Tag Archives: Media

RIP Top Gear

As predicted, the BBC have fired Clarkson. The current iteration of Top Gear is no more. Ah, me. All good things must come to an end. Well, maybe the situation is not so terminal, and a return to the slower paced days of someone like William Woollard is on the cards.

Chris Evans has already publicly declined the poison chalice of following Clarkson, May and Hammond. Which for Evans is a wise move. The chemistry of the three bozo’s is a tough act to follow, and anyone taking a new, PC sanitised Top Gear on will have to be really, really, good, or more likely be so blindly ambitious they don’t realise they’re committing career Seppuku.

The end of the show will, no doubt please the Politically Correct Puritan faction. Who of course know what is good for everyone, whether ‘everyone’ likes it or not. No doubt said repressives will not be happy until all television (and the Interweb) is as anodyne and unchallenging at the Test Card or worse.

You know, I’m wondering if news of the replacement show or succeeding presenters will turn into one of those tedious media soap operas where the BBC announces Top Gears return in a “Yes it is” oops! “No it isn’t” pantomime, until a daytime TV version with the budget of Gardeners Question Time finally hiccups and gasps into life for one truncated season to fade and die in TV hell on BBC4, sandwiched between Countryfile and endless reruns of Cagney and Lacey hosted by some nonentity ‘Dub poet’.

Update: On the other hand, if David Camerons 11 year old daughter and Guido Fawkes get their way, Clarkson may not be on the scrap heap challenge just yet. Time will tell. If popular support fails against the monolithic diktats of the Beeb, then it’s Requiescat In Pace Top Gear. It was fun while it lasted.

So they’ve finally done it

Well there goes Top Gear, one of the last decent reasons for having a TV licence in the UK. The forces of BBC PC conformity have suspended Jeremy Clarkson from the show and suspended the show’s current season. Did old JC actually punch someone out? Yes? No? We don’t know, and no-one’s saying. Well there’s a surprise. A row over the production teams failure to lay on a dinner and Clarkson being a bit of a knob? Was blood spilt? Dental repairs required? Not that we know. Storm, teacup. Build a bridge and get over it for crying out loud.

That’s that then. The Malvolio’s have won. Much good may it do them. Theirs may prove a Pyrrhic victory. Top Gear has been a big earner for the Beeb for some time and now that revenue will disappear. Foot, bang, ouch! Not that the entitled offence seeking faction within the Beeb will see it that way, they’ll just demand more from an ever-shrinking public purse.

What the anti-Clarkson set don’t seem to understand is that the reason Top Gear was so popular is the three stooge-like antics of Clarkson, Hammond and May. None of whom could carry the show on their own, but put all three together and the chemistry really worked.

Not that I’m surprised. This is the last in a long line of manufactured ‘scandals’ concerning Jeremy Clarkson. Like for saying there was a ‘slope’ on a bridge (which could be taken both ways – their bridge over the river Kwai was a bit wonky). Or for saying that he vouchsafed the dreaded ‘N’ word, when there was no real proof, just accusation from po-faced attention seeking race baiters when he recited a children’s nursery rhyme that has the ‘N’ word as part of its original version. He’s been in the PC crosshairs for some time. Some might observe that he openly courted the notoriety. As an aside; work on the shop floor with many people of African heritage and you’ll hear them say the ‘N’ word out loud up to ten times an hour and more. Clarkson (only allegedly) saying it (or even stifling it as a joke) once hardly compares.

Yes, Jeremy Clarkson is a knob and a boor, but that’s half his appeal. He’s an allowed fool, that’s why he’s so damn popular. All over the UK and English speaking world, men well past the first flush of youth, no longer in original Adonis-like condition (If they ever were), waistbands straining, hair follicles diminished and greying, could always laugh at the antics of Jezza, the Hamster and Captain Slow, silently thanking their lucky stars that they are not really like the stars of Top Gear. Laughing at the teams silly stunts like building a mock space shuttle out of a Reliant Robin (My particular favourite) or destroying Caravans. Racing an Alpha Romeo against an Amphibious Quad bike across Lake Como. Pitting a Nissan against the world famous Japanese Bullet train. Envying their access to the worlds finest supercars and seeing those hyper expensive vehicles, which the average non lottery winner could only dream of owning, as somewhat overpriced. Yes it’s got a whole heap of horses under the hood, but it corners like a greased pig on glass.

