Real men, apparently, use this.

We have no internet connection. This was written on 20th but will, probably, be posted on the 21st.

So, what to do?

Not a lot, it seems.

Last night I had a terrible night. Ambulances or fire engines seemed to go past once an hour, waking me up, not because of them, particularly, but just like a mother can hear her baby crying, these sirens presage the howling. The howling is loud, seemingly louder than the sirens themselves and so, to stop it, one must call Dino over.

The first time it happened, about 1 a.m., after quieting Dino down, I got up, for I was thirsty. After a drink I came back to bed but couldn’t sleep even though I was awfully tired. I switched on the TV and flicked through the channels hoping to find something so mind-numbingly boring (and by that I mean something where the voices were rather subdued and flat) that I would fall asleep immediately.

I came across something that was just amazing. It was for something called Edortex or Erosex or something. At first I thought it was for a blow-up doll but after staying on it for a few moments, from what I could make out it was a whole program (although I didn’t stay on it long) about some miracle natural medicine that could make a man ‘a man’ again!

At one point they went to a ‘live’ studio discussion. The presenter (a well-endowed, blonde woman) introduced the first ‘real’ person in the studio. He was a plumber. He stood up when introduced and came to stand beside her extolling the difference this wonderful elixir had made for him.

Except he was not some bloke they had picked up off the street. He was, most definitely, an actor. He probably had never even changed a washer in a tap! He played to the camera with the measured tones of someone reading a script.

I just wondered if he included it in his ‘portfolio’ when he went for other acting jobs?

Even if he did, I wouldn’t have given him a part on this basis. It was truly dreadful acting. But, then, it seemed a truly dreadful program and I guess all the good actors weren’t so interested.

I also wondered what the casting advert for this job was like?

On second thoughts, perhaps he felt he had to act badly so as to ensure that no one thought it was really him saying that without this wonderful product he wasn’t a real man?

I am disappointed

I mean, it’s so much better, isn’t it?

The Brits, who as F rightly says, are quite arrogant, think they have the best TV in the world. They scoff at American ‘crap’ (even though we all watch it); we used to have Eurotrash, taking the piss out of those horrendous foreign TV shows – our shows are just so ‘classy’.

I don’t go for Italian TV much. Not least because I don’t understand it all and so it is not really relaxing.

So, if I’m in the UK, I can’t wait to watch a bit of decent TV.

Except ………..

I get to the hotel about 5. I remember the news is on at 6 but it’s too late to go into Birmingham (which was my original intention) and so I lie down on the bed and switch the TV on.

I flick through some channels. There’s some kid’s stuff but most of the main channels have game shows. I’ve heard of some of them. The Usual Suspects. I’ve read about that, so I linger on that. What a pile of trash it is. Then there’s Deal/No Deal with the great Noel Edmundson (that was a joke – the ‘great’ bit). I’m watching this with some disbelief since it is, in fact, an English version of some show over here. Which is also mind-numbingly dreadful – I mean I have watched it because I can understand it – and if I can understand it, it has to be of fairly low quality.

Then there’s the news. I was addicted to the news when I lived in the UK. Now, it seems too shallow, too much in the way of soundbites, too sensational ……. or quite dumb.

In the past when I’ve been back to the UK, I’ve watched it but this time I realised that every time, without fail, it just disappoints me.

Great TV? No, it’s not great TV. It’s the same as TV the world over. Shallow and pointless and, to be frank, boring. We used to sit in front of the television for hours. It was one of the reasons I never got satellite TV over here. I didn’t want to spend my whole life in front of the box. And now, after time without TV (if you see what I mean), it’s just so very disappointing.

On being ruled by the media

RBS, the bank that made some rather serious mistakes and was bailed out by the UK Government (read by the UK people), are in the news almost every day. Especially in the Daily Hate Mail, who blame the bank for everything.

They’ve not lent money to a business! So the headline screams. Although, of course, if they HAD done it and the business had subsequently failed the headlines would have read “RBS throwing tax-payers money down the drain” or something similar.

For a few weeks now, they (amongst other media) have sought to have the knighthood, awarded to Fred Goodwin (for services to the crisis, I suppose), the ex-boss of RBS and the leader at the time of the disastrous investments, revoked. They asked how it was possible that he kept his knighthood when the bank had to be rescued by the British taxpayer.

The call to strip Mr Goodwin became louder (in the media, that is). And, eventually, the deed was done.

But, one has to ask, without the shrilling of the media, would it have happened?

And, what purpose does this [revoking of the honour] possibly serve?

The media have a part to play in our life but, surely, not to run the country? This is similar to the call for the ban of dangerous dogs; ‘Sarah’s Law'; and a thousand and one other laws and decisions made on the back of the ‘call from the media’. Things that often, quite frankly, are wrong or, at the very least, waste time and money on something that does not work or is irrelevant.

But, I suppose, it distracts the average Joe from looking at real issues.

To me, not only is this trial by media wrong in every case but it also highlights a weak government, one that is reactive rather than proactive; one that thinks publicity (and good publicity, in particular) is everything.

As it is being pointed out (but more quietly), surely, if Mr Goodwin’s knighthood is ‘shredded’, so too should the honours and awards given to other bankers. After all, it was their industry as a whole that got us into this mess, not the actions of a single man.

I hate the idea of the world being run by the media who are, after all, there to sell papers or subscriptions or raise market share for their advertisers. No business really does something for the public good (unless there is money to be made from it) and the media are no exception to the rule.

But they seem to be the new rulers.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

There’s a disturbing thing about polls.  The results will depend on the question asked.

There’s also a disturbing thing about the media. The headline will not necessarily reflect the actual truth. After all, it is a headline and they want you to read it.

There’s another disturbing thing about the media. Or is it about people, in general? It seems that the media, far from reflecting public (or even popular opinion), seem to have taken on a role that was, at one time, the role of the church. They ‘encourage’ certain thinking in their readers.

Take the Daily Mail. Sometimes called the Daily Hate Mail. If you can stay above the overall hatred that is not reserved for anyone in particular but is directed at all people at some time or another, it makes for an interesting read. They hate ‘benefit scroungers’, ‘gay people’, non-white people, white people, Christians, non-Christians. In fact, they hate everyone at some time or another. However, apart from those people who ‘cost the taxpayer’ they seem to hate Muslims most of all.

So, it would be fair to suppose that most of their readers (I say most as I am one of their readers – who disagrees with most, if not all, of their ‘reports’) also hate Muslims.

And so, their article about the latest ‘poll’ has a headline that is quite astounding. Half of people would support a right-wing party if it gave up violence. Except, if you actually read the article and look at the question posed, the headline should read ‘The majority of people don’t want an English parliament, don’t want more controls on immigration and don’t want to challenge Islamic extremism’. Of course, that wouldn’t make you read the article, would it? The reality is that 48% of people said they would support a right-wing, fascist party that didn’t use violence. But, history has shown that they do use violence, since that is part of the fascist make-up. And so, the result is that MOST people wouldn’t support the normal fascist party.

And, anyway, it’s the Daily Hate Mail that is always banging on about how it’s terrible how English people are treated in England; how there is never enough controls on immigration; how Islamic extremism is in every British city whereas, in fact, none of these things is true for the MAJORITY of people. In the same way that MOST people who clam benefits are not low-life, work-shy, scroungers – but every day they have an article about someone that they have found who is like this and readers would think that EVERYONE on benefits is like this.

It disturbs me that so many people can believe the headlines without thinking about the reality.

So, move along now. Nothing to see here.