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Flaming Fairy

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Sic transit Gloria Swanson Sep. 12th, 2010 @ 09:58 am
...and so, with the ending of BB comes the ending of this blog.

I know I've announced this before, but this time I think it really is an apposite moment to draw this to a close. LJ is not what it used to be, and I find myself spending less and less time here. I started this blog in part to talk about Big Bro, and with it ending, it seems a fitting time to close this blog.

Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments and all your support over the years. I'm going to continue blogging, but not here, here, though there are no posts yet, there will be!

Also, I'm on Twitter and Facebook for those who know my details.

Tara chucks, tara.

It's only a gameshow Sep. 11th, 2010 @ 10:36 am
...and now it's over. I've just finished watching BB's ending on C4, which I recorded last night. Lovely bit of VT charting the career of the real ultimate BB housemate, Jade. Lovely bit of VT made by the production team to say goodbye to Davina. Worthy winner of Ultimate BB in Brian Dowling. Nice echoey nostalgia sound clips ("who IS she", "no naked jacuzziness!" etc). Fireworks and a New Orleans jazz band.

This last series has been no fun, it's true, and I'm saddened that UBB was ruined by the treatment of Nadia and her subsequent breakdown outside the house, and both of those things have reminded me of what I've loathed about this show over the years: the racism, the homophobia, the transphobia etc etc.

But Brian winning also reminded me of all the things I've loved about it. He's always been one of my favourite housemates and he just encapsulates what the show was about - ordinary people given a chance to shine on national telly, entertaining me all summer long with daft tasks and silly arguments and bitching and backstabbing and romancing and bromancing.

This show helped keep me sane all through my mother's illness. BB7 ended just before she died. Coming home from the hospital to watch the antics of Nikki and Pete and Glyn and Richard was a much-needed dose of light-heartedness and laughs.

It's also, to a large extent, defined this LJ. Anyone who reads it knows what a BB fan I am. I started it up during BB6, when my LJ name was wetwednesday. I've chronicled every summer series since in these pages, some more assiduously than others. My disenchantment with the show was beginning to make itself felt last year, and was really obvious this year as there were so few posts about it. But Lord, I'm going to miss it! There's going to be a big BB shaped hole next summer.

Still, we move on. There are rumours of it returning on Channel Five, but for me this is it. It was always the C4 summer show, with that theme tune, with Davina hosting and Marcus Bentley providing the voice over. Anything else would be like vegan cheese - a poor substitute for the real thing.

RIP BB - loved you, hated you, laughed with you, cried with you, argued about you more times than I care to remember and talked about you endlessly for hours and hours. Cheerio, old pal.

And in memoriam, a collection of my posts about the final nights of the last few seriesCollapse )

Big Bro goes sour Sep. 5th, 2010 @ 11:51 am
Nadia was booted on Friday night, and it looks like unfavourable editing may have created a villain story for her when she was the victim

“Coolio targeted me on the first night and he wouldn’t leave me alone. He kept asking about my gender status and he humiliated me over it.

“If it had been a racial slur they would have shown it but because it was against a transsexual they edited it out.

“They made it look like I wanted to leave over a pair of shoes but the truth is I was being bullied.

“I had a panic attack but that was left out as well.”

The transphobic abuse has also been confirmed by Makosi

“I was disgusted by his behaviour with Nadia because he kept calling her ‘they’. The first thing he said to me when he got in the house about Nadia was, ‘Is it a he or a she?’

“I said she was a girl. Then on the second day he tried to get me and Josie Gibson to touch Nadia in an inappropriate way and I said you can’t do that. I think he had issues with Nadia and Nadia as a person."

Apparently, she has been targetted by a load of thicko John James/Josie fans who hate her for daring to speak her mind about that particular non-romance.

BB this year has been cunty beyond belief - a very sour end to a programme that should be about laughs and fun. Thank fuck it's over soon, frankly.

*sigh* Sep. 2nd, 2010 @ 07:52 am
A small blip of happiness to relieve my existential ennui - the arrival of a package from Cult Pens containing three Berol Notewriters and a Berol Finewriter.

I wish I could work out what was wrong with me, and how I could fix it. Buying pens is one thing, but it doesn't produce the sustainable hit I need to get me out of this boring malaise. I am positively dreading returning to work properly next week. Usually, after such an extended period of annual leave, I'm quite looking forward to getting back to normality, but now I just can't wait for the Christmas holidays to roll around.

