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Posts Tagged ‘Julie Burchill’

Since she began writing for the NME as a teenager in the 1970s, Julie Burchill has  been one of the best-known and most talked-about journalists in the UK. Over the last 30 years, she’s written provocative pieces for a wide variety of British publications, from the Sun to the Observer. She is currently a columnist at the Independent. She’s also the author of bestselling novels Ambition and Sugar Rush.

EDITED ON NOVEMBER 25TH, 2010: Since completing this questionnaire, Julie has made it crystal clear that she still thinks our entire nation, presumably including us, are rabidly anti-semitic, Vatican-worshiping, anti-feminist, homophobic imbeciles (she probably missed the two times we elected feminist, gay-friendly, female presidents). Thanks, Julie!

What was the first record you ever bought?

BAND OF GOLD by Freda Payne. Fitting, as I have been married thrice.

What’s your favourite smell?

My husband Dan on holiday in a hot country when he hasn’t washed for three days.

Have you ever had a nickname?

Dan calls me ‘Linda’ and my best friend Katie calls me ‘Emma.’ Does that count?

What is your favourite room in your house?

Where the magic happens, of course… in front of my Bang & Olufsen TV.

What are your guilty pleasures?

I cannot feel guilt – never have done. There’s something wrong with me.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I am super-religious.

Who is your closest female friend?

Katie Glass.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings?

Be serious! I’m 51!

Where would you most like to live?

Tel Aviv, Israel.

Who was your first kiss and where did it happen?

With Kevin Sweet, aged 5, behind a bookcase in Bristol Broomhill Mixed Infants. I can still remember it so it must have been hot?

What’s the most unusual question you’ve ever been asked?
‘Can we split the bill?’ I pay for EVERYTHING – hate the idea of going Dutch. EEEK!!

What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
I don’t remember – I don’t care for presents.

What is your favourite word?
Israel. Pronounced in the Hebrew way – ISS- RAY-ELLE.

Who was your first love?
Nadia Comaneci.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what might you have become?
Sad!

Is there a book you’ve bought several times as a gift for someone?
SO MANY! FREAKONOMICS, THE GORSE TRILOGY, HANGOVER SQUARE, COLD COMFORT FARM, SUGAR RUSH, NOT IN MY NAME – the list is endless!

What happens after we die?
I don’t know, and look forward to finding out.

What female historical figure do you admire most?
Golda Meir

Sum yourself up in three words:
Fun, tough, generous

And finally… What are you anti? What are you pro?
I am pro-freedom, and anti-oppression. OMG! CORNY OR WHAT!

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In today’s Guardian there is an In Defense of Madonna-style article by Aida Edemariam (oh to have a name like that) giving out about the fact that people like Camille Paglia, Germaine Greer and Julie Burchill have all turned on the 50-year-old pop star.

Why is Madonna causing such disapproval amongst her purportedly feminist sistas? Aida sees it as the fact that Madonna has stopped being in agreement with their mores and thus is bad, wrong, crap, whatever. What is more surprising is that the criticisms (as Aida presents them; I haven’t seen the original articles) seem to be based on those old chestnuts age and looks. Germaine calls Madonna an ‘elderly mother’, Camille calls her face ‘a resculpted plastic doll’ and gives out about the ‘brassy’ cover image of Hard Candy (please, is ‘brassy’ even something you can criticise a woman for being anymore?). Then Burchill, who has nightmares about Madonna’s ‘greasy muff’, gets on about Madonna’s ‘vile veiny hands and stringy neck’. Jeeaysis. We’ve talked before about bitchiness between women and girl-on-girl hate  here and these comments, as presented, seem like good examples of this.

It seems like none of these women has anything to criticise Madonna about apart from the fact that, like us all, she is getting older, and like most of us, she is concerned with preserving her looks. So what? Is it just me, or do these seem like cheap shots?

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So, someone has a crush on us. That’s deadly, so it is. Right back at ya, Rosie. Though I’m not sure what Twenty Major would make of our little love-in.

Still and all, where would we be without our girlie crushes? Here are some of mine:

1. Dawn Porter

Truth be told, I never had much time for the Balls Of Steel-era Dawn Porter, but my appreciation for the Porter really took flight when she got her own BBC 3 seriesof documentaries last year. Unapologetically candid and real, the documentaries explored lesbianism, being single, childbirth, nudity and the much maligned Size Zero debate. Dawn is, quite frankly, a lethal combination of doe-eyed sexiness and quirky, unassuming sass. On top of all else, she rides a folding bike and is an Aquarian, therefore rendering her pretty much perfect in my eyes. Arguably one of the most natural and charming TV presenters out there, Dawn is the sort of girl that would make truly drinking company. Good old Dawn would be the saucy, bat-yer-lashes yin to my violently smutty, X-rated yang. I’d be going on about my gagging-for-it cuntflaps, curved cocks, gay porn, double penetration and the like; she’d blush, peer coyly over the rim of her Pimms & Lemonade and in her cute, posh Veruca Salt voice, say something cheeky like, ‘Actually, they’re called fanny-flaps, Leigh’. You can tell I’ve had a think about this, right?

