Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Comment - Swearing


Hi Nic,
I enjoyed your posting on bad language. It seems to have become the social norm to swear. Swearing is rife on TV programmes, and everyone seems to be doing it. I had to laugh at one irate mother who I overheard complaining about her foul mouthed toddler ‘I can’t understand why the little bugger keeps fucking swearing!’ What does she expect!
I have no problem with people using the odd word if they are really angry or upset about something. Unfortunately a lot of people swear instead of having a proper conversation. It saddens me to hear people speak in this limited way. The English language is a complex, beautiful thing, and it is a shame that it is being supplanted by a limited selection of linguistic borrowings originally imported by sailors from Low Dutch.

Comment - Jade Goody


Hi Zoey,

As you know, I am not a fan of Jade Goody, but I agree with your thoughts that it was inappropriate for OK magazine to publish her ‘tribute’, i.e. obituary before she died. It shows that the magazine was maximizing its profits before she was even cold! I suppose it is possible they may have arranged to pay her for it; and she wanted to ensure the money was in the bank for her children before she passed away. Who knows – I hope this is not the start of a new trend for publishing ‘obituaries’ while people are still alive.
I do not think OK magazine will suffer too much for this. It has a massive fan base addicted to ‘celebrity culture’.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Politicians behaving badly

If there wasn’t a recession on this latest exposé would probably not have hit the headlines. Since time immemorial many politicians have lead shady private lives and been involved in sleaze and corruption. I could not care less about the content of Ms. Smith’s videos but I do object to the ridiculous amounts being quoted for MPs expenses, and the waste of taxpayers money. There are too many political snouts in the trough, and it is about time that a sensible compromise was agreed. It is difficult to take politicians seriously when they appear to be behaving like greedy parasites. I doubt that the ‘videos’ were on subjects required to fulfil her duties as Home Secretary. The money frittered away on Ms. Smith’s ‘entertainment bill’ would have been better spent on the NHS!


Sunday, 29 March 2009

Filthy people

I don’t know if poor personal hygiene counts as bad behaviour, but it ought to. The effects are certainly unpleasant for those of us having to sit next to people who shun soap and water, and toothpaste. In the Norton Anthology it said King James I was notorious for fiddling with his codpiece and not washing his hands. Well, his predecessor Elizabeth I prided herself of bathing once a month.
It was a toss-upto decide who was dirtier, Samuel Johnson or his biographer James Boswell. When Boswell toured Europe in the 1760s, he found someone dirtier than himself,the Marquis d’Argens. This aristocratic gentleman had not taken off his flannel under-waistcoat for four years. When the King of Prussia insisted he remove it, the Marquis obeyed, and pieces of his skin came away with it.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Jade Goody

Jade has only been dead for a week and already Michelle Ryan has been lined up to play the starring role in a film about Jade’s life. The film company believe it will be a ‘blockbuster’. I might be missing something but I cannot understand why the rest of the population is so obsessed with her, and needs another ‘fix’ so soon after her death. When she first appeared in Big Brother she was vilified as ‘Miss Piggy’ the ignorant, foul-mouthed dental nurse from Bermondsey. During her short life in the media spotlight she has managed to turn public opinion, shake off her racist remarks and die a heroine, with a ‘state’ funeral , and tributes form the Prime minister and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. It is reminiscent of the tidal wave of public grief that followed the death of Princess Dianna; some people have dubbed Jade the Primark princess.
Why has Jade created a cult following and been lionized for promoting ignorance? Is it because she had a difficult childhood but made the best of herself? Has she been manipulated by Max Clifford’s money making publicity machine? Was she really a shrewd woman who manipulated the public to make money, and her silly comments were just an act?
I do not like the values and behaviour Jade promoted.
My personal view is that Britain is in dire need of some better role models, not the shallow, selfish celebrity culture which is undermining more spiritual aspects of life. We need people who can promote wisdom instead of ignorance, altruism instead of greed, moral behaviour instead of reckless behaviour, and encourage us to save our planet – but I suppose that does not help to sell magazines of fuel mindless consumerism.

