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The Apprentice Episode 7 – Blowin’ In The Wind


Apprentice Glen


The Apprentice Episode 7 – Blowin’ in The Wind

Being off school can blight your life. It all depends on what you miss. Long Division; the Past Historic; Dovetail Joints: no sweat, you’ll catch up, you’ll get the hang of it, you’ll pick it up from the repeats and action replays. But if you are tragically away on the one day in the 6 years of secondary schooling when they do ‘blow-jobs’ you’re buggered. In a manner of speaking that is. It would be unusual and perhaps deeply confusing for two such esoteric aspects of human behaviour to be covered on the same day. If even this late in life, I discover that this topic was dealt with in mixed classes I’m going to demand the refund of 6 years back dinner money.

Discovering an epistemological chasm in my mastery of all things erotic is a chastening experience for one whose attitude to sexuality and the hinterlands of sexual practice has been the same as my attitude to visual art: I don’t pretend to understand it – but I know what I like. I am now faced with a devastating example of the Law of Excluded Middle – either the question “how do you blow your load?” is as meaningless as it is tackily crass; or it makes sense and I’ve been missing out all my adult life on a definitive element in sexual gratification.

In my palpable naiveté I thought a blow-job, apart from striking me as an extremely generous act of sexual expression, was something a woman gave and a man got. Of course I understand that gender in this arrangement can be malleable, but I have always cherished the conviction that the transitivity of the practice was neither physically nor grammatically uncertain. I am embarrassed, nay deeply ashamed to have reached a full and satisfying masculine maturity without having the first idea how I would even begin to ‘blow my (own) load’. This strikes me as an onanistic mystery awaiting Dan Brown’s unsurpassed skills in explication. Perhaps it’s new: the coming thing perhaps. I fear I am going to have to file this new arcane sexual practice away with the ‘G-spots’, the uncomfortably military-sounding ‘erogenous zones’ and the ultimate confounding mystery, to we men, of the apparent, utterly unpredictable ubiquity of the clitoris. Finding the Boson? Piece of cake mate. In comparison.

Apologies Gillian but Jedi Jim was more dirty Knight than shining light this week. He was gratuitously rude, bullying, self-deluded “the PM they loved” – in fact a nasty little sh*t. For once Karen Brady got it right: manipulative and profoundly passive aggressive. These are unpleasant enough qualities in anyone but fuelled by at best half-truths, and ludicrously OTT language like ‘cowardly’, towards everyone in his team except the one he had the hots for, Zoe, they left a most unpleasant taste in the mouth.

If as has famously been said – “the past is another country” then to Glen and the hopelessly out of her depth Su, the people from that other country are as mysterious as aliens from Mars. In word, sentiment and attitude these two babes hopelessly lost in the wood, were too crassly ignorant and paradigmatically patronising for anyone of any age, to be truly offended by. In an escalating sequence of excruciatingly stupid and mind-numbingly crass proposals to name their magazine including apparently the cherishable ‘Coffin-Dodgers’, our Glen’s poverty of imagination and superficiality of thought cried out to us.

Just when we thought it was impossible to find a more stupid name than Glen’s bon mots, Zoe found it. Hip Replacement – ironic? Give me strength. Not since some pillock came up with “see their light” for catfood has common sense been so comprehensively surpassed by witlessness. Having correctly identified that charming clichéd chimera, which brings Marketers to the brink of orgasm, ‘a gap in the market’ Jim and Co, truly lead by Jim, managed to screw everything up. The mistakes were systematic and comprehensive: selecting the worst possible front page photograph from what looked like some lively options Su teased out of her excellent models; ignoring Zoe’s correct analysis of what was wrong with the front page lay-out; patronising and trivialising content; all gathered together to produce a magazine that made Women’s Realm look colorful and racy.

Jim and Co were a case of nothing Ventured nothing gained and deeply patronising to anyone over 30. Living up to their name therefore LOGIC decided to be just as crassly insulting and equally patronising to all males below that age. If I were Natasha’s father I’d be deeply concerned at her almost contemptuous conception of men: or as she might put it “they’re all lads yeah?” “Always up for a bit of tit yeah?” “so we give ‘em what they want yeah?” She appears to be sublimely unaware of this Twitterspeak verbal mannerism which the adults to whom she was pitching obviously found, as did we, incredibly irritating. In the end though LOGIC had the best mag name and at least some sense of colour in comparison to Venture’s myopic moles.

Very interesting to see Tom and Helen working together. Rapidly becoming the two most likeable Apprentices left, they are also the brightest with that rarest of Apprentice qualities – a good dose of common sense. Tom gets being a gentleman and a gentle man a good name and teams ignore his good sense and intelligent analyses at their own risk. He and Helen worked very well together and both were united in their dislike of the ‘blow your loadism’ so beloved of Natasha. Hated by 2 of the 3 buyers, this incomprehensible drivel attracted a game-busting £60,000s worth of advertising from the third: supposedly because it was addressed to a gap in the gutter, er market. So it was a triumph of the stereotypes all round this week: older people are universally doolally and all young men are ‘lads’ with tits and bums OCD.

I sincerely hope any of the Apprentices with grandparents got a good smack around the head when they got home. As for Sugar Lump’s basis for firing Glen: pure ‘engineerism’ “ I’ve never yet met an engineer who could understand business.” This is such a stupidly unqualified remark that one is sorely tempted to describe anyone who claims it is true as a jumped up little twerp: but my gentlemanly Thomasonian instincts won’t permit me to be so rude. Perhaps the Good lord! should take a look at Germany where one of the most powerful and successful economies in the world is firmly based upon belief in and respect for the qualities of first class engineers: not as in much of the UK, Spivs and B(W)ankers.

So onward and downward: Helen and Tom look competent, intelligent and likeable: Jim and Natasha look mean-spirited, arrogant and self-obsessed. Leon looks likeably ineffectual and Zoe a strong character who hasn’t yet learned to play nicely with the other boys and girls. Melody has been as quiet and unobtrusive for the last 2 weeks as we fervently wish Susan might become. If I hear her say again that she runs her own business I think I’ll top myself. Why I might even blow my load.

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