Sunday, 4 November 2012

Why I Dislike 'Movember'

I can sense your bile already. "WHAT HE DOESN'T LIKE MOVEMBER WHAT A DICKWAD I BET HE GETS AN ERECTION FOR PROSTATE CANCER" etcetera. Well, yes, sadly I do not tolerate Movember much. Far from being, say, a month celebration of Mo Farrah (which would be infinitely more entertaining) Movember somehow aims to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research charities by having men eschew shaving for a month, and deal with the humiliation that comes from having a wispy paedo moustache that follows. Now aside from despising facial hair and all who sail in her, what really confuses me is how this is meant to raise awareness, or indeed any money for charity. Are you meant to sponsor the erstwhile fool to grow facial hair? Are you to dye the follicles of your moustache so they show the details of the nearest prostate screening facility? It's as though somehow the idea for this spawned one night in a drunken, philanthropic hullabaloo whereby they scrawled the formula down 'Moustaches + Prostate Cancer + ? =Money for Charity.' Obviously this bizarre facial hair alchemy works, as last year alone they raised around £79 million pounds worldwide according to their website. Their website also offers no real explanation how this money is raised. Just vague whimsies about "throwing moustache parties." They do of course have a donate button on their website linking them to prostate charities but I highly doubt this is the main impetus for their grand total of 79 million.
So as much as this confuses me and enrages me, something, no matter how bizarre or shady must be working in order to show for this massive amount of money. So I suppose that must be good. But for every one moustachio'd do-gooder, I will bet you there will be 10 moustachio'd cretins who just accumulate their whiskers over the course of the month, share some no doubt hilarious photos on Facebook, then have a shave come December the first. This is the main crux of my problem with Movember really. Silly things are a great way to raise money for charity, in fact they're a much better way than to just dourly demand money, but the thing is you have to make sure the actual charity part doesn't just get lost in a load of populist bullshit. This trend towards 'slacktivism' is disheartening. Sure you may grow a moustache somehow in aid of prostate cancer research, sure it may make you have a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but will it actually do anything? Of course fucking not. It doesn't spread awareness to other people, it doesn't help anyone, it just leaves you with a stupid moustache at an epoch in our civilization where they are only worn by maths teachers, hipsters, and adolescents straining to look older than they actually are. Hell, I've been putting up with 'Movember' for about three or four years now and I only learnt yesterday that it was actually a charity-related event. As I said, the message always gets lost when you deal with this social network-spread, populist nonsense. Another great example would be last year, when everyone changed their Facebook profile pictures to that of a cartoon character "to stop child abuse." I know I did. But how did this "stop child abuse"? If it did mean some people donated to the NSPCC or Childline, I think the results would be negligible. It didn't really raise awareness anyway. Any media or social network attention was more drawn to the fact that a million and one sillies, including me, now had Dangermouse or Top Cat as a profile picture, with the "stop child abuse" thing lingering in the background. And whilst Movember arguably is a more successful venture than that whole shoddy enterprise, to me it still smacks of lazy, male slacktivism that doesn't really accomplish anything. Moustaches now have merely become flash-card like symbols for 'popular stuff we can put on a load of t-shirts and merchandise without any real thought' like bacon, or the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' sign. And that's just what this, a vaguely charity related tie-in into something that has become part of the pop-culture lexicon and something that a stack of cash can be made from, though not just for charity (as the adverts for Gilette abounding on the Movember site show.) Of course, I may be just jealous of this whole enterprise anyway seeing as I can't grow a moustache, but only end up with a bizarre neck-beard type thing upon a lack of shaving. It's probably just that.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Review Spectacular.

Given the high quality of the piece of theatre I saw last night at Taunton's Brewhouse I sort of feel obliged to write a piece singing its praises, or at least I feel I should write a post about something less angry and including less analogies featuring kittens and sledgehammers. Or something like that anyway.
Anyway, what I did see last night at the Brewhouse on the 21st was an excellent play (if one could call it that) called 'Monkey Bars' by Chris Goode. This is another sterling piece of work from the bewilderingly imaginative mind that brought the charmingly bizarre 'Wound Man & Shirley' to the stage earlier this year. Simply put, Goode interviewed a number of children aged from eight to ten about their lives, thoughts, dreams and fears, and then transferred these words verbatim into the mouths of adult actors, meaning you get the sublime ridiculousness of a conversation topic such as "What would you do if you were sort of a bubble-gum monster?" transplanted into the situation of adults acting this out as if it was a deathly serious job interview.
But please don't think this show is just a load of twee transcripts, it's far deeper than that. You get conversations on the pointlessness of war, of feelings of isolation from your family members, of everyday fears and neuroses that we all face. And one feels slightly guilty because you take these problems being addressed far more seriously because they are being spoken through the mouth of an adult, not a child. This play makes you address the fact that being young isn't all just about playing wildly in the schoolyard and being irritatingly immature sometimes, it shows that young and old aren't too distanced from each other after all (especially in the case of the two old-before-their-time boys who lament the state of 'our generation' in portentous tones, their tongues wagging at those 'two months younger' than them.)
This play is full of the wide-eyed idealism and child-like whimsy which we should possess, and while you laugh (and believe me I did this a lot) you end thinking how only a few degrees to the right or left these conversations  would need to be shifted to be seen as an 'adult' conversation. I highly recommend it overall and you are a ridiculous excuse for humanity if you do not see it.
Anyway, moving onto to review something a bit closer to my heart now, Doctor Who. Given my feelings surrounding the past two series of the show featuring everyones favourite Timelord, I commenced the viewing of this new series with a heavy heart, but slap me on the buttocks and call me Mildred, I'm actually really enjoying it. While no-ones favourite Scottish harridan and her husband, the albino haunted tree still ghost the screen with their presence, thankfully I detected a slight shift away from their interminably boring domestic antics and more a leaning towards fun adventures with Daleks and bad guys and whatnot. The first episode Asylum of the Daleks pleased me greatly, partly because it restored my hope in the series where the recent Christmas special had broken it down so very,very much, partly because it showed that the recent controversial redesign of the Daleks didn't apply to all them, and finally because it featured an unexpected 'teaser' performance if you will, from new companion Jenna Louise Colman, playing Oswin here, a marooned survivor on the asylum planet of the Daleks, where the Doctor and his companions are sent to blow shit up and have shenanigans and whatnot. At least I think that's what happened, I was too happy to see a 'blink and you'll miss it' cameo from the Special Weapons Dalek. But anyway Coleman's performance made me a happy Whovian, because for one she provides a much greater acting range than Karen Gillan who can either be set into 'angry' or 'petulant' mode. Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and a Town Called Mercy are also highly reccomended, especially the latter which controversially examines the Doctors relationship with violence and forgiveness. It actually did make me very uncomfortable at a certain point (and you'll know which one if you've seen it) but thankfully it made the story better who having explored this facet of the Doctors personality, rather than just deliver us down a narrative cul-de-sac which has been done recently. A Town Called Mercy is also wonderful purely because of the amount of fun being had on screen, you could tell they had a ball making this. With such plot aspects as a dusty frontier Wild West town on the edge of nowhere and a vengeful cyborg bent on murder how could they not?

