Good day, judgmental bastard. My name is Defector, and it’s time for me to once again to spew my guts out about my love for Bad Movies, and how they kind of/sort of might be hugely disruptive to my own mental welfare and social status, a bit. Which I’m fairly certain I should have tried harder to make a declarative statement.
My immature fixation with terrible films is an example of the kind of dirty fetish that most people pretend to repress in some form or another, but fail very hard in actually dealing with. But I’m bigger than that, and where most of you, I’m sure, get your filthy rocks off by watching whatever filth passes for the average Pornhub video these days, I myself get sweat-soaked palpitations by building a man-fort out of some of the most dreadful wastes of certification that movies have to offer, despite the conversational void that now constitutes my relationship with the outside world. I guess it’s my thing.
But I do have to admit that my single-minded collecting of every springboard-explosion ever put to film might be sliding into…a problem. Dare I say it…an addiction. But self-help is right around the corner, as shortly after writing an article exposing my addictive tendencies to the three people who read it, I found myself yet again perusing one of my local crack-den CEX stores, which is quite often filled with exactly the type of discarded faeces that form the backbone of my DVD collection.
So just Imagine my joy and relief after stumbling upon the one thing that might save me from myself – A self help DVD on addictions! Joy.
So after gingerly handing over the £1 cover charge to a disgusted looking, piercing-riddled, millennial bastard, I skipped home to boast of the journey I was about to embark upon (and how brave I was going to be), as I could already sense how self-righteous I would become, having been cured of something. As such, I was more-or-less completely determined to make the most of my purchase, and really put the 2 disk DVD boxed set through its paces. Because, as anyone who knows me can attest, it was about time something was done and I myself knew it. After all, in the space of a few very short months, what was once a quaint…
…had become a thoroughly revolting…
…and as such, I could have done with a hands-on intervention of some kind. But none was forthcoming (my wife tries her best but not nearly hands-on enough), therefore I knew I had to take control of my own destiny. Or more specifically, allow Nik and Eva Speakman to grab it by the throat themselves and attempt to cure me senseless.
If all went to plan, I might finally have a normal conversation with my co-worker contemporaries instead of rambling incessantly about the subtle nuances of Enter the Shootfighter and Hercules against the Moon Men. Who knows, I might even have conversations that aren’t one-sided smiling and nodding followed by my own vague sense of isolation. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
Except things didn’t really work out as planned, as this particular self-help DVD was created by the Speakman siblings (who are married), and as such is absolutely fucking useless to anyone outside of people addicted to honeycomb ice cream and irregularly constructed pavement slabs.
first admit you have a problem
YOU CAN BE CURED! ‘ADDICTIONS PHOBIAS FEARS OCDS’ by Nik and Eva Speakman is a two disk self-help seminar designed to assist you in combating your fears, obsessive compulsions, and of course, addictions. The blurb on the back of the cover describes how numerous fears and OCD’s, that vary widely, will be banished hence forth, should your fears exclude low budget seminars and blond power-hair.
In fact, the range of issues that the Speakman’s claim to help assist with is so specific that I think a little more balance would have been useful when designing their seminar. For example, the blurb invites us to…
‘Observe Nik and Eva as they work with patients with issues ranging from a knife victim harbouring a 16 year terror of knives to various addictions, including chocolate.’
Kind of a wide-ranging thing you’ve got going here, Speakmans.
“Hi. My name is Cindy, and I’m terrified of knives, knife crime, and knife related crime statistics. And this is my friend Gordon, who is terrified of his diabetes medicine.”
But what other addictions, OCD’s, and fears can we all expect to be cured of? Well, these are the contents of both DVD’s according to the rear of the cover.
DVD 1 – Fears & Phobias
Chapter 1 – Anything is possible!
