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Jeremy Clarkson – response to reasons for signing published on Change.org (most popular)

Published 11/03/2015 by crimsonghad

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Given the media outpouring over the Jeremy Clarkson suspension saga (he has not been sacked at time of posting – 17:30 11 March) I thought I’d offer answers to a few of the reasons posted on Change.org for Jeremy Clarkson to be reinstated.

The originals are in italics (spelling and grammar mistakes unchanged) and my response in bold.

“I pay my TV license to ensure that irreverent people can express themselves. If you become boarding and politically correct, you may disappear BBC.”

You pay your TV license because it is the law.

  • Martin Jones BLACKPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM
    • about 23 hours ago
    • Liked 1,483

“A minority of over sensitive people should not ruin one of Britons favourite shows.”

Oversensitive people such as the country of Argentina, India’s high commision, the Mexican senate and anyone offended by the term ‘n**ger’.

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  • Ilya Babansky ST.PETERSBURG, RUSSIAN FEDERATION
    • about 23 hours ago
    • Liked 1,291

“BBC, you don’t wanna piss off 300 million people.”

It worked for Hitler.

“Jeremy is a bastion of light in a dark PC world”

I like PC World. They sell nice computers and usually turn the electric on from my experience.

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  • neil horner STAMFORD BRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM
    • about 22 hours ago
    • Liked 577

“Clarkson suspended for arguing while Jimmy Savile got away with multiple rapes”

Clarkson has been suspended for alleged assault, actually, which is against the law.

  • Edward Prince LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
    • about 22 hours ago
    • Liked 468

“I’m signing because the far bigger evil is censorship via political correctness which the BBC have been indulging in for far too long”

The BBC has a remit for impartiality

http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-impartiality-introduction/

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  • Chris Kookie WATFORD, UNITED KINGDOM
    • about 22 hours ago
    • Liked 433

“Freedom of speech, freedom of expression!!!

‘Je suis Clarkson’ !!!”

And the freedom to allegedly punch people? P.S. He was not shot.

  • Nick Leaton LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
    • about 23 hours ago
    • Liked 415

“Because its the only thing left that justifies the license fee.

This is just left wing BBC censoring the only right wing comedy left.”

I think you’ll find the BBC features David Cameron and Nigel Farage regularly.

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“I’m signing because Clarkson is a superb presenter and Top Gear is without doubt one the BBC’s better programmes. The viewing figures support this.”

As they also do with Mrs Brown’s Boys.

Let me just say for the record, I really don’t care either way but the BBC are conducting an investigation at time of posting (11 March) so if you wish to sign the petition supporting Jeremy Clarkson please click the link below.

https://www.change.org/p/bbc-reinstate-jeremy-clarkson?recruiter=88456887

If you wish to sign the counter petition be my guest on this link

https://www.change.org/p/british-broadcasting-corporation-sack-jeremy-Clarkson

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Review

Published 20/11/2013 by crimsonghad

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (released nationwide 21 November) picks up where the original film left off **SPOILER** Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) having survived the ordeal of the brutal, murderous games through their love for one another **SPOILER END** Except it is not quite as simple as that… actually if you haven’t seen the first film stop reading, go and watch it then come back. Gone? Ok. I’ll continue. Katniss was always in love with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), a local coal miner whom was kind to her as a child stricken by poverty. Her ‘love’ for Peeta was merely just for show to her, but poor Peeta does not feel the same way. This sexual tension is to the fore throughout the film with a theme of reality television celebrity smartly woven in to the plot for the first half of the movie.

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For those that missed the first instalment of The Hunger Games a very quick recap of crucial information of the world they live in:
• There are 12 ‘districts’ whose workers are responsible for the production of certain goods for the nation as a whole.
• Each year a ‘tribute’ is selected to represent one of these districts in ‘The Hunger Games’ – an annual celebration/reminder of the revolutionary past of the ‘Panem’ nation inhabited by the characters in which all children must fight to the death with only 1 survivor.
• 1 boy and 1 girl aged between 12 and 18 will be selected in this ceremony, called ‘the Reaping’.

