Archive for December 14th, 2008

14
Dec
08

Gillian McKeith is pure evil

One of the laziest – though compelling – examples of television programming that has marked our generation is what I like to call the Parade of Patronising Fucks shows. These are the shows where self-styled “experts” invade the lives of ordinary folk and tell them how they should be doing things. It started with home makeover shows, eventually branching out into every area imaginable until a true genre was created, giving rise to Trinny and Susannah and a host of others. RTE even got in on the act with At Your Service, in which two 5* hoteliers run around the country trying to make dodgy B&Bs somewhere you might actually like to stay.

Now most of these shows get a pass because the “experts” to some degree usually know what they’re talking about, and the recipiant of the advice being imparted will often benefit from it (At Your Service gets extra points as RTE doesn’t shy away from how patronising people often find the concept). Then there’s Gillian McKeith, who’s a whole kettle of deep-fried fish altogether.

I noticed last week that “Dr” McKeith’s You Are What You Eat is being repeated on TV3. Its pretty predictable, yet still disappointing, that TV3 would broadcast such a show (clearly of appeal to their target demographic), ignoring how damaging it has shown to be.

The show credits McKeith as “Dr Gillian McKeith”, indicating that it was produced before the ASA forced her to stop stop describing herself as a doctor, not least due to the efforts of Ben Goldacre in exposing her PhD as the worthless pseudoscience it is (incidentally, if you are not reading Goldacre’s “Bad Science” column in the Guardian every Saturday you are really short-changing yourself). Remember, this is the woman who seemingly expects us all to have a flashlight stuck up our arse. The stink of pseudoscience also permeates the show. In one episode I watched as “Dr” McKeith berated her victim over one of her favourite snacks, four slices of white  bread with a big dollop of jam. “All that salt and sugar is killing you,” moaned the good doctor. Was this unhealthy? Probably. But you know what, strawberry jam sandwichs were a staple snack-food for me as a kid, as it was for many others I’m sure, and I grew up to be reasonably healthy.

Clearly “Dr” McKeith is a fraud. But this does not lend itself to my initial hypothesis that she is evil. For this I ask you to examine her mantra “you are what you each” (which if true, as observed by Dara O’Briain, means she has eaten a fucking shrew). What is it that this actually means? Here’s my reading: We are what we eat; we therefore need someone to guide us as to what food is fit for human consumption, making us in turn individuals fit for human society. There’s a touch of the Khmer Rouge about Gillian McKeith and her doctrine that’s quite worrying.

Via Channel 4

Via Channel 4

If you think that I’m reading too much into it (because I can assure you I’m not exaggerating for effect), just look at how each episode of You Are What You Eat is ended. We’re given a “before and after” examination of McKeith’s victim. The language used to describe the “before” version is not just negative, but quite undermining and insulting. Seriously, she’s just a couple of rungs away from declaring, “look at the fat fuck. She’s a disgrace to herself and all around her.” Gillian McKeith hates fat people in the same way Hitler hated Jews. Fact!

While we’re discussing the before and after shot, there’s something else that pisses of (and I’m really surprised nobody else has mentioned it). The poor victim in the before shot is paraded in front of us in nothing but her underwear, with all her unflattering flab and cellulite out for the world to see. After the eight week intensive course (or whatever it is), however, she is presented with dolled up hair, fabulous make-up, and a lovely black blouse, black shawl, or black something to hide all the curves. She may look great, but she’s still clearly fat. McKeith will of course point out that the victim has lost 3 stone or thereabouts. Of course she has, she’s been living on radishes and extra green leaves for two month. That doesn’t make it healthy, which crash dieting rarely is.

14
Dec
08

If I’m serving you that means you’re a VVIP, but not a VVVIP

This weekend I completed a second shift of my shitty part-time job. I’ve avoided stating here what this job is or where I’m working, as that’s the kind of thing that get people fired, but I’m think I’m safe enough saying that it involves the VIP section of a popular Dublin music venue.

This particular establishment has different grades of VIP, based on who you know and how much you pay. Essentially, however, it all boils down to a few simple necesities; clean toilets, bars with carpets, and access to the best seats in the house. Now I don’t wish to begrudge VIPs their nicities. Access to any VIP area that I know of isn’t cheap and people deserve to get something for their money. But there’s one aspect to the whole culture that is really pissing me off.

I was told by one of my supervisors that the kind of people who avail of these services would not normally attend gigs. Mosh pits and pissing in a trough is below these people, so it’s nice for these to be able to attend some gigs in comfort and style and avoid slumming it too much. On top of this, because of the price-structure of my place (don’t ask me for details, that’ll get me in trouble) it’s most likely going to be used by corporates so that they can treat their best paying customers to fancy nights out.

So these people, who rarely go to gigs and in all likelihood will not have even heard of the bands they’ll find themselves seeing, are going to be getting the best seats in the house. Whereas the true music fans, who actively support bands by regularly attending gigs (and who provide the venues with most of their profits), will have to make do with whatever leftovers are below the VIPs.

Now I ask you, is that fair?

In other news, I went and blew €300 I don’t have on an X-Box 360, because using my rent allowance check to pay my rent seemed a little…obvious.