(Jade Goody 5.06.1981 – 22.03.2009 R.I.P)



Friday, 27 March 2009

Rape and Stalking

Another high profile case of rape and stalking has hit the head lines. Kirk Reid has committed over seventy serious sexual offences since 2001. Forty-four year old Reid is described as an intelligent man with a string of pretty girlfriends. He worked as a chef and part-time football referee for Wandsworth leagues for children. In court he confessed to wanting ‘to hurt people in horrible ways’. Reid stoked his violent fantasies by watching videos of women being raped and abused. He followed his victims stealthily from behind then grabbed them when they were near their homes and had let their guard down. His crimes are terrible and inexcusable. The frightening aspect of this case however, is that it took the police years to arrest him, despite having his DNA. The reports on this case suggest a catalogue of police failings. Car crime was regarded as a higher priority than sexual offences against women. This is a terrible indictment of the Metropolitan police force, especially as they also took ages to catch the black cab rapist John Warboys. The police and these sex offenders are equally guilty of bad behaviour. What message are the police sending if car crime has a higher priority than sex crime? Car owners are inconvenienced by the loss of a car, but can soon get over it. Victims of sex crimes are left emotionally scarred and have to struggle to rebuild their lives. Are cars more valued in society than women? Is the police force institutionally sexist?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Bad bankers

An anti-capitalist group has proudly claimed responsibility for an attack yesterday on the home of Sir Fred Goodwin. The group sent an e-mail to the Edinburgh Evening News warning that this is just the start of reprisals against greedy bankers. I do not condone violence, but the rest of the population has been left to pay for the gross irresponsibility, greed and reckless behaviour of the banking system. Fred the Shred and his ilk need to be made accountable to the people who have lost their jobs, homes and life-savings. Thieving gits like him have lived in opulent luxury, and been rewarded for unprecedented incompetence. Gordon Brown is quoted as saying ‘there is no excuse’ for the violence; well sorry Gordon, there is no excuse for this global mess caused by these unspeakably bad bankers. My main concern is that we will be facing an era of escalating civil unrest if things get worse; and bankers like Sir Fred continue to demand their ridiculous pensions and bonuses.



Wednesday, 25 March 2009


A Scottish GP, Dr. David Walker has advised that a tax should be put on chocolate. He believes this will go some way to stemming the tide of obesity in Britain. There has been a massive increase in type 2 diabetes and other obesity related disorders, but taxing chocolate is not the answer. It is another example of responsible citizens being hit in the purse for the other people’s unhealthy behaviour. Obesity is a complex problem involving large portions, an aversion to exercise, an unwillingness to take responsibility for one’s health and psychological factors. In France people eat real food, (not synthetic diet rubbish) and chocolate, yet do not have the levels of obesity we have (yet). The secret is that most French people eat sensible portions and walk everywhere. So don’t blame chocolate, encourage people to be responsible!


Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Bad behaviour at school

An article in Times online blames the growing problem of bad behaviour and discipline problems in schools, on the increasing number of single parent families and lack of male role models. Many children lack basic boundaries and have no concept of acceptable behaviour or respect for other people. The article stated that teachers are becoming frightened to confront children for bad behaviour, and as a result more children are ending up in the criminal justice system. I have friends who are teachers, and know that they have been threatened physically and verbally by parents after trying to correct a child for inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour. It is hardly surprising that some children are out of control when their parents set a poor example. I feel very sorry for teachers who are vilified and have their authority undermined for just trying to do their job.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Teenage pregnancy

Is teenage pregnancy a bad thing? Britain has the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe, despite millions of pounds being spent on sex education. The shocking case of thirteen year old Alfie Patten and his fifteen year old girlfriend Chantelle reinforced these grim statistics. Apparently the USA has the worst rates globally. An article in the Independent highlighted differences in the way sex education is taught in Holland compared to England. In Holland the emphasis is on relationships, and sex is talked about more openly .The article also blamed the ‘sexploitation’ of children, by marketing sexy clothes to that age group. It also suggested that the rise of one-parent families and breakdown of the traditional family unit was to blame. More cynically, in the West Midlands there is a belief that if you want your own accommodation you just need to get pregnant, because single mothers are seen as a priority. This apparently acts as an incentive for people to get pregnant. Is teenage pregnancy a bad thing? Is it bad to be brought up by a young single mother? Does it ruin the life of the single mother? Only time will tell how well or not the children of these teen mums turn out, and their impact on society.


Sunday, 22 March 2009


This seems to be everybody’s favourite subject on PH1000. I was listening to a profile of Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, last night on Radio 4. As you may know he has advised the government to increase the price of alcohol to 50p a unit, in the hope of stemming the binge-drinking problems that are rife in the UK. This move would be very controversial.Responsible citizens would be punished for the unhealthy and imprudent behaviour of the few. An article in the Sunday Express claimed that the increased tax would cripple the pub industry, resulting in job losses, with even more pubs going out of business. An article in Times online pointed out that similar measures had been tried in Sweden, but had not had any impact on changing people’s behaviour. The Radio 4 programme emphasised Sir Liam’s determined personality, and having succeeded with banning smoking in public places, was convinced that he would persuade the government to go ahead with increasing the price of alcohol.



