Saturday, 22 December 2007

A singular experience...

Bioshock is a (quite old, in terms of computer games now) videogame. Now, people scoff at games as fun, entertainment or - shock, horror - perhaps something more. But I've just finished playing the demo and my heart is yet to stop pumping.

Bioshock is what's known as a first person shooter, which is nothing special. What is special is the way it works. Firstly, it's more than just guns, guns and more guns. There are sort of super powers known as plasmids which you can use - genetically altering your body in the process. These things mean you can fire electricity from your fist, for example, which is useful in temporarily disabling security cameras, people and - of course, the classic - firing 10,000 volts into a pool of water frying various bad people.

Enough about immature violence. You can get that anywhere these days.

What really makes the game special is the environment. The game starts with a plane crash of which Jack, your character, is the only survivor. Much like Half Life (arguably the best computer game of modern times) you see everything from the eyes of Jack - no movie-style cut scenes. So with a good enough system to run the game on, you see, hear and feel the plane crash. You feel Jack underwater, near drowning, before you take him up to get air. You navigate the burning water to a mysterious looking lighthouse.

This is were the 50s-60s style creepiness really kicks in. The lighthouse contains a bathysphere. Cat like curiousity leads you to step in and be sealed by a fat, pressure-proof door. And you begin your descent down to Rapture. An all too cheerful radio and slideshow begins to tell you about Rapture - the creator and the reason. And suddenly you look outside to see this underwater, art deco City of neon lights. As you get closer, dodging between shoals of fish and blue whales, you can see advertisements on the buildings, gay and kitsch to go along with the broadcast you're watching. The creator of Rapture is speaking (a recording, of course) of why he created Rapture. Freedom, independence, excellence. These are terms that are bandied around liberally through the environments, just adding to the creepiness. Rapture is the epitomy of laissez faire thinking. No petty government interference, which is something you learn the creator - Ryan - has a rather hefty hatred for.

It all sounds a bit strange, but not too bad. As you get closer you hear people talking about your imminent arrival, and - I'll level with you - they're not too positive about your survival. The first thing you see is a bloodied madman with sickles killing someone sent to save you. This guy taunts you for a while, unable to get through the thick glass, and leaves. One of the men from earlier contacts you through a radio you pick up from the sphere, and insists he wants to help you (although by now, you're pretty spooked of everything) and tells you to get to higher ground.

It's only now that you realise Rapture isn't all it was cracked up to be. There are official notices everywhere in the departure lounge informing people that travel has been suspended indefinitely. There are also placards with slogans like 'You don't own us, Rapture!'. The protesters are nowhere to be seen, but - looking around at the debris, cracked glass and corpses - the place has seen better days.

By now, your heart is really having a bit of a time of it's own. The cheerful art deco surroundings are made creepier by the darkness, the screams and mutterings of nearby 'splicers' - like the lovely gent who wanted to kill you earlier in the bathysphere - and your total lack of knowledge.

And from there, it's such a ride (and I've only played the demo! Ha). You inject yourself with something called EVE, which gives you the power to throw aforementioned lightning around - a real help. But when you inject yourself, your head begins to spin and you collapse over a balcony. Vaguely aware, a couple of groups pass your fainted form, debating over grizzly things they can do to you, before deciding you're not worth the trouble.

Your helpful 'friend' contacts you over the radio and directs you to keep moving, and from there is all gets gloriously chaotic. You find a wrench, which is a relatively brutal instrument of defence, and begin the 'Colombo One-Two' - which involves sending a couple of thousand volts through a would-be assailant before beating them senseless. Survival, eh?

I won't bore anyone with the rest of the demo, but suffice to say the environment doesn't stop giving. You sneak through an old dance hall, decorated with 'New Year 1959' posters and complete with creepy, lounge lizard music, trying to avoid getting bludgeoned to death by psychopaths wearing masquerade masks.

It's brutal, it's chaotic and it's terrifying. It elicits all those emotions and more.

Spiderman 3 was beaten at the box office, sort of, by Halo 3. Games are now as much entertainment experiences as movies are. And Bioshock is a perfect example of why.

Download the demo, if your computer will run it. My performance is a bit buggy because I insisted on running it on top spec. Without the eye candy - the posters and neon signs and broken cigarillo machines - it wouldn't be half as fun.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Good News and the NHS Compared to Scrubs

Firstly, the good news.

I may not have mentioned, but I consider myself something of an artist (indeed my first degree was in the arts). Obviously, I'm not talented or perhaps driven enough to make money from it, but I do enjoy it.

I've been commissioned to do some medical drawings for one of my lecturers. The work itself is unpaid, but my name gets to go on the documents they'll be attached to, which is, at least, exposure. So I'm happy.

Now, for the second part of the topic. Last placement, a patient asked me if working in the hospital was anything like the hit Am-Com Scrubs. I thought about it a bit, and - perhaps surprisingly, it is. Just a little bit.

For example - nurses care a lot more about their patients than doctors do. Doctors often talk about patients as objects, and talk about them rather than to them. So in that respect, a large slice of doctors act like the typical Surgeon in Sacred Heart. Nurses also bitch a lot, which is a bit of a mirror image.

In the programme and in the NHS money is a constant ball-ache. The big wigs in management who, unlike Kelso, aren't even Doctors, like to naysay far too much, stopping patients from getting the best treatment.

On that note, there is the idea of risk. If something's too risky, medical staff don't want to do it in case it has an impact on their stats, and so - again - patients suffer.

They're all I can think of for now, but I'll make sure to add more as they come up. Considering the gulf between systems (and the fact that one is a comedy and one situation is real life) there are surprising parallels.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

"Our country"

"Our country" is a much bandied around term. Usually anecdotally by white people in the street when anything vaguely multicultural is mentioned.

"Oh, I don't think that'd work in our country..."

You get the point.

But it's bollocks, really, isn't it? Where do you draw the line of belonging?

I mean, ownership is a religious or capitalist idea, depending which way you're looking at things. Either some God (whichever) owns the Earth and sort of lets us borrow it indefinitely or a government owns a country or piece of land and looks after us and it.

The concept is horrific, either way. I mean, do fifth generation Brits have more 'right' to the country than forth generation? Because they've lived here a bit longer and 'own' the country a bit more?

The thought makes me shudder. Although it is quite fun when you find a racist and point out a lot of 'immigrants' family lines in Britain go further back than theirs do.

"Our country" is a pointless term. This country has never belonged to any one 'people' when it comes to ethnicity or anything like that. We're a lovely mongrel nation. The NHS, for example, has always relied on expertise from overseas to augment homegrown talent. The World Wars were labelled as such because of how many 'foreigners' from the Commonwealth fought for the freedom of good old Blightly.

So, please - don't use the term in the sense I'm implying. Unless you're planning on looking silly.

Monday, 17 December 2007


Yes. The dreaded p-word.

I'm back at University, which means paperwork (lots) and women who don't know how to use computers (equally lots). It's tiring.

I've given up for the day. On the plus side, boring University gives me days off in which to do this paperwork. So I may head down to the Union tomorrow and eat cheap food, drink cheaper coffee and do said paperwork. It might keep my mood slightly higher.

Most of Uni, however, has actually shut down for Christmas (already) so it might not even be open. I do, of course, have to do Christmas shopping at some point. That I'm dreaded. Give me a load of surgical clips to remove at 6 o'clock in the morning, instead, please.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

"Make Me a Muslim"

What an awful exercise of a show.

I think BBC2 did a version of this, like 'The Abbey', where interested (and I stress interested) people looked into switching, so to speak, to Islam.

This show is a bit like the latter day Wife Swap, where they now get the most incompatible people involved for, presumably, more explosive results. And by that, I mean: A lazy arse, beer swilling middle aged moron, a 'glamour model' and a lisping homosexual, for three examples.

Of course, there's going to be conflicts. While the BBC2 show was about, perhaps, people growing and finding something new in their lives, this C4 trash is simply about conflict. Oh, maybe by the end they'll have made a 'journey' or whatever, but I doubt it.

When you get a gay annoyed that Muslims won't accept homosexuality, well... surely he should've looked into this before going on the show? The Muslim faith, unlike some of the branches of Christianity, hasn't bent (pardon the pun) it's stance in modern times. So why are they going to change for this one, quite annoying little man? And why should he expect a faith to change for him? If he didn't want to change himself for the show (and I don't think people should change if they don't want to) then why go on it in the first place?

What do I think about Islam, then?

I'm a count myself as Wicca, which is an Earth-based religion (as they say, these days). It's pretty loose fitting, compared to some of the more strict religions. Wheras some faiths have very strict rules and tenents, Wicca (as well as most of the Pagan faiths) advocates living well, generally. And it allows you to express yourself without offending some higher power. Unless expressing yourself involves being an absolute cunt - which no religion advocates unless someone twists it for their own ends.

So, I don't enjoy the rules of religions like Islam. 21st Century Britain is a greedy, capitalist, sort-of Democracy. We have freedom to buy (most of) what we want, thanks to the free market, and you can sort of do what you want. I can live with that.

Most religious societies suppress the ideas of buying and doing what you want because those acts run opposite to some badly translated rules from a dusty old book, and this worked, back in the olden days before money and science. But now I think it's a bit old fashioned, the concept of a set of moralistic 'rules' applied to all people whether they like it or not. People should free to do what they want, as long as it doesn't inflict grevious harm on another person. And even then the rules can get quite hazy.

The big religions don't really agree with that concept of freedom. And good for them. If you want to follow those paths and believe in those morals - do it! But don't force other people to do it. Especially if they don't agree.

What aren't I going to miss?

Quick one.

I loved placement. I didn't love every second, that'd be a hopelessly optimistic statement, but the huge majority, I liked.

So, what didn't I like?

Well. Mornings. I work better in the mornings, but that doesn't cut it when luke warm water can't cut through the ice on the street. I'll be better in mornings when it's light and not below freezing, I reckon.