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bits and bobs.


As Quentin slowly felt the life ebb out of him, he ruminated that these people probably didn’t wish him well. The larger of the two men picked Quentin up as though heaving bodies from one place to another was routine (which it was) and carefully, almost tenderly placed him in the open dumpster.
The smaller man surveyed the now lifeless body of Quentin Delphonse, and paused for a moment before retracting the blade of his flick-knife, though not before wiping the bloodied blade clean on Delphonses shirt.
 “A great shame Mr Fostbury is it not?” said the small man, now standing beside his lumbering partner. “Indeed it is Mr Finbar, a most calamitous occasion. He even had the indecency to bleed all over my gloves. My very best pair too.” Mr Finbar adjusted his pince-nez slightly before posing his next question- “Have you the envelope Mr Fostbury? Everything must be in order as I am sure you are aware. You know how Mother is a stickler for protocol.”
Fostbury smiled, and silently closed the lid of the dumpster- “Oh you know me too well Mr Finbar, it is well concealed upon my person.”
If Quentin could have talked at this point, which would have been quite an achievement for a corpse he might have asked these two bizarre gentlemen why did they have to kill him. And in such a hackneyed way too. But perhaps it’s best to start at the beginning. Firstly, he had only agreed to deliver the message as a way of getting into the good books of Professor Belgravia.  The stubborn old goat taught his university course and over the past few months he had seen his grades plummet ‘A social history of inane chatter: From cave paintings to the One Show’ seemed to be much harder than first reckoned. So at the end of another interminably dull lecture when the Professor had softly ‘hemmed-hemmed’ everyone’s attention to the fact that he needed a message delivered as quickly as possible, Quentin seized the chance to redeem himself in the eyes of Belgravia. ‘This might be the way to worm myself into his affections’ Quentin thought cannily.  Quentin strode up to the Professors desk at the front of the lecture hall and tried not to cringe at him; he truly was a disgusting creature.  A round portly figure that greatly resembled a beetroot, Professor Belgravia was in possession of far too much flesh and not enough neck. He wore a black turtleneck sweater, encrusted with several days’ worth of crumbs and egg yolk and uncomfortably squeezed onto his rotund figure. He finished his look off with a pair of poorly repaired wire framed glasses that were always mounted slightly askew on his face.
“Professor Belgravia?” Quentin tapped him on the shoulder.
“Oh what my dear boy?” he turned around from his notes momentarily, “Oh it’s you. Quirrell isn’t it?”
Quentin seethed inwardly. “Quentin, Professor. I’m just wondering if I can deliver that message?”
“But of course my dear boy, it’s the envelope on my desk, just deliver it to the address in Cheapside, the details are all there.” Professor Belgravia delivered this sentence in his usual portentous manner, waving his hands about as though swatting errant flies, before trailing off and turning back to his notes. Quentin realised there wasn’t much point in asking Belgravia for further details, he seemed barely aware of his presence, and as he had made clear, it seemed quite self-explanatory.
As the last stragglers left the lecture hall, Quentin picked up the small, parchment coloured envelope and soundlessly walked out of the building. Belgravia made sure he was gone before remarking to himself- “Poor bugger. Hasn’t got a chance” in a voice quite unlike his ordinary dirge.
It was Friday, late afternoon on a cold September day, and Quentin shivered as he walked through the sparsely populated streets to the address in Cheapside. It had been foolish to just wear a shirt on a day like this. He had never been this far into the city either; he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to make it back before nightfall. He had only got this far by guesswork alone. This neighbourhood was somewhat sinister as well. It comprised of abandoned warehouses full of smashed windows, like gaps in a toothy smile and burnt out hulks of buildings. Here and there dark alleyways darted off to places unknown. What was weird too was that he hadn’t seen a single human soul here. No-one. In a city like Shorebridge that was weird. The city bustled and hummed and gurgled with all manner of human detritus. But here, nothing. Not even a cat. Quentin felt the hairs on the back of his neck bristle, and he thought about abandoning this ridiculous chore. He was alone in a strange part of town in order to do a favour for a man who put up publicity shots of Adrian Chiles in the lecture hall, without any apparent sense of irony.
Suddenly though, everything changed. “Are you alright young sir?” started a thin reedy voice from the shadows. Quentin looked around wildly. “Who said that?” he yelped, startled.
“Oh I didn’t mean to frighten the poor young sir, I was only just remarking to my accomplice Mr Fostbury here, that this looks like a gentleman in need of our assistance.” And with that, two figures stepped -no materialised almost- out of the shadows. The first figure, the one with the reedy voice was short, squat, old and almost completely bald. He wore a pair of thick-lensed pince-nez, which oddly magnified his mole like eyes.  The other figure was tall, gangly and had hair in the form of rough bristles which covered most of his knobbly, oddly shaped head. His sloping forehead led to a face scrunched up in a permanent grimace. Both wore black woollen suits, brightly polished wingtips and white carnations in their buttonholes. Quentin noticed too that the larger man wore a pair of white silk gloves.
“As I was just saying to my partner here,” the small man gestured to the large man, presumably called Fostbury, “That this gentleman needs our assistance. You seem lost. It is somewhat risky to be lost at this hour, especially in this part of town.”
“Indubitably.” intoned Fostbury in a deep booming voice.
Quentin was quite taken aback by all this. This bizarre couple with their bizarre clothes and bizarre ways had no way to be logically reacted to. “Who are you? You’re the first people I’ve seen here.”
“But how churlish of us! We have not even introduced ourselves properly. I do beg of your forgiveness. I am Mr Finbar, and my associate here is Mr Fostbury.”
“A serendipitous pleasure, despite the inopportune circumstances.” said Fostbury, as he held out his massive, club-like hand for Quentin to shake. Partly out of politeness, but also out of a strange fear, Quentin momentarily gripped Mr Fostbury’s palm. It was like ice to the touch.
“Now we may get down to brass tacks as it were. May I ask whether it is true you have been instructed by one Ignatius Belgravia to deliver a message on his behalf?” questioned Mr Finbar.
“Well…um…yes. But how do you know that?” said Quentin. Storm-clouds of suspicion were beginning to accumulate fast in his mind.
Perhaps sensing Quentin’s growing fear, Mr Finbar continued- “Well this is a fine pickle! We are acquaintances of Professor Belgravia! He told us to find you around here, in order to assist you in your querulous chore in delivering that message.”
Mr Fostbury chimed in with his sonorous tones- “There is a shortcut to the address to Cheapside that will halve your perambulations, if you will be kind enough to follow us, we will escort you to your destination.”
Quentin knew better than to trust strangers claiming such truths, especially strangers as bizarre as these ones, but both of them exuded a strange, magnetic charm about them. They certainly seemed the sort of people the Professor would befriend. Pompous, old-fashioned, probably gay.  Before Quentin’s mind had even properly mulled over what this stranger was saying, he found himself saying the words- “Well thanks very much, whereabouts is this shortcut?”
Mr Finbar’s prune-like face crinkled into a slight smile. “Why just this way young sir.” He pointed his arm down a dark shadowy alleyway. “Just this way.” Quentin, still unsure why he was doing this, found himself walking down the long, dark alley, flanked by the ridiculous couple of Finbar and Fostbury. The alleyway kept getting darker and darker and suddenly he felt Finbar and Fostbury get closer and closer. Suddenly, somewhere in some, small sensible recess of his mind Quentin thought this had been a terrible mistake. And then the sound of a flick-knife blade being released punctured the evening air. “Just a moment young sir, this won’t take a moment.” chirped the reedy voice of Mr. Finbar. Quentin turned around in terror. Mr Finbar held a knife towards him, his smile now a sinister smirk. “I’m afraid my eyesight isn’t as brilliant as it once was, so please endeavour to remain still while I try and accomplish your death as efficiently as possible.”
Mr Finbar was right; his eyesight wasn’t as brilliant as it was. Quentin struggled rather a lot. Quentin got stabbed twenty-seven times in various locations by a maddened geriatric, before Mr Fostbury tired of Mr Finbar’s efforts and finished the job more effectively with a wrench he kept in his breast pocket for such occasions.
A few short minutes later the body was gone, and there was no evidence for Quentin Delphonse’s existence in that area, at least until the garbage-men made a nasty discovery when collecting that Monday’s trash. “May I say Mr Fostbury, I must thank you for finishing that job off for me, that wretched boy was hemorrhaging all over the place. That’s the thing with young people today, gutless.” said Mr Finbar casually, as though discussing the day’s papers.
“If I may attempt a jest Mr Finbar, that youth was only gutless due to your removal of them.” commented Mr Fostbury.
“Hmmm? Oh yes! That is a rather good quip. Do remind me to use it soon.” wearily commented Mr Finbar.
Mr Fostbury, saddened somewhat that his joke had not gone down as well as could be expected (a disappointment, he had been working on that one for a while) began walking off with Mr Finbar from the formerly grisly scene. And so they walked off into the night, out of existence. At least for now.
Somewhere in the neighbourhood, a cat mewed.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Hollywood is Dead.

