Today's British comedy superstars are David Walliams and Matt Lucas of Little Britain. To capitalise on their celebrity, a writer has written an account of their wildly successful tour of the homeland. It has 34 chapters. The writer tells us about the small, porcine one's sex life. There is not a trace of wit or humour. It is difficult to say too little about this book, but one should try.
By quite a distance, my favourite television program of the 1990s was Between The Lines. Neil Pearson, Tom Georgeson, Siobhan Redmond and especially Tony Doyle as Deakin, were simply sensational in the Beeb's internal affairs police thriller which ran here in 1994 (Season 1) and 1995 (Season 2).
There was a Season 3, but despite loving the show I never saw it, which brings me ever so artfully to my point: if you love good television programs, stop watching television.
Well, for a start, I'm not talking about schedule shifts, cuts, or advertisements; it's a given (mainly commercial) TV stations in Australia will butcher their product. No, what I'm talking about are three words that came to mind over the course of watching the DVDs of The Wire and Rome - expectation, situation and momentum.
(Not at Rome Season 2 yet, Wicky. Nor did Season 1 entirely deliver on its potential.)
When I first saw BTL Season 1 back in 1994 it grabbed me like only the great shows can. But Season 2, aired the next year, was nowhere near as good. Was it bad? No, I don't think so. S1 was simply much more enjoyable than S2.
Nor am I suggesting BTL had vaulted the toothy fish (carcharodon carcharias). That term's better applied to sit-coms that have tried in vain to wring any last vestige of amusement out of what may or, more pointedly, may not have once been a successful show. BTL S2 was nowhere near that bad. What I'm suggesting is that had S2 run hot on the heels of S1 then I would have continued to enjoy it to around the same degree as S1, without batting an eyelid, because I was in the same time, place, mindset and had the viewing momentum.
The long break between S1 and S2 allowed me time to overexcite that dreaded 'sense of anticipation'. Shows are never as good as you want them to be, they just are what they are. Allow time for your expectations to build up and you'll almost always be disappointed. Thus S2 was a lesser experience than S1.
A change to a much busier job also meant Tuesday nights at home watching telly were a less relaxing affair than they had been when I was plugging away at the previous year's vegie job. (There's a whole post in "What's the best job for watching TV?") The same thing happened with Cracker which, coincidentally, also ran in 1994 and 1995. Season 1 was fabulous, Season 2 much less so.
My advice to those of you with the money to buy DVDs, or with a talent for theft, is get the DVDs. Watch the episodes one after the other, like I have with The Wire. (The elder is right.) Don't give the bastard a chance to disappoint you. The Wire is fantastic, but I'm going to watch it, and watch it, and watch it until it's done. All in one time in one place. The same goes for Battlestar Galactica. Who'd have thought a show that was a remake of a cheap series that was based on a cheap movie would be this good. Sure, it's got the odd dumb moments - Starbuck going from pilot to biologist to fly the Cylon fighter, for one - but it's a ripper.
Going by orthodox wisdom Australia are gawn. Haven't won in ages, injuries galore, bowlers couldn't hit the front of a sightscreen, can't defend, fielding is sloppy, Yarprica on a roll, Engerland full of confidence, Un Zud hooped on cock. It all adds up to a combination of crisis, panic stations, disarray, trouble AND strife.
To listen to the pundits' flack you'd think Australia had lost each match by an innings. Geese. Australia have merely refused to show their hand through a tedious series of slightly strenuous practice matches in which key players have been rested and possibles trialled, thus lulling their too-quick-to-gloat adversaries into a lethal trap. Come in spinners.
Did no one see the smiles on the Aussie faces as the Kiwis went the tonk in the Chadlee? Sure, they would have liked to win, who doesn't. But did they really care? Is the Pope a German. I mean, who can take Craig McMillan seriously when it matters? Those were the cheery - and not even slightly embarrassed - smiles of sportsmen quietly confident their plans were about to bear fruition.
It will be satisfying indeed when Sorth Efrica shit themselves in the semi final; NZ have their usual overexpectations deflated by an outsider; and England fail to get out of the group stage, dudded by too many reverse sweeps.
A poll: What is your favourite sucker punch?
a) Paullus & Varro pumped at Cannae b) Crassus crushed at Carrhae c) Boss Hogg duped by the Dukes at Hazzard County d) Cricket dopes roped by Aussies at Windia
The new air conditioning at school is broken, which is more than completely fucked on this humid day, and which also led to the standard whinging from the students. "Tony, can we open the window?" Yes, of course. "Tony, can we spray ourselves with water?" No, of course not. "Tony, it feels like Queensland." Who's drunk then? I've this theory it's Queenslanders who most help Straya achieve World's Best Practice in getting pissed. It's a thoroughly researched observation, too, none of this I-once-met-a-shitfaced-guy-from-Cairns rubbish. Even though I did.
Anyhoo, someone suggested we be issued with moistened towelettes - a disgusting phrase, if ever there was one - while someone else asked who invented them. Another inquiring mind wondered if they actually did any good on a cost/package/usage basis. Then finally someone said they are rubbish, a point with which I'm broadly in agreement.
Do we indeed need moistened towlettes? Or even towels, as another eager-to-please student suggested.
What Wicky and Amanda say is right (thanks for the mention). AGB match-day comments contain enough cricket fibre to keep you regular until the State Insurance Chappell-Hadlee Trans-Tasman One-Day-International Series Trophy Game One (Westpac Stadium). Whether comments, no matter how interesting/funny/ranty or churlish, actually constitute a Missing Link-worthy “post” is another story.
