboy?" on it. Would that be considered acceptable? ;-)
Glad you had a good day after all. Too much of a good thing (read SEX) can be truly wonderful.

Anonymous said...

One thing has always puzzled me about women's magazines (well, lots of things have, but we haven't got all year).

They are always full of these gorgeous young women in various stages of undress, advertising goods and features.

Do women like looking at photos of other semi-naked women? Does it sell the goods and ideas? You notice that photos of male cheesecake are inserted for humorous effect.

Marit Cooper said...

If I may be so bold as to respond to that... The female body tends to be the focus of both male and female attention, but maybe for slightly different reasons though. I seem to remember a study that came to the conclusion that when presented with an image of a male and a female body, both men and women looked at the female first. Women to compare themselves to the lady, men because hrrrm well you can probaly answer that one yourself. This is obviously a behaviour encouraged by those who make lots and lots of money out of our insecurity. The cosmetic industry makes almost as much money out of the female population as the pornography industry makes out of the male half. Speaking of which I find the recent adverts for the Mens magazine 'Nuts' to be thouroughly degrading to men. Or do men actually appreciate being portrayed as dimwitted bastards drooling over pictures of naked women in a magazine whilst their other half is struggling (and having accidents, harming themselves) with what appears to be considered his normal duties?

The Goldfish said...

Charles – adding to Marit’s comments, I personally enjoy looking at pictures of semi-naked ladies but then I never understood the rules of cricket, so to speak. At the end of the day, women’s magazines are vehicles for controlling the immense spending power of women. In order to sell a person something, there must be a need. If there isn’t a need, you must create one.

In order to sell cosmetic lotions and potions, dieting products etc, you must first instil the idea that a woman’s appearance is flawed. If a woman is satisfied with her appearance, she is of no commercial interest. Presenting air-brushed, idealised images of women is one way in which ordinary women are made to feel inadequate, such that they need all these products.

Mrs Woman, continues to buy and read this stuff, because although they draw her attention to flaws in herself she never know of, they are jam-packed full of ideas about how she might become a better, more beautiful person, a better partner, a better mother etc.

As for the absence of male cheesecake (!), these magazines are really quite anti-sex. They include lots about how to be a good lover etc, even stuff about how to enjoy sex yourself, but this becomes just another way in which you (as a woman) can make yourself valuable.

Men are not treated with much respect at all, credited with neither beauty nor brains. The fact that we need them goes without saying. The idea that we might lust after their bodies, let alone delight in their company is a bit of a joke.

So it’s not some patriarchial conspiracy; this is capitalism baby.

pete said...

Your Royal Highness.
if it please you I would like to quote my hero here. Just in case Her maj has throws wobbler in Whitby and proclaims you her lawful and rightful heir.

Blackadder: I've no desire to hang around with a bunch of upper-class delinquents, do twenty minutes' work and then spend the rest of the day loafing about in Paris drinking gallons of champagne and having dozens of moist, pink, highly experienced French peasant girls galloping up and down my - hang on...

Anonymous said...

Marit and Goldfish

Thank you for your explanations.

"Or do men actually appreciate being portrayed as dimwitted bastards drooling over pictures of naked women in a magazine whilst their other half is struggling (and having accidents, harming themselves) with what appears to be considered his normal duties?" (Marit)

Evidence would suggest that the kind of men who read magazines called Nuts would probably regard such a portrayal as flattering. Look at all those who think Men Behaving Badly characters are role models.

Goldfish's comment about the women's magazines being anti-sex reminded me of Sex and the Single Girl, which I read many years ago (every Nurses' Home had a copy). It struck me then that the theme of that book was not sex and the single girl at all. It was how the single girl could use sex in order to trap a husband. Shades of Jane Austen, so that's where 40 years of feminism have left us...

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoy these "if i ruled the world" lists, especially if they are wacky as well. I've no doubt I could think of a few, seeemingly, bizarre things to put on the list. However, I'm busy playing catch up after an illness that has been stubborn to move on.

The women's magazine thing is soooo funny. Nope, don't read them, LOL. The adverts say it all. If there's one ad that's demeaning to women, and would be if anyone type of person was the focus, is the Reveal mag. That's baaaad, isn't it?