For the sake of argument lets say this blogpost was written under a persona of mine. And perhaps a bottle of wine.
Long ago the wonderful and undeservedly forgotten cartoon series 'The Critic' put forward a simple solution to solving Hollywood's dearth of good quality films- 'If you stop going to bad movies, they'll stop making bad movies.' Sadly almost twenty years not enough people have heeded this timely advice. Hollywood is no longer the place to find good quality movies. The reason why this is is that the studios are giving us what we want. A film is successful at the box office, maybe critically well received as well. The studio bosses see dollar signs and as much gold and rare jewels as they can eat, and stick to the time honored formula, which is daubed on the walls of all major Hollywood studios boardrooms, most probably in the blood of a recently slaughtered virgin- 'If they like it, give them fifty of the same.' MORE SEQUELS! MORE ADAPTIONS OF TV SHOWS! CARTOONS! BOARD GAMES! (why does anyone even attempt to try and take 'Battleship' seriously? It's such a ridiculous premise and such an awful film it seems as if it's a bad parody of a  blockbuster done by Saturday Night Live or something) MORE ADAPTIONS OF COMIC BOOKS OR SUPERHERO FILMS! I'm sorry, I'm especially biased against superhero or comic films, mainly because the source material bores me to tears in the first place but also because they take themselves far too seriously for their own good. Batman may enthrall millions, but to me a vigilante billionaire going about in what is effectively custom-made bondage gear does not deserve my suspension of disbelief. No real attention is granted to the script or characterizations, the money is sunk almost immediately into the bottomless well of cash reserved for special effects, explosions, CGI and making it look pretty for idiots. That and these films almost always demand a sequel, or perhaps even a trilogy, no matter how badly the film performed critically. Michael Bay continues to create films, (in much the same way a four year child finger-painting would create a Mona Lisa) because he knows the public will watch it. If he threw in some explosions and some shots of some easily exploitable female actress he could do a third installment in the Human Centipede series and it still would be a smash hit. Everyone still doesn't get it. Don't humour lazy directors and lazy film companies by going to see these movies, and maybe they'll take the hint and make something different. Maybe not something worth watching, but that's what happens when people take a risk and are willing to experiment with the means of narrative, character and style, not just sticking to the bland, but tried and tested formula.
Now I am aware I am sounding like the biggest prig imaginable, dictating my middle-class bourgeois pretenses onto everyone like the massive snob that I deny I am, but I am right so screw you all.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Doctors, and the tactlessness of.

