Musings arguments and gig reports from your favourite Goth lesbian transsexual vegan recovering alcoholic and drug addict sceptic rationalist atheist comedian chameleon and caricature.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Every Junkie's like a Setting Sun.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has suggested that the UK Government should tighten up the existing drugs laws so that designer drugs are automatically banned, rather than the current system where individual drugs have to be banned one at a time, the process takes so long that usually by the time that it's illegal to buy a designer drug, a new and slightly different chemical that produces very similar effects is out on the market.

So far so sensible right?

Well it would be if prohibition worked.  Which it doesn't, and never has done, and in fact often makes the problems associated much much worse.

At no point when I was using drugs did the fact that they were illegal deter me, if anything they added to the thrill, the sense of community I got with other users and addicts, that we were in this together, that we were outlaws, ploughing our own furrow living our own life outside of society.

Laughing and pointing at the people who got up on a Monday morning and went to work all week who at the weekend did the shopping, took the kids to the park and on a Sunday washed the car.  They were mugs!  They didn't know the pleasure of getting off your tits on a Friday and partying through until Sunday tea time.  Working as a means to an end, as my friends and I explored exactly how far we could take the party.

Monday, 24 October 2011

What do you think I'd see, if I could walk away from me.

Yesterday I placed 96th in the Independent on Sunday's Pink list of the top 100 most influential LGBT people in the UK.  As I understand it this means I now get to tell anyone who identifies as LGB or T who is further down the list, or not on the list at all what to do.  I think this makes me some sort of Colonel for the Gays, and definitely a General in the Trans Army, this along with my title of Political Correctness Brigadier makes me one of the most highly decorated sexual minorities in the pigeon hole (not a euphemism).

The truth is of course I'm probably not even the most influential LGBT person in my own head.  That honour goes to Ian McKellen who voices my internal monologue.  But of course that's just one of the perks of being on the list, he'll do that for you.  I hear Mary Portas has Frances Faye doing hers, and George Michael has Stephen Fry.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

It gets better, but not quite in the right aspect ratio

Here's an it gets better video.  I'm a idiot and got the camera on my phone wrong so this is a very squished up video, but I didn't want to go back and redo it.   Also the freeze frame it's got kind of makes me look weird.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Don't put your daughter on the stage Mrs Worthington...

"Comedy is thus the very opposite of shame: shame endeavors to maintain the veil, while comedy relies on the gesture of unveiling." Zizek

Forgive me Blogspot for I have sinned, It's been 5 months since my last blog post.  A lot's happened I moved out of my lovely little flat and moved in to a room in a shared house with a garden and a trampoline.  I've started cycling and getting treatment for my anxiety and depression and I'm actively taking part in my recovery from my various addictions, accepting life on life's terms etc.

Basically, I'm happy.  BOOO HISSS! And this has had a negative impact on my comedy writing.  It's hard to be funny when you love everything.  Well unless you're Pat Monahan and I suspect he's hiding a dark secret, no one can be that happy all the time.

But the reason I've decided to start back with this blog in particular is because I keep getting dragged in to an argument on twitter, an argument with people who ostensibly are attempting to fight my corner, but in reality do not understand the industry I work in at all and are making up "facts" to fit their views, not looking at what actually happens and trying to alter it at that level.

I now know how corporate finance executives trying to explain credit default swaps to non industry people must feel like.

Basically Mock the Week has come under fire for being sexist, not in it's content, but in the number of panel members who are female, where their guests are roughly 18% female.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Sex and drugs and sausage rolls.

Getting my life back on track seems to be going well, I'm back working hard gigging hard and playing hard.

On Saturday night I was in Leeds in a place where they really know how to market well, Tiger Tiger, which is right next door to an all night Greggs the bakers.  When I was there a few months ago I was informed by one of the bouncers there that he'd seen that evening a couple turn up, take it in turns to go inside and get pissed whilst the other stood outside smoking and minding the pushchair replete with baby and sausage roll sticking out the front of it's chubby face.

