Friday, 29 June 2007

A ragbag of aborted Slaps

I have this little book. In it, I write down things that bother me, make me go Grrr!, get my goat, depress me. The idea is that each item might become a Slap at some point in the future. Except that most often I don’t look at it; I write about something I’ve just heard or read or that has annoyed me personally in the hour before sitting at my desk. So, here, in no special order, are a few things that might have become Slaps, but didn’t quite make the grade.

* One in 25 old people are abused in their own homes.
* Until now, when a woman had knee-replacement surgery, the prosthetic patella she would be given was modelled on a male one (and they are different, apparently). Someone has finally cottoned on that women might walk better with a patella that fitted their knee properly.
* One quarter of Russia is owned by 36 men.
* 11% of Mauritanian girls are force-fed because the men prefer fat women. Like in the case of female circumcision, it’s the older women who insist it has to be done.
* China’s fur trade.
* Earphones that get into a tangle all the time.
* A teenager planned to kill his entire family because he wanted to be adopted by a rich couple (he managed to kill his brother and sister).
* Women who are threatened by an all-women environment.
* Motorists who just get a fine for killing people.
* Mariella Frostrup.

Addendum (30/06/07): After listening to this week's Any Answers on BBC Radio 4, I have to add 'Phone-ins' to my list. I try not to listen to such unbelievably annoying programmes, but today I'm waiting for Arcadia by Tom Stoppard to start... just about... now. Aaaaah, bliss!


  1. now I came in here to say something about how can everyone be rich because if you're talking about everyone then you're diluting the collective coffer, but I'm distracted and now I want to know what Frostrup did.

  2. Good list. My list of things that bother me today is as follows:

    Everyone, other than me, who is on the road. JUST GET OUT OF MY WAY! There. I feel a touch better already.

  3. Mariella Frostrup - now you're talking. She is SO irritating with that voice. Slap.

  4. I've never heard her voice but her columns in the Observer seem to make a lot of sense in general. I quite like her.

  5. Oh Bela, this is the first thing that you have ever said that I can't agree with! I love Mariella. What she said about adultery in her column was fantastic. She has a lovely voice and is intelligent. Something you should add to your list of slaps, except that it's worth far more than a slap is that women own only 1% of the world's wealth. The other 99% is owned by men.

  6. TLP, I know the feeling: I get like that on foot. LOL! If I have one piece of advice for tourists et al. in London it's 'move faster!'

    H, it looks like we're in a minority about the Frostrup.

    GSE, how on earth did you manage that: she's on the radio a lot. On the other hand, I've never read her column.

    I'm so sorry, IIWQ. I feel as if I found and lost a fan all in one go. What did she say about adultery?

    That statistic is frightening and depressing, but not surprising, is it?

    Please stick around: I might say other things you can agree with. :-)

  7. jeez, yes, i was so shocked to learn about that knee replacement thing - how utterly ridiculous!

    oh, and you should never listen to any answers - it's infuriating!

  8. What gets me about China's fur trade as a vegetarian is the incidence of products labeled as "100% Man Made" that actually sport cheap fur from China (rather than being composed of acrylic and nylon.) And the advances in making fake fur with synthetic materials has gotten so good, that in some cases you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between the cheaper real stuff and the nice fake versions.

    I don't get the earphone tangles either!! How, HOW, do they possibly get knots when I never unplug the earphones from my Walkman??? It's a riddle, wrapped in cords, inside an enigma.

  9. At last, someone else who hates Mariella! I always feel I should like her. I've heard her talking about her women friends and she seems pretty right-on. Her critical judgment seems sound. She can't be written off as just another vacuous bit of blonde media totty. And yet... There's something very complacent and almost obscenely privileged about her. Her relationship column in the Observer (haven't read it for ages, it may have changed) was poorly-written, vague, rambling and confused. She flirts with the men she interviews quite brazenly, while also wanting to be taken seriously.
    I know lots of women who are more clever, informed and interesting than she is, but who don't have the 'thinking man's crumpet' looks/pout/voice to speed their way up the career ladder. I guess that's why I can't like or trust her. She's not quite good enough to persuade me that she's where she is on merit.

  10. Wasn’t it scandalous, UC? How could it have taken so long for someone to realize?

    You’re absolutely right about Any Answers; I got what I deserved. I won’t do it again.

    K, the Chinese are incredibly cruel to animals. There was an item on the news a little while ago: before I could switch off the TV, I caught sight of a poor little bear cub standing on his hind legs and trying to reach some food held out in front of his face by a man; he was tied to a car and he was pulling it along with great difficulty, as you can imagine. It was unbearable. There is no excuse for such behaviour, or for using real fur when good fake stuff is available.

    It’s very puzzling – and infuriating, isn’t it?

    I had sworn not to post Anonymous comments, but this one was articulate – and agreed with me, which helped a lot.

  11. They're all of them worthwhile slaps, I don't blame you (although I don't know poor Mariella...)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.