Beyond Satire

One Both of these TV shows is are fake:

Grief Digestion Theatre

Live plays performed by a cast consisting entirely of people who’ve been informed of the death of a close relative a mere eighteen seconds before stepping onstage. This week: Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen.

The Big Donor Show

A terminally ill woman selects one of three needy patients to receive her kidney helped by live, interactive voting from an entire nation.

It’s getting hard to tell these days isn’t it? If you’re still wondering, check here and here. Charlie, how right you were . . . . .

Yes, along with the BBC and CNN et al, I was hoaxed.

Fanta Vier in London

Uncle Pauly’s Kraut Pop guide.

Fanta Vier in London

Caught the Vier last night in Kentish town’s Forum. Despite the change of date and venue the lads were greeted by a very appreciative, largely German audience who went wild when four blokes ambled on stage with Teutonic timekeeping at 9pm on the dot . . . cue sheepish grins all round as we realised that this four weren’t the four but were the backing musicians (including one keyboard player who looked incredibly like David Mitchell from Peep show) – I blame the lighting.

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The business of presenting . . .

Are you one of those folks who listens to the radio in complete ignorance of what’s required of the person speaking to you? Do you listen to Nicky Campbell’s polished Scots in the morning and think I could do that nae bother? Do you marvel at Kirsty Young’s (even more) polished Scots on Radio 4 and think: ‘just what is there to this presenting lark?’ Do you sneer at Galloway on Talksport as he effortlessly runs through another 60 minute diatribe and mock radio hosts for earning a crust doing something a child of seven could manage? Maybe you scoff at James Naughtie as he (yet again) interviews Bruce Anderson on the joys of an eighteenth century diet? Do you listen to Robin Lustig effortlessly skewer another African dictator and think what an easy life?
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Chance Encounters . . .

Yesterday I bumped into an old colleague on the streets of Islington in north London. This is the third time in about 15 years that I’ve randomly met someone I used know in what must rank as one of the world’s most populous cities. In a place with a population of 7.5 million the question, is this above or below average?

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Archipelagic icicles . . .

The thorny subject of lyrics cropped up again last night at the Eurovision song contest. Ireland’s entry came in at second bottom – 23rd place – with a true abomination. Any song containing the words “Archipelagic icicles” deserves everything it got . . .

Me and my flatmate started to watch the Eurovision contest last night in the search of some amusement. Was it me or was last night’s show a new low in Eurovision’s sordid history? After 5 songs I called it a night . . . woeful . . . and not even Terry Wogan’s asides (“Now this one’s a bad-tempered lookin’ lassie”) could save it. I’d love to see a documentary examining the reaction of a cross-section of Americans watching this gore-fest. Time to retire the Eurovision?

The Beeb’s Worst Lyrics . . .

BBC 6 Music has a poll of the top ten worst ever song lyrics. The results were based on the suggestions of more than 2,000 listeners to the station and while I agree there are some hideous examples of songwriting I can’t let Black Sabbath’s entry at number #10 go . . .

# 10 Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Generals gathered in their masses,
Just like witches at black masses.

Now War Pigs is no deep meditation on the nature of war but it’s a damn good example of straightforward spleen-venting and I think this harmless piece of repetition says more about BBC 6 Music’s all too knowing audience than anything about Ozzy’s songs. Besides, when you listen to the track the duplication isn’t immediately obvious. In other words the lyric fits the music well, which is the essence of a good song I would suggest.

Also, am I the only one who thinks the number #2 entry . . .

# 2 Snap – Rhythm Is A Dancer
I’m as serious as cancer,
When I say Rhythm is a Dancer.

. . . is actually quite good?