Saturday, 27 September 2008

People who make me cross - #1 Oliver James



"Yoo hoo, I'm over her, judging you"











"Stop torturing those children Mme Jaywalker. Just hand them over to me. Don't you think they've suffered enough?"





"Look at all my books. You really don't want to argue with me"




This is a new, occasional series, in which I reveal to you that I am not merely the cheerful imbecile who shows you pictures of vegetables. I can be really really cross and unreasonable too. There are many many people who make me unbelievably squinty eyed and baleful, and not just the people whose jobs I am really jealous of. Here is the first one. Feel free to join in with this rant-fest.


Oliver James is a psychologist who wrote a column for the Observer Magazine for a number of years. Those years just happened to coincide with the years my children were really little and my mental health was somewhat shonky. Oliver James, despite writing for the "knit your own aura" friendly people at Guardian Newspapers, has Strong Views. Worse, he has Strong Views and Statistics.



To paraphrase Oliver's Strong Views briefly (feel free to correct me, OJ, if you happen to be off googling yourself):


1. Children who go to nursery* are DOOMED. They will turn into violent sociopathic lunatics. They will be unable to form emotional attachments. Shortly after their tenth birthdays, they will kill you and all your family. Oliver has several interesting clinical studies to confirm this for you.



2. Mothers who suffer from stress or depression DESTROY THEIR BABIES LIVES. These babies become crazed, glue sniffing asbo happy losers. There are percentages, and chemical compounds to make this conclusion compelling. Yes indeed.



3. Pregnant women who suffer from stress or depression DESTROY THEIR BABIES LIVES TOO. These babies come out and instantly turn into rabid wolves. The University of Poppleton double blind test study proved this beyond all doubt.


So. I had a baby. I got quite depressed. My baby started nursery at 6 months. I got pregnant again. My mum died, various other bad and strange things happened in rapid succession, we moved to another country and moved back again, all within a year. Second child started nursery at a year. I had a raving breakdown around this time had to do therapy, take drugs and spent a few months fairly bonkers. More cortisol with your shreddies, les enfants?


As I read these columns compulsively, unable to stop myself, it appeared quite plainly to me that Oliver James had been watching my life via webcam, and he didn't like what he saw. I would have pathetic little conversations with my Observer Magazine, asking Oliver to explain to me how exactly I was supposed to prevent my post natal depression, or my mother dying in an accident. Each new column was like a knife through my heart.



Now. Oliver. Did you think that telling me how badly I was fucking up was going to make it any better for my cortisol junkie wolf child and asbo hoodie? HOW DOES MAKING ME FEEL GUILTY MAKE IT ANY BETTER. Oh yes doctor. Thank you. I feel much less stressed and depressed now that you have told me that I am a despicable, unfit parent who has stunted my children's emotional and psychological welfare irreparably. Thank goodness I read this!

Oliver James. You genuinely made me cry a fuck load of times. I hate you. So there.




I have to go now. I am off to bake cortisol cookies for my animal torturing, mute, alienated chickadees. Pulling the wings off butterflies gives them such an appetite!



* I particularly love this title "Blind feminism has hurt our children". Yes indeed. I am off out to go kick some children now.

23 comments:

The Awakened Heart said...

I'm not sure if this post was supposed to make me laugh or not. It did though - in the nicest possible way - particularly the comment about kicking children. I guess you and I are both screwed then. As are our unfortunate offspring. I suffered from PND too and feel guilty enough without OJ (is that a coincidence do you think? That he shares initials with a psychopathic double murderer? Hmmm) making it any worse. He sounds like a statistic weilding dinosaur who simply wants women to knit his socks, have his dinner on the table at 6pm and never, ever ask an intelligent question. Fuck him indeed. But then, who would? Hugs to you X

Laura Jane said...

Fuck him. Hard. Up to the kidneys.

What. A. Wanker.

Obviously a bitter old fool with not an ounce of compassion for anyone with a Normal, Life Happens kind of life. Children are remarkable, compassionate and resilient and can rise above all sorts of life circumstances.

Fuck him. - but as your previous correspondent said - who would?

zoe said...

Where can I find this man. I want to tie him up, cut off his testicles and feed them to him with a dollop of mayo.

I had severe PND too but my daughters are just what any parent would want, smart, pretty, happy, loving etc and my son puts toilet freshener on his feet when they smell but that doesn't mean he's an asbo.

And yes, all 3 of my children went to a crĂȘche/child minder while I drifted between the office and a state of confusion-hazed delight laced by all sorts of medication.

Must go - I'm frying up a 2day old boy for breakfast.

OJ - you little fucker. I bet you have a small willy.

justme said...

WHAT a lovely rant! I hate him too. Bad Man!

Parisgirl said...

Had to laugh, blackly, last week about the Mail moaning over the EU apparently trying to impose better maternity benefits on Britain. Yes, the same Mail that is always going on about how mothers who go out to work are ruining their children's lives. Sums it up really: whatever you do, you cannot win. x

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Aah yes, he has made me feel terribly guilty too, and sob when I read his research on chidren who go to nursery and how awful they will turn out (mine also went to nursery and haven't started poking out birds eyes yet)and if you REALLY have to leave them then he supposes the closest alternative to mummy is a grandparent. Not bearing in mind granparents may be too old, live 300 miles away or that they are not even alive.
BUT, I don't hate him because I don't care what he says. It's the sort of rubbish dragged out to make women feel guilty. AGAIN. Are there any surveys that say anything about what happens when the daddy goes out to work? Hmmm??? Because they never feel guilty. LUCKY THEM.