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The victors of the 74th Annual Hunger Games are on tour in much the same way that reality TV contestants are forced to travel around the country to parade how happy they are and to show the public the love they so crave. The palpable sadness and tragedy endured by Katniss and Peeta is superbly juxtaposed by the overbearing and constantly happy TV presenter Caesar Flickerman (played with relish by Stanley Tucci). Indeed, much of The Hunger Games is orientated towards an indictment of game show and celebrity culture.

The contrasting themes of celebrity and revolution are daringly explored as Katniss’ fame has begun a revolutionary swelling that is overtly referred to on multiple occasions by the cast. The corrupt authority figure of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) realises this and threatens Katniss, her family and those of Gale if she does not carry on this charade of public love with Peeta. Rather than merely focussing on how this impacts on Katniss we do see how Peeta is fully aware of the situation and is complicit in enabling the public to carry on their belief of love through increasingly desperate measures and publicity stunts – once more mimicking many celebrities, especially film and pop stars, in their actions. Yet the underlying kindness of Katniss and Peeta merely compound their problems and create a deeper feeling of revolution within the growing discontent of the public. Indeed, the stark contrast of Katniss, Peeta and Gale’s decrepit home of District 12 with the extravagant overindulgence of the Capital is demonstrable and leads to Katniss and Peeta rebelling yet further to purposely enrage President Snow.

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The acting is uniformly good and while some characters are inevitably underused due to time limitations – Toby Jones as the announcer Claudius Templesmith, Jeffrey Wright as Beetee and even Liam Hemsworth as Gale – others are more able to utilise their limited time expertly – Donald Sutherland is expertly ruthless as President Snow, Woody Harrelson pitches it perfectly as laid back, yet informed Haymitch Abernathy and Philip Seymour Hoffman is perfectly cast as the new controller of The Hunger Games, the Machiavellian Plutarch Heavensbee. However, this is Jennifer Lawrence’s film and she is terrific.

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Jennifer Lawrence expertly brings layers to her character in a wonderful performance. We see how Katniss is suffering from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder while acutely aware of the troubles of her district, her family, Peeta, her true love and her new found fame and responsibility towards the nation as a whole to whom she is a symbol of hope. Indeed, the private and public persona of Katniss are so evidently different it is again a warning to the audience on how we are treating our celebrities and why we should not trust a public persona because the private lives of those in the public eye are so divergent. All of these adult themes are covered in a film rated as a PG. Impressive. This means that much of the violence and death is either implied or the camera diverts at the last minute to spare you from the blood. Yes this does detract from the experience slightly but I’m more than willing to forgive it for that.

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All of this so far covers the first part of the film which is terrific. The second half is more standard fare blockbuster and it is very similar to the original in its concept. This time Heavensbee and Snow use a ‘wrinkle’ in the laws to allow previous survivors to take part in the ‘Third Quarter Quell’ or 75th Annual Hunger Games – once more an allusion to reality television shows changing the rules as they go along. All these characters perform the usual parade and showbiz nonsense aiming to receive backing from the public and their fellow competitors – Lenny Kravitz’s costume for Katniss is especially good by the way, to his cost. There are a few differences such as The Truman Show style setting and the more multi layered plot alluded to throughout which I won’t spoil but in general it gives those more predisposed towards action and sci-fi adventure their fill.

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More than anything though it does set things up nicely for a third instalment and I for one cannot wait as it was 2 and a half hours (!) that really went quickly and enjoyably. If you can get past the stupid character names (yes I did notice) then this is a wonderful movie which leaves you wanting more but pitches it perfectly between action, sci fi and intelligently well thought out acting. If, like me, you never intended to watch the original The Hunger Games (I saw it on a plane to Australia and was very impressed) give it a chance. And then watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It will be worth it. The second instalment is far better than the first which itself was pretty good.

More4 [insert hilarious pun here]

Published 22/03/2013 by crimsonghad

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I may never forgive More4 for shamelessly losing the rights to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – I still cry about it every night – but it has recently started to quietly invest in quality shows. The superb Boss began its unfortunately short run last night (Thursday 11pm More4) with an incredible tour de force in acting by Kelsey Grammer, who plays Mayor Tom Kane of Chicago, suffering from a degenerative illness. Exhilarating and chilling in equal measure his performance is something not to be missed in a show which is scheduled for a film to conclude two seasons that I look forward to completing quickly. The smart, powerful and uncompromisingly brutal writing from Farhad Safinia serves to enhance the programme from being just another political drama or a vehicle for ‘Frasier’.

