Monday, February 26, 2007

It will not have escaped the attention of my more keen sighted readers (AMToNW) that this week’s episode of “Lewis” was penned by good old Alan Plater. Therefore we had a succinct and witty script, whereby such absurdities as appear to be integral to any cop show these days were cleverly disguised. I doubt whether Knacker of the Yard, or even Knacker of Oxford intersperses his conversation with quotes from T.S.Eliot in the real world, but it does make for entertaining television, and gives Mr Whately a chance to prove that he has some acting talent. Lewis, assigned to guard one of the main protagonists managed to be standing next to him when someone shot him. (Are you still with me? Do you know who was shot? Do you care?) This is far more in keeping with the image portrayed by our real boys in blue these days. Gross incompetence. But let that not detract from an episode that redeemed last week’s drivel, with witty dialogue, some nice photography and even a story in which the mystery was solved by detective work.


Some of you will wonder whether I attended the Oscars this year. Unfortunately, my presence drives Judi Dench and Helen Mirren into a jealous frenzy, and they have to be separated by security guards. I attended the after ceremony party by video link, where I managed to “dance” with Penelope Cruz by means of young Danny Craig holding a laptop computer at Penny’s face level during a particularly tortuous waltz. I find these events more tiresome, which may be due to my getting old, but quite honestly I think that I have heard virtually every dull tart in California burst into tears and thank their therapist at least three times.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dicks and balls

As a precursor to the normal weekend sports bit, let me first of all direct those of you who are still here in the direction of some friends in need of support.

Surly Girl – who is less than happy at the moment. Get over there now and give her a big hug.

Anna – going through a bit of a life changing period. Get over there and tell her that everything will be fine.

My new friend Arabella – who has just had some bits chopped off. Go and sit by her bed and tell her how you are going to decorate the spare bedroom this year.

In a blatant attempt to pick up the readership that has dropped off of late (Mrs Trellis has been unwell), I was going to comment on my friends at Livescience who have declared in a very scientific way that size does not matter. Yes, they are examining penises this week. “A penis longer than 8 inches can ram into the cervix and cause discomfort.” They begin their next paragraph with the heading “All in your head”. That is, I believe, taking things too far. Those of us blessed with physical deformities (in my case congenital ugliness) might be more reassured if the people reporting it were not Professor Twat and his absurd assistants.

Anyway, you can all stop here. I am going to write about cricket. Not just recent cricket, you understand, but ancient cricket. Things that happened years ago. Yes, I should be over it by now, but it behoves me to remind the world of grave injustices in the forlorn hope that these mistakes will not be made again. I was prompted to consider this by my good friends at Wisden who mentioned this episode in two recent issues of their monthly journal. It concerns two well known English cricketers, David Gower and Graham Gooch.

Graham Gooch was a batsman of mediocre talent by international standards, who through hard work and application became successful. He played for England for a long time. It seemed longer. He was dull. His shots were dull, his voice is dull (think of a high pitched Trevor Brooking) and he probably wears grey every day. I cannot remember anything about his cricket that is joyful, even the fact that he holds the record of having scored more runs in a match than anyone else.

David Gower was a genius. He had grace, elegance and amazing timing of his strokes. He didn’t care much for the ordinary. But everything that he did on the cricket field drew your attention. His strokeplay was sublime. Too good in fact, because there lived the constant fear in watching his innings that something so subtle could not last. (He was a contemporary of Ian Botham, and many prefer the style of Botham. I will not argue with them, that is their choice, but for me Gower was one of those who transformed cricket from a game into a religious experience. In the good sense of religious experience, that is.)

Unfortunately, the latter stages of Gower’s career coincided with a time when the twats who run English cricket decided that we needed to be more serious about the game, and Mickey Stewart was appointed as ubersturmfuhrer. I do not want to be cruel about Mickey Stewart*, but let us just say that he probably enjoyed Graham Gooch’s company. It was decided that these chaps needed to be a bit fitter in order to compete. This did not sit well with Gower, who did not need anything other than his natural talent in order to excel. He fell foul of Stewart, and more importantly Gooch who was the natural choice as England captain under the dour, dire and dull new regime. It was not just that Gower decided it would be a bit of a jape to divebomb an England game in a light aircraft on one day off, but his general failure to become boring that eventually led to Gooch being responsible for leaving him out of the team, and consequently to end his career.