Saturday, 21 March 2009

A novel solution for adultery?

Adultery is a complex subject. It encompasses lying, deceit, and betrayal. It can also be unhealthy, imprudent and down right dangerous. People have ended up dead as a result of impassioned love triangles. There are many reasons why people have a bit on the side ranging from ‘because they can’ to ‘it just happened’. Why bother to make a legal or religious commitment in the first place if fidelity cannot be sustained? This week Hollyoaks came up with a brilliant twist on the eternal love triangle scenario.
For several weeks Nancy has been having an illicit affair with Chris. Chris is openly bisexual. Ravi, Nancy’s boyfriend is secretly bisexual and has also been having a bit on the side with Chris.
Well, this week it all came out. The three of them decided to stop seeing each other; but after some soul searching decided to carry on regardless with everything out in the open.


Friday, 20 March 2009

Body Modification

Dr Follett’s lecture on body modification was very enlightening. I did not realize that just about everybody in the population does it. Body modification is changing the body by various means and to varying degrees from its natural original state to another. That includes going to the hairdresser, using make-up, doing yoga and wearing high heels. Before the lecture I thought it only applied to piercing, tattoos and plastic surgery. I was astonished by the wide range of piercings available.
The history of tattooing was even more interesting. I was appalled to learn about the way invading colonial powers had subjugated and destroyed the indigenous tattooed populations of various islands. It revealed who the real ‘savages’ were by their inhumane brutality and ignorance.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

I’m being bad today

Sorry Dr Jones, I need a bit of respite from the contemplation of the meaning of bad behaviour .Too much negativity.
I could never do philosophy…all those unanswered questions! It is like going round in ever increasing endless loops of the mind. Heavy stuff!

So, I’m going to be bad today and post something nice by way of respite. The gorgeous Enrique….


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Nasty Mr. Bean

I used to fancy Sean Bean, but when I heard that he had been in the news recently for alleged domestic violence, I went right off him. I suppose you have to wonder why he has been married four times. There is no excuse for domestic violence, yet sadly it is rife in society .Domestic violence comes in many pernicious guises, from constant bullying and denigration, sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional and psychological abuse and all forms of physical harm. Not to mention the harm done to children being brought up in a violent home. Domestic violence is morally and legally wrong.
The sad fact is that many abused people suffer in silence behind closed doors: keeping it secret from friends and family, for fear of harsher reprisals. They become experts in camouflage make up and strategic dressing. The emotional scars last longer than the physical ones.

So goodbye Sean…..


Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Father Jack is my favourite bad lad.
From the sacred pit of his cigarette-burnt arm chair, he is his own man. He knows what he wants and announces it in forthright monosyllables ‘drink…women…arse’, peppered with the occasional ‘feck’. He loves a drink, smokes for Ireland, and doesn’t agree with healthy eating or exercise (apart from the occasional rampage when he gets a bit over excited). He is every doctor’s nightmare patient; a paragon of unhealthy behaviour. You would not catch Father Jack being a snark; he tells it how it is to people’s faces.
He is the antithesis of everything a good priest should be. He is blasphemous, egocentric and parasitic. He is always imprudent. Nevertheless, the endearing old rascal manages to get away with this catalogue of bad behaviour.


Monday, 16 March 2009

Robin Hood may have been bad

Dr Julian Luxford, an expert in medieval manuscript studies at St Andrews University has discovered a text dated 1460 that specifically mentions Robin Hood. According to this discovery, ‘a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies’.
Well, that throws Robin’s status as a champion of the poor into question. Stealing is morally and legally wrong, but historically the English have turned a blind eye to Robin’s robbing activities, which were supposedly done with the moral intention of promoting a fairer distribution of wealth. As England’s first socialist he seemed like a really good bloke.
Now it looks as though Robin may have been just a kleptomaniac.


Sunday, 15 March 2009

‘Kids’ an urban nightmare in a town near you

I sat through ‘Kids’ feeling two conflicting emotions; bored rigid and incredibly sad. The film is a stark documentary-style portrayal of feral teenagers growing up in a socially deprived area of New York City. The action focuses on a typical day in the life of Telly and his side-kick Casper. The film covers stealing, shagging, violence, lying, drug taking, alcoholism, smoking, swearing, rape and HIV. There was nothing caring,artistic or spiritual about this way of life. It was raw, inhumane and brutal.
Sadly, many kids today live like this.
Where were the parents????
It is appalling that society has let children down. Why do these children have no morals, and nothing positive to aim, for other than the next shag? Children cannot develop psychologically without firm, but loving boundaries. This film reminded me of Lord of the Flies where children without boundaries imposed by adults became brutal savages. 'Kids' showed life as it is for some, but offered no solutions.