Nashville (Thursday 10pm More4) is another quality recent addition. TV shows based around music do not always have great reputations for drama (see Glee, Smash, Hannah Montana) but this has excellent pedigree. Written by Callie Khouri, who also wrote Thelma & Louise, it should come as no surprise that the main protagonists are two strong, successful and well rounded women fighting against the patriarchal society that they inhabit. The always excellent Connie Britton plays Rayna James, a faded country music superstar in, you guessed it, Nashville. Her fight is in trying to stay relevant when her family need her, her age is against her and her husband is determined to run for political office with the aid of her tyrannical father. Hayden Panettiere plays Juliette Barnes, the Taylor Swift-like young, arrogant superstar who has the looks, the youth and the following but lacks the respect that she so desperately craves. Add in Clare Bowen as the naive, scared but supremely talented waitress Scarlett O’Connor and there are three women occupying the three main roles on a US TV show not called Girls. Wonderful stuff. (And this song gave me goosebumps)

And then of course you have the mainstays of More4. Father Ted, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Time Team, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Come Dine With Me and wonderful documentaries. I will never complain about seeing Father Ted reruns, you hear me, NEVER. And my mum will never complain about seeing Time Team reruns, you hear me, NEVER (except for last night when she bemoaned the fact that they will no longer be making it). Of course Curb is pretty, pretty, prettay good and Come Dine With Me is always good for a cheap laugh or two. The documentary strands including Cutting Edge, Dispatches and Britain: My New Home (Friday, 9pm More4) are always thought provoking and well made.

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As with any channel there aren’t always programmes to your taste. I’m not a fan of Grand Designs, Location, Location, Location or any of the aspirational property TV but they are big viewer favourites and you always need them to support quality drama. If you like those then good luck to you. And if not, there’s always Kelsey Grammer.

 

FHM Review– A first time buyer’s perspective

Published 09/03/2013 by crimsonghad

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I am a 27 year old male who had NEVER bought a copy of FHM. Seriously. Never. I had read parts of it before from friends’ copies and a very lovely woman once bought me an issue of it many years ago, extolling the virtues of said magazine – I think Jennifer Ellison was in it if anyone remembers when she was famous. As I was going on holiday I wanted to purchase Empire magazine (big film fan, obviously) to read and as I’m always looking for a bargain I saw this offer for Empire and FHM for £5 and decided, what the hell. I’m not the type to shit all over something without giving it a chance (unless it’s called Splash!) so I actually sat down and read pretty much every word in the March 2013 issue of FHM. Now that I’ve alienated all human beings with this first paragraph I’ll continue with a review.

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Yesterday was International Women’s Day and what better way to celebrate than by reading something which is so empowering towards women… In fairness there is some good stuff in FHM and I will start by highlighting that:

  • Jobs Down Under – about relocating your life from UK to Australia and tips from 4 or 5 separate people who have done so successfully
  • The Greatest Summer Holiday –  a section devoted to approx 10 destinations that will see you have the best holiday ever possible

I have actually torn these pages out and will keep them. There is some genuinely good advice and I might very well use them for myself. Even so I have a couple of issues. Firstly, all of the people in Jobs Down Under are men with their partners briefly alluded to. Secondly, all of the holiday destinations are male with the emphasis on booze, birds and beach.

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Now the bad – and there is a lot of bad. I’m even going to split it in to insulting towards women and not abusive towards females. I’ll save the invective for later:

  • Adverts – as with all magazines the proliferation of adverts to articles increases throughout and I know the target audience is male but Jesus Christ there is a lot of metrosexual shit.

Designer clothes, James Bond, posh alcohol, clothes again, more clothes, men’s perfume (aftershave I think it’s called), vitamins, watches, shoes, clothes again, film ad and shampoo ad featuring a footballer. Every single advert feels like it is targeted specifically towards a mid 20s-40s rich, middle class London yuppie type and it just seems depressing to me.

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  •  Adverts within articles – half of the actual articles are basically just adverts for products.

