Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Christmas TV Love and Loathe

It's that time of year again when the TV is full of festive fun, here is a list of what I love and loathe about Christmas TV.

Love: The Two Ronnies. Classic TV which works on so many levels, you have the word play of Ronnie B and the clever wit of Ronnie C. The Christmas shows are something special. The victorian party is a masterpiece of TV entertainment.

Loathe: Morcombe and Wise. The Goons and Hancock were calling M&W dated back in the '50's and by the seventies they were well and truly past it. The myth is that they had huge ratings but when they went to ITV and the Ronnies got the Christmas day slot they broke all records.

Love: 'Santa Claus: The Movie' Dudley Moore as an elf and the true origin of Santa, it is a charming and well written film that brings the magic of Christmas to life.

Loathe: 'The Santa Clause' Tim Allen is smug, his child is obnoxious and the ex wife is a bitch. It's Disney at their saccharine worst.

Love: 'Only Fools' a great cast and good stories it never goes wrong. You can watch them over and over and they never get old.

Loathe: 'The Royal Family' I guess you have to be northen. But it's just not for me.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Dream Band

This is from a newspaper you have to put together our dream band.

Vocals: Gudrun Gut. I really love the way she sings and makes a point. It's a voice that can handle anything. Plus programming, remixing, percussion and most other things could be handled by her.

Guitars: Blixa Bargeld (Einst├╝rzende Neubauten) and Melissa Swingle (The Moaners). Both of whom can also handle vocals and have very spare guitar styles. It always surprises people that although I'm a guitarist myself I don't like a lot of guitar music. It's what you chose to leave out which is important. Both are skilled with slide guitars as well as regular guitars which can add an extra dimension.

Bass: Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) This will probably surprise people as they don't expect me to go mainstream, but I really do think that Flea is one of the best bass players of all time. I've always rated him but recently when he was in Africa he showed his true class laying down some amazing improvised bass lines linking up a whole host of African and Western instruments.

Drums: Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) I'm not a big fan of drums, most bands just have them as a glorified metronome but there are a few great drummers out there, Shelley is one he has a light unobtrusive touch which comes from playing Jazz he makes the drums musical and not just a means of keeping time. Another contender here was Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative, New York produces some good rhythm men.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Tory Recycling

Much has been made of David Cameron dropping his green credentials. Today on 'Breakfast' he proved that he still believes in recycling. His 'New Thinking' on unemployment is merely a failed policy from John Majors government in the mid 90's.

Friday, 7 November 2008

The Name game

Pope and President. The most powerful christian leader and the new leader of the free world share something. Their name.
Barack is an Arabic name meaning blessed, it comes from the same root as the Hebrew name Baruch, the latin version of Baruch is Benedict.
In the Mutsu region of Japan there is an Obama Castle, left over from the feudal era. It later served as a base for Catholicism during the two hundred years Westerners were prohibited from entering Japan. Catholicism thrived there in isolation.
Perhaps this is why 54% of American Catholics voted for Obama.

President Palin?

The talk is that Sarah Palin the VP candidate on the McCain ticket is hoping to run for the Republican nomination in 2012. She has a few obstacles. Most Republicans think she lost them the election, the party is investigating the hundreds of thousands of dollars she spent on outfits and luggage and when she speaks she reminds me of when Jamie Lee Curtis played a teenage mall rat trapped in the body of her middle aged mother in Disney's 'Freaky Friday'. Of course in two years time a certain Austrian will stand for the senate and almost certainly try and pass a law to allow himself to serve as president (as the law stands now Arnold can stand and be elected but cannot serve as president). Put bluntly I don't think Sarah Palin will get to be President of the USA.

But how about EU President Palin, not Sarah but Michael. The EU needs an elected president and the post is to be created in the next few years. The front runners at the moment are Angela Merkel and Tony Blair. The former may well still be in power in Germany and the latter has repeatedly ruled himself out. Michael Palin is perfect for the job, he is well educated, understands history and of course is extremely well travelled and both open to and non judgmental of other cultures. Most people who assume high office get embarrassed by silly things they did in their youth, with Palin we all know he did lots of silly things in his youth, he got paid handsomely for it. Anyone who has read Plain's diaries will know that in the late 70's he had a grasp of British politics and the Northern Ireland situation which far outstripped that of the majority of Parliamentarians of the time. It all adds up Michael Palin is perfect for the role. He's make a much better President than Sarah and that is for dammed sure!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

November 5th 2008

At 6 am as it does every morning my radio alarm switched on. It is tuned to BBC Radio Four and these days is a DAB model, which gives me crystal clear reception after a fashion. The clock is controlled by a digital signal the famous pips it seems are not, sometimes I hear them some times I don’t. This morning at 6 am I heard the voice of Barack Obama:

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

I held my breath for a few moments until in sunk in that this was a victory speech. Obama’s voice was replaced by that of the BBC ‘Today’ program presenter John Humphrys stating:

“Barack Obama has been elected as the first black president of the United States.”

I felt a great sense of relief and a hope that the future can be better place. We are each of us every day a witness to history, and the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States of America is a momentous day in history; my hope is that President Obama can create a future history of momentous and positive moments.