Thursday, 26 August 2010

Daytime TV blues

Am I missing something here? I can never work out why Jeremy Kyle should be allowed on television?

Having said that though, I wish he would call me a liar without him having a shred of proof in front of his claim of 1.8 million viewers. Try disproving that in a court of law even if the viewing figures were different. He will always claim he is only trying to be helpful and I agree there. His attitude could help people to win some nice damage claims. (Maybe some more after that too for repeat fees)?

Every time he shouts, “Get off my stage,” as if he owns it, I think of Peggy Mitchell. “Get out of my pub.”

I admit to being luckier than the Kyle show viewers in that I am not one. So what have I got to moan about then? There are countless other channels to watch if I want to watch daytime TV surely? Well yes of course there are and most are more entertaining than J K. Some of those test cards are very nice to look at too. However that is not my point. My point is that production companies that air such downgrading peeks into dysfunctional families are trying to show us something, which in their opinion, is worth watching. Again, plus repeat fees. Try telling the manager in Asda to turn off all his tellies while you are trying to purchase a copy of ‘Radio Times’ without having to hear the aggravating-grating-irritating drone of, “You need to get your life sorted out Mate!!!!!!!!!!”

No, I need to get out of this shop actually! Has anybody ever looked JK up in a search engine? Go compere.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Autotuning. Why? Why not?

What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you use autotuner on me?
Plug it in now, and I’ll sing you a song, so it sounds like I’m singing in key,
Oooh I get by with a bit of help from my autotuner. Hmmm I get by with a bit of help from my autotuner.
Well why not I say… If your autotuner has the X factor then bring it on.

Autotuner? Well it certainly isn’t a mind bending rocket science but it is a pitch bender that will help you to sing in tune for your supper or your X Factor auditions. Nobody lies on British TV surely? (Rocket science? See PS/. below).

An autotuner is a devise used in live performance and studio sessions these days. It is a piece of electronic ingenuity that no one at the birth of cylinder recording history could have ever foreseen. It makes you sound like you’re actually singing in tune and not flat out.  There must be two sides to the question of need though. Why? / Why not?

The why is quite easy and straightforward and can be best answered by proprietors in the cooked meat industry. “Why sell meat when you can sell water?” Go compere!

So… Okay, fair enough, you’ve paid to download your fav track, (hopefully), and are now entitled to sit back and enjoy it without the bum notes that would have costs extra recording hours to perform without an autotuner. Your download sounds well recorded and everyone’s a winner.

Why not?
Because the word winner cuts both ways here. If you hear something you like on a program such as the ‘The X Factor’ for instance, you may just be tempted to shell out to make a phone call in support to show how much you care.  Never mind all that autocue stuff about the lines are now closed so please don’t vote now as your vote won’t be counted but you still may be charged.   NO ONE TELLS ME WHAT TO DO,  PASS ME THAT PHONE!!!

Autocue? Naw. No one cares about how presenters didn’t have to learn their lines all day. This is all about autotuner not autocue! An autocue is merely a device to read lyrics by while singing off key to your autotuner.

But who would you be declaring an undying love for in any phone vote? The shy girl / guy with the nervous twitch or the sound engineer? After all, whoever presses all your right buttons is ticking all your right X boxes but it may not be possible to use your auto-dialler for the phone vote though.

In Rocket science. Escape velocity is achieved at a speed at which the kinetic energy of an autotuner plus the gravitational potential energy of a dud singer is nothing to phone home about. (Not a lot of people don’t know that).

Sunday, 22 August 2010

On Yer Bike

Now that the London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has initiated a cycle sharing scheme with Barclays to pop around town on, I suppose it’s understandable that we are asked to pay twice plus to borrow a bike from them. After all, Bank charges are Bike charges are Bike charges are Bank charges.

So… How do you get yer not yer own bike? Well a key must firstly be obtained for a fee of £3. Then armed with your key, you can unlock a charge to access a non crossbar heavy bike with it.

But that is not as good as it gets, (for Boris at Barclays anyway). A second charge is levied on any usage over Thirty minutes. (A quid for thirty minutes and ten seconds).

For up to the first hour then, the charge is merely set at £1, (on top of your preliminary shell outs). However, for two weeks of solid hire it would be cheaper to buy your own bike with lots of gears and a lock and chain to keep it safe with. The later being a no go area for the London Cycling Scheme. No locks are provided by them and their gears are limited to three. (A push bike is a push bike).

However, you would also be allowed, by force if need be, to compensate up to £300 for any damages. Well they are built like army tanks with a front shopping basket and army tanks with front shopping baskets are expensive.

Yet can you imagine a London Taxi driver charging you for having his/her ignition keys ready to go, over and above the minimum fare to be paid at destination? Not a Mayor in London would be amused if the BUPA of the road tried that one on.

It would be the same then for the NHS travel of the road as well. (Busses),

“I know you’ve just successfully dabbed on your Oyster card Sir, but this bus is not moving until you pay the fee for holding your brolly up to me as I approached this request stop!”

But back to bikers united… what do they get for their UK Pounds? Well there’s all those cycle lanes nearly everywhere you go and not all of them have delivery drivers parked in them while they’re earning a crust or illegally parked cars. And the advice you’ll get from motorists if you complain about them making you wobble would be the most colourful you may have ever heard.

Third party insurance is included in your simple hire agreement I admit but it’s so simple that there’s not even a ‘No claims bonus’ to be had after years of patronage.

Now in my own opinion cyclists should be banned from all public roads because they are slow and dangerous without rear-view mirrors. The majority of them are colour blind at red traffic lights too. Maybe Alfred Lord Tennyson had a bike when he wrote The Charge of the Light Brigade? Or was he just whinging about his electric bill?