Unforgiveable. Gooch is an arse, as indeed are his friends and successors. I have named them all before. Only in the last three or four years have there been England batsmen worth watching, after a very long period of crap. Bollocks to Gooch and his mates. I hope his bails drop off.

* Actually, I do want to be cruel about Mickey Stewart. He is an arse.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Several of you – you know who you are – have attempted to draw my attention to the television series “Life on Mars”, as it occurred to them that I might find it preferable to the dismal and dim “Lewis”.

I watch “Life on Mars” anyway, as it falls into the category that I make a point of watching – i.e. “any old rubbish”.

I have to tell you that “Life on Mars” does not match up to the standards of “The Sweeney” (which wasn’t one of my favourites, anyway). I will try to justify this statement.

The leading characters are portrayed in a mediocre fashion. Philip Glenister does not match up to John Thaw as Regan. The actor playing thingy, you know, the other one, reminds me too much of someone who used to be in Coronation Street – Trevor? Martin? Penelope? – I dunno. The whole series is too much of a caricature. Tonight’s episode featured the good old chestnut of a bent copper. This time a detective superintendent who was organising armed robberies. Every third rate series uses that device as an indication that the writers have run out of ideas. “Dalziel and Pascoe”, which has long since dropped out of the bottom of the “any old rubbish” category, even had one episode where they arrested the Chief Constable and his assistant. So, sorry, it did not do the trick.

My all time favourite Brit cop series was “Strangers”. It had the lead parts played by Don Henderson and Mark McManus (looked a bit like Alex Ferguson. On the day that United lost twelve nil to Arsenal), and had Thorley Walters and sometimes Richard Vernon to raise the standard even further. It was clever. I quite like that. I don’t mind stuff that you don’t have to think about, but clever is best.

I suppose I am going to have to write a series myself. I might subvert Wyndham’s idea of investing the hero with the characteristics of different detectives, and give him a really silly superhero power, such as the ability to curdle milk by power of thought. Although Wyndham’s idea bears some investigation. I would like to see Lewis dressed as Miss Marple (the Margaret Rutherford version of course), and that buffoon Lynley dress as Columbo.

“Between the Lines”. That was a good one. Tom Georgeson, he’s a bloody good actor isn’t he? And yes, I know given that what I said about bent coppers earlier it is not without some irony that I commend a series that was about nothing else, but this is my bloody blog, and I can do what I like, so shut it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Get your trousers on - you're nicked.

Let me warn any of you out there tempted to watch the drama series called “Lewis” that it is just as fatuous as “Morse” ever was.

I stopped watching Morse when I realised that every episode featured at least two, but usually three people getting murdered, with the ace detective having failed to detect any of the guilty parties, followed by a chase at the end in which he failed to prevent someone else being murdered. Lewis is different. The episode I just watched feature two people getting murdered, with the ace detective having failed to detect any of the guilty parties, followed by a chase at the end in which he failed to prevent someone else being murdered.

Morse is dead, I expect he and three of his family were murdered.

The series is set in Oxford. There are now more dead bodies in Oxford belonging to people whom Morse and Lewis failed to protect than there are live inhabitants. I guess the citizens are not paying enough in local taxes. I hope Lewis turns up in the new series of “The Wire”. His accent is not quite impenetrable, but he is certainly dim, and I suspect that he would be murdered within the first ten minutes. I for one would applaud it.

The pretentiousness around the series is also emetic in its effect. There was a scene in the recent episode which featured a string quartet playing in a chapel. It had nothing to do with the plot, but I suspect that there is some contractual obligation with the burghers of Oxford that forces the TV production company to portray the city as a centre of culture. This is reinforced by the tepid dirge of “music” that accompanies the action. It is a different tepid dirge to the Morse theme tune, but very similar in effect. It will shortly be released on a CD called “Music to mourn the passing of your gerbil by”. Oxford is not a centre of culture, it is just an ordinary town with lots of old buildings. Some of you may be fascinated by old stuff, but, as I have said before and hope to live long enough to say again, I just don’t get it.

And now if I say that I am yearning for the days of Regan and Carter, my non-Brit friends will think that I have lost my political bearings.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

In recognition of the support that I have received from you for my previous post, I thought I would alienate you all (aMToNW) by writing about sport (goodbye girls), rugby (goodbye non-Brits) and something that caught my attention on the Sky Sports (goodbye everyone else … apart from the twat Rupert, that is).

