Saturday, 5 August 2017

Weekend Ramble (I)



As it's becoming nigh on impossible to find the time to watch the BBC let alone blog about it, here are some very random thoughts on things that have managed to cross my increasingly wonky radar over the past few days....

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I don't know whether to laugh or cry about it, so I'll do neither. 

Due to an "accident" a private group conversation on supposedly privacy-guaranteeing WattsApp between a small number of BBC producers, DJs and presenters (somehow) ended up being seen by the very same female BBC Asian Network producer who they (or at least some of them) were lusting after. Their lust for her then (somehow) became public knowledge. As did their lust for a female presenter - and (oh dear!) their private banter about "Pakis" (who they mocked), and their "homophobic" language. 

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear!

Naturally, the Daily Mail saw fit to publish a photo of the lust-inducing female presenter in a particularly lust-inducing photo - something that we at ITBB would never consider appropriate. #everydaysexism.


Of course, at one level, it's screamingly funny that there's a 'scandal' about the hyper-PC BBC's Asian Network featuring a bunch of BBC 'lads' being about as un-PC as it's possible to be and landing the BBC in it. But it's also grimly depressing that a purely private bit of un-PC banter that should never have been made public was made public. (Who at the BBC helped make it public?) 

And one producer has been given a written warning, the other sacked, the DJ has been told he can't do any extra shifts, and our old friend Tommy Sandhu (of Sunday Morning Live and The One Show 'fame') is said by the Mail to be fighting for his career at the BBC.

Purely private banter, leaked (somehow), and BBC Asian Network staff are sacked, reprimanded, sanctioned or under investigation, and yet more famous BBC staff, including senior reporters, can publicly say what the heck they like on Twitter regarding matters of political controversy, in breach of both the letter and the spirit of BBC impartiality, and get away with it with impunity. 

There's something wrong here somewhere. 

Should we start a Free the Asian Network Four campaign?

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So the BBC has finally given Alan Partridge a new series. (Hopefully those lapdance fantasies will finally stop now).

In an interview with The New European, his agent Steve Coogan tells us that he'll be returning to the corporation and our TV screens next spring and, yes, he'll be talking Brexit:
Alan would have voted Brexit for sure. Hard Brexit, given the choice. He’s a Brexiteer because the Daily Mail told him to be.
It’s conceivable, because in this age of Brexit, they (the BBC) might think they need to get in touch with the ‘Little Englanders’ they ignore.
Now, yes, the BBC may well be making the anti-farmer, climate-change-believing Norwich celebrity who holds impeccable BBC-friendly views on other things too ("Never, never criticise Muslims. Only Christians. And Jews a little bit") into a Brexiteer rather than a Remoaner, and it's more than likely that the programme will mock Brexit supporters without any counterbalancing mockery of opponents of Brexit, but that's BBC comedy for you! It's nothing if not impartial, except for not being impartial.

Anyhow, what struck me about the second quote above is that even Steve Coogan appears to believe that the BBC are out of touch with Brexit supporters. Back of the net!

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Oh, and talking about BBC comedy, there's a funny and spot-on TCW piece, a kind of moral fable, by Nick Booth about the kind of comedians who litter the BBC's schedules, doing the same old routines about Trump and the Daily Mail. (You might call them 'BBC comedians'). It's well worth a read.

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James O'Brien was a big surprise to his parents. They found him on the doorstep. They were expecting a bottle of milk.

Evan Davis went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but he couldn't find any.

Ian Katz sleeps like a baby. He wakes up screaming every morning around 3am.

Emily Maitlis was a dancer once in Swan Lake. She fell in.

Kirsty Walk goes into a pet shop. She says: ‘I’d like to buy a wasp please.’ The shopkeeper says: ‘Sorry Ms, but we don’t sell wasps.’ Kirsty (interrupting) says: ‘But you’ve got one in the window!!’

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Alan at Biased-BBC is perfectly correct about this being a misleading headline: 


It makes it sound as if she's making a positive statement. When you listen to the interview though it's clear that she's not making a positive statement. Far from it. (The opening word "Unfortunately" is a big clue). No one watching it could doubt that she'd much prefer to be performing under the Russian flag. 

The blurb below the headline is just as misleading, and even manages to slightly-but-tellingly misquote Miss Klishina. She doesn't say, "It doesn't matter about the flag". She says, "Everyone who's coming to compete here in London from Russia, we know where we're from. And everyone knows that we're Team....erm...It doesn't matter which flag they will see in the stadium, so....inside, and I'm sure that all spectators they know where we're from."

The lads from the Asian Network would probably have had something to say about Darya on WattsApp, poor things.

P.S. My friends have a dog that looks exactly like Vladimir Putin (except that the dog has bigger ears than the Russian leader). True story. 


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Brian Cox (the pop star professor turned BBC presenter rather than the actor) believes that the idea that we - you, me, Sue, Brian Cox, everyone alive on Earth, the whole solar system, the Milky Way, every other galaxy, our entire universe indeed - are, logically, more likely than not to be part of one giant simulation created by and run by a superior civilisation. He really does. 

We learned that from this week's edition of The Infinite Monkey Cagewhere the theme was: 'Are We Living in a Simulation?'. It was absolutely fascinating, but it was proof positive to my mind - and, though he didn't say it explicitly, to one of the programme's guests - that such thinking is no more and no less logical than St. Anselm's or St. Thomas Aquinas's proofs for the existence of God. 

It also suggested to me the truth of the famous saying of G.K. Chesterton's that when people stop believing in God they'll believe in anything. 

I'd amend that, however, to "when some people stop believing in God they'll believe in anything" - case in point, Prof. Brian Cox (if he really exists). 

Naturally, being the BBC, Robin Ince & Co. repeatedly joked about the superior civilisation having a laugh by running the 'Trump wins' simulation of reality - a simulation, Robin & Co. didn't add, where comedians like him might well have been programmed by our superior virtual reality creators to crack nothing but jokes about Trump (or the Daily Heil) and, thus, be condemned to a virtual eternity of being a Radio 4 comedian. 

2 comments:

  1. That story about the thoughtcrimes among BBC Asian Network male staff made my week. Men of that heritage might make sexist and homophobic remarks? Imagine. Didn't the BBC assure us a couple years back they had put new policies and rules into place and had staff take training courses about this sort of behavior?

    I wonder if the BBC has tried to keep this hushed up lest it give permission for prejudice.

    Remember kids, always log out when you're done.

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  2. If the BBC think they are somehow going to reconnect with Brexit voters by personifying them as the delusional dinosaur, figure of fun and embarrassment, Alan Partridge then that tells you how little they have learned and how much contempt they have for over half the electorate.

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