However, white van drivers to right of them, white van drivers to left of them, white van drivers in front of them maybe but who hasn’t cringed when a Mother on an old bike with a child in a seat behind her starts weaving in and out of their blind spots?

Yet can you imagine what would happen if the cycle was to be a 21st century invention? No government could allow the public to balance about on two wheels through congested traffic. They would be classified as weird skateboarders for the purpose of certifying.

Of course we all know that as well as birthdays and un-birthdays, Santa also brings Christmas presents to little boys and girls with a dubious claim of being good over the previous year. We also know as well that a bike is sometimes requested, nay, ordered, to go with the new laptop and the wii games list. Well why not, most credit cards will run to that. Who needs theatre tickets anyway?

A toy is a toy and children enjoy playing with toys. A trip along the pavement with stabiliser wheels intact has always been great fun. Startle a dear old lady for extra points.

“Look Mum, no hands.”


“Look Mum, no teeth.”

Once puberty kicks in though and Santa has refused your order for a sports car by telling you to get out of bed and get yourself a job to buy your own with, you shouldn’t feel the need anymore to take your toys out into the road. Surely?

We all know it’s unlawful to ride a bike after dark without lights, unlawful to ride on the footpath and unlawful to have a passenger on the cross bar but the average is three out of three on that score because Police are powerless against such behaviour. They don’t have bikes anymore!

I was walking along the sea front in Brighton recently. I was on the footpath and not in the road when an irate woman came up behind me on a bike ringing her little tinker bell thing at me.

“Get off the cycle track you moron,” she shouted above the gulls.

I’ve been called worse though, so nah nah ni nah nah to her! (See PS/.).

Apparently, although I was on a footpath, that particular footpath also contained a designated cycle lane in it’s contract despite National legislation to the contrary. A different slant on the Brighton lanes or what?

Here’s an idea… Make racing cars stay on race tracks and ban them from our public highways.

Oh sorry, we achieved that years ago. All right then, here’s another idea… Make cycles stay on cycle tracks and ban them from our public highways (and seaside pavements). Well that’s how I see things at least.

PS/.Yep. I’ve actually been called ‘A loud mouthed sex maniac’ before. It wasn’t true though. Of course I haven’t got a loud mouth!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Was there a UFO cover up?

I’ve just seen a news item on Sky. Apparently Winston Churchill covered up a UFO story during the war to avoid a mass panic. I wonder if there is any truth in that one?

Well we are told that there are more planets in the universe than grains of sand on all of our beaches so really if we were to deny the existence of UFO visitations then we would probably just be burying our heads in the universe. A ploy that keeps the ostriches happy. Naturally of course a UFO to us is merely a FO to them and perhaps if they ever land here and become a nuisance we could just ask them to FO again.

“Take me to your leader.”

“Well he’s not in there Mate, You may be pointing to the Green Mann pub but the Green party will never be elected to lead us so you can stop looking down both your noses at me.”

Mind you, at least we can all work out why aliens are seen as green people.
It’s because they build space ships that constantly revolve all the time on their travels. I mean even if they can reach us in just Five years of travelling, they’d be pretty green when they finally get here after all that revolving. Not to mention their need to eat. Just imagine a good fry up every morning while spinning through space for a few years.

I wonder what they do for entertainment though? Watching our TV is off. They wouldn’t have a licence! Card games I suppose. ‘Get dressed poker would be a good idea. It’s like strip poker in reverse. Why not. Surely they haven’t built washing machines into their saucers as well? Maybe that’s why they are depicted as almost nude. Okay, we know there are no washing machines in Walford either but they shouldn’t know that without a TV licence.

I pity the little alien kids at their local fairgrounds though.

“Dad, can I go on that rocket ship ride?”

“No Son certainly not. Anything that travels in a straight line like that thing should be banned by law. I’ve never seen anything as dangerous as that in all my lives!”

“Can I go on the roundabout then Dad?”

“That’s my Boy. We’ll make a green man out of you yet Son. Your Mother will be proud of you. She’ll be able to see you going round. She’s only over by that cafĂ© enjoying a cup of green tea.”

Monday, 2 August 2010

A true BBC rejection letter excuse

Awhile ago now, I posted off a completed sitcom script to Aunty Beeb. Albeit that it was centred around a driving instructor, I wrote in a way that a live audience could see most of it being made.

For months I researched the subject and card indexed my characters while leaving out the obvious gags about crash courses in order to let the character interaction tell a believable comedy.

After it had been re written awake and in dreams until I was sick of it and then re written again I was finally ready for my baby to leave home with a single regulation split pin binder; top left.

“Not Making A Dent,” featuring Arthur Dent and his family told the sitcom story of Arthur Dent starting out as a one man driving instructor.

Long since had gone all the unwanted scenes of Arthur working for someone else as a franchised self employed tutor before deciding to go it alone.

Scene one came in late and left early in textbook fashion as did the rest of the script double spaced in 12pt Arial.

Weeks passed since the postcard acknowledgement until one day finally out of the blue, I received answers to my work. My baby had come back home again covered in it’s own SAE with a message from Aunty with words to the effect of.

“Your characters are believable and well thought out. Not Making A Dent is a good humorous concept. I’m sorry to say however that we are not looking to develop it further. This is because I have had a word with a driving instructor friend who liked your script but he tells me that if your lone school car is ever involved in an accident then the plot would fail.”

I wrote back and thanked them for the feedback and pointed out that I had no intention of writing an accident into the series. No worries.

They replied again. "Thank you for your submission. However with the volume of submissions we get every year, we are unable to enter into any feedback but we wish you well with your work."

I kid you not…