John gets mad. Bi Polar tales 3. Bad behaviours.

Some stories from a new show I’m doing on mental health.

A friend of mine who is recently single asked me one night. “John did you ever have a longer period in your life when you were single? And was it all right.”  I told them yes I had and no it wasn’t that great. It was over a 5 year period when I’d been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. That’s never a great icebreaker. It reminds me of that daft valentines poem. “Roses are red violets are blue. I’m a schizophrenic and so am I.”

So not schizophrenic but this was a period in my life when I was self medicating with dope a lot which gave me drug induced psychosis. Drug psychosis is a lot more common that you think.  David Bowie had it in the 70s. At one point he was so off it he thought his backing singers were a coven of witches. It would have been some show if for an encore he came running on with a mob insisting we burn them at the stake.

The best Bowie story of that period was the night he thought he’d been ripped of by a cocaine dealer. So he went out looking for him in his car. Eventually he thought he saw the dealers car at a garage. Then he thought the best plan of action would be to start ramming it with his own car. But it wasn’t the coke dealer it was just a young German couple who sat there looking stunned as David Bowie kept ramming them over and over. Scary enough to have someone ram you as you’re sitting having a snog. But then to turn around and realise it’s David Bowie. “Holy Scheisse Helga. Ve ist being attacked by A lad insane.” Eventually Bowie realised his error. Got out, apologised to them, handed them a pile of money then drove of into the night.You don’t get that stuff from ther winner of X-factor. A lot of people say X Factor has destroyed the spirit of rock and roll, but that’s rubbish every time it comes on I’m ready to throw my telly right out the window.

A lot of folk don’t understand what addiction is. So I’ll try to explain it via a story. One night me and a mate did get ripped of and got sold some Ritalin instead of ecstasy. The medication they  use to pacify disruptive children. We knew not long after it definitely wasn’t E. As we were feeling weird.  So what did we do? That’s right take some more. Later in the night we decided to go for some groceries. Well once they managed to get me up off the naughty step. Thing is as we decided this I’d just made myself a cup of tea. So I thought, bugger it I’ll take it with me. When we got to the supermarket at 2 in the morning a security guard stopped me and said, “Oi! Is that alcohol in that cup?” I said, “No mate it’s tea.” He replied, “Tea? Where you going with that.” I said “Where do you think…the biscuit isle.”

I’ve embarrassed myself many times in those day. worse one? I reckon that would be one morning at a friends house after a particularly bonkers night on the Rave. My mate had gone out and his wife had just up and gone into the shower. As soon as she got in there I felt my stomach shifting. It felt like there was about 2 litres of pure liquid diarrhoea rushing through me like mercury. There was no ifs about it any second I was going to explode out of me and complete transform my tie dye jeans. I had no idea what I was going to do…and then I spotted the cat litter tray. There was nothing else for it. If you saw what came out of me it looked like Id been on a diet of cabbage and cough medicine. Not a minute too soon as my mates wife came into the kitchen. I just stood there with the tray and said, “I really think your cat might be quite unwell.”

 

  

 

I/Mmature Student.8 Loving the arts.

End of week 1 of looking at Drama and Script. Fantastic. Lots learned/to learn. Making new friends…Here’s some things from the arts I love….

The first group therapy. One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.

 

 

Bill Hicks final TV appearance…

 

Gary Oldman chewing up the scenery in True Romance…

 

Supermans first flight into action

 

Bowie  at his most discordant

 

Talking Heads at their most energetic.

When a comedy review becomes a hate crime. (And what to do about it.)

As a comedian of 17 years experience I’ve had bad reviews before. I’ve also had a lot of good ones. But a review I came on the receiving end of recently was so unbelievably misrepresentative and packed with lies, slander and libel it had me contacting lawyers and trade union representation. So I thought I’d write about the experience in the hope that should any other artist or performer come on the receiving end of blatant lies about themselves, lies they may find being published online, it might encourage them that there are things you can do about it. Don’t ever take these things lying down or dismiss them as part of the job.

Before I get into what was said about me and how I dealt with it I feel I should maybe put the comedy that was attacked so scathingly into a bit of context for you.

Here’s a review the material in question received from the Glasgow Herald at the Edinburgh festival.

