Friday, May 08, 2009

Awkward Family Photos

Bored? Down? Feeling unloved?

Of course you are. Look at you.

Well cheer up! Visit this site! It'll certainly put a minor smile on that dreadful face you're wearing.

Look on the bright side! At least your family have never made you pose in a vaguely sexual pyramid! Or have they? If so, I condole you, whilst laughing furiously at you in your absence.

Cheers to good ole Graham Linehan (the genius behind Father Ted and Big Train) on Twitter for the heads-up! Boredom busted! Continue?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Deal? No Thanks.

Let's get one thing straight. I am not averse to mind-numbingly idiotic television. Indeed, I am a major fan of such tripe as ANTM, where girls of varying degrees of attractiveness vie for the chance to grace the cover of some shit tween mag and gain the widespread ridicule of the modelling industry and, indeed, the wider world. Indeed, I daresay my ludicrous love of said programme shall provide fodder for a future blog post. Hold your breath!

However, my tolerance has its bounds. And daily, those bounds are strained. "By what?" I hear you mumble uninterestedly. Since I love you, I'll give you a clue:

Some clue, eh?

Yes, it's Deal or No Deal, arguably the most infuriating piece of formatted luck-quiz ever to dribble its way out of the feverish mind of a former children's entertainer. A rare(ish) blight on Channel 4's otherwise healthy schedule, DoND (roffle) is a loving ode to stupidity, mediocrity and Britain's entitled underpublic. My dissatisfaction with this show (to use a mild term) stems from numerous niggles, which I shall now detail to tediously cathartic effect. Wake up! I'm about to say some harsh words. That's why you're here, innit? Aye.
So here we go!

My first and potentially greatest bugbear with this televised shit is that skill and/or intelligence is not rewarded. Quite the opposite, in fact. Indeed, contestants are encouraged to flaunt their various worthless abilities such as cake decoration, blindness, or extreme pikiness. In themselves, these abilities and the countless others presented pathetically on a daily basis are acceptable. Everyone has a party piece, no? I for one can tie my cock in a bow, a quite splendid feat when performed with the necessary aplomb at a suitable occasion (ie a dinner party or family Christening). However, I would not expect the British General Public to be subjected to my tangled genitals as they chowed down on their Crispy Pancakes. Additionally, I would not expect my mildly interesting penile display to encourage the public to will me to success.

Despite this, a cavalcade of gauche students, pub-dart champions and other assorted weirdoes are trotted out in front of us every single day. Call me crazy (don't), but I like my gameshows to involve an element of ability on the part of the participant. Exemplars of successful models are The Crystal Maze, The Krypton Factor and University Challenge. The aforementioned shows require some form of genuine ability to beat, and - interestingly - offer little financial or material reward for success, despite their gargantuan difficulty levels. The implication seems to be that emerging victorious in these contests is reward enough in itself, as it is a genuine marker of intelligence or skill. Conversely, DoND (roffle) rewards...well, nothing. Not only is the jackpot nigh-on unobtainable (at time of writing, only two Britons have won the £250,000 prize), but the achievement of a succesful outcome has its basis in chance. Yes folks, it's entirely random.

Which is my next major source of aggravation. The show's outcome is completely random. Again, not a problem in itself, but Mr Edmonds and his loyal herd of imbecilic box-fanatics maintain that some tactical element is involved. We hear them speak of "good games", "bad moves" and "tactical errors". I cannot emphasise enough that these are all misnomers implemented to distract the viewers and contestants that they are merely watching people open boxes. I mean, what!? Tension is manufactured around randomly selected fools randomly opening boxes which represent random amounts of cash. I mean, this randomness isn't even a new format! My advice? Instead of perpetuating this charade, make the programme stop. Channel 4, I implore you! No more! Gies more BodyShock instead! I needs me some pebbleheads!

In spite of its arbitrary nature, DoND (roffle) takes itself very seriously. In fact, it has it's own jargon. Yes, the lingua franca of the desperate throng is littered with ridiculous terms. The studio is referred to as "The Dream Factory", the audience - in a disturbingly religious analogy - are named "pilgrims", and the unseen antagonist/giver of money is called the "banker" (HOW APPROPRIATE!!!1! LOL!!! BANKER SOUNDS LIKE WANKER!!!!!11!!!1!). How appropriate that the de facto villain is also the contestants' benefactor. Why? Well, because the morons who watch the programme undoubtedly gain the majority of their income from the Government, whilst bitching relentlessly about how their needs aren't satisifed. To them and Noel, I say: "fuck off. Now."

Remarkably, the show has a massive following. It's among Britain's foremost cults. A group of particularly virginal losers even commentate and discuss the shows. Terrifying. The quasi-religious slant that the show takes is among its most disturbing traits. I swear to Jehovah, if Noel Edmonds, the World's Smuggest Cunt, is indeed the second coming of Christ, I'm converting. To Scientology. Fuck, Scientology's got loads of aliens and shit. I'm converting anyway!

So as we can see, I have several issues with the format, execution and existence of DoND (rof - oh, enough already). Its onus on celebrating and rewarding...well, nothing sticks royally in my craw. What is a craw, anyway? Sounds like a lobster's arse. Hmm. Savoury.

Anyway, it's not all bad, despite my fervent opposition. Occasionally, it allows us to wallow in the sticky, dirty joy that is schadenfreude. Thus, I leave you with this. Happy bad-natured amusement!


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Short Stories

I'd like to draw your attention to this site. It contains a multitude of stories notable for their brevity – each is exactly fifty words long.*

Some are funny, some moving, some quirky, but all charming. Like PostSecret with fewer sexually-confused emos.

Go. Read. Enjoy!

*just like this here post! Wowza!