Sunday, 2 August 2009

Diana Watch

Good afternoon, how are you all? The wedding was great thanks.
I want to start with on award, I know that it isn't the usual form but, hey, I live on the edge.

The Award for The Quickest Time That Someone Has Forgotten Their Own Advice.

This really has to go to David “Probably our next Prime Minister :( “ Cameron. He was on Absolute Radio's breakfast show and was asked about Twitter, which the Government use a bit, and he responded "Politicians have to think about what we say." A good point I think. A sudden rush of blood to the head and you are then unexpectedly inviting a policeman and a professor round for a beer. He continued "The trouble with Twitter, the instant-ness of it”, excellent. Think before you speak, well done, now move on......... oh no, you are carrying on “- too many twits might make a twat."
Combining this with a later comment in the interview “The public are rightly, I think, pissed off - sorry, I can't say that in the morning - angry with politicians,” it made a very hard mornings work for his press secretary Gabby Bertin, who "leapt out of her skin" after the questionable language.
To be honest it's a good line but it was a Breakfast show and as a PR man, his only other job, he really should have known that that sort of language would be the story and not what he said.
You can see the clip if you want to on here but I don't know why you would.

Last night on BBC 2 there was a fantastic program. It was a Proms concert. Now, I am not the biggest fan of classical music but last night’s was different. It was a concert of music from the classic musicals made by MGM. The concert it's self was great. The choice of some of the singers was quite interesting, Curtis Stigers and Seth MacFarlane the creator of Family, but the most interesting thing about it was the back story.
When the MGM studios needed some more room for a car park or some such, they bulldozed the building that contained the scores for their musicals. Oh and they didn't remove them from the building before it was flattened. Oh yes, the score for The Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain was used as land fill and they were lost.
The conductor last night was a man called John Wilson and has spent the rest few years transcribing the scores for these movies by ear. He has been watching the films and listening to the soundtracks and trying to decide what the oboe does in that bit. Last night was a celebration of this enormous task and a good time was had by all.

I have had a fun week reading the websites of the Daily Express and Mail. Why would you do that to yourself you may ask? In the words of Rage Against the Machine, know our enemy.
I have also been trying to use the “have your say” sections of both of these papers and pointing out shortcomings in their reporting or things that are just plain wrong. So far I have only been successful once. The Express. Theirs was the website that did me the honour of publishing a comment.
The story was that the Government are going to ban all private organ transplants in order to remove any suggestion that people who can pay have the chance to jump the queue. A study showed that this didn't ever happen but a perception had started to build up in some of our more right-wing media outlets, so they decided to nip it in the bud. Reasonable plan I think.
This story was covered in the Express but the headline was “Private Organ Transplant Ban for Foreigners”. Let's be honest, this sort of reporting is, at best, Xenophobic, at worst, Racist, so I told them and they published it which was very good of them.
The Mail on the hand seems to moderate their comments an awful lot as I am yet to get a single comment published. I have not been rude or combative, I have merely pointed out mistakes in the articles, i.e. A story about a Vicar being upset that someone took slightly rude photos in his church and grave yard and has consulted lawyers who say that he may have a blasphemy case. I pointed out that we no longer have a blasphemy law so it should be a story about lawyers trying to rip of a nice vicar. Nothing.
I propose that we all play a new game. Let’s try and get as many Un-Daily Mail or Express things published on their websites. Go on, have a look at these nasty little places, find a story that grabs you and comment on it. Don't be rude and confrontational but do make your point. Maybe we can have a little competition.
You can affect these things and I shall give you an example. A couple of months ago The Mail had a nasty little vote on it's website (they are very fond of these and they can be revealing about the readers of that paper, many seem to disagree with the line that the paper takes, for instance on assisted suicide. They have a vote on it at the moment and 70% of the readers are supportive of it, whilst the Contributors seem to think that we will just execute everyone over 70 or a bit ill, al la Logan's Run.) asking whether “Gypsies Should Given Priority in the NHS”. Someone posted this on Twitter and suddenly 97% of voters thought yes, yes they should. The vote was taken down shortly afterwards.
In the Guardian this week they had a comedy special because the Edinburgh festival starts soon and they wanted to cash. In this elongated advert they had a “what's hot and what's not” section and one of the things that aren't hot any more are Daily Mail jokes. Well, as most of you will know if you've read this more than once, this is rarely funny so we are not comedy, so let's carry on having a go at the Mail. If they didn't publish stories that are Pro-eugenics then perhaps we would leave them alone but they did. It's just a very unpleasant article. This is the sort of thing that makes them such an easy target.

A quick mention for British sporting success as most people think that we are rubbish at all sports. More good news for the World Swimming Championships.
Gemma Spofforth has won gold and set a new world record in the 100m backstroke and tonight British swimmers will compete in six of Sunday's seven finals so lots of chances for medals.

And so to the Awards,

The Award for Odd Place To Get Wasp Sting Statistics From,

This goes to the Daily Mail (sorry to go on about them again) which had a story about a man who was stung to death by wasps, see I told you that this wasn't comedy, in a Place called Merlins Bridge. It's in Pembrokeshire I'm told. This is, of course, very sad but what was odd was that the Mail described this week as “Wasp Week”. They had a quote from insurers Home Serve, that there was a “98% leap in wasp and hornet related claims during the final week of July last year, with a similar trend in 2007”. I have a number of questions about this but the most pressing seems to be, who claims for a wasp sting?

The Award for Oh Fuck, That Went Really, Really Badly,

This does really need much explanation. A building being demolished in Turkey doesn't quite go to plan,

That could have been so very bad but it seems no one was hurt as that would have made it less funny.

Have a good week all, I start new job on Friday. It will be nice to have some work to do but I have enjoyed being a house husband. Will have to have a word with significant other.

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