Friday, 14 December 2007

My Last Day

I'm a bit emotional now, to be honest.

The thing I'd like to reflect on is how I feel other people felt about me. I was showered with a bit more praise today. One Doctor couldn't believe I was a first year, first placement. One of the psychologists said he'd appreciated by confidence and knowledge of patients.

And the patients were all lovely. They wished me well and mentioned they thought I'd go far. And I believe them.

Generally, I think I've learnt a lot. My natural disposition, my mentor tells me, means I'm well suited to the vocation of nursing. I'm confident, able to communicate with ease to medics, nurses and patients and I'm not afraid to ask questions.

I also believe I'm good at what I do. And I fucking enjoy it.

The only way is up from here, I reckon. And I can't wait.

My first late shift in an Iron Age

Yes. It means I can wake up at the lesiurely (ha) time of 8:10am. I like to wake up laughing quite annoyingly at Fraiser before slumming around all day before going to placement.

It's also my last day today, which is quite sad. Sure, I won't miss riding through this lovely city in the actual below zero freezing cold, trying not to fall off my bike at half six in the morning. And I will find University quite the breeze in comparison.

But I will miss an actual sense of well being I come away with for the first time in any kind of job. And I will miss, a little bit, the pride I can stand up with in some kind of social situation and say: "I'm a nurse."

(Only when asked what I do, like. I don't do it just for kicks. And I know I'm still a trainee nurse, but it doesn't feel like it until you're actually working)

I've been peppered with praise from staff and patients, including a few who don't really know me, yesterday, which is lovely, even if some of it may be bullshit. From a totally vain point of view, I'm hoping for a little more today. And I'm hoping people miss me, when I'm gone. "Remember that Pete guy?" they might say. "He was a top class student nurse."

Or something similar.

Idle daydreaming aside, I just want to get my paperwork finished and handed in and marked and passed by the bigwigs. Staying on the course is more important than my unsinkable ego.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Girl With A One Track Mind

Before I begin this named subject, let me say, from what I've read, I've nothing against GwaOTM. Sexual honesty and expression in women is long overdue, and good for her that she made it a little bit more acceptable and made a shitload of cash to boot.

However, there are underlying problems.

The media likes to create and perpetuate the idea that men are mindless, sex-obsessed perverts and women are either frigid or actually quite cool and good at sex. And, of course, that men can't please women.

I can't work out why the mainstream media would be so set on perpetuating this idea, but they do.

So, this is why GwaOTM is so successful, really. Working against the grain is often quite invigorating.

I don't think people in general are going to change. This quote probably states the problem clearer than I could:

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
- John Kenneth Galbraith

Oh yes. They like things the easy way, and like to be shown the way. People are lazy, in short. In the same way that 'blue for boys, pink for girls' keeps that trend going, the above idea perpetuated by magazines, TV and newspapers doesn't seem to be changing with the times.

('How To Look Good Naked' always amuses me, as previously mentioned. A hugely sexist programme that labours the points: Women need to worry about looking 'good' and men don't worry about their appearance naked).

Being a pole dancing, male nurse means I'm sort of against the grain myself. And love it. But my experiences as a human being both confirm the laziness in people when it comes to accepting these broad sweeps of stereotypes as well as people who go against them and actually act as individuals.

The latter are sadly lacking.

I love my job

Today I got to take staples out of a patient's head. How awesome and rock & roll is that? I only got to take out five, but still. It was an experience.

It led me to reflect on how good the ward has been to me and how they've challenged me but not pushed me too far. There are other students who don't even write up about their patients at the end of the shift, but for this week I've been taking one bay of the ward and doing the writing and stuff. These students have been there longer than me, which makes me wonder just why not?

Ambition is key when you're out to impress, which you are when you're a student nurse, if you ask me. And plus, I live by the motto of: You don't ask, you don't get. So if you're not asking things, putting yourself in positive positions and being proactive you're not getting the best out of your vocation.

Anyway, I'm enjoying it. I spoke to another student in a rhuemotology ward who said they're doing a lot of bottom wiping. I know basic care is important, but I've got plenty of experience of it on this ward. Along with other rock and roll things, like staple pulling. Woo.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

A footnote to free speech

Re: my ramblings here

I read something on the dreaded Facebook again from some 'Anti-Fascists'. They propose freedom with limits, i.e. Freedom with order, which is a bit of a contradiction in terms.

That is to say they want freedom of speech, but if you say something they don't like then you don't get the freedom. A bit like them ladelling it out at their discretion, I think. Lovely.

And who is this 'order' controlled by, these restrictions ladelled out by? "Anti-fascist", Oxbridge educated, middle class twats?

No, thank you.

It's freedom or order, not both. I'd vote for the former.

Government Making Sense

This quick post is about the guy who got out of prison early, thanks to the Ministry of Justice Early Release Scheme, and killed the woman he'd been put into the slammer for beating up.

As if to throw more fuel to the feminist movement the Ministry came out with this little gem.

"Oh, he would've done it whenever he was released, anyway."

Oh. That's alright then.


Worst defence ever.

Support Workers

It had to come, this post. I'm too opinionated not to have something to say about them.

So, what do I think about Support Workers?

I certainly think they're needed and provide a solid, cash efficient service. Cash efficient in the sense that they do the jobs that modern nurses don't, particularly, need to do.

However, in my experience a number of support workers have chips on their shoulder. By that, I mean they either subscribe to the 'saint complex' of people working in healthcare and moan about being so put upon or, possibly worse, consider themselves to be nurses even though they're untrained.

Support Workers, by the way, are nothing like State-Enrolled nurses of yesteryear. They are represented by Assistant Practitioners nowadays, who, I must add, are very good at what they do.

So, in short, I think SWs are required, but sometimes the actual members of staff fail to amuse me due to several personal characteristics of people who seem to be attracted to the job.

Sunday, 9 December 2007


Good weekend, I have to report. It started off with a less than good beginning, with me losing a tunic and my fob watch, which I'm not amused about. If I'm lucky I would've left it in the Staff Room and it'll be there for me tomorrow. We'll see.

I went home for the weekend, anyway (I'm studying away from home, you see). Originally I was half doing it just to get my washing done, but it was actually good to see everyone and everything. I got to get a bit drunk and see my new nephew (not in that order), which was fun. I got to see Liverpool lose and chat up yet another bird who had a boyfriend (and mentioned him within the first five minutes of chatting, which was, I suppose, quite polite). I don't know how I do it.

She wasn't fit, really, but I met a Staff Nurse this week who really was. Plus she wore the actual nurse dress rather than the pants and tunic set up, which is both fit and uber cool.

One day, I might actually chat up an attractive, single woman out on the town. I wouldn't bet on it, though.

So, I don't know why I have this knack of locating women who are attatched. I do, however, know why Liverpool got creamed yesterday.

1) Reading were outstanding. Plain and simple. I've always liked them, and they proved their worth yesterday, despite a stuttering start to the season.

2) The Liverpool players, apart from Carra, Stevie and Torres were pathetic. Crouch? Absent. Vronin? Pathetic. Mascearno? A buffoon. Sissoko? A joke. I could go on, but they were the worst offenders.

3) The Liverpool system was all wrong. It allowed Stevie to play how he wanted, but the two bollocks midfielders infront of the back four weren't good enough. That system works with Alonso, who can actually pass the ball. Those two can't. Rafa had the full backs charging up the flanks, which left huge holes in our defense for Reading to counter attack, which they did very well. Additionally, third Captain (?!) Riise couldn't hit water if he was standing on a boat. I used to be a fan, but he's lost it. And there are much better players in the squad. Squad selection and substitutions were tricky, with Tuesday in mind, but Rafa could've done better.

And the players could've actually shown up.

Pundits go on about Liverpool scoring for fun, but it's actually Stevie and Fernando scoring and making the goals. You take them out of the system and you're left with a bunch of no marks. Which we saw for most of yesterdays game. Bah, humbug.

Christmas will be a football mountain to climb. Tuesday and Sunday are must-wins. The rest of the games even more so. Thankfully this weekend some close teams dropped points, but that's no excuse.

I despair, sometimes. Maybe I'll watch Spooks on Tuesday.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Random Thoughts

Firstly, am I the best student nurse ever?

Maybe not. But I'm pretty darn close.

Wrote my first nursing evaluation today, which was a bit wordy (a quality that is likely to be inscribed on my tombstone) but generally top notch.

Secondly, the story of 'The Lyrical Terrorist' amused me today. To make a rather funny comparison:

Lyrical Terrorist: Wrote about being a martyr (in the blowing oneself to pieces along with as many infidels as possible to reach some kind of heaven sense). Collected 'a library' of terrorist material. Praised Osama Bin Laden.

Punishment? Jail was on the cards, but she gets off with community service.

Mrs Gibbons: Accidently named a teddy bear the name of a Prophet of Islam (or 7 year old boy, depending which way you look at it). Co-operated with kiddies.

Punishment? Immense jail time or an ungoldy amount of lashes were spoke of. Only political pressure pulled her out of a Sudanese jail which would make UK Women's Prison look like a holiday camp.

Ha. Whenever you feel a bit demoralised living in this country, do remember - it could be a lot worse.

Random Thoughts

Firstly, am I the best student nurse ever?

Maybe not. But I'm pretty darn close.

Wrote my first nursing evaluation today, which was a bit wordy (a quality that is likely to be inscribed on my tombstone) but generally top notch.

Secondly, the story of 'The Lyrical Terrorist' amused me today. To make a rather funny comparison:

Lyrical Terrorist: Wrote about being a martyr (in the blowing oneself to pieces along with as many infidels as possible to reach some kind of heaven sense). Collected 'a library' of terrorist material. Praised Osama Bin Laden.

Punishment? Jail was on the cards, but she gets off with community service.

Mrs Gibbons: Accidently named a teddy bear the name of a Prophet of Islam (or 7 year old boy, depending which way you look at it). Co-operated with kiddies.