Once I've got to know people well enough, the issue of depression inevitably comes up. They might make a comment on why I'm so miserable all the time or say some patronizing nonsense ripped from a self-help book like "Cheer up, it might never happen." Luckily this isn't the case with my friends, who either unfortunately suffer from depression themselves, or are tactful enough not to blab on about something they know nothing about. It doesn't stop jerks from trying though, like a former housemate who once angrily shouted at me whilst drunk that the cause of my depression was my vegetarianism. Quiet awkwardness for the most part is what I get when I tell people I suffer from depression. I don't really mind as such, I would be too if I was in their shoes, but what really makes me sad is when this occurs at the doctors.
Excursions to the doctors generally don't end well for me. This is due to the fact, like most people they exist in a impermeable bubble of awkwardness regarding mental-health issues. I find this goes one of two ways, the doctor pupils dilate as soon as they see me come into their room, their breathing increases and their eyes dart about in search for the nearest exit, rather than be trapped in a room with a sadsack like me, (either that or they've noticed my nail polish) they grab their prescription pad, granting me another months or so worth of delicious drugs before willing me out of their nice surgery as soon as possible. This I prefer to be honest. I don't like waiting around for my medication and it generally doesn't allow for the tactics offered by the doctors of the second ilk. The second type of doctors I usually see I can't seem to fathom whether they are well-intentioned, but ill-informed, or just priggish for the sake of it. These doctors usually have no idea about mental health issues, have no experience of dealing with mental health issues and probably don't really care about dealing with something as wishy washy as depression. Characteristics of these doctors include mindless tactlessness "Oh! So you thought less about self harm this month? How surprising!" and a mindless obsession with taking surveys. "So can you tell me whether you've thought about killing yourself more than 10 times this month, 5-10 times, 1-5,  or not at all?" I have heard both of these over the years I've been to the doctors. Regardless of how the confrontation ends, it ends with the doctor giving me a suspicious look, as though as I'm grinding the pills down to make a super-drug or something, then printing me off another prescription. 
I really thought doctors would be more understanding with mental health. They seem more than competent with the physical qualms that the bin-bag of mayonnaise that is my body has from time to time. Depression seems to pass them by somewhat, which surprises me considering the large percentage of the population that suffers from mental illness. Surely it would be easier for doctors to pick up more than a rudimentary knowledge of mental illness? Or at the very least some bedside manner?

Monday, 11 June 2012

Job Prospects.

Nowadays, as the approaching juggernaut of the working world races thunderously into view towards me, I am trapped, paralysed in the harsh light of its metaphorical headlamps. I cannot hide away from society and its plans for me, I cannot disappear with my bohemian whimsies and vague wishes to live life on my own ludicrous terms. I am to be made into a functioning, working member of this world, and I better make my mind up sharpish as to what I am to become, otherwise life itself will become a meaningless husk and I might as well throw myself off a cliff to the jagged rocks below if I can't think of anything. I get asked what I want to do, where I want to work, who I want to work for, when, why. Everyone else aside from myself seems to be perfectly set in their minds as to what the future holds for them and I find myself stuttering and mumbling something inconsequential half to myself about being a writer.
That is true, I do want to be a writer. Probably the most ingloriously nonspecific statement ever that is. "In what? Where? For whom? What medium? Fiction or Non-Fiction?" you get asked like a confounded artillery barrage. Well I'm not sure really I reply. I certainly have qualifications. Or hopefully will, I'm still half praying that if I send in enough cereal box-tops to the university they'll send me a degree free of charge. I am hoping to write for whatever I can. Journalism seems the obvious option, soul-crushing and hideous it may be, probably I shall be relegated to some squalid local newspaper due to my own mediocrity. Sadly my own personal writings, of poor merit, bizarre content and of fruity language are by no means suitable for vegetable animal or mineral consumption, so it's 30-odd years of writing in tepid, miserable excuses for language then spending ones retirement pondering whether I ever had the proper fortitude, gumption or skill to be a writer. So no, to whoever's asking I'm afraid I have no clue what the future holds for me and any possible employment prospects. And given what rushes through my head sometimes late at night in addled fever dreams of wasted life and crushing boredom, I'm not sure I want to.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A treatise on living in bed.

As the interminable horrors of exams and essays lumber thunderously into view like an academic blitzkrieg, I am reminded of a quote by the divine Douglas Adams-  "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Working to a strict deadline is an archaic and bizarre fashion to me. My best work, if I may be obscure for a moment, is delivered on my own terms, not to be squeezed out of me in a single sitting. If that means I lie in bed til midday and only rise to watch Pointless on BBC 1, so be it. In fact, working in bed is a glorious luxury in itself that should be afforded to all of us. I am sure the world would be a much happier place if more tasks were be able to be accomplished from bed. In fact, some of the worlds greatest minds worked in bed, Mark Twain for instance. Work, though it may indeed make the world go round does stress one inordinately so, with dire effects for peoples moods and relationships with each other. Of course, society would indeed collapse if the entire populace lived their lives restricted to their beds, not to mention the hideous bedsores this plan being implemented would no doubt produce, but I feel this is a small price to pay in order to reap the benefits of permanent sloth.

Bloglet

It's on days like this, when I sit in my study playing records as loudly as I can tolerate with the windows open so as to inflict my musical tastes on passing pedestrians and housemates in an effort to stave off loneliness, that I realise my entire year has blended into a unidentifiable muddy-coloured blur, like what would happen when you were a child and you mixed a variety of different poster paints together (oh come on, I know you did it as well)
My university experience this year has been 90 percent of the time giant swathes of inactivity and a low throbbing depression, permeated only by infrequent slithers of blind panic when faced with actual work which is far too difficult or badly taught to even fathom and occasionally bothering to get up out of bed to check whether my Amazon order had arrived with that days post. It has been unforgivably dull and solitary. I have seen each of my own personal aspirations in what I would become after leaving the safe bosom of my home-town slowly crumble into a dirge. There is nothing to aspire to here, given I may have made the gruesome error of choosing an awfully taught course at an awfully unfriendly university in a awfully awful city. Overall what I have learnt at university is that one should not rush so quickly into higher education when one is not sure whether it is even the right or enjoyable thing to do, not to mix your drinks, plus investing in first-class postage for Amazon orders might make more sense in future.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Stereotypical Who Bitching Session.

