Thursday, 18 February 2021
Wednesday, 17 February 2021
Saturday, 13 February 2021
Saturday, 6 February 2021
There is very little on British telly I watch nowadays. Even the news, which I find in its want to be "neutral Westminster centric British," is grating (with the exception of Channel Four). I find British comedy now either elitist, stupid or crass. And Scottish telly is as bad.
During the recent horned beast of a Trump Show, I found CBS News, CNN International , MSNBC and other American outlets. And in particular, the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. It ticks a lot of boxes. It is, stylish intelligent satire, gently funny and fun to watch. He likes his guests, and isn't competing with them. Unlike todays British chat shows, the comedy doesn't make you feel uncomfortable (unless you are a right wing, Fox News digesting, AK47, antler wearing Quonservative quonspiracy theorist) and the music is great. The Colbert show house band, Stay Human led by Jon Batiste really is the best chat show band around (and I've gone through the lot...). They play everything beautifully... From Blue Note style Jazz... To sea shanties... And the music guests have given me some new leads on great music. Musically, I have a lot to explore, which really is different from the blandness of Brit-chat, which usually goes for what is being promoted by the large brit-music industry concerns. Blando boogie created by daddies money.
It is odd, and pretty brilliant, that its easy to catch up on decent TV via Youtube. I was an early adopter of Youtube... And I am still surprised as to where it has led us. I haven't adopted TikTok... It really seems like Twitter for the less literate... I'm being unfair as some people are in it to promote themselves using the language of the auteur aiming at an audience of Dory minded fish. Quick quality.
And odd that I discovered David Letterman during the first lockdown (in particular, I watched all of the brilliant Andy Kauffman slots and interviews). Letterman was the previous incumbent in The Late Show, and pretty much the inspiration for Jonathon Ross, whose show in the eighties on Channel 4 were decent. I recommend Letterman's more recent long interviews, which can be found on Prime, I think. And he has become a little more political as well.
Watching the most recent episodes over breakfast has become part of my routine, as has watching MSNBC . Its brilliant seeing the view of here from there, in particular the view of Brexit, Scottish independence (Jon Stewart's interview of Nicola Sturgeon is a must see) and of the buffoons controlling the UK. Also a must see is Colbert's interviews of Jacinta Ardern, and his visit to New Zealand.
And of course, Colbert has been brilliant viewing during the Trump Show and the subsequent opening days of the Biden administration. It is partisan, but intelligent, rational and "fair," as opposed to Fox Faux News and its new ultra right wing rivals who are competing for the still fooled Q-Trump viewers.
Of course, ultra left friends will bemoan the liberal intelligensia and establishment credentials of Colbert. But anyone who can say directly to President Bush, by way of a satirical character he played invited to speak at a Whitehouse dinner,-
"I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers, and rubble, and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message: that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound—with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world. -
is alright by me.
Visit Colbert on YouTube HERE
Tuesday, 2 February 2021
I remember reading , quite a few years ago, a long essay in a magazine, by the writer Martin Amis. He was bemoaning his middle aged teeth, and the pains he was going through as they crumbled, and infested and pulsed with pain. Amis went on to have all of his teeth removed and replaced with drilled and screwed in falsies, and was reportedly paid a million pounds for the story. American, porcelain pearly whites.
When I read about Amis' troubles in a long form essay, (an essay written before his ultimate surgery), I was a young thing, who had 1970’s teeth, with all of the problems that crunchie bars, a ton of Mairie biscuits and sweet, sweet cereal and fizzy drinks had given me. I had by that time, kind of sorted out my eating into a more healthy regime and thought I could outrun the “middle aged crumbling teeth” thing.
I didn’t. I wrote a few weeks ago about my agonies that kept me up all night in pain I imagine a medieval torturer full of the Holy Spirit, drink, with a stomach ulcer, a hatred for living things, and the fervour to crack a "witch" would struggle to inflict on a cake hole.
I've had a lot of work done since those halcyon late 2020 days of pain free gums. Repairs, caps, a triple root canal, fillings and scaffoldings worthy of the awnings and restoration at present concealing Big Ben, all failed last night at around 4pm in the morning as I sat with my old dog, who had been a little distressed at waking up to find noone there. As I sat with him, watching American chat show comedian, jazz fan and all round clever, charming guy, Stephen Colbert peel the orange ex POTUS, I chewed on some dried fruit. And blam. My refurbished molar exploded, the metal core rattling around my bottom teeth and the outer casing of the tooth, split apart, but still rooted in my gum.
Is this my future? A future in which dried fruit is too tough for my teeth? A future of seering pain, hours on my back, gob gaping, filled full of drilling, heating, blowing, poking metal tools and crumbling, sometimes exploding teeth?
Even now, many hours later, my mouth isn't fully defrosted, and I am feeling the first signs of the bruising it underwent to save what is left. And I await the next session later in the month staring at the light, mouth full of machinery, screws and chippings, wondering how many American porcelain teeth you can get for the price of a ton of Maire biscuits.