Regular readers will know that I am a 5Live fan, and this week it has offered even better value than ever with a couple of its articles, which I will come to shortly (not sure why I addressed that comment solely to Shortly, I will be coming to it for all of you foolish enough to be wasting your time reading this drivel), but I have to begin by airing my utter frustration at the new presenter of the ‘Daily’ programme, Emma Barnett, which is aired betwixt the hours of 10:00 & 13:00, Wednesday-Friday.
Let’s put my cards on the table, she was going to have to be mustard replacing as she did the retiring Peter Allen, who was brilliant, but putting that to one side her style of presenting ranges from patronising to inane. I should qualify this, The Barnett is a trained, experienced journalist who is actually OK when questioning people but it is the introductions and plugs for articles that are painful and, frankly, Partridgesque. It is my first reason for thanking whoever needs to be thanked that my ‘radio’ is either my ipod or my ipad and thus saved from being drop kicked across the kitchen, which is what would have happened in the good old days of the tranny (that is transistor radio for anyone under the age of 40 who may be confused as to why I may be kicking either a transgender person or cross-dresser because a broadcast was annoying me).
Bearing in mind the news that has crossed the airwaves over the last 14 months or so and the fact that most of the time that I am listening I have a sharp knife in my hand, preparing food, it is a wonder that I have any fingers left!
Wilkinson incident no2 (the Wilkinson bit refers to Johnny of the same name, famed for his prowess at drop goals, among other things, particularly the one that ensured that England became Rugby Union World Champions in 2003…I mention this for our Celtic, Latin and Franco chums) was an article about hair loss off the back of the fact that James Nesbitt, the actor, has claimed that having a hair transplant has led to him getting better parts – he may believe this but I doubt it. Patrick Stewart or Mark Strong have hardly been held back by their baldness.
As someone whose follicles started failing him at about 28, at which time I moved straight to the crew cut, moving swiftly to shaving my own head when I realised that it was taking longer to put on and take off the gown and have the tissue placed at the nape of the neck, then given to me as if being presented with apes, ivory and peacocks (not the most pc of phrases), than it actually took to ‘cut’ my hair, I find the concern about the balding pate ludicrous.
True, we come from a time where having a crew cut or shaven head is not necessarily the sign of a thug, and reflecting on the glory days of the comb-over, as sported by my dear Dad (RIP – bless him, one of my vivid memories of him is adopting a stance in front of the mirror, a bit like a goalkeeper waiting for a penalty, whilst he concentrated on getting the specially grown strands into place and then produced what can only be described as a haze of ‘Cossack’ hairspray in the bathroom to keep it in place. I’m sure that this was a major contribution to the hole in the ozone layer, it is a wonder that we didn’t all go around speaking like ‘Teasy Weasy’ in our gaff) thank goodness for that.
I honestly resent the fact that I have any hair growth left at all and hate the ‘friar’ look that comes every couple of days if I don’t shave, so imagine the great empathy I felt when listening to a chap called Spencer Stephenson a ‘Hair Loss Mentor’ talking morosely about how traumatic it was when he started to lose his hair and that hair loss is a ‘hidden epidemic’ among men. This bears no analysis, as unless covered by a syrup (obvious) or titfer of some kind (even more obvious), it is hardly hidden, and whilst he is clearly using the word epidemic as an adjective rather than a noun, most would associate the use of that word with something slightly more serious in nature. This view was clearly supported by the extensive amount of texts, tweets and emails that came into the show offering advice along the lines of ‘get your hair cut short and get on with it’, doubtless leaving Spencer lost for words and wandering around in a paralytic state of loss…what he needs is a ‘Hair Loss Mentor’. Poor chap.
Next upon the bill (in this house of vaudeville) is the pregnant mother from South Shields who said, and I quote, ‘Quitting smoking didn’t enter my mind’ when discussing a new early intervention programme for pregnant women, continuing ‘I smoked with previous pregnancies and it didn’t really enter my thoughts’. Were they still in existence, I would not permit this woman to own a dog licence (did I say that out loud?).
Later the same day I was treated to another female contributor (female – is this right, I have also learned this week that there are 71 categories for gender on Facebook and I would hate to offend anyone?) who has invented an app, or a website, or possibly both, for new-mothers (the presenter was clearly remiss in not asking if they smoked or took crack cocaine during gestation) who were bored as she was, once she had become a parent…because all the products that were available were ‘boring and old fashioned’…these being baby products, which clearly didn’t meet her standards because they didn’t have a screen on them continually updating ridiculous inanities about what they were doing/eating, where they were going or asking for pathetic recommendations (today I read on the local FB site a request: Can anybody recommend a heating engineer for boiler problems? What else was she hoping to be recommended, a dentist?). So she propped baby up in the corner because he/she/it (I haven’t got room for another 68 categories) was boring, and, not wanting to be bored (presumably said kid was out of reach of the fags and cans of Diamond White…OK I know it’s a different women but cut me some slack) knocked up the old app/website. Sadly the ‘boring’ years will pass very quickly and the child will become an adult and soon be bored of her/his/its Mummy. I was bored with her as soon as I heard her story.
The final piece in this jigsaw puzzle of irritation was an article on a ‘door to door poet’.