I never used to understand embittered fans. Why endlessly and often brutally criticize you profess to liking beyond a mere geniality? But alas, as some unknown eejits are wont to say, 'every person becomes what they most despise' (or I may have made it up, I don't know), and alas of alases I happen to be rather in the critical mood for Doctor Who, the first thing anyone could genuinely have called me a 'fan' of. And this makes me rather sad. Throughout my childhood, the Doctor and his friends were my friends too. Funny, brave, often mysterious and unknowable, but always willing to fight on the side of the oppressed against the oppressor, the Doctor (in all his incarnations) became a hero of mine. As a genuinely lonely and often bullied child during my early adolescent years, Doctor Who was a genuine comfort to me, and taught me that it was okay to be different (if you wonder where that lesson comes from, take the example of ANY of the Doctors outfits) as sappy as that sounds.
And, joy of joys around this time Doctor Who was resurrected! And he hadn't changed! Yes of course the series had changed with the times. There was a lot more focus on emotional moments for one, but most of the time it worked. Still the Doctor espoused the virtues that I had always known him to. Of course throughout my teenage years Doctor Who sometimes became less of a important thing to me (most committed Whovians probably have a phase like this too) but when I came back to watching the Doctors adventures I always felt like I was welcome, it wasn't as if I had just started watching part 9,875,000 of the worlds most complicated soap opera. And with the ever onwards march of time, Doctors and producers changed too. I was thrilled, like all other fans were when it was announced that Steven Moffat would become head writer and show runner, with a ridiculously long and fabulous writing pedigree in both Who and outside of it, with work such as Jekyll, Coupling, and Press Gang. I was also unexpectedly pleased with the choice of Matt Smith, and I didn't bother writing him off immediately like some others did. And lo and behold, come Series Five of 'NuWho' I was pleasantly surprised. Matt Smith was and is a splendid Doctor,and despite his comparative youth still lends the part a other-worldly ancientness and unknowability. The stories too were generally to a high standard, with the return of the Weeping Angels and Richard Curtis' Van Gogh episode being two highlights for me. My only rankles of complaint though, lay with the companions. Now, the Doctor in pretty much all the series of the revival has been a sexual or attractive object to his companions. For some unknown, poor-writer based reason.  Rose ended up with some form of Doctor-human hybrid/fuck buddy in a alternate universe in possibly one of the most unneeded endings ever. Martha spent most of her series as companion silently lusting after the Doctor in a unrequited passion.(only to end up with Micky Smith in the last David Tennant episode for, again, no reason whatsoever) In fact, the best companion, not just of the revival but of the entire series was Donna. Primarily because she didn't want to get inside the Doctors space-trousers all the time. (do Time-Lords have space trousers? I don't know.) Donna was funny, opinionated, human. With Martha and Rose, while both nicely written and acted, I couldn't really see them as anything else but abstract concept. Donna I could see as an actual person I could meet, mainly because she reacted the way you or I would to such bizarre, alien, fantastic and sometimes scary situations. And I got the feeling the Doctor liked this. Series 4 was a right laugh, the Doctor and Donna, two friends having brilliant and wonderful adventures throughout the universe. No unnecessary romance or the mandatory kiss, (OK there was one between the Doctor and Donna, but this was a chaste one done strictly for comic effect) just two mates having the time of their lives. Around this time, Series 3 and 4 is where I feel the series reached its current zenith. Which is what made the end of Series 4 all the more sad for me, but there you are.
But anyway, as I said an eon ago, my only major rankles with Series Five lay with the companions. Quite simply, I hate them. Amy Pond is nothing but a deeply irritating bundle of stereotypes, with the sexual attraction to the Doctor pushed up to 11. Rory is a grotesquely tedious, stuttering, milquetoast in search of some decent lines to say. Don't get me started on River Song. Doctor Who has simply become, in my sad embittered opinion, episode 9,875,000 of the worlds most complicated soap opera. Crossroads in Space if you will. Deeply uninteresting and often hammy characters dealing with shit you don't really give a toss about, the massive twist being it's all in space. The previous series did deal with the companions families and emotions and development don't get me wrong. And this is most definitely a good thing, it makes them appear more human, as opposed to a talking slab of meat who occasionally asks the Doctor whats wrong. But there is something of a point where you're dealing with a fun adventure Saturday tea-time serial with Daleks and Cybermen and Sontarans, and another where you're dealing with Crossroads in Space. Series Five and Six have most definitely been the latter. And this irritates me so as it detracts all the more from the actually good stories, like Neil Gaiman's slice of genius. (BRING HIM BACK TO WRITE MORE PLEASE) Amy is awful. A bullying, yowling tempest she spends 90% of the time berating and ignoring her apparent husband and 10% of simpering and saying in a tear-enthused voice how much she loves him when the plot calls for it. She is held together by negative female stereotypes. If someone injected some actual emotion or ideals into her lines she'd probably fall apart. As tigerbeatdown puts it in the article, 'I Hate Amy Pond'- "she seems to have been conceived by sticking every terrible romantic comedy ever made into a blender and coming out with a slightly lumpy beige mixture of Stuff Girls Like.  Girls like weddings!  Girls like sex!  Girls sometimes try to have sex with boys who are not their boyfriends! Girls like making pouty faces!  Girls like having babies!  Girls enjoy engaging in banter! " She is responsible for the godawful love triangle of Series Five, which hampered my enjoyment so. "Amy Loves the Doctor!" "Rory Loves Amy!", "Amy Also Loves Rory", "The Doctor Doesn't Want to Have Sex with Anyone! (except maybe the hammy actress from E.R, but we'll leave that til later)." Rory is awful. He seems like a nice chap, of course, but he is not companion material in the same way that Micky was not companion material. Instead of having someone willing to throw themselves into the adventure, we get a mopey-git who spends most of the time either in the TARDIS or getting themselves into trouble due to their own stupidity out of it is not compelling viewing. River Song, I'm afraid to say is awful. When I first saw her in Silence in the Library (another Moffat corker I care to mention) although I didn't particularly like the actress, the idea of a constant companion to the Doctor meeting disjointedly through time was very intriguing. Sadly this turned out in the end to be a cheap rip-off of the Time Travellers Wife, which is an abysmal concept in the first place. River does not really endear herself to me. Mainly because of a string of risque sexual innuendos that leave me rather sad and disappointed in the quality of the writing rather than laughing, the predilection to open violence, which seems to me something that the Doctor would be completely repulsed by rather than attracted to, and most importantly, the fact that she is sexually attracted to the Doctor and (maybe) vice versa. If this doesn't mark me out as a out-of-touch fuddy duddy I don't know what will. I hate the idea of  open romance and the Doctor. I know the Doctor has a family. I know he has a granddaughter, so some form of hanky panky is there somewhere along the line, but the way romance is handled in the new series is just so bad it makes me cringe. What I loved about the Doctor was that he didn't entangle with that romantic guff. He showed his 'humanity'  (or Gallifreyeaness if you will) in other ways, through his deep bonds of friendship. His kindness, his generosity. It wasn't through an awkward snog. And this comforted me, and probably lots of other lonely nerdy teenagers watching at the time too. Dating and kissing and doing all manner of sexy things was touted during our teenage years as the be-all and end-all of existence. It was nice to come across something where it didn't shove it in your face. 
So overall, these companions to me are just bad.  And that we are meant to care and emotionally invest ourselves in such awful, poorly written and generally nasty characters is beyond me. They take up too much of the plots, story arcs and general dramatic competence. They make it, as I have said a million times, just another episode of Crossroads in Space. My slow descent into embitterment is generally not helped to by the general decline in quality of writing for Who from Moffat, which is somewhat mysterious given the excellence of his screenplay for Tintin and his writing for Sherlock. 'Let's Kill Hitler' and the 2011 Christmas Special rank as some of the most tactless, ham-fisted, poorly written, and utterly confusing piles of crud I've seen in my many years of watching Who (if you ask why this is so in confusion, I'm sorry, but there is no hope for you). They may even rival Love and Monsters in the badness stakes, and that is indeed saying something. I mean I have watched Doctor Who a long, long time and yes, of course a lot of the time I have seen some very bad episodes amongst the gold. But never before have I been disappointed in Who, that I can see the glimmers of competence and brilliance but it's hidden beneath an avalanche of cheap and deeply tedious writing techniques. And that makes me rather sad really.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