Punishment? Immense jail time or an ungoldy amount of lashes were spoke of. Only political pressure pulled her out of a Sudanese jail which would make UK Women's Prison look like a holiday camp.

Ha. Whenever you feel a bit demoralised, do remember - it could be a lot worse.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


Consultants are funny old things. I've met some lovely ones, but the personell I met today were glum inspiring.

The first problem? They come during protected mealtimes. These are protected for a reason, but consultants from out of the ward decide to come down anyway. I impressed my mentor by actually calling them on it, and giving my patient time to actually eat before being poked and prodded.

So they got in with them, post-lunch, and were generally alright, until they started talking about the patient like an object when the patient was sitting there. Then they decided to be quite fucking tactless about asking about HIV/AIDS, sexual preference and possible drug use. I almost actually gasped it was so utterly outlandish, but decided to keep my mouth shut and apologise to my patient afterwards.

How rude.

Hull University and 'Inequality'

Right. So there are people at Hull Uni who want to get rid of the Men's Officer post. They say it's pointless, inequal (?) and old fashioned. They seem to be using faulty logic, from my point of view. And guess what? I'm going to let you know about it.

Some guy on the Facebook Group message board reckons if you have a Men's Officer then you would need a White Person Officer, Able Bodied Officer etc.

Firstly, that's just underlining a friend of mine's 'middle-class-twentysomething-middle-of-the-road-average-white trash' t-shirt idea. The idea of getting rid of this Union post is also reasonably offensive to white, able bodied men as it:

a) Insinuates they're somehow 'normal' and all have life 'easy' compared to the groups who are represented by an officer, and;

b) Could send the message they should have any problems or any perceived problems stemming from their gender aren't very important as they don't have an officer like other groups do.

Now, it may be quite truthful that other groups are more discriminated against, but the concept they need 'more help' is a bit condescending to them and, as mentioned, offensive to the officer-less men, generally sending out a not very sound message, in my opinion.

If it's a point of cost-effectiveness, almost (and by that I mean if there was some way to find out how active the officers had been over a year, how many people had seen them, what campaigns they'd been part of etc.) then I'm sure that'd reveal some telling information. But such an audit wouldn't reveal a post was benign. It could just mean the actual elected officer was rubbish at their jobs.

Everyone has problems, and I half accept the point that a University would need a large amount of officers to cover everyone 'fully'. The ridiculous extreme being an officer for each student, of course.

I've previously pondered the use of an 'Equality Officer' (or perhaps two), who could cover all of these issues without any gender, race of orientation bias. Seems sound to me.

Or would that just be stealing too many people's thunder, I wonder?

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Unity is back online with a fantastic fisk of a quite fantastical woman..

Check it out, for the love of God. Or not, as it turns out.

I'm a topsy-turvy thinker...

Recently I've been getting up early for my late shifts. I suppose I should be getting as much sleep as possible, but a) I always feel crappy when I've overslept and b) I like waking up to old episodes of Frasier. Guilty pleasures forever!

It was doing this this very morning that I realised how I appreciate traditionally masculine behavioural characteristics in women. Roz is clearly a big example of this phenomenon. Pity she's only a fictional character, really, but she is awesome, let's be honest. As for why, well it comes back to the characteristics. General horniness counts for a lot, obviously. Apathy mixed with confidence, too. But at the same time she's not too masculine - which would be a bit weird. She flirts between the traditional characteristics of both genders quite skilfully.

I suppose I like her, and the concept, so much because it's what I do in every day life. And the 'birds of a feather/opposites attract' debate aside, I find that idea in women attractive. As mentioned, it's just a shame she's a fictional character. I don't think such women exist in the real world.

Reflection 94

Should note this down before I forget,

Yesterday we were short one RN (Registered Nurse) so it was a bit of a stress, to put it lightly. I was, once, left alone in charge of the door and nurse's station. Visitor times start at half six, and it was around 6:10pm. Six until half past is what's called a 'Protected Mealtime' which was put in place by the NHS to make sure patients have the opportunity to eat in peace without interruption. I was, therefore, obliged to let nobody in, but there were visitors. I contacted one of the staff nurses who was very busy and said the visitor at the door had special permission to come in. So let them in I do. But there's another visitor there by the time I get back. I inform them both that I only have permission to let one in.

The visitor denied access proceeded to get quite irate with me before storming off. Later I found out he had special permission, too, but I wasn't told this. Furthermore he didn't try to explain the situation, just decided to give me a large swathe of attitude. This made me feel somewhat threatened (although, in all honesty, it takes a lot more than that to shake me, especially since I was only - oh, let me think - doing my job). These are the risks nurses take, even from visitors to patients, but I wouldn't, in hindsight, change what I did. I was ready to be reasonable, but it seemed this visitor was happy to become angry and storm off this little to and fro.

Monday, 3 December 2007

One Thing...

... that's always going to get my back up?

Dragon's Den, tonight and tomorrow. A business called 'Handy Girl'. An odd jobs company that employs only women. That's sexism. At best it's positive discrimination. It's misogynistic and it's illegal. And the fact that people (not all of the Dragons, thankfully) think it's okay is laughably offensive.

Short but sweet...

Democracy - 1
Hugo Chavez - 0


That is all.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

"Arrange Me a Marriage"

I am watching the above programme about marriage and the current 'star' is an idiot in her past relationships. The bird on it went through the 'star's past relationships and that's the sort of thing that underlined it.

She, for example, hooked up with a guy who ended up cheating on her and so left him. She went to his best mate, who - shockingly - cheated on her, too. So she got back with the first guy.

I'm not that retarded.

So, just to make sure I'm not an idiot, I'm going to do a brief run-down of my old relationships to prove I actually am still perfect. Or near-as-dammit.

The beginning is a very good place to start, allegedly, so let's do it.

(Like during healthcare prose, I'll use pseudonyms so I don't get caught out)

Girlfriend 1: BK

Not Burger King, unfortunately. I'd been kissing a lot of girls, like a real tart, but never really been going out with one by 17. I met BK through a mutual friend and we bonded over music, mostly. I did most of the chasing and, after a bit, we hooked up. Two things really led to the end of BK and I. Firstly she said she didn't really like public displays of affection. Which sort of betrays the point. She wouldn't, for example, hold my hand. Or give me a kiss on the cheek. Yet when we were alone she was a bit of a wannabe sex goddess. Mixed messages for sure. Bizarre. Ontop of that, we were together over the bits of Christmas in whatever year it was. I hosted two parties over the big nights (Christmas Eve and New Year) and she came to neither night. We ended shortly after, with her making quite a scene of it. So public displays of grief - she liked those.

Result: I made all of the moves and ended up making the terminal one when she became far too clingy. Began to set a trend, really. 2-0.

Girlfriend 2: CL

CL actually knew BK, which was a bit weird, but funny. Ever since before BK, in my tarty days, I'd always been very pro-girlfriend, thanks to Saved By The Bell and other such pieces of Americana. Whereas BK was lovely in a kooky pixie princess kind of way, CL was beautiful. Way outta my league, back then, I thought. It transpired that (again, mostly thanks to my efforts) she liked me, and we got it together. And for a bit it was perfect. Then she decided to ignore my texts. Then she got annoyed that I stopped texting her when she ignored me. It sort of went downhill from there. I broke down in tears in the middle of a canteen about this one, which was a bit of a low.

Result: My first real heartbreak. And I was really broken. But, in what seems like a world ago, I wasn't really bitter. I blamed myself. And felt the sting of karma, worrying I was perhaps too clingy to her and not hot enough. 0-2. The dream was over.

Girlfriend 3: SC

SC and I met at college. That's before University, if there are any Americans reading. She'd actually perved on me during a dance performance by me, which was bizarre. There was a big night back in my college days were we went to watch bands at a rugby club and drink cheap beer which they sold to us even though we were underage and they knew it. I sort of got speaking to her there. Someone had the bright idea of getting on the hour-long bus ride into Liverpool to get more hammered. We flirted on a number ten bus and kissed all night long in a sweaty club. From then on we were pretty on-and-off, mostly due to myself fucking up twice and being completely immature to near-adult relationships. She was also a bit of a dicktease by the end of it, so we were hardly the perfect couple. The night out before I left for uni I think I attempted to apologise which she took as a come on. Which I suppose it was, a little bit. But I walked away, so I count it as a no score draw.

Result: Bit of a score draw, really. Call it 3-3. I was immature and a bit of a dickhead. She got a little bit hurt and so decided to hurt me. All fun and games, really. Good preparation for the battle of the sexes to come.

Girlfriend 4: IW

Tricky to count this one as an actual girlfriend, but I will do for the sake of ease. I met IW through a friend and, to put it bluntly, a few days later she was giving me a blowjob in my living room. This was after she insulted me to all my friends, who she didn't know, and acted like something of a druggie. Suffice to say, after this I started to ignore her. She didn't take kindly to this and once threatened to punch me. Good days, they were. I extracted myself from the situation, past offers of 'just casual sex'. The kicker was, in the early days of us 'going out' I'd lent her a fiver, which I never got back. My friends now insist I'd paid five squid for a blowjob, which is quite funny, all things considered. I'm glad I came out of the 'relationship' without a black eye.

Result: My first proper sexual experience. And on my living room floor to boot. IW taught me that girls can be scary and just a little bit twisted, which was, in retrospect a highly useful insight. With the fiver in her pocket, she just edged it. 2-3.

Girlfriend 5: JK

I met JK quite randomly at University. JK was great. Fuck that, she was amazing. I lost my virginity to her, which was all kinds of fun. We sang together live a few times which was on the romantic side. And generally, when together and drunk couldn't keep our hands off of each other when we were out. Sometimes when we woke up, in the light of day, we were a bit awkward but I put that down to the early stages of getting to know one another. Pure honeymoon period, really. I once thought I fucked the whole thing up by being drunk enough to be sick on a big night out. She put me in a taxi, got out of the taxi when I was going to be sick, sat with me while I was sick, walked me back to her bed and let me sleep. Easily the most romantic thing which has ever happened to me. As I say, I thought I'd fucked it up but she insisted I hadn't, musing how weird it was that she still fancied me rotten after seeing me lying near my own bile. About 2 months after this she stopped speaking to me, and I later found out from a friend that she wasn't really interested anymore. This broke my heart, somewhat.

