The Week #4

As I write, Have One On Me is playing. It’s my first listen, and I’m enraptured already. A review to follow. I’ve got a lot of other things in the pipeline to post too.

In Glasgow, it’s the third day running of almost-continuous rain, sleet and weird snow with the consistency of a slush puppy. It’s been a pretty shitty winter to be sure, and inevitably the climate change deniers are jumping up and down with glee. Today’s Daily Express (I saw it in a newsagents – I wouldn’t physically touch that rag with asbestos gloves on) had one of its stupidest headlines yet – “Warmest January Ever” covering it like it was the silliest thing they’d ever heard. Obviously, in Express world where there’s just Britain and foreignland, if Britain’s cold therefore the rest of the world must be too. This, as the BBC is showing footage of skiers in the pissing rain in Whistler, Svalbard, just 400 miles from the North Pole, records its highest ever January temperature of 5C among a million other pieces of evidence that support the FACTS. Fuck all that though, it snowed in London!

The Times (proprietor Rupert Murdoch, owner of Sky, Fox etc and well-known BBC hater) leaks proposed cuts to be made by the Corporation. As far as I can tell, all they are are suggestions up for discussion, not set-in-stone plans, despite the media frenzy. Even so, if there’s a hint of truth about what Mark Thompson is planning, then it’s a complete fuck-up. Close down Six Music and the Asian Network, two channels that in their different ways embody the Reithian spirit. Leave BBC3 alone – the channel that brought you Snog, Marry, Avoid and Hotter Than My Daughter among other masterpieces. It’s always been a complete waste of space, just doing lowest common denominator TV in the manner of Sky or ITV. Leave it to them (obviously keep Being Human – but that should be on the main channels anyway. It’s just on Three as a means of justifying the station’s existence.) Next stroke of genius – halve the channel’s internet output. Yeah, that makes sense in 2010. This newfangled internet thing is obviously just a passing fad. I’ve no evidence to base this on, but I would wager than bbc.co.uk is one of the most visited websites on the planet. Third piece of genius – sell off BBC Worldwide and all the magazines. How very Thatcherite. If something is publicly owned and actually making a profit, sell it off cheaply. We can’t have any self-financing – it’s against the spirit of laissez-faire capitalism (incidentally and ironically, the most propped up and state-supported economic system in history). Hopefully, this will all blow over – especially now they don’t have Jonathan Ross’s wages to pay.

Finally – Mad Men this week, and the ‘lawnmower incident’. Has to be one of the yukkiest, funniest and most uncharacteristic scenes in TV history. Matthew Weiner and co – thanks for making some of the most terrific television I’ve ever seen. Oh, and BBC4 continuity announcer woman – stop yapping over the end credits.

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