I Hate Sports.

2012in the U.K is a somewhat dreadful year to be me. The monarchy are outrageous with pomp and ceremony, as the old bat on the throne celebrates sixty years of nothing. The government celebrates moving to levels of bastardliness that would probably make The Eye of Sauron go "Whoah! A step too far there guys!" And worst of all, The Olympics. Let me make this clear. I despise sports. I despise competitive sports, I despise athletic sports, I despise things that even try and masquerade as sports, like snooker or darts. I despise the spectatorship of sports. I despise those who play sports. Me and sports are not on each others Christmas card lists, in short.
Sport to me has always represented to me the most boring and unnecessary way to spend time ever. Even above voluntarily watching The Only Way Is Essex or something. Ever since I was young, sport was drummed into my mind to be the pinnacle of everything. If you had no aptitude for it whatsoever, like I had, you might as well just throw yourself into a well. The grisly spectre of P.E haunted my days in primary and secondary schools. It made my life miserable. That to measure someones achievement based on something as arbitrary and pointless as how physically able they were seemed bewilderingly pointless. And still, I couldn't escape, no matter how many times I made it clear I possessed no abilities nor enthusiasm for it. That those who exceled in the mindless means of exercise were popular and attractive to everyone else just made me more miserable, when I was just 16, clumsy and shy. Sports at school seemed to triumph over learning and education. There were teams and clubs for all manner of sports, all enshrined as wondrous things. Nothing, meanwhile for anyone who didn't want sports. The Drama Club or Debating Society never got any attention, it was all reserved for mindless gym monkeys who got the adulation of their peers instead. P.E fostered bullying, mindless childish bullying too. You aren't up to the standard of physical excellence needed for this class? Fuck you, you get mocked by your peers and teachers. You have no coordination, balance or spatial awareness due to dyspraxia? Fuck you, you get mocked by your peers and teachers. Mandatory sports and physical education did not help anyone, except jocks. For the rest of us it only reinforced differences between us and them, and made it clear that you could only get anywhere in life by being physicaly competant. P.E is not 'character building', it's bullying and abuse, plain and simple.
At least we don't exist in the U.S I say, where male students get the benefits of a free college education purely on the merits of their accomplishments in American football. It makes you want to retch.
Even out of education, people automaticaly assume you like sport, as though it's a genetic requirement. People ask me what's my favourite football team, what game did I last see, what chances do I think England have in this match. It's ludicrous. I am a history student and I love history, but I don't assume that everyone else shares this burning passion. I don't make small-talk with strangers about what their opinion of the Battle of Stalingrad is. Sport is rammed down my throat, is permeated into every sphere of my life, whether I like it or not (which I don't) in every advert, tv show, magazine, it rears its ugly head frequently as though if I'm exposed to it enough, I might just like it. It only makes me hate it more. As I said, because sport enforces social divisions, whenever friends watch it, or play it, it just makes me feel that I don't really know them. That I don't have much in common with them if they partake so often in something that will always be alien to me. It's like I'm in Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, and they're the pod people.
I hate how obnoxious, loudmouthed and violent sports fans can get. There is not much point in even discussing this in detail, for the profileration of football gangs, of fights and scuffles on and off the playing fields, sometimes in a drunken stupour, of the wide-eyed, demonic passion these people have for something so pathetic and tedious is well known. Train-spotters, the archeptypal dweebs mocked often by jockish types don't have violent physical confrontations on whether that was a British Rail Class 46 or 47 that just went past. Only sport has this violent, confrontational aspect to it, fueled by the rise of binge drinking and laddishness. When I demonstrate knowledge or a liking of something that could be perceived as nerdy or socially unpopular, I get mocked. When someone demonstrates an equally nerdy degree of knowledge on something sporting related, they are respected, and interesting. Even people I know are somewhat unrecognisable when they are drawn in to this tedium of sport. Again, bullies and the violent seem to be inextricably linked with team sports and sports fandom like they were in P.E.
Sports to me, seems an evolutionary throwback. The racist, sexist, homophobic and the physicaly violent are not shunned from society as they ought to be, but are instead celebrated as heroes, as athletic gods, and as a good example for children. Purely because of their muscles, or their ability to run, or kick, or jump. It makes them seemingly above criticism. It makes me die in side that they are viewed above scientists and writers, above poets and artists in our culture and our society. It makes me deeply, deeply miserable. Even the structure of the sports themslves are full of areas for criticism. They are deeply sexist for one. (who'da thunk it)
And of course, my hatred of sport (having saved this til last as it's a pretty normal complaint) also include the point that sport is JUST SO DULL. Of course, I won't deny this is personal preference, but never in my life have I see so many people being appealed to something so boring. People running about and kicking a ball occasionally is not fun or interesting. Face it losers.
And now, in the year of the Olympics in London, I am meant to raise some faux-patriotism from the deep dark recesses of my mind and support Britain in the race for mindless physical dominance when I'd rather do anything but. To which I can say, fuck you. As H.L Mencken once said, "I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense."

