Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Why Men Wear Frocks. Irritating and intelligent in equal measure. The transvesticism that Grayson Perry exemplifies is the type that reinforces rather than challenges traditional gender roles, all dollies and curls. He does make the forceful point that most transvestites are straight but he and his friends don't look much different to drag queens. Perry makes a very interesting comparison between transvestites and bikers leathers, in both cases people are wrapping themselves in a costume that gives them a certain freedom and license. But then he refers to a M-to-F pre-operative transsexual as 'he' and SRS as 'the chop'. Several times he and his friends talk about the qualities they feel in the clothes and use words like 'vulnerability' and 'softness'. They seem to believe there is a whole range of behaviour they can only access if they dress up in women's clothes. I'd like to hope that Perry is just a generation out of date. Or maybe it's me.

Nathan Barley. I'd say it was a couple of no-marks trying to rip off TV Go Home and Chris Morris if I didn't know that it was Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris that were behind this weak satire on trendy internet/media types. Barley is the twattiest of the twats, someone who calls everyone 'my n*gger' nd gives his office assistant large electric shocks just to put it on his webcam. However, because there's a limit to how interesting an idiot with no self-awareness can be, there are other characters like slacker journo Dan Ashcroft. He has just got some success from a magazine article on 'The New Idiots', who he sees all around him (and who, like Barley, don't realise he's writing about them), but when he tries to escape to a decent job on a 'proper magazine' he gets nowhere and has to return with his tail between his legs. Sadly the first episode is humour-free, despite some typically Morrisian touches like the magazine Ashcroft reluctantly works for, Sugar-Ape advertising itself with Suga in really small letters next to a huge RAPE, but FCUK parodies are the high point in a weak bag of tricks.

No, sadly what is more exciting to me this week is that I found in my library a DVD of The Box of Delights. Based on the children's novel by John Masefield it's deliciously unhinged, a traditional 'forces of darkness striving to take over the world', but through a dark prism of Alice in Wonderland and Gormenghast, paganism struggling with Christianity. Young Kay Harker, about ten years away from becoming William Hague, is travelling by train to the Middle England county of hmmphshrshrshire for Christmas, only to share a carriage with vicars with a neat line in card tricks and turning into freaking wolves whenever the train goes through a tunnel! However, being upper-class Kay bats not an eyelid at this, despite the fact they patently knick his wallet before they disappear he later insists they can't be pickpockets because they're clergy. He similarly doesn't think it strange that a wandering Punch-and-Judy man asks him to take an odd message to a woman he just happens to meet in the street, or that in the evening a tall man on a horse gallops past telling him "Aah Master Harker, I hear that the wolves are running!" He soon discovers that the Punch-and-Judy man, Cole Hawkins, has a magical box, nay, a Box of Delights, that evil Abner Brown and his henchmen will do anything to get. But although none of the children in this can act for toffee, I've seen plywood more expressive, the adult cast have Patrick Troughton, Robert Stephens and Bill Wallis. This show is amazing. This was from the era when children's television was allowed to be more scary and surreal than The Sixth Sense on brown acid. This gave me nightmares as a kid. Quality stuff.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?