The Graveyard

The Lair Of Gary James

Posts Tagged ‘bbc’

So… That Happened?

Posted by BigWords on April 4, 2016


The car you buy when you have given up on ever having sex again. And given up on life in general. Via Eco Car Blog.

While I was otherwise occupied, with things that don’t really relate to this post, a lot has gone on in my absence that doesn’t really make any sense. I’m gonna raise my hand right off the bat and admit that there is a lot which doesn’t make any sense to me anyway (the proliferation of stupid little cars being one – smart cars? Ugh, please…) but everyone should be really proud of themselves. While I was offline you guys raised the bar. The level of crazy really went off the scale, and coming to it after the fact makes it no less mad.

I’m still completely at a loss to comprehend the Sad Puppies, even though a fair few posts written over the last couple of years mentioned the fools those people. I’ve a few guesses at what’s making them sad, though to the best of my knowledge there’s no known cure for distemper. Also, nobody mentioned whether the puppies who were attempting to fix the Hugo Awards have themselves been fixed. Something to ponder, I suppose…

Then there is the mess which is being made of current politicians, policies and political parties, which probably deserves more words here, but I can’t bring myself to watch more than a few seconds of footage at a time. I honestly don’t know what the point of Nigel Farage is, other than to be a perfect character in some revived Spitting Image series, and there isn’t a single member of the SNP who doesn’t make my skin crawl. The US is, thankfully, much worse, so at least I can say “Guys, chill – we don’t have it so bad.”

I apologize to US readers, and suggest you start, y’know, calling out the racist, sexist, homophobic, isolationist bigots who are being ridiculous. Or take up rifle practice. Just sayin’. Any other time I would have found a perfect song to accompany that, but I’m really busy at the moment and Googling “Delaney Plaza comedy theme tune” is too much like hard work.

Despite not having the internet, I have been hearing some of the new songs being put out, and I can happily say that there isn’t anything ground-breaking there. Where is this generation’s Great Big Moment tunes? Hell, the sixties and seventies brought us a wealth of songs which continue, year in and year out, to be used in films, television and radio as great songs. It isn’t just nostalgia (though that is a part of their success), but the unity of lyrics, accompaniment and imagery. I’m saddened at the prospect of a disposable musical heritage being cultivated by people whose concept of “timeless” lasts just long enough until the next album gets squeezed out.

What little television I’ve seen has been punctuated by my feeling like I would rather read, or take a long walk, or anything other than being insulted by rehashed versions of things I never missed in the first place. The first show I saw – from the first episode – since getting back to a semi-stable situation was The Aliens, which isn’t exactly original. Actually, the word “original” shouldn’t even be used in the same paragraph as that show, so diluted is the plot. And the shell suits make me think of The Scousers. Harry Enfield is probably waiting on the call to make a guest appearance.

The biggest mystery to me is Gogglebox. People have talked about it as if television had a massive shift in ideology, and NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. I don’t get it. I mean… I watched an episode on the Channel 4 website, and I read some of the reviews people have written, but the idea makes no sense to be at all. Why do I want to watch a bunch of people I don’t know, who are watching television shows I don’t watch? The fact that such a series can get greenlit is probably a sign that nothing will ever be the same again… We have, as a people, given up on television as a medium. Thanks.

There are more ugly magazine covers than ever in the shops, with logos that are somehow worse with each passing iteration, and – presumably – revamped interiors which are just as aesthetically challenged. I can’t bring myself to look. Actually, I have glanced at some of the material on the shelves and I am glad to see the intellectually vapid “lads mags” have finally imploded in the critical mass of their own egos. Took long enough, mind you.

I completely missed everything that the BBC was going through, and I can’t say – with a straight face – that it was worth sticking through everything to watch. BBC3 is gone? Meh. Maybe if, y’know, the shows weren’t skewed so hard to the twentysomething market I may have raised an eyebrow, but it is no great loss. Letting go of Clarkson, however, is more of a quandary. I know he’s an asshole on the show, but it is largely a character he is playing. The new show seems to be making an effort to be as bland and unwatchable as possible, so it may not last the year. Here’s hoping…

Something else happened during my time away, and I’m not sure if it is completely pointless or only marginally stupid. In any event: Gotham. I know there are probably a thousand things that matter more in the world right now, but the very concept of a series which sets out the prehistory of Batman seems, to me, to be a colossal waste of time. The only thing I can foresee enjoying is the parallels the show will bring between Bruce Wayne and Wrath. As long as it doesn’t go all Watchmen and weird…

To be continued.


