Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Just one more cup of tea, then I'll start

Sometimes it's just really hard to get going, so far I've made several cups of  tea, had a bath, watched the news, eaten two bowls of corn flakes and googled online eps of The Nanny.   In fairness I am recovering from the month of August during which both my wife and I hardly had a break from making home made noodles for local Muslims during Ramadan. It takes a lot  of time and energy to make 4 or 5 kilos overnight, leaving you knackered and craving your bed till at least noon or 2 in the afternoon. Multiply this 15 to 20 times over 30 days and you begin to realize just how drained the batteries are.

The last time I felt sufficiently moved to rise out of the noodle induced stupor, I wrote a scathing indictment of all that is wrong with Miracle Day, the latest and possibly worst, longest and most pointless Torchwood offering. Since then I've come close to commenting on Libyan affairs twice, reviewing Doctor Who, wondering aloud if Sci Fi as we knew it even 10 years ago has changed beyond all recognition.  I even had considered writing about the current series of The Great British Bake off.

But I never got any closer than several pots of tea, cleaning my desk twice, preparing several epic meals, going for walks and throwing dirty laundry into baskets. At one point I had even tidied the rubbish bins and reorganized the pantry.  So why the block I wondered, what was keeping me from writing again. Well I could discount the tired to some extent, as in fact I had at least since the last week of August, gone back to watching quality and sometimes less edifying telly. We had a Shameless marathon that took us from the first time Frank Gallagher graced our screens to the rise of the Maguires as the defenders of Chatsworth. Estate. As I said before, I even watched Miracle Day for a bit till it made me want to poke my eyes out of boredom and frustration. In between all of that, were great films on BBC and C4, Outnumbered came back and of course The Rob Brydon Show till just this week brought a gleam of hope to the usually dreary world of chat shows. And if that wasn't enough, we haven't missed a Doctor Who, Top Gear or the footie, such as it was.

"8-2 Brute?" Julius Caesar
I say such as it was, but Man U spanking Arsenal comprehensively 8-2 is the sort of  match you don't soon forget, regardless who you support. To quote a mate of mine ( Keith Telly Topping ok). He'd rather see Northern scum beat Southern scum if it comes down to choosing. but I still had to feel just a bit sorry for the Gunners. The worst result in 116 years, having the rot so plainly show, I suspect even Alex Ferguson thought that there had to be a point where honour was satisfied and the ref could have blown the whistle. I reckon somewhere 10 minutes after the restart would have been the point when the coup de grace would have been appreciated by the North London daycare side that Wenger fielded. Even now I'm looking forward to the England Wales qualifier later today, having missed the disgusting behaviour during the Bulgaria match. In case you're wondering  how I could have passed up such an interesting fixture? I could tell you it sounded boring and that I had better things to do, but the truth is I fell asleep on the setee and missed the entire day.

So I hear some of you wondering out loud how it is I wasn't able to rise even once since my Torchie review despite being thrown a bone when forced to watch 5 minutes of the latest candidate for worst UK game show ever ( Thanks again  Mr Topping) ... EPIC WIN. This exercise in annoying made Don't scare the hare, ....ermmm look less shit than it actually is. I watched a butcher identify meat with his feet. Seems all games and game shows at the BBC now need to rhyme. Surely this would of been just the thing that the doctor ordered to break the writing duck, but no, I wasn't moved, not even after seeing the host call on the pop up co-compare in a white suit make insipid jokes and be so embarrassing that small children would think they were at a particularly bad panto.

I can only assume that my biggest stumbling block was the fear that once started, I'd have to dive back in to another season of Srictly reviews and pretend to care what happens to talentless charvs and hapless chef wana be's who's big talent is stacking chips in the shape of a log cabin. Is that really all there is??? I sincerely hope not. While I can always turn to Dave, Yesterday  or even ( GASP) ITV 4 for old Sweeneys, I despair of the state of British telly when the best on offer is Top Gear, Doctor Who, Sherlock and a few decent crime dramas and maybe the occasional comedy. This Summer was supposed to be full of great filler  to while away the long hot  mystery months when there is no football. Instead we got a few half hearted efforts from BBC4 that placated the more intellectual among us, but below the medulla oblongatta, where Ideal, The IT crowd or Big Brother for Posh people ( Apprentice), live, there was a gaping hole of repeats and uninspired "hilarious" programmes from the same minds that gave us the truly awful Big Top.

I will freely admit to being addicted to the Libyan revolution and the news stations that one has to watch to be up to date with it. Big winner here is Al Jazeera English. A  brilliant station that has kept me abreast of important things like cricket, football and  English looters while also and importantly, providing me with obsessively detailed reports on battles, diplomatic moves and now the reconstruction of the new Libya. I'm sure the BBC has had much the same thing, but Al Jazeera was all too often too hard to turn off long enough to find out. Kudos to Sky News for having the first live pictures out of the newly liberated Tripoli and Martyr Square. It takes a special kind of crazy to get that kind of job done.

Sign the petition NOW if you haven't yet
Or it could have been the sudden appearance on Face Book of the petition to stop the powers that be from dumbing down BBC 4 in a move explained as an "economy" motivated policy. Why would anybody want to dumb down BBC4? Since when is it a criticism to say a programme or a station is TOO smart? What prize idiot at the BBC or the Government considered for even a second the possibility of  cutting funding to the flagship station in the BBC crown? As bread winner, BBC 4 does more work on a quarter of the budget that the brain dead BBC 3 gets. BBC4 provides 80 % of all English language programming to educational stations across the globe. Then even more translate the shows and spend even more at the BBC. And if that wasn't enough , these servants of Jeremy *unt want to stop broadcasting quality  foreign language material like The Killing, Wallander and Spirale. .

What ever happened to Leon Trotsky?
Is it any wonder I hadn't had the spirit, the energy or the desire to dive back in? A few extra quid in the account from writing would help, but this too will come one day, till then, one must endeavour to continue to endeavour. OK, this it it, I'll write those reviews right after I've read the news paper, had another cup of tea and fed the cat.

As per usual, this and all other entries written under the influence of the most excellent Beat Surrender, still channelling The Stranglers, The Pistols The Pogues and Ian Drury on BBC Radio Newcastle. Catch Nick Roberts online by clicking on BBC Radio Newcastle  Saturday listen again section, look for Beat Surrender.

No comments: