Saturday, 31 July 2010

Your TV licence and you.

In days of your, mine too, when even the BRW, British Relay Wireless Co, weekly subscriptions included an element of the radio licence fee, no one had to buy a further licence to listen to the BBC via their rental radio. (More of a loudspeaker on a wire to a volume/selector switch actually).

Nowadays though, long long after the abolition of the wireless licence, subscriptions to all sorts of television providers are now rife. In fact, the SKY is not the limit in this field and VIRGIN are hardly virgins. Just keep your direct debits in order and you can sit back and think of England; land of the TV licence.

Yes, that little bit of statute that must be obeyed if you own anything capable of receiving television signals as they are being radiated, piped in or illicitly tapped into, is known affectionately by the BBC as your television licence. In fact even if Aliens try to contact you with old re-runs of ‘My Favourite Martian’ you must still be licensed before you can offer them a trip to your leader; if under Seventy-Five. (You that is... Your leaders age is not specified in the terms).

I of course fully recognise why the Writers Guild of GB are in favour of the licence fee and who could blame them? A fair days pay for a fair days work, plus repeat fees, has to be funded somehow if Aunty Beeb wants to use their worthy artistic merriments.

But hang on, Aunty is hardly the only program whisperer these days. Satellites and Cables carry all kinds of programming from sources other than the BBC even if a lot of them are actually repeats of BBC in times gone by. With a few ads during these old gems they are self supporting surely? In fact we paid for the licence on them when they were new anyway. But can we have a refund called a repeat fee for these? Does Father Christmas exist? Same answer.

So what do I see as a better way? Simply this. Subscriptions to program providers should somehow include the licence fee. Why pay twice? I refer you to the conclusions you arrived at earlier.

Incidentally, I wonder why the gas or electric cooker or the metal washing line, or a million other things around the house that are just as capable of picking up live colour TV signals aren’t licensed too under such rules? Oops! Better change that subject in case I ever get readers. (Our leader wouldn’t need to be a Seventy-Five year old to make use of that fact).

There’s some good news for black and white viewers though and that was not actually a racist remark because I was referring to folks who only have a monochrome TV set. The powers that be think programs can be made cheaper for such lucky people.

Ah well, look at the time, I must end here now. My program will be on soon and I haven’t set the +box to record it.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Feng Shui Fact or Myth?

Well now, because Feng Shui has been well documented for centuries down the timelines in China and their environs, Feng Shui, ‘Fung Schway’ pronounced, has a legit claim to an 'In your face' existence here nowadays.

Therefore it simply follows that if you cough up the going rate, a Feng Shui Doctor will advise you to put your furniture all round the room and leave the middle clear. Wish I’d have thought of that one first… I could have patented the concept. You’d never believe how many times I’ve walked into that coffee table and oddly enough, Fung Schway seems to rhyme with my utterances every time I do so.

Looking on the positive side though, I understand that the Feng Shui art of arranging furniture can lead to good fortune and prosperity. (A ploy worth investigating for the bedroom if you subscribe to an even older profession I would have thought). Seriously though, if I’d have paid up front for a Feng Shui bedroom visit, then I may have been advised to move the TV out from behind the wardrobe so that I could see it easier. I worked it out for myself in the end anyway and saved the money. Truly the force was with me that day…

Nowadays though, because Feng Shui is establishing itself in the Western World it's good news if your kitchen door keeps banging into the fridge. For the agreed fee, a Feng Shui specialist can advise you to turn the door around.

XXX Warning! Please don’t try that at home without a screwdriver! XXX

While in the kitchen though, if you think it’s troubled, the advisable way forwards is to bung some sea salt all over the floor and leave it for a day.  If that advice is worth it’s salt then all your troubles will be over apart from needing more sea salt of course.

‘Lo salt’ is better for you I've been told because it contains less Sodium. Oh, Sorry, that was a quote from a real Doctor.

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Gatwick Express service

Coming home from Brighton to East Croydon last Monday evening, my Wife and I travelled on the Gatwick Express service. Not that we wanted to alight at Gatwick then but it was scheduled to stop at East Croydon and so we were happy for the fast train service home and what a fast service it was too. The usual tannoy announcements told us that we were on the Gatwick Express service as we pulled out of Brighton station dead on time and in no time at all we had arrived back at East Croydon station. We got off of that Gatwick Express train there thinking how fast we had made it back home. And all because the train was not scheduled to stop at Gatwick. We went through that busy Airport station like a dose of salts.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Product Placement

Is Jim on his way back inn? Oh yes, how my age is showing now … Jack Edwardes, the pipe smoking Farmer Jack who once teamed up with his old R A F colleague, Charlie Drake as Mick and Montmorency, was one of our regulars in Jim’s Inn; the most popular fifteen minutes of ‘Ad Mag’ on British TV in 1957. Ah yes, the ‘Ad Mags’… Where communicating was seldom confused with shouting and dirt never went with a bang. Gone too were our time-slot ads… Time to light a Red and White? (Not)!