No doubt libelous accusations that Clarkson has all along been a Savile-like sexual predator will surface. I can, even from this side of the Atlantic, hear the motors of slanderous anti-Clarkson spin begin to wind up to speed. Allegations will appear about his misdeeds, and whether they have even the faintest grain of possibility or not, the howling paedo-mob will be handed their torches and pitchforks to descend upon a man whose only real crime is that he publicly does not represent a narrow and soulless point of view. If I was Clarkson, I’d be instructing someone like Carter-Ruck just on the off chance that such allegations might appear. Force the accusers into court and demand costs. This is something he might already have prepared for. Just because he plays a fool on TV does not necessarily mean that he really is one.

On the positive side, I don’t think we’ve heard the last of him yet. Which might upset certain people. Bless. Cue ironic laughter dopplering into the distance…….

Update: Clarkson has coughed to the assault, saying he was ‘a bit drunk’ at the time and ‘manhandled’ the offending assistant. Punch or no, that’s an instant dismissal offence. So, that’s that. The end of Top Gear. Well, they’ll fire him, but it might get a bit contractually complex as doesn’t he own the franchise or something like that? There’s also the observation that had his politics been left of centre, he would probably have gotten away with it.

Another update: What did I say about Clarkson becoming a Savile like target? A BBC ‘executive’ is reputed to have pointed the first finger.

Worth the ticket

Sometimes when going to see a movie, you need deep characters doing dark deeds to satisfy the artistic cravings of your soul, sometimes you don’t want to sprain your brain and simply go for something fluffy and undemanding.

Last night we took a trip out to see Kingsman, the Secret Service. As fluff goes, it’s an absolute hoot. A refreshing break from the sometimes tedious PC earnestness of other Hollywood films. It’s a bucket of icy water on a hot day. Go and see it. The opening soundtrack’s not too shabby either. A wonderful action comedy with a darkness a lot of Canadians simply don’t get. Judging from some of the Mary Whitehouse (remember that censorious old biddy?) level reviews, they don’t get the swearing or the black humour. Frankly, if you talk about black humour they’ll think you’re referring to the Cosby show.

If you haven’t already, go and see. It gets five slightly tarnished gold stars from me. One for the video collection.

If you like irony this movie definitely gets it. It also takes the piss out of an elite pushing the alarmist ‘global warming’ agenda. I found the scene set to Elgar’s Pomp & Circumstance March No 1 particularly satisfying.

Some things should not pass from memory…..

Just a quickie for all you youngun’s out in jolly old Interwebland. A small antidote to the doom and gloom about insane mass murdering death cults, inept Presidents, the dunderheadedness of bureaucrats, radical vegetarians, idiots who still believe against all evidence to the contrary that CO2 driven man made global warming is real, professional protesters and the general lack of worthwhile cerebral activity in the online world……

A pre Python Michael Palin introduces the legendary, the phenomenal, the so incredibly awesome Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band from Do not adjust your set (A 1960’s children’s TV show? Link to playlist here Oy gevalt already).

How can you not love a show that invented the ‘electric spoon’ concept? Which was so good someone had to invent one.

Well, they were more innocent times.

Look what just hit Netflix….

Remember all that fuss about Sony corporation getting hacked by ‘North Korea’ over a movie called “The Interview”? So badly hacked in fact, that they can’t do their taxes?

Guess what just became available via Netflix?

This.

A major, leading Tech Corporate hacked by a country that has to struggle to make it to third world status? Seriously?

The question is; hack, or marketing hype?

Bill Sticker: Doctor, I think I’ve got a bad case of cynicism.
Doctor: Sorry Mr Sticker, I’m afraid there’s no cure. My advice is learn to enjoy it.

Sometimes Napalm is the only rational response…….

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, it turns out that France has gone all Duke Nukem and is stepping up its airstrikes on one part of the 7th century death cult cancer. But then they were planning to up the stakes anyway and the students union level politics of the attackers have simply given the Frenchies even better justification for blowing even more Jihadists to the promised land. Nuke ‘em jusqu’à ce qu’ils brillent et leur tirer dessus dans le noir (until they glow and shoot them in the dark – as if you didn’t know). Cheese eating surrender Monkeys? Mmm. Yeah. Personal experience? I like them. Outside of Paris I’ve found most French folks so laid back they only have to turn their heads to kiss their own pert little buttocks. Yet piss off any Frenchman, and they will go all Jeanne D’Arc on you.
Duc Nukem Merde Je Suis Bon
Even though, like a lot of people, I’d never even heard of Charlie Hebdo until the Jihadists propelled it centre stage. Quite frankly, having had a look at said magazines content I wouldn’t have crossed the street to piss down their throats if their lungs were on fire. Now however, outside of the lamestream media, those ‘blasphemous’ cartoons the fanatics wanted to suppress for ‘offending’ their prophet (How exactly do you offend a dead guy, BTW?), have spread like a forest fire on steroids. Said magazines readership is way up and the gunpersons Islamist buddies are about to catch some extra garlic flavoured hellfire and napalm. Oh yeah, and yet even more people are queuing up to ‘insult’ their prophet. Marches of support for the dead lefty’s (Whether the same amount would have turned out had Charlie Hebdo been right wing is moot). Growing protests across Europe against the attackers religion. That worked out well, didn’t it?