I do believe that one of the bouncers also works as a bouncer for that Greggs, at least he's not supposed to but he does it for free pies.

A friend of mine today told me that he and his partner are having a baby and I've been grinning from ear to ear about it ever since.  It's only the second time that a good friend has started a family, the other one I knew that they were trying for a while before she got pregnant so that robbed the moment of being told of some of it's majesty.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

What do I do now?

It's been a strange old week, last week I was in London for most of it and enjoying myself stopping over with my friend Tat.  She's got a lovely place in Hackney and I got to stop there for a few days, wander round London Fields and discover that it's true what they say, in London you're never more than 6 feet away from a twat.

Saturday evening I headed back up north, my last minute search for gigs had been unfruitful and I was going to be spending a Saturday night off So I headed to my sister's house where I'm currently in residence on her couch.

The next day She went off to Chester for the day and was stopping over so I was on my own in the house.  I don't deal with prolonged periods of being on my own very well.  I have got a lot better, it's part of the addict in me that I don't trust myself on my own, when I'm on my own it has always appeared, I'm in bad company.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

no offence

Offence is easy to cause, often we do it without even thinking about it.  Sometimes we can brush it off without thinking too much about it.  "What someone I don't know thinks that something I did without realising was offensive?  Fuck 'em!"  Other times it's more difficult.

Today I managed to cause offence to someone I really liked via the medium of the internet and she blocked me before I had a chance to explain.  The internet makes us all autistic, it removes context and nuance from our words, often I've found myself getting really angry at something that someone's said to me on an internet forum and told a third party what they've said and the third party has responded "That's only horrible with the intonation you've given that.  Read it in a silly or daft voice or as if they're being sycophantic and then think about it?"

To which I always fly into a rage and tell them they don't know what it's like and then flounce out, before realising that I'm being unreasonable and then flouncing back in to apologise.

T'was ever thus.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Privacy on parade

It's an interesting time for me at the moment, I'm newly single and not too happy about it, but time moves on and I'm sure I'll feel better soon enough and be ready to move on with my life.

To be honest I'm quite excited about all the opportunities that this brings, the end of a relationship is a time to reinvent, to reassess who you are and what you're about.  See if any of those opinions you held so strongly have changed or if you were holding on to them because you thought you should cling to some unchangeable truths.

I'm fairly sure that I've done some of that, I'm stil trying to overcome the fact that I can be massively co-dependent, and trying to balance that with being a good partner who's helpful and kind without being too helpful and kind and making myself indesposable would be a good thing.

One thing has changed this time though and I think it's a testament to my mental health getting so much better, my opinion has changed on being dumped.

I use to say to partners, "if you ever leave me, please leave me for someone else."  People always thought this was weird, that it's far worse to be dumped for someone else than just dumped because there's the extra level of betrayal.

I never understood that, but that's partly because I always though that there's nothing worse than being on your own, so at least if you get dumped for someone else there's a reason;  they want to be with someone else.

Whereas, if you get dumped and they're not leaving you for someone else it means that they'd rather be alone than go out with you.   And that's much much worse.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Glass houses

Nadine Dorries.   It's hard to know where to begin.  She's got a safe Tory seat, and more and more she seems to be trying to position herself as the UK's Sarah Palin.

She does a bullshit blog in which she makes up 75% she says (though this may be an elaborate ruse to get people to think that her massively delusional bollocks is just her messing around and not the sulphurous brain farts of a clueless idiot.)

And she's passed a 10 minute bill on teaching sexual abstinence to girls by a majority of 67 to 61.  Though I suspect it's because the 67 mistook the 10 minute bit of the title to infer that's how long you should abstain from sex before saying "Oh, go on then."

Friday, 29 April 2011

To events management companies offering an exciting opportunity

At this time of year there's lots of Events Management companies starting up, and lots of Students on Events Management courses who have been given an end of year project of organising an event and it seems like 50% of them think "ooh what would be great is if we get some comedians like that Michael McIntyre's comedy roadshow!"  and they don't know the comedy circuit, they don't know that there are a lot of professional comedians who are earning a lot of money from comedy without ever going anywhere near a television screen.

