Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Macron & Trump – they got it so wrong!

The Macron / Trump thing that played out on TV news over the past few days is not what it seems.

Predictably, it was from the start misreported by the networks who always make the mistake, editorially, of speaking to filmed images in their reporting. 

No, dummies! Actually, you don’t have to report things that way just because it’s television. Paradoxically, in this sort of story, wise words and news analysis are far more important than images.

Trump’s and Macron’s bromance antics in front of camera were very obviously insincere – certainly on the part of Macron, who is intelligent, compared to Trump, who’s as thick as pig shit.

But even Trump was playing a game – not with any finesse, of course.

The political establishment in Trump’s own country can’t abide him, for the very good reason that he totally lacks the grace, intelligence, and dignity desirable though in recent decades not always present –  in a President of the United States.

So, the POTUS, rather childishly, used this state visit to show the swamp of Washington that at least one other national leader (apart from Kim Jon-un) has respect for him. And clearly, more than respect ... love.  

That was the unsubtle message. And Macron was, superficially at least, prepared to reciprocate all those undignified hands-on signs of affection that Trump lavished on him.

Now, I know there were as a background to this state visit quite a lot of opportunities to be seized for geopolitical posing and positioning in what is now, frankly, a very volatile world.

But I don’t think those opportunities will lead to anything – because all intelligent observers will (following initial sniggering) have been disgusted by the tackiness of the displays put on by both men. 

The games Trump and Macron played for the TV cameras are not right or fitting for national leaders. In the long term, they will both lose because of their antics.  

And while Macron did do well to keep a straight face as the chump that is Trump chuntered on inarticulately during their speeches at the White House on Tuesday, frankly those scenes will not sit comfortably with the French people or the international community.

Trump is clearly a narcissist of the most vulgar variety, and I have long suspected that, for all his waffle about democracy and liberty, Macron is also a narcissist, albeit of a rather subtle variety.

I’m going to end this posting with a link to a very good American satire about Trump, by the New York-based comedian Randy Rainbow. In this, Mr Rainbow (his real name, apparently!) lambasts Trump to great effect.

The piece includes the line, addressed to Trump: “You are a grabby, braggadocious creep-o.” The musical routine takes a while to get started but it is hilarious and performed with an arch campness of a high British rather than American standard. Enjoy, and at the same time, be afraid …

Monday, 2 April 2018

Mel & Sue's Generation Game - TV for thick people

There's obviously been some insider bitching going on at the BBC about how awful the new series is of The Generation Game.

I don't need any persuading. Even by the abysmally low standards of TV light entertainment, the launch show on Sunday (1 April) was utter crap.

Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins are both unconvincing as they try to chummy up with the contestants. This pair have made a very good living out of being condescending to ordinary people (including viewers) in recent years.

Perkins is smugness personified. There is a bit more human warmth to Giedroyc - but neither is a good communicator.

This first show was over-cheery and fatuous in tone from the opening 'game', which was basically a silly pottery-making scenario, featuring the over-rated Johnny Vegas, who's clearly a MUCH better potter than he is a comedian or comedy actor.

And, oh, when the contestants had to handle wet clay to make a handle for a teapot, goodness me, didn't it look like they were stroking a wet penis?!

Well, that might have been funny - but not with Mel and Sue pulling their annoying arch faces, and Johnny Vegas tittering away in the background.

And anyway, the pottery thing with Vegas had been done before - on The Generation Game in 2005. How unimaginative to start a new series of an old format with a repeated feature.

Next up in the 'new' show was a Bollywood-style dance troupe. Great movers they were, but it was simply patronising to expect overweight and middle aged contestants to replicate those sort of routines.

But, hey, that's what contemporary TV is all about - making fun of ordinary people who've paid their TV licences. 

Well that, and paying mediocrities such as Mel and Sue way too much money.

Also, I couldn't see the point on having two 'celebrity guests' on the new show. Some speccy geek from a boring panel show was one. The other was Lorraine Kelly.

I used to have a lot of time for Lorraine, but as her daytime ITV show reveals, she's now all too happy to take the money for being regarded as 'TV talent'. She uses her airtime to big up the unimportant things in life - such as ageing pop stars, other light entertainment fluffheads and endless fashion shite. 

There is very little genuine talent among the industry's perceived pool of 'TV talent'.

There is much that is damaging to contemporary society in the output of mainstream TV. In shamelessly catering for what it considers to be its brain-dead viewers, television is, sadly, making more and more people very, very stupid indeed.

And frankly, that dynamic is causing serious damage to the proper transmission of human identity in a country where, anyway,  education and moral training are failing alarmingly fast.

I intend to challenge the practices and programme content of TV.

Someone needs to do that ... and change the game for the sake of future generations. 

Watch this space.