Classic Movie Quest: “Pickup On South Street” and “Funny Face”

Tuesday 24 September, 2019

Pickup On South Street (Originally watched and reviewed in 2013)

This film start’s off when a lowly pick-pocketing thief, called Skip McCoy, lifts the purse/wallet of a woman called Candy, which, unbeknownst to the pair of them, contains a microfilm of top secret information that should have gone to a communist informant.

I mean with a set up like that, what’s not to like? Unfortunately… the second half of the movie.

The problem I had with this film, is that all but one of the characters annoyed me. Or, the situations they were putting themselves in that drove the plot. The familiar face and dry wit of Thelma Ritter, who in this film is playing a police informant called Moe, was the only character I liked the whole time I was watching. She’s not so clean herself, but she’s in the know. She’s a stoolie, and that’s what makes her useful to the police. Well, that, and the clothes she sells to them from out of a brief case.

The rest, though, really irritated me. Joey knows what he’s doing with that information, but he’s too afraid to leave his apartment to do it himself, so he gets Candy to do all of the legwork. Candy does what’s asked of her, no questions asked. Even when she’s had the wallet stolen, she returns to Joey and does more bidding for him. He wants her to go back out and find who stole the wallet, because obviously it’s that easy…

Well, it must be, because once she does find Skip McCoy, she gets a punch to the face, which knocks her out, and then when she’s fully conscious again, tries to turn on her charm to get the wallet, or at least the contents of the wallet, back.

And then she’s falling for Skip, and… Yeah, I don’t know. There’s something about starting a relationship with a punch to the face that doesn’t really go down well with me.

Even the good people I’m meant to like, the policemen; They annoyed me because they had Candy under surveillance and yet didn’t step in when she was being pick-pocketed, allowing Skip McCoy to walk off with the so called top secret information! How is that meant to make sense?

It’s no The Big Sleep.

2/10

Funny Face (Originally watched and reviewed in 2013)

This is a classic Audrey Hepburn film. Apparently. From experience, I do know that I’m not really one for Hepburn films, but I still watched it with something like an open mind. After all, not every single film on this classic film quest has been a bust!

So, anyway, Audrey Hepburn plays a philosophical bookworm, Jo Stockton, who gets targeted by the duo team of fashion magazine editor, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson), and fashion photographer, Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), after finding she works in the adorable book shop they’ve staked out as their place to do a photo shoot. But, Jo (Hepburn) doesn’t want anything to do with it! She doesn’t like the fashion industry, and thinks it’s a waste of time, and more importantly, they’re disturbing the books! Sentiments I agree with very much. The problem is, this is a romcom film, and even more, it’s a musical, so we inevitably know she’ll change her tune once worn down enough. (Pun only a little bit intended)

Like literally two scenes later, they spend maybe fifteen minutes in-film time together, Dick kisses her, she says she’s not interested and then sings a love balad about him.

Ahuh…

And then after they try and give her an impromtu make over, which she hates and runs away from, they all end up going to Paris together. This is after Dick Avery sings a song based on a back handed compliment that actually gives the name to the film. Basically, Jo said she couldn’t be a model because she has a funny face, Dick Avery then says (paraphrasing) says Maggie said the same thing but boy, could they use a funny face like hers!

Ahuh….

I didn’t last much longer after that. If someone could explain to me why they like this film, I’d really appreciate it.

1/10


Yes, we know about the menstrual cups

Thursday 12 September, 2019

If someone had told me at age fourteen that I would one day become so incensed by a sub-group of menstrual rights campaigners that I would write a blog post for everyone to read on the subject of menstruating and the right to choose which products suit you, I would have blushed and looked at you like you’d grown a second head.

But here I am, writing a blog post for everyone to see because a certain sub-group of menstrual rights campaigners have incensed me. Incensed!

Now before I get started, I know it might not sound like it, what with the straws issue and now this, I really do care about the environment. But I also really care about people and if i was to put something first, it was would be people above senseless ideals. The idea of recycling is always reduce, re-use and recycle. Nowhere does it say “Make a one size fit all solution to the detriment of a lot people”. For example, if you don’t need a plastic straw, great, don’t use one. But you don’t get to tell disabled people who do need plastic straws to find another solution… Well, unfortunately for me, you do get to tell people that because of the international bans that are happening everywhere. But this isn’t about straws, this is about menstrual cups. And the menstrual cup brigade keep coming on to posts, into the threads, on facebook, twitter, blog posts, charity articles, and vomit their hivemind all over it: “Use menstrual cups! Why not use menstrual cups! Give them menstrual cups! Take away choice and replace it with a menstrual cup!”

We get it, Martha, you love your Menstrual Cup so much you don’t just want to marry it, you want us all to marry it too. Like a cult.

For those of you don’t know what a menstrual cup is, a menstrual cup is an egg-cup shaped sillicone cup with a short funnel, which you stick up your, erm, “ladyfloo” (Look, I’ve got better with this sort of stuff over the last few years but you’re going to have to bear with me here, I’m not Jackie Collins) during your period and it collects the blood. I believe you have to empty it every 8 hours, or sooner if you have a heavy flow, but unlike tampons, there’s a low risk of toxic shock syndrome.

