Eva Katzler
@ The Bedford
77 Bedford Hill
SW12 9HD
Nearest Tube: Balham - Northern Line
Doors open 7.30
Free Entrance
Info: 0208 682 8940
12 o'clock Late Bar
Table Bookings: 0208 682 8940 - the food is great
There is ample parking after 6.30 in the area and in Sainsburys car park opposite
Books During her publicity tour for Bitch (recounted in the later book More Now Again), Elizabeth Wurtzel became intensely irritated with repeatedly being asked who she considered to be the great bitches. It tells both her and us two things. That the interviewers hadn’t read the book and that for many people the idea of a ‘bitch’, a sort of Margaret Thatcher / Alexis from Dynasty are very different to the kind of woman this book is about. Over the course of five essays Wurtzel tries to capture why it is that women are described with this kind of negative branding and described as manipulative when in fact they’re not really doing anything any more scandalous than their male counterparts, and that frequently they have to give up their independence as well, piggybacking on a man.

The mood of the book is perfectly captured by a story at the centre. She describes how Bill and Hilary Clinton drove into a garage, only to find their car being services by one of Hilary’s childhood sweethearts. The ex-President apparently turned to her and said: “If you’d married him you’d be the wife of a gas station attendant, “ to which she replied, “No, I wouldn’t. I’d be married to the President of the United States of America.” One of the stronger themes in the book is that behind most strong men there is an even stronger woman just behind. And that most of these strong women are also basket cases because the masculine presence creates an emotional glass ceiling; they literally can’t live with him or without him.

In fact, in this case the title is as much a verb as the assumed noun. There is a lot of venom on display in the book; Wurtzel is ultimately disappointed with the poor showing of her gender on occasion after occasion. In the essay dealing with Anna Nicole Smith, who could diplomatically be described as the late wife of OJ Simpson, it’s clear that she can’t understand what Smith was still doing in the relationship, especially when ‘spousal battery’ (her words) are on the agenda. She offers examples from the popular culture (notably the musical Carousel) in which violence in a relationship is portrayed as acceptable, even as a display of affection. But this is a book which doesn’t even try to provide answers. It just thoroughly explores the questions as much as possible.

This makes for a very dense read. Like a channel changer on a tv, three different subjects are covered one page, then another subject is described slowly over twenty-five, which also causes things to be slightly uneven. And Liz really bangs away at those subjects. In place, I felt that a point had been made well enough, but it was still given another a five pages to breath through. This kind of repetition makes things quote difficult in places. But it’s so gloriously well written that you don’t really want to skip ahead in case you miss something interesting.
Life It's just after midnight and I really don't know what's happening. I only finished work two hours ago and I want to go to bed, but I feel like I'l be wasting the night. But the night has already happened. But I feel like I've got a hundred things to do, even though only thing I should be doing is sleeping. I just want the energy to carry on, do all the things I need to, but I keep having to rub my eyes to keep them open. Not even my constant water addiction is working any longer, as though my body has become immune to the effects. I miss noticing the world.
People Gwyneth fights back. The Paltrow has bought a camcorder so that she can record the freelancers who contantly ring her looking for photos. Documentary?
Blogging Fabulously negative article about weblogging, which doesn't say anything new on the subject, but is fascinating because it's written as though no one else has covered the subject. "The blog phenomenon is perhaps the strangest side of the Internet. It's stranger even than all the porn. Thousands of unremarkable people are posting their diaries on-line. Sometimes these blogs contain humorous commentary on global current events or local politics."
Architecture Tenerife gets a new concert hall. "The building will serve Santa Cruz, population 250,000, as an opera house and a venue for the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra, for chamber music groups, and for performances of dance, theater, and zarzuela (Spanish operetta)." With an English fish and chip shop opposite probably.
Music New band The Beatings are being forced to change their name, not because of the violent conotations, but because some band in Boston have already been there for a decade or so. How about 'The Beatings X'?
News I've been signed up to the Newsnight daily email for a few months, and it's a good insight into the minds of the presenters. Kirsty Walk tends to be all business, Gavin Esler is quite playful. Jeremy Paxman is bonkers, and always includes a joke. I had to post this one because I'm trying to work out if it's funny. I think it maybe, but I'm not sure why. The next voice you hear is that of Mr Paxman.
"Finally, among the 1,217 emails in my inbox was the following news of CIA attempts to recruit an assassin. I may have passed it on before, but it's more suitable for repetition than most of them.

"After carrying out the relevant background checks and interviews the CIA
was left with a shortlist of two men and one woman. Each was approached
for the final test by the assessor outside a locked room. First up is
one of the men. The CIA man says: "We must be sure that you can follow orders whateverthe circumstances. Inside this room you will find your wife sat on a
chair. Kill her."
"You can't be serious," shouts the man. "I could never do that."
"Thank you sir," says the CIA agent. "You're not suitable for this job. Please leave via that doorway."
The second male candidate is more resolute, takes the gun and enters the room. After a long five minutes of silence he walks out shaking his head. "I just couldn't do it - sorry." He too is dismissed.
Finally the agent gives the woman the same instructions, ordering her to kill her husband. The woman enters the room, from which emerge screams, crashes, bangs and groans. Silence eventually falls, the door opens and the woman walks out, wiping the sweat from her brow. "The damn gun was loaded with blanks," she says. "I had to beat him to death with the chair."
You sign yourself up here. With all these BBC links you'd think I worked for them.
Proxy Insider Anyone remember Blogger Insider? For new users, this involved webloggers swapping a series of questions to be answered on each other's weblogs. The debrit can be found here. On the few occasions that people responded it was quite an enjoyable excercise because you'd frequently find yourself answering questions you other wouldn't about politics, history, music, religion, the world. Plus it was an easy way to create content for your site. If any regular readers who have blogs would like to swap questions, I'll be open. Until then, I'll try and look through any questionaires I find lying about the place on the web or in magazines and newspapers. Firstly, with apologies to Caro, I'll answer her currently questions ...

listening to The Rough Guide to Russian Music
reading Bitch - Elizabeth Wurtzel (still) and the exemplorary magazine Word
excited about Moving home and my first holiday in nine months in September
wanting More time and energy.
wondering Why this year has been so dull in comparisson to last year.
thankful for Asteriod early warning detection systems. Those things could hit us any minute.
TV Late shifts at work this week, so I'll be Blog-lite. So, in the meantime Off The Telly published today and features a great article about nu-Treasure Hunt and an interview with Mark Wright who wrote this year's 24 companion.
tv I Love Blue Peter ... yet another great BBCi site. And considering it's for a kids show, it doesn't run away from cover the stories they'd like to forget. This from the late Michael Sundin biog:
"Three months after he left the programme a video emerged showing him dancing in his underwear in a London nightclub. The tabloids were soon reporting various details about his lifestyle. Michael Sundin died at the tragically young age of 28 of an AIDS-related illness."
But it does burst one of my great assumptions about the Ellis Clan:
"Janet left Blue Peter to have her second child. Rumour has it that she was sacked because she wasn't married to the father, but in actual fact it was Janet's decision to leave. The resulting bairn in question also wasn't Sophie Ellis Bextor."
Although I hear that in five's The Curse of Blue Peter on Monday night she gives a slightly different version. Richard Bacon's name sits unlinked just before the current encumbants. I wonder how that all will be covered. I'm off to make an Advent Crown ...