Ugh, I've even given up on Ultimate Big Brother. I mean - who gives a shit, right?

Ugh Aug. 31st, 2010 @ 09:03 am
Today, I go back to work for one day, after which I am off for another two days, finally returning to work full time on Friday. Then it's the long haul until Christmas before I get any more time off, with a super-busy September/October ahead that I'm just not looking forward to at all.

Mind you, there's not much I DO look forward to these days. I seem to have sunk into a morass of self-pity and ennui again. A minor, but uncomfortable and dispiriting health problem isn't helping much. I need to go back to the doctor with that one. But even if that were sorted out, I'd still have to deal with the ongoing problems of lack of motivation, low interest and even lower satisfaction that attend my day job.

I don't know what it is - maybe it's the morale-sapping redundancy scenario, maybe it's the fact that nobody appreciates your efforts, maybe it's the bitchiness and back-biting of some of my colleagues - but even after so much time off, I'm still sitting here at 9 in the morning, delaying getting ready to go to the office because I just do not want to be there. Fortunately, the bitchier, more back-biting people aren't around this week. They're all still off, baking their egos in the sun.

What do I need? I wish I knew. A swift kick up the arse, probably and a reminder that I'm lucky to be in employment at all, let alone employment that allows you to be sitting at home at 9am rather than at your desk, beavering away like a good little workbot. Right now, though, I think I'd rather be behind a cash till at Sainsbury's. It's long been a dream of mine to have a job you just turn up to, do, knock off from and never have to think about again until you turn up again the next morning.

Ach - the other man's grass is always greener, the sun shines brighter on the other side, as Petula Clarke tells us AND WHEN DID SHE EVER LIE?

In other news, I've just finished reading "The Dawkins Delusion", a marvellous little tome that shows up the shallowness of Dawkin's rant against religion. When you find yourself on Comment is Free, surrounded by preachifying atheists, it's nice to have some ammunition.

Something other than Big Brother Aug. 28th, 2010 @ 11:18 am
I have found a site dedicated to pens. Therefore, I am very happy.

I love pens. I don't mean posh, mega-expensive fountain pens. I mean cheapo pens, working pens, the kind of pens you use every day. My never-ending quest is to find the perfect pen, the pen that says "Flaming Fairy" and that I will be content to use forever and ever and only ever have in my pen tidy at work.

I need help.

It's final night Aug. 24th, 2010 @ 07:40 pm
...and also launch night. Big Brother 11 finishes and Ultimate Big Brother begins. I couldn't give a fuck. Josie is going to win BB11 and there's some horrible suggestion that she could win UBB as well. Quite why is anyone's guess, but I suspect there are three strands to Josie's support

- thick people who fell for the "romance" with John James

- fat lasses with body issues who are fed up with the bodacious babes that usually populate the BB house, and are throwing their considerable weight behind Josie because she's a "real woman" who's "curvy" and who managed to get the "fittie" in the house

- West Country people

I can only think this constituencuy is big enough to bring her the win, even though she's done the square root of fuck all to deserve it

But surely that voting block can't be big enough to bring her victory over the likes of Brian Dowling and Aisleyne, can it?

Can I be bothered to watch and see?

And the winner of Big Brother 2010 is... Aug. 21st, 2010 @ 06:36 pm

Oh, Josie will win this, there's no stopping her doing so now. I mean, come on - JJ, Andrew, Mario and Dave are hardly competition, are they? But in reality, nobody wins. Not the fans, not Channel 4 and not the housemates. The fans are left with a series that is widely panned as being almost as bad as BB8 (among BB fans that's saying something!), and tainted with anger about production decisions. For Channel 4, their big send-off has been turned into a damp squib. And the housemates? Well, if I were Steve or Sam Pepper, I'd be asking myself why I was turfed out when I had voting percentages in single digits.

Shame - it all started out so well. Rumours are that BB is being sold to Channel 5. Dunno if I'll still watch.