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Political Depression.

No my dears, I shall not bore you and prattle on endlessly about my gloomy personal life, for this is misery of a entirely different nature. If you haven't noticed, or have been stuck in a cave somewhere for the past two years engrossed in "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," we have a coalition government. The Conservatives, primarily dominant, and the Liberal Democrats, effectively a prison bitch for want of a better term. First time voters like myself, bright eyed and bushy tailed, left-wing, but somewhat bored with the actions of Chairman Brown, decided to vote for the Lib Dems. Hey, we all knew they seemed the best option. But then of course, we don't really need to go into what happened next. Clegg broke his promises, and any chance of the Lib Dems being an electable force vanished pretty much forever. I imagine if Gary Glitter decided to put forward a leadership challenge, he'd more popular with the public than Clegg is now. Nearly two years later, my wide eyed political glee has somewhat soured. It was inconceivable to me in the past to see a government, so callous, so mean-spirited, so utterly selfish to the needs of its people. The NHS 'reform' bill, which will do nothing more but dismantle what I and millions hold dear. The benefit reforms, which have led to some disabled people committing suicide, terrified that they won't be able to live above the poverty line. The sneaking, insurmountable tide of privatisations, neo-liberalism, faux-nationalism, and other countless, vile, fiendish things. The mounting, seething, flow of misery and austerity just consumed everything to me that previously I had thought "That'll be there forever". It makes me feel there is no future, no hope for politics. It makes me want to leave this country to sink into the sea. If this metaphorical tide of despair could be personified I'd probably go for Micky Flanagan's face rendered in pus-filled buboes.
My somewhat shattered political hopes, combining with that of the governments and the popular media's attitude to growing political protest, which seems to be half "LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" & half that we are all angry Dave Spart types from Private Eye too blinded by our left-wing shoutiness to actually make any difference. It makes me disappointed, and it makes me depressed, that the government is effectively a selfish group of individualists running the country for their own merit. That popular protest and suggesting austerity is not the answer is met with snorts of disgust and indignation from most quarters. That the political opposition in parliament for the most part is gutless, witless and endlessly tedious. I have no real hope left today in modern British politics. There is not much point to any of it. It's sometimes difficult to reconcile ones mind to how mean and cruel the government really are. It's as though they're just being bastardly for the sake of it, like some sort of moustachio'd, maniacal panto villain, drowning puppies and throwing orphans on the fire to keep warm. I bet Cameron starts salivating with glee when he hears of the next round of spending cuts. It's just miserable, honestly. So overall, I have decided not to reconcile myself with the system, no, no, no. Instead, get angry and make it as difficult for them as possible to do what they do.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Student Politics

Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before, but student politics doesn't really make much of a difference does it? Upon entering the hallowed iron railings of Leicester University, I soon found myself besieged by angry careerist sorts shaking leaflets in my face and saying how being elected activities officer would knock, say being elected supreme lord and master of the world into a comparatively shallow second place. Maybe this special brand of political vim and vigour exists across the country, or maybe our slightly bedazzled friends at Leicester Uni are struck by the sterling example of Aaron Porter, once supremely dull Student Union head here, then moving on to catastrophically apathetic N.U.S leader, now pretentious policy advisor wonk for hire. Maybe one day, dream our politically minded comrades, we too can follow in the stardust laden footsteps of this paragon of a human being.
Or probably not. Student politics here makes me rather depressed. The pattern of elections and S.U position tenureships here seem to act as a microcosm for the Westminster system. Perhaps this is what trained Aaron Porter for his current attempts to curry favour with the Labour Party? Simply put, smiley-faced candidates who you suspect have either stood for election due to their popularity, or out of some misguided aim to actually try and accomplish things within a broken system make promises that are either wildly unachievable, or more likely, vague to the point of attracting as many voters as possible. A constant amongst the flyers I was handed promised that their candidates were "against racism, sexism and homophobia." As though anyone would bother to elect a candidate who instead said on the flyers "Shoot the bloody lot I say, it's the only language they'll understand." Other boring, vague constants included opposition to fee rises and commitments to 'hard work' and 'listening to what you have to say.' All of these apparent promises I have seen, both wild and vague, I have seen no sign of. My experience at this university has not changed at all. Drunken twits still go on nights out. People pretend to pay attention in pointless seminars. '1924' in the Student Union still inexplicably remains in business. The only thing that ever seems to change is the posteriors on the seats in the student council. Being elected to the student union now merely seems to me to be something to scribble down on your C.V in the 'other' section, and not as what it should be, an actual-fucking-responsibility. In fact the only way the actions of the student union and council affect my university experience is the two week period in spring when endless canvassers try to garner your attention, and you have to plot alternate routes to get to your lectures to avoid them.
"But Oscar you twat!" you might say, surely the student union and council affect your university experience in ways you can't imagine? This might be the case. But as I have said, the grandstanding overambitious proposals never seem to be realised, and whatever other tedious ratifications the union may do, we are never informed. No wonder no one is interested in student politics here at all when we are kept in the dark. Maybe if the student union actually tried to engage the student body by telling of the positive things they are actually trying to do, and not focusing on pretentious and dull bullshit through the campaign season, more people might be interested. But of course, this won't happen, so I'll be happy to continue my whinging.
Actually, there was one student council candidate who interested me last year. It was an anonymous student, bizarrely for some reason dressed up as Ali G who went under the name "No One Cares for Academic Affairs." Simple, to the point, and true. He was the only person I bothered voting for in the election, and even he didn't get elected.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Trash TV

