Tag: BBC

4×4

Not sure exactly what is was but I caught the end of some ‘environmental’ segment on BBC News this morning. A family had undertaken several pledges to try and improve their energy use, they’d lagged pipes, insulated the loft, realised that turning off electrical appliances would save them money, even installed a few solar panels to help with the heating costs. Aside from the last item nothing particularly ground-breaking really.

I should pause at this point and tell you that the family in question were living, I deduced, somewhere in the South East of England, a London suburb most probably (from the house style and accent if you must know, not hugely reliable).

Their final pledge was to investigate an alternative source of fuel for their car. The lady of the house informed us that, whilst she had written to Range Rover, they unfortunately did not have plans to offer an LPG (gas*) conversion kit.

That’s for the Range Rover. In the suburbs.

P.S. If anyone saw the full piece please feel free to correct me.

Thank… goodness..

It’s Friday. Bit of an odd week.

All that commotion in the Commons managing to deflect from Tony’s playground answering tactics – where you respond to the current question with the answer from the previous question.

The annoying ‘campaign’ by BBC Breakfast: “How British are you?”. English? British? All the same surely?

Then Batman, dissertations, broken mobile phones and rainbows.

And that’s only in my limited view of my world.

The weekend edges closer.

Explaining

Note: I drafted this yesterday before Richard Madeley’s “dyke” comment was aired and, as usual, the BBC News website has an interesting article about the whole wording issue.

“[The words are]… liable to change their connotations and meanings depending on who is saying them, to whom, in what circumstances, sometimes even depending on their tone of voice.”

We live in politically correct times. You can’t say this. You can’t do that.

Some of it, of course, is correct. You can’t go around insulting people but then, that hasn’t changed has it, the whole PC ‘movement’ has just given the minorities another string to their bow.

The real trouble I have is here. Online. Where the written word carries all meaning and inflection. Except, as you well know, it doesn’t.

So I end up writing something, or commenting on a site, using my own voice and then having to go back and edit (or add another comment) ensuring that my phrasing wasn’t misunderstood.

This doesn’t happen in real life. Take last Saturday, out with friends, two of whom are gay, we end up in the Polo Lounge (well known gay bar/club in Glasgow), and I end up with an admirer. Alan finds it hysterical and I have to admit I’m slightly flattered (ohh shush). I turn to him as we leave and retort “Well what did I expect, going out drinking with poofs”.

OHH SHOCKING!! You can’t say that! The PC hordes cry.

Alan laughed, which says it all.

Breaking News

Have you heard? I just read it on the BBC News website? Really? Yahoo says it won’t happen? Noooo! Well Ananova says it has a confirmed source? Reuters reported it this morning….

The news headlines zip across the screen, constantly changing, constantly being revised, and you watch the news shape and form into coherent stories right before your eyes. You can watch/read whilst an elderly man is mugged, then collapses, then is attacked, then dies. The headlines revolve as more information arrives.

It gets to the point that you are never really sure what is actually happening until the timeline and facts fall into place. That’s the problem, all this instant access to information isn’t helping us, it’s confusing us. Death tolls rise by the minute, eye witnesses are found and quoted then replaced by expert opinions. Rumours grow and evolve at a startling rate, as the news develops before your eyes.

I rarely comment on recent events here anymore, quite simply because I don’t follow the news as closely as I used to preferring the paper in the morning, the established stories at lunchtime and the headlines in the evening. My eyes flicker up the screen to the scrolling text declaring oil price rises, stabbings, convictions, death, murder, mutilation and more, and I force them back down. Down to something real, something with depth, something I can understand entirely in the now, rather than something I have to piece together as it expands in a myriad of possible new directions.

We live in THE information age and, frankly, sometimes I just want to stop the boat mid-stream and dive over into that cool, clear, empty water.

Free Speech

Following on from the Secret Agent documentary on the BNP last night, BBC Breakfast had a debate about whether or not members of the BNP should be prosecuted. One advocate of free speech stated, repeatedly, that anyone should be allowed to say what they want as it was up to “me” to make up my own mind, and that censorship was an insult to the intelligence of the British public.

Sheesh. “The intelligence of the British public” is rapidly becoming an oxymoron of staggering depth. If the British public can “see how stupid these people are” thanks to free speech, then why did the BNP manage to increase their portion of the vote during the recent European elections? Same can be said of the UKIP.

Mind you the same could be said of Hitler, but then we are all well enough educated that we won’t make that kind of mistake again… right?

I'll be the bride…

Gay marriages meet frosty silence . Seemingly, according to this piece by the BBC, most Americans do not approve of gay marriage.

One of the protestors outside the town hall where the first wedding was performed is quoted as saying:

“God will be offended. He’s the one we have to worry about. This is the beginning of chaos.”

It’s really quite worrying that kind of thing and, in some sort of weird juxtapositioning of thought streams, I find myself recalling some dialogue from Troy – namely Achilles questioning the almighty Gods by asking why Apollo has not struck him down for sacking a temple dedicated to the God of the Sun.

In a way I have to admit that Bush, or rather his advisors and speech writers at least, have been quite clever in ensuring that God and religion remains on the table as a legitimate part of the political and sociological equation. After all, you can’t argue against faith.

Update: I’ll let razorhead’s post make it’s own statement about religion. Sheesh.