Result: I was a broken man. I pretended I wasn't, and found strength at times which I can still look back to proudly, but in the end she'd thrashed me. 1-4, I'm talking. It took quite the while to move onwards and upwards.

Girlfriend 6: MD

MD was, shockingly, a bit of a case of rebound. I still had faith in the image of a relationship and she was reasonably fun so we got together for a few months. She was a virgin and, careful of the pitfalls, I told her I didn't want to have sex soon. She insisted she wanted to do it, so we did, and it was awful. I'm no sexual predator, but she was terrible in bed and tried far too hard to be porn-star-sexy. I ended the relationship after 2 months, to which she wailed "I can't believe I gave you my virginity!". After the caution I'd used, and the amount she'd insisted, I was not amused.

Result: 3-0 to me, this time. It would've been two, but I got a late goal when her stories of me being a grade-A cunt fell apart and people started to realise she was a strange one.

Girlfriend 7: SL

MD had told everyone who would listen about what a cunt I apparently was. SL hadn't been involved in the circles these rumours were abound in, so was somewhat immune. SL was something of a legend before I actually spoke to her. She was hot, she was cool, she was interesting. I'd always knew she was hot, but I really fell for her when I found a story of hers on disk in the library. I read it all before I got to her name, returned it to her and things sort of proceeded from there. We were together for about 9 months into the end of University, with all the ups and downs of that. She moved back down South for 3 months and then went around the world for 6 months. We got together again when she got back for 9 months which subsequently went down the pan, due to her getting a fancy job and turning completely uncool. The relationship was, suffice to say, rocky. I felt like I was holding up the entire charade on my own, which was a bit of a theme through the whole trail.

Result: It was a tough 0-0 draw for the entirety, with each side jockeying for position but coming up against formidable opposition. I scored a late goal, maybe even a penalty, in the 31st minute of extra time, capturing the points and happiness for myself. 1-0 AET.

Getting out of my lovely-to-awful relationship with SL made me realise I actually quite like being single. More reasonably I could say the end of things with SL convinced me away from the typical view of pop-society that relationships are wonderful and all there is to life.

Suffice to say, going through the main relationships of my life has proved one important thing to me. I'm doing things better than idiots on 'Arrange Me a Marriage'.


Good day today.

I spent an hour waiting for (stupid fucking) ENT (that's the Ear, Nose and Throat Department to you non-hospitalites out there) with a patient.

This patient is a sometimes ill-tempered human being, a few years younger than me. Previously I thought they were quite a difficult and moody person but the time waiting allowed me to get to know them a bit more. It also allowed me to develop my personal skills, especially with people I consider quite 'unlike' me. So, whereas some student nurses may have considered this an hour wasted, I thought it was quite valuable.

On other news I got to experience pushing a Porter's wheelchair, which is relatively impossible. I think they get taught the tricks and want noone else to know them. That's job protection, that is.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Entertainment News

Two quick points, really.

1: Christian dickheads - If you don't want to see The Golden Compass, don't go see it. This 'boycott' rubbish is hilariously bad, especially after what happened post-Da Vinci Code.

2: Brining Billie Piper (aka Rose Tyler) back to Doctor Who? That's just a little, tiny, weeny bit pathetic, don't you think? It would've been reasonably, if the script hadn't pretty much said: "Rose can never, ever, ever, ever come back." Don't get me wrong - she is a decent actress and the character is engaging. But now we're facing a situation were the Doctor will have three assistants. All female. All from London or thereabouts. All with the same accent and same basic characteristics. Hardly screams amazing fun, does it? Not to me, but then again - I'm not a stiff shirted Southern BBC knobjockey.

Clocking Off

I got out of work I didn't give a shit about because... Well. I didn't give a shit about it. I went in. Avoided work. Did the bare minimum. Then made sure I was out of that door at quitting time. I got into nursing as I wanted to do something with my time that I cared about and didn't want to leave as soon as the second hand made the minute hand click over to clocking off time.

Today there was a planning meeting for one of my patients - a real, old school, proper gent. The meeting was delayed while we changed the patient and hoisted them into a wheelchair. This delay meant the meeting would go on a little bit past quitting time, which quite sadly meant none of the Staff Nurses would sit in for it.

I was happy to sit in past my letting off time, but we needed a qualified member of the nursing team, too. Eventually my boss, who's lovely, popped in but I'd made the notes and completed the important stuff.

I know I'm young and naive and optimistic, but come on. 25 minutes extra for a patient's peace of mind? Hardly the end of the world, is it?

Monday, 26 November 2007

Free Speech and Fascism

Link link

Two of the biggest idiots have been invited to speak at a 'Free Speech' conference at Oxford University.

A lot of people think this is a bad idea. That it amounts to giving fascists a soapbox to the wider world. These people are on the wrong side.

The conference is not for them to air their views. It's concerned with free speech, which should be universal as long as it doesn't put lives in immediate danger.

Let's not forget President Whatshisface of Iran spoke at the University of Columbia (or was it Columbus? I can't be arsed researching) and looked like a bit of a prick by the end of it. A smug prick, but still a prick. It didn't really change the world, to tell the truth.

And neither is this. The only way it'll change the world remotely is if people made a song and dance about denying them attendance. They could moan they were being silenced by the liberal mainstream. Not that a bunch of Oxford toffs matter much, but it'd be a great PR stunt.

This way they get to join the debate and, most probably, get shown up as the idiots they are by much more talented and well informed debaters.

An old friend of mine mentioned it's fine for them to speak at the conference as long as the protests outside are supported, too. Free speech swings both ways, or it should do.

On the 'Complete Dickhead' front, joining the two above is our old mate Hugo Chavez who is actually acting like a petulant kid in terminating relations with various states that do something to piss him off. That's socialism, is it? Ha.

Did I mention...

I'm using this blog as something of a reflective diary, too?

Well, I'll have to edit it, but you get the idea.

A reflective diary is something us students are encouraged to keep in order to record, reflect and change our ways for the better.

Today my mentor and the practice placement coordinator, both of whom I get on with really well, weren't in. I was assigned to work with someone I'd never met before. They were not a nurse who didn't use English as a first language (which often makes things difficult, to be honest). Additionally they were not trained (or in my opinion suited) to handling a student nurse. I felt somewhat like a third wheel but endeavoured to try and help. Eventually I got the opportunity to leave my limited duties to attend Ward Round.

(Ward Rounds, much like in Scrubs, involves a big shot Doctor going around their patients with the few student doctors as well as Occupational Therapists and Physios talking about and to the patient. Occasionally they want a nurse's opinion, so someone should be there)

I think it's important to attend Rounds as a student. In this case I was the only member of the nursing team there, which was somewhat strange from my second week, but I believed I could handle it or I wouldn't have volunteered.

Anyway, that took a bit of time - and felt like time well spent, even if the Consultant wasn't really interested in what I had to say. After that I basically sat around the Nurse's Station for the rest of my shift, briefly running a few non-educational errands.

I did get to feed back information on some patients and the Ward Round during the handover to the late shift, which was valuable as an exercise for me, but still. I felt the lack of things for me to do for the late morning to afternoon was a bit of a waste for myself and for the ward.

What can I do about this, in hindsight? Well, with only a week of experience behind me I don't feel confident to act independently. Additionally it's against hospital policies. I am, then, somewhat at a loss at what I could do in the future. I rely on my mentor to lead my studies and if that's not being done then all I can do is sit back, read about neurological conditions and open the door now and again.

I wasn't working with my mentor which meant I wasn't assigned to the more independent patients who I can chat with. The patients my lead was taking care of suffer from speech problems, as well as various other communication issues, which means speaking to them is somewhat difficult and/or pointless.

I think today underlined the importance of trained mentors during placement, and the availability to shadow and study them.

Saturday, 24 November 2007


Patientline - if you're lucky enough to have never been in hospital for a long stay - is a company who provides a quite vulture-istic (I don't ever pretend to give a balanced arguement, unless blatantly stated. This isn't an A-Level essay I'm writing) service within British healthcare establishment.

"... provides communication services to patients and specialist medical services to hospitals via bedside systems.

Patientline is dedicated to making people’s stay in hospital easier by providing some of the entertainment and communication choices they enjoy at home.
The Patientline bedside console provides a personal phone and personal number, and the patient can choose just when and what they want to watch on television."

Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Basically they charge people to use the internet, phone line and TV, as well as selected 'games'. Call me old fashioned, but charging the weak reeks of American-like private healthcare. A lot of people talk about us sleepwalking towards such a state of affairs.

(Let's not even start talking about the price patient visitors are charged to park in hospitals, which is a quite ridiculous state of affairs with only a small part of the profits going back into hospital development.)

I'm sure an arguement from the proprietors of Patientline would argue it's an optional service and the people who 'opt out' (for opt out feel free to read 'can't afford it') do it on their own free will. But I've met patients who watched their money drip away day after day and became quite sad about it. Especially when other people are sat around you, watching their favourite programmes with their headphones on.

I just don't like it. I'm sure in America it'd probably be bundled in on a primo insurance package and that'd be just fine and dandy, but over here, until (and I mean until) we rely on what the Americans called 'socialised medicine'. I just can't swallow greedy companies nipping at the edges of the NHS, like bits of stale bread. They'll be having their fill soon enough, I fear.

Stricty Come Dancing and Football

Anyone who is devoted enough to watch Strictly Come Dancing will know that Aleysha is storming the boards recently, despite being possibly the most annoying girl in existence.

