Tuesday, 8 January 2013

2013: My wishlist

I would like to go back to this now please.

2013 has only just started, but Christmas feels like ages ago and miss it already. I might have to be one of those nutters who has (or at least, they tell the tabloids they have) “Christmas every day” complete with full roast dinner and the Queen’s speech on a loop. Except if I was going to choose one Christmassy day to repeat Groundhog Day-style, I’d probably pick one in the hazy, timeless period between Christmas and New Year. It’s better than pre-Crimbo, when you’re running around like a lunatic making goat’s cheese nibbles and buying one more packet of nuts and running out of sellotape just before you’ve finished wrapping your presents. It’s better than Christmas day itself, which can be a bit anticlimactic. After Christmas you can relax and play with your new toys (er, electronic equipment) and watch Jurassic Park every time it’s on. You can also still watch Santa movies because technically you’re still in the festive season. Life is awesome.

But now we’re well into the new year, what do we want to achieve? Here's my wishlist:

1) I want just one media reference to Christina Hendricks which doesn't use the word “curves.” It doesn’t have to be a whole article or anything – hacks are only human – but I think journalists everywhere should make a collective effort to see if they can just manage a picture caption or something without the “C” word. (But don’t say full-figured, because she hates that.)

Christina Hendricks: She looks nice.
(There, that wasn't so difficult, was it?)

2) Next time we have some sort of Comic Relief telethon in which celebrities do “amusing” things, I would like to see all the TV chefs swap personas. It would make me chortle to see Nigella lisp about “getting these bad boys in the oven – bish, bosh, done!” and Delia licking the spoon seductively as she waxes lyrical about the plump, succulent nature of, say, a pan of rice. TV execs, can we make this happen?

And Jamie can channel my Mum: this means learning basic hygiene, like 
not licking a spoon and putting it back in the bowl. Also occasionally doing
 something radical like removing the seeds from a pepper before serving it.

3) Also re: TV, I think I speak for us all when I say I want the The X Factor to go away now; the format is old and tired. This isn’t the fault of the contestants, but the Producers. We’re all hip to the old “Let’s keep in one talentless fame whore just to make things interesting!” gag now. It’s been faithfully recycled year after year (Jedward, Wagner, Rylan...) and is much less interesting than a simple competition between 12 really talented kids that you genuinely root for, because you wish they could ALL win. The trend in 2012 was to keep voting in the charisma-free Christopher, just for a laugh. It’s kind of like those lions at the zoo who always very deliberately spray at the gawking hordes (yes, I watched a lot of You’re Been Framed over Xmas. I never said I was classy): we may be a captive audience, but we can always find a way to express our contempt.

Telephone voting: cleaner, but probably not as much fun.

4) Much as I am appalled at Derren Brown’s apparent disregard for ethics, I’ve got a blinder for his next project. I was inspired by Christmas TV (of course) and thought how cool (but mean) it would be to create a fake It’s a Wonderful Life / The Family Man scenario. The latter would be easier because you’d only have to sneak your unfortunate, comatose victim into a strange house and wait for him to wake up alongside people who would claim to be his wife and children. (I fear that the It’s a Wonderful Life set up would require too many acting skills (and no giggling) from the guy’s existing family and friends.) After he’d spent a few weeks adjusting to life in the suburbs, away from the glitz of his city job and midnight martini-drinking, you’d be like “Psyche! You have to go back to your whiny girlfriend and joyless existence now!” it would be hilarious.

It would also be funny if you never let on that it was fake, and he spent the rest 
of his life believing that he had supernaturally glimpsed his other potential life.
 I BET somebody somewhere will one day make this a reality TV show.
4) We REALLY need a change in the law regarding donor cards. At the moment, there is always a shortage of vital organs, which means that people die unnecessarily (and sometimes even die after being given the lungs of a chronic smoker, because any lungs are better than none.) This is madness. I know some people don’t like the idea of themselves or a loved one being cut up into pieces after death, but to be blunt, your former body is going to be either worm food or ashes soon anyway, so why not save some lives first?

An acquaintance once told me very earnestly that her mother (a nurse) had told her to NEVER carry a donor card, because if you come in after an accident, the doctors won’t try very hard to save you because they’ll be thinking gleefully of all the organs they can harvest – the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. Apparently this lady had “seen it happen” many times. Sounds crazy, but who knows? The Liverpool Care Pathway seems to have neatly bypassed the Hippocratic Oath. 

It’s obvious that the system should default to everyone's bodies being used for organ donation automatically, with an “opt out” choice available: organ shortage problem solved overnight. Plus, if your heart or eyes go to help another person, and then they also donate when they die, it’s kind of like your cells living forever, in lots of different people. Immortality, sorted.

5) And finally, I want a puppy like this one please. Happy new year!

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