Monday, June 14, 2010

Something for the ladies

I am temporarily World-Cup enabled. An armchair has been removed to my bedroom and replaced by a generic DIY workbench covered with a festive paper tablecloth. It is now festooned with electrical appliances and cabling and I have bought crisps although I've now run out of biscuits. I have discovered that if I sit on my sofa arm, I can still comfortably eat my dinner at my table while watching. I do have some pride.

I hasten to add that this is very probably a one-off. I have taken a cursory glance around the myriad channels now available to the viewer and have found them to be mostly this: utter shite. Especially ITV. The comedy is still of a fairly high standard although Frankie Boyle really ought to add to his vast armoury of dreadfully unfunny accents (1) by talking with his mouth shut. Sadly almost everything else I happened across that supposedly passed for entertainment over the weekend was bilge. I don't particularly care for soaps, although I always have had a soft spot for Corrie (we were born within days of each other) as the writing has always been dead sharp and some of the acting very fine indeed but I can't even bring myself to watch that now. Putting something on several days a week doesn't make it better, it turns us into mindless drones.

Having said that of course I need to make a necessary exception for sport. Yes, some sport is rubbish, especially that from the former colonies (basketball. 0-0, 2-0, 2-2, 4-2, 4-4. Make it interesting and miss, for pity's sake. Or die. Or learn another sport) but by and large, the action doesn't generally treat the viewer as brain dead. And there are some sports whose inherent grace and beauty could probably be used quite successfully by creationists as evidence of a grand designer. Second only to cricket in this respect is association football; a game so astoundingly simple in its execution but capable of producing moments of such exhilarating and sublime skill, it even numbers a few women among its followers (I can say this fairly safely, most of them would have gone by now).

There is a problem with the world cup coverage though; ITV are doing some of it and, resorting to type, they have recruited two supposed men of the people, namely Kevin Keegan and Gareth Southgate. Keegan was a gifted but ridiculously petulant player. He has been a singularly crap manager of every team in his charge and possesses almost no tactical nous whatsoever. He also has an annoying voice that renders almost everything he says instantly forgettable. Gareth Southgate is remembered for missing a penalty. He was a passably good manager of Middlesbrough for a while but he is also blessed with a quite boring monotone. But he has provided my own World Cup highlight so far. Last night, following the frighteningly predictable slaughtering and boiling down for glue of Australia by Germany, Southgate attempted a joke. Asked to comment on a silly rap record made by the new German playmaker, Mesut Oezil, he attempted to be clever. "What did you think of that, Gareth?" "It puts the C flat in rap."

That would be Brap, then.

OK, maybe not the best illustration and I dare say someone will make me look dreadfully foolish, but you get my drift.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cuts - Extra Pressure on Charities

As more becomes known about the extent of the ConDem government's proposed public spending cuts, the Prime Minister sets an example by offering his spare room to keep a demented old bag-lady from wandering the streets and continuing her life of petty-crime.