Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jimmy Kimmel laying into Jay Leno

Now this is a presenter thinking on his feet. I can't believe Leno couldn't come up with a single riposte to any of Kimmel's remarks here.

I don't like that thing you like

British people seem to have gone a bit mad lately about television, especially the BBC, and what should or shouldn't be on it. People don't want to have to pay the salaries of Jonathan Ross or Frankie Boyle. They don't want subscription channels to get their precious sporting events. Even the comedian and New Statesman columnist Mark Watson, himself on the receiving end of "we shouldn't have to pay for this" complaints about his BBC 4 show We Need Answers, and a great fan of programming related to football (which I personally would rather nobody wanted to watch), would prefer it if there were fewer dance-related shows on the television and has (in jest, of course) asked for the number to be reduced.

I can't help thinking that everyone needs to calm down and stop wanting the stuff they don't like to be taken off the telly. Your telly is fine, believe me. You have no idea what it's like out there in other countries where they don't have the BBC. You really don't. Complaining about having to pay the license fee to pay the salaries of entertainers you don't like is a little like complaining about having to pay tax for a health service when you never get sick, or a school system when you don't have any children.

But it's easy for me to say, I don't pay for the BBC. Except I do, because I buy DVDs and I pay a Sky+ subscription which funds all those second-run channels that the BBC sells its shows into after they've run on the main channels. So I'm a customer as well. And I like dancing. And Jonathan Ross. Sometimes.

And, to add insult to injury, I, through my license fee, am required to pay the salary of this monstrosity. So you have nothing to moan about.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Roll on February

Okay, the first two weeks look like being a bit crap. Mrmonkey will be away, visiting the mothership and renewing his acquaintance with the endless ad breaks of U.S. television, and I will be here on my own.

But then will come the first gigs of spring, peeping out of the calendar like bright crocuses and acting like beacons to steer me through the rocky weeks of the mister's absence.

On February 14th we will be going to Vicar St. to see Midlake, one of our two favourite bands of the last ten years (yes, the Arcade Fire is the other one). To demonstrate how hotly I'm anticipating it, let me tell you that I am actually hoping they play tracks off their forthcoming album, because I could do with some new Midlake about the place.

Then, a mere four days later, we'll be going back to Vicar St. to see Dara Ó Briain. His gigs are a treat for people who (like me) love their comedy but get a bit fed up of the usual stand-up topics--women, eh? fat people, eh? chavs, eh? airlines, eh? Big Brother, eh?--and would like something just a little bit different and, yes, perhaps just a little bit nerdier. Reading the interview with Dara from yesterday's Irish Times (although the interview is a bit peculiarly written) whets the appetite, as does reminding myself of previous times we saw him in Vicar St.

All we need now is for the snow and ice to EFF OFF back up to the Arctic, and we can get on with getting through January and watching the crocuses come out.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bored Slippy

Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe (yes, that is his name) has decreed that our schools will remain closed until next Thursday. This is partly because of burst pipes, knackered heating systems, and the fact that many of our schools are in prefabs, which you couldn't possibly expect salaried members of the teachers' union, sorry, the precious children to use in this weather. Also, nobody can get to school because the roads and paths are all too slidey. Buses can't run, and nobody can walk anywhere without being afraid that they're going to fall over.

In a not unrelated development, the senior civil servant who has been appointed as our Bad Weather Czar (whose name I currently cannot find on Google) was on the radio this morning defending the fact that the Republic of Ireland's National Roads Authority buys the same amount of grit every year as does Northern Ireland's roads authority, despite the fact that NI has a quarter the road mileage that we have. He said that the government's priority was to ensure that "primary national routes" were kept clear.

Well that's all well and good for the people who live on "primary national routes" (which is almost nobody, except the elves who live in IKEA), but what about the rest of us mugs who live in glass-road housing estates and at the ends of little boreens halfway up hills? We can all just go and shite, can we?

Everyone's bored with this now. The weather isn't even all that bad. It's just that even a tiny fall of snow can break a crappy infrastructure.

And everywhere is sold out of Yaktrax. This winter is stupid. Roll on spring. When I will be going to London and Stockholm, assuming the ice age hasn't begun. If it has, I'm going to Rio.