I'm more annoyed, though, by the way she's a cheat. Like Emma Bunton (who thankfully lost last year) she said she never did any dancing like the stuff on the show in her 'career'. Yeah, right.

It got me thinking about how Chelsea 'bought' the Premiership in the 05-06 season - which they did, let's be honest. It wasn't the fair thing to do, but got results.

Which, in turn, led to a reinforcement of my belief that it's a dog-eat-dog world. And like Banksy once said - some people are fluky enough to get headstarts.

Friday, 23 November 2007


So, another day, another something-or-other. 1% of my bursary earned, maybe.

Yesterday was awesome. I teamed up with a senior sister (Do I get to be called a sister when I'm promoted that high, I wonder?) after attending a very useful MDT (multi-disciplinary team) Meeting and nodding along for a while. In typical 'That's the kind of man I am' style I spoke up as an advocate for some of my patients. I either looked like a dickhead or quite brave, but I'll settle for looking like a brave dickhead.

The rest of the day just got better. I haven't met anyone on placement who didn't mind my constant curiosity, but the nurse I was working under yesterday revelled in it, so I plugged her for a lot of information. As something of a payback, I think, she encouraged me to get involved in the form of subcutaneous injections.

For the uninformed of you out there, a subcutaneous injection is a piece of piss, really. It goes to the deepest layer of the skin, rather than the quite difficult to hit vein or muscle. It's a superficial injection which means I can simply disperse itself around the body at it's leisure. More urgent treatments need the aforementioned vessel or muscle entry which means they act more quickly.

My first one was bizzare. You squeeze a roll of fat on a person and then push a sharp thing into their body. A singular experience. But after the hump of the first one, which apparently wasn't too painful, I went from strength to strength. Which pleases me.

So why am I posting now and not at work? Well. My shift has been moved from an early to a late. Which means I don't get to go out and get drunk tonight. But on the plus side, lates are more relaxed than earlies and I get to work with my mentor. Which is the whole point of this placement, so I can live with missing a few pints.

What else? Some of the stories of patients on my ward bring a tear to the eye of this cynic, I can tell you that much without revealing anything confidential. Really puts life into a new light - probably why I'm more willing to switch shifts and miss going out on the ale, I reckon. Something to think about.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

First Impressions

So, how am I finding things?

My time seemed to be no longer my own from Monday to Wednesday afternoon, which is to say I wasn't ready for the timing of my shifts one bit. After that slight stumbling block, I've had a pretty smooth journey - although if we're talking about my bike rides to and from hospital, especially in the rain, the word 'smooth' becomes a bit... well. Wrong.

To not divulge too many details I'm currently on placement at a ward dealing with brain injuries, which is a very challenging environment in several senses of the word. The senior nurse assigned to be my mentor hasn't been around for these first few days (I meet them properly on my imminent late shift) so I've been shadowing a recently qualified staff nurse, who, apart from having a much cooler uniform than me, is a very good person to learn from. I honestly thought I'd be watching and watching and watching a bit more, but I've been involved from my first shift pretty much, which feels like a good thing.

Personally, the biggest problem I've come up against is the inability to blag. That is to say I'm quite a confident sort of guy, all in all. And confidence is the older brother of blagging: pretending you know how to do something or about something when you really don't. Not only would attempting this on a ward be stupid due to my lack of knowledge, it'd be downright dangerous, so I don't and can't. That being said, I've had to change my style a little bit, but it's working well. Being open to learning and making mistakes is a pretty solid learning framework.

I've been gifted good patients, to be fair, which has helped. By the fickle phrase of 'good', in this case, I am referring to their levels of independence and therefore reliance on nursing care. I am very lucky to have given this less intense start to my placement, and at the risk of breaking down patients to easier to deal with qualities, it's helped me get my feet wet, so to speak.

So what else have I learned?

After one late and then one early shift, with 8 miles bike riding in between just for fun (I spend a tenner on bike lights so I look like a total safety loser mixed with someone off to a rave at 6 in the morning), I was left in an insatiable good mood with bags of energy - a trend I hope continues for a long time.

Working in healthcare is just as glamorous as I thought it'd be, i.e. not a huge amount. Ha. Only joking. I'm a total geek so getting to use complicated words and abbreviations just presses my buttons, sometimes. Plus you get to go on ward rounds, much like the popular American comedy Scrubs. Although rounds are not full of hilarious interns and cantankerous consultants, they're still fun. You get to laugh about doctors generally being silly and nurses being great, which is clearly always (Maybe not) the case.

The sense of well being is probably the best thing. Although effectively I'm not getting paid for this work, I actually feel good about the stuff I do, so far, as a 'job'. When someone asks me to do something menial I know it's actually for the good of a human being or two, and not to make some dickhead a little bit more profit, and so I do it gladly.

So. So far? So good. I hope the trend continues.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007


I'm tired and in between shifts, but actually having fun. More on my placement when I can be bothered.

As the title suggests, this post is just about Brown and the shit - no pun intended - he's chatting recently. In the House of Commons today he went on the same old diatribe about 'best economy in Europe'.


What he doesn't mention is that his 'Golden Rule' is a pile of bollocks and the only reason the economy is perceived as healthy is that the ridiculous amount of PFI (that's Private Finance Initiative) projects that he and now Darling (no Blackadder jokes, please) can keep off the balance sheet. PFI deals, if you didn't know, deliver finance and often buildings quickly, but cost a lot more in the long run in the form of rents on top of rents.

And the best thing is the Tories can't use this as an attack against Labour. Why? It was their idea. Tremendous.

Monday, 19 November 2007


I am not talking about the goblin-like cartoon character from 90s TV phone-in games, oh no. I am of course talking about Hugo Chavez, the sort of socialist leader of Venezuela. Watching a programme on him has reminded me of my intense problem with the entire situation.

He's a man who sort of helps the poor, which is admirable, for sure. But there are still people who die in the barrios of the country, and some of the people who don't die are 'protected' by armed men in balaclavas. While people die, or live through intimidation, the rich are getting richer - which is something I thought socialists stood against.

He manages his country like a dictator, with 'spontaneous' demonstrations in his honour, as well as taking over public TV stations for hours a week to spout thinly veiled propaganda.

Worst of all, he's installed his friends and family in government positions and his country is the 2nd most corrupt in the World. Even more so than Zimbabwe.

On top of all this his Bush-bashing is passée to the point of embarrassing. But that's something of a personal point of my own, I fear.

He talks about saving the poor - giving them free healthcare and education. And to some extent he's began to achieve this goal. But at what cost, I always wonder?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Light at the End of the Hangover

So this weekend is over, and I start in my unnamed hospital for my first placement on Monday. How terrifyingly excting.

This weekend was generally a good, if utterly overpriced, one. Although I have no-one to blame for that but myself. I got utterly wobbly on beer (which I still think is a good idea, all these binge-drinking-haters aside) and actually kissed a girl, which I also forgot how to do, I'm sure. One more month and the technique may have been replaced in my mind with some pop culture titbit.

Obviously, as my placement proceeds I will try to post more. I will, of course, be using pseudonyms and none of the names or anything anywhere near identifiable will be true in order to keep this legal and to defend people's rights of privacy.

Watch this space.

Friday, 16 November 2007


Going into details of what happened today would be fruitless, but the outline sounds quite funny. The day started with a tutor I've never met before making the judgement I wasn't suited to a career in nursing and ending with people giving me a massive round of applause.

She looked a bit pissed off, sitting in the stands. I did not. Ha.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Barry George

I have to say I'm glad that this man is going to get a retrial. If anyone deserves one, he does.

The fact that a man could be put in prison for such a massive crime on very little evidence is an actual sham. Obviously there's the issue of the tiny particle of gun powder in the jacket which was, rightfully, up for debate. On top of that there's the issue of witnesses actually describing a man completely different to BG at the scene, as well as the style of the murder. Dando's killer (and killing) was stone cold and professional, a feat that BG was debatably not physically or mentally capable of doing.

BG was slightly eccentric - that's a well known fact, really. He could act somewhat abnormally, for example the well touted fact he used to tell people he was Freddy Mercury's cousin. I can't help but fear the police (who are hardly trustworthy in modern times) have used this fact as a bit of a crutch, as they did with Stefan Kiszko, revealed in the recent conviction of the real murderer of Lesley Molseed.

I believe BG should be cleared in the retrial, but I fear the mystery of Dando's death may never be solved. As is life, I suppose.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Sexism Part 94

Sexism is something I'm faced with everyday, which isn't anything special for a human being, but I suppose I feel slightly different to the average man for the fact that I'm young and liberated, a student nurse and sometime pole dancer. Not really going with the flow.

Because of this, a lot of quite random things both amuse and annoy me.

Just two for tonight, as my hangover-ridden head isn't functioning as well as I'd like it to be.

In popular culture, I'm amuse-oyed by 'How To Look Good Naked'. The programme should (but doesn't) have the bracketted addition of 'If You're A Woman'. And, in fact, if you watch the advert, you could - although they won't (unless I got hold of a Genie's magic lamp) - add the phrase 'if you're a woman' after every single phrase.

So why does this affect me so? Well, the whole thing stinks of modern day sexism. It's dressed (no pun intended) up as healthy expression of sexuality (if you're a woman). But the message, if you look at it from the angle their PR gurus don't want you to from, can be remarkably different. I.e. Women want (or dare I say 'need'?) to look good and worry about how they look whilst men do not. An idea which fails being anywhere near fair by being both a generalisation and hugely sexist.

Stealthily or not the programme is unfortunately part of the spiral of reinforcement of sexism. The old girls-wear-pink-boys-wear-blue-boys-have-action-man-in-their-happy-meals-girls-have-barbies rubbish. And are things going to move on when people aren't challenging those attitudes? Doubtful.

My second point are my lovely lecturers. I'm running a league table currently of sexist fo-pars. I subtract one point from their scores. If they show actual regard for equal treatment of both genders, they get one.

