That should be the middle finger, Ross…

The Reithian ideal, by which to my mind all British TV should to some level adhere, states that television should “educate and entertain.”
With that in mind, let’s summarize the best that Sky has to offer this autumn.
Ross Kemp sucks the life, danger and interest out of gang life. The campest game show ever returns. Wayne Rooney sucks corporate cock for a jazzed up soccer school. A new season of Lost, the most infuriating show on the planet. And Hairspray, the High School Musical. There are no words I can summon up for this one, but the image of a water buffalo in a tutu defecating moistly into John Travolta’s mouth springs unbidden to mind.
I don’t recieve Sky anymore, and thank the Nether Gods for that. Who in their right mind would willingly pay for that panoply of shite?
Give me darts and fighting any day.

Things aren’t what they used to be… thank God.

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Six and thrupence for the ween. The other one you can have for free, he does nothing but eat and go on about something called GTA4.

 

 

Now, every so often I get into an argument (or as I like to call them “reasonable discussion at high volume” about the state of the nation, or on days when there really is nothing better to do, the world. The general consensus seems to be that we’re screwed, and the handcart to hell is now loading on platform 666.

I tend to be the dissenter in these discussions, largely because I’m prepared to take a slightly more open view and actually look at how we used to live. It’s not pretty. Global war in the teens and forties. Poverty and want in the fifties. Race and sex wars in the sixties and seventies. Kylie and Bros in the eighties.

That’s without even starting to consider where we were a hundred, a couple of hundred years ago, where people from my level of society would have been living in a slum, scraping a living at a manual trade if you were lucky, and dead at fifty. The quality and sheer joy of my life would have been dismissed as the rantings of a lunatic.

In my opinion, the best time to be around is right now. We live in a world where for the first time people are being accepted on the basis of their talents, regardless of creed, race or sex. Global communication is accessible and instantaneous. Despite what the press would have us believe, we’re actually in a better place now than you’d think.

Katherine Whitehorn agrees with me, and gives the argument some much-needed perspective.

It’s all good armament for the next time the volume gets raised on an reasonable discussion.

Notes on The Great Work

Now, there are those that consider this site to be the Great Work, to which I can only blushingly offer my thanks. However, the Work I’m considering in this post is the one that occupies my day job.
Or rather, not my day job. In order to get The Work done, I have had to do some very peculiar hours. For example, this week I am doing a 7pm to 5am shift. Which is fairly unique in my experience.
What’s doubly peculiar is how quickly I’m getting used to it. I was always of the highly vocal opinion that I was incapable of working nights as the lack of sleep would kill me within a week. This does not seem to me the case. I have laid off the caffeine a bit, but I’m getting enough kip and feeling remarkably lively, all things considered. I’m probably just on the verge of a psychotic episode instead.
The Great Work provides its own compensations for my collapsing mental state. I am witness to some of the richest and least seen TV archive this country has to offer. Science programming, political commentary and satire of the highest quality spool past my rheumed, reddening gaze. There used to be a reason that we had the reputation for having the best TV in the world, and the proof is in front of me nightly.
But now, most worryingly of all, I have to confess to a crush.

On Lynda Baron. That’s right, big motherly Lynda Baron, Arkwright’s squeeze on Open All Hours Lynda Baron. Clearly, my readership murmurs, the boy has lost his marbles. And the plot. And all reason.

But wait. The Lynda Baron of my dreams is the 1966 model, the looker with the achingly now flippy hairdo who chantoosed regularly at The Talk Of The Town in Mayfair, and had a gig on one of Ned Sherrins later satire shows. She fills the Meredith Martin on TW3 bit. Slinky dresses, funny songs and a touch of glamour just to set off the comedians of the day who, let’s be frank here, were not on telly for their looks. John Bird is many things, but he can’t shake his stuff in a cocktail sheath dress like Lynda Baron. Or rather, it’s not something I’d really want to see.

Blimey. Hello.

So, yes, it may be the lateness of the hour, but I’m crushing quite a bit here. I’m sure you understand. If you were in my position, you’d probably do the same.

A New Beginning

Sometimes, you need to change things around a bit. Declutter, slap some paint around, try the sofa up against the opposite wall. Sometimes, you realise that just won’t cut it, and it’s actually time to up sticks and move somewhere new. 

That’s what’s just happened to me and my old blog, The Ugly Truth. It simply wasn’t doing the job I needed it to do anymore, and I was posting less and less. I was frustrated by it’s limitations, and some of the offline shortcuts I’d put in place stopped working. The time had come to change up, buy a domain and do a proper website. 

X&HT is the result. I’m pretty pleased with it. I hope you’ll like it too.

A little background for any new visitors. My name is Rob, and when I’m not working for a post-production facility in Soho’s bleeding heart, I write and make films.

...as seen on a wanted poster, yesterday.

Our hero, as seen on a wanted poster, yesterday.

Hope you like it here. I think I will.

Clap, Slap and Tickle

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By way of a musical introduction, please enjoy a mix created, if not especially for the site, one that seems to suit the general mood and feel I’d like to inspire.

And no-one can tell me the Ting Tings didn’t write the greatest skipping song of the decade after watching their topsmart performance at Reading last weekend…

A post to melt your brains

Herzog, Lynch team up: ” 

CANNES – Werner Herzog and David Lynch are teaming for My Son, My Son, a horror-tinged murder drama based on a true story.

Herzog and his longtime assistant director Herbert Golder co-wrote the film, loosely based on the true story of a San Diego man who acts out a Sophocles play in his mind and kills his mother with a sword. The low-budget feature will flash back and forth from the murder scene to the disturbed man’s story.

And the news only gets weirder from there, people…

(Via Coilhouse.)