Friday, 30 June 2006

Goggle-Eyes

Why does watching TV have such a bad press from various 'intellectuals'?

Various people who decide that they are to be our arbiters of good taste and excellence in culture deem that watching telly is a "bad thing".

One of the problems I have with these people is the fact that the alternatives they come up with are usually no better than TV anyway. Let's face it, the alternatives to TV that these snobs come up with always involve theatre, opera or art galleries, for some reason.

Now, I love the theatre, as you probably know. Can't stand opera, but that's just me and I don't condemn those who do enjoy and understand it. But I really can't understand those stuck-up people who seem to insist that, somehow, "live" art-forms are better than television.

"Sitting in front of the TV for hours on end without moving rots your mind". Yet, these people don't mind going to the theatre to watch an interminable Wagner opera (which consists of sitting down for hours on end to watch the show, but you can't get up and get yourself a drink when you like - only at the interval, when Herr Wagner says you can finally move).

"TV is just mindless pap". Oh, and I suppose that no-one ever wrote a book that was mindless pap, or a play, or a film, or a musical (Andrew Lloyd-Webber, anyone?). And, I'm sorry, 90% of the modern art I've seen IS rubbish. A con-trick.

"TV is a one-way process. A passive medium. The viewer isn't engaged by it". Huh? I'm sorry, but when was the last time you went to the theatre or the opera or an art gallery and started interacting with the actors, or with the canvas. If you did that they'd throw you out of the place or have you committed.

I'm sorry, I just don't get it. Sure, there is a lot of mindless pap on TV that should never have been made. But there is also a lot of fantastic drama, comedy, documentary and uncategorisable stuff that anyone should watch and be edified by.

Don't tell me that Run For Your Wife is funnier than Seinfeld.

I don't believe that Cats is better than the Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode Once More With Feeling.

Do you seriously expect me to believe that Tracy Emin's My Bed has more artistic value than Twin Peaks?

Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Bereft

What are we going to do today? What are we going to do tomorrow?

I'm talking about the football, of course. For the first time since 9th June, there's no World Cup footie on the telly!

But I've got into a routine (go to work; talk about yesterday's matches with the guys; sneak into the break room to watch as much of the afternoon match as possible; go home; have tea; watch the evening game; go to bed; repeat) and for the next 2 days I will feel a little lost. I guess that my Lovely Young Wife and I will have to catch up on all the stuff we've been saving up on Sky+ for the past 3 weeks. She's got about 12 hours of Eastenders to trawl through. And we've still got to catch the last episode of Prison Break and the last couple of Lost.

[Does my life revolve around TV? Yes. It does. It has done since c. 1975 and it will do for a long, long time to come.]

OK, so we only need to wait until 4pm on Friday and it all starts up again with Germany v. Argentina. 2 days of Quarter-Final action. Then there's another break until Tuesday and Wednesday (Semi-Finals). Then another break until next weekend: The Runners-Up match and the Final.

By which time excitement will either be at a hysterical fever pitch (if England manage to get that far) or the country will be plunged into a pall of gloom (er, let's face it, this is the more realistic outcome).

Though heaven knows how we're going to cope when it's finally finished. What will we do for the long six weeks until the football season proper starts up again?

Thursday, 22 June 2006

What Would YOU Do?

I would love to be able to jack in my current job and do something else.

I've worked in the IT industry since 1988 and I'm fed up with it. Partly because I haven't really progressed much. Oh, my salary is handsome enough, but I've been doing more or less the same job for almost 20 years.

Friends and colleagues over this time have moved on to new and exciting challenges every 2 or 3 years - accumulating responsibility or new skills or moving into completely new arenas as opportunities are presented to them.

Somehow, though, those opportunities have passed me by and now I'm sick of doing the job I do.

My main reason for being unable to move is, unfortunately, debt.

For one reason and another, at the time of life that many people have almost paid off their mortgages, I find myself badly in debt and still renting. Don't get me wrong; some of the blame is definitely mine. But through a combination of bad-luck and bad-judgement I find myself wishing, most days, that the National Lottery will provide a way out.

Of course, being in-debt means that I need as much salary as possible, so I stay in my current career, because I know that a change in career will mean a huge drop in income, at least for a few years until I prove my worth in that new job.

So - for now I am unable to contemplate a move to my "dream job". Which is good because, ironically, I don't really know what that perfect job is - but here are my current thoughts on what I'd really like to do with my life:
So - unless you fancy offering me a job doing one of these things on my current salary, maybe you'd better tell me YOUR dream job instead?

