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I quite like "Rock N Roll lesbian". Maybe I can get it on a T-shirt. 
19th-Apr-2008 04:39 pm
The reason I go to as many now_show recordings as I do is that, as I'm sure you've guessed, I'm a massive Mitch Benn fan, and a) am too cheap to pay for his shows, and b) he always records three songs on Thursday, of which only are broadcast on Friday

The selection process for the songs is pretty easy to understand - they take the ones with a good audience reaction and drop the one that didn't quite hit everyone's funny buttons.

Unfortunately that means that when Mitch does songs that appeal to his own personal musical taste, such as the number this week about the pointlessness of Musicals of a pop group, in the vein of Mama Mia and We Will Rock You; or the one a couple of weeks ago about how health and safety ruined rock and roll; and the only people laughing are me and Dave, that song generally doesn't get played.

Me and Dave being the only people laughing happens a lot. The same show that had Health and Safety ruined Rock and Roll also featured John Holmes on an hour-long tangent about lesbians, at which - yeah, you guess it. Spot the Rock N Roll lesbian.

Not that I can complain this week, as his song The Gays Have All Got AIDS, about the petition to the Scottish Parliament to allow gay men to donate blood was a very very important piece of awareness raising. Not just to those like Mitch (as he mentioned in his pre-amble) who didn't realise the National Blood Service kept this rule in place, but to people like me who didn't realise that people didn't know this.

In fact, when I went up to Mitch afterwards (something I never normally do) to thank him for the song, I entered into a crowd of fans also talking about the rule, and I added in: "And if you sleep with a bisexual man you have to wait a year to prove you're clear."

When someone asked me if I worked for the NHS to have such rarely held knowledge, my immediate answer was "no, I'm just gay!" - which I have to admit didn't make that much sense, unless you'd expect all lesbians to know about every piece of homophobic regulation in existence (though I'd argue maybe we should). It's a bit like answering "how do you know so much about swallows?" with "Well, you have to know these things when you're a king, you know"*

The real answer is that I (have attempted to) give blood, and I read the literature surrounding it. I was a little surprised that someone could have given blood without reading the leaflet about it. On account of how blood's quite important, so I'd like to think people were responsible about to whom they gave it.

Maybe not.

Anyway, the NHS won't take blood off them filthy filthy gays (or prostitutes). So if you ever lie in a British hospital dying for want of a blood transfusion, now at least you know why.

*Now I want an icon that says well, you have to know these things when you're a dyke, you know.
19th-Apr-2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Oh I had a huge argument with someone on the internet over this in an lj community. I don't know why I'm so masochistic. After all she's a homophobic, religious fundamentalist shit who is never going to come round to our way of thinking, but I feel dirty if I don't attack them I suppose.
I also am in this strange situation where since I lived in Britain after 1985 I cannot give blood in Belize and America because of the BSE scare, and I cannot give blood in this country because I lived in Belize which is full of OMG foreign TROPICAL DISEASES

Edited at 2008-04-19 15:45 (UTC)
19th-Apr-2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Um, I filed it under "stuff wot everyone knows" ages back, it was a hot topic whenever they visited campus at Exeter (which normally manages to elect a predominantly Tory slate of NUS reps FFS), so I just figured that it was common knowledge.

So yeah, I didn't realise people didn't know. Well, I knew people didn't know, but I thought most news savvy follow the events people did, which would certainly include Mitch. Weird.

Bloody stupid rules.
(Deleted comment)
19th-Apr-2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
They should! Stupid humourless nurses.
19th-Apr-2008 04:30 pm (UTC) - What do you mean? An African or European lesbian?
I just wanted to point out that I will gladly shell out the $15 to purchase the Judas Priest album for Rock Band if it means you will join us on this side of the pond and be a Rock 'n Roll Lesbian in my living room.
19th-Apr-2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, cause that's what's stopping me. Your lack of Judas Priest
19th-Apr-2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
I knew it!
19th-Apr-2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
I have never been able to give blood since I turned 18. I think this is pretty amazing for a female who doesn't take IV drugs.
19th-Apr-2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Um. I would think that would be pretty damn general knowledge for ANYONE who's given blood before, or tried to.