Saturday, 14 March 2009

The black cab rapist

This story is beyond bad. John Warboys, a fifty-one year old taxi driver, was found guilty yesterday of raping countless women in the back of his taxi. According to the Telegraph his victims were all middle-class women emerging from fashionable bars and clubs in London, in the early hours. He fed his victims the same lie that he had won a lot of money and had no one to celebrate with. He then offered them champagne laced with hypnotics, then raped them. The Sun reports that he was first arrested in 2007 for the alleged rape of a teenage university student, but the police dropped the case. It is estimated that he is responsible for at least eighty-five assaults, and the police are asking for any other victims to come forward.
Warboys used to work as male stripper ‘Terry the Minder’ and made porn films. His ex-wife described him as a sex addict, and ‘the worst husband a woman could ask for’. In court he pulled the sympathy card by blaming it on losing his mother at thirteen, and not getting enough attention.

Women expect to be safe in taxis. This sexual deviant callously used this assumption to systematically abuse women. It is a frightening story, especially as he evaded court the first time he was arrested.



Friday, 13 March 2009

Are you a snark?

This is a new way for bloggers to be really bad. Snark is making snide comments about some one on-line. It has become rife in America, and is probably gaining momentum in the UK. Things can get pretty nasty, and people have been sued for hurting the feelings of people who have been the victims of snarking.
Is expressing your honest opinion about someone bad? So long as you stick to the facts, and it is clear it is just an opinion, is it morally wrong/ unreasonable/unhealthy/dangerous or imprudent?
It is certainly hurtful for the victim, unless they can take a joke or are pretty thick skinned.
It could be that people feel braver about saying derogatory, but witty things about others from the safety of their keyboard. They would probably not risk saying the same thing to the person concerned.

PS I think Victoria Beckham does look like a celebrity skeleton….oops!


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Bad Pirates

The recent excellent lecture on masturbation by Dr. Jones brought to mind the urban myths surrounding the characters in ‘Captain Pugwash’.
This classic children’s favourite gave rise to various urban legends. John Ryan, the creator of the eponymous captain and his all male crew, was rumoured to have deliberately or unwittingly created a smutty tale full of sexual innuendos. The character list was rumoured to consist of; Master Bates, Roger the cabin boy, seaman Staines and Willy.
There was definitely a Willy in it, but the other names were Tom the cabin boy, Cut Throat Jake and Master Mate. I suppose the last name could have been misconstrued after too many tots of rum. Mr Ryan won his libel suit against the instigators of the rumours, and was cleared of promoting masturbatory porn to the young and innocent.


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

National No Smoking Day

To day is national no smoking day. You can blame this chap with the beard if you like, for being the first to introduce tobacco to Britain. Smoking causes fierce debates between its advocates and its opponents. Historically, smoking was glamorized by the film industry and associated with sex; the tobacco industry probably benefitted from the free publicity. Smokers in 2009 are treated like social deviants, forced to brave the freezing cold and gusting winds to exhibit their addiction to public scrutiny. At least non-smokers and ex-smokers are not forced to inhale unwanted smoke in confined spaces any more, so it seems a reasonable compromise.
According to ‘Newsround’ 450 children a day start smoking in Britain, and one in five fifteen year olds smokes.
Smoking is not ‘bad’ as such. Everyone knows it is unhealthy; choosing to smoke or not is a personal decision.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

European love rat exposed

This fellow certainly deserves a mention on the being bad blog. He is a complete rat, and his bad behaviour encompasses most of the topics on the module. He has systematically swindled obscene amounts of money from rich European women, over several years. His tactics seem to involve stalking; Frau Klatten fended off his advances in Austria, only to find him at the same resort in the South of France. He threatened to blackmail her by exposing her adultery with him. In 2001 he tried a similar stunt with an eighty-three year old Countess. This love rat is also a liar. He concocted elaborate sob stories to extort money out of his victims. He lived a fantasy ‘secret agent’ lifestyle. He is also a former investment banker – well no more need be said in the current economic recession about his sort! He seems a callous psychopath, and Frau Klatten is to be commended for her bravery in exposing him.


Monday, 9 March 2009

Happy Birthday Barbie

This plastic icon is fifty today. But is she a bad influence? I am sure she has had some influence in the craze for plastic surgery and breast argumentation which has produced generations of human Barbie clones. Academics at the University of South Australia calculated that the likelihood of a real woman having Barbie’s proportions is one in 100,000, with Body Mass Index in the unhealthy category. So she is a bad dolly and unhealthy.