Yeah, a couple are leading the table with 0 points. From then the minuses just cascade down. Great work in Higher Education. Or not.


Great points, as ever, from Unity over at the MoT.

Well worth a read, if only for the fact that feminists are taking this Tory bollocks seriously... Weird.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Rape: Politcal Football?

Picking up on 'Call Me Dave' Cameron's recent statement in the news today, I became very annoyed.

I had a good chat with a friend of mine more in the know than me, but my views stayed mostly the same.

'Call Me' is calling for tougher rape laws and convictions.

Link, in case you're interested

He also mentions more rape centres, better sex education stuff like that. All good things. The country needs more support for the quite evil crime of rape. He then, however, goes back to this same old yawn-fest of 'moral collapse' and 'the sexualisation' of the modern day. Aside from the fact that this is sort of shite usually trotted out by Christians, it ruins his original point.

He's trotting out the same old Conservatism in new, hip-looking language. Increased sex education is a fantastic idea - but as my friend pointed out - what kind of sex education do you think the Tories will want to be given? Will it say 'Sex is great, have it with who you want and make sure both of you consent?' or rather, will it say 'Sex is best in marriage. Get married. Being married is great. Did we mention marriage is amazing?'. Exactly.

Cameron has tried to move his party's image away from traditional Conservatism, but the new would-be legislation including these ideas as well as tax breaks for married couples and the rest of their bullshit. Lest us not forget that rape within marriage has only recently (1991, for fuck's sake) became a crime. Whether attitudes have changed in time with the law is up for debate, but the Tories would love to push us back to this period of marriage above all. As things were perfect back then. Completely. Erm...

In the same way you can argue Brown/Blairites have done very little to help rape victims, being more concerned with trotting out rhetoric and political jargon. Hence the title of this entry - nobody is doing enough.

So, is changing rape laws as easy as Cameron makes it sound? Well, changing the laws (despite the fact that the Tories have veto-ed some of the measures to help rape victims) isn't a big problem, being mainly legislation. Changing people's opinions, however, is an altogether different animal.

It's a sad, but quite reasonable fact, that some rape victims either never had trust in the police. Others had a bit of trust which can be whittled away by poor treatment from the police. Most of the sources available to read are anonymous, anecdotal accounts, but the statistics of possible unreported rape seem to back up these opinions. If victims of this crime are not confident in reporting it to the police, this sets an unnerving precedent.

The views of the police are related to the public view of rape, of course, and Dave goes on to make the point that society is 'okaying' rape by 'sexualising' women. This is a tired old line, but one of his points was that young men thought forcing women to have sex was okay in some situations. He quoted an Amnesty International survey to back this up (I'd be interested to see how the survey collecting it's data but that's neither here nor there).

I sort of agree with this point, to a point. I think rape is still regarded as an horrific crime, however some people try to change the wording and take away from the seriousness in some cases - the 'she was gagging for it' defence. This kind of defence muddies the water and helps some people justify their actions, unfortunately.

This 'gagging for it' defence has a large effect on rape within the Judicial System. A lot of rape cases come down to one person's word against another's. Drink being involved only adds confusion to the case.

There's also the concept of people accusing people they've slept with of rape when rape didn't actually happen. Sex can be regrettable and it's a sad fact that some people accuse other people of rape falsely. I believe false accusations of rape should be dealt with to the full extent of the law - although it's clear this subject is a tricky one.

So, when a rape case is simply one person's word against that of another... I wouldn't want to be a juror or judge in a case like that, personally. One person says rape, one says consensual sex. Who is to believed if justice is to prevail?

Friday, 2 November 2007

A quick link

To this blog and the sterling work Sofie Buckland is doing against the right wing, red tapists of the NUS.

The work of the NUS is hardly something that needs to be critiqued frequently, and Sofie - connected to Education Not For Sale (who originally introduced me to Universities and the Arms Trade) - do a great job of doing so.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Universities and the Arms Trade

Today I was witness to something that annoyed me. No different to any other day, really, but this time I felt like bringing it up here.

A course-mate of mine was lamenting the expensive prices of parking and food at University and how it was 'unfair'. I managed to maintain a semblance of non-anger and went on to try and point out the main issue.

That is, of course, our old friend Capitalism.

I asked them why they thought things were expensive. With no actual answer forthcoming, I have a brief description of Universities as altruistic organisations. I.e. They're not.

Depending on your level of involvement in UK politics there are several issues you may be aware of. The most public issue is probably that of top-up fees. More money from students supposedly funding education of a higher calibre.

However, if you're a little more involved in politics you may be aware of lecturer protests, walk outs and strikes over the last few years. The conditions which the lecturers protested over have not changed and there are few real plans for them to change, so what is this extra money for?

Certainly not to pay lecturers.

No, Universities are monetary beings like any company or business in this country. They want to make money to invest in themselves - for research projects which could lead to prototypes which could be sold, for example. This investment, in a perfect world, leads to more money and more investment.

But they do not, of course, always invest it in themselves to make money.

I became aware of this little issue a few years ago, and it's irked me ever since. Don't get me wrong - weapons are a fact of life. Violence and conflict happen all over the world and most people want to be equipped with the finest killing machines they can afford. Sort of ups the chance of victory.

But the fact that Universities are getting extra cash from students and, effectively, pumping part of it into arms companies to make more money to pay the lavish salaries of Vice Chancellors just doesn't sit right with me.

Of course I didn't go into this detail with them. They couldn't get over the fact they had to pay 4 pound for a pork chop and chips.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Nursing, Blogging and Hypocrisy

These things are sort-of linked, sort-of independent, but I decided to write one big entry for them all.

Blogging, first. Or rather Facebooking, which I'm sure should become a word soon, the amount of time people spend on it.

We were informed some nursing students had been using foul language on Facebook to talk about their courses. How someone would go about this I'm not sure. Wall posts? Posted items?

Anyway, one of our tutors said they would be taking it up with the NMC (Which is why I'm glad I'm anonymous on this thing, not that I'd use bad language about my course, of course...) which was a bit weird. Maybe they think effing and blinding is pushing freedom of speech a bit too far.

So that was funny. Which made me think more about nursing, and how perhaps big wigs don't want the public to hear misery. Which is fair enough, in a way, but also a bit ridiculous in the censorship sense, I suppose.

One of my tutors, who is a bit of a legend (but mid-table on the sexism front) was talking about behaviour within the NHS and basically how you should never lie down and take the treatment doled out from management. Always fill in a form, always cause a fuss is something is wrong. I like it.

Now, hypocrisy.

"Shared values".

I think Kim is saying a lot more than he meant.

These two countries do share both a love of money and oppression, I'll give him that. This country wants to kill terrorists and Saudi Arabia wants to murder them, or people like them. And frequently does. But that's where a great deal of "shared values" end.

Given that Saudi Arabia has had several damning reports into it's human rights reports I think the Government even attempting to pull wool over our eyes is slightly humorous if not downright offensive.

I may actually vote for the Lib Dems if they keep doing things like Vince Cable has done, i.e. refused to meet with the King or whoever out of protest. ..

Now, before any cynics tell me that the country - realistically - needs links to Saudi Arabia I'll just point out that I'm well aware of this unfortunate point. It doesn't mean I have to like it. And it doesn't mean that the government should lie about it.

Or, in fact, bend the rules of British and International law to quash any investigation into the corrupt BAE sales of military equipment. Maybe these "shared values" extend to corruption just to make a big pile of money. Both countries love to do that...

Tuesday, 25 September 2007


Yes. I actually learnt something (about biology, obviously) today. Which is good, in my book.

But on the negative side I've had my eyes opened to more pitfalls and downsides of my chosen career path.

Nursing is in a state of flux. To use the term 'is' is perhaps wrong as it seems to insinuate that it hasn't always been, which is has, in one way or another. But now is important to me, so that's what I'm talking about.

Articles and anecdotes tell us that there are some nurses out there who plain don't care. This is a bit of a tragedy, but hardly surprising. Public servants have become more tied down by paperwork, depending who you listen to. Paperwork is a blanket term but covers the problem rather nicely.

So, why do we have paperwork? Well, a personal bugbear of mine is this new, American-style sue-culture. Paperwork was created in response to this, in my experience. The sue-culture lead to accountability, and accountability can only be recorded through paperwork.

So that is a very simple way of explaining the root of the problem. It's the same sort of issue for the police. Paperwork Vs Accountability Vs Modern Life.

The Daily Mail routinely trots out the old 'Paperwork takes Bobbies Off the Beat' rhetoric, but through the repeated headline-grabbing-soundbytes there is a grain of truth. Paperwork has became a problem for many important public servants.

On the front of nursing, the problem is not simply paper. Other forms of red tape have been introduced in response to accountability by the giant, hairy monster that is 'Management'. This is adds up to nurses becoming occupied with arguably less important duties, leaving less time for actual caring.

I, personally, am prepared for such hilarity before my first placement. Nursing is hard work - it always has been and always will be. The reasons it has been hard have changed over time, but that's all in line with the changing world we live in.

Any nurses who have recently qualified who aren't prepared for the rigours of red tape and paperwork are, at best, naive. At worst, well... I don't want to be horrible.

Older nurses who have felt it coming over the last decade, perhaps more, have had a choice to make, in my opinion. Either they stay a job which they seem to hold in disdain because of the avalanche of bureaucracy and let patient care suffer, quit the job to go onto something which doesn't involve paperwork (Like what, I wonder?) or just get on with it. From what I've heard and experienced the first of these three is an unfortunately well prescribed choice of path.

In the first few weeks in training, the word 'care' has probably been the most used. I get the impression if you stop actually caring then you have no reason to be a nurse. Why even a small number of nurses - young and old - decide to pursue this course of action mystifies me.

Throughout my working life there have been many occasions when I've thought - or even said: "Not mah problem, luv". And I've laughed about it, or even quite sadistically enjoyed the experience. Because customers can be stupid, plain and simple (I meant the last two as the expression, but it sort of counts, too).

