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February 16, 2006

On banning the glorification of

Writing about web page http://politics.guardian.co.uk/terrorism/story/0,,1710761,00.html

A good thing so long as they word the legislation appropriately so as to deprive the Government for using it as a policy measure as opposed to a moral/legal measure. I hope that the legislation is applied equally and that people who glorify State use of terror will be affected.

It will be interesting to see how they define terrorism (or whether it is defined at all and it is left up to judges to interpret what terrorism will mean). I have not yet read the statute or proposed statute – if anyone has any links they'd like to share, they'd be most welcome.


January 13, 2006

On Daytime Terrestrial TV…

When I'm working, often on my PC, I have to have something on in the background. I can't give my all when it comes to coursework (exams are different – they give me the "Exam adrenaline" variable), I have to multitask in order to concentrate. So while I'm typing out thoughts for an essay, I'll also be watching the latest episode of Prison Break or Friday Night with Jonothan Woss. Or if I'm going through Denning's vibrant challenge to the house of Lords in his far out Ratio Decidendi, I like to be playing World of Warcraft or Eve Online at the same time.

So what's the problem with that? Well I moved out recently into an internetless flat. BT buggered me up against a wall over the Christmas period. The BT Engineer came in, said he couldn't find a line and this was early December. They couldn't slot me in again until last week and now there's one more day until broadband activation. So I'm sitting her sponging my Sister's old Samsung X10+, Surfing the interweb and watching TV while working.

And here's where it gets worse. We have Sky+ downstairs. But the Sky + is broken. And after wasting £30+ on phoning Sky and getting the same old crap from an underpaid, undertrained (yet no doubt pretty) Scottish teleworker, they'll finally send an engineer over to have a look at the box. So I'm stuck with 1,2,3,4 and 5. Fine. As long as you avoid the daytime TV.

My experience of daytime TV has generally been one which taught me never to pretend I was ill to avoid school. Because, despite the AOL chatrooms and the 1337 56k modem (and my PII MMX!! WH00+!), I would invariably end up, in front of the television, crying my eyes out over supermarket sweep and Richard and Judy. Funnily enough I've found Richard and Judy has become more watchable now that they just interview various topical celebrities…. but you've got to remember, back when I was a kid, they focused on stuff for various Housefraus, such as how to clean stains with Valencia Lemons and what multiple uses there were for a neck massager. Aside from that, there was just a pile of pure, unmitigated crap, interrupted by the odd news reports. (And it was worse – Sunday daytime TV with Songs of Praise and that weird nun who reviewed art!)

Little has changed. Richard and Judy have disappeared and been replaced with Philip "Any Dream Will Do" Schofield and his much, much bigger Gopher. Meep I flipped onto the channel the other day and what were they talking about? The importance of wearing correct bras for women when walking, running/excercising. They had an expert brought in with simulation equipment attached to the nipples of two random (and token) hotties (I shit you not). They were set loose on a treadmill and the measurements taken from the nipples were juxtaposed with those taken from the head. Conclusion? Women should wear bras that correctly support their breasts, or by the time they'r thirty, they'll resemble South Park's Mrs. Choksondik. And the always sexually-ambiguous Schoefield is probably heterosexual. Probably

And today. Well the TV was on Channel 4 and I couldn't find the remote… Sod's Law . And, succumbing to what my friend calls the ""Couch-potatolisation"":http://mediaguin.blogspot.com/ of society, I couldn't be arsed to get up. I let it roar.

And to be honest I had mixed feelings. There was a veritable relay race of low budget semi-documentary, amateurish productions, starting off with what looked like a High School Drama lesson in comedy, replete with shitty acting, a la Harry Potter . I remember back in the Harrodian, my old foil, Rory, and I had some concept of what Comic Timing was... These kids clearly didn't. I almost got up to change the channel... but hey, What am I?

So that finally finished, thank god and then there proceeded something more interesting, if too amateurish to be more than dull. It followed a couple of amateur directors who had invested £20,000 in a play and how they play was carried out. Interesting from my perspective because I used to take part in such amateur productions, the last notable occasion being when I played a bald, wheelchair-bound, pink-bespectacled Tiresias, replete with leather jacket, in KCS's Oedipus Tyrannos. So the sympathy was there. Shame the musical play looked crap.

I was eventually compelled to rise and manually changed the channel when something which I think was called "Hurdeep does Pets" came on. A Sikh Scottish person telling really, really bad jokes about pets. Imagine the unfunniest display you have ever seen – and I'm talking Martin Lawrence unfunny – and then triple the pain. I have something against Scots anyway… and that's despite me being half-Scottish. There's nothing more unfunny than a Scots trying to be funny. Here's the math:

Scotch Accent + Shitty Jokes = (Birth-Giving Pain x 10^7)/ Jim Carrey's Cable Guy

In other words, I avoided it like the plague… ya Sasannach baastar's.

I breathed a sigh of relief until I saw what was on the telly: Antiques Hunt Ripoff No. 5 with throwaway lispy bowtie-wearing "Expert" X where contests compete for an hour to win all of five pounds by selling antique pepsi cans they find in car-boot sales in Swansea and Reading. Nothing more explefies my idea of Shite. Except a cricket/snooker/other shitty "sport" replacing my favourite reruns of Star Trek: DS9 or Buffy the Vampire Slayer on BBC2.

But the trouble is it beats the other crap that's bound to be on: Shitty Gameshow X on BBC2, Crappy House Decoration Programme Y on ITV, another antiques program on Channel 4… and hardcore porn (the ones which try to have a story) on Channel 5. Bleh.

GIVE ME MY BROADBAND INTERNET BT YOU BASTARDS!


The Crisis of British Culture

I'm bored. I'm not sleepy. And I don't fancy starting up on my new copy of Benny Morris's classic. So inbetween manically refreshing www.fark.com , reading Warwick blogs and playing a bit of Eve Online, I've got the TV on in the background. I look up from the laptop and hey, it's Big Brother !LIVE!

And what are they housemates doing?

They're sleeping.

And?

Sleeping some more.

Literally 15 minutes-worth of snoring housemates before the presenter quietly says "And that's all from the housemates for tonight folks"...

WTF? Does anyone actually watch these people sleep as though something miraculous is going to happen.

Now there's a program called "Big Brother's Little Brother" which starts of with some hippy with black catterpillers glued to his eyebrows and the most annoying voice I've heard since Dawn Penn sang "No No No", insinuating that George Galloway was receiving a handjob from an actress, sounding much like a man who's had his throat slit and who I've never heard of.


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