This week marked the official retirement from rugby union of the suave and sophisticated shrinking violet, Graham Rowntree. Over the last seventeen seasons he has been one of the best players in the world, not in the top flight, but quite close, and has had more than a little success.

However, it his appearance rather than his accomplishments that epitomise the wonderful game that is Rugby.

What do you think girls? A rival for Brad Pitt? Or Dennis Franz? Pamela, does this get your juices flowing? Martha, isn’t he cute?

They did a very nice tribute to him on Rugby Club on Sky Sports this week. I shall miss him, he has gone on to be a coach at Leicester, alongside his former playing partner Richard Cockerill, who could always be relied on to give away three penalties every game. Usually in the first 10 minutes.


But, as everything in the world is balanced, there came a disappointment. I do not watch much news on TV. I manage to keep informed by reading the BBC website, finding out who is dead from the Torygraph online, apart from, of course, my regular conversations with Downing Street, and picking up the gossip when I drop in to the Palace. I do, however, sometimes tune into Al Jazeera to get a different view on what is important, and it is often quite informative. Earlier today, for example, they were doing an investigation of the meth problem in the USA, which I hadn’t seen covered in quite the same way before. This evening, however, I discovered that they have David Frost on regularly. I support balance in reporting, but there is no need for Al Jazeera to contribute crap, there are plenty of other channels doing that.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Join with me, if you will, in mourning the passing of a dear friend who comforted me over many years, and has now gone to a better place.

Yesterday, I saw the final episode of NYPD Blue. I can barely begin to imagine what life will be like without it.

The substitutes will just not do. Waking the Dead seems to be the best the Brits can offer at the moment, passable, even though it has the unbearably smug git Trevor Eve in the lead, and is unnecessarily silly at times.

I will have to hope that the fourth series of the Wire, which began this week, will live up to the quality of the other three. It is small comfort.

I saw NYPD Blue from the beginning, and despite the best efforts of moronic schedulers on channel 4, saw most episodes, I guess. I survived the early episodes which had that even smugger git David Caruso in them. We were even subjected to his naked body on screen, but I persevered, and eventually it became clear that there was no alternative but to let Dennis Franz become the star of the show. He out-acted all of the others, including Jimmy Smits. The show was controversial early on because of the amount of nudity. I had no particular opinion about this, but if pressed would have explored the possibility of Kim Delaney appearing nude in all of her scenes as an experiment in modern television.

And now there is to be no more.

Please support me in these days of sadness.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


In case any of my regular readers (aMToNW) have posted something emetic about February the 14th on their journal, and I haven't got around to commenting with something in keeping with my sentiments about this piss awful celebration of the execution of this god bothering nonentity please leave a message here, and I will be right over to put you straight.
Add to the list of what the Romans did for us the remedy of how to deal with Jehovah's Witnesses.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hello! Hello! Are you still there?

I am obliged to my dear friends at Livescience, (yet again, they are just so damned funny) who reveal this week the little known (according to them) secrets of the micro-organisms that live on our skin.

Among other gems is the revelation (we all knew this didn’t we?) that each of us have our own unique combination of species, and in some cases may have bacteria that inhabit only us. How they will ever prove this, short of flaying each one of us, remains to be seen.

Once again our friends in the scientific community dwell on differences rather than similarities. Here they are gravely mistaken.

Like our race, dwelling on the surface of this once beautiful planet, they have more in common as far as their worries and aspirations are concerned than is generally acknowledged.

They spend their days in selfish activities, busying themselves with conduct that will ultimately destroy their host, and only in the latter days do they start to question their actions.

My bacteria recently held a conference (a sort of expanded United Nations, if you will) where they discussed such nonsense as why their planet had been expanding throughout its life, whether this was normal, why the north pole was changing colour, whether there was a meltdown in the north polar ice cap, and why, although beauty had never been an outstanding feature compared to nearby visible planets, a marked aesthetic deterioration was occurring.

None of them seemed to grasp the very simple concept that their own activities were responsible for much of this, and with some careful planning and sensible behaviour they might work together to prolong the life of the planet for enough time for them to find a way of safely migrating to another similar life supporting one before it eventually burns out.

I have been trying to tell them this for years, it is vital that to humanity that my existence is prolonged, but the stupid little fuckers won’t listen.