Apr. 6th, 2008

peterbirks: (Default)
So, I was watching the Grand National yesterday (I picked two horses in a nanosecond and one of them came second -- I am good at this) and, in true Grumpy Old Man fashion, I was appalled at the BBC's coverage. Not the camerawork, not the exemplary commentary from McGrath, not even John Parrott's "man of the people" stuff (no Statto any more, I noticed).

No, what got my GOM goat was Clare Balding's pile of shit announcements to the crowd, who were told, no more and no less, to applaud the jockeys ("these brave men") as they walked out of the weighing room. For fuck's sake, applauding the jockeys for doing their job?

And then, after Comply Or Die had won it, they were told to applaud the horse!

Look, Clare, applause should be something that people do, of their own accord, when they appreciate someone. If people have to be told to do it, it's fucking meaningless. The fear, quite clearly (and soundly) is that Clare might say "Ladies and Gentlemen - The Jockeys!" only for the crowd to carry on drinking their beer. Well, that's the risk that you take.

I've taken a vow. If anyone, anywhere, ever again, tells me to stand up, or to applaud, then I will not do it, even if I would have done it without the prompting. There's enough people in the world telling me what to do. I don't need television commentators and minimum wage toastmasters to do the same.


A bright morning on Saturday. 18 degrees Centigrade, windows open. Heating off.

This morning? See below.

Snow In London April 2008


There's an advert on the TV at the moment encouraging people to join the British Army (http://www.visit4info.com/advert/Army-To-The-Best-Shot-Woman-MoD-British-Army-Recruitment/57638).

Well, I thought to myself, this is all very fine, but surely this an advert for the paramedic corp? Would it attract the right kind of people? In other words, is this a recruitment ad, or part of a PR campaign?

I mean, what about the people out there who basically want to go out and kill people, legally? I may be a bit confused here, but I've never seen a rifle being used to patch up a wound. And if you are thinking about joining the army, I don't think that a first-aid kit is the first piece of equipment that springs to your mind.

So, I recommend a new recruitment drive, telling it as it is. "Nothing to live for in the depressed pit of the universe that you live in? Want to kill people and get away with it? Then the Army is for you! It's just like being with your mates on a Saturday night, except you have guns. (Warning, significant danger of dying)".


I just stabbed myself in the finger reaching for a spatula in the kitchen drawer. I forgot that I bought a vegetable knife recently (a good one, clearly, given the damage it inflicted on the tip of my finger). I forgot that, being a vegetable knife, its point would be considerably lower than the tips of all my longer knives. Result, claret everywhere as I frantically tried to cut a plaster to fit onto the tip.

This was also the finger that I nearly sliced in two lengthwise when younger, in a fight with a pinball machine (it's a long story), so the nerves are slightly criss-crossed there anyway. Slightly annnoying.


And I forgot to congratulate the good Doctor Channing on his win in the Irish Open. €800K never goes amiss. Neil's interview on www.pokerverdict.com shows what a marvellous raconteur he is (and why he is a success at the poker table). Basically, you need to get people to not mind losing to you. Neil, however, is convinced that most of the players at the Vic are onto him, and that now they would rather lose to anyone else, just to spite him.

Surely the Youngster should start entering tournaments. What with VC and NC chopping it off, DY must be due?


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