18 April 2009

Susan Boyle

Is Susan Boyle ugly? Or are we? On Saturday night she stood on the stage in Britain's Got Talent; small and rather chubby, with a squashed face, unruly teeth and unkempt hair. She wore a gold lace dress, which made her look like a piece of pork sitting on a doily. Interviewed by Ant and Dec beforehand, she told them that she is unemployed, single, lives with a cat called Pebbles and has never been kissed. Susan then walked out to chatter, giggling, and a long and unpleasant wolf whistle.

Why are we so shocked when "ugly" women can do things, rather than sitting at home weeping and wishing they were somebody else? Men are allowed to be ugly and talented. Alan Sugar looks like a burst bag of flour. Gordon Ramsay has a dried-up riverbed for a face. Justin Lee Collins looks like Cousin It from The Addams Family. Graham Norton is a baboon in mascara. I could go on. But a woman has to have the bright, empty beauty of a toy - or get off the screen. We don't want to look at you. Except on the news, where you can weep because some awful personal tragedy has befallen you.

Simon Cowell, now buffed to the sheen of an ornamental pebble, asked this strange creature, this alien, how old she was. "I'm nearly 47," she said. Simon rolled his eyes until they threatened to roll out of his head, down the aisle and out into street. "But that's only one side of me," Susan added, and wiggled her hips. The camera cut to the other male judge, Piers Morgan, who winced. Didn't Susan know she was not supposed to be sexual? The audience's reaction was equally disgusting. They giggled with embarrassment, and when Susan said she wanted to be a professional singer, the camera spun to a young girl, who seemed to be at least half mascara.
She gave an "As if!" squeak and smirked. Amanda Holden, the female judge, a woman with improbably raised eyebrows and snail trails of Botox over her perfectly smooth face, chose neutrality. And then Susan sang. She stood with her feet apart, like a Scottish Edith Piaf, and very slowly began to sing Les Miserables' I Dreamed A Dream. It was wonderful.

The judges were astonished. They gasped, they gaped, they clapped. They looked almost ashamed. I was briefly worried that Simon might stab himself with a pencil, and mutter, "Et tu, Piers, for we have wronged Susan in thinking that because she is a munter, she is entirely useless." How could they have misjudged her, they gesticulated. But how could they not? No makeup? Bad teeth? Funny hair? Is she insane, this sad little Scottish spinster, beloved only of Pebbles the Cat?

When Susan had finished singing, and Piers had finished gasping, he said this. It was a comment of incredible spite. "When you stood there with that cheeky grin and said, 'I want to be like Elaine Paige', everyone was laughing at you. No one is laughing now." And it was over to Amanda Holden, a woman most notable for playing a psychotic hairdresser in the Manchester hair-extensions saga Cutting It. "I am so thrilled," said Amanda, "because I know that everybody was against you." "Everybody was against you," she said, as if Susan might have been hanged for her presumption. Why? Can't "ugly" people dream, you flat-packed, hair-ironed, over-plucked monstrous fool?

I know what you will say. You will say that Paul Potts, the fat opera singer with the equally squashed face who won Britain's Got Talent in 2007, had just as hard a time at his first audition. I looked it up on YouTube. He did not. "I wasn't expecting that," said Simon to Paul. "Neither was I," said Amanda. "You have an incredible voice," said Piers. And that was it. No laughter, or invitations to paranoia, or mocking wolf-whistles, or smirking, or derision.

We see this all the time in popular culture. Do you ever stare at the TV and wonder where the next generation of Judi Denchs and Juliet Stevensons have gone? Have they fallen down a Rada wormhole? Yes. They're not there, because they aren't pretty enough to get airtime. This lust for homogeneity in female beauty means that when someone who doesn't resemble a diagram in a plastic surgeon's office steps up to the microphone, people fall about and treat us to despicable sub-John Gielgud gestures of amazement.

Susan will probably win Britain's Got Talent. She will be the little munter that could sing, served up for the British public every Saturday night. Look! It's "ugly"! It sings! And I know that we think that this will make us better people. But Susan Boyle will be the freakish exception that makes the rule. By raising this Susan up, we will forgive ourselves for grinding every other Susan into the dust. It will be a very partial and poisoned redemption. Because Britain's Got Malice. Sing, Susan, sing - to an ugly crowd that doesn't deserve you.

(C) Tanya Gold- The guardian UL

India Votes- Jaago Re!

It's voting time!! Once again, after five long years, the nation comes together to start casting their ballots to the candidates that all the political parties have fielded. Campaigning aside, this year's elections saw our home minister, another minister & Advani all have slippers thrown at them as the electorate simmered in anger at various issues.

