Saturday, April 19, 2003

My Friend Ana

Farewell happy fields
Where Joy forever dwells
Hail, horrors, hail!

Exactly how far does pro-choice go? No no, don't leave - this isn't the VVR tackling a subject as weighty (no pun intended) and emotive as abortion in its own thankfully inimitable way. Far from it - what people do when they've got a sprog on the way is their own business, and frankly since it's never going to happen to me, it's not my business. Or at least that's what I'll say about it... but in any case, I was actually going to talk about an entirely different "pro-choice" campaign that has mostly been stomped upon with the heavy hobnail boots of censorship in a worryingly Orwellian manner. No, not euthenasia either.

Anorexia. Pro-Anorexia websites. I was utterly delighted when I found out these little gems existed, they have caused me to utterly change my opinion of an otherwise thoroughly irritating section of society. Perhaps I should explain, for those of you who have never heard of/been to a Pro-Ana/Mia/ED site; these are for people who have an eating disorder and accept this fact, and wish to stay gorgeous but not ill. They offer tips and hints for maintaining both figure and health and are mixed in with a great deal of wonderfully black humour - Health Tips - Because thin doesn't matter if you're dead - you could only find that sort of blunt truthful help on a Pro-Ana page.

I love these people. They are some of the only people on this fly-blown hole of a world that really truly know what they are here for, aside from suicide bombers of course, but the less said about that the better. They are here to be thin and beautiful. Me, personally, my tastes don't run to anorexic women which is to say I think they are beautiful, but would really rather sleep with something curvy. Not only are they in acceptance of who and what they are and their purpose here, they also have a sense of humour about it, something that's all too rare with what are (and let's be totally honest here) a bunch of crazies. Who's not crazy in some way?

Now settle down everyone.... I have no intention of saying we should all run out and be anorexic/orthorexic/bulimic/whatever, what I *am* saying is that if you can't laugh, what's the damned point. The very idea of banning Pro-Ana sites is ridiculous, and yet most search engines won't let you access them without hours of trawling and research. Excuse me, but has anyone out there heard of free speech? These people are standing up for something they believe in, they know what they are doing, they know the risks (hell all these pages list the known dangers of Ana/Mia/etc. practices and give advice) and they're doing it anyway. Would you ban skydiving pages? or bungee jumping? Same difference between that and a Pro-Ana page my friend, the stuff there could still kill you. It's about calculated risk and not taking things too seriously. if you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Apart from Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber......

Friday, April 18, 2003

It's A Tough Job, But Somebody's Gotta Do It

"And you say your assailant was a Percy Shelley?"
"Yes, he handed me a pamphlet rejecting current religious dogma before he ran off"

Right, I need some kinda slow vaguely jazzy music - think film noir, Sam Spade, Columbo... that's it, perfect....

It was a slow night. If it wasn't enough that I was having trouble speaking around this toothpick, my nails were getting toward that pliable stage where you know the slightest impact will do damage. I was outta luck, outta work, and my wife was miles away there is a sudden dramatic ripping, and the detective film reel falls off the side of the earth, the music creaking to a halt

Dammit and I was enjoying that as well... oh well. Here I am, back from housesitting in Wickhambreaux. If there's a better way to disrespect your mother in law that this I don't know about it (apart of course from the obvious old urinating on her cornflakes, but that's so passe) Hey Penny - *nice* kitchen knives you got there... Well in any case, it's been almost a week of drink, drugs, civilised conversation, peaceful country noises, great company and bees the size of barn owls. Yes, I behaved like a great big girlie wussbag, can I help it if I'm frightened of bees? Much kudos to the Fellow Phantom for getting rid of said offensive bee, and grovelling thanks to my beloved wife for only making fun of me about it for about fifteen minutes all told.

I'd better say this before anyone else does, but the Whizpopping song from The BFG is really not all that funny unless one has an intensely puerile and/or scatagological sense of humour. I am a vulgar man, majesty, and I apologise for the trauma that may have been caused by me mentioning that song in connection with Papageno. It was, as with so many many things in life, just the drugs.

Changing tack utterly, I'm not usually a banner-waver, and neither do I like Carol Anne Duffy. As a matter of fact I think she's possibly one of the worst published poets out there and her work very rarely reflects any sort of literary merit or higher cognitive process. HOWEVER I like the sentiment in this one. It's just disgusting enough, so read. Poets who write about this sort of thing are all too rare these days;

"A Healthy Meal"

The gourmet tastes the secret dreams of cows
Tossed lightly in garlic. Behind the green door, swish
Of oxtails languish on an earthen dish. Here are
Wishbones and pinkies; fingerbowls will absolve guilt.

Capped teeth chatter to a kidney or at the breast
Of something that once flew. These hearts knew
No love and on thir beds of saffron rice they lie
Beyond reproach. What is the claret like? Blood.

On table six, the language of tongues is braised
In armagnac. The woman chewing suckling pig
Must sleep with her husband later. Leg,
Saddle and breast bleat against oure white cloth.

Alter calf to veal in four attempts. This is
The power of words; knife, tripe, lights, charcuterie
a fat man orders his rare, and a fine sweat
Bastes his face. There are napkins to wipe the evidence

And sauces to gag the groans of abatoirs. The menu
Lists the recent dead in French, from which they order
Offal, poultry, fish. Meat flops in the jowls. Belch
Death moves in the bowels. You are what you eat

OK I admit it is one of the worst poems I ever read, speaking as a reader, but speaking as a poet it makes a point. Nasty stuff there... I like that last line, does "death moves in the bowels" mean dead meat moving in the bowels or is it a refference to bowel cancer which eating meat gives you? Hmmmm....

I'll probably be back later to do some more dull whinging about the state of man and how much better we'd all do if we'd just listen to certain enlightened thinkers but hey.. for now I'm tired.