05/12/2010

Catty Men


Carefully edging forward - what laws do I SKIRT around?

Ok - here's a question: what do the following Celebrities have in common?
Alan Carr, Graham Norton, Louie Spence, Gok Wan, Paul O'Grady.

Right - they're (all, or mostly) outrageously camp, filthy-joked, sneeringly-voiced, bitchy, over-paid, under-talented media items. Famous for being all those things I just typed - and bugger-all else.

Currently this tawdry little crowd are infiltrating most 'mainstream' TV and radio airtime, to the extent that one has to wonder at this latest flood.
It seemed to start a little while back: We were tested with Dale Winton's Radio persona (mildly irritating, although his TV presence warm and unthreatening) - as this was 2008, I wonder if media bosses noticed the pull - and decided to vamp things up a bit?

After-all, our British media history has been liberally peppered with the homosexual double-endre.
Remember being left cold by John Inman? - When 'Are you being served' was but one of an enormous batch of British sit-coms whose humour-value unfailing missed by a million miles any thoughtful ideas about what was funny.
Or cringing at Larry Gayson - who Straight, Gay, Martian, Black, White (whatever) could never be described as funny.
Or wincing at Julian Clary's jokes, but finding his saving grace the sheer scatological nature of his comment, at least the laughs came?

So, if the content is funny - then the delivery style may enhance that. OK so far. But what about Messrs Norton, Wan, O'Grady, Carr, Spence? No 'content' here, per-se, just a style - a style that favours sneering, that takes the extremes of earlier 'alternative' comedians, washes them out a little, and hangs them onto a character as vehicle for any other tosh the media can think-up that needs a current-fashion 'type' to push it.

Why write about this at all? Because I HATE it. Because, we're teaching yet another sub-group how to act and react. And I see it echoed on the streets - just like the ladettes, the lager louts, the head-shaven ear-ringed 50 somethings, the orange-tanned would-be essex-types. It is so apparent now, the trashier we make our TV, the more brash and arrogant UK society becomes - because 'life', for want of a better choice, IS imitating 'Art'.

29/10/2010

Here's an odd one?

Do you remember numbers?  Well, some of us can, and some cannot.  Fine.  Do you notice how - a month after you've moved home (and changed 'phone number) - you can't remember the old one?  Good eh? - some sort of auto-delete function going on there.

Well, here's another one for you.  My students - UNFAILINGLY learn their log-in numbers at College (about 7 digits, I think) by the number's position on the keyboard, when they are sat directly in front of it - AND NO OTHER METHOD (they don't actually know the numbers).
If I move the keyboard (to sit next to them and type) they cannot log-in, and they most definately cannot recite their log-in numbers to me.
So, those who have grown-up using numbers on keypads more than anywhere else - predominantly learn a finger-placement, as opposed to (say) remembering first, and the repetition of the action coming later.
Does this mean the memory function is by-passed - or is this a different 'sort' of memory being used?

Landlines . . . .
true disconnection in a Connected World?

You know, when I enrol a student at College - my heart always sinks if they cannot supply a landline number.

I just know - if 100% represents the perfect 'trouble free' student (for them, a successful & enjoyable year), then about 10% has already been deducted.

A shameful generalisation - I heartily agree - but I'm sticking to it!

You see, to me, this family has over-subscribed to some kind of idea of 'throw-away'.  Of communication as 'choice' (oh god - that over-used word again) 
Let me explain - if a 16 or 17 year-old chooses, he or she can keep communications with them a total secret.  With a landline missing, you've lost the possibility of speaking to SOMEONE in the family, someone ELSE can be alerted to some problem, some difficulty - SOME FACT that the young adult has CHOSEN to keep hidden.

 . . . . . . . and think on!  That mobile needs constantly recharging, needs to not be lost, and at anytime young TrayC (god help us) or Wayne can wander into MobsRuz and exit 5 minutes later with a new number - absolute total disconnection from those not chosen to sit in memory.

18/01/2010

Take to the Pavements!

Cold as it may be – we’re probably only about 6-weeks away from a huge influx of cyclists on the street, and the letters will be back: ‘those pavement cycling maniacs’.

But where are they supposed to go?
Those excuses for lanes, those apologies for cycle-ways our councils lovingly paint – in their imitation of progress, just a little – but not too much.
After all, we have car-tax, fuel-duty, car-parking machine income to consider, don’t we?

It’s now almost impossible to stay in a cycle lane. With the new breed of commuter scooters (you know the ones – 200 decibels and 19mph) careering through the middle of traffic, most people’s default road position has moved 18 inches to the left – into the cycle lane. But that’s not all – that ‘class beating’ internal space so loved by car manufacturers ad-speak, only really means ‘Bigger’.
You average hatch-back today is wider and taller than any ‘family saloon’ of even 10 years ago – on the same roads.

And yes, it needs saying – the 4x4’s. Have you seen the SIZE of some of them now?
Get to any junction, in or on any vehicle, with a 4x4 on your outside and you’re stuffed – you simply have to wait until they’ve wafted (“look at me! I can burn 10-times as much fuel as you, you loser!”) their way off - until you can SEE enough – to move off yourself.

So the pavement wins every time. Yes, the painted lines can stay, but they need to be on a widened PAVEMENT – then you can also speed-restrict the traffic down to the 20mph we’re beginning to hear about.

People will hate me for this, but you know in your hearts – you know in your mirrors - too many mobile-phone wielding idiots, too many super-wide black-glass and steel tanks, too many wide-exhaust youths, so many bad tempers.

NOT using the pavement at times in the UK is utter nonsense.