Conspiracy

No sooner have I mentioned that it’s “International TV Turnoff Week” than the TV schedules throw up some unmissable programmes. Naturally the BBC Two anniversary is the centre of attention, but don’t forget THAT abortion documentary, not to mention a Champions League semi-final (hmmmm I’m not sure about the way I’ve structured this…. I DO think that abortion is a much bigger issue than a football game, I just happen to know that I’ll definitely watch one – Louise is out tonight – and will probably forget about the other – I’m usually on the PC at that time at night – I’ll let you figure out which).

Just as well I didn’t snore last night I guess.

In other news, a large heavy box arrived this morning (almost causing me to miss my train). This means that I will be building an elliptical trainer tonight and will no doubt be a bit stiff and sore legged tomorrow. Gotta start somewhere I guess.

Ready for my closeup

How this came about.

An email pops into my inbox. A lady at the BBC would like to speak to me about an upcoming item for Radio Scotland. Me? Really? Finally! I’ve been found, plucked from the masses to be elevated to the higher echelons of society. It’s art you see, well the “Arts Show” sweetie, darling, mwah mwah (sorry J Mo!)

So I call Vivienne from the BBC and she tells me she’s a researcher and wants me to talk about influences, Scottish Blogs and read a few snippets from my site. Excitedly I say “Yes of course!” whilst leaping up and down like a demented Jack Russell. Fame! Infamy? (they’ve all got it…).

We chat a bit about Rebecca Blood, Scottish Blogs and why I started. She’s delighted and says she’d love me to come into the studio to record a few bits and bobs for the ‘piece’ (unlike American movies this is not a gun, nor like Scottish lunchtimes is this a sandwich, it is a radio term for filler content… I think…). We agree times and she says she’ll confirm by email.

A couple of days later another email from Vivienne at the BBC arrives. Alas my inner gadget freak is to be disappointed, I’m not required to come to the studio, I can just phone her and she’ll record it that way. Slight disappointment is replaced with a small knot of anxiety… What if I sound terrible? What if I muck it all up and they can’t use any of it? Deep breaths now. Relax. You’ve done this before, admittedly on a smaller scale but it’s hardly a life altering event. There, you look much better now you’ve stopped dragging air in and out of that paper bag.

The day arrives. I’m surprisingly calm. I’ve read (ok, AND edited) the posts to be recorded. I’ve a rough idea what to say having gone over some of the other questions we chatted about. Everything will be fine. The phone rings. I pause, letting it ring twice then answering on the third ring (no I dunno why either but I do remember making a conscious decision to let it start it’s third ring.. weird, no?).

And it starts, everything goes well, I only stutter once, and know to pause before restarting to make it easier to be edited (old pro that I am). The main pieces done, the ‘interview’ bit starts and I talk about Scottish Blogs, why I started and a couple of other things that weren’t broadcast.

Then she asks “And does your wife read the site?”. Unrehearsed! Cold panic.

Hearing it back it should be fairly obvious that I stumbled through that part, it sounds clumsy to my ears anyway, but then everyone is their own worse critic. I’ll clarify what I was trying to say at a later date I think… someone remind me.

Then all of a sudden, well twenty minutes later, it was all over. Done. Finished. In the can.

“Ohh that was brilliant!” she enthuses. I blush slightly, but it was nice of her to say it (now if she’d only remembered to tell me that it would definitely be broadcast LAST Tuesday but she was on holiday so I’ll forgive her – hey, I’m a sucker for a cute voice..).

Note – in case you can’t be bothered listening to my drone – this is an ongoing ‘series’ of pieces about blogging, Tom Watson MP will feature and you’ve already missed a blogger from Chicago.

Impressions? Well I’m not sure how interesting it is to people who don’t have a blog and don’t ‘get’ why people would even want one (my wife half falls into that category – tolerant understanding I call it) but it’s good to see the phenomenon noted and given some space. Only suggestion would be to allow the blogger to choose the pieces to be broadcast, within agreed limits or something, or at least allow them to put forward 3 or 4 to be considered, if you are having an unusually bad, or good, week then it almost seems like cheating as people may visit your website expecting one thing and getting the other… but then what do I care? It’s my website… right?

Still, it was fun while it lasted but now the spotlight is swivelling away, searching out the next shining star to highlight. So what next? I’ve been in a magazine, in a book, and on the radio… TV is the last bastion of blog-related fame left to me!

I’m off to call my agent.

Now is later

As promised:

The Oscars
I’ll be honest. I’m not sure why she does it. She doesn’t do it every year either. Odd. Either way, she went to bed at 10.30pm and got up at 1.00am to watch the Oscars. She said it was good. Well it was good except for the BBC coverage with ‘that bloke who did the comedy thing in the car’ (that’ll be Rob Bryden), Alistair MacGowan and Ronnie Ancona who seemingly waffled on about nothing everytime they went back to the studio (everytime there was an advert presumably). She hasn’t said much else about it, but as she didn’t come back to bed until about 5.30am I can hardly blame her. Me? I may well watch the ‘repeated highlights’ to be shown at 10.35pm tonight (although as it’s the first time the ‘highlights’ have been shown – as opposed to the entire ceremony – why are they claiming that they are repeated?).

29th February
After wittering on about the fact it was a leap year and we had an extra day here is what I did with it… emm… hang on.. I’m thinking… watched the Carling Cup (well done Middlesbrough!) .. did a little work on the PC…

OK, I didn’t do much of anything. In my defence I didn’t sleep at all well on Saturday night, and had a dodgy stomach all day Sunday.

Still it seems that plenty of other people marked the occasion in some way or another.