In a fiendish, desperately bad attempt in order to make myself commit some sort of errata to this sort-of-journal/place to bitch, I shall waffle on needlessly on whatever is unfortunate enough to pop into my head. I could of course, again bemoan my utter lack of inspiration and motivation when it comes to writing, but seeing as I have already filled several notebooks generally on that subject, that too has worryingly worn itself out as a source of inspiration.
I shall instead write about, in order to worsen your no doubt poor opinion of yours truly, about trash T.V. This has very much become a great passion of mine of the course of the last few months, combining both my loves of lethargy (daytime T.V is a goldmine for this sort of thing) and of mindless sensationalist twaddle. I have yet to find anything too spurious, disgusting or graphic not to enthrall me. A few prime examples I could no doubt draw your attention to, so that you to can become a mindless addict with the physique of a bin-bag full of mayonnaise and a vampire-like aversion to natural light (you know you want to)include Really's 'Cheaters.' This is a show in which presenter Joey Greco and his ever morphing-hair (watch it and you'll see what I mean) is backed up by a team of private investigators as they try to unravel affairs with the aid of covert surveillance and filming, ending in a often awkwardly hilarious confrontation scene, where the guilty party, Greco, and the person being cheated on argue/physically confront each other/stab Greco (this honestly happened in one episode) and ultimately make the whole breaking-up process as publicly awkward and uncomfortable as possible. Delightfully ghoulish, I thoroughly recommend you watch it.
Other delightful examples in this veritable Pantheon of crud include such delights as 'Man Versus Food', occasionally shown on Dave, in which a increasingly obese presenter (who has such charisma I forget his name) tackles some of the most gargantuan and vile creations in the world of cuisine. Wherever this presenter goes, a loving and whooping crowd is always there to cheer him on wherever he may be this week (for the sake of example, lets say he's eating a 400lb. Haggis in Frog Balls, Arkansas) as though he is some sort of gladiatorial champion besting a lion in the ring. Sheer genius and a another recommendation from me. But dear friends, I have saved the best for last. Foolishly cast aside at 1:45 in the BBC1 lunchtime schedule, Britain's best (and only) daytime soap opera Doctors truly is the champion of so good it's bad television. Not just for any reason has my friend Ed Goodson (who goes under the stage name 'Shouty Shit Stuff' oddly enough) has composed a song called 'Doctors is the best show on television.' I do believe Doctors is the natural successor to the mantle Crossroads once held. Held, as the name suggests, in a Doctors surgery, set within the strangely underpopulated town of Letherbridge, (though oddly displaying the dimensions of Birmingham, where it is filmed) Everyday myriad problems present themselves within the course of the episode to the doctors, nurses and secretaries, often entailing bizarre, often confusing and unintentionally hilarious sub-plots juggling for space with the goings-on of the staff, who seem to have a disproportionate amount of time to deal with leisure activities and home visits given they work in a doctors surgery. But then again, given that more than 3 patients never seem to be seen in the surgery at any given time (which I suppose is because of the budget of 30p) means they can get away with this shit. The other half of the time when it isn't all jolly subplots and larks a plenty at the surgery, Doctors gets away with dealing with surprisingly grim subjects, such as assault, rape, child abuse and murder. Hardly standard lunch time fare. This is isn't really the problem, but the fact that it deals with such sensitive subjects so horribly clumsily it makes the entire show unintentionally hilarious half of the time, and dreadfully awkward the other half. So if you take anyting from this load of waffle and half-truth, remember only this- watch Doctors, the greatest show currently on British television. If it isn't an advert for the relevance of the BBC in the 21st century, I don't know what is.

Monday, 20 February 2012

10 O'Clock Live.

Oh Channel 4, back in the eighties you truly did make efforts towards programming that was not only sincerely entertaining, but also highlighted the social and political inequities of the Thatcherite system. Soaps such as 'Brookside', films that highlighted the situation of minorities and extent of social deprivation such as 'My Beautiful Laundrette', and biting satire (at least the stuff not featuring Ben Elton) such as the 'Comic Strip Presents'.
Nowadays Channel 4 seem perfectly happy with racist and wildy inaccurate 'documentaries' about gypsies and the traveller community and thoroughly bizarre game show formats, often with the unwanted addition of a bitchy voice-over. Perhaps out of a slight sense of guilt, Channel 4 tried to redress this balance towards alternative, left-of-centre programming, by last year commissioning a new weekly satire show '10 O'Clock Live' starring the comedians Charlie Brooker, David Mitchell, Jimmy Carr and Lauren Laverne. It was shit.
After it finished its run last year, there was much discussion about whether it would be renewed for another series. And amazingly enough, it has been, though with no heedance whatsoever to the widespread criticism and suggestions for improvement levelled at the programme. As I'm a helpful/dickish guy Channel 4, I'll give you some tips.
Firstly, cut down on your number of presenters. Charlie Brooker is of course suited to satirical news discussion given the brilliant and often savage Newswipe and Screenwipe on BBC4 and generally the segments he presents on the programme often feel like they could have been lifted verbatim from one of these shows. Mitchell too can be witty and insightful, and is no stranger to proposing a argument whilst making it funny, as his online SoapBox series proves. My main beef is with Carr and Laverne. They are just not suited in anyway for current affairs satire. Their pieces, (in Carr's case especially)are often stilted and awkward and feel more like a group of right-on students at a secondary school have tried to mount a daring lampoon of the educational system by calling the headmaster a poo-head. This stilted awkward feeling only increases when they all the presenters gather round the table to argue and discuss the current affairs issues of the day. Irritatingly they seem to take this part seriously. This makes it far from looking like a bunch of comics riffing off each other to make jokes about whats happening in the world, like it would be on Have I Got News For You, but more like a group of close, but mis-guided friends trying to opine seriously on something they know fuck-all about. Or perhaps more accurately, like an episode of Question Time where the panel entirely comprises of celebrity guests.
The awkwardness that seems to surround 10 O'Clock Live like an invisible fog is only exacerbated by the fact that it is LIVE. Why would you do this? There's no feasible benefit to recording live, unless you actively want your presenters to occasionally fluff lines, leave gaps and dead air, and sometimes say things that, oh, I don't know, aren't funny? HIGNFY or the Daily Show don't record live, and are all the better for it, the semi-scripted material complimenting that of the actual discussion and improvisation. The only reason I could possibly think of 10 O'Clock wanting to do something so risky is that it would be able to present itself on the forefront, cutting edge, the beating heart, the racing pulse, the blah-blah-blah of current affairs satire, which doesn't really work when the show you present is as about as awkward as someone shitting themselves at a funeral.
Overall, 10'O Clock Live. That was the week that was it is not.