Thursday, 28 January 2010

Do have nightmares

Nothing much on telly at the minute, is there? Well apart from Mad Men but we'll take that as read. Nothing much on telly found me recording I Believe in UFOs with Danny Dyer for a bit of fluff for me who likes a UFO story.
Who is this man, Dyer? He's supposed to be some sort of actor but I'm buggered if I've ever seen him in anything. He looks like the sort of berk who appears in films glamourising football violence. He looks like the type who'd describe himself as an "East End hard man, a bit woo, a bit whey". I've never been in a fight in my life but I guarantee that I could floor him. Whatever, his main 'talents' appear to be looking at all times like he's just woken up with a hangover and swearing a lot. And I mean a lot. Regular readers have probably noticed that I like a good swear, but where it's fitting. This Dyer seems to use it as punctuation.
Anyway, the programme was incredibly tedious. He has no skills for making an investigative film whatsoever. The programme seemed to obsess itself with Dyer wandering around like he'd just smoked a spliff going "Gor fackin' blimey, these fackin' crop circles are weird, ain't they?" The 'high point' came with Dyer buggering off to Colorado (with my licence fee) to talk to a bloke who claimed to once have an alien look through his window. And guess what? He only had a video camera set up with night vision to hand to record the whole thing on, didn't he? This so-called alien was clearly a man wearing the sort of alien mask you can find in any party shop. The 'alien' then thought he saw the guy filming and bobbed down from the window, then re-appeared as if playing a game of intergalactic peek-a-boo. Cue "Cor, fackin' 'ells!" aplenty from Dyer, clearly the world's most gullible man.
Anyway, it was so mind-numbingly dull I dropped off to sleep before the end.

Dropping off to sleep made me miss the beginning of Crimewatch. I don't normally watch Crimewatch but last night's featured a case my sister's working on, so I thought I'd better look in and see if I could be of any assistance and to encourage her along via the television. Thanks to Dyer's dreary antics I missed it.
What I want to say is that Kirsty Young doesn't say "Don't have nightmares" at the end. What's all that about? Just because she's some Glaswegian nutcase who probably isn't frightened of anything doesn't mean I am. I didn't sleep very well at all, thank you, Kirsty.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Ugh, why do I do it?

Facebook, eh? Facebook. I had a load of Facebook 'friends' from work on my profile up until about ten months ago and then deleted them all off. I was getting sick of all the comments in the canteen about stuff I'd put on there. I use that 'status update' feature just to put throwaway stuff on, not anything particularly to chew over, something to keep me amused and alleviate the mundanity of my job.

Anyway, a colleague of mine was giving me a lift to work during the cold weather and he started banging on about why I was no longer on Facebook. So I had to make up this cock and bull story about deleting my profile (as it happens, every now and again I deactivate my profile just to have a rest from that whole Facebook thang) and that I'd now got a new one and would add him as a friend. I did this, much against my better judgement, but that guy had been doing me a favour all week and wouldn't let the Facebook thing drop.

So now it's started. His locker's next to mine so I have to look at him with his trousers around his ankles at 2.30pm while he asks what I've been buying in Argos (I'd made a throwaway comment about queueing in Argos), what the fuck's it got to do with him? Is he some kind of stalker who needs to know about the minutiae of my existence?

Today there's been lots of giggling and pointing in the canteen about something I'd said on Facebook about Angelina Jolie. You know it was just a joke, let it go, it's not important, get a life.

I think the fact is that most of them use Facebook purely as a means of poking their noses into other people's lives and perving over photos of them on holiday. I've had to delete a blog in the past because some nosey bastard at work couldn't let it lie that I had a blog. He trawled through Rush message boards searching for my profile, he eventually found me and the link to my blog, even though I used a pseudonym. I found the whole thing quite unnerving. Aren't you glad you don't work where I work?

