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Greg James has skinny dipped his skinny ass into crocodile infested water, a florescent pink –clad Rosemary Shrager has been dramatically aerial lifted (is that the right expression?) by a group of strapping young males (brilliant), and The Saturdays have space-hopped across Westminster bridge.
It can only mean one thing. Comic Relief is upon us once more.
The nation’s “funniest fundraiser” – which climaxes in its usual all night TV extravaganza of bizarre TV, pop, radio, and sports star cameo routines, blended with a flicker of the general public (GP), and soaked in a large batch of heart-wrenching documentary films on March 15 – has chuckles ebbing across the land early this year.
And hats off to all the celebs taking part. There’s no denying they do a good job at motivating the rest of us mere plebs into taking action; into setting up our own campaigns, into loosening our tight pockets and in coaxing out enough laughter that the incredible vibration from the sniggers alone moves our fingers over those sponsorship links.
The utilisation of social media has only escalated the effect for 2013. Take the Red Nose Day #twittermillion campaign. A hearty group of team leaders – including some real gems like Simon Pegg, Clare Balding, and Lauren Laverne, are begging, pleading and flattering their way into recruiting team members from their Twitter followers to take up the challenge of raising £50 towards the cause. It’s a good idea – good on them.
Then you have people like Radio One DJ Jameela Jamil – who has selflessly promised to “go without sex for a month – by wearing a chicken suit for 30 days straight” to repel men / anyone with the gift of smell (that’s surely going to get a tad whiffy after just a few days wear- let alone a month) if the GP help her raise £50,000 for the cause.
Again – fabulous. Well done Jameela. If it works then that’s another £50,000 for the charity pot – excellent stuff.
As all the celebs remind us, regularly, it is of course to help save lives. To help those with nothing, to help those who haven’t had the beneficial start in life many in this country are blessed with. Again – it’s all very good news. I for one, obviously, fully advocate helping others. Otherwise I’d be wasting a lot of time writing this blog.
BUT…(oh yea, you all knew it was coming – I just thought I’d give a dramatically long intro) some, it seems, have forgotten that you don’t have to live in a mud hut in Africa to have nothing. That actually, a lot of people are struggling this side of the pond as well. And in fact, those people don’t have to be on the streets in torn clothes, with mud on their faces, chewing on a bit of cardboard to be having it a bit tough financially. Turns out people often struggle in double – almost triple – dip recessions…
I aim this naivety back at the lovely Jameela Jamil in regards to a classic Twitter spat throughout the hours of yesterday evening. I know of it, for I was the unfortunate Twittering soul on the receiving end. Ho hum – when will I learn to keep my fingers away from the keypad eh?
It started with the following tweet from JJ:
“I’ve only raise £4k in 9 days…It’s not possible you lot are this cheap. If I get 40k I will put in the last 10k myself. Fact.”
Now, ignoring the point that raising £4k in 9 days is in my eyes, rather splendid, I’m sure in her little, pretty head she meant this complaint in jest. It was a jokey method of attack. A guilt-trip to get those donations flooding in – and heck, if it works – why not? After all – I repeat– more money for charity – whatever way it is obtained – is better than less money for charity (unless it’s obtained through theft, violence or blackmail – then that’s less better).
But it’s a risky method. For in the world of Twitter, the tone of the tweet is interpreted by the individual follower, and in this case, the other rather obvious interpretation (in my opinion – and I wasn’t the only one to pick up on it) was slighting patronising. Being called cheap by someone able to afford to chip in a £10,000 donation to charity seems a little on the harsh side.
I couldn’t resist adding a response.
“Wish I had £10k to spare but just too “cheap” I’m afraid.”
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect anything back. It was a flippant tweet. A reminder of how her tweets could be interpreted. I mean – what did my opinion – a mere mortal – matter to someone with 116,898 followers and a primetime radio slot anyway?
But she replied. The floodgates had opened.
“@Chattervix I am asking for a quid. If you can’t do that… Then yes. You’re cheap.”
Yowsa. Now that did hit a wee nerve. The key word is ‘cheap’. Not that if you can’t give a quid you are obviously rather ‘poor’ – no. According to Jameela – a lady, remember, who can very fortunately afford to give £10,000 out her own pocket – you are cheap. The assumption being that the reason for not giving a quid is that you are too tight to care. Fuck the poor and vulnerable, I’d rather they suffered and rotted away in the street then part with that £1. Need it for the bookies don’t I?