The first hurler was a journalist, who was angry at the requittal of suspected corrupted CBI policeman, who threw his slipper at Home Minister & my personal favorite, Sri Chidambaram, then a school principal threw his slipper at a Congress MP and lastly, we saw a former 'saffron' (BJP) party worker throw his slipper at Advani, in dispute of his candidacy as the PM of the country. Attached is a blog note on the same, outlining the comic moments of this sacred act of defiance (To read more on this please follow link)

We also saw the arrest of Varun Gandhi, for anti-muslim remarks. This was a shock to me, given that Varun is the son of Menaka Gandhi, a respected environmentalist, the grandson of Indira Gandhi, (who was unfair to all) and the great grandson of Nehru Gandhi (perhaps the most flamboyant socialist leader to date). Ofcourse, he will go down in history as having disputed the 'allegation' that he made unfair remarks, but given he is contesting against the Congress for the BJP....... (To read more on the elections, pop the link!)

So I think in previous posts, or in conversations that I've had with all and sundry, I've always expressed myself to be a fan of the Congress or the Socialist Front. I have previously scoffed at an invitation of joining BJP Youth, the possibility of Advani being our PM (loudly declaring to kill myself if he ever represents my country). And I've also expressed the innate desire to marry first, Rajiv Gandhi and now, Rahul Gandhi (alas, I am not Italian!).

But feelings aside, I know Advani has been trying to shed that image of his- 80 yr old politician, still wanted in Pakistan for plotting the assasination of PM Jinnah (by visiting a gym, starting a blog which I'm sure he writes himself ) On top of that, our friend orchestrated the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and has recently claimed that we should build a grand Ram temple on the site, and that would be an act of secularism (aha!). Despite all this, I've realized in the recent months, that Advani may infact be a very efficient advisor, given his tenure and experience in politics, though maybe not quite a leader. What is scary about this man, is the fact that with power, we'd have to take him seriously. And I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want to.

And this is experience is what Rahul lacks, but he is a refreshing difference to the world of politics. Educated, fresh and charismatic- to me Rahul represents the youth of India.

70% of this country is under the age of 30, we do not remember the stale economy of the 80s, what we do remember is the emerging Indian market in the 90s. The influx of foreign goods, a market thriving based on consumer choice, a job market ample with jobs.

Our concerns are things like education, and why it costs so much for a decent degree or for a seat in the medical colleges. Our concerns are things like safety on the streets, the state of the roads,the unreasonable curfews imposed on the city limits, the stabilization of the stock market, the harnessing of the currency depreciation and rising inflation, the reduction of corruption in the sports arena, an increase in funding for the same, state sponsored terrorism, the utilisation of our taxes, stopping child labour, bettering the environment, chanelling resources to the farms, increasing the effectiveness of co-operatives in the rural areas, establishing a credit reporting agency, speeding up the buliding of the metro rail project amongst so many other :REAL concerns.

We don't care about the war in Pakistan, we want Peace, let's stop budgeting 60% of our GDP on defence.

We don't care for racial politics, let's gain the respect of the general populace, instead of dividing it.

We really don't care about what happened in 1992, MOVE ON YAAR (remembering the fast track ads).

And lastly, we don't care about throwing slippers at politicians, we'll see you on election day, when we have the last say!

15 April 2009


Imagine Ms Bubbly cute, talking and romancing the love of your life. Everyone loves Ms Bubbly cute, what a lovely, sweet girl, they say. Even you, in all the envy, jealousy, sadness & anger, can't find anything to say to her, sinking to a menial, atleast I'm prettier than her.

What is it about Bubbly cutes that intimidate power women? Is it because they tend to hold your loves with their 'cuteness', which is less meritable than all the hard work that you have put in to make yourself the power woman that you are?

Is it their easy disposition and trust that everyone in the world will treat them fairly, if not equally, that threatens the power woman, who works for equality every day?

Or is it the simple reason, that your loved one is romancing Bubbly cute, when it should be YOU?

I hate nightmares. Hopefully they don't sink to reality, or people are going to DIE.

13 April 2009

Easter- Resurrection?

So there was a day 3 for Goa, but I really can't go through the leaving bit again. Needless to say it was a fun trip :) Thailand seems to be an option for the end of the year *cross fingers* hope that works out.

Prospective New Husband: Will your past, affect your future with me?
Me: No
Ex Flame: "new statement/ declaration of love"
Me: No answer, cause dammit, I want it.

So that's thrown life a bit off course. I can't ignore THE STATEMENT, when it feels so good to hear. But things that are good to hear, aren't necessarily true. In my head, I know that this pronouncement could be the result of anything, out of which only one is love.

It could be guilt, from a fling that they've had that I don't know about. It could be insecurity, at where their life is heading. Or it could just be a statement, with no real meaning behind it. Or it could be one, meant sincerely.

The fact that I have to second guess it, and the fact that I can't take it at face value, would be the result of my intuition. And maybe it's about time I trusted it, after all the recent badgering it's been getting for not showing up when required.

So I remain true to my word, prospective future husband. I meant NO, and I guess as long as life appeals to my better person, it will always be a NO.

On the side: Happy Easter All. Wish we could go egg hunting together or egg decorating!