Okay, fingers on buzzers, quickfire answers, no conferring:
Which is better for breathing: oxygen or gravy?
It’s oxygen! Ten points for anyone who got that right.
Who is the current president of the United States: Barack Obama or Dangermouse?
It’s Barack Obama! Another ten points.
Last one. Which is the more abhorrent and “shameful” thing you can do to a teenage girl: pay her millions of dollars to act in a series of blockbuster movies, or murder her by burying her alive as punishment for a trivial infringement of an appallingly misogynistic interpretation of religious dogma?
Ha! Trick question. They’re both the same.
Yep, I know, it’s surprising. I’m pretty sure I’d have got that one wrong. It’s one of those funny, counter-intuitive things that always causes Alan Davies to set off the klaxon in the last round of QI. Luckily Liz Jones of the Daily Mail is here to correct this particular nugget of general ignorance in a truly impressive article, headlined:
LIZ JONES: Honour killings? What we’ve done to young Emma is just as shameful
I’m putting that there so you know I’m not exaggerating her point.
She asks whether the West can really “claim the moral high ground when it comes to condemning these ‘honour’ killings”. I know it’s meant as a rhetorical question, but sometimes those deserve to be answered anyway, so I’m going to take a stab at this one.
Yes. Yes we fucking can.
Any worthwhile commentary that might have been brought to any of these subjects is completely buried under the mounds of overpowering stupid. Liz Jones’s main concern seems to be that Emma Watson – who is 19 years old and physically very attractive – has made more money in this particular year than Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren, two older but very well respected actresses, who just happen not to have featured prominently in one of the most lucrative film franchises in history lately. This is the best example that Liz Jones can find of the deplorable way that we Westerners objectify and degrade women.
And because of this, it’s hypocritical of anyone in the developed world to criticise another country’s routine ritual murdering of teenage girls.
You know, she sort of veers somewhere in the general direction of making some kind of sense, in places. She brings up the issue of violence against women in Britain, for instance, which is a real problem that merits serious attention.
She also points out that, when President Obama spoke to the EU in Istanbul last year, he urged them to accept the country of Turkey into the union, and did not bring up that country’s especially terrible record on women’s rights.
Now, I don’t know if that particular speech would have been really the right time to bring it up – I have no idea of the context in which it was made – but maybe it’s something Obama should be talking about more. I’m willing to hear someone make that case.
But if you’re going to bring up some truly horrifying details about “honour suicides” that women are being forced into, and criticise Obama for concentrating instead on “the far less controversial issue of global warming”, it really doesn’t help when your very next words are:
But let’s look at Emma Watson for a moment.
Sure. Okay. Let’s do that. We’ve talked about women in Turkey being locked in a room with a noose, a gun, and some rat poison, and ordered to kill themselves to protect the “honour” of the group, but that was paragraphs ago, so now let’s have a good natter about how terrible it is the way lots of people are interested in a glamourous young female movie-star.
And after that, we can go to the Holocaust Memorial and get ice cream!
I had thought I wouldn’t get much writing done today. Thanks to @badjournalism for the link, and to Liz Jones for the bullshit to get angry at.