“Given that we’ve had indyref, a general election and Jeremy Corbyn since the last Edinburgh Fringe, you might expect there to be more self-confessed “political” comedians around this year. Oh, a lot of acts will dip a toe in “UKIP are nasty” shallows, but it takes someone like John Scott to dive in head-first and punch every hideous sea creature he meets right between the eyes. Before you know it, he’s chewed up and spat out austerity, Margaret Thatcher, the paedophile scandal, benefit fraud, racism, class, homophobia, Mhairi Black and a sneezing attack on a bus (ok, the last one isn’t strictly political, but it is a great anecdote, so worth a mention). He reserves a special venom for Tony Blair and the invasion of Iraq but somehow, filtered through his comedy-club delivery, it doesn’t feel like a soapbox diatribe or a trendy-leftie ticking off: this is political comedy built from the grassroots up, an informed opinion column with a spiky sense of humour. “
And here’s a clip of me doing some of that material at The Tyne Theatre Newcastle in front of about 750 people.
OK so before we start putting this bad review into some context lets get to the guts of it and let you read it. (This still makes me feel a wee bit queasy.)
This festival of direness is brought to a climax by headliner John Scott. Once again, a set littered with standard observations (on more than one occasion he actually utters the phrase “what’s that about?”) and average stories (“all true, by the way”), the butt of which tends to be his long-suffering wife and/or women in general. There’s plenty of racism and homophobia too, with homosexuality and Islam in particular being used simply as punch lines in and of themselves, constantly alienating and othering specific groups in his audience. His entire act feels strangely anachronistic – didn’t comedy as a whole leave all that dross behind ages ago, when it realised it was much better off without it anyway.”
So there you have it. Within one sentence I am labelled a RACIST, HOMOPHOBE and ISLAMAPHOBE. How someone could reach such conclusions with the material being presented to them simply beggars belief. So how could someone come to write such a thing?
The show that’s being discussed was an Anti- Valentines special at the Stand Comedy Club Newcastle. As for my long suffering wife. Well yes there was material about her that night. Every single word of it run by her before it’s ever said in public, with a couple of the lines written by her good self. Yes I wasn’t being the romantic Scotsman that night. It was an ANTI-VALENTINES show. But let me reassure you whenever I do write or talk about women they are put into a context of strength and having the upper hand with me being the self deprecating idiot.
Let’s try for a bit more context. The reviewer that night was a young woman from Newcastle University Comedy Society. This was the first review she’s ever written (she’s obviously looking to make friends for her future career). Due to some derogatory comments she’d handed in at the interval about the night in question she then found herself the butt of the comperes jokes for the second half of the show. Not from me but from the female  compere.
The review was also scathing of all other acts on that night… apart from the compere. Hmmmmn…
There may be another problem at play here but I can’t prove it. Several years ago a prominent self anointed critic and comedy Policeman did a scathing review of me being a hack and if you Google my name it’s one of the first things to come up. As is his website for most British comics. Sometimes I think new “reviewers” head there first and then regurgitate his critique. I was so upset at this particular possible regurgitation that I’ve now contacted Google on the grounds of the European law regarding the Right To Be Forgotten to see if I can have the review removed from my timeline. If this is what it results in then I believe I have a case.
So how did I react. Well I immediately mailed the website it was published on with a letter that had the heading ” REMOVE REVIEW OR BE TAKEN TO COURT.” I wasn’t joking on this. I contacted the performers union Equity and was advised that on the evidence I could provide of the true nature of my comedy (i.e. someone who speaks out against racism, homophobia and Islamaphobia.) I had a very strong case. And it wasn’t just material I had as evidence. Just a WEEK before the review was published I hosted and self organised/promoted at The Stand Comedy Club Newcastle’s an LGBT special.  Yeah…some homophobe me!
The website I will admit couldn’t be more apologetic and removed the review within an hour of me discovering it. They informed me they were going to have to overhaul their editorial procedures and that the site was really about encouraging the arts in the north east.
I then enquired if it would be possible to get an apology or perhaps even have a meeting with the reviewer but the editors said the buck stopped with them but she would be informed of the severity of the situation. She was out reviewing another comedian THE NEXT NIGHT. So that’s why you find me here writing this blog.
The problems such slander could have caused me in my career are quite monumental. Just the following week I was sharing a platform for The Labour Party on the Stand up For Jeremy Corby tour along side the likes of Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy. You can but imagine the reaction of the people who trusted me on that platform had such accusations been easy to find with a quick Google of my name.
But the question I really ask myself is how could someone arrive at writing such hate filled lies about a performer? Is it a reflection of our current social media age? Was this an attempt to publicly shame me…or…is the writer just a hate filled little shit envious of those actually enjoying a career in an industry they so obviously are desperate to be a part of. If they read this and do wish to join us in the green rooms around the land you can be assured your crimes will be well documented.
So if you are a performer, writer, painter, juggler…whatever…don’t think you have to take abuse about your work lying down. Slander like this is not just part of our job. The writer in question should be extremely grateful I didn’t take this all the way to court…but hey…I’m generally known as one of the nice guys.
 