As a result they think that a stand-up comic is like a band or a DJ or someone else who works during the week and does their entertainment as a hobby.  They don't realise that to get basically proficient at the job that they want you to do takes so much effort that by the time you're ready to do the gig you're getting paid a substantial whack for your work.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Unnatural disasters

One of the signs that I may have a circle of friends that possibly wasn't the best for me came when I flat shared with a couple of pals of mine who weren't the cleanest and tidiest of people. On a scale of "Ikea show home" to "Sitting on the back of the sofa using an air rifle to shoot the rats that scurry around eating days old take aways from plastic bags", they were definitely towards the filth end of the scale.  

But one Saturday night we were having a party, so we cleaned and tidied, got rid of the beer cans and over flowing ashtrays that covered the table so that they could be replaced by fresh beer cans and overflowing ashtrays. We even got the Mr Sheen out to clean it down, such was the mental state of our flatmates that when we finished no one thought to tidy away the cleaning products.  So sat in the middle of the coffee table stood that  bottle of furniture polish.

This, however, was not the thing that let me know that my circle of friends was possibly not the best for me, no, the thing that clinched it, was that as each of the guests arrived they walked in to the lounge saw the Mr Sheen out and said "Are we having crack tonight?"  That being crack the cocaine derivative, not that I had a bunch of Irish friends going "are we having craic tonight or what"  No, a group of friends who walked in to a party saw some furniture polish out and knew that one of the easiest ways to freebase cocaine and make crack was to heat cocaine in a solvent like Mr Sheen until it makes a popping noise, that that was their first thought when they saw furniture polish at a party should have set alarm bells ringing.

From that night on we referred to Crack as "Charlie Sheen"  I don't know if The Charlie Sheen has ever partied with any of my friends but it would make his statement:  “I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body,”  make a lot more sense.

Monday, 14 March 2011

What I think about when I think about Heckling

What's the worst heckle you've ever had?  That is amongst the most popular questions asked by journalists, people at parties, civil servants, the Police, whoever; When you tell them you're a stand-up comedian that's the question they want to know.  Partly it's down to the fear that people have of doing stand-up themselves, their biggest fear is that they'll get up on stage and no one will find what they say funny.  As Oscar Wilde might have quipped, the only thing worse than being laughed at, is not being laughed at.

The embarrassment that the average person thinks they'd feel is enough to deter most of them from trying out the business that I work in, as they convince themselves that when you go on stage it's a battle between you and the audience who are only ever a few short seconds away from shouting something horrific at you that you'll never be able to deal with.  That you deal with hecklers at every gig.  For some people they think the whole point of going to a comedy night is to heckle.  In fact I know for a fact that some people get nervous all day before going to a gig that evening because they think heckling's expected of them and they're already trying to think through what they're going to say.

I know that for a fact because before I did stand-up that was me.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Horses For Courses

I've been thinking about these for a while, when I first started out I went on one with a friend, I'd already been doing stand-up for a couple of weeks when she got in touch and asked if I fancied going.  It was run by Janice Connolly and Archie Kelly was guest tutor, both of them fresh from Phoenix nights (which I know dates this story.)

The course was useful to me, but the lessons I learned wouldn't really help until much much later.

Cut to 6 years down the line and the same friend got in touch with me to ask if I might help out as a guest tutor on the stand-up course that they run.

I jumped at the chance, as I think that if you can you've got a duty to the industry to try to help make it a better place with better comics, promoters and audiences for the good of us all, but that's possibly because I think I might be a goddamned communist, or at the very least un-American.

Now, of the people who went on the course that I was on I believe I'm the only person who's still performing, my friend is a teacher and works in the industry in another capacity as well as running the stand-up course (she doesn't teach on it another comedian does the teaching).

And I've heard a lot of discussion about whether stand-up courses are worth it, if they can actually help anyone and if those who would succeed would do so anyway without the aid of the course.