Friday, 20 April 2012

Too Much Reality

A news report on CNN stated that a man was suing the producers of 'The Bachelor' because they didn't have a black guy as a bachelor, or he wasn't chosen to be the bachelor because he was black...whatever, who cares.

Let's not make this a race thing; you're bitchin' 'cause you're making a point that all races are not represented on the show or is your need to be famous that important that you have throw the race card in there? Seriously, regardless of your color, you're telling me that you're happy to subject yourself to a nation passing judgement on your love life. Mate, it's a tough enough job to meet someone who gets you - but to do it on national TV?

Hubby and I have spent many a night flicking from one 'reality' program to the next just to watch something that isn't 'reality'! No kidding, the choice includes:

Beverley Hills Wives
Mob Wives
Basketball Wives
Momma's Boys
Auction Hunters (I actually like and watch this one)
Sons of Guns (another one that I'll watch)
American Pickers
Sweet Home Alabama
Storage Wars
Texas Storage Wars ('cause opening a storage unit in another state is SO different)
Toddlar's & Tiara's
Dance Mom's
Gun Smiths
Jersey Shore
Teen Mom...

I could go on but quite frankly, I don't care about 'real' people anymore - their ups and down's, their many conversations of 'no she didn't' or 'why get married, mom cooks for me...'

Hubby quite rightly said, 'I just want to watch some fiction.' When did light entertainment suddenly turn in to lets follow a bunch of people to see what they do everyday. Sorry, really not bothered. I never bought into the whole Big Brother thing and all these shows are bugging me (can you tell?). Please bring back the days of canned laughter, stage right exits and The Des O'Connor Show...

Monday, 16 April 2012

Grand National Tragedy

The Grand National for many a year has been my favorite race.

I used to beg my dad to make a bet for me when I couldn't go in to the bookies myself. As I got older, the thought of walking into a place filled with aging men, leaning on counters staring blankly at TV screens, betting slips strewn around their feet, a cigarette hanging from their mouth (before the smoking inside a public place ban), the tinge of stale beer clinging to the smoky air as their eyes swiveled to watch you approach the till, well, just didn't appeal - surprisingly!

But living next door to William Hill (we owned a sweet shop) meant that I knew everyone who hailed that place as their 'temple', so my fears and mild embarrassment soon abated.

I would read with a certain amount of frenzy the pages on Saturday morning of the race about the latest odds, the kind of ground (good, soft), the age of the horse, if the horse liked jumping more did I just rely on 'ah, he's wearing number 6, yeah I'll go for that one' or 'that name sounds good,' oh no, I did my research.

Last year I placed my bets online praising modern technology for once and this year, was no different. Unfortunately, I didn't win as I have done practically every year that I've placed a bet; each horse I backed fell. Worse still, two had to be put down - again. And despite Aintree making some improvements, the fences are still too high, there are too many horses racing and I think this may be my final year of betting.

As much as I love the majesty of this fine sport, I love the animals too. And I know there are those who say if a horse doesn't want to jump he won't, yet I can't help but feel that I've placed a bet on the death of these horses. Yes, that does sound a tad over dramatic, but that's how I'm feeling right now.

And who knows, next year as April approaches, and they've made the course really safe, I may well glance a causal eye over the form and make an imaginary bet.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Baby Classes

Hubby and I popped over to see our friends baby, born just over a week ago (cue the 'ahhs'). Whilst there, a friend of theirs also popped in with his teenage daughter. She walked in holding a carry cot. At first glance I thought the baby in it was real, but it wasn't.

It was a 'real-life' doll she had to look after as part of a class at school (I forget the actual name of it, but let's just call it "Health Class"). The teenager and her best friend had joint custody of the baby and it was their responsibility to feed, bathe, and change its nappy - all after they electronically swiped in to indicate to the teacher that 'the mother' is looking after the child. When the 'real doll' began crying, she rushed to pick it up, hurriedly changed it (there are different color-coded diapers to use) and gave it a bottle. And then her dad told us that the other day, the 'real-doll' was crying and crying and his daughter couldn't work out what was wrong. Her dad simply said, 'maybe she just needs to be picked up and held.'

We asked if it was a mandatory class - it isn't - and the five adults in the room all surmised that perhaps it should be. As my friend said, you have to have a test to get a drivers licence, yet nothing is asked of you to show that you can look after a child.

America has almost got it right; I didn't have 'baby classes' when I was a teenager, but times have changed and with TV programs on MTV like 'Teen Mom' making it 'cool' to have a baby (if only to gain stardom), these type of classes are really needed. They should make them compulsory - both boys and girls need to understand what it is to have a baby and look after it.

As I watched her change the diaper I wondered where the 'care' came in? I appreciate that it's a doll; how much affection can you show? But isn't creating a loving and safe environment just as important as feeding a child? To me she excelled at doing the basics, but there was an air of 'I'll do this quickly, get it over and done with.' The mere fact that her dad said, she just needs to be held is telling - what exactly are these classes about if it doesn't teach how to care or show affection for a child and most importantly to show love?