08 January 2004

I've been thinking a lot about sleep today. I've been doing a fair to of it too.

I've so far today seen Shattered for about 10 minutes (about 5 minutes at 2am and about 5 minutes at 2pm) and sat and watched A Nightmare On Elm Street this evening.

I find Shattered fascinating. I don't mean the show - I couldn't give a toss about a bunch of people staying awake for a week.

I mean the effect the show, and other similar shows (Big Brother etc) have on me. But with Shattered it seems particularly relevant.

Almost as soon as I see people sitting around in a house doing nothing except being lazy and chatting I just want to fall asleep.

I generally avoid most shows like that. I didn't watch either the first or second Big Brother's at all. But sometimes when you're channel flicking, or if you only have 4 channels you just can't avoid it. It's like that unflushed turd - you don't want to see it, but can't look away when pushing the flush handle.

I do however almost always watch these "celebrity" things (I watch a fair amount of TV, but the only one of those where I've known who all the "contestants" were before the start of the show was the Celebrity Big Brother in November 2002).

I think I saw almost all of that Celebrity Big Brother with the exception of the first and last nights, because I went out and forgot to set my video. The evening shows were slightly exciting, because it was a compilation of all the funniest and most interesting moments of the past 24 hours. But the "live" bits on Channel 4 at 5pm were what immediately sent me into the land of snooze.

Being a live(ish) broadcast of people just sitting in a house, cooking dinner, reading magazines, chatting and napping, I just found it so relaxing to watch. I don't think I was ever still awake when the show ended an hour later. I do wish I'd videoed some, because as soon as the 9 days were over I found myself being destroyed by insomnia. In the 48 hours following the final broadcast (which I of course didn't see anyway, I went to the theatre and yawned all the way through The Vagina Monologues despite loving that play because I'd watched the live show just before going out) I got less than 4 hours sleep. And the next few nights I didn't get much more sleep than that either.

Which is why the irony of Shattered entertains me so. Watching these people deprived of sleep sends me straight into the land of nod. After 5 minutes this afternoon, the cat and I were both passed out in front of the TV.

Despite my inability to stay awake while watching TV, I think I'd find trying to stay awake for a week quite fun, as long as staying awake and doing bizarre tasks was all I had to focus on, and I didn't have to worry about not drooling all over the computer at work. I quite like being deprived of sleep, and have probably done more strange things tired than I have while drunk. I certainly hadn't been drinking that time I crawled across a road in a small Devon town on my hands and knees while wearing a pink nighty and snorkling mask - and I also hadn't been drinking the night I did the obligatory coming home at 5am with a traffic cone.

In other news: Russian teeny faux-lesbians t.A.T.u are apparently planning on running for Russian presidency. If they were successful they could prove to be even more irresponsible leaders than Bush. Actually, that's highly unlikely. Though, we could end up realistically facing the situation me and some friends once jokingly came up with while sleep deprived one night about 4:30am: All the lesbians of the world invading Russia. Though maybe not. The climate isn't too condusive to running around in schoolgirl outfits snogging your mates, is it?

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