Friday, 13 February 2009

The World's Biggest Dickheads and Me

So what have I watched on TV this week?

Masterchef of course! By far the most amusing snippet of this week's "bring back last year's losers" round was John Torrode saying "Who's going to stay? But more importantly, who's going to leave?". Brilliant.

A rather less hilarious documentary called The World's Biggest Family and Me. I'm not really a fan of Mark Dolan - the guy who does this series of shows, mainly because he has a far more brilliant, interesting and well paid job than me (imagine Googling something, saying to your boss "Give me some dough, and I'll go halfway round the world to chat to them" and they just happen to be really up for it). But more seriously, I also don't feel he takes enough advantage of the opportunity he's given to really lay into some of the people he comes across, because some of them are complete idiots.

The last episode I watched, The World's Most Enhanced Woman and Me, was basically an expose - among others - of a despicably controlling man and his wife, whose mutilation of her own body through plastic surgery was entirely his doing. Dolan's awkward feet-shuffling around the uncomfortable truth behind this woman's ridiculously over-sized assets was rather frustrating for me. I was left hoping that the woman would be granted a bit of luck and inadvertently smother her husband in his sleep with her massive boobs.

Anyway, at the top of the programme, Dolan insightfully notes that the propensity to have a very large family was going to inextricably linked with religion. Hmm, kinda like every other thing on the planet deemed unreasonable, impractical or outdated. This is what gets me about religion - certain eshcelons will always use it to facilitate and justify what most of us consider to be extreme wrongs. Particularly among groups who - ironically - are most in need of a bit of the kind of support religion should be all about.

But any good feeling about religion wanes in me when I come across something like this. Seeing absolutely knackered women, having spend 17 out of 24 years pregnant is a real peep into what life could be like if you allowed yourself to be governed by religion, or a particularly stoical man...and its truly horrifying. The women were largely silent, and looked like they were scared of saying this wasn't what they wanted. Or just couldn't be bothered.

The blinkered belief and unwavering insistence of some evangelical groups is what makes it impossble to hear their argument objectively. Any assumption that we were dealing with a logical bunch of people was quickly quashed when one father of thirteen said - seriously - that there was more evidence to suggest the Bible's version of creation than there is to back up evolutionary theory. Not sure where he's getting his evidence, but certainly not from Darwin.

Why should it be that compassion for the mother and obeying religious instruction in procreation seemed to be mutually exclusive concepts. I was left wondering why they couldn't just stop having sex - it could only be a welcome break in the hectic mating schedule of the mothers.