I drank a whole bottle of cava last night. Welcome back, alcoholism; I've missed you.
It all started because Hamish and I smoked a joint and decided it was the perfect night for drinking and Hamish worked his way through a lot of beer and I slowly polished off the cava, which, frankly, doesn't even taste like booze - it's so bubbly and it slides down the pipes like butter. Yummy! I do wish Hamish wasn't such a boring drunk, but hey, I'm good at doing all the talking and I had a lot to talk about.
Principally, "Don't Get Me Started," a new show on C5 where a respectable celebrity gets 45 minutes to rant on the subject of their choice. Actually, it's more like a documentary, if quite incendiary - the host of the week has to present his point of view in an intelligent way, with the research (and plenty of experts in the field) to back it up. This particualr episode has been massively controversial, and has caused all sorts of people (mostly feminists) to shout up because Michael Buerk (a well known British newsreader) thinks that men are becoming increasingly redundant in today's society ("an optional extra - like grated chocolate on your cappuccino"). They are becoming more like women (metrosexuals), women more like men (drinking more, committing more crime, being more sexaully predatory) . Male qualities like stoicism, reticence, single mindedness are no longer valued. The shift between the balance of power between the sexes has gone too far and men are little more than sperm donors.
Apparently this is a big problem for Michael Buerk. He seems especially worried about the modern man's tendency to moisturise. And go shopping.
I didn't particularly like Michael Buerk, although I didn't disagree with much of what he said. Yes, a lot of these things are true - times have changed and we're currently living in a time where women hold more cards than we've ever held before. Yup, there are more single mothers raising kids on their own than ever before and yup, this isn't generally a good thing. There are exceptions, of course, as there always are, but children who grow up without a father in their lives tend to be worse off in every way than the kids who have a father. We seem to live in a society which doesn't expect men to stick around to help raise the kid they didn't plan to have. All men have is their career and without that they're worthless, yet women are taking over the work place (and unlike men, they have the choice to be a mother, housewife, career women, each of which can be fulfilling depending on the woman). Also true is that men have taken on a lot of feminie traits and vice versa.
My problems with Buerk are twofold. His inflexible opinions were at the expense of the bigger picture in a way that made his rant appear trivial. I don't mind that he wanted to focus on the society we live in, as white westerners, but I do mind that he completely ignored the fact that in much of the world women are still 2nd class citizens who have no real rights and who are often abused and tortured with impunity. He was also only able to look at the current trend in a negative way, believing that if things carry on the way they are, we're headed in one direction, and that direction is the toilet.
Things don't work that way. This is just a period in time and there's simply no telling where we're headed; it could go any number of ways but none of those ways will be all good or all bad. The truth is, men have been in power since the beginning of time and if women are gaining more power now then for pete's sake, suck it up. Give us a chance. Things will balance out and then the scales will be tipped again and so on. This whole, "men are doomed and therefore civilisation as we know it is doomed," is just too whiny and self pitying to be taken seriously. No wonder the press has completely lynched the fucker.
My absolute favourite type of documentary though - smart, interesting and provocative.