Today I found a site that aims to chronicle the turning point of television programming, the point where a classic show turns in to runny excretia. It's a vast archive of opinion, all carefully classified so you can see at a glance what everyone hated. It's also cross referenced by cause of catastrophe, such as changing the actor or actress playing a role, or hiring Catherine Oxenberg.
Gazumped at the taxi queue at the Queen Mary Hospital this morning, while collecting pills and stuff for Mr Twinky.
Quoth I: "Feel free to push in front of me then. I don't mind. I'm not actually ill, just pretending."
Quoth person: "Thank you very much."
Note to self: explain sarcasm.
One day in power, and Bush is already tackling emotive issues with subtelty and with no fear of being contentious at all. Given his overwhelming majority, this is a wise and sensible move designed to promote unity.
In the Philippines, Arroyo is still cleaning the presidential palace.
Still on Gloria Arroyo:
Like Mr Estrada, Mrs Arroyo is married with three children. Unlike him, she is not famed for a string of extra-marital affairs.
I think I've worked out how to classify Philippine citizens. Women: Sensible. Men (1): Useless. Men (2): Useless but arrogant and power-man.
I don't understand ten year olds these days. I have nothing in common with them. They probably know the difference between 'e' and 'k' and how to avoid overdosing on either. They can probably use the word 'phat' and know what it means. On the other hand, I can drink wine and appreciate it. I can have more fun in bedrooms than 10 year olds. I can remember the Magic Roundabout with feelings of genuine nostalgia.
I take some consolation from the fact that although the younger generation can look back on my generation and learn from our mistakes, they will arrogantly ignore everything, and therefore miss out on a lot of good stuff.
"I'll buy a stereo for the bedroom..." So we get a new stereo. Incidentally a very nice Nakamichi SoundSystem8. Then we get it home.
"Where can it go?" "In the bedroom"
"It might go better in here - we can avoid direct sun gain."
"We've already got a stereo in here."
"We'll just start moving some furniture around to see if it would work..."
"We've already got a stereo in here. We'd have to throw it out."
"That looks good there, doesn't it."
"We've already got a stereo in here. You're not getting round me that easily."
"Does that mean it's going in here, then?"
Why is "Crouching Dragon Hidden Watermelon" so called? I think it is because Michelle Yeoh's character spends all of her time hiding from dragons and pretending to be a man so that she can save China, while callously seducing Johnny Osmond and the rest of his curious family. Or perhaps that's "Mullen".
Meanwhile, in local news, apparently Rave parties have been happening in Hong Kong for some eighteen months now, and that's where youngsters have been getting hold of drugs. I guess this explains why so many of the fools that I pass in the street seem to be in a little world of their own. Sometimes, they run up to me and give me a big hug and tell me I am beautiful, but that might just be Mr Twinky.
12 January 2001. Anson Chan resigns. There go all my jokes. Mark your diary.
I've been trying to write about this all day. I've changed some of the spelling, but the sentiments expressed in this are unchanged - and dangerously naïve.
There should be cultural diversity monitoring within all broadcasting companies making sure that producers, writers and directors are actively practising cultural diversity before programmes, where applicable, ever get to the screen. This will ensure that programmes, such as the fantasy "Gormenghast", where there was no cultural diveristy in any part of the programme, never get to our screens.
I'll admit that my reaction to this is skewed by the fact that I enjoyed Gormenghast, and I was impressed by the extent to which the production adhered to Peake's drawings. It would have been hard to move away from that without running the risk of claims of stereotyping or tokenism.
The danger is the phrase "where applicable". It would be unusual to see a production of Mansfield Park with a predominantly African-American cast, for instance, and I doubt that anyone would propose doing so (although a re-setting of the same plot in a different environment could be plausible and enjoyable). The context of Gormenghast is a fantasy world, where the only reference is Peake's drawings. Nonetheless it is a fantasy world that is definitely England. Look at the amount of flack received by Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for its shoehorning of a "moor" into the plot.
On the other hand, maybe it's a sensible move. Maybe the UK should have more prime time news readers who don't have English as their first language. More homosexuality in financial journalism. Or a sit com about a family that just sits and watches television all day.
Blood, guts, guns, cuts, knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts.
Makes more sense in context.
I wish that I didn't feel sorry for Thomas A Carder. Arguably, his mission to rate films in an objective manner is laudable, and indeed I have no problem with him doing so from a Christian viewpoint. Under his classification of 'impudence/hate' he includes 'use of the most foul of the foul words' and 'uses of three/four letter word vocabulary' - which are both exquisitely twisted turns of phrase, and 'facial piercing' which I find mildly surprising.
The problem is that by adopting a clinical rating system he is removing any idea of context, and that is dangerous in my view. Although I note that he can find justification for acts in Mary Poppins that he would mark down other films for. On the one hand this may seem like double standards. On the other hand, he applies the same criteria to Scary Movie as to The Tigger Movie, which is a bold, if doomed, philosophy.
I now have ten story ideas for my pretend short story collection. They'll be five to ten thousand words each, meaning that I reckon I need fifteen plus. That's not bad going, really. I know that I need to write more, but never mind. And the good thing is that none of these stories have anything to do with Doctor Who. Mind you, most of them deal with sex and sexuality. And power. Which is possibly worrying.
I wish I could start the year with confidence. This weekend, bombings in Manila killed fourteen people. This isn't the sort of bombings that I can cope with, though. I can cope with targeted bombings designed to cause terror and disruption, or carefully directed campaigns between rival underworld factions to take out each other, or equipment or facilities.
The bombings in Manila are random and indiscriminate, designed to kill random innocents. And they're mainly on my route to work in the morning. As a result, I really don't want to go. Sources in the intelligence community told the Phillipine Star that a faction within the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces is believed to be behind Saturday's bombings in the metropolis. Like that inspires me with confidence.