The problem is, these Jiahdists, like all fanatics, are beyond reason. Their rabid intolerance of any but their own narrow little world view has always put them beyond the pale. Ever since the Mughals (Muslims themselves, devised this amusing little public entertainment). Despite the more enlightened of their own religion saying (heavily paraphrased) Look guys, wind your necks in or we’ll all be casualties.” And even, “If you don’t like it here, fuck off.” The rabid death cultists cannot stop killing because they’re way past the point of thinking rationally about what they are doing. Over the sanity event horizon and accelerating. Hate and intolerance drives their souls, blackens their merciless hearts, gives them their very raison d’etre. The only way to deal with them, distasteful as it sounds, is to put the mad dogs down. Hard. While the politicians cower, the rest of us are saying, if you have to kill for your religion, maybe your version of God worship needs a little work. If not, sometimes napalm is the only rational response we have left.

Why worry?

Every day it seems, some public figure pontificates that life would be so much better if we just did what their pet academic suggests. Give up another freedom, do what you’re told peasant, because we’re so much more clever than wot you is, thickie. We will save the world if you just sit down and shut up (although I’d really, really like to know who they’re saving it for and what from – probably for themselves and the hoi polloi, surprise, surprise, won’t get a look in). After all, they’ve got all those letters after their names, nary a one from the bailiffs (That we hear about), so they must know what they’re talking about, right? So the rest of we mortals should just shut our moronic mouths, bend over, and take it up the chuff. Whether we like it or not. As usual. Yet wasn’t something similar out of their mouths in 2011?

Excuse me if I sound a smidge more grouchy than usual, because I’ve been having a fairly unfestive reduced fat, salt and taste Christmas at the in-laws this year. Both of whom are slimly built with BMI’s in the ‘normal’ range, doing enough exercise to keep two couples their age fit. Yet, according to their physicians, both have blood pressure and cholesterol ‘issues’ meaning both are on a permanent regime of statins. My drug use by comparison, is limited to a couple of painkillers every now and again. Maybe once a month, if that. My blood pressure, on a diet rich in fats, proteins and salt, although very light on grains and gluten, is (wait for it) a rather staid one twenty five over eighty at rest.

In addition, despite all the in-laws talk of how many fabulous, just fabulous dahleeng, recipe’s they knew, none of said comestibles were observed on or anywhere near our plates. So, following a less than happy yuletide visit I will say this; whatever my dear wife’s blandishments I’m not going there again because next Christmas I intend to be somewhere else. Berlin perhaps. China maybe. Or Alpha Centauri, the Andromeda galaxy, whatever. And all the festive seasons thereafter. Somewhere I don’t have to keep my bloody mouth clamped firmly shut because my wife’s sister and her husband have ‘mainstream’ (Islingtonite) corporate views. Sorry Bill, but you can’t say you don’t believe in man made global warming and totalitarianism, that would like saying you like to torture kittens. Notwithstanding, I rather like animals. In-laws by comparison, have never been observed to have so much as a goldfish around the house. They didn’t much like my dog while he was alive, either. Bill Sticker rule of socialisation 64B para 4: Never trust anybody who doesn’t like animals.

