Friday, April 16, 2010

Fade up my leader

I wonder if Jake Knott was on the carpet this morning? For those who don't share my interest in the credits on TV programmes, he was the sound supervisor on last night's debate between the party leaders, and he didn't have Gordon Brown's mic faded up ready for the Labour leader's first response. When it happened, I thought "Pity the poor sod mixing this. There'll be words afterwards". The only saving grace for Mr Knott is that the director wasn't the late Stewart 'Keep the DG in shot for Christ's sake' Morris.

By the way, it was great to see all the old 'Granada TV' signs in the news coverage of the debate. When Quay Street closes, the Manchester skyline will lose a little more magic. It's already lost a bit with the removal of the lattice tower on the roof of the main office block. The debate was, unless I'm much mistaken, done in studio 6, more usually home to The Jeremy Kyle Show. It was also where they did Crown Court, Wheeltappers and Shunters and The Comedians. Please supply your own punchline.

As for who won, I couldn't care less. Brown was the most fluent. Clegg appeared to be the most sincere. Cameron ballsed up by maintaining our right to nuke China. Why couldn't I care less? We don't have a presidential system, so this debate was a mere sideshow. I'll tell you who lost, though. Alastair Stewart. Bleeding useless, much as I expected. I know Cliff Michelmore's 91 now, but he'd still have whipped Stewart's sorry arse.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Papers. PAPERS! Read all about the news.

A mention in the Daily Mail. I don't know whether to feel pleased at getting the NOTA/Protest Vote movement its first national newspaper coverage or to feel dirty.

Slightly more worrying is that I'm approaching 40 and still acting the arse on occasion. I feel I should make greater efforts to grow up. Not that I haven't made massive progress over the last decade. Once upon a time, random acts of drunken idiocy were my norm, whereas I'm now a sober, boring, respectable(ish), cardigan-wearing dad 99% of the time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Brides in the Bath

Another book review from me, this time commissioned and published by the Independent on Sunday, the finest oligarch-owned Sunday newspaper in the UK.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Digital Economy act - the aftermath

So, the Digital Economy Bill is now the Digital Economy Act, and is part of the law of the land. What difference will it make? The main change is that more ordinary people will get wise to encryption and VPNs. Only the record industry and the technical dunderheads in favour of the bill - step forward Parliament's top Roy Cropper lookalike Stephen Timms (look at the picture, Hayley's on the front bench too) who doesn't understand IP addresses, but still feel happy to legislate on them - could have thought it would solve the problem of illegal downloading. Everything will just go further underground, and the futile attempts to pin blame on anyone will just end up costing a fortune. It's like trying to build a defence against a nuclear warhead from plywood. Have I changed my tune? Not really. Fighting the Bill and following the progress of the truncated travesty of a debate was necessary, worthwhile and, let's be frank, a big old shitload of fun. And it led thousands of technically-literate and music-loving youngsters to watch BBC Parliament for hours on end, which can only be a good thing for the future of democracy and political engagement. For every one who thought "What the fuck are those old fuckers playing at? Include me out", another will have thought "What the fuck are those old fuckers playing at? Let's get involved". Right, I'm off to download MP3s of Stephen Timms' Parliamentary speeches. Illegally. Go me.