Thursday, August 17, 2006

Festival Update

All well here with the show and the festival. We had another lovely review on a website called The Groggy Squirrel. Please have a read. We sold out last night for the fourth time and the second night in a row.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Surely it's Obvious...

...that forcing kids into religious services is going to turn them in to atheists faster than GCSE science classes ever will! Statistically in the UK kids with two religious parents are 50% atheists, with one religious parent 75% atheists and two atheist parents very nearly 100% atheists. Rationalism will prevail and the religious nutters are helping us more than anybody else. Cheers guys...

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Catch me for Free Tomorrow

If you're up in Edinburgh come over to the meadows to the comedy tent where I shall be performing from 12.50pm for ten minutes and then compering from 2pm til 5pm. Thank goodness I have the night off afterwards!

Just a Reminder

Fertility treatment is not something to be undertaken lightly. With all the unwanted kids in the world it strikes me as very wrong that society encourages people to feel that they should risk their health and indeed their lives trying have kids which are genetically "their own".

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Women one tiny fraction as bad as men SHOCK-HORROR!

Every once in a while someone writes an article designed specially to piss me off. Step up Julie Bindel in the Guardian. She's talking about male prostitution (with female clients) in Jamaica. And her point is that women who participate in this are as bad as men who pay prostitutes. Sure but the number of women hiring male prostitutes is tiny compared to the number of men who do so. Personally I have never met a woman who has hired a man for sex. However I have met dozens of guys who have visited brothels, people I've had to work with and for, people who've bragged about the hilarious scenes they've witnessed in brothels and round the back of supposedly legitimate lap-dancing clubs. So women aren't as bad as men, a tiny tiny proportion of women are as bad as a huge slice of the male population.

Statistic vary by country. In Thailand eighty-five percent of men have visited a prostitute (down from 96% since the news about HIV got around). Sixty to seventy percent have in Holland, fifty percent in the US, I can't find anything resembling believable numbers for the UK but I can find lists upon lists of UK brothels on the internet, not to mention advice for would-be johns travelling overseas for their comoditized sex. Trying to look up numbers for women who have visited male prostitutes doesn't work because the first 200 links that come up are about female prostitution.

There are a bunch of other issues that unbalance the similarity between the two sides:

1) There is no evidence of the female "johns" ("janes"?) raping or beating the male prostitutes. In the US it is estimated that 25% of female prostitutes have been raped more than ten times.

2) The men working in Jamaica are not doing so from brothels, they're doing so on an individual basis, chatting up older women, taking them out, etc, then asking for financial favours. By that standard a large number of guys in the UK who marry or date women half their age whom they shower with gifts and credit cards, are similarly guilty of hiring prostitutes. I think that's harsh.

3) Ms Bindel complains that these women use unpleasant language to describe the men they consort with such as "black men can keep it up longer". Well I hate racial stereotypes and language like that but it sounds positively innocent compared to the sort of thing I heard every day from my desk when I worked in Japan. British men sitting within earshot of my desk would standardly refer to asian women as "rice burners" and "extra baggage" (i.e. that you should avoid having to take home).

I'm not saying women should be encouraged to engage in sexual tourism. But the idea that women are "as bad as men" in this respect is ridiculous. Lets focus on the real problems.

Footnote [added later!] - in retrospect, more familiar as I now am with Ms Bindel's work I should add that while I stick by my point that the media do have disproportionate over-coverage of male prostitution, relative to female, Julie's works is really very balanced and includes ample thorough coverage of the issues surrounding women in the sex industry!

Poor Old Dears

The government appears to have noticed something that us feminists have been banging on about for years: that very few women retire on a full state pension, compared to men. Well the reason is simple - it's because women often suspend their careers to raise families and therefore wind up not having enough years of N.I. contributions to qualify for full pension. Now it's not so much of a problem when there's an additional widow's pension available and the divorce rate is low. However these days that's no longer the case. The government's response? Tell women to save more! Or in other words make it completely clear to all and sundry that the government does not value home-making and child-raising as real work. My advice to women worried about their futures? Don't have kids, don't waste time and energy caring for elderly and ill relatives and don't even think about voluntary work - that way lies poverty.

Hard work this comedy lark!

Well I've promised for the show to take up any adrenaline challenge presented to me and today I was tested thoroughly on my willingness to go through with it by Stuart Andrews who kindly (?) volunteered to teach me free-running. Yes, that's the jumping from building to building stuff. Fortunately he didn't make me jump from anything higher than about four foot up (that was scary enough though) but I did end up about 20 foot up at some points wondering if this was really a sensible place to be perched. As for the stuff he was showing me - amazing! Clinging to tiny little ledges and climbing stuff with no apparent foot or hand holds whatsoever. And he was jumping over 'phone boxes too! Photos promised to follow! My back is so sore now, and my arms, and legs, neck, stomach, phew!

Show tonight was good, lots of heckling, which I loved. Felt a bit regretful that I had to go back to material afterwards, I would rather have chatted all night really! Perhaps I should plan a chunk of it I can drop if I'm having too much fun with the hecklers...? If you fancy coming for a heckle yourself please do - click here for tickets!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Belated Cru-blog in the Guardian

Only just found this today - the Cru-blog made the guardian a few weeks back! Thing I wrote about homophobic lyrics. Cool!

Smoke Signals

We could see this going on from central Edinburgh yesterday. Actually Mr Cru was walking up Arthur's Seat at the time (sadly without his barbeque set).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Another four-star review

Show opened last night, we were very nearly full, only a handful of empty seats. I was really happy with the show AND we had a reviewer in from National Student magazine who has already sent us her review. Four stars! And here's what they said:

ADRENALINE
Kate Smuthwaite
Charming, witty and with just a hint of a wicked glint in her eye, Kate Smuthwaite’s exuberant and affable personality is a little reminiscent of an excitable, slightly irresponsible head girl luring impressionable fourth formers into some illicit fun. You’d have to be made of granite not to warm to her as she relives first hand experiences of extreme activities undertaken in pursuit of an adrenaline rush, making bungee jumping and sky diving sound positively blasé. The characters she introduces are a little hit and miss and the show would benefit from better visual presentation, but for an evening of thrills and chuckles you’d do worse than seeing Ms Smurthwaite: she’s great company.

I was dead happy with that. Tickets, as usual, available here for the rest of the run.

Friday, August 04, 2006

First show tonight

This is me at the technical run-through. Those lights are going to really hurt my eyes once we get going. Really looking forward to tonight though. It's preview prices (a fiver or four for concessions) so please come iof you can. Tickets from here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Spotted my posters in the street!

So couldn't resist duplicating the pose!

Nice article about me

There was a piece about publicity stunts on the Edinburgh Fringe website, featuring a piccie of me on the wing of a biplane and talking about the stuff I've been doing for my show.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Arrived in Ed

Got here yesterday and settled into the flat. Very amused to see four huge posters of me about fifty yards from the flat. This could go to my head. Am flat-sharing with Mr Cru as usual and the wildly talented Anna Black. She is a short film maker who has a lovely website www.annablack.com and is also blogging about her festival exeriences here.

Wrecks and the City

I very rarely regret having left this industry...