Completely Alienne said...

As Parisgirl says, as a mother you can't win. It is always the mother's fault - no one ever mentions the fathers. I read hundreds of articles that made me feel guilty for working full time -but while I was doing that, my husband was at home with the kids. But if they had turned out to be junkies, thugs or asbos (still time yet actually) it will still be all my fault. You keep up what you are doing Jaywalker. Your kids will be better off for having a mother who makes poo cake with them than some perfect OJ approved specimen.

SUEB0B said...

He's just upset because someone cut his lips off.

Iota said...

Guilt guilt guilt. He sounds like an expert in it.

I am a mild-mannered person, and generally like other people and am polite to them, but Sue Arnold's column in the Observer used to annoy me weekly to ranting pitch. I don't know why. It was fairly innocuous. Maybe there is some weird black magic thing associated with the Observer.

Jaywalker said...

Oooh, you did all make me laugh. Sue bob made me snort even. Yes! Who took his lips? Don't give them back whatever you do! Actually, all of you. Zoe, Laura Jane, everyone. Ha.

I'm going to continue tormenting him, you'll be glad to hear. Watch this space.

P said...

Since I don't have children of my own, I will torture someone else's in his honor and then swallow a handful of painkillers chased with vodka.

KSV Woolfoot said...

I know it's hard to avert your eyes from people like these, know-it-alls from Mount Olympus, sharpening their fingers right at your heart, when you are feeling damaged and drained and guilty. But now that it (or "_IT!_")is all in the past, and you have thumped him good, I hope you are proofed against him. How do you feel about Penelope Leach?

La Belette Rouge said...

Horrible man. He is wrong and I feel that I can say that with a certain amount of authority. If it were true I would be doomed, my life would be destroyed and my life would be destroyed. Oliver really needs some therapy. I am sensing he might have a little issue with his mommy.

katyboo1 said...

He's a total git bag bastard of a twatmuppet, that's what he is.

I too had pre and post pregnancy depression. This added to loss of aunt who I was incredibly close to, from a vicious illness, three days after first child was born. I was still ill in hospital with child and missed funeral. My mother went dipsy la la shortly afterwards, understandably and was MIA for baby support purposes for a while. I went crazy after six months of thinking I was going to be a fabulous earth mother and failing insanely at every level with very little support. Put child in nursery, started to feel better but guilt ridden.

Second child and first child in nursery/with nanny while I worked and did more guilt. Oh yes and add divorce shortly thereafter. Broken home also means you are rearing tiny psychos for sure. Third child is only one with any hope of becoming normal, but his sisters turn him to the dark side and I send him to nursery 1.5 days a week so I can pee in private.

Life happens to people. We deal with it as best we can. As long as we love our kids and are prepared to visit them in the Scrubs what else can we do? He must live in a vacuum flask with a rod up his arse. Bastard....

valley girl said...

Yes, yes and triple yes. I also hate his column. But what does he know - does the guy even have kids? I just googled him and there is no mention of them.

Jaywalker said...

Valleygirl - Appallingly, the twunt has TWO
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2005/mar/06/healthandwellbeing

P- ooh, good work. Keep it up!

KSV - I dunno. I stopped reading anything but fiction after Oliver mashed my heart up with his pointy pointy fingers.

Belette - you are anything but destroyed, so he is definitively wrong. We have a sample of one! Our data does not lie!

Katyboo - well said. Twatmuppet. Great great word.

LĂ©onie said...

Only just read this post but, oh God. What a fucking idiot.

What sort of a moron tells depressed people that it's all their fault, and that they're ruining the lives of those around them to boot? I am appalled.

The thing is that to most people (I would hope) this sort of thing would be obviously a load of shit, but to a depressed person who is looking for ways of torturing themselves it is perfect. He is a cunt.

Robbie Santiago said...

I realise that I'm a man walking into women's territory here, and six months late to boot, but having suffered from severe clinical depression and read a couple of books by the appalling Mr James, I'd like to add this:

Oliver James is that poisonous thing, an upper-middle class english Fabian with no real interest in people who don't share his own background, circumstances, and prejudices - in all his books and articles there is his patrician disdain and contempt for the problems of anyone not from his own background - be they female or male - and his hatred of anyone who disagrees with his haute en bas platitudes.

I'm amazed that Oliver James, a person who is so clearly lacking in compassion, has any career in psychotherapy, never mind such a high profile one.

Not that it has any bearing on his (lack of) competence, but he is also remarkably ugly.

Anonymous said...

I dont even know what this blog is about (will check out later) but was delighted to find people who despise Oliver James. I was prompted to search for others who detest him simply from having just listened to his irritating squeaky little voice on radio 4 just now -for which i am sure he was bullied at Eton- never mind the ugly bit...he is just a media savvy nasty and the previous poster robbie santiago says it all and very succintly too. so sorry to have burst in here but i had to vent (even if several months late). i will now check out the home page of belgian waffle!
regards Flora Post
regards

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Anonymous said...

Oliver James disgusts me. So do those who publish him.

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