Stand up comedy set 6. Church of Scotland minister…

just wrote a wee thing that made my wife laugh…It’s never been tried on stage so blame her…

CHURCH OF SCOTLAND MINISTER…

In Scotland we used to have a show called Late Call. And it was a wee five minute slot that came on at the end of the night in which a Church of Scotland minister would come on and try and give you some life advice via some religious metaphor. They’d say things like.

“You know my son came to me the other day after he had been on the internet…and he said to me…Is God everywhere daddy? I said yes he is son. god is indeed everywhere. And he said…So…Is God like Wi-Fi then daddy?

So I thought about that for a minute…And in a way yes he is. God is very much like Wi-Fi…Which is probably why they don’t get him in  Grimsby..hahaha…of course that was a little joke…

But yes God is like Wi-Fi and of course like all Wi-Fi he has a password…

But maybe you’re using the wrong password. Say for example if your password is something like Asian Babes Anal Calamity. Then that’s the very much wrong password.

Let me perhaps give you a wee bit guidance. You know I typed the words God Almighty into Google the other day and I got three top answers.

1.Is God Almighty real,

2. Is God Almighty the movie based on fact?

and 3. God almighty what’s the cure for an itchy scrotum?

Now the second two are much easier to answer than the first one. But if you have the right password then you can answer that first ever so big question…and I’m going to give you the password now…the password is of course faith.

Although if you type that into Google it does tend to go straight to the website of Faith Paloma…that’s the wrong one. Lovely as she is…

But I’d like if I can to finish tonight’s Late Call with a wee joke…It’s not my joke…it’s one I got off the internet…

There was a Jewish man praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. The Wailing Wall is of course a traditional place of worship in the Jewish tradition…Everyday they go there for a good old wail…which I suppose makes sense…they’re always moaning about something…hahaha…Anyway this Jewish man is working himself up into quite the religious fervour when a tourist comes by and asks him what he’s doing?

He replies, Every day my son I come here to pray. I pray for an end to war, I pray for an end to hunger and more than anything I pray for an end to this terrible situation between the Jew and the Arab.

So the tourist asks…and does that work.

To which the Jewish man replies…what do you think? I’m talking to a wall.

 

Stand up comedy set 5.War on Terror (Excert from forthcoming solo show)

Here’s a wee bit from my forthcoming solo show to be recorded at Newcastle Stand comedy club on Jan 25th for release on I-Tunes…hope it makes you chuckle/think…

 

ICE BUCKET-1-O-CLOCK GUN.
You know when the incident in Paris happened I thought I’m going to have to stop joking about these things for a bit. Then I thought no fuck it that’s what ISIS wants. So fuck that. Incidentally who wants to see my tattoo of Mohammed?
So I’ve just come back from the Edinburgh festival. I don’t know if you know but Edinburgh is famous for firing a cannon at 1-oclock every day. I’ve no idea why. Boom its 1-oclock, get back to work you fucking alcoholics, or something like that.
Thing is one day I was up near the castle and a bunch of Americans were getting shown around, and I don’t think they’d been warned about our cannon or maybe it’s these days of heightened terror alerts. But when the gun went off they nearly all hit the deck.
It made me think wouldn’t it be fun to just set your watch and just before it went bang sneak up behind them and shout ALLAHU AKBAR!

ICE BUCKET.
Don’t really do that by the way, fuck you do that you’ll end up in Guantanamo doing a very long and drawn out version of the ice bucket challenge.

PANDAS.
So the war on terror that’s going well, it’s been a bit like the war on drugs. We should have a war on Pandas they’d be everywhere.