Monday, 25 January 2010

This is what the air attack warning sounds like

As part of my fascination with all things Cold War (when I finally get my new car, I'm taking it for a run out to here), I've spent a chunk of the weekend and today watching Protect and Survive videos on You Tube. Jesus, they expect you to get busy in the lead up to a nuclear attack, don't they? For a start they expect you to start thickening the walls of your home. Do you know how to lay bricks?
Then they want you to start a fallout room in your home, preferably a room with no outside walls and windows. The only room in my home which fits that description is a cupboard where I keep the Hoover, shoes, manbags, mops and the such like. I'm never going to be able to live in there for weeks at a time, it's too small. Even smaller when you see the list of stuff they want you to take in there. They also expect you to bolster the room by placing suitcases around it, I have one suitcase. What else am I supposed to use? And how am I supposed to heat up the dozens of tins of soup they want me to eat without gas or electricity? I'm sorry but I can't eat cold soup, I'm not Spanish.
The clincher for me though are the toilet arrangements. You have to go for no.2s in front of other people. I'm prepared to make some sacrifices in the event of nuclear Armageddon but come on! How can you poop in front of someone else? I know some people find it a turn on (I'm NOT one of them, incidentally) but I couldn't possibly do that. And an ex-boyfriend of my sister used to drive tanks in the army, they had to practise nuclear conditions and shut themselves in the tank for days on end, pooing in front of each other, but I'm guessing there must be hidey holes in a Chieftain tank somewhere. I'd just have to live on the tins of pop in my cupboard and forgo the soup.

I reckon these guidelines need thinking through again. Now where did I put that What To Do In a Major Terrorist Attack leaflet they pumped out in 2002 (I never did buy a wind-up radio, although I have a wind-up torch)? It's probably with the Swine Flu advice and precautions leaflet.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

The spirit of radio

Why is it that some words fall out of fashion? I say this because yesterday I was moaning about a DJ on our dreadful local independent radio station who sounds like the teacher off of Charlie Brown. I was talking to this chap and said I'd heard him on 'the wireless'. To which he started laughing and said "What's a wireless, granddad?" I was quite taken aback, doesn't anyone say 'wireless' any more? My dad always used to bang on about an item on milk yields and cattle market prices "on the wireless" (not that he was a farmer, but when you listen to Radio Lincolnshire all day it becomes an obsession. Not that we lived in Lincolnshire).
It's the same whenever anyone asks me if I went to the pub to watch Forest matches, I don't believe in televisions in pubs so always tell them "I listened to it on the wireless." Cue quizzical looks all round.

My sister told me a story the other week: she was speaking to me on the phone, while she was at work, and I was asking her where I could park my car when I met with her later that evening. She replied "You know where the pictures is? Well there's a car park at the back." To which, apparently, the colleagues in her office started on her for the use of 'the pictures' the minute she put the phone down. Apparently the proper name for it now is 'cinema'. Not in my book. Mind you, to me the BT Tower will always be The Post Office Tower...

Monday, 18 January 2010

I'm not looking for a cheap Happy Birthday...

...but I've been watching this DVD about Brian Clough today, and it gradually dawned on me that I'm now the same age God was when he gave the interview on the You Tube link (that's God as in Clough, not Revie. Or, indeed, Austin flaming Mitchell.).
That puts a perspective on things - he was dead almost exactly thirty years later.
Hey ho, it's the big one this time next year. I won't be shouting about that, let me tell you.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Order! Order!

I don't know why I spent a load of time in mid-November compiling an Amazon wishlist. Well, I do, it was so that when I got the inevitable question "What do you want for Christmas, Bright Ambassador?" from my sisters, I could just direct them to my wishlist (obviously, they don't call me 'Bright Ambassador', that'd be stupid as it's not my real name). Imagine then, my disappointment come Christmas Day when one of my sisters had ignored the wishlist and bought me a DVD of Wheeltappers and Shunters.
For those not in the know, W&S was TV variety show from the mid-70s supposedly set in a Working Man's Club. Imagine Phoenix Nights - only even shitter. It's truly terrible. I've only managed twenty minutes of it so far and had to switch it off. When you get those turds on telly spraffing off about a lack of variety on TV these days, I suggest they're given a copy of the W&S DVD.