Sister in law hasn’t liked me since the moment Mrs S introduced me to her clan and sis-in-law greeted my appearance with “Oh, it speaks!” Now I know I’m a big quiet (mostly – honest officer) guy who can appear (very) intimidating at times, but really I’m just a big ol’ teddy bear who likes nothing better than having his back scratched, a good book and a quiet corner. But doesn’t much care for being prodded. Nor insulted to my face by a then total stranger. Then told I couldn’t simply ignore their bad manners or retaliate in any way shape or form. On last visit sis-in-law also called me paranoid for not wanting big government to oversee my every motion. Which firmly zipped my lip for the rest of the visit. If it wasn’t for my deep and abiding affection for my lady wife, I would have verbally ripped Sis-in-law a new one on the spot and walked out never to return, but you can’t do that (So I’m told). Anyway, that’s beside the point. She is a lifetime corporate drone with an awful letterbox grimace doing duty as a smile. So much so even I can see where the “A smile is evolved from a threat gesture” idea came from. Her conversation was limited to how rich and wonderful ‘her’ friends are. Repeatedly.

Speaking of which, now where was I? Oh yes. Academics and public authority figures. Now let me make this clear, I have nothing against others having a more extended education. Let those who are best suited to such study keep going to college or Uni. Let those degrees pile up. Let them expand their minds and delve into the very essence of matter and space / time and the tiniest nuances of DNA. Develop their intellects to Charles Atlas like proportion. Only I wish others would keep more of it to themselves instead of trying to kick intellectual sand in other people’s faces.

There was a time when Academics, oh best beloved, were rarer and stuck to their studies, mostly eschewing the world outside their dreaming spires and ivory towers, leaving the rest of us mere mortals alone. Now they twitter, tweet and publish, making all sorts of theoretical claims. Now pay attention at the back. I say, you boy! Remember that word, theory. Which some people confuse with postulate, which isn’t even enough to qualify as an hypothesis. Theories are partially ‘proven’ (Under given criteria), postulates are not, got that? I will be asking questions later. I hope you brought enough Scientific Method for everybody or the whole class has to stay behind.

Now all this would be fine if these wild postulates stayed corralled within the realm of academia. Academics should discuss and argue their postulates and theories. Between themselves. The problem is funding. Academics need to live too. Under the current system, to live they must publish in academic journals. Which is unfortunate, as a lot of ideas that really need the lumps knocked off them are published way too soon. Then politicians and activists sink their claws in and go quoting specific papers as gospel, when the publications in question are really just ideas for checking, duplication, replication, proof or rebuttal. Let’s say, ‘When reverse pummeling Transept A, B and C did K. I think it’s because K is a specific value of N, a subset of D which correlates with F. Does anyone else get the same answers?’ Which is what may have a lot of science researchers doing massive faceplalms when the media get hold of (or are fed) their carefully thought out postulations. Perhaps vouchsafing; “Oh God, I never said that K was related to mutant flesh eating bacteria at all. Can’t these people read. Who wrote that effing press release?” Then heaving a massive sigh of relief because publication means they actually get paid for the next year. Only a politician or activist on the make would ever claim “The science is settled.” Because science is never settled. Even Hawking says he got it wrong about event horizons (abstract here) and has since amended his views in the light of evidence. Peer review or no.

Speaking of evidence, are the polar ice caps and glaciers still there? Er yes. Polar Bears? Doing nicely thank you. World not ended because someone switched on the Large Hadron Collider? Still here. Is the Oil running out. Cheaper and more plentiful than ever it would seem. More superstorms? Not so you’d notice, no. The end of snow? Not in Las Vegas this year, or the year before. Ahem, are we noticing a developing theme here? Not doomed? That’s nice. Denier? Who’s them then? Not me. The only people in denial are the prophets of doom. You know who you are. Wankers.

/rantmode

To everyone else, a very anxiety free, safe, prosperous and above all happy 2015 (Yes, even to my insulting Sister-in-law). See you next year sometime.

Is he funny?

Every so often I pop out for the evening, then I do my zip up before I get arrested. No seriously. The most pertinent question of modern times is; is Russell Brand funny? Or even profound? He certainly thinks so, and is determined to tell the rest of us just how funny, profound, caring and intelligent he is (Yeah, right). Very loudly. In a profoundly irritating in-yer-face hectoring manner guaranteed to put backs up. Even if he knew where to find the right targets (Which he doesn’t). Especially when the guys bankrolling him were the very people he’s railing against. There’s a curious kind of irony there.

My only reason for speaking out is because at present his ghost written garbage is clogging up downtown Victoria bookshelves. Which rather puts a damper on what should otherwise be a pleasant Saturday afternoon bookstore experience. Placed in large end of aisle displays, Brand’s deranged eyes follow you around the store, making you want to plant the blade of a very large logging axe very firmly between them. Or take a chainsaw to in self defence. Not that I’d waste the energy. Having on one occasion picked up a copy and skim read some of the contents, I was unimpressed. That’s three minutes of my life I won’t get back.