Chapter 2 – How fears & phobias develop
Chapter 3 – Phobia of ice and heights
Chapter 4 – Phobia of fruit and vegetables
Chapter 5 – Fear of knives
Chapter 6 – Fear of heights
DVD 2 – Addictions & obsessive Compulsive Disorders
Chapter 1 – How our brain perceives food
Chapter 2 – Crisp addiction
Chapter 3 – Food addictions
Chapter 4 – Suppressing a craving
Chapter 5 – Chocolate addiction
Chapter 6 – Addiction to cigarettes
Chapter 7 – I cannot walk on pavement cracks OCD
Right. So there’s a bit to cover here. But before I have even begun self-helping I have already learned that crisps and chocolate are separate from foods, and that some people are afraid of anything being possible. But then again, in my excitement I may well be misunderstanding yet another DVD cover.
I’m also concerned by what may happen if I decide to combine the contents of chapters one and six of the first DVD. I’m pretty sure I would fall to my death, but maybe that’s why fear of heights is covered twice…? Confusion.
Should I be afraid?
This is some fairly specific shit here, Mr and Mrs Speakman. Phobia of fruit? Crisp addiction? Fear of fucking ice? That last one is especially baffling. Do they mean iced over lakes? Which would be a fear of drowning, no? But maybe they mean just normal ice, as in cubes, which you can choke on I’ll admit, but then surely that’s a fear of choking, which could include anything from dignity to the non-chewable corners of self-help DVD’s. I suppose anyone could develop addictions and fears over just about anything, but are these things common enough to warrant intervention-filled seminars?
Maybe so, but…wait one second. Is it wise to host a seminar designed for people who are addicted to various foods, and people who are terrified of…food? Did the audience have to be segregated according to their fears and OCD’s? What if things turned violent during the complimentary buffet? Fingers crossed they have chosen a suitably secure venue, just in case.
Still broadly confused, and wondering why a phobia of normal movies wasn’t mentioned on the cover, I attempted to gain some further information on the Speakman’s and their ways by visiting their website. But I was immediately warned by my web-browser that their site had previously been reported as something that might give me web-browser hepititus, and so was unsure if I should proceed. Eventually I decided to throw caution to the wind, being on the mission I was, and so ignored the warning.
What I did notice before I left their site however, was that the Speakman’s looked pretty god-damn disgruntled, if not outright furious at their own inability to hire a decent web developer.
Edit: Between the time I wrote those notes and now, the Speakman’s have since forked out for a proper site with a webmaster who definitely isn’t the Russian government, not that I now trust them not to sell my email address.
What information I was able to glean from other sources described the Speakman’s as “daytime psychotherapists to the stars”, which is wishful thinking bordering on utter bullshit, as they have treated celebrities that no one has heard of outside of the darkest corners of the UK, such as Peter Andre and Jeremy Kyle.
are you going to cure me or what?
I eventually decided to put things off no longer and began watching what I was absolutely certain would be a big bag load of absolute wank. So I grabbed a knife, some lettuce, a bag of ice, and pressed play. And after what felt like a year of watching something in 30 second blocks, I can confirm that it is a mixed bag (of absolute wank).
At least what I saw of it was, because I lost the first DVD one night whilst drunkenly trying to alphabetise my DVD collection, and so lack a full understanding of their programme. Plus I had made things even more confusing by only seeing the start of the first DVD before losing the thing, which meant that I might not only doubt if anything was indeed possible, but would miss the opportunity to laugh under my breath at whoever had the balls to tell a room full of people that they were terrified of a healthy alternative to hamburgers.
But I can definitely confirm this is indeed a self-help seminar, as the second DVD contained flip-charts – the contents of which were at no point explained.
I also learned that Nik Speakman has a worrying fixation with both eating and saying ‘KFC’…
I’m going to assume that 50% of the room are shaking in terror
…and I found myself laughing nervously, as the energy in the air of this muggy looking stately home was as tense as it gets. It wasn’t helped by the constant low hum of a videographer who forgot to study sound recording, but even without the shoddy production value there would still have been a palpable atmosphere, as no one appeared to want to be there, including the Speakman’s themselves.
In fact, the more I watched and absorbed their seminar, the more confused and irritated I became, which I doubt was intentional. The stops and starts through which I reluctantly watched this DVD (over the course of a few days), became more arduous each time I played it, as I was slowly becoming…enphobiated (?) to seeing it again.