This is a chap (at least it sounded like a bloke, but his gender was not established) who is traversing the north-east of this fine country, knocking on doors and offering, after an interview, to write a personalised poem based on the information gleaned. These poems are free, as said poet has received a grant from the Arts Council. It’s fair to say that the noise I ejaculated when I heard this news was similar to that of a bulldog choking on a chump chop, however, after listening all the way through, the enjoyment that this gave to those who had the poems written for them and the infectious nature of the poet was rewarding to hear. My knee-jerk reaction, sometimes called a ‘Farage’ (I wonder what Nigel would make of people pronouncing his name ‘Farridge’, like many people say ‘garridge’ for garage…why am I inflicted with these thoughts?), was to place this kind of grant in the overseas aid budget category but my God I am obviously getting liberal (note the small ‘l’) in my old age.
On which tenuous note I come to politics.
Obviously I could write a daily blog on this lot but to be frank I have been side-stepping Duckham/Bennet-like these topics because, although I take an active interest in politics, news, the world, life, form, art, music, sport (starting to sound like Harding in ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ now) I am utterly fed up and BORED with the current debates.
We have become the most pathetic, bleating nation, or at least our airwaves are filled with them shall we say.
I understand balance on both sides but there is such a polar opposite standpoint that there is never a sensible debate and the fact is so many of these people are just plain mediocre.
My favourite pet hate is political correctness – it’s over application has created the situation we live in.
Political correctness has created a mentality whereby one can win, or lose, by degrees.
Saying something is a ‘narrow majority’ is like the idiot who says a team ‘only just’ won, because they scored the goal in a 1-0 result in the last minute of extra time. What if the goal had been scored in the first minute of the game? Would the result be any different, would the team have ‘only just’ won? No they would have won, as per the team that scores in the end.
With the referendum, the arguments being made are now that it was a ‘slim’ majority, and the most classic line I heard on Question Time this week was that one of the Scottish Candidates is fighting to ‘represent the large numbers that didn’t vote’. This didn’t even warrant an exclamation mark. Presumably there is someone out there who is concerned that the cats and dogs didn’t get to vote too, because it’s well known the canine and feline population have a strong majority of EU supporters (though it’s fair to say that some cats tend to sit on the fence (particularly if it’s a sun spot).
It would seem that they are all getting infected by the Scottish disease of non-recognition of defeat syndrome.
If I hear one more person say that the majority of Scotland voted to stay in Europe I will scream. Can we finally put this to bed…I once interviewed a strange character by the name of Richard ‘Todd’ Newman. Richard, or Todd as he somewhat bizzarely preferred to be known, was, shall we say, somewhat eccentric, though great value and entertaining. I say great value, he was actually of no real value to me whatsoever as I was working in recruitment at the time and there as much chance of one of my clients taking him on as there is Donald Trump talking sense.
Anyway, Todd had a great CV, arrived on time and was smartly dressed. When I say he was smartly dressed, he was wearing a suit, tie shirt etc… but up the back of the suit, virtually across the whole of the back, was a stain that looked like he been standing next to the road when a large articulated lorry drove through a massive oil and filth puddle which had engulfed him, and the driver, having been pleased with his work, went around the block and did it again for good measure. Todd was oblivious to both this and the fact that he had a hair and beard arrangement not unlike the late Jerry Garcia. Now, I am not being critical of Todd, I actually liked the guy.
In addition to all this, Todd, also spoke like a 1950s Shakespearean actor, projecting in a manner that allowed the rest of the building, as well as half of Harrow High Street, hear what he was saying. This was one of the many reasons that I loathed recruitment, this guy was articulate, intelligent and probably could have done the job standing on his head (actually I wouldn’t have put it past him standing on his head) but because he was eccentric and lacked self-awareness, no dice. Knowing instantly that I was wasting my time we got through the interview fairly sharply. It was for a sales job and one of the questions that we used to ask was ‘Would you call yourself an inquisitive person?’ – it’s a fairly leading question and 99.9% of people say yes. About half an hour later in the proceedings we would then ask ‘Have you ever been bitten by a dog?’…some would answer yes or no, some would look like I’ve hit them in the face with a dog and some would ask why I asked the question (if you don’t ask why, you’re not very inquisitive are you?), but Todd, answered literally – ‘Oh goodness me, yes and it hurt’. This led to me and my co-interviewer to ask a series of ridiculous questions to see what his response was and each time he replied literally (I think the last one we asked was ‘Have you ever chipped your tooth on a bathroom tap?’ causing barely disguised hysterics with his answers, which, remember, he was bellowing like Olivier on acid). Being unable to take it any longer we asked him what he had made of the set of questions we had asked him, to which he barked ‘Irrelevant!!’, both accurately and, in so many ways, astutely.
I offer you this Corbettian story as an example of my attitude towards the naysayers and the clowns who feel that victories or losses can be measured in degrees, like the sugar coated nonsense in kids’ sport where we all get a medal and we are all winners, I wonder could it be that these same children grow up to measure winning or losing by degrees, how could that happen?
Here is the news, the fact that the majority of people in Scotland, London and anywhere in between voted to stay is, as me old mucker Todd would roar, IRRELEVANT! Check it out, the majority of people who voted in the UK voted to leave, and as all of those places are in the UK (remember the previous referendum Nicola and co?) you are wasting each others’ time, but more importantly from my perspective, my life. How about we stop devaluing ourselves, accept that change is on the way and work together to make the most of it, instead of scoring pathetic political points? It doesn’t matter your point of view, these are the bare facts and this is how democracy works.
I don’t know about hair loss, but there is an epidemic of IRRELEVANCE emanating from the airwaves and it is making me switch to my Apple Music…I fancy a bit of the Grateful Dead for some reason.
…and then there was Trump.
I am sure that I have reached the end of your attention by now but I will close with this chilling thought.
Before you scoff at Donald and his rant about Fake News, remember he is an expert on fakes – check out his tan and the giant Shredded Wheat that sits on his bonce!