Monthly Archives: February 2004

Complaining About TV?

Ofcom’s upheld complaints about the Phixx performance on BBC’s Top of the Pops (scenes from a bondage club) which amuses me. If you look at some of the pictures of Man of the Moment Andrew Kinlochan you’ll see they are from the video. It’s a lot of pretty boys tied up on chairs singing. Apparently it breached some standard (apart from musical taste). If bondage clubs were populated by pretty guys tied to chairs singing pop tunes you can bet I would be first in line!

They’ve also upheld complaints about the Channel Four series Little Friends. The concept of the series, using children to entice people into comedy stunts, was amusing at first but gradually the whole thing became cringe-worthy. Apparently it breached the code on ‘General Offense’. It really should have breached the code for a faintly amusing idea taken too far. I am sure we’re all relieved to know that, ‘Ofcom accepted that the broadcaster had taken steps to protect the children’s moral welfare’.

While you’re looking into offensive things you should read the very short entry on Dream 107.7’s breach of Section 1.3 (Language in Programming) of the standards. That only one person complained about the language (when you would have expected Ofcom’s switchboard to be melting) suggests a very limited audience at the time.

Broadcasting regulation is, apparently, here for my own welfare. Shame they can’t regulate Footballer’s Wives off the air (a new series starts tonight).

On this day…

2004: Five Second Censorship
2004: Day At Home

Five Second Censorship

I’ve said before that I don’t really understand all the nonsense about Janet Jackson and what happened when she performed with Justin Timberlake. It seems to me that there are so many other things that the American people should be spending time worrying about. I am hoping that something similar happens at The Brits. We are in need of another Jarvis/Michael Jackson incident to spice up proceedings.

Having said that, BBC News reports that Oscar president Frank Pierson is up in arms about a five-second delay on the broadcast of the awards ceremony. To accuse it of a form of censorship seems to be a little unnecessary. I am sure it used to be pretty common for all live broadcasts to have some kind of in-built delay. What’s the big deal? Michael Moore’s acceptance would not have been censored by a five second delay; no it was censored by the audience at the time.

I think everybody needs a sense of perspective.

As an aside, I am thankful that I know several Americans living in London who show that not all – nay most – Americans are perfectly rational people. It’s a shame our media does not present them as such. Am I exaggerating all this?

On this day…

2004: Complaining About TV?
2004: Day At Home

Day At Home

I’ve had a day off work which I have totally wasted but I shall not let that worry me right now. What should worry me is my inability to cope with four glasses of wine last night which resulted in the time-wasting (the day off had long been arranged).

While wasting my day, I have been reading about gay campaigning, all of which has been quite interesting. Tin Man pointed to the Faces of Family site – which, I think, could be a great project if you can get anybody who does not think our relationships constitute family to look at it. The message boards over at OutEverywhere have an interesting (but very long) thread discussing the Brazilian resolution to the United Nations which would have sexual diversity included as an integral part of Universal Human Rights. The discussion considered if it is right (or not) to support and sign the petition. I signed it and, I believe, you should think about signing it too. I guess it’s clear which side of the discussion I came down on.

On this day…

2004: Complaining About TV?
2004: Five Second Censorship

20 Minutes On A TreadMill

So, it began. Yesterday evening I (by which I mean we) went to the gym for the first time in six months. It wasn’t the awful experience I had been expecting but I have no idea what will happen next. I even managed to recall how to operate some of those awful treadmill machines. Although I went to the gym last year, I only went to the pool, and the machines have been updated since then; they look like space craft control consoles. I kept expecting to hear Kirk behind me shouting about warp factors. While walking/running/cycling in the air-conditioned luxury of a gym I watched one of the many television screens provided for my entertainment. Except, nothing was entertaining. Not even a slightly soaked Westlife in their new video (Obvious, released 23rd February) on Chart Show TV could keep me interested for longer than two minutes. I must have channel-hopped more than I do at home.

Naturally, I ache. I have taken this as a sign that I might have started doing something good to my body rather than believing I have damaged myself in some way. Now I must work on the intake of all those lovely foods which I like to consume – man (or should that be I?) was not born to live on salad leaves alone.

While on the subject of appearance, take the BBC’s smile test and see how you do. In my big-headed way I scored 18 out of 20 which I feel is quite good. And then add your thoughts to the British teeth question at BoiFromTroy!

UPDATE: You know how, when you were at school, there was always somebody bigger, smarter and generally better than you no matter how hard you tried? Well, if you read the comments, you’ll see Jase had 19 out of 20. I must try harder! The question is, did he fail on a fake or a genuine?

