Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Thursday 8th May 2003

Although he's older than Sean Connery and has been very ill in the past I've always thought the great Lord Roger of Mooreshire was super-human (and perhaps nowadays he may be a bit bionic). Anyway the news of him collapsing on stage is worrying. I hope it's nothing serious, and he can struggle on to, one day, get that knighthood.

19 - posted at 09:38:23

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Wednesday 30th April 2003

Published today is the Broadcasting Standards Commission's latest bulletin - it doesn't sound like the most fascinating document in the world, but I like to browse through it - some of the things people complain about are laughable: I am convinced that there are people out there who desperately want to be outraged and offended - they travel the airwaves rejoicing once they find a muttered four-letter word or catch a flash of nipple or a bit of good natured innuendo. For example, one complaint, not upheld, related to the use of excessive nudity on the Adult Channel's Freeview.

I wonder what the complainant expected to see on the Adult channel. Perhaps an insightful documentary about that curious species, the Older Human. Maybe a frank and in depth discussion about chess (with the panelists concluding by giving each other a good chessing) - I remember at the department store in which I used to work there was a department called Adult Games, full of Scrabble, Chess, Backgammon and so on - so disappointing for a young sales assistant.

It's annoying to see some complaints upheld, especially when only one, of hundreds of thousands of viewers, has complained. For example in the bulletin a complaint about Electric 6's music video to Danger! High Voltage has been upheld after one viewer complained about sexually explicit content. The bulletin describes the action in the video:

"...two characters in a country house setting expressed their growing sexual desire, visibly cued by the use of illuminated lights around their breast and/or genital area".

The Standards panel dealing with the complaint recognised that the video was supposed to be "ludicrous" but in the end decided that "the level of sexual explicitness had exceeded acceptable limits for broadcast in the early evening on an open access channel."

What a load of bollocks. While there are some perfectly understandable complaints dotted around in the bulletin most of the complaints highlight that there still exists in this country pockets of the trivially offended, still wading in the mire of absurd Victorian morals, that would be risible if they weren't so self-righteously destructive. Personally I reckon the more filth and bad language on the telly the better. There's always the remote control - if people have the ability to get out their letter writing kit to vomit their outrage to the BSC regarding a homosexual kiss or dramatised blood soaked murder surely it would be much easier to simply turn over, or turn off.

18 - posted at 16:30:47

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Friday 25th April 2003

To the theatre last night for the first time in ages, to see Pretending to be me before it closes (on Saturday). It was excellent - completely engaging. Tom Courtney's acting was infallible and I was fooled at times into thinking there was, at least a version of, Philip Larkin on stage. As someone who first enjoyed (if that is the right word) Larkin's poetry when studying it for A-Levels, it was a chance to stretch back to the time when I did actually read poetry - as opposed to the more common self-improving ordeal I put myself through these days when feeling especially self-righteous. This involves picking up an un-thumbed copy of works by a poet I don't like (purchased while at University to make my bookshelves look more impressive) and, with sweaty palms and a creased brow, attempting to finish a long poem without panicking or completely losing the thread. I left the theatre last night with a renewed poetic vigour, determined only to re-discover reading poetry for enjoyment. After all, I recently finished reading Possession by A.S. Byatt, a novel containing pages of long and fairly self-indulgent poems imitating Victorian poetry (in between an intriguing story - I'd recommend the book if only for the last 150 pages) and, after reading four or five of these poems, I decided simply to skip them, a nice bit of dumbing down that left me simpler and happier.

Speaking of how one reads poetry, I like Larkin's comment about 'extra-curricular knowledge', repeated in the play last night - He condemns "Poetry that can't be understood without footnotes: "See the picture 'A dog buried in the sand' among the Black Paintings of Goya in the Prado." Why the fucking hell should I?" He's got a point.

17 - posted at 12:46:22

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Al sent me a the link to this news story about children - under 16s being kept in Camp X Ray by the Americans. If the children detained are anything like the little bastards who hang around my estate it's the best place for them, if you ask me.

16 - posted at 12:39:32

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Tuesday 22nd April 2003

On the 10th April I said I had trouble believing a certain web page was genuine. That's because it isn't - thanks to Tom Watson MP for gently putting me straight:

" "WATSON, Tom" wrote:

It's a spoof. Relax. Not even an MP could do something as dire as my teens section with a straight face.

Tom "

Ah well, once again I fall victim to my own naivety (see my belief in the Law hoaxes below). Having a quick browse around the rest of Tom's site, despite any rash generalisations about MPs I may choose to make in the future, I found it very engaging and picked up a link for this news story debating who has the best beard. While it intrigues me that the Beard Liberation Front appear to go for beards of the ginger variety I think some consideration should have gone to Brian Blessed, surely a candidate, along with Rasputin and Moses, for Best Beard Wearer of all time. However the BLF have given extra marks for being an anti-war beard wearer, and I have no idea of Mr Blessed's politics in that respect.

If your beard curiosity is not sated by learning about the BLF, this quiz is a good challenge for the first day back after Easter. Well, it beats struggling with EC Merger Control Regulations anyway.

15 - posted at 11:06:45

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