Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Mixdown

In my last post I mentioned a Channel 4 News film about the Tory party but two small details got squeezed out.
Firstly, a tiny injustice that is being done to David Davis. In the endlessly repeated footage of delegates sleeping through his conference speech, one of the close-ups is on a political reporter from BBC News 24. This particular reporter is blind so has little incentive to keep his eyes open.

Of course, there were plenty of other, sighted people having a snooze. But as someone who has given talks to members of the country's gerontocracy, I know that if you can keep the number of sleepers in single figures you're doing well. The only way to keep the entire audience awake is to blow a whistle at regular intervals or intersperse your speech with snatches of rap music played at 120 decibels.

The most offputting thing is when one of the elderly slumberers is dirrectly in front of you in the front row. I used to find myself wondering if they might have quietly died and if the last voice they heard was not one of their loved ones but my own less than mellifluous tones.
One tactic was to tell a joke and see if the laughter roused them. If this failed, one just had to wait to see if they stood up to sing Jerusalem or Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven and, if not, to leave the hall quickly in case boring someone to death counted as manslaughter.

The Channel 4 film also included an interview with a dotty old Tory lady who was wearing multi-coloured trousers and clutching a Union Jack. Her features resembled a pickled walnut that had entered a face-painting competition.
Despite being the deepest blue in tooth and claw, she revealed a political pragmatism that would have heartened the two Davids. Asked about modern, compassionate Conservatism she said: "It's a vote winner! .......if you say you love the gays and the coloured people and the ethnic folk!"
But her best line was when she said "Look at me........listen to my voice. I'm Tory to the tilt!"
This was nearly as good as the woman I overheard in a London pub thirty years ago who said: "You know the man I mean......the man who walks with a lisp."


I always vow not to watch 'I'm A Celebrity....' and then get sucked into it. Last night's opener was certainly quite entertaining. But it seems as though the only people who can be recruited to take part are those who have never seen the programme. Why else would all these people state that they have a phobia of insects or snakes or heights?
One soap actress was so traumatised by her high wire walk that in the following 24 hours she twice collapsed and eventually had to be taken to hospital. One wonders how long it will be before some celebrity has a heart attack and dies. And if that happens will it be a case of 'the show must go on'? Noel Edmonds' Saturday night show never recovered from a member of the public being killed in a stunt that went wrong.

There was one colossal editorial misjudgement in last night's show. A night vision camera showed Carol Thatcher getting out of bed in the night, pulling down her knickers and squatting down to have a pee.
Although the participants surrender any editorial control, I doubt that she'll be pleased to discover that was broadcast to millions of people in primetime.
The Government recently created a new criminal offence of voyeurism to prevent people taking just this kind of footage with camcorders and mobile phones. It is, after all, a common sexual fetish. I don't doubt that last night's footage will quickly appear on special interest internet sites. I admit that I don't like lavatorial humour of any kind but here I also felt that I was unwillingly invading someone's privacy without their consent in the grossest possible way.
I hope Carol Thatcher sues the programme makers. I think she'd have a strong case in arguing that the release form she signed did not cover the broadcast of footage that in any other context would be a criminal offence.

The piece I wrote last week about 'Priest Idol', despite being very sarcastic about the church and religion, got a link on a blog by a Methodist preacher. Fair play to that particular God Botherer is all I can say.

I was even more delighted to be quoted on a Newcastle United fans' blog, after my piece about television football commentators. Not that I'm a Newcastle fan but because I think Newcastle is the finest city in our corner of the Milky Way.
I think I shall write about football a bit more and become the thinking lad's lads' blog. You never know, St James Park may one day echo to the chant of 'there's only one Willie Lupin.'


At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, please, Mr Lupin, not another football blog. All this time I've been reading your wonderful dispatches, and I never realised you were a footie fan. I'd fallen into the trap of thinking that gay men don't like soccer. Personally, though not gay*, I dislike or am indifferent to all kinds of sport, particularly team sports with "fans" and "supporters". Please, please reconsider.

- Tony -

* but I'd rather shag David Beckham than Vanessa Feltz - but that's just aesthetics and health & safety.

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Tony: don't panic. I only watch England games on TV, apart from the World Cup when I end up watching everthing.
I may watch Man U tomorrow, only because it's fashionable to hate Man U and I hate to be fashionable.

Football has a huge gay following and there are many gay amateur football teams, despite the sport being generally so homophobic.
I hate virtually every other sport known to man.

I suspect most straight men would rather shag David Beckham than Vanessa Feltz. On the other hand, I was shocked to find that some gay men fancy Wayne Rooney so one can never make assumptions in these matters.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger zaphod said...

You never know, St James Park may one day echo to the chant of 'there's only one Willie Lupin.'

Sadly it would be more like "Who the fucking hell are you "

At 5:25 PM, Blogger cello said...

But there really *is* only one Willie Lupin in real life, and I am not indulging in fawning. I have checked.

At 5:00 AM, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

I can't wait til' I reach the age where my narcolepsy becomes acceptable and humorous.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Mr Zaphod: being football fans, it would probably be something much ruder.

cello: Since I'm not 'Willie Lupin' in real life, do you mean there is a real Willie Lupin outside the pages of the Grossmiths' book and that I've imadvertently stolen their identity?

pn: if you mean you have clinical narcolepsy, I'm sorry to hear that.
I believe there are now more effective drug treatments for it.


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