Don’t know about James’ opinion, but my own is that a short introductory post followed by 150 comments, some of which are interesting but many of which are repetitive, usually wouldn’t be suitable for Missing Link. That sort of post (Tim Blair also does them) is essentially for your existing blog community to engage in conversation, it isn’t very interesting or accessible for the casual or new reader. Missing Link is mostly intended to expose good blog writing to a new audience. As far as I’m concerned, non-selection of that sort of post also reflects personal taste - I mostly can’t be bothered reading long comment threads, unless they’re dealing with a topic that deeply interests me, and even then I usually don’t bother if there’s a high proportion of abusive comments or predictable ideologically-based rants (this doesn’t apply to your sports posts though).
Can't agree. Yes, I accept Ken's taste doesn't run to commenty posts for Missing Link, but I don't accept they wouldn't be "interesting or accessible for the casual or new reader". Who knows, the casual or new reader might get lost from Big Internet, wander into an AGB thread and suddenly, eyes aglow, burst out "This place is, like, astonishing." Or he might not.
For every Troppo post containing the likes of "Humanity is a highly specialised life form that solves extremes in environment through technology" or "In the last few years Australia’s most lucrative export, coal, was dug up, and shovelled offshore, at a rate of 232 Million Metric Tonnes per year" there's an equally slashing AGB comment: "Fark'n Flatty" for one, or "members are wankers!"
Anyhoo, I'm not shilling for links, I just reckon the comments here are gold. What do you idiots reckon?
Boynton got stuck into me before. "It's a beautiful day and you're going to watch television and blog," she chastised. "You're such a loser." Au contraire. This little black duck is no couch parsnip. I've been watching the cricket live at the MCG People's Ground Stadium. A man of action, in action. With, I might add, the photos to prove it.
"Unless Darrell Hair can supply concrete proof of ball-tampering, then I think the Pakistan management should seriously consider suing him. It's a very serious allegation to accure a team of cheating: if I were in their position, I would certainly consider suing Hair."
That's even without the Loin of Lahore's (that's not a tpyo) mini-Hitler remarks.
Who knows, perhaps Pakistan did indeed threaten to sue Hair, but they probably wouldn't have gone through with it. Any threat merely would have put the frighteners up the ICC, causing those spineless blancmanges to toe the line, so it would have served their purpose well enough.
Whatever their motivations, we know the upshot: Hair had his goats scaped.
An "outraged" PCB Chairman Dr Nasim Ashraf now has his ghasts in a flabber: "Hair was removed from the ICC panel of umpires because of his bad umpiring and poor judgment." Balderdash, of course, that is flatly contradicted by the embarrassed ICC's own rankings which had Hair as the second best umpire after Simon 'Zum' Taufel.
Maybe it's a foolhardy gambit, but as Carrot writes Hair wouldn't be doing this without some pretty robust legal support.
Nor is that business about the 500K relevant. The truth is Hair was in active negotiation about a settlement with people at the ICC but others there white-anted him and then went running to the press with his email. Pigs. It's about the only time in their sad, pathetic history that's they've acted with any alacrity. They only did it to embarrass Hair. And, yes, as it transpired it was an ill-advised course of action from Hair.
Three things are for sure. It took balls to call Murali for chucking; it took balls to forfeit Pakistan for tampering; and it took balls to go the ICC and Pakistan for racial discrimination. Even if that, like Pakistan's earlier thrust and/or parry, is to force the ICC into coughing up a satisfactory resolution.
The ICC have neutered umpires because of vested pressures, so there can only one thing to say - Go you good umpire.
In the scale of things, one newspaper puzzle doesn’t rate. But it does to thousands of readers, and to the people who produce it.
Since 1990, Snodger Puzzles has made the Giant Sunday Age crossword puzzle. Now The Age has replaced it with something much simpler.
As a crossword affy-condo, I was moved to comment.
Just the name of the new one is enough to repel me - Connoisseur. Has the Sunday Age really become THAT snobby? What sort of pretentious dicks do they think make up their their readership? Ok, don’t answer that. What’s wrong with history, science, geography, sport and politics, to name but a few ohh so gauche categories? C-Slacker is spot on. The big one was good because it was hard and you learnt something new about lots of things, even if some of the clues were farcical. The new one, though, is utter rubbish. Partly because of the aforesaid snobbishness, but primarily because it is ridiculously, boneheadedly easy. “Brain teaser”? They’re kidding, right?
Just a quick note to say that your new crossword it utter rubbish. Connoisseur? Brain teaser? You're kidding, right? I am going to arrange for my newsagent to deliver ONLY the sports section, because that's the only part of the paper I'll be reading from now on.
Polite - but firm. I didn't expect a reply. If one did happen to arrive, it would only be the standard bullshit "Your complaint has been noted, but we've had lots of positive feedback". Suuurrrre you have.
from: The Age
subject: The Snodger Giant Crossword returns to The Sunday Age from 4th February 2007
Your Snodger Giant Crossword returns to The Sunday Age this week. I hope you enjoy it.
Big moment yesterday. I was up in front of the class, rabbiting on about the difference between an expression in the time domain and an expression in polar notation with respect to maximum and RMS values, when I coughed. Trouble is, the cough caused me to drop a massive fart. It was impossible to pass the wind off as a minor faux pas because the bastard fairly bounced off the walls; so I did what any sensible mentor would do in such a situation, I started laughing. What else are you supposed to do? Of course, the students started laughing, too, so I said "Kevin Bloody Wilson was right." Bad mistake. This just made them laugh some more, then I laughed some more, then they laughed some more, then we stopped. Then we started again. This went on for about ten minutes. Every time I tried to talk about maths, we all broke up.
Anyhoo, your own fart stories would help to raise the tone around here. Lately this blog has been a little low brow.