Some examples being an article about Dan Ackroyd’s new vodka range morphing in to a celebrity alcohol advert, a coffee making piece which merely sought to sell a range of expensive accessories, and 14 (yes 14!) pages of style tips for cunts men which was just a very long advert.

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  • Dull attempts at funny stuff – there are a few articles about Pancake Day for men, a man’s best friend: dog vs. mate and The Bloke Test.

This month’s ‘bloke’ was Danny Trejo who just seemed dumbfounded to be asked such questions as “have you ever followed through on a particularly exuberant fart”. I found them uninspiring and tedious rather than utterly offensive but, hey, maybe some guys find that funny. Each to his own.

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Other articles I won’t talk about because you could find them in any magazine include: an interview with an astronaut and a footballer, reviews of film, video games, theatre, readers’ letters, biker gang stories – none of these are particularly bad or good.

 

However, there is a whole long list of articles offensive to women:

  • Scantily clad women in insulting terms – men buy these magazines to look at soft core porn. That is the first thing I will say. I am not going to criticise for the ridiculous poses because it’s clichéd and is there for titillation. Is it wrong? Yes. Will it change? No.

What I take offence to is the actual language highlighted in these articles, “I’m quite old fashioned. It’s the man’s role to look after the woman” says Chloe Cummings who is famous for being Abby Clancy’s cousin and is “a bit of a psychic”. Setting the women’s movement back a hundred years there Chloe. The actual interview is too boring and depressing to even repeat on here.

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  • Get A Massive Crush On Alicia Vikander – she was nominated for BAFTA rising star award this year and has been awarded the Kermode Award for best actress for her role in the sensational, A Royal Affair. Here she is reduced to a picture in an article NOT EVEN ABOUT HER.

This article is actually an interview with Adam Deacon (winner of BAFTA rising star last year – in a tenuous link to Vikander) where he is promoting his new film on DVD. If I was Deacon I would be insulted. If I was Vikander I would be insulted.

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  • Close The Deal With Beautiful Women – I am shit with women. It is a fact. Just ask any woman I’ve ever dated and they’ll tell you. I can do with some advice but fuck me this was a depressing read. 7 pages of tips for men to get women in to bed! This made me angry.

They dressed women up in scantily clad outfits reducing them to mere caricatures and then proceeded to label them in specific terms which men could access via following the advice written on the page. I mean really? I just found this insulting to my intelligence. I can see how there is some well-meaning advice in there (hidden very well admittedly) but it is just dumping women on a plate and saying, “There you go guys, come and fuck us. This is how to do it. It will definitely work.” It made me feel ashamed to be a man.

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  • Win a Date with Georgia, Franziska or Rosie – this is another 8 pages of nearly naked women but this time it is self promotion for the world renowned FHM 100 Sexiest Women 2013 edition (vote now!)

Again, I have no problem with the naked women as that’s the purpose of the magazine. I also have no problem with FHM promoting their magazine’s 100 Sexiest Women as that edition is presumably the biggest selling of the year and to use wrestling parlance (since they review wrestling games in one of the articles) is the equivalent of Wrestlemania. My problem is them giving a date away with one of the 3 models they’ve chosen to flaunt in their lingerie. Once more women have been reduced to objects for no real reason. What is the purpose of this? Does anyone reading think they will get an ACTUAL date with someone they’ve never met and who probably have boyfriends in any case? Is the magazine trying to drum up business by using aspirational techniques? Are they sex slaves who will fuck anyone on command? I just don’t know.

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  • Judd Apatow: FHM Hero – I like Judd Apatow films. They are blokey in a geekish, immature but appealing way. This interview I did not like. Not because of Apatow but FHM.

In Empire magazine Apatow was also interviewed about his new film This Is 40 which also happens to star his wife, Leslie Mann. They are both interviewed together in a funny, bickering and informative format that is well executed. Good job Empire. In FHM Apatow is interviewed alone with lots of blokey references to his past films and upcoming films (pretty much all of which star Mann in some way). So why is it that Leslie Mann gets no reference until paragraph 11 out of 12? And when she does get a mention it is thoroughly condescending, “Spot [Mann] in This Is 40, in which, if you can prize your eyes away from Megan Fox rolling around in a bikini, she plays spouse to Paul Rudd…surely directing your own missus in a sex scene with a good friend is kinda weird, right?” Ugh. Everything about that wants makes me want to punch the page, the writer and myself in the face. Leslie Mann is pretty much shot down in the tiny piece of an article she is afforded. Terrible.

