The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Excuses, excuses

We can all find them, can’t we? Excuses I mean. If we’re grumpy to our girlfriend, it’s our hormones, not us. If we crash into the back of the car in front of us, it was the driver’s stupid fault for being in our way. If we take too much crystal meth and have unsafe sex, it’s all down to the drug, right? PMS, road rage, inebriation, even existential crisis of being – any old thing will do, so long as we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions.

The urge to blame someone or something else begins in childhood – the threat of punishment, whether it’s an adult shouting at you or a sound spanking (admittedly more likely to be a turn-on nowadays) instils fear and encourages the urge to deny one’s actions, even if they’ve been witnessed directly by your accuser.

At the age of eight I threw a bucket of water over my ‘best friend’ Julie Stokes who lived in the flat below me (lesbian melodrama with dominant/submissive overtones often begins early in life – I got away with tying her up, pulling down her pants and fingering her, all on the pretext that it was ‘practice’ for when she got a ‘boyfriend’ – girls are sooo easy!). Julie’s mother, ‘Auntie Maisy’, saw me through the window: ‘What did you do that for?’ she asked, incredulously. Bold as brass I replied: ‘I didn’t’. No amount of arguing on her part that she’d seen me, a drenched Julie wailing that I’d done it (she paid later, don’t worry) could convince me to own up to the deed, acknowledge that it wasn’t a very nice thing to do and accept that I deserved to be punished.

If I were old enough to have been able to think up a proper excuse for myself, I would have. Just like 46-year-old James Seaton did this week when he appeared in court in London, charged with sawing off his girlfriend Jacqueline Queen’s head while she was still alive because she told him she was a lesbian and was breaking up with him. His excuse? He was ‘too drunk at the time to be responsible for his actions’. Tch. There for the grace of God, eh?

These days I’m far more prepared with my ‘out’. If I come over all Winona and get caught slipping love balls and KY jelly into my bag without paying for them in a sex shop, I am not responsible for my actions – I did it because I suffer from GMSS – Gay Media Stress Syndrome. Having to come up with 500 words each week for my SX column, Keeping Abreast, as well as knocking out news and features while fending off queries from publicists who insist on ringing up on press day to enquire as to whether I ‘got the press release’ on a new brand of soap that’s pink and therefore ‘a great angle’ for gay readers invariably leads to occasional periods of temporary insanity. That’s my excuse, anyway.

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