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If You Want To Be Safe, Don’t Mention My Birthday…

Posted by BigWords on January 9, 2010

I stomped around all morning, grumbling under my breath and trying – not entirely successfully – to work out the easiest way to clear the snowdrift from my back doorstep without the benefit of salt. The past week has been spent trying to conserve the little remaining reserves of the stuff, despite the fact that I need to have clear paths – really, I do, it isn’t just OCD. I’ve been brushing away the loose snow with a hard brush and scraping away the ice beneath with a spade, but that just makes the path dangerously slippy once I finish. The spreading of salt over the paths is the only way to keep me from breaking my neck, but I’m down to half a tub and none of the shops withing five miles has any more. The snow, unfortunately, has fallen quite heavily since last Sunday, rendering all my hard work pointless.

I really can’t stand not being able to walk around the house.

Oh, while I’m bitching about the weather, I should add a major inconvenience and cost into my rant – on Thursday I got a plumber in to fix a valve (or something) which had dripped water down the side of the house. In other weather I might not have noticed it, but in the current climate it presented me with more visible effects… A trail of ice, roughly a foot wide at the base and protruding eight or so inches from the wall at its’ deepest part, had appeared in the space of a couple of weeks. The cost of getting the (minor) repair done? Only a mere £210 thankyouverymuch. If I knew how to fix it myself I could have saved myself a bundle of cash… So much for blue-collar jobs paying less, right?

Up until Friday my mood has been fine (if not bright and cheery, I was at least restraining myself from verbal assaults on anyone who crossed me), but a three-hour journey ended any pretense I had of enjoying the bone-aching cold. It should have been twenty-five or so minutes, but with the weather trying to kill of anyone stupid enough to travel – moi – there was a reasonable enough excuse for the journey descending into farce. I hate winter, I hate Christmas, I detest (beyond any normal levels of bile and spite) the damned and uncontrollable snow and ice, and I really, really, really want to throttle anyone who deigns so much as smile at me in the morning. What is wrong with people? There’s nothing to smile about. Smiling simply makes me believe you are mentally challenged. Seriously, this is not the weather for cheery people…

If you read that and think, obviously, that my week has been bad, then this morning – as per bloody usual – managed to trump any problems thus far. The bank, in their infinite wisdom, has lowered my credit. This wouldn’t be a problem, but the fools have managed to lower it below the sum which is on my credit card, necessitating four letters dropping through my letterbox this morning – one to tell me I’m not allowed to spend over a certain amount, one telling me I am overdrawn (thanks to the bank) and warning me that I have incurred a fee for doing so, one with the standard thinly veiled threats of repossession, bankruptcy and (possibly) jail, plus a fourth which has the sum I am due to pay this month, handily including all of the information from the other three letters in case I didn’t get the message the first time I read through their crap.

I swear, sometimes it feels like the universe is playing an extensive and coordinated game at my expense, probing the edges of my patience until I explode into a frothing rage.

So it’s my birthday… I’m really not sure if I feel older, but I certainly feel more cynical, more irritable, definitely more aches and pains… Some of the benefits of birthdays (the presents, f’rinstance) are out of the question with the abysmal postal service here, so I’m stuck inside the house listening to Jefferson Airplane on a loop and drinking Jack Daniels. Hey, it ain’t as bad as it sounds… At least I don’t have to worry about my brother moving in until the end of the month – which is a problem I’m ignoring until he actually turns up on my doorstep with the rugrat in tow. Jeez, if only things could turn out as planned, rather than the unexpected little problems kicking me in the face at ever opportunity.

Seeing as how I’m venting, I may as well expend a bit of energy complaining about the idiot tax in the UK, otherwise known as the television licence fee, which currently sits at £142.50 per annum. I’ll pay the money, but I do so grudgingly, and with the complicit agreement that I am under no obligation to be anything but disrespectful to the overpaid, under achieving idiots who staff the BBC – one of the worst run companies in the UK at present, which is really saying something. The latest brain-dead decision (to let their lisper in residence, Jonathan Ross, walk from the corporation) is one which confounds me. Are they trying to drive people away from their channels, or is there some secret master plan at work?

My guess is plain, old-fashioned incompetence.

