Tuesday, April 15, 2008

today : crimes against culture pt2

...and while we're at it, can we please find out who it was who decided to 'adapt' Susannah McCorkle's perfect version of the The Waters of March in order to try and make us feel better about an electricity company that is fleecing the poor and elderly for more and more of their cash simply in order to keep the lights on and avoid hypothermia? These bastards should be wired up to their own supply for crimes against culture and also because they are greedy money grabbing amoral ****!

Friday, April 11, 2008

today : crimes against culture pt1

The fashion for using popular song on TV adverts is kinda fun. It's so obvious that I don't know why anyone didn't think of it until the late 1980s. Culture is resonant, and the association of certain tunes with adverts is a powerful thing. Currently, the singing dog advert for the VW Golf uses an old tune to brilliant effect.

However, there are some things that should be off limits. I am going to cite two current examples: the use of Edith Piaf to advertise spectacles and the use of The Irish Rover to sell butter.

The first one is just tasteless. Piaf doesn't deserve to be part of some cheap advertisement. You can just tell that the execs involved had no idea who she was until the 2007 film came out. And the joke is crap. No, rien de rien, no je ne regrette rien is translated in subtitles, and then the next part of the song is translated hilariously as 'apart from the fact that I didn't go to Specsavers'

Oh, the beautiful use of irony. My sides surely split with uncontrollable mirth.

At the same time, the people who make Clover - the non-butter butter - have decided to appropriate The Wild Rover and replace the words with some blather about eating Clover. Which is kind of blasphemous. Just because a song doesn't have copyright doesn't mean that it's fair game. The wild rover is a small but integral part of our culture - like Auld Lang Syne or Happy Birthday - and shouldn't be allowed to be butchered by these vacuous chancers.

Which is my point, really. This whiole mullarkey shows modern media types as shallow, insensitive fools who have no understanding of the way culture operates and no respect for culture as art, only as fleeting commerical opportunity.

Monday, April 07, 2008

today : flamin' 'eck!

"Their despicable activities tarnish the lofty Olympic spirit and challenge all the people loving the Olympic Games around the world,"

"We strongly condemn this vile behavior."

No, this is not an anti China protestor making a statement about the behaviour of the Chinese government towards its own people and the support of violent fascistic regimes, but the Chinese condemning legitimate protestors, whose 'vile behaviour extended to such crimes against humanity as shouting, setting off a fire extinguisher and getting in Konnie Huq's personal space.

They gave themselves up. Only a government so caught up in the mindset of ultra control and a poltical culture that despises protest and dissent would comment in this way. The first thing they need to learn is that they cannot control what happens beyond their own borders; especially when they have to resort to hideous tactics of violence and repression to control what happens inside their own borders.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

today : Useful statistics

Usually I try to create my own content rather than pinch stuff from others. However, for this, I have made an exception, just because I though it was pretty funny.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

today : Companion Wars

Freema : Is it because I is black?

There's something wrong. Something I can't understand. Something I don't quite believe. Everyone is playing a straight bat in the press but it just seems to be odd. This is the big question. Why on earth is Catherine Tate on Dr Who?

Now I have to admit that I am not a fan of hers. I think her feted comedy show was okay, but not the superb brilliant wonderful ground-breaking thing that we were told it was. I think there are plenty of comedic character actresses who could have done just as well.

But to make her into The Doctor's new companion is a mis-step. Her character of Donna doesn't fit the bill. I hate to say it but she is just too old. All the way back in history, companions have been ingenues who discover their strength and resourcefulness during their time travelling adventures with the Doctor. That's why Billie Piper's Rose was so spot on. She was a modern feisty girl who took on the mind-blowing adventures offered by the Doctor with aplomb.

Yes, there is something in the 1000 year old man showing a young the ways of the universe that perhaps requires some psychological investigation, but to have an older companion breaks the formula and frankly risks alienating the audience. After all, one of the functions of the companion is to be the eyes of the audience. An audience which is on the whole fairly young.

But here's the thing that just feels wrong. What did Freema Agyeman do to upset everyone? The character of Martha Jones was potentially terrific. Yet she was never really given the chance to develop much beyond being besotted by the Doc. I've seen this given as the reason for the character being shifted sideways into the rather dull Torchwood - a bit like when football clubs 'sack' their manager by shifting them upstairs to be director of football. But aren't all the Doctor's companions besotted by him? That's the idea - that he offers them a life so much more colourful and fantastic than being drearily earth bound. But he has to ditch them because he is immortal and they are not.

Dumping Martha after one measly season smacks to me as premature, as if there were some politics at play that we don't know about.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

today : Maximum Bob

I don't like violence. I don't ever wish to encourage it. But...if Mugabe tries to steal the Zimbabwe elections yet again and it ends up with people on the streets I surely will support them, however violent their protests. Obviously, I don't want to see an orgy of killing but the dilemma of the non-supporter of violence is that it does work in many cases. In fact, bloodless revolutions are rare. And many extremely bloody revolutions are just in their intentions. For someone who abhors violence I was pleased to see Ceaucesu put up against a wall, not averse to seeing Saddam Hussain swing and glad to see many other tyrants given a good taste of their own medicine.

I want the monks of Burma and Tibet to get out on the streets. It cheers me to see people who feel so strongly about principles that tney are willing to risk their lives, even though I despair when those lives are lost.

The sensible thing for Mugabe to do is to take the exile package that would surely be offered and just give up. After all, he's in his mid eighties and could do an Ian Paisley, being remembered at least in part for the gracious slide into retirement. For not putting the army on the streets. People might even remember him as a patriot.

The sensible thing for China to do is to grant Tibet its autonomy. It will happen eventually so shy not cut out all the hassle and do it now. (I feel this way about Scotland too, although I doubt there would be similar bloodshed).

Hopefully, at the very least, the focus on Beijing in the Summer will prevent the Chinese from their ethnic cleansing. It is a massive job to seperate land from people by killing the people and I'd like to think they would look at history and see that it kind of doesn't work. Neither does it enhance anyone's reputation.