Monday, 12 January 2009

Monday 12/01/09

The following statistics were gleaned for the radio and/or weekend newspapers. They could be apocryphal.

Apparently 1 in 4 households in the UK now has a copy of Mamma Mia! This is interpreted as the critics being wrong; I think it’s more of an indictment of a quarter of the British public’s execrable taste.

A report into social mobility states that as many as 9 out of 10 senior army officers went to public school. Hardly bloody surprising! It’s only those who have been psychologically traumatised by the public school system (or life in the Royal Family) that could put up with the life of an army officer.

In a recent interview for an engineering degree course at Cambridge, 5 out of 6 applicants could not perform the simple mental calculation of 2 to the power 10. A class of 24 16 year-olds were asked the same question and only one boy could provide the answer; this one pupil was considered ‘unusually bright’. It’s sad when being able to do 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 confers gifted status on you. That must mean that every pupil in my primary school was a genius. However, is it perhaps the result of the fact that calculators have now replaced a focus on mental arithmetic? If so, I wonder what has replaced mental arithmetic in the syllabus.

A sub-postmaster’s son was shot and killed in a post-office raid last week. Headline news yesterday on the BBC News website was that his fiancée’s life is now ‘destroyed’. While it is undoubtedly tragic that this chap was shot and killed, is it really newsworthy that his fiancée’s life is destroyed? Is it also newsworthy that prayers are to be said for his family? The BBC might just as well start reporting the life stories of everyone killed in Gaza over the last few weeks. The BBC’s reputation for objective news reporting is coming increasingly into question when so much subjectivity and sentimentality is being displayed. Even the police are getting in on the act by releasing the fiancée’s statement, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the task of finding the perpetrators and everything to do with functioning as the family’s PR agents.

Last week I bemoaned the proliferation of Amercian-English being used by native English speakers. Today there’s a BBC news story entitled ‘Court to rule on Zuma graft case’. Has Jacob Zuma been caught illegally performing some bud grafting by the Capetown Horticultural Society?

Hardly got any sleep last night what with the prostate and the rain hammering down on the roof of the caravan. While walking along a rain sodden pavement it struck me that shoe manufacturers have not as yet solved the problem of rainwater from the soles of you shoes flicking up over the toes and soaking the uppers when walking. Perhaps the toecaps should be facilitated with miniature mudflaps.

Been fighting with a virus infestation on the laptop for the last few weeks. I’m finally getting it wiped and rebuilt this morning, so I have quite a bit of data back-up up to do before the techie arrives.


  1. My own feeling is that the BBC should be reduced to one News television channel, one general television channel and one Radio station. I do not understand why I am paying for "The Wall", "Strictly Come Dancing", Mr. J. Ross and a multitude of other pap via the licence. All of these could be supplied via a commercial provider.

  2. And what's wrong with Mamma Mia - Good fun and good feel good stuff. I don't think it was ever claimed that the film was the peak of artistic achievement and to treat it as if it was is unfair. Unless of course you aspire to be Victor Meldrew?

  3. Irascible,

    Knowing you as I do, and knowing you to be an inveterate afficionado of the genre known as 'the musical', I suspected you might have bought a copy of Mamma Mia!

    Naturally you are excused from my generalisation.


  4. OK - You caught me out - yes we do have a DVD of Mamma Mia - and also a copy of the film on Itunes which I can watch on my iPod - Sometimes I am soooooo gay!

  5. Irascible,

    One explanation for 1 in 4 having a copy of Mamma Mia! is that 1 in 4 is actually gay.

    I note your blog page gives you a psychological profile of Victor Meldrew too.

    When, may I ask, are you going to start your blog on your journey through your cancer? It will be something tangible for you to leave behind and may give inspiration to others undergoing the same trauma.


  6. Yes - that blog - I suspect I never will start it - if I were going to I should have done so some 2 years or so ago.

    1/4 gay - now there's a thought to conjure with!

  7. Irascible,

    How about becoming a guest blogger?


  8. I caught an advert on the tv last night, explaining that a certain bank is having a sale. Well, I can report that this is not necessarily so! As I was in our local town today, I called in at the branch to enquire exactly how much they were selling their pound coins for. I can exclusively reveal, through the pages of your blog, that there is 0% discount on their currency. When I queried this, it resulted in my being asked to leave the premises.

    As you are the font of all knowledge, my question is - Should I attempt to sue them for false advertising and do you think I have a case?

    Yours in anticipation........

    The Spiv

    The Irascible Fairy is right - Mama Mia IS a great dvd. It has given me many hours of peace and quiet as She-who-must-etc watches it!

  9. Spiv,

    What was advertised in the sale?