But the menstrual cup, however great for these people, is not the one size fits all solition they wish it to be, and I am quite frankly thoroughly sick of it being suggested every time a period-related issue comes up.

It is not going to help homeless people on their period, because not only is it still cost prohibitive to buy, there are a lot of hygiene related issues when it comes to being homeless. Even when given free ones, you have to think about cleaning it, you have to think about sterilising it, and you have to think about storing it. It is not good to just “wipe it with a bit of tissue” like I keep seeing suggested! I’m not a microbiologist, but I think the last thing a homeless person would want is to be made sick by a bit of remnant tissue fibres and dried blood being shoved back up inside them when their own hands don’t feel clean enough to even handle applicated tampons. And homeless people have their stuff stolen, confiscated, ruined and set on fire on a regular basis.

It’s not going to help girls staying off school because of period poverty, again because the cost is prohibitive, and you’re asking twelve year old girls who might not even be comfortable with tampons to handle something like a menstrual cup – by these people’s own admission, there is a “technique” to it – at a time when their bodies are changing. They might have strict parents, or strict religious parents, or helicopter parents with boundary issues who do not allow insertable period products which means they couldn’t wear them even if they wanted them.

And thirdly, it’s got to be about choice! And what I keep seeing from the menstrual cup brigade, is that they see these as all individual problems all solved with this one thing. Too poor to regularly buy period care? That’s okay, one up front cost of £20 and you’re set for 10 years! Kids can’t go to school on their period? Get them a menstrual cup! Amazon workers can’t have bathroom breaks to deal with tampons and pads? Don’t worry, the menstrual cup can be used for 8 hours! Long journey and a tendency to leak? You can’t leak with a menstrual cup (you absolutely can if it’s not inserted correctly or your flow is heavy)!Oh the environment’s suffering at all the disposable period care that makes it into the eco system? Solve it by only ever using one product for the next 10 years! Let’s ignore that you might need to clean it and use something in your underwear whilst it’s being cleaned.

That’s the menstrual cup brigade’s modus operandi. They ignore a lot of things. They ignore what they themselves know – Everybody is different, and because of that, everyone needs different things. The size and shape doesn’t work for everyone, just like tampons don’t work for everyone. On a very personal note, I have almost always exlcusively used pads because I can not use tampons. I’ve used them twice, I am not compatible with them, and cups are bigger and take more handling to insert. I’d rather freebleed than try a menstrual cup.

There’s a “technique” that some people, no matter how hard they try, can not “master the art of”. And, by the menstrual cup brigade’s own admission, sometimes you have to use a different type. Now a quick google tells me the Mooncup is £21.99, the Lily Cup is £18.99 and the Diva Cup is £24. So that’s someone, who might not have that kind of money, forking out at least £65 to try something that might just not work with their body? Bodies are so different! Why are people, in this day and age of understanding the issue with “for women” clothes sizes, and diet advice and medication is more dependent on an individual basis, so ignorant to suggest this one solution can work for all body types, all flows, all lives and all priorities? It doesn’t!

I am barely scraping the top of the issues I have with the menstrual cup brigade here!

I have seen them say charities should hand them out to every kid who starts their period and they’ll be set for all of school. As well as the issues i’ve already covered, ignoring the matter of simply choice, am I really reading that a bunch of adults think a child who could be as young as eight use a menstrual cup!? I mean we’re talking the practical sizing issues of this, and the emotional trauma of starting puberty young. At least lillets do nice small pads aimed at tweens in cute packaging. It’s inoffensive, it’s non-confrontational and it, or at least it is aiming to, convey the message “you might have started your period, but you’re still a child!”. I can’t see them being able to manage that with a menstrual cup. I’m not sure I’ve even seen tampons aimed at tweens.

And yes, at the forefront of this, is choice. It doesn’t matter if the menstrual cup brigade can bulldoze over issues such as pracitcality (Ask a cafe for some boiling water!) and hygiene (just wipe it with a tissue!) and home life situations (tell your parents you make your own decisions! Your religion is oppressive!), they can not bulldoze over the simple matter of choice.

You have the right to choose what to use with your period care. And whilst I’ve seen the menstrual cup villify anyone who explains their issues with the menstrual cup, blaming them for not doing it the right way, not using the right product, not having the right body, and downright eviscerating anyone who says it’s simply something they choose not to use, it doesn’t change the simple matter of fact that you have your own rights and your own voice. Don’t let them take away disposable pads, disposable tampons and plastic applicators like the straw brigade took away our straws.

And if you’re reading this thinking “Well I just like to suggest to people there are options”, here’s the problem, you’re not the only one making the same suggestion. If you think by now poeple don’t know about the menstrual cup, if you think your ability to use one means everyone has the ability, the practicality, the financial stability to use one (or two or three), maybe just try one thing before you barrel on with that suggestion: Ask them if they want a suggestion for an alternative first. Because I can tell you, they probably don’t. Homeless poeple don’t, school children don’t, charities working with vulnerable people don’t. They just want people to have better access to the products that they are already familiar with.

Just, stop.