Wednesday, December 19, 2007



This is quite a badly written piece as well by the BBC journalist and the same four-line quotation is repeated twice in five paragraphs. If the Beeb does have to sack 1,800 journalists, and if Jonathan Ross really is worth 18 million, then this writer could well find themselves clearing their desk.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Around Every Corner

I thought this picture was a rather extreme example of some of the terrifying sights the service personal encounter in Iraq on a daily basis.

Friday, December 07, 2007

God Bothering

I’ve read some pretty barmy stuff in my time but I think this story about a judge in India ‘summoning’ two Hindu Gods to help in a legal dispute is the most preposterous and ridiculous thing I might have ever read. It is made all the more brilliant by the BBC’s utter lack of humour and completely straight reporting.

When you look at the details of the story it takes on an even higher levels of incredulity. I quote: “The gods have been asked to appear before the court on Tuesday, after the judge said that letters addressed to them had gone unanswered.”

The letters went unanswered? How surprising. But the reasons for this are that, “Judge Singh sent out two notices to the deities, but they were returned as the addresses were found to be "incomplete".

What on earth ‘did’ he put on the envelopes?

So he has taken out an advert in newspapers – because all deities read the news – although surely being Gods, they know everything anyway? Unperturbed the notice states:

"You failed to appear in court despite notices sent by a peon and later through registered post. You are hereby* directed to appear before the court personally.”

That will definitely work.

The year 2007 – legal disputes between Gods and priests – letters and adverts to the Gods asking them to appear in person in court sent by a judge – unbelievable.


*The spelling on the BBC website is herby.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's Not News

A learned friend of mine recently wrote a blog about the low-level news reporting that takes place on BBC News in the mornings. Today I saw a piece that final did for me in my frustration at this version of ‘news’ they offer us.

They had KT Tunstall (looking utterly mental in big owl glasses, and wearing a spangley black and silver top – at 8am!) "teaching" their sports reader (??) to play the guitar on the basis it linked in to some new initiative. They showed some pre-recorded footage of her teaching him some chords (it was even less exciting than it sounds) and then in studio, live on-air, while I was getting ready to go to work, they spent about 2 minutes fawning over her and him as a teacher / student dynamic and then he proving what a good teacher she was by playing the ‘E’ chord, very badly.

It's 8am! All I want is travel information from the local London news, and some good, crisp news reporting and comment on stories that might be worth knowing about. I don’t mind hearing about a new music initiative, but only a) if it’s one of the lighter, last stories in the bulletin, and b) it doesn’t involve celebrities (Why do we HAVE to have “celebrities” for everything?) and c) if you have to have inane froth save it for BBC News 24 which is a joke of a TV channel anyway.

Yes I could listen to the radio, but I shouldn’t have to choose. I don’t like the radio in the morning; I find it hard to concentrate on, too noisy, and impossible to pick up a continually clear signal. Plus there is no guarantee you will escape this banality there - see.

In short: No KT Tunstall teaching sports presenters the guitar at 8am when they should be reporting on stories such as, the government in disarray, police officers getting away with crimes, and the ‘best story of the year’.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Comment, context and criticism

Morrissey’s response on the Guardian blogs section is very interesting – for many reasons – but for me the most interesting side is his very cutting and succinct arguments on why the NME is a pathetic shadow of its former self, full of “cheers mate, got pissed last night, ha ha” interviews.

It’s a pretty fair summation and is very interesting coming from a man who has appeared on the cover, and even been awarded their “God-like Genius” award. Mercifully he turned it down.

Whether or not he answers the accusations of racism is up to you – perhaps Morrissey was merely stating a few home truths in relation to the past and the present? Or that perhaps what he was saying was neither a Black or White statement but merely a ‘shades of grey’ comment on the changing face of British society? That these changes have brought positives and negatives? That perhaps looking at his comments in the context of history would put them in perspective – and let newspapers like The Guardian provide better coverage of the whole self-indulgent affair then they did?

Perhaps, but context, history, and ‘shades of grey’ are never good for selling newspapers and getting website hits.