Since they ask the question about three freaking times or so. And in the most thorough manner they can possibly come up with.

"Are you a gay man who has had sex?"
"Have you ever had sex with a gay man, or a man who has had sex with another man?"
"Have you ever had sex* with anyone who has had sex with a man who has had gay sex?"
* If I remember correctly, here in the US, they don't even ask if you've had unprotected sex. It's just "Omgzors you had sex with a guy (or sex with a guy who's slept with another guy) get out."
"Have you had unprotected sex before *date*" ZOMG AIDS EVERYWHERE INNA 60S AND 70S.

It's ridiculous.

And you know what?

Even if I DO ever have any kind of sex with a bisexual male or someone who has possibly somewhere down the line had such sex, I'd probably lie. O-, baby. My blood saves more lives than I can imagine.

Edited at 2008-04-19 17:55 (UTC)
19th-Apr-2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
They actually say "with or without a condom" here, and their apologetics .pdf (no other clause has an entire .pdf to explain it) says OMG Condoms don't woooooork!
19th-Apr-2008 05:56 pm (UTC)

You know. At least they HAVE an apologetics.

I'm pretty sure the US Red Cross doesn't.

Edited at 2008-04-19 18:01 (UTC)
19th-Apr-2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Jesus, I remember when they wouldn't allow me to donate blood for having previously boned a bisexual man despite the fact that I knew I was his only partner and we used protection, AND they then do tests on the blood they take... I caused a huge stink in the blood donation place, calling it homophobic and saying the same thing you do here, that in the end that would result in less blood for the needy. Liking boys does not mean you auto have AIDS or even that you are at high risk of AIDS (if you're not having sex with them, I mean.) Ughhhh I ended up writing a letter to be given to someone important but nothing ever happened with it. Reading this reminds me why I was so incensed. What a stupid rule!
20th-Apr-2008 09:41 am (UTC)
If I have a job next time he's touring I'll take you.
21st-Apr-2008 02:26 am (UTC)
I know these things... because I read the paperwork they give you when you give blood. I too find it odd that anyone could give blood and not know - but it also surprises me how many people don't give blood. When I was able to, I'd do so every time I could. It always REALLY pissed me off that the hint of any gayness or association with gayness prevented people giving blood if they wanted too. One thing I don't know though - does this also extend into bone marrow and organ donation, or are they less worried? It's good to see the rule being reexamined.

It also annoys me that I'm not allowed to give blood anywhere at the moment I've spent time outside the UK because I'm British and therefore clearly I'm a mad cow (well, possibly, but not in the medical sense). What really irritates me about that is that most countries have rules such as you can't give blood if you "have resided in the UK between 1980 and 1996 for a total (cumulative) time of 6 months or more" (that's from the Australian site but it's practically identical for the NZ one). I utterly fail to see why six months is a magic safe number. Surely all you need is to have eaten an infected hamburger while in transit or during your two week holiday?

I can't even give blood in the UK becuase I'm never back for long enough to be out of the period you have to wait in case you've got West Nile disease*. I did get myself on the American bone marrow register which felt like a small triumph, and I've registered for organ donation on my NY ID card as well as in the UK.

*(um and I got banned from giving blood in 2003 for possibly having a vitamin B12 deficiency, but I don't actually appear to have that so when I'm back in the UK long term, I shall have to do something about that. After that I went through a period of being really angry every time I saw or heard an ad on the radio and tv pleading with people to give blood really annoying because I, and others I know who can't, would give blood if you'd let us! I'm quite rare too!)
21st-Apr-2008 02:31 am (UTC)
Also, and on a less irritated note, I'm so happy that the Now Show has a podcast (it introduced me to the News Quiz too) but I do miss being able to go to the recordings.
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