Monday, 19 June 2006

Pass the Ointment

Hooray. Dave, Sally and I finished the London 2 Brighton Bike Ride.

We each raised a ton of money - so thanks to everyone who contributed. If you haven't done so yet, you can do so here!

According to my bike's computer (yes, I'm that much of a geek) we covered the 54 miles in around five-and-a-half hours of cycling time, at an average speed of around 9.5 m.p.h. Although, what with stopping to take on water, sun-cream, burgers and lemon-curd sandwiches at regular intervals it actually took us more like 9 hours to do the journey.

[The overall time wasn't helped by the fact that we were moving very slowly, then stationary for about 30 minutes, due to a multiple pile-up requiring the presence of at least 2 ambulances. I hope those involved weren't too badly hurt.]

The lovely Mr Estall has contributed some fine words about the journey on his blog. And I've posted some pictures yesterday, during the event - I was too knackered to take many - plus a few more that I took in Brighton today while I recuperated (and My Lovely Young Wife browsed the many shoe shops and jewellers that the town has to offer). They're all in my London 2 Brighton Set on Flickr.

Sunday, 18 June 2006

L2b ditchling

L2b ditchling
L2b ditchling,
originally uploaded by PTMoore.
47 miles into the London 2 Brighton ride and the slightest incline induces us (well, Sally and I) to get off and push. So you can imagine our trepidation at the thought of the 1.5 mile, 1:8 climb up Ditchling Beacon.

Mind you, Dave rode up the whole way - well done Dave - so I bought him an ice cream at the top!

L2b before

L2b before
L2b before,
originally uploaded by PTMoore.
It's 8.30 am and we're waiting to start the London 2 Brighton Bike Ride at Clapham Common. Sally's cheerful enough - but Dave's grumpy. Even though he's just had a burger and a cuppa!

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Braaaazil

The sight of Brazil's portly, lethargic, what-the-hell-am-I-doing-here?, buck-toothed striker in the game with Croatia gave My Lovely Young Wife and I some food for thought yesterday.

Was his lardy disposition caused by eating too many burgers? And if so, were they sold by a sinister looking clown called Ronaldo McDonaldinho?

"Go..."

"...And never darken my towels again" - Groucho Marx.

My Dad got me an Insult-A-Day calendar for Christmas. I thought it was going to be fantastic. A new word each day to use to insult some of my more cerebrally-challenged moog-like colleagues. Words like "twunt", "munger" and "spoon".

Instead it's full of witty epithets from the likes of Groucho, Dorothy Parker, WC Fields and Henry Youngman (who?).

Some of the insults though are crap. Not ineffectual or vapid. Just crap.

The worst I've come across was yesterday's. Not only was it rubbish as an insult, it could also be taken as a huge compliment. Which is a bit bad when you're trying to insult someone. Here it is now:
What can I say about Hilary Clinton? She is as honest as the day is long... in Antarctica!
-- Joan Rivers
Obviously the joke depends on knowing that the days in Antarctica are very short during the southern hemisphere winter. But during the summer, the days are very long indeed. So it doesn't work as an insult. It's rubbish.

You know - thinking about it, I'm quite concerned that I got so worked up about this. But it's got me back into the blogging saddle after a couple of weeks of inaction.

Thursday, 8 June 2006

Quiet, isn't it?

After this week the run of Habeas Corpus will be over and I can get back to posting regularly here.

In the meantime, because I am so vain, I thought I would collect any reviews for the show in this post. I'm also posting them on my other blog, but as that one will be mothballed soon, I wanted to have them here for posterity too.

First review is in already. Of course, it might be the only review, but in case it isn't I'll add any new ones here as and when I see them.

Thanks to the lovely (but probably biased) Clare at Adventures in Amateur Dramatics for this lovely review.

Dave 'Delmonti' over at the Lobster had this to say.

Thanks to the fragrant Sandy Hurle for this contribution:
It was certainly not an amateur show! 'Twas thoroughly professional in all respects.
All members of the cast were entirely believable ... timing was good ... the script was learnt brilliantly with no missed lines (... none that I spotted anyway) and the set was stunning.
My only small criticism is that perhaps the ladies of the cast could have removed a few more items of clothing. (Just a personal, totally objective view ...).
NO, THE SHOW WAS BRILLIANT!*! WELL DONE TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU INVOLVED (Inc. The Director ... whoever that might be!).

If you're a masochist, you can also see many, many pictures of the show at Ian Olsson's website.

The report is also in from our NODA rep. It's too long to reproduce here, but you can see it over on the Habeas Corpus blog.