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  • Great Sexy Moments In Life #12 – this is the last thing I’m going to moan about but it’s basically page 3 but 3 pages from the back.

What is the purpose of this? Beth from Manchester is just eating some grapes answering inane questions. ‘A pretty girl nibbling on some grapes’ it says in the sub-heading. Yes, that is it. That is the purpose. To have a pretty girl. There is no substance to the questions. There is no reason for it to be there *sigh*

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Ok, well I hope anyone who has read this is as thoroughly depressed as I am. A couple of redeeming articles will not make me buy this again. It is insulting to women and also to men I would suggest.

TOWIE Live – 4 December 2012 – Review. End of the world?

Published 04/12/2012 by crimsonghad

“Worst. Show. Ever.” Comic Book Guy – The Simpsons

The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) is the original British version of Jersey Shore and The Hills. It has spawned other popular shows like Geordie Shore and Made In Chelsea. I have never before watched TOWIE. I will never watch TOWIE again. However, after reading some newspapers say this was the worst TV show ever I was compelled to watch. Wow. Just wow. Which incidentally is a more coherent sentence than at any time on TOWIE last night.

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The one positive I can give that it was all in aide of Breast Cancer Care charity. However, my grandmother died of breast cancer and she was in less pain than I was watching this drivel. It started with a paparazzi driven intro including all the main characters in the show, a (really shit) Colin Farrell look-a-like and Pat fucking Sharp. I must admit that I love Pat Sharp due to Fun House being one of my favourite shows from childhood. Indeed, my sixth form 6-a-side champion football team was called ‘Fans of Pat Sharp’ – no more Pat. No more.

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I’m not going in to great depth mainly because there was no depth in this entire programme. However, the basic format was switched between on stage performances and backstage character interactions mainly focusing on relationships and especially the ‘will they, won’t they’ marriage of Joey and Sam.

It began with Trousers Man (I had to watch it back to find out his name was James or ‘Arg’) who had no trousers on wandering around backstage shouting, ‘I’ve lost me trowsers’, over and over while also managing to talk over everyone else and looking at the camera – impressive. Once he found them and made it to the stage to introduce the show he was CUT off mid sentence (a recurring theme).

It CUT to Chloe and Joey who very loudly and menacingly shouted, ‘Tonight is gonna be creepy SICK…it’s gonna be sick’. And he was not wrong. Some guff about him proposing ensued with sub-Hollyoaks acting. Seriously. And they all look like Hollyoaks rejects too.

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The CUTS were ridiculous and I won’t mention every single one because it will take up too much space. Suffice to say they were almost always mid sentence and it ruined any continuity that may have built – there was none anyway. At one point they CUT from Cara on stage (miming) to Sam and Kirk. Audibly you could hear them being told, ‘you’re on!’ after a five second silence.

Debbie was on stage performing some magic, possibly, while Gemma and Bobby were in the audience talking. Neither could be heard as they all talked simultaneously and the sound editing was horrific.

A dull exchange with Lauren, Chloe and Billie (all looking like the Three Little Pigs dressed as Barbie) occurred before Diags (terrible name) said possibly the most insightful line of the night to Joey, ‘Um, what’s going on?’ EXACTLY . EX-FUCKING-ACTLY. WHAT AM I DOING WATCHING THIS SHITE?!?!

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Sam and Kirk were talking about Kirk going on a date with Jasmin, the highlight of which was Kirk saying, ‘It’s, it’s like, like, you know yeah’. Despite this memorable Oscar Wilde quote it was actually the BEST exchange on the programme – I’m not kidding. It was like a conversation with a friend so I can understand the relatability factor which makes this show popular.

The highlight of the stage show was possibly Arg’s rendition of Singin’ In The Rain which was average but in this company made him look like Gene Kelly’s better, fatter and more tanned brother. It may have also been the end when Cara proved she could sing Wham’s Last Christmas (Arg and Gemma proved they could not).