2. Diablo Cody

You can’t not have a girl-crush on someone whose name is Diablo Cody. When the opening credits started for Juno – hands down, the best film of last year – I couldn’t wait to get out of the cinema and Google the heck out of this person on the strength of her moniker (her real name, Brooke Busey, makes her sound like a prissy, bitchy prom queen in a John Hughes film). Imagine my delight, surprise (and, oh Jesus, cold-blooded envy) when she turned out to be a foxy babe in the LA-rockabilly vein. I love those kind of broads, all jet-black fringes and tatty leopard print coats. Not only is Diablo a sort of glamorous, old-Hollywood throwback; her writing kicks serious ass. Say what you will about its Degrassi Junior High teen speak, but Juno has as whip-smart, perfectly-pitched and touchingly funny a script as you’ll find anywhere. Still, as much as I love Diablo, I do have to take points off for her watery Oscar acceptance speech. That’s the other thing: I really was downright jealous of her Oscar dress, and indeed of her Oscar win. She didn’t even have to fuck sing with Glen Hansard to get it.

3. Immodesty Blaize

Dita Von Teese me hoop…Immodesty – sturdily created in the original burlesque tradition – is a proper ridebag. Much like me, this lass – born Kelly Fletcher – has plenty of junk in the trunk. (Hell, what am I talking about? I have junk in the backseat, the bonnet, the glove compartment. Fuck, even my air fresheners have junk on ‘em. Anyway). On top of being endlessly sexy, Immodesty has a devilish glint in her eye that suggests that she too might be a rather fun girl to down cocktails with. What’s more, in addition to becoming the world’s most smoulderingly sexy burlesque dancer, she’s also written two novels. Is there no end to the wagon’s talents, I ask you?

4. Julie Burchill

The one thing I adore about Julie Burchill is the fact that she could – and readily would, without much provocation – eat a young one like me for breakfast. Seriously, The Burchill would probably pick a fight with her own shadow – you have to dig girls like that. It’s not so much Burchill’s colourful and strong opinions that do it for me – girls who rail against boys and Daily Mail readers are a dime a dozen, after all – but it’s the way she undercuts her vitriol with this puny, girly voice. It’s incredible, really. Float like a Minnie Mouse, sting like a motherfucking bee. Still, imagine getting on the right side of The Burchill though…how incredible and gratifying an experience would that be? One of my favourite Burchill rants was aimed at housewives who bang about making ‘a contribution’ while watching Jeremy Kyle all day: “it’s just tidying up after yourself!” she once squeaked. Brilliant. Yet for all those perfectly-pitched pot-shots, Julie came a little unstuck when she became particularly vocal while defending chavs, and celebrated her own chav existence. Yet surely she knows that marrying boys called Cosmo and writing for the Guardian does not a chav make?

5. Peaches

Good old Merril Niskel. I love the fact that Peaches used to be a schoolteacher and coined the phrase ‘hermaphrodite envy’…what’s not to like? Also, can you believe this girl is 41? Hot feckin’ dang! There’s something about her caustic , tough-as-boots sexuality that really cranks my proverbial chain. I should imagine that going down on Peaches would probably be not dissimilar to sticking your tongue on a car battery. And I do mean that in the best way possible.

6. Floria Sigismondi

You can keep your Zadie Smiths and your Cate Blanchetts…Floria Sigismondi is, bar none, the most talented person in possession of a fanny out there. You may know some of her music videos: she has directed ‘Untitled 1 (Vaka)’ for Sigur Ros, ‘Obstacle 1’ for Interpol and, famously, ’The Beautiful People’ for Marilyn Manson. In fact, she’s largely responsible for much of the latter’s imagery.

Her elaborate books of photography are like crack-fuelled space shuttle trips for your eyes. The daughter of Italian opera singers, this Canadian is responsible for some of the most incredible goth/Victoriana imagery out there. Steely, original and uncompromising, Floria describes her images as “entropic underworlds inhabited by tortured souls and omnipotent beings.” Oof! On top of that, Floria is a bit of an imposing babe herself. Some girls have all the luck.

I think I’m beginning to see a pattern to my girl crushes – they are all multi-talented, alpha-females who can (probably) drink like fish, curse like sailors and might go off like a pocket of firecrackers in the scratcher. Being from Canada and having a sexy fake name: optional.

Over to you peeps…got any girl crushes you might like to share?

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