….unless you’re caught in the fallout.
So yesterday I left work early. Not terribly exciting or out of the ordinary, but I did. Did I get home early? No, no I did not. Did I get home, buoyed by the happy satisfaction attained by leaving work early? No, I arrived home seething. If the cat lived downstairs I’d have kicked him. It’s a good job the dogs have him living, Anne Frank style, upstairs. (As far as I know, he’s not keeping a diary).
Dropped onto the M90, which was no busier than normal, until I’d just gotten past the last chance to exit the thing before the Forth Road Bridge, where the queue started. Soon the crawl became a stop. Turns out some attention seeking miserabilist had driven onto the bridge, stopped his car at the mid point, gotten out, climbed over three barriers and was now standing on the outside of the bridge, holding onto the rail and making the wholly empty threat of jumping.
Two hours the bridge was closed for, TWO HOURS!!! All so four police offers could coo at this whiner in an attempt to get him to come back over. It’s time we stopped kid gloving these time wasters. If he were really determined on jumping, he’d have done it as soon as he got to his launch pad. But, no, he just wanted a cuddle. Mummy didn’t give him enough teat or something. I hope everyone who was forced to go 40 miles out of their way in a diversion sues him to recoup the extra fuel he cost them.
In future the police should just offer a push. Or get a marksman out to pick these wasters off sniper style. Instead of mollycoddling, give them an ultimatum. “You’ve got 10 minutes, either piss or get off the pot. If you don’t we’re getting you off your perch one-way or the other.” If they need someone to do the pushing, I’m sure there’ll be no shortage of volunteers in the traffic queue.
Just how bad is children’s TV these days? Just how low can it go? If recent experience is any guide, the possibilities would appear infinite.
Due to the recent half term break, I’ve had the chance to “enjoy” rather more kid’s TV than I’d like. There appears to be a cornucopia of choice out there in the area of the digibox between the Haji channels and the munters bouncing on a mattress with a mobile in their hands. Closer inspection reveals a far more hideous truth. It’s all the same!!! Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Jetix et al all appear to show the same programs in some sort of incestuous love in. Worse, they are obviously sending out some sort of signal that prevents children from remembering what they’ve seen as they’ll watch it again a few hours later oblivious to the fact they’ve seen it all before.
The modern cartoons seem to all be incredibly badly drawn (Ed, Edd & Eddy springs to mind) and thoroughly mindless with all the subtlety of a Trident missile. The “live action” shows seem to be populated by a procession of identikit “stars”, all of them horribly, smugly precocious or actually 15 years older than their characters but unable to get any other job. If these shows weren’t American they’d be slated for being so horribly middle class and aspirational. Designed purely to sell merchandise, they are soulless and despite laugh tracks to the contrary, thoroughly unfunny, I defy anyone to crack even a scintilla of a smile at any point in the entire run of “The Suite Life of Zak and Cody” or it’s even more painful sequel, “Suite Life on Deck”. Quite how you can take a character designed to send up Paris Hilton and end up with something that makes the real life caricature infinitely more rounded and interesting is almost a work of genius.
The BBC offerings aren’t much better, caught as they are between the ‘lashings of ginger beer’ of Enid Blyton and a cloying need to educate. Where’s Rentaghost? The Pink Windmill? Chorlton and the Wheelies?? Murphy’s Mob? OK, two of those shows are not like the others, but the point stands. There is nothing out there at the moment that will be reminisced quite as much as the shows from the 70’s and early 80’s. No icons of childrens entertainment are being created at the moment, no seminal moments in shows that will be remembered forever. Every child of the 80’s could tell you who Joey Deacon was.
Maybe I’m just an old fart these days, but surely John Noakes slipping in elephant piss is a better role model than Miley bloody Cyrus. Once again quantity has replaced quality.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to my bunker with Ms Popov.