Well at least tobacco products are still at the top of the taboo-co list and never to be puffed upon again for all to see… But not so long ago Embassy were once replaced by Betfred in the Snooker world so I bet you will still be able to happily gamble away folks.

Product placing though, must be the only way forward for advertisers to get value for money nowadays. Well they still haven’t worked out how to sell you anything while you’re belting through the commercial breaks doing +30 have they? Naturally no one wants to sit through ‘We buy any car’ or ‘Go compere’ and so the +30 box is a must for our sanity. However, I imagine that advertisers are now getting raw deals that way. Well I myself can whiz through a break so fast that I find myself watching the next program by accident.

Mind you, sometimes just the pack-shot artwork is sufficient for product placing as well. Like the time it seemed as if Eastender folk only ever shopped at Lidl’s. Maybe that’s why none of them have ever owned a washing machine in Walford? Lidl’s don’t sell them. Okay so my income bracket is showing now. But a bogof has got to do what a bogof has got to do.

I don’t see that product placement will be too bad a thing on balance though, unless a soap episode will one day attempt to portray Wynne Evans on a karaoke night. Go some other street and Compere Perlease!

But will the writer be asked to account for the cat food tin because his/her screen family only keep a dog? Will the place look untidy if they cannot put the teabag box back in the cupboard out of the way? Will their mobile screenshots say this text is from T-Mobile?

Spot the Sainsbury’s bean tin and win a shopping spree. Hopefully!
Yes, 'Bring on the Wall’s' I say, but remember, there will be one product that will still attack our annual coppers with complete disregard for any added coppers earned from products placed and that will be our TV license fee of course. The Bill and Holby Blue coppers may now be laying in bitten dust like our distant ‘Ad Mags’ that were aired Five years even before Brian Blessed became a copper but our TV licence coppers will stiil be current.

Anyway, if we are soon to be offered a laugh from wall to wall advertising, then let’s just lie back on our couches and think of England, land of the TVRO.
* * *
Ah yes, I actually do remember when ‘The Esso sign’ did actually used to mean happy motoring. But will the Corrie Cab firm drivers have tiger tails hanging fron their filler caps now? No of course not… Not everyone will remember the ads of happier commercials gone by. Oh yes, how my age is showing now. On the plus side though, I’m less than Four years away now before I get a freebie TV licence. What A pity that will be… I hardly watch television.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Seven Across

In an operation code named '7 Across,' police made an early morning swoop on the London home of Professor Peter Glossop, the UKs number one authority on English literature. At a secret location in London, Police now have 36 hours to question Professor Glossop over the crossword clues that they are currently investigating.A Police spokesperson made this following statement earlier today.”Although we take our duties to the public very seriously indeed, we also view our break times just as seriously too and when we get stuck for an answer to our weekly crossword competition entry, then the full weight of the law must be used to contain such an unfortunate situation. We had no alternative therefore, but to respond accordingly.”

When asked about their current progress, the following statement was issued.

“Although it’s true that our investigations have been fruitless so far, the Intelligence we have now gathered during the questioning of professor Glossop indicates that the correct answer to three down, ‘How many mice are mentioned in the nursery rhyme Three Blind Mice;’ could in fact be Three and not Sixty as we had first focussed our attentions on. However, if this is proven to be the situation, then seven across, ‘Who had an adventure in Wonderland,’ was not ‘Tommy’ as we first suspected and so the hunt for a name ending in E is now underway with a fingertip search of all possible dictionaries. We cannot rule out at this stage however, that the name we wish to investigate may not belong to a male.”

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Vatican as I see it

What God of supposed love would let us go to war after war killing his supposedly loved ones? The same God who allows ordained preachers into the armed forces? What God would say my will must be carried out only by men? What God would drag you out of a relaxing bath tub to answer the door to a Jehovah’s witness?

What God then, would allow the Vatican stand that it would be criminal to ordain a woman; more so apparently than men of the cloth abusing children.

This is the Vatican, the defender of it’s own faith, who preaches celibacy for the ordained and shares a view that women should be treated equally, as long as they don’t attempt to be equal.

Now obviously no one is suggesting for one moment that paedophilia is a pre-requisite to the job of priesthood but they do have to learn to go to work on a Sunday morning so as to tell you that you should not work on a Sunday because it is a day of rest. They would even use an electric light to see you with which was powered by Sunday workers. Yes and answer the phone too on a Sunday as long as the phone provider does not head their words and stay off work for the day.

Are we still in the dark ages? Albeit we are now in the twenty-first century?

Hey hang on though… Just who said this is the twenty-first century anyway? Oh yes, I remember now, We mostly all started the count again from the birth of the Son of God. (Don’t get me on that one)! Okay so it was BC out and AD in. Does this mean then that God is living his dream of world domination through his Son now? Like Mothers who put their Daughters on the stage? Noel told Mrs. Worthington not to do that!

Teaching religion as always seemed like child abuse to me anyway. Instilled while unable to work out things for themselves. There must be millions of non practicing Atheists nowadays who attend church sometimes. Belts and braces being their Lordly quandary.

God help us if religion is true. Amen. (Not Awomen).