Thursday, May 15, 2008

Un-bloggy news...


Gull, originally uploaded by Dave Gorman.

1: I'm a guest on an episode of Heresy (Radio 4) that records tomorrow (Friday 16th) night at the Drill Hall in central London. (Tickets)

2: I'm the weak link in a comedian's team that are playing in Soccer 6 event on Sunday. (Gates open at midday, tickets are £12 in advance or £15 on the day and all money raised goes to support The Samaritans... which is probably a bit of an unfashionable charity but no less worthy - or indeed necessary - for that.) Omid Djalili, Russell Howard, Lee Mack and Noel Fielding are all meant to be playing and they all possess silky skills that put me to shame.

3: May 24 to 28: I'm going to be in Hay on Wye for the Hay Festival where I'll be taking part in recordings of What The Dickens for Sky Arts.

9 comments:

Jack said...

On the same team as Noel Fielding. Wow.

Jenny Harvey said...

I really must take care to read more accurately. I initially thought you were guesting in a reformed Hear'Say!

The only real comedy football team this year has been Derby County

Will Ball said...

What other teams will you be playing against? If they've got a team of politicians and Boris is playing, be ware, he's a mean tackler!

Dave Swallow said...

"Samaritans... which is probably a bit of an unfashionable charity"

How so, Dave?

Dan Smith said...

Dave S - My interpretation of that sentence is that nowadays there seems to be an ever increasing number of diverse and obscure, but by no means less worthy, charities that people are donating money to. Whereas years ago, people would more likely donate to bigger, well known charities, such as The Samaritans, it seems that today, people want to be seen donating to other worthwhile causes.

Dave Gorman said...

@Dave Swallow: asking me to explain it feels as though you're calling me to account when my point isn't that I agree with The Samaritans being seen as less fashionable... just that I think they are. Which makes it harder for them to raise money... which makes it more important to support them.
It's impossible to work out why some things are current/sexy/in/whatever and some aren't. I might be wrong but I was recently told that testicular cancer kills more people than breast cancer but that tits were easier to raise money for than balls. I don't know if it's true but it wouldn't surprise me.

But in a small way I think people have a (perhaps subconscious) reaction to charities based on who they are seen to help and whether people acknowledge it or not there are people out there who regard those people who call The Samaritans as being "weak" and therefore less deserving.

Kids are de facto helpless. Illnesses can strike anyone and will almost certainly strike someone we are close to. But most of us like to think we are strong enough not to ever need to use The Samaritans and if anyone we know does call them we are unlikely to be told about it. Somewhere deep down in our psyche is the idea that calling The Samaritans makes us weak... and that in turn makes it less fashionable.

And - I'll repeat - I think that's a shame because the truth is if you haven't ever called them (or wanted to) you'll probably know someone who has. Needing to speak to someone isn't a sign of weakness nor is it anything to be ashamed of. The service they provide is essential and hugely valuable to us all.

http://www.samaritans.org/support_samaritans/donate.aspx

Urban discourses said...

>"It's impossible to work out why some things are current/sexy/in/whatever and some aren't. I might be wrong but I was recently told that testicular cancer kills more people than breast cancer but that tits were easier to raise money for than balls. I don't know if it's true but it wouldn't surprise me."

Not quite true, Dave, I don't think. But I do know that Breast Cancer UK have been so successful that a couple of year's back the UK Government had to bail out a load of other charities researching things like bowel cancer, prostate cancer etc. which are similarly prevalent. On a bigger point, this is why we pay taxes, otherwise we'd just have an NHS that could cure breast cancer and nothing else.

Emma said...

Maybe the name isn't very cool: The Samaritans. It's a bit christian. Ah, but looking at their website, they have dropped the 'the'. Things without 'the' are a bit more punchy, aren't they?

Still, doesn't have the kick of Mind. They have a cool logo. As mental health charities go, they're quite cool.

Is mental health still a taboo? I suppose some people don't like talking about it. Or hearing about it. People with cancer are brave. People who have a breakdown are mentals and need to snap out of it.

I suspect erectile dysfunction charities suffer the same fate.

Dave Swallow said...

@Dave Gorman: No, I wasn't calling you to account at all, Dave. As a Samaritan myself, I was merely curious as to why you, or anyone, might consider it unfashionable.

Unfortunate as it is, you're probably correct in your assumption that callers to Samaritans are perceived to be "weak". There is certainly something of a taboo surrounding the service, and it is something that the charity is constantly striving to dispel. The general public assume that Samaritans is a helpline solely for people wanting to commit suicide, when actually people can, and do, contact us with all manner of problems, in all manner of ways (phone, email, text, face-to-face etc.). Also, contrary to the incorrect assertion of Emma (and many others), Samaritans has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity or religion, other than the name - which was actually given to the charity by The Daily Mirror of all things!

Yes, it could be argued that there are more worthier, or at least more pressing, causes, however in today's society, where the pressures of life can often be relentless, there is doubtlessly a need for an confidential outlet to 'let off some steam'. Sadly, until phrases such as "people who have a breakdown are mentals and need to snap out of it" (see Emma, above) are no longer uttered, the charity must continue to raise its profile and inform people of the service it provides. To this end, I thank you for worthwhile contribution to Samaritans as part of the Soccer 6 event.