Patients (or clients, as the NHS seems to be leaning towards calling them) are often stressed, scared and distressed. I'm a critical sort of boy, but even in my book this gives them a little leeway when it comes to being a bit stupid.

In the same vein, being a nurse isn't like working behind a till a bar. Life, health and well-being are at stake, rather than... Well, a frozen steak or a spilled pint. Some die hard capitalists might want to argue with me, but I think that's a mostly true statement. When I worked in a well known computer games store I was head of PC Games. If someone asked me about XBox games, then, I would sometimes just shrug it off and half-heartedly explain: "'s not my area, mate,".

You read and may have even experienced nurses doing the same thing. 'Pillows? Not my problem.' 'Oh, I don't handle IVs, sorry.' This kind of attitude within the retail or service sector is regrettable and in a perfect world it wouldn't happen, but it's not the end of the world. The difference in the retail world is that, generally, you're selling something the public wants. And they're probably going to buy it from you, all things considered.

When it comes to nursing, though, this sort of attitude is despicable. It goes against anything and everything nursing stands for. To use the retail analogy, nursing (in itself and as a small part of the greater healthcare pie) is not about the end product. If you wait a while at a bar and get a pint with too much head (ooh er) you're probably going to shrug and get over it. Maybe get served by a different barkeep next time if possible, or - at an extreme - go to another pub. You wanted a pint. You got a pint. It's that simple. Nursing is more about the journey of a patient. In a large slice of occassions, nurses rarely ride in on a white charger and save someone's life. Depending where you're working in a hospital or in the community a nurse is more likely to refer a patient to a specialism or specialised department to 'cure' a patient. As mentioned, though, there is a journey from the moment a patient walks into a hospital to the second they leave - and often afterwards. It's the nurses' job to care for the patient throughout this journey.

Continuity is important, for sure, but the care is much more so. The pint example is a funny one, as there is no real place for the nurse and caring in that experience. You could perhaps chat to the customer as you pull it, giving a quick check on their personal well being, but it's not really the same. Identically, there is often no end product when it comes to nursing. Sometimes a nurse may hand over drugs to a patient, yes, but whereas a customer pops to the bar specially for a drink, most patients do not look for nurses specifically for drugs. Or any other sort of 'official' duty. The care should be of paramount importance, and as soon as staff start forgetting this you know they're in trouble. But still it happens.

Nursing is hard. As mentioned, the reasons for this difficulty may have changed, but the difficulty itself has not. Anybody going into this life choice thinking it will be anything less than hard is in for a shock - and may be part of the 8% drop out rate. Some girls on my course are shocked they're unable to take holidays inside of the academic year. If that's the worst surprise in store for them through these three years I'd count them as lucky.

Go in with eyes open, then. If you're already in and have been worn down by paperwork, red tape or any other modern evils, then do something about it. Get off the pot or piss in it, I say. Don't let the care, and by definition, the patient suffer because of it. Otherwise, what's the point?

(Additionally, thanks to Unity (over at: for my shiny new banner. Follow the link to get one for yourself.)

Saturday, 22 September 2007

New Experiences

Last night a friend and I headed to a decidedly metal/rock styled bar. No surprise, there. Pretty much uber-ordinary, actually. It had good reviews and we wanted to give it a try in this wonderful city.

But no. It was awful. Ridiculously so.

So, we decided to hit a couple of gay bars. We wanted to dance and not be surrounded by scallywags, so the gay scene is a pretty solid one for doing both those things at once.

Quite randomly, we walked into a lesbian bar in the middle of the predominantly gay area. And it was quite amazing. Although my friend felt a little bit awkward, from the admittedly new and strange situation she was placed in, she admitted it was a lot better than being stared at like a piece of meat, i.e. the unfortunate behaviour of some heterosexual males.

I reciprocated the feeling as much as a man can. I'm straight, but relatively unconventional. A pole dancing, male nurse. Need I say more? Whereas in a typical 'straight' nightclub there is a, in my experience, huge onus on boys chasing girls there was no such feeling in this establishment so there was more time to dance and laugh and other such goodness.

I mean, sometimes you just want to go out and drink and have a dance - a good time. But some men - and I'm sure some women - think a night is lacking a certain something without trying overtly or covertly to woo the opposite sex. This is fun, of course, but I can't help but feel it has a bit too much sway in some circles. Again, only in my experience, but that's what counts to me.

So, last night was a very enjoyable one. With popular dance tunes, a top class atmosphere and nothing to do but boogie. And politely fend off one or two gay advances, but that's just part of the experience, sometimes.

Good times.

Friday, 21 September 2007


I'm coming out in support of the two PCSOs who didn't dive in to 'save' the kids who jumped into that lake in Wigan.

Recently, I've been told I'm not allowed to wear my uniform coming to and from University or placement. I thought this was for some stuffy old traditional reasoning and in part it is. I was also logically informed that it had something to do with cross infection, which is very sensible.

However, the main reason is accountability. I'm in training right now. We were warned, quite starkly, in fact, that if someone had a heart attack and a desperate relative asked me to help and the man or woman in question died that I could be sued.

I can't remember when this country became America, but it certainly has.

Accountability is now a watch word for all public servants. One of the reasons I got into nursing was to help people. But if some piece of slime is going to try and take me into a courtroom because I couldn't save a life, then I'm not going to do it.

Firstly - no shit, Sherlock - PCSOs aren't fully trained police officers. I know. It's shocking. But they're not. The Police Federation have always said PCSOs are a bad idea when replacing PCs, but the government doesn't really care. PCSOs are cheaper to train and pay than PCs and so it looks like the government is getting more uniforms on the street.

They're not trained. And in the same vein, they do not have the same rights or protection afforded to PCs, because... they're not PCs.

So whereas a PC has both the training to jump into an unknown body of water, as well as the legal protection if something goes wrong, a PCSO does not. The PCSOs in question followed procedure perfectly. The romantic notion of a maverick cop breaking the rules is fine and dandy in Hollywood, but Max Payne or Dirty Harry never had the red-tape-wielding, lily-livered bean counters otherwise known as the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) ready to run them out of a job or an entire living. Recent police media-portrayed 'blunders' have forced the force to do things by the book. The media, nor the public which supports it, shouldn't cry when they reap their own whirlwind.

Even in three years, once my training is fully realised, maybe my mind will change. An off-duty nurse saved the life of my dad, once, and I like to think if she hadn't been able to I wouldn't have taken her through a legal battle.

It's a pity everyone isn't like that.

Monday, 10 September 2007

"Things Are Really Getting Better..."

So, homesickness is over. This is in part thanks my two best friends, part due to Manchester and part due to importing more of my crap into this lovely room, which I may get pictures up of soon.

I think the point I really knew things were going to get better was when I came home from a few drinks with a friend and I thought 'It's good to be home'. That was a turning point and it's got better since then, really.

Lots of walking around since then. And plenty of friend-based giggles have reminded me how good it is to be here, even if I haven't made any friends in the sparsely occupied tower block I live in.

I bought my uniform today. It's a bit baggy, but I'm told it's supposed to be large. That was fun. The big A and I made jokes in the uniform shop, which was a really dull place, but they weren't appreciated. Hmph.

We then went out to buy female pyjama bottoms. There is a recent fashion of 'boyfriend clothes'. Like shirts in a man's style but cut for a woman. So we decided to turn this on it's head. There glittery trousers I'm wearing are actually quite flattering, I must say...

So yes. Things are getting better. Although I'm exhausted and my new bed isn't fantastic for my back, it's nice to have a night in. Which I actually hope will happen. There are hints of a night out on the horizon and I hope I can avoid it. I'm down to just over a tonne, after buying my uniform, so money saving is a priority. Although my University will pay for my uniform reterospectively, I might not see that 60 squid for a while.

Live to your limits, that's what I say.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Homesickness and New Beginnings

So, despite this blog having been half-arsed-around for a while, I'm actually due to start my course soon. And actually train as a nurse, which was the original point of it.

So, yesterday I moved to University. I got in early, on the first possible day, and once I'd unpacked my basics I was somewhat bored. Two of my best friends live or lived here so they were around to make me feel welcome. We got drunk and stayed out until 5am and took silly pictures and it was better than I'd imagined it could've been.

But now I'm under siege by homesickness. It's only really myself and the international students here now, you see, and my flatmate isn't in that often - and is older and seems a bit quiet - so I'm on my own. And it's making me weep for no apparent reason.

This isn't the first time I've lived away from home. It is, in fact, not my first stint of Further Education. And yet today feels worse than when I was 18. By this time, my first time around, I'd already made two mates and had a drinking session with them to look forward to. I mean, I remember crying when I realised I was all on my own, but meeting people naturally changed that. Given I'm a 'mature' - ha! - student I'm not with the new freshers and so I'm not going to meet people in the same way. That, on top of the fact that I've moved in early, means I might not meet new people soon. And my mates in the City are all well and good, but live miles away.

No man is an island, obviously, and right now I feel so isolated. It's a bit pathetic, really. But thanks to the aforementioned night out, I've had 3 hours sleep. So I just haven't the energy to fight and be positive. I almost broke down in tears in Tesco, which is unfortunately the only real supermarket nearby. I managed to hold off on the short walk back until I got through my new room before it got to me. I cried and cried until I didn't have anything left. Then I cried some more. Sometimes, I find I need a bit of a stress release whinge, but I've found it hard to stop. I rang my mum, as I was out drinking when she called me yesterday, and I found myself overcome. Thankfully, I managed to tell her I'd be home tomorrow to eat dinner and pick up more of my belongings tomorrow before I had to take my snivelling self away from the phone.

I honestly hate feeling like this. It's not me. And usually I cry, consider and move on. But thanks to fatigue and a major hangover, I just can't seem to stop it.

