jump to navigation

Scattergun Reproach January 17, 2011

Posted by markswill in Media, Politics, Schmolitics, That's Entertainment, Uncategorized.

I know, I know… after all my braggadocio about cranking up the bloggery again, I’ve been a bit schtum recently but truth is, I’ve been so damn busy scribbling for filthy lucre that I haven’t had the time or energy to dish out any amateur vitriol. And for the next few weeks, I doubt that’ll change. Having said which, after whining about under-employment for a couple of years, it’d now be a bit rich to moan about the stresses and strains of overwork, but truth is (for the second time in one paragraph), I’m actually enjoying the slow swell of adrenalin that builds up during a 12 or 13 hour day of virtually ceaseless toil, and the modest satisfaction of hitting deadlines and turning the odd cute phrase.

But that’s just self-justifying guff and past posts have at least attempted to provoke thought across wider, less narcissistic lines. I’d certainly like to get back into that groove, however spiky – or tellingly silent – the responses might be, but sitting in front of my ‘pooter, eyelids involuntarily screwing down as midnight approaches, I can offer little more than a few disconnected bullet points to prompt your own investigations… or not, as the case may be:

THE TUSCON SHOOTINGS   Sarah Palin and the Super-Right’s media provocateurs have already turned around arguments for a quelling of their inflammatory vitriol and accused the Democrats of niminy-piminy (™ D. Moggach) posturing. I was nonetheless impressed by the Mayor of Tuscon’s measured, enough-is-enough condemnation of the savage polemic that has passed for American political debate in recent months but fear his was a lone voice.  Fuelled by the Tea Party bonkerists and aided hugely by the swaggering bigots of Murdoch’s Fox News (see below), one-in-five Americans now believe that Obama is a Muslim, so I ask you, how long will it be before he’s assassinated?

WANKER’S ONUSES   Last week it was revealed that the head of Lloyds TSB bank, which we taxpayers saved from collapse in 2008 and still own a huge chunk of, is unapologetic about the £2.3million bonus he’s about to get on top of his £1m salary. The Cleggarons are (almost) equally unapologetic about letting him have it because, as they tell us, the financial sector contributes some 10% of tax revenues to the Exchequer and if we’re nasty to ‘em, they’ll all pack up and move to the Bahamas. This may also be why the six-form coalition who “manage” our affairs continue to let our once dominant manufacturing industries go to the wall, e.g. Sheffield Forgemasters, because their blind faith has it that financial services will buoy up an economy which the banks almost brought to its knees and which we, the taxpayers, are having to subsidise by accepting swingeing wages cuts, mass unemployment, withdrawal of social and cultural services and a bleak vision of our children’s future… unless we’re bankers of course.  Or am I being a bit harsh here?

EMPEROR’S NEW WARDROBE   I don’t watch lots of t.v. because I’m too busy nasally nudging the grindstone, oh, and I have a life, but with the exception of The Times’Caitlin Moran (who, incidentally, on a good day is the funniest journalist currently employing the English language), every t.v. scribbler and features editor is falling over themself to laud every new comedy series that hits the tube when most of them are patently rubbish.

Deborah smiling

Episodes and Not Going Out are but two recent and entirely rank offerings that have basked in media overkill, so one has to ask, is money changing hands or what do the controllers of BBC1 and 2 know about the sex lives and drug habits of t.v. critics that enables them to get away scot-free with this crap? And talking of which…

RUPERT THE BARE-FACED   Just say for example, it transpired that the BBC had been routinely tapping the mobile phones of a few celebs, and politicians, the ensuing stink would forced the Cleggarons to shut it down, or at least severely clip its wings, within a nanosecond. Yet R. Murdoch’s News International is apparently considered inviolate from such censure, presumably because the government needs to keep it onside whilst they impose their “tough economic medicine” on a cowering population. Alarmist conspiracy-theorising? Well why else have the cops been soft-pedalling on the blatant breeches of privacy practiced by Murdoch’s News of the World, the relevant government ministers been so quiet and that quintessential defender of Briton’s freedoms, The Thunderer, a/k/a The Times (prop. R. Murdoch) entirely silent on the matter?

RAYS OF SUNSHINE   But that’s quite enough vitriol, for it hasn’t been all horrid since I last scribbled. Movie junkie that I am, there have been a few silver-screen highlights during the last few weeks  – although internet pseudo-documentary Catfish was execrable and G. Clooney’s latest outing, The American only somewhat less so. But I was lucky to catch a lone, cinema screening of Citizen Kane which beyond the t.v. screen totally justifies its ‘Best Movie of All Time’ accolades, not least for the incredible energy of  the performances but primarily due to the really extraordinary images conjured up by Welles’s cinematographer, Greg Toland. Seen writ large, the political rally speech and the Xanadu scenes are unlike anything else certainly before, and possibly since, and should you ever get a chance to see it in a cinema, do so.

Back in real life, last week here in Presteigne we had the annual Wassail ceremony when a bunch of locals urge the town meadow’s apple trees to bear great bounty come autumn. A good-humoured, pleasantly pagan festival involving

Wassailing Furiously on Wentes Meadow. Pic. Alex Ramsay. Check out http://www.alexramsayphotography.net

much consumption of apple-based food and drink (i.e. strong mulled cider), music, fires and fireworks it was just another great example of a community celebration which if nothing else, reminded me that despite all the crap bearing down on us in the wider world, the natural one can still uplift the human spirit.

Comment on this scrawl, check out my website and previous posts or sign up to get ’em automatically by going to the panel on the right.