Friday, 13 January 2012
How come when I read about people who are terminally ill or people who have been the casualties of war or starvation I'm not always moved? Sometimes that sort of empathy with another human being just doesnt connect. It makes me feel cold, when I think about it. I have such a comfortable life. A roof over my head, food in my fridge, too many Doctor Who DVDs, some bubble bath and a family who I assume love me. I must call them sometime. I don't think I'm a bad person, it's just that there's so much pain in life that it's hard to take it all in and sometimes I just don't feel anything when I'm faced with a story of incredible human bravery. But I'm not always like that. Sometimes I hear of something that is so brave, so selfless, so...kind that I just can't help but be moved. That's exactly how I felt the very first time I heard of Jeff Leach.
I had never heard of the comedian Jeff Leach at all until about 2 o'clock yesterday morning. Maybe it was my own feeling of vulnerabilty so late at night and alone but when I switched on BBC3 and started watching his documentary "Confessions Of A Sex Addict" it was like Jeff Leach had found the smallest room in my soul and deposited something in there. Jeff Leach might be the bravest man in the world.
If you had sex with over 300 people, would you be brave enough to admit it? It must have taken all of Jeff Leach's strength, humility and bravery to go on camera and tell the world that not only had he had sex with over 300 people but he'd also selflessly and bravely kept a spreadsheet database of the names of all those people on his brave, brave laptop. I know that, when I lost my virginity, the very second that I ejaculated I thought to myself "Michael, you must now do the decent thing and respect this beautiful bond you've experienced with your first sexual partner by beginning a ledger clearly registering her name just in case you're a sex addict. You must leave this bed, the bed you shared with your first sexual partner, and respectfully begin a spreadsheet database because you might have more than one sexual partner in your life and you have to bravely accept that you may or may not be a sex addict". But I didn't bravely leave my first sexual partner lying there and couragously begin that spreadsheet database. I was a total dick about it. I just lay there and cuddled for a while and then shared some jokes with her. I might as well have just kicked her in the cunt. Oh, I thought about bravely leaping from the bed, nobly slapping her bum and chivalrously telling her to get the bloody Wet Ones herself just so I could benevolently begin this important list of all the sexual partners that I would ever have but I was too scared. I was scared that if I kept a list of the names of people that I'd slept with that people wouldn't believe me. I was a coward who thought that what if, just if, my list gets to, say, 300 or more and then I told people about it, maybe they would think I'd made almost every name on that list up. I was too vain to start my spreadsheet database just because I worried that every single time that a fellow comedian met me, talked to me or even looked at me they would think that I was a fucking massive liar. But Jeff Leach is braver than that.
Jeff has bravely come to accept that he has an addiction to sex and wanted to share his story with all the millions and millions of other sex addicts in Britain so that they would know they're not alone. I mean, they probably know they're not alone. What sort of sex addict is on their own all the time? That's just wanking. Who could ever look at Jeff Leach and think "Wanker"? Not BBC3, thankfully. While other documentaries focus on greedy African children or moaning sick people, BBC3 saw something in brave graphic sexism and idiocy that might appeal to their viewers. A man with not only the courage to admit that he has an addiction and a list of girl's names but also the humility of meeting up with two or three of the girls that actually exist and asking them whether or not he was good at fucking. I sometimes think of all the things I've done in my life and get depressed that I'll never be brave enough to not care that everyone I know will think, say and be completely right about me making a DUH-cumentary on being a bit of a cheeky lad just so it would be a good career move and not something I actually felt was good. It's incredible that some bastard comedians will focus on their material or stagecraft and hope that that alone will show they're good enough instead of openly sharing something that is of no consequence whatsoever. Some fuckers actually think simply doing good comedic work and having none of the fame or plaudits that occassionally go with it is enough. But Jeff Leach is braver than that.
Hopefully, Jeff Leach's bravery has led the way for other comedians to be open and honest about their lives. I only hope the day comes when we can all switch on BBC3 to watch Holly Walsh's I Am A Rapist and Nick Helm: I Have Filled Everything With Spunk. Maybe one day I'll be that brave too. Brave enough to admit that I'm addicted to my own vanity, to bravely keep a list of everyone I've disappointed and to bravely base a stand up set on my experiences and courageously remove all the jokes and just fearlessly keep a load of sentences that said nothing in the finished documentary.
How come Chortle haven't even ASKED me to write for them?
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