And now, the end is near Aug. 15th, 2010 @ 09:49 am
...Big Brother faces the final curtain, and yet it seems the production team are keen on killing it off before it's even officially dead. For lo, they have given Josie a free pass to the final and decided to have a quadruple eviction next Friday, decided by a vote to evict. Votes to evict often target big characters, who have been controversial in some way, so it's likely that next week will see the demise of John James, the Mighty Sam Pepper, Dave and probably Corin, leaving Josie with Andrew, Mario, JJ and Steve, all waiting around for Josie's inevitable victory, in perhaps the dullest final week since BB4 had Cameron, Ray, Scott and Steph picking lint off the sofa and staring into the middle distance for five whole days.

And it all started so well. A promising cast, some good tasks and twists, a seemingly real determination to see the programme go out with a bang. And then John James and Josie started hitting the duvet together, Davina started gurning and gushing about the romance and the show started to die on its arse. Add in more housemates than was needed and thus the need for a large cull and you have the looming disaster I've outlined above.

Way back in the day, they still had nommos right up until it was down to four HMs. That produced some tense diary room action. Now, with 9 housemates still in the house and plenty of potential steam left in the noms process, they decide to put them all up for eviction. It makes no sense. What's more, they didn't announce the four way eviction until Saturday, meaning some people will have voted for a particular HM in the mistaken belief they were saving their favourite, only to see said favourite at risk also. It's a terrible idea, likely to get them into hot water with the fans and also likely to make BB's valediction one tainted by disappointment and anger.

Once Sam Pepper's evicted, there will be no reason to watch. The Ultimate BB All-Stars is likely to include such vile excrescences as Nikki Grahame and Brian Belo, and I am sure the spin will be on to crown Belo - what better way to kill off any possible controversy about racism than to have a black ultimate housemate? Let's all forget that Jo, an attractive black woman got evicted last week to the usual load of boos that accompany a black woman's exit and for what - being a bit dull?

I'm glad BB's coming to an end. The format has had its day and summer will probably be better for its absence. This series has very efficiently killed off any remaining love I had for the programme by reminding me of the things I loathed about it. Bye bye BB, good riddance.

Big Bro post Aug. 6th, 2010 @ 10:26 am
Goodness me, have I been away from this journal all this time? There's been too much BB to mention all of what's been going on, but I should say that the most welcome addition to the house has been the stupendous Sam Pepper, who has - by being a completely boundary-free zone and saying exactly whatever pops into his head to anyone who will listen - shaken up a somnambulant house and put some serious skids under the golden couple, Josie and John James.

Thank fuck for that. The JJJ "romance" has been a huge sucking vortex at the centre of BB for the last few weeks that threatens to consume the whole series and shit it out the other end in much the same way as the horrendous Ziggy/Chanelle pairing of 2007. It's crystal clear there's no real attraction on John James's part, and watching Josie paw him and pat him and pet him to little or no reaction is cringeworthy to say the least. It's like twelve-year olds playing at being girlfriend and boyfriend. As a punishment recently, the pair were banned from being in the same room together. John James seemed relieved more than anything, and actually became animated for the first time in ages.

He's up for eviction this week and I am praying to all the gods that he goes, even though it looks unlikely. Without him, Josie is likely to sink into a pit of despond from which she'll never recover and will be booted out before the finale as a result. If he stays, we'll have weeks more of the shapeless grey lump that they become together, whispering under the duvet and making oddly liquid noises. Eww!

In other news, Corin has gone massively down in my estimation by suddenly deciding she's been dumped by her girlfriend and breezily tossing off JJ under the duvet. Well, that's the rumour anyway. Now, he's not a bad-looking chap and I probably would, given the dearth of choice in that house, be tempted to have a bit of a fumble if offered. But what would stay my hand, so to speak, would be the effect on HL. Not that he'd mind, necessarily, but other people would certainly consider him to have been cuckolded and it would be rather humiliating. So Corin can fuck right off, frankly, for being a cow.

Actually pretty much all the originals can fuck right off. You can tell it's been a bad series if all the original HMs are getting on your tits and you hope a newbie wins just to upset them all. Right now, if the producers were to offer a "phone to win" scenario, I'd have the phone on speed-dial for Jo or Sam or Rachel - anyone but Steve, Mario, Corin, Josie, John James or Dave.

In fact, I wish they'd just chuck the 100 grand in the air and let them fight for it before pulling the plug on the series. It's been crap, the production team have fucked up what had the potential to be a great series by showing blatant favouritism and stitching up certain HMs. The focus on the tedious liaison between Jabba and Skippy has been just a symptom of their having pissed away the last series. Bastards.
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