Tuesday, 18 January 2011

On Naked Thighs

Apologies for luring you here under the dubious pretence of a salacious headline but, now that you've arrived, you might as well read on. It'll only waste a couple of minutes.

When I went into hospital six weeks ago yesterday for my replacement hip, I consoled myself with the thought that it would at least give me the material for plenty of blogs as I recorded my experience and subsequent convalescence. But today, just forty three days on, it's a case of move along now, nothing else to see. The crutches now lie abjectly unwanted in the corner and the giant loo seat and hospital armchair are cleaned up and awaiting a new home. I've managed eighty minutes on an exercise bike at the gym in the past twenty four hours and Marion told me to slow down when walking with her this morning. OK my hopalong gait still leaves a lot to be desired but as the bad leg strengthens I'm hoping that the limp will subside and go the same way as the pain. So all I have to show for the experience now is the scarred bare thigh of the headline which is healing very nicely thank you.

I've been reading about Nick Clegg and his recent, frequent, references to the term "alarm clock Britain". He's using the phrase to represent those hard working types who struggle out of bed at six a.m to put in a day of toil. Sad to say Nick, we're still using an alarm clock and rising at just after seven and have no jobs to go to so I'm not sure that it's the smartest of metaphors. I did however treat myself to the new Gentle Alarm app for the iPhone. Instead of jumping out of our skin as Marion's mobile bursts into a rousing cha cha cha played at a million decibels and leaving us flailing about searching blindly for the culprit of this shock to our senses, we are now lulled awake with the gentlest of rings. It's like a baby's breath or a wave breaking on the shore. I've only had it for a couple of days and I've woken easily with this gentle intrusion into our sleep. The only problem is that the alarm is supposed to wake you gently for around twenty minutes before it starts to make a big noise so we've been waking up over a quarter of an hour before we wanted to. I believe that in the course of a few days it will learn my sleep pattern and change things so that we will wake at the set time. I'll wait and see.

Less than forty eight hours on it's old news now but no self respecting blogger won't have an opinion on Ricky Gervais and his performance as host of the Golden Globes and I'm no exception. So, for what it's worth, here's my comment. 

Nobody could say that the organisers were not warned. Gervais himself said that he would make sure that they wouldn't be inviting him back. But in reality we can assume that his material was what his paymasters asked for - after all, they heard him last year. He has divided opinion. For example the Times was critical but the Mail (strangely) supportive. Was it funny? In a cringe inducing way a lot of it was. Was there a need for it? I'm not sure. A world where caustic criticism is seen as perfectly acceptable humour depends upon thick skinned and willing victims who are prepared to accept the joke and laugh at themselves. Unless Ricky Gervais knows his subjects intimately, his witty barbs could easily have wounded and humiliated them and, however egotistical and seemingly deserving of ridicule, these people must have feelings. Would you have liked to be on the receiving end of the jokes? Thought not. I certainly wouldn't.

It is possible that the Golden Globe victims are all completely confident and rational people who enjoy humiliation (although I bet there are very few without their own shrinks) but where does this example put the factory foreman who jokes knowingly in front of all the staff about the fitter's sexuality? Hang on a minute. That's not acceptable. That's bullying. What if we start writing nasty things about people on Facebook or Twitter? It's been known to lead to suicide. In reality, in my opinion,Ricky Gervias bullied the celebrities who went for a glitzy night out - for our amusement and I, for one, feel uncomfortable with that. I witnessed it in the school playground. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now.

Here's something that did make me laugh. And if those who came for the headline are still with me, here's some real nudity for you.