Brand is like so many others of his ilk whose acts I’ve actually seen live, crap. I’ve seen these so-called ‘big names’ and found myself wondering why they’re so famous if they’re so rubbish. These media darlings can’t handle hecklers and their material is as tired as Ben Elton shouting ‘Thatcher!’ very loudly. Wasn’t funny then, isn’t funny now – one trick pony’s never are. Nowadays even the hecklers don’t have a go because there’s either a ‘no heckling’ rule in the club (which is really very sad, and very poor training for would be comedians) or the audience can’t work out what the imbecile on stage is ranting on about and are bludgeoned into a kind of stunned silence punctuated by nervous laughter. Known as the ‘Let’s laugh at the nutter until he goes away‘ type of faux-hilarity. As for ‘edgy’, sorry folks, I’ve seen ‘edgier’ custard tarts. He’s only on the tired old wall to wall media because he has the ‘correct’ lamestream political views popular with a small Fabianesque London-centric clique of media influencers. Who are so lacking in any real form of wit that they form a curious kind of anti-intelligence. Part of the dumbed down cultural Alzheimers afflicting the western world. Proof of Rory Bremner’s assertion that satire has died. I cite Brand, the X-Factor and Simon Cowell as proof that this is so. They may also be at least partially to blame for the UK’s ‘obesity epidemic’.

On the whole I’d give the failed hairdressers model a big thumbs down. Wouldn’t even cross the sidewalk to give him a toonie to stop busking. Brands kind of un-hilarity strikes as more funny peculiar than funny amusing. Like the occasional crazed street beggar with a bad case of Tourette syndrome, more to be pitied than laughed at.

Slight technical hitch

With regard to the possibility of putting out an updated copy of ‘Walking the Streets – the book, not the blog’ there’s a bit of a hiccup. I’ve had three ‘pooters since I went to press back in 2007 so the original files are sitting on salvageable hard drives tucked in my chaotic filing system.

However, the original blog can be resurrected zombielike to a shambling version of existence and made visible to the general dyslexic should enough people request its return. It would save me the problem of finding the original MSS and reformatting for eBook. Any takers?

Where there’s a Will

- There’s a Lawyer. Busy at present with legal forms and functions which all need notarising and registering. Taking care that no-one outside of our chain of command gets a look in. I’ve also drafted a Will for the first time in my life. Which feels strange.

On the domestic front Mrs S has been away on family business, as have I, and there’s been little I’ve felt like posting about. I got home a couple of days before her and have been idling a little before the next project hits the fan.

In the big wide world I see a scary disease which melts yer innards has taken over the headlines from scary people who like murdering people the hard way in the name of their god. Well it is coming up to Halloween. God says these ISIL / ISIS wankers are nothing to do with him. He’s not a fan of organised religion anyway. You should hear him when he talks about the Papacy. Not a happy deity.

The price of gas (petrol) locally has dropped over twenty cents a litre and oil prices are heading through the floor because the Saudis have upped production. Which is good for some people, not so good for others. Economic bubbles are going ‘pop’ and the apocalypse is upon us. Are you saved, brothers and sisters? What again? That’s the second time this week. You rapture if you want to, but leave me out of it. Hi ho. Same shit, different day. Ebola? I recommend washing your hands and observing a reasonable standard of hygiene. Oh yes, and not going to Middle Eastern war zones. They’re a funny bunch. A bit touchy if you know what I mean.

For my own part, the only recent oddity in my life has been a resurgence of appetite. Take the day before yesterday; Just finished work for the day and I had, not merely a half formed hankering or vague sense of peckishness, but a full fledged neolithic rage for a steak. Real red meat. Nothing else would do. So I skipped off to the local store, spent the princely sum of eleven bucks on a reasonable piece of cow flesh and took it home to fire up the grill. Shortly thereafter said slab (Big enough to cover my entire hand and over a thumbs width thick) was consumed with gusto and Dijon mustard. After gorging myself, I emulated sated carnivores the world over, parked myself in a place of comfort and safety (The couch) and unlike any other kind of sated carnivore settled back to watch YouTube vids on our big screen. I felt positively sybaritic.

Sorry to hear of Ranty’s confession. My only comment is this; if any bloggers experienced a ‘normal’ childhood, we wouldn’t be the wonderfully awkward sods we are. We’ve risen above the shit that was done to us and survived. Some more than others, but that should be a badge of honour in the great and not so great battles of life.