Other than that, the new beginnings aren't looking too shabby. I like the city I'm in, which is close enough to home for me to head back for whatever reason. My room is big because I'm only sharing the flat with one, instead of the maxiumum of three. One of my best friends has given me a bunch of books from her mum's Diploma, so I have free literature, which I always appreciate. On the plus side this room has a recreation room. On the down side there are no video games. Just bandits. Darn it. I haven't money to lose!

I'd like to meet people soon. I don't want to live the crazy life of a kid who's never been away from home before, as a choice, but in the same way it doesn't mean I don't want to meet some of them and buy cheap ale from a student union. You can't have your cake and eat it, sure, but I'd still like to.

I wish my TV was here, too. I hate being addicted, but I like the news, and the noise, and other N words.

As for people, you might be wondering why I just don't go out and meet some. Problem is, not all new students are here, yet. There are the previously mentioned internationals and then returners. There aren't a huge number of internationals about and I don't want to be an annoying newbie trying to be cool and attatch myself to a collection of 2nd or 3rd years. That's sad.

So it's a bit of a waiting game. Back during my degree there wasn't a large move-in-period. Instead there was one weekend to move in. On each of those nights your sub-Warden, a 2nd or 3rd year responsible for your block, would take you upto the bar with the rest of your house.

Of course, that was a delightful little country campus and this is a city one. But the point still stands. It'd be nice if someone was responsible for this entire floor and got us all together. I'd forget about stupid homesickness then.

I think the main point of this whole string of thought is that I should be used to this. Which, thinking about it properly, is bollocks. I lived away from home for four years, yes, but the second, third and forth were with people I know. There are none of this. And between those years I was only home for a couple of months. So essentially I've only been in this situation once before. And I was lucky to be living with some like minded boys and then ply myself with drink in their company.

So, this is the second time. The last year I've been at home, living in cramped, but really quite luxurious conditions in the fact that I had everything I needed and my mum would cook. Now I'm on my own, in a strange-ish city, hungry and filled with trepidation. It's awful, but so was my first time. Even after meeting the boys, homesickness didn't dissapear. I remember, as we were in the middle of nowhere and I didn't bring any food, being starved, searching for something - anything - to eat on a Sunday. It was a bit of an adventure, but still scary and horrid. I hope this sadness passes just as successfully.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Anorexia and Bulimia (Part One)

Re: The BBC Online Magazine's recent article on pro-ana, pro-mia and 'thinspiration' websites, I thought I'd share some thoughts.

I ran into 'Thinspiration' maybe a year back now, and was immediately made sick at the sight of it. From an aesthetic point of view more than anything. Other than this visceral reaction, I started to think about with less passion and more... logic, I suppose. Combined with my ever useful Psychology A-Level.

One of the biggest myths about Eating Disorders (EDs) is that they're linked to the Size Zero trend within society, as well as tiny models in general, i.e. it's a model problem. This can be seen as something of a fallacy from certain points of view, as EDs have increased over the last 30-40 years, rather than the last 10 or 20 where modelling and the like have been in the spotlight. It's a lie that EDs are a female only problem, as they effect both genders. Another fallacy is that EDs are a mainly Western phenomenon, but EDs effect men and women from different cultures throughout the world.

However, it certainly has a lot to do with your point of view. UK statistics tell us a rather definite view. The MAJORITY of sufferers are females, from age 14-25. As previously mentioned, statistic are anything but complete. Not all cases are reported to the NHS, and so these figures are something of a messy area.

The main thrust of the BBC's article rests on the dangers (yawn) of the internet, but the article - and the commenters at the bottom of the page - points out that the internet hasn't really encouraged pro-ana attitudes, but just given them a different outlet.

Like terrorism and extreme facsist views, I tend believe that monitoring and not censoring pro-ana groups within Facebook etc. is the way to go. I'm of this opinion for two reasons, really. One is that I don't really care about the type of girl who subscribe to this 'thinspiration' rubbish. The second reason is that girls hanging around this kind of website leave clues for their - hopefully - lovely friends to catch them out and give or get them some help or support.

As for the causes... well, it's a relatively unknown area. First off, there are so many cases which don't get reported because of shame or some other reason, so from a certain point of view there's insufficient data to put a theory together.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Crime and Punishment (or lack of)

So my car got flipped over again last night, one of three on our road. And is possibly mortally damaged - either that, or it will mortally damage my wallet. And, despite the fact that we're 'Living In a Police State' there are no cameras and these 'young people' get away scott free. Again.

So, my wonderance is - where is the punishment? And what's the moral to these folk? Because the world seems to be saying you can get away with things, generally.

If the leaders of Liberty and their friends lived in rough areas, would they still be so touchy feely with gangs of young men who damage their property and scare local people? Would they still argue that they have human rights and are poor and underprivileged and deserve a break?

I don't think so.

I imagined killing them in several different ways. Bludgeoning is a good one. Or hanging them whilst broadcasting the whole event on the internet. Come on. This isn't Oliver-style 'I-stole-some-bread-to-feed-my-family-guv'nor' bullshit. This is just crime.

I've decided that, way in the future when it's possible, the perfect punishment would be to take over the brains of these youngsters and put them in the Matrix. Separate them from their friends. Put them into the body of a 91 year old woman living alone in their home borough. And then see how they like it.

I'm all for an eye for an eye. Compared to today's system which seems to be 'You take an eye and we'll... well.... get in a huff but not really do anything about it'.

Maybe we could put them on a control order and they could walk off. That might work.

When Roy has requested offroad parking for our new house, I was sceptical at first. But now it's a bit of a must.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Double Standards/Equality

Picture the scene. A guy has been downing brandy. Gets thrown out of a nightclub for lewdness. Commits criminal damage on someone else's property. Gets caught by the police. Resists arrest, including trying to injure a PC in his delicate bits. The PC uses force to protect himself and subdue the already proven to be dangerous and violent suspect.

How's that sound?

A month ago I saw a violent male suspect treated like this by the police. Quite fair, I think.

But suddenly, you replace the male suspect with a female one and it's a fucking national emergency. In this day and age, with cracked glass ceilings and everything else... you.... NO! You can't *hit* a *girl*. (Let's be honest-like. If he wanted to hurt her, he could've used that handy baton of his)

It pisses me of royally. Girls general like Equality (and I capitalise that on purpose, as it seems to be one of those Big Ideas) on their terms. This sort of thing happens frequently over the country. It's an unfortunate part of keeping the peace. The media acts as if the job of a policeman is as easy as being a hack behind a desk. It's not.

If I was a woman, I'd be offended by the whole thing. It's this sort of stigma that holds women back. But when some want equality on their own terms, it's little wonder.

Saturday, 3 March 2007


I'm a Liverpool fan. That's another sly hint about my identity. So, being a Liverpool fan, I'm relatively upset at an entire team would have 20 shots on goal and can't score one of them (well, can score one but it gets disallowed. Still, 1 out of 20 attempts going in? Not the best stats). Sitting in a room full of such passionate (male) fans watching people let them down is quite sad.

I say fan and not supporter. I never give Liverpool any of my money, so I can't really complain I'm not getting good value for it. Mwahaha.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

As a follow on...

I believe one of the major causes of such inequality in release of emotion stems from our old friend consumerism. You watch a random group of adverts and, unless you're viewing a break in the middle of something primarily watched by men (again, half-time in some sports event for example) the adverts are mostly aimed at the females of the population.

The events aimed at the male demographic advocate traditional manliness (boys wear blue, girls wear pink) and competitiveness. Men are bombarded with so many messages of what is 'feminine', and therefore not for them.

Haircare (dyes, styling etc.) - These ads generally emphasise the importance of exterior beauty with lots of thin girls shaking their shiny hair around the place. Haircare adverts aimed at men are quite scarce. I remember a tongue-in-cheek one with Ben Affleck a few years ago were he finished with "Because you're worth it, too". Very cute.

Alas, that advert (like others aimed at men) was advertising anti-dandruff shampoo. Which is more aimed at not looking stupid than looking fantastic. Adverts like the Herbal Essences ones are seldom aimed at men. From these adverts it's easy to see why men don't feet on an equal footing with the ladies, and lots of them shy away from vanity.

V05 has recently broke this mould with their styling clay/gum/whatever ad, with the boy and girl in the strict Chinese school. Now, I use this product. It's great. However, the main issue with this advert is that it shows both a male and a female, so it's not really tipping the system on it's head. Just halfway around.

Health/Weight Loss: The same gig here. There's those Shredded Wheat adverts with Ian Botham, but they're more for old men who want to keep their heart ticking. The latest SW ad I've seen is a bunch of women saying how the simplicity of BitesizeShreddedWheat will help them keep their weight down.

There's never been a Special K man (that's a job I'd love. Wearing some red shorts, jumping into a swimming pool...).

The Coke Zero [bloke Coke, as some call it] adverts didn't really concentrate on the weight-loss aspect, whilst generally the Diet Coke ad campaigns press this aspect.

Fuck, if men took notice of the adverts it turns out we're allowed to like Mars Bars (women are too) but not allowed Malteasers.

The new Kinder Bueno advert emphasises the fact that it's low in fat and so girls can eat them quite freely. The only man involved if an attractive beau who bends over for their pleasure (again, why I don't get called for these roles I'll never know).

The Rustlers (unhealthy food - fast!) adverts are aimed at men. Most adverts selling alcohol are aimed at men.

In short, women are told to lose weight (I am not saying this is a good thing) while men don't face any such scrutiny. It'd be better if living healthy was stressed to both sexes, you ask me.

I could pluck more categories out of the media-sphere, but it'd take forever and be a bit like overkill. My point is that while women are offered a wide range of products in many different adverts (although, as Banksy says, most of them are telling women to buy their product or be inferior) men are sold a smaller range of products using either sex (tits) or competition (have a faster/better/more powerful/more expensive car/piece of clothing/CD/piece of electronic equipment than your mate) as the hard sells.

It's little wonder their behavior never changes.