The lowlight of the stage show was the Three Little Pigs, inevitably, singing Barbie Girl. I have repeatedly written, ‘KILL ME NOW’ on my notepad during this rendition.

After this, though, was a potentially good segment. Some genuine (probably not genuine) animosity between Charlie and Jasmin over her relationship with Kirk bubbled over. That fact that he got her name wrong was excusable so her castigating him for it merely took me out of the (only good) moment. Worse still, another female cast member in a blue dress (don’t know her name, sorry) wandered in to shot by mistake seconds later before reversing quickly out of shot. They then CUT to a commercial break and suddenly this mystery woman appeared on stage bouncing around to One Direction’s That What Makes You Beautiful, sung (mimed) by Mario, Diags and Joey. Good job.

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The show was meant to be on a roll by now but it CUT straight to a 10 second silence while Arg, Debbie and Lydia were on screen inaudible. Then we could hear Nanny Pat shouting, ‘lose a bit of weight…go, go, go…everybody has done really well’, and various other comments while a tiny, scrambled part of the conversation between the 3 on screen could be heard. This nonsense continued for 2 MINUTES until we saw Kirk MURDER Frank Sinatra’s song, Ain’t That A Kick In The Head.

Finally, we reached the ‘thrilling’ conclusion of Sam and Joey. Will they, won’t they? Except Joey’s acting was so bad it makes a giant redwood look fast moving. He repeatedly moaned, ‘I’m stressed out’, for what seemed like 30 minutes but was more like 4 minutes. He showed this also by shaking his head and rubbing his arms continuously in a trance like state, possibly not helped by his beau Sam telling him not to worry over and over while desperately failing to avoid looking at the camera like a gormless idiot. So the ‘thrilling’ conclusion was so poor they had to CUT back to the stage where the cast sang Last Christmas to rapturous applause from the clearly traumatised/lobotomised audience.

I try to be positive but really, come on. I can’t write a proper review of something that has had SEVEN series of such bullshit. I may never watch it EVER again but it averages 1,500,000 viewers. Was it the worst show ever? Impossible to say. It was not so bad that it was good. It was so bad that I was incredulous. I could not hate something which looked like a play I put on as a 15 year old. I just cannot believe ITV2 have broadcast this. Watch it yourself. The end of the world on 21 December 2012 cannot come soon enough.

http://www.itv.com/itvplayer/video/?Filter=328496

Chantelle Houghton – Celebrity Culture

Published 31/10/2012 by crimsonghad

So I was at work minding my own business at lunchtime yesterday and I looked on Twitter. Lots of journalists I follow were saying things like, ‘Chantelle Houghton. Bloody hell.’ So, for the first time ever, I took a look at this facsimile of a celebrity on Twitter. Wow. Take a look yourself for 30 October, she hasn’t deleted it (correct at time of writing). https://twitter.com/chantellehought

I feel sad for her. She has had to put up with this terrible man who has, ironically, become famous for his association with famous people. I remember watching Chantelle on Celebrity Big Brother as a non-famous person pretending to be famous. And she became famous (well, sort of) because of it. She has used this association to make money. Good for her. If people are willing to pay money for this then I won’t criticise the celebrities for exploiting this niche. I will criticise the society we live in for accepting that and buying in to it.

 

As this is a blog about writing I’ll comment on that. Surprisingly good spelling. Congratulations.

 

In a wider context it says more about privacy and content laws. Twitter has put people in prison for racism and bomb hoax jokes, as well as getting overpaid footballers whacking great fines. However, it also allows us mere mortals to contact celebrities and cross our fingers that by some luck one might just reply. It’s a matter of time before Twitter becomes the new YouTube and some sensation is discovered. This is a good thing but it can also be used as a tool far too personally as in this case. I don’t blame Chantelle for her reaction. She’s obviously been trolled by people telling her what a bad person she is and cracked.

On a more serious note this type of violence – be it physical, mental or other should not be happening to Chantelle. Or people like Rihanna. Or even Tina Turner going back. Here is a great appeal from Sir Patrick Stewart (featuring my friend Anna by the way) on behalf of Refuge.