What, precisely, am I paying for? A bunch of radio stations I don’t listen to? The Gaelic channel with twenty-eight regular viewers? The web presence they keep needlessly promoting? The parliament channel that runs twenty-four hours a day, even when nothing is actually happening? Can someone please pull the Director General to one side and explain to him how crap the service is in comparison to the money they get? There is no need to have such a large fee when they seem determined to pack the schedules with endless repeats. I wouldn’t be so annoyed if they were the shows worth watching, but they seem to be under the impression that their bargain basement crap needs viewing at least a dozen or so times… Make it stop, pleeeease… I don’t want to see Heir’s Hunt For Cash For Antiques In The Attic Roadshow bullshit on the schedules any longer.

Oh, while I remember to include it here – I finally got a doctor’s appointment set. It’s for the 28th, so a bit sooner than I expected for the NHS.

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Demotivational Gallery

Posted by BigWords on December 17, 2009

If you have no idea what this post is about, then take a look at A little friendly competition. For motivation. Gone and had a look? Then I’ll begin…

The political side of demotivational posters has always been overlooked in favor of the rude stuff, but there is a long tradition of politics creeping in to art when people aren’t really paying attention. The quote at the bottom of the second image may just be obscure enough to hide the sentiments, though I suspect folks will get the gist of the juxtaposition. If you need it explained to you, then you probably should start brushing up on your twentieth century history. The first image is an easy dig at the intellectual level of the then-current President, mingled with a meme popular at the beginning of the war in Iraq.

The following images are more typical of the demotivational style. There’s and Easter Egg (of sorts) if you look carefully at the Pokemon one.

I have a tendency to go for companies and politicians, apparently… I never noticed before, but a lot of the demotivational images which come readily to hand have this theme running through them. Which is probably a tad more self-awareness than I really needed to be made aware of. There are some I’ve come across which would definitely land me in some serious trouble, even though copies are probably still floating around in cyberspace it is better that I distance myself from anything which is too libelous.
There will probably be completely new images appearing in response to the “friendly” competition (is there such a thing?), so I’ve put together one specially for the occasion:

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You Don’t Have To Be Miserable, But It Helps

Posted by BigWords on June 27, 2009

There’s a thread running through the media at the moment which goes some way to explaining the way in which deeply flawed human beings can produce great works of art. I’ve read all this before, and so (I’m sure) has everyone else. The basic theory runs thus: Happy, contented folks are most likely to do diddly-squat in the realms of greatness, while others – who are addicted to drugs, have long and painful illnesses, have no luck at relationships and are quite horribly fucked up – go on to soar in their chosen field.

Riiiiiighhhhht. So that’s why I’ve not written the Greatest Novel Ever Written, I’m too happy.

I hate the premise of the cod-psychology being trotted around at the moment for a few reasons. I would hate to think that Roy Orbison could only have recorded songs of such power and intensity because of his personal life. The opposite (that those songs were recorded despite his circumstances) is much more appealing, and gives a glimpse into the man’s willpower and intelligence. I’m not using Michael Jackson as an example, because every other outlet of opinion, information and hackery is beating the subject to death, so I’m sticking with past examples. If you’re missing you’re daily fix of salacious gossip, feel free to pretend we’re talking about MJ.

Some examples of crazy+ miserable = genius are so abstract in their implementation that it becomes painful to read the words. One particular subject for this brand of historical pop-shrinkage is Vincent Van Gogh, whose paintings “are obviously the work of a genius” and who was “miserable”. Okay, I’m willing to play this game… Explain how the two are connected? C’mon…

It’s all bullshit. The press needs to feed people a line, and the public are dumb enough to take the bait. If the corrolation between misery and genius was to be proven, then the poor saps who are routinely trotted out on stage in reality television would be producing novels, albums, television series and paintings whose sublime beauty and overwhelming strength would carry the ability to drive people to tears. They aren’t doing this, of course – they are too busy bitching about the trailer park they live in, or complaining that their twelve year old daughter is pregnant (again), or wondering how to open a carton of milk without pouring the contents down their front…

Am I being too harsh?

No. People, on the whole, are dumb.

You know genius when you see it. Certain folks are destined for greatness due to their inherent abilities, and nothing life throws at them will stop them. If Roy Orbison had a happy and contented life, he wouldn’t have been a lounge singer – he would still have been a great recording artist. Don’t pay any attention to the newspapers or television reports in the next couple of days, because the crap will be flying thick and fast as people try to get their two cents on the air. Wait a while, then go back to the albums and books which are considered the work of greatness.

I’m now ignoring CNN’s blathering completely. Ditto to the BBC (the Bullshit Broadcasting Corporation) and Sky. I don’t need the headache which accompanies their “news”, and I’ll just get irritated if I try to untangle their mangling of the English language…

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