Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a funny old world

Here we are then, the shortest day in living memory (of 2009) and the day before we (I) finish for Christmas. I can't wait.

My apologies to my readership (Hi Mum! Hi Dad!) for dropping off so suddenly from the blogging world. Moving to a new job of news reporting makes time a lot more precious each and every day, rather than a monthly/bi-monthly print magazines where busy-ness came in waves, rather than as a bubbling river (oh, a nice water metaphor there).

Snow and ice (more water!) on the ground makes things feel wintery doesn’t it? I remember being in Cardiff in 2005 and it being boiling hot on the last day of term and my personal tutor telling me he could remember snow being 2ft high and university closing in late November as it was impossible for anyone to get in. So I suppose global warming is in some ways very real? Is that right?

It's been a memorable year. I ran a marathon, formed a band (although only practicesed twice...bad form), broke a world record, went to Slovakia and flew in a Hind Military Attack helicopter, tasted whisky in Scotland (most northern I've ever been - except when I eat mushy peas), went to Benicasim music festival with very good friends, read many interesting books, gave an after dinner, black tie, speech, wrote more for The Guardian, for Word through some bizarre circumstances, and a couple of bits for Runner's World and a couple bits for Cornwall Today, got a new job, two of my best friends got engaged (to each other), and everyone else I care about is well and good and more.

Twitter took over the world, many notable people passed on (it's the first year of the endless deaths of media / mass entertainment personas if you ask me), Rage Against the Machine had a number one for Christmas (?), SuBo was discovered, we still haven't invented time-travel, and the world seems unsure whether it thinks money is good or evil. I think a bit of both.

In the decade itself we've had mobile phones, ipods, broadband internet, 9/11, foot and mouth, 7/7, Cristano Ronaldo, Obama, the rise and fall of Top Gear, the continued and unabated domestication of the dog (although nothing else - when was the last time we domesticated anything?) YouTube, Facebook, the decline of newspapers, I went, studied, and graduated from university (as did countless millions more), we had endless disasters, global warming became an issue, and a man named Howard became a minor celebrity through singing on adverts.

It's a funny old world.

See you on the otherside, Internet.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Comedy thoughts

Why is Russell Howard suddenly popular? He's rubbish. Like Justin Lee Collins he seems to have confused being constantly upbeat about everything as the same as being funny. It's not, it's just annoying.

Harry Hill is upbeat, manically so sometimes, but what he says is inherently funny as well. Howard just tells lame, pub-banter quality jokes that sometimes raise a smile because they are at least not unfunny, but why he has suddenly become the nation's darling is beyond me. And anyone who appears on Mock the Week, the worst panel show for years and years and years, instantly loses points. Including Frankie Boyle (I insult people, therefore I am funny. Or not).

I read a review of Howard's stadium show in the Guardian yesterday and couldn't help but wonder who would choose to spend all that time, money and effort to see a comedian of such limited ability. Apparently one segment included him imaging the Queen having sex. Wow. Hilarious. How original.

In the review it also noted that he says that 'Anne Robinson looks like "a fox in a wind-tunnel"'. This is a complete steal from Stewart Lee, a far, far better, edgier, cleverer, interesting comedian, who, on his Comedy Vehicle earlier in the year, described Andrew Lloyd Webber as looking like a "monk in a wind tunnel". Shameful.