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grauniad

grauniad

If I were trying to make excuses I suppose I could say that they’re two countries with two names and the first one starts with ‘S’. Of course the fact that the correct country name appears directly above makes it look even more foolish…

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Gordon Brown says ‘Stop Wasting Food’

Loz says ‘Stop Wasting Oxygen’.

So, once again my perspicacity about tennis has struck. Although you didn’t exactly need to be a psychic to predict that the final would be Federer vs Nadal. Anyway, it was bloody brilliant. Even if it had been straight sets to Nadal, the quality of tennis was incredible. The fact that Fed came back from 2-0 down, that Nadal still stayed in there after missing those match points in the 4th set? Pretty Damn Awesome.

A brilliant display of mental strength, physical skill and discipline. Shame about how rare it is to apply all three to an English man, woman or team.

So I went to Henley Royal Regatta which was probably not quite as posh as I was expecting. There were the usual clothing rules and wotnot – blazers, slacks, shirts and ties for men, pretty straightforward. For women, hemlines had to be below the knee (and we saw some 40+ year olds being turned back for straying northwards of this boundary). I could make a joke about skirts and dresses being hiked up as soon as women got inside, but it seems in poor taste. Why this is stopping me, I’m not quite sure.

Anyway, it was an overblown excuse for a piss-up and an Oxbridge reunion. Very little rowing was watched (although what was seemed to be quite competitive) and Pimms was consumed in vast, over-priced quantities. All-in-all it was probably the most middle-class and English experience of my life (which takes in an incredible array of middle-class Englishness).

Oh yeah, best part of the day (apart from the title of this post which is a genuine quote) – in the gents (temporary) loos they had a white board with sports updates and newspapers that you could take to read while on the throne. Outstanding.

As usual, Charlie Brooker sums it up best:

During the London mayoral election, I had two main fears. The first, obviously, was that Boris was going to win. For weeks I repeatedly voiced that fear to everyone I met – to no avail as it turned out. But the second fear, the one I kept tucked away somewhere near the back of my head, was far more sinister. It was this: what if Boris won – and then turned out to be really good at his job? That might force me to question my cherished anti-Tory prejudice, which is so ingrained and instinctive it feels like something hand-stamped on my DNA.

Auntie

Metro is a free paper distributed at stations and tube stops throughout London each morning. It’s a priceless and invaluable resource, worth every penny.

This morning, the differently-talented Aidan Radnedge reported on the continuing tale of the Societe Generale trader who lost £3.6bn for the company through fraud (most likely to cover up his own incompetence). There are quotes and speculation about motive before some classic tabloid investigation into the guy’s background – talking to a union official (what on earth has a union got to do with trading?) and his old lecturers at Lyon University. And then, the true horror. The real reason behind it all. The insight is diamond-sharp, the research detailed and deep, laying this poor trader’s soul out for everyone, surely a Pulitzer is now inevitable:

“Kerviel’s Facebook page had 11 friends before the scandal broke – but this was down to four last night”

Aidan Radnedge, shut the fuck up.

Updated: The Daily Mash has an excellent take on the story.

While there’s some pretty decent British TV around at the mo (ref. aforementioned Property Porn, the occasional QuizCom and, err, I dunno, Doctor Who? Life On Mars?) the sad fact is that, in general, Yanquis do it better. Of course, this is aided by far, far bigger budgets and a distinctly larger pool of talent, but over the past decades, the likes of The West Wing, Battlestar Galactica, The US version of The Office (seriously, check it out, it’s differently brilliant), Heroes, 24, Alias, Lost etc., etc. have massively outclassed any British efforts in scope if not class.

The one area that they’ve not been quite as far ahead is the sitcom – Friends is good, but not exactly edgy, Frasier was a one-joke show, and how anyone watched a whole episode of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ let alone the full 210 of its run is beyond me. Recently, there have been a couple of decent shows (‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, Scrubs…) – but they can only just keep pace with the likes of Spaced, Black Books, Father Ted from these isles.

Anyway, back to the title of this piece, with the current Writers Strike going on in the States, there’ve been very few new episodes of some of my favourite American shows to watch. As a result, I’ve spread my net slightly further and come across 30 Rock. It starts slow but picks up quickly and continuously improves. So much praise should go to Tina Fey for her performance and her writing, but it’s Alec Baldwin that makes it – and here we come to the crux. No British show (be it sitcom or drama) can afford the likes of a Baldwin, Sutherland, Sheen, or hell, even Edward James Olmos. Simon Pegg made Big Train and Spaced and guest starred in Black Books, but what are the chances of him ever returning to sitcom in the UK since Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz?

So where’s the future in the UK? Well the one small advantage is we tend to make short seasons (8 episodes rather than 22-26). At least you can then get 2-3 years out of people before they move on. But quality drama/sitcoms? I just can’t see anything lasting beyond 3 years without major cast changes – because there just isn’t the money to keep people in TV in the UK.

Seriously, one of these days, I’m gonna just freak out and move to San Francisco.

January’s just preposterously shoite in England. Firstly, I have no money, secondly, it’s dark ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY, thirdly, there’s nothing to do. Admittedly, I’m being a whiny bitch as I’ll be in Whistler snowboarding in a fortnight, but still.

I like my job, I do. Really. It’s a challenge, I’m learning loads, it pays well, and, honestly, I’m pretty damn good at it. It’s just sooooooo soulless. Why won’t someone pay me to listen to music and geek out all day long?

What Has Gone Before

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i miss your disposition and your strength to see the best in everyone
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