She then continued:
@Chattervix I don’t have a lot, coz I give most of it to charity. You are the only person who took offence. Everyone else agreed with me.
a) I didn’t take offence. I’m not actually that bothered. I merely was making a point / giving a different opinion.
b) Everyone else didn’t agree with you. In fact – a number of people tweeted the same thing as I – it is very visible to see – on Twitter… i.e. I win and you lose.
The best tweet (to another dear follower)
“10k is my whole savings. But worth it to save lives.”
Though this is all very admirable and lovely, and I, of course, could be wrong – I would suggest that £10k isn’t Jameela’s whole savings. I would suggest that she is probably on a pretty good wage at Radio One – not that I would begrudge that – she has obviously earned it and well done to her, but irrelevant, she probably earns considerably more than say a pleb like me. If I do, in fact, stand corrected and £10k is in fact Jameela Jamil’s whole savings, and she does decide to donate it to charity then I’d suggest Jameela that is a rather stupid move as you will probably die. Turns out without money, you cannot afford shelter / food / basic care. I’m not sure anyone expects you – not even the charities – to die for the cause. Even albeit as good a one as Comic Relief. I’d rethink the move if I were you.
In a few more tweets, to my fellow, of similar opinion tweeters, Saint Jameela accused one man of obviously not knowing what it is like to have nothing when he suggested that not everyone could donate £1 – because he was able to tweet from his phone / laptop. Yes, because that is a definition these days of rich and poor. Well done Jameela (I know it isn’t exactly the point but I spent two months in Uganda working with people who really didn’t have anything. We keep in touch now on Twitter and Facebook – turns out – they still have phones / internet access…)
She then scorned him for not being able to afford £1 at “his age” to another Tweeter. I quote:
“If at his age he can’t spare a quid for charity then he must have it bad. Leave him be.”
Resulting in taunts from her minions including:
“A creative director that can’t afford 50p #realworld lol”
Wow. I’d suggest particularly amazing hypocrisy for someone who spends the majority of any interview going on about how she was bullied throughout her childhood and how we should all fight the bullies. Err…Jameela…that kind of is bullying…awkward.
“3 people misunderstood the ‘cheap’ comment. I don’t mean those that HAVE given. I mean those that won’t spare 50p. That’s all I need.”
No Jameela – YOU misunderstood the ‘cheap’ comment. It isn’t “sparing” 50p. I’m sure everyone would be more than happy to spare 50p if they have it. The point is – believe it or not – PEOPLE DON’T ALWAYS HAVE 50P TO SPARE.
And breath, 2…3…4…5…..
So why on earth am I going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about this? You may be crying. It’s £1 – let it go!
The reason is because I feel it is necessary to highlight that Jameela Jameela Jameeeeeeeela – oh Jameeeeeela (ooooh that’s fun) is so out of touch with the world. It actually wasn’t that long ago I would have struggled to pay a £1 donation. There were a couple of weeks once where I had a grand total of £35 to live on. Now that’s tough. And honestly, that wasn’t because I wasn’t working full time, and it wasn’t because I was blowing my money away on unnecessary extravagances. Oh no. It was because for many of us normal plebs, the world is fucking expensive – something I wouldn’t expect a person able to make a £10k charity donation to understand, nor particularly care if they understood – but would expect them to at least not fucking belittle us for it! Always nice to spit on the fallen – why not also empty your bin on their heads while you’re at it?
Of course, what Jameela also doesn’t know is that despite being cheap and cold-hearted, I have actually donated hundreds of pounds to charity over the last year (even despite my meagre earnings), am currently in the process of raising thousands of pounds for Help the Hospices who I am running the London Marathon in aid of this year (have I mentioned that before? Sorry – hilarious running blog gag), and have three fundraisers on the go which will also benefit three other charities.
Yea, that’s right Jameela. I love charity too.
Anyway, the point isn’t to discourage people from supporting Jameela or to criticise her charity work – that I am all in favour of and think that despite this slight mishap – she has actually been doing a great job. In fact – here’s the link to her fundraising page – go on – donate – I’ll genuinely be thrilled.
The point is to highlight that with great power comes great responsibility. And with great responsibility and influence – you shouldn’t generalise and make judgement on things you obviously have no friggin clue about. That’s my opinion anyway – but then again, I am nothing but a cheap, cold-hearted lowly member of the GP – what do I know?
So the result of all this is that I have now been blocked on Twitter by Jameela Jamil. Sad, sad times.
It’s strange. For someone so cheap, I don’t half feel an awful lot richer right now.