Wednesday, December 01, 2004
It's been 11 weeks now since I was last able to skip and jump, and yesterday I got up at 5am and did something I haven't done in a long time: I caught a train. It was just as marvellous as I remembered it. Fortunately I was able to get into the disabled seat, waving my crutch (which I no longer need) to demonstrate that I deserved said seat. Then a guy in a wheelchair rolled up...

Later in the day I caught a bus. It was just like being a normal person. I can still only bend my leg 95 degrees, and walk like an arthritic old man who's just pooped himself, but apart from that I'm fine. Looks like it's back to work full time next week.

I've been meaning to vent my spleen about The X-Factor on here for a while now. For those who haven't seen it, it's the latest Pop Idol style TV 'talent' show whereby Simon Cowell and chums take members of the singing public and turn them into stars. Yeah, like Hear'say and Michelle 'I wonder what my toes look like' McManus. Or Rik Waller, who recently sold one ticket for a show in Torquay. I love such shows, and this one is spiced up by the rivalry between the judges, who are each responsible for some of the acts. Each judge has, at present, one act left, after Rowetta, the former Happy Mondays backing vocalist, was cruelly ditched on Saturday and consigned to the dumper. Here's what I think of them.

First, Simon has Steve, a twinkly-eyed white soul singer who never stops smiling. I like Steve. I mean, I wouldn't buy his records, unless he was given some amazing material, but he seems like a genuinely nice bloke who doesn't beg for votes like the other desperadoes. He reminds me of an older Will Young. He even does the teapot dance. I should also point out that Simon Cowell is by far my favourite judge.

Secondly, Louis Walsh has G4. I don't know where to begin. Let's take Louis Walsh first. The man responsible for bringing Boyzone to Britain (shame the ferry didn't sink en route), Louis has confounded doctors by managing to walk despite having no spine. It's amazing. He simpers and begs for sympathy, and even stooped to describing one act, who happens to be blind, as a 'poor boy', which was one of the most cringesome moments on TV for a long time. His best act, Voices With Soul, got voted out because, lets face it, the great racist British public don't like voting for black people in these talent contests. So now he's left with G4, who couldn't be any whiter. G4 are a bunch of middle-class choirboys with angelic faces whose gimmick is to butcher rock classics in the style of the King Singers. It's almost too horrible to describe - I mean, we're venturing into Stephen King territory here. "I'm a kur-reeeeeep," they warble in their monstrously posh accents. The nadir came this week when Jonathan, the good-looking one (the others look like junior accountants who've had one too many business lunches), started blubbing on air because he was so worried about his bedridden mummy. What life-threatening illness did mater have? A cold.

Last and least come Sharon Osbourne and Tabby. No, tabby is not a cat, though it might be for the best if he were put down. But let's concentrate on Sharon first. What is it that the public love about Sharon? How has she fooled people? She's successful because a) she married a famous rock star and managed him, and b) appeared on a reality TV show on which she demonstrated less dignity than Paris Hilton and the child-rearing skills of a she-jackal (I mean, look how Kelly and wotsisname turned out). In a magazine interview recently she said that all Japanese people look the same, her hubbie used to collect Nazi Memorabilia and she wears fur. Lots of it. I really hate her. But not half as much as I hate Tabby. With a face that was made for slapping, the devastingly dense Tabby comes on stage each week and pretends to play a guitar that isn't plugged in while grimacing his way through some piece of soft-rock shit, often depending on the audience to sing for him while he prances about and shouts 'Come on' like a karaoke Jon Bon Jovi. His low point came when he displayed pictures of his baby while singing Sweet Child of Mine. Speeeeeew. He is utterly, utterly talentless and cretinous and just makes me want SOMETHING!

Phew. Rant over. But if either G4 or Tabby win I might start ranting again.