RECAP.
Lets have a quick recap on how that’s working out. So we initially armed some “rebels” to overthrow the Syrian government, but those “rebels” turned out to be ISIS. ISIS are a direct result of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq against the Taliban . Now we’re hoping to form a coalition with the Taliban to overthrow ISIS and keep the Syrian government in place.
Thank Christ Medal of Honour was never that confusing. Mind you I’ve never had to defend an oil well while playing that online. How confusing would that be? Press button X for the truth…

JIHADI JOHN.
Six hours before Paris happened we we’re bragging about how we’d taken down Jihadi John. Well there’s a hardon that quickly went a bit Susan Boyle.
Security services said should we have detected Jihadi John earlier?…Well, I thought the name was a bit of a give away.

 

 

Stand Up Comedy Set 4.

Ok probably shouldn’t put this up yet as most of it hasn’t been tried yet. Or has existed in some ad libs live. This stuff is fairly harsh. I was planning on my next show being called, “The Worst Things I’ve Ever Said.” but then discovered Louis CK uses that term several times in a show of his. So can’t do that. For anybody this may interest this is what material looks like when your developing it. A couple of good bits and some obvious jokes….

INTROS.

Sorry if a sound a bit chesty tonight, I drive a Volkswagen. As soon as I park and get out I’ve got to put on patches. You combine that with the fact I’m Scottish and I like sausages I’ll be lucky to make it to the end of the show.

Not just that me and a mate just raced each other upstairs and he’s Russian so that’s knackered me.

You know the Russians have solved a big question for me. I always wondered why poor people dress in sportswear. Well now we know it’s because like athletes they do a lot of drugs.

DRINK ISIS.

So I haven’t had a drink in over a month now. And it’s not all bad. I really am getting so much done. It’s now become crystal clear to me why ISIS is winning. Hangovers, beheadings and rape to not mix…TBC

PROPER CHRISTIAN,

I don’t like right wingers claiming to be Christians. Because my mums a Christian. And she’s 81 now so she’s ;like a proper Christian. You know what I mean by proper Christian?

That’s right she hates Muslims. I blame the right wing media. it’s their bad influence. According to Fox News ever time you don’t eat your crusts…the Muslims kill a kitten.

You know how you get a little bit more right wing as you get older? She’s getting into some interesting turf with that. It’s not obvious. It’s just little phrases like, “Oh well there’ s just no pleasing some types of people.” or “Well that’s just typical of that community” or , “Oh yeah why don’t you go and open your own schools and isolate yourselves even further …you Islamic thunder cunts.” Just little things like that.

ATHEISTS.

I’m not religious myself but I think there’s a lot more fun to be had from winding atheists than the religious. they’re so angry all the time, “THERE’S NOTHING!” OK calm down. Have a Horlicks.

You know the best sentence you can say to wind up an atheist? It’s this, “Look I’m not really religious…but I’m quite a spiritual person. That drives them insane. 2You don’t even know what that means” they’ll cry. I reply, “Yes I do. I know exactly what it means. It means I’m afraid of dying but I can’t be arsed going to church.”

AMERICAN CHRISTIANS.

It’s the American Christian right that are the real head cases. They’ve just accused Starbucks of hating Jesus for changing the design on their Christmas coffee cups.

I think if you buy coffee at any time of the year from Starbucks then Satan’s already balls deep in your soul.

Do you know people have no rights in America. No holiday pay, no health cover. If a woman has a baby in America she’s not entitled to paid maternity leave.

And yet the American Christians are massively anti-abortion. With those kind of conditions I’m amazed their aren’t women running up out the subway with a lap top in one hand and coat hanger in the other going, “Oh can you pick that up for me. Can somebody get that? I’ve just not got the time.”

You take away a woman’s right to supported mother hood then I’m sorry you’re just going to have to learn to deal with the odd pile of foetal flob.

THE CHRISTIAN MODEL.

And they’re obsessed with the Christian model of the family. I quickly understand their homophobia but single parents get it too. “A woman should not raise a child out of wedlock.”

I don’t know how to point this out to them. But that God guy you’re investing so much time in…He’s a single parent.

FEMINISTS.

Cool has that got all the feminists onside. Cool. Let’s see if I can ruin that. Look I’m all for feminist campaigns. But have you ever been confronted by a really angry one.

I was once at one of my meetings and the subject of pornography came up. So I thought I’d drop in this little anecdote about my mate Jimmy whose mum was OCD. And he knew one day that his mum had eventually found his porn collection because when he returned to it, it was all in alphabetical order.

And a feminist lost it at me. She said, “All pornography is an act of violence towards women.”