Quite possibly yes, I was developing a phobia of a self-help DVD about phobias, which is irony so terrifying that the Speakman’s themselves would have shrugged, walked out, and went back to cam-porn.
Things did liven up slightly when Nik’s thick Mancunian accent attempted to convince a patient that the palm of his hand was a (no shit) packet of crisps, and that by waving his hand within three-dimentional space and making bizarre noises, he could somehow convince her not to eat them ever again.
Fun fact: The crisps are afraid of heights
I’m sorry, what in the shit are you doing? Are you a therapist or a fucking voodoo priest? Soon after whatever the fuck that was, Nik (with his back to his wife) tries again with the three-dimensional mind-control, except this time using a Cornetto ice cream as a tempting looking prop on a pensioner with a chocolate addiction. Which is fair enough, except I have serious questions about where Nik thought it was ok to draw the attention of this salivating old lady.
There was at least twenty more minutes of this weird bullshit, and I started to shift uncomfortably in my seat with embarrassment, eventually to the point where I had to put my own desperate need to be cured to one side in place of just making the fucking thing stop. So yes, I began skipping through the DVD…
I know what you are going to say.
That I am not serious about being cured at all, and have simply use this laughably sub-standard self-help DVD as a cheap ploy to mock people with mental issues, and that when all is said and done, the Speakman’s can take turns eating crisps out of my ass. Well, you’d be partially incorrect, as I don’t think that way of the Speakman’s. No, I kind of have a soft spot for them, having seen the lengths they are willing to go to embarrass themselves and everyone else they come into contact with just to help people. And yes, they really do seem to want to help others, which is evidenced not just by their odd-ball seminar, but also by the contents of their brand new and redesigned website.
If you are willing to help to people with post traumatic stress disorder then I don’t really give a shit how much you intend to charge those people, as long as you in some way do actually help them. And judging by what other people are saying about the Speakman’s, they are doing precisely that. You go, guys!
Consequentially, as I merrily skipped my way through what remained of their seminar, I felt like more and more of a dickhead for knowing that my obsession with Bad Movies is basically harmless (my wife’s boiling anger not withstanding), especially given that some of the phobias, fears, OCD’s, and obsessions presented on these DVD’s are pretty God-damn debilitating. One poor lady, who at first recounts her inability to leave her house because of a crippling OCD of walking on pavement cracks, is eventually shown successfully walking down the street in heart-wrenching tears of joy and relief at being freed from her disorder by the Speakman’s and their techniques…and who the fuck is slicing onions?
If this doesn’t tug at your heart-strings then you have a phobia of being a normal God damn human
Maybe one day I’ll tearfully walk out of a CEX store with a bag full of DVD’s that cost more than 50p each and straight into the arms of the Speakman’s, but somehow I doubt it.
I joke now, but there is one part of me that does wonder if my so-called ‘obsession’ isn’t maybe at the early stages of what one day might become a full-blown Speakman three-some. After all, just the other day I found myself with some spare time and cash, so I headed to my local CEX store to do my thing. However, the store in question was closed due to an electrical fault, and it fucking ruined my day. No, for real, it put me in very shitty form, enough to the point where I was considering driving to another CEX store 40 miles away, just to buy something to make me feel better.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Truth be told, the Speakmans do indeed seem to (somehow) know what they are talking about, and I found myself genuinely (grudgingly) interested in some of their techniques. They also seem to have a boat load of credibility when it comes to this kind of thing, so I can’t help but commend them. And if I can be perfectly honest, I did end up at least wondering if I should apply some of what they say to my burgeoning addiction to spending money on terrible films and frowning.
I actually feel a tad guilty for teasing them. Yes, there are certain eccentricities here and there that are easy targets for couch-wankers such as myself, but in truth they really are helping people recover from psychological issues that can destroy peoples lives, and they have made an impressive careers for themselves whilst leaving twenty years worth of grateful people in their wake. So thumbs up.
I have the opportunity to be one of those grateful people too, but considering this boxed set is retailing on Amazon for £40, I have a decision to make – Sell half of it and be rich, or try and find the first DVD and finally cure myself of buying this kind of thing to begin with.