On this day…

2006: Video Shots

Every Little Helps You Spend

new tesco metro on lower regent streetIt was noted in January that Britain’s biggest grocer, Tesco, takes around one pound from every eight spent by UK shoppers. Well, today, they’re trying to take even more of mine as their new store on Lower Regent Street opened (including a barber shop quartet singing to welcome customers this lunchtime). The shelves were nicely stocked and where they were not, people were replenishing them. All the tills were staffed and they seemed to be doing quite a nice trade indeed. Will the friendly service last? I wonder how it will change my lunch habits? I am used to using a local sandwich shop where lunch is made to order and doesn’t come pre-packed. I would like to think I will continue to visit but the lure of the big store and the ability to purchase something to eat tonight could be quite strong.

I have to say that I am very impressed with the look of the store from the street; it really fits in well with the buildings around it. Certainly some thought has gone into that.

On this day…

2004: I Had No Idea That So Many People I The World Were So Gullible
2004: Better Than Buses In A Flower Market

I Had No Idea That So Many People I The World Were So Gullible

I have noted the passion of the Macintosh owner before. There’s story on Wired News that suggests some people’s obsession with the beautiful machine goes a little too far [via plasticbag.org].

On this day…

2004: Every Little Helps You Spend
2004: Better Than Buses In A Flower Market

Better Than Buses In A Flower Market

Anybody reading this site will know that I seem to have lots of opinions on urban transportation. One of my favourite visits of recent weeks was to the London Transport Museum (see pictures) which is housed in an old flower market at Covent Garden. I thought the place was great but then I read about the New York Transit Museum which is actually housed in a historic 1936 subway station in Brooklyn Heights, New York. How cool is that?

This weekend I was visiting my parents in Shropshire and we went to Llangollen in North Wales for the day. I couldn’t get anybody to agree to ride the Llangollen Railway – which is part of the British rail network from Ruabon to Barmouth in North Wales which was closed on 1st April 1968. It would have been a good way to spend a Saturday so, perhaps, I will next time I visit.

My parents live in Shrewsbury which, this year, has been a little protected from the winter flooding by some new flood defences. There seems some dispute about the effectiveness of the defences. If you look at some of these pictures on BBC Shropshire’s site you would have thought that nothing had changed. I am not always glad to be living away from the river but at this time of year I certainly am.

On this day…

2004: Every Little Helps You Spend
2004: I Had No Idea That So Many People I The World Were So Gullible

Gym Buddy

In a fit of self deprecation, I mentioned in my last entry that you don’t care what I say here. So you won’t care if I turn you into an invisible friend (but unlike the version I had as a five-year old who was the excuse for opening the car door while traveling at speed) you, my imaginary friend, have a purpose. You see, you are going to be my gym buddy.

Ha, I hear you cry, you can’t find the time to go to the gym. Your busy social life precludes you from even contemplating exercise. Well, my trusty invisible friend, that is but a weak excuse and I am going to take you with me. I will not tolerate that lazy and unhealthy attitude. You see you are gaining the pounds (don’t tell me you only deal in kilos) and I am going to be the one to make you go and exercise and lose the flab. I won’t listen when you say you’re going to the pub (you should have joined me in giving up drink) and I won’t tolerate you going to sit in the sauna rather than working out. I won’t stand for your nervousness when entering the gym and I won’t listen when you say ‘but everyone’s looking at me’.

No, my invisible friend, we are commencing a journey and it’s for your own good.

And we start next Monday.

UPDATE: The alternative to you becoming my gum buddy was posting a picture of my ever-growing stomach on the site as a motivation. But then I thought I might be visiting you in hospital as you recovered from the shock so you can’t get out of it that way.

On this day…

2004: Love Revolution

Love Revolution

I know you don’t care at all but I was incorrect (here and here). The new Phixx single is not out until March 8th according to the newly designed Phixx official web site (which, to be honest, needs some work to work with Mozilla). See, I am launching a campaign for the acceptance of pop as a musical form with people over 16. You must chant ‘pop is good, pop is cool’ every morning and before you go to bed.

While on the subject, Caroline Cooper of carolinephotos.com has some great pictures of the Phixx boys including our favourite Man of the Moment, Andrew.

If you also look at Caroline’s site you will see some photographs of Liberty X taken in November 2003. They are labeled ‘Coronet’ which means they must have been taken at the one-off exclusive gig for World AIDS Day at The Coronet, London SE1 on Sunday 30th November 2003. Which means Caroline must have been one of the people wielding a big lens on that day. How do I know? I was there!

UPDATE: 9 Feb 2004 – I see the Phixx web site now works in Mozilla. Great.

On this day…

2004: Gym Buddy