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June 2009 Archives

Now, where was I......

By Paul Flower on Jun 26, 09 06:20 PM

It's festival season. I note this as some weak explanation of my tardiness, even if I'm not entirely sure what tardiness means. The fact is that at my stage of advanced adulthood if I go away for three days to an event like the Isle of Wight Festival then it's very likely to take me at least double that time to recover, by which time it's time for the next event which, this year, is Hard Rock Calling currently taking place in Hyde Park (I'm in a portacabin sheltering from the rain).

My tiredness means that I'm barely able to string a sentence together. To be fair this doesn't usually stop me from trying but the consequence is that I'm the only one that can understand the aforementioned sentence. Not a great selling point if the aim is to have more people reading this blog, which it is. Tell your friends!

The other issue is that post-festivals I can generally fall asleep at the drop of a hat. In fact don't bother dropping any hats as I'll be snoozing before it hits the floor and completely unable to pick it up. Now you understand what I was saying about the sentences making sense.

The loyalty factor

By Paul Flower on Jun 18, 09 01:03 PM

This week's blog could've been encompassed within the few words I wrote on my twitter feed yesterday - we get relegated, he gets promoted and I get stuck with a season ticket I no longer want. This was, of course, a response to the inevitable resolution of the long-drawn-out saga over whether Tony Mowbray would go to Celtic.

Like most football fans I am slightly one-eyed but even I recognise the overwhelming lure of power and money, no-one can really deny that Mowbray is moving to a bigger club, a club that can buy top players, a club that has the potential to win things. It is regrettable that he chose the immediate post-season to remind his players about the value of loyalty but we all know that loyalty has no place in modern football, he may as well have saved his breath.

So, I wish Mowbray well, there's no point in bleating about it. A similar point could be made to those Villa fans still sore about Gareth Barry's departure. I try to see both sides of any argument and how many of us would've turned down the opportunity to increase our salaries by that amount? He even wrote you a letter - how many players would bother to do that?

Whilst you may see me in a new light of magnanimity, see PF in his coat of charitable colours, you should be under no illusion that I'm similarly disposed towards existing players who demonstrate or vocalise their desire to be elsewhere whilst being gainfully employed and paid by my long-supported club. These players seem to have very short memories and a shockingly small conscience that their input may be at least partly responsible for placing us in this diminished position.

In the wake of the Susan Boyle controversy Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden has said that it'd be 'impractical' for them to psychologically screen all entrants to the competition. She's right of course, but instead of impractical she could also have used the term 'counter-productive'. The entire joy of watching the initial audition process would be destroyed if they were to exclude people due to borderline personality disorders.

It probably says something about my personality but I have no interest in seeing people with moderate talent trying to prove their worth, I'm far more interested in the legions of the misguided and (possibly) psychologically-impaired who think that they have something special to offer, when in truth they've always just had special-needs.

The malignant spread of reality TV seems to prove that I'm not alone, clearly most couch-potatoes like a dose of delusion with their evening meals. We all like to laugh or gasp at the 'hilarious' efforts of those who believe themselves to be the next Madonna, or Elvis. It's the modern-day equivalent of bear-baiting, or maybe it's dog-fighting for non-chavs or bare-knuckles for non-pikeys. Seeing Cowell savage would-be contestants, tearing their hopes into tiny pieces, is a bizarrely-ritualistic form of entertainment taking us back into the arena with the gladiators and the emperor who can turn fate with a simple twist of thumb-up or thumb-down.

A psychologist friend of mine has written a blog on our generally spiteful nature with regard to these programmes, a prescient piece considering that it was written before Ofcom mentioned the 350 complaints they'd received about BGT. It seems that the vast majority were not complaining about Boyle (only 20 phoned in concern for her) instead they were raging at the treatment of ten-year-old Hollie Steel, who broke down in tears during one of the semi-finals. Before you think that this should warm your heart please note that 50 were questioning the morals of subjecting crying children to the nation, the other 280 were complaining that Cowell gave her a second chance to perform after the tears had been shed. The complainers said this was just unfair.

Britain's got crap TV

By Paul Flower on Jun 1, 09 02:46 PM

Cyprus is a beautiful temperate country, its occupants are warm and friendly, it is steeped in history both modern and ancient. I have spent memorable holidays there on a number of occasions, I love Cyprus. Unfortunately now when I think of Cyprus I think of only one thing - the outline of the island as tattooed on the bulbous wobbling belly of some bald fat dancing fool on a TV talent show.

It was hard to avoid Britain's Got Talent last week, I know because I tried. As it transpired I saw about 30 mins of one semi-final, and 45 mins of the final. There are some acts I managed to avoid altogether and I my life was enriched by their absence.

We're now into the silly summer season on television, a time when all your favourite shows come to an end and are replaced by nothing you'd really want to watch. Or maybe that's just me. In the past few weeks I've lost Heroes, Desperate Housewives and The Shield, more of which later, and it'll soon be the end of The Apprentice. It troubles me though that the shows generally recognised as being great are usually treated very badly by UK TV channels.

Authors

Paul Flower

Paul Flower - Paul Flower works in the music industry, a promoter, critic, (self)-publicist and all-round consultant to clients.

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