For a kick off, series 1, episode 1 starts with Bernard Manning - the club host - crooning his way through a number about how he'd like to 'make sweet love to you all night.' Form an orderly queue there, ladies. We then get an act involving Cossack dancing - mildly entertaining for about thirty seconds, unfortunately it went on for about three and a half minutes. Then it's straight into a double act called, something like, Lambert and Butler. Oh dear. Get this, the stooge purports to be gay. Cue loads of jokes involving the word 'queer'. Hilarity ensues. Not.
They're followed by 'the barmaid' singing a medley. It's rubbish. After the break it's a knife-throwing act. The thrower of which was wearing the most alarming pair of trousers I've ever seen. His 'prancer' was wearing very little. By that time I'd lost the will to live and switched it off.
It's not all bad news though. The club committee 'chairman', Colin Crompton makes some witty interjections (best of which is "All those going on the Territorial Army weekend next Saturday - please be informed that reveille is at 6AM. Those who don't like Italian food are advised to take butties"). And the clothes and haircuts of the audience are always worth a gander on this kind of thing.

She said "I saw it and thought of you." Is that because she thinks of me whenever she thinks of shocking 1970s televsion? I hope not. Thing is, she'll ask me about it. Then she'll want to borrow it. So I'm going to have to watch all of it because she'll want to discuss it. I've got six hours of it to watch. The DVD cover promises an early appearance by Little and Large. I can hardly wait.

She'd best get me something decent for my impending birthday, otherwise I'll be mardy.

Edit: To help along those who've never seen W&S, like Thumper, here's a choice You Tube clip. It features Norman Collier's famous faulty microphone routine. I saw Norman Collier in summer season in Bournemouth in 1980, on the same bill as Little and Large - he did the sodding faulty microphone routine. The same routine I'd seen him do on TV dozens of times before. Who once called him Norman 'Two Joke' Collier?

Monday, 11 January 2010

Let's have a heated debate!

Do you know what I hate?.......Give up yet? I know that regular readers will know there's loads of things I hate. BUT, listening to the radio an hour or so ago I was throwing things to the sound of, the 'actor', Max Beesley. He was on Richard Bacon's Radio 5 show, a show which was to feature a David Cameron interview later on. Bacon asked Beesley if there was a question he'd like to put to Cameron on Beesley's behalf. The question went something like this: "David, I like your billboards about how you're going to do stuff for the NHS, but please, please can you not raise top line income tax to 50%?" This is Max Beesley who'd, just a few seconds before, been saying how he whoops it up in Los Angeles for six months of the year. So he loves the NHS so much he doesn't see why his uber-rich showbiz mates shouldn't perhaps pay a little bit more to keep it going. It's nice to know where his priorities lay politically. The country's fucked, mortgaged up to the hilt but he doesn't want to see Robbie Williams et al piss off to LA full time. Which would be a shame, wouldn't it? Not.

This followed on from, ugh, David Tennant (I'm getting sick of typing his name now), going on about how he wants everyone to vote Labour in the election. Bear in mind that this was originally said in an interview to a comic. Missing your target there David, I think. In fact, I hate Tennant so much I think I'll do the opposite and vote Tory (Not that it'd make much difference round here. The last Labour MP we had got investigated by the police, got thrown out in the 2001 election and then drank herself to death a few years later).
And Tennant's mate isn't much better, the bloke who writes those lame scripts for the children's TV show has weighed into the debate about who we should all be voting for in 2010. He's weighed into the debate from the side of his LA pool. Well done.

