Comic Relief used to be a thing of lighthearted entertainment. Lenny Henry wearing a red nose. French and Saunders collaborating with Bananarama. The time our headmaster was shamed and compared with Ebenezer Scrooge on the front of the Daily Mirror for not allowing red noses in school. (That was a particular highlight for me, being about 13 at the time and having a slightly nasty nature and contempt for authority).
This year, there is a Thing which I can hardly bear to think about, let alone talk about. And especially not listen to. Ever. It is a Thing of such Evil that one would be forgiven for wondering if one had been temporarily transported into the inner circles of Hell when one is subjected to the torturous power of it draining all the happiness in the world away.
It is the cover of 'Walk This Way' by Girls Aloud 'vs' The Sugababes.
I have, to misquote John Cleese, listened to it once but I think I got away with it. I have, as far as I can tell, made a complete recovery without any lasting ill-effects. Well, except for the nightmares and the urge to track down Steven Tyler and travel to wherever he is in the world at this moment, just to pat him on the head and say "Never mind. You could never have predicted the terrible effects your invention could wreak on the world if it fell into the wrong hands". Poor bloke. How devastating must it be to have been responsible for both the joy of the Run DMC version and the sorrow of this one. A Tale of Two Versions; it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Still, despite the horror of both the continued third world poverty and this year's Comic Relief song (I'm not crass enough to make a direct comparison of those two, by the way; it's obvious that the Girls Aloud Thing is much worse), there is a Good Thing this year too.
A wonderfully ambitious and exciting Big Idea by Mike at Troubled Diva, to produce a compilation of funny posts from British bloggers and publish it, with all proceeds to Comic Relief. The emphasis is on funny, as it's Comic Relief; (not Colonic Relief as you might think from the Evil Thing) and all British and ex-pat bloggers are invited to send Mike a submission. The deadline for submissions is 6pm on Tuesday 13 March 2007 and the resulting book will be available from Friday.
Mike explains it more fully, and just better, with this post.
Don't listen to the song, ever, if you can help it. Not even out of morbid curiosity. You'll regret it; take it from someone who has been there and recovered, with the help of many hours of (Aerosmith) therapy.
Contribute to the book, and buy the book, and help keep Comic Relief funny.