So I felt threatened. And what do I do when I feel threatened. I crack a joke. One that I came to regret. So I said, “Actually I think you’ll find that only the really specialised stuff. I’m not into that.”

It’s alright we sorted it out at my disciplinary meeting.

WHALES.

We can’t change everything we’d like to. I think the Whales have had it. The Japanese just find them soooo delicious. Oh they go so nice with noodles. But Japan they’re a sentient being. They have conscious feeling. Can’t be that clever. Look at the size of the ocean and they still can’t find a hiding place. you can hear whale song from 10 miles away. They need to learn how to whisper.

Deep sea world are going to stop using killer whales in their show. They did a film about that didn’t they? Free Willy. Michael Jackson did the theme tune.

Well if anybody had a bit of a free

Willy…

I saw a Michael Jackson impersonator when I was on holiday this year. Admittedly he didn’t look much like Michael Jackson…but then neither did Michael Jackson.

NO ROOM FOR RACISM.

I saw written on a toilet wall recently the words “There’s No Room for racism.”

And I couldn’t help myself but write underneath, “Actually I think you’ll find room 12B at the headquarters of the KKK…that’s probably one.

CHILCOT ENQUIRY.

The Chilcot enquiry is a bit like Cliff Richard…It’s never coming out.

Some distinct personality traits of Cat and dog people…

I lifted the below piece of informed journalism and in no way obvious piece of click bait from the Huffington PostSo below that I’ve added some of my own thoughts…

“Cats are unpredictable, but that’s not entirely true of cat owners. So-called “cat people” tend to share a lot of the same personality traits, as studies have proven having a cat at home can say a lot about a person’s character, health and dating life.

For example, News reports research shows cat owners often exhibit introverted qualities, especially compared to dog owners, who tend to be more outgoing and energetic. Cat owners have also been found to be smarter, more sensitive and more non-conformist than their canine-loving counterparts.

But that doesn’t mean those with fancy felines win the age-old cat people vs. dog people debate: While there are great health benefits to owning a pet of any kind, cat owners also earn fewer health benefits than dog owners. And as for relationships, there may be some truth to that single cat lady stereotype.”

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Really don’t like cats or worse still cat people.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Completely indifferent to dogs and dog people. But my god why have your life constantly dictated to by some idiot animal that requires constant exercise and an on hand toilet attendant.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Are more extrovert and socially will point out, “I’m a people person.”

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. 57% of cat people are Nazis/super villains on the run. They see people as collateral.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Crave unconditional love.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Can see the benefits of enforced population control.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Stand a better chance of being rescued in a natural disaster by their pet.

CAT PEOPLE.

     4. Caused the so called “natural disaster” from inside their secret volcano base.

DOG PEOPLE.

     5. Only 2% of people don’t like dogs. This could explain the term mans best friend.

CAT PEOPLE.

     5. 27% of people don’t like cats. The cats seem indifferent to this.   

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Clips of dogs doing cool things they’ve been trained to do are popular on the internet.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. Clips of cats just being cats are more popular. Cats are trained in improvisation by the Russian masters.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Now that the 5 pence plastic bag charge has been introduced economically Dog owners are on a shakier footing.

CAT PEOPLE.

  1. If your lonely aunt is a cat person have a look in her spare plastic bag drawer. Your inheritance has now gone up by around 60 quid.

DOG PEOPLE.

  1. Dog people can control their pet through scolding. The dog will show fear and submission by putting their tail between its legs.

CAT PEOPLE.

    8.  When a cat is scolded they tend to call in their secretary to take an accurate dictation of your complaint. All points will      then be considered and held against you as evidence at a future time.

DOG PEOPLE.

    9. Dog people feel more protection from burglars.

CAT PEOPLE

    9. Accept that “Cat” is a type of burglar.

DOG PEOPLE.

    10. Dog peoples pets enjoy sitting on their lap because they love them.

CAT PEOPLE.

     10.  A cat persons pet will sit on their lap because they are warm…even for the short period after death. Once the body cools they’ll move in with a neighbour.

DOG PEOPLE.

  11. A dog person can turn 1000 dogs into their own personal army.

CAT PEOPLE.

     11. Even God could exercise no control over 1000 cats.

DOG PEOPLE.

     12.  Can identify with their pet on an almost human level. If dogs could talk they’d be in endless conversation.

CAT PEOPLE.

    12. If cats could talk they’d probably still ignore you.