What I'm trying to say is that I hate it when well known people pin their colours to political masts. Just keep acting, making records or whatever, but we're really not interested in your opinions.
Staying on the theme. I saw a teaser trailer for an interview given by Arsenal's short-arsed, annoying-shushing-motion-goal-celebrationer, Andrey Arshavin. Apparently the Russian made clear his displeasure at having to have a UK bank account. Oh, boo-hoo, you live and work here and have to pay UK tax, oh woe is you, sob, wail...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tennant's Extra

Well, that's Christmas over with for another year. Mine was, seemingly like everyone else's, quite quiet.
What a shite year for festive telly though. I know people say that every year, but this year, Jesus, it was abysmal. Obviously your luck was running on empty if you don't like looking at David Tennant's hatchet fizzogg. He was never off - I saw him on, and immediately switched off: Never Mind the Buzzcocks, The Catherine Tate Show, QI, Alan Carr's crap chat vehicle and a load of other stuff I've forgotten about. I certainly didn't see him on that children's sci-fi drama thingy he does. Because it's for children. And I don't like sci-fi. And I don't like David Tennant.

Other Xmas TV lowlights (bear in mind I spent a lot of Christmas in other people's houses so didn't have a lot of choice in the televisual delights on offer):

  • The Catherine Tate Show nan thing. Get her off.

  • That Victoria Wood thing. Probably would have found it mildly amusing if I'd ever seen that Lark Rise to Cranford. But I haven't.

  • Ant and Dec's Christmas Show. No, you're not Morcambe and Wise. Especially when you're show just features a load of other ITV-promoted divvys.

  • The All Star Impressions Show. Where to start with this? Imagine the worst impressions you've ever seen multiplied by ten and done by 'some of Britain's favourite celebrities.' By 'Britain's favourite celebrities', they mean, for example, twat-in-chief Tony Blackburn doing Prince Charles, Chesney Hawks (that's right, Chesney Hawks, 'Britain's favourite celebrities' remember?) as Prince William and Mackenzie Crook as Albert Steptoe. I couldn't work out whether it was serious or not. And it was a joint venture by the production companies of Steve Coogan and Vic Reeves. There was one glimmer of hope in a sketch, with 'proper' impressionists, revolving around those warring Gallagher brothers appearing on Jeremy Kyle. Otherwise I had to keep checking to make sure it wasn't April 1st instead of December 26th.

  • All Star Mr and Mrs. This had Joan Collins who kept being described as 'a legend.' How is she a legend please? She was best known for appearing in B-Movies and for marrying Anthony Newley. Then she got her minge out in two films and went into Dynasty. That does not a legend make, in my book at least. The other 'stars' involved were a bit-part actor off of Coronation Street and someone I've forgotten.

  • The Royle Family. Had its day. I don't particularly want to see Ricky Tomlinson's skidmarks on Christmas Day, thank you very much.

So, what did I enjoy?

  • Queen at Hammersmith Odeon 1975. I'm not a massive Queen fan, and I certainly don't like anything they recorded after 1980, but this was rather good. Plus it's always fun looking back, isn't it? Especially as when this was recorded they were just breaking through, with Bohemian Rhapsody at no. 1. Watching the video for Bohemian Rhapsody, week in, week out, on Top of the Pops, is one of my earliest memories.

  • The Not the Nine O'Clock News documentary. I used to love the TV show and books when I was a kid. And who knew that Stephenson and Atkinson hated each others guts? Not I. Pity the 'classic' episode shown after was just a load of 'best bits' spliced together.

  • Wallace and Gromit in The Wrong Trousers. Never get tired of watching that.

  • Some Like it Hot.

  • Knowing Me Knowing Yule with Alan Partridge.

So there you go, a 34 year-old concert, a thing about a thirty year-old satirical TV show, a fifteen year-old kids animation, a fifteen year-old spoof chat show and a 50 year-old film. They don't make 'em like they used to, eh?
The rest of the time I spent getting addicted to an Xbox game my sister bought me for Christmas. Who needs Catherine Tate when you can race a Bentley Speed 80 around Le Mans?

By the way, here's the first irritation of 2010: those two smug, 'look at us, aren't we beautiful?' idiots the Redknapps on that Thomas Cook advert. Where's my AK47?