The Ten O’Clock News: “and the Oscar goes to… every fuckin’ person who was involved in this goddamn hearbreaking real life fuckin’ example of human evil!”

So I think something like two-thirds of this year’s Oscars nominations are based on true stories – 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers’ Club, etc. (I’m assuming they’re nominated. I’ve seen them in the press, you know?!) On an almost entirely unrelated note, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest musical Stephen Ward is closing after a handful of months. I paid vague attention – not enough, clearly – because the actor playing Stephen Ward, who was involved in basically the first contemporary political sex scandal, was in Jesus Christ Superstar which was flipping brilliant and it got me thinking:

If you could make a film or musical about any news story, what would it be?

There are the heartbreaking stories, like the Ugandan tabloid that printed the names of gay people on their cover the day after homosexuality was made punishable by life in prison, which as a topic may well be made into a 12 Years-esque piece in years to come. So may the story of the women who were held in a basement in Ohio for, ah, almost twelve years. Or the Syrian civil war. Or the horrible one about an elderly lollipop man who was hit by a car while working.

Imagining them as films, they’re all up there with The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas in terms of ‘things I wouldn’t pay money to see again’. Which is sometimes what turns a film from ‘interesting’ to ‘brilliant’ (hello again 12 Years) because sometimes we need fiction to teach us about reality.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' from static.tvtropes.org
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ from static.tvtropes.org

On the other hand, we have the funny stories. Gordon Brown calling that woman a bigot. The time a woman put a cat in a bin. That Japanese toilet system that got hacked and started spewing out sewage. These might be more GIF material… I sort of want a musical about the toilet system though. Then there are the utterly brilliant and heart-warming stories, like Canada letting a child have three parents or Endal the dog who could get his owner’s cash out of machines for him. (I’m looking at you, Fred. Fred thinks that human objects are designed to be chewed; as far as I’m aware he’s never eaten our cash but he did nick an entire kebab the other day and got it clean off the skewer leaving only an unsavoury tomato. Part of me wants to reward his tenacity.)

But thinking about it, how many happy news stories get dramatised? No one wants to see The Day the Bus Driver Let Children Board for Free or Supermarkets: Assistants Are Lovely. We want Honey, I Think the Kid’s Self Harming and Kiddiefiddlers Unlocked Part 87.

Then there are the gross stories that are just made for bad adverts. You know those parent blogs where people live post their labour? Yeah. They’d be those adverts at the cinema that never, ever seem to end.

Ew.

Right, current events that should be turned into films: go!

The Ten O’Clock News: a Debate About Scottish Independence

Had a few issues with my laptop earlier so instead of being the link-and-image-filled collage I’d planned, this is going to be a nice discussion post!

Tomorrow is Burns Night  and since it is potentially the last one with Burns as a Brit, I think we should talk about the referendum. Ask the Important Political Questions about Scottish independence. The questions that matter.

Should Scotland keep the BBC if it becomes independent?

Clue’s in the name, love. No Britain, no Sherlock or Strictly or ad-free TV. Get yer own broadcasting service and buy it in like they do in the States.

Should Scotland keep the pound if it becomes independent?

The pound is British currency. (I sense a theme.)

Should Scottish people keep their knighthoods and government-or nation-based awards if it becomes independent?

Hmm. I think foreign nationals can become honorary peers of the realm or something, so it should be like that. I mean, “ex Sir Whatever” sounds a bit crap.

Will each nation be able to extradite or deport shitty residents?

For example, if Andy Murray loses badly.

Will all the cool, shared things become contested and start conflict? 

Conan Doyle was Scottish. Holmes and Watson are not. Everyone likes whiskey. Everyone likes David Tennant. Alex Ferguson ran Manchester United. We all use telephones.

Will those “cute British accents” become more ‘British’ or ‘Scottish’? 

Wait a second. Cute British accents. Tea with the Queen. The Loch Ness Monster. Union flags with punk rock slogans. Tartan. A mutual distrust of everything that may attack this tinny island with rapidly-waning international power. You guys, all the things that endear us to the world are generally British. They are specifically Scottish or Welsh or English or whatever but to the schmucks we sell t-shirts to on bus tours, we’re all British. All of us. Aww.

Will Scotland place higher or lower than the UK in Eurovision?

Now that is worth a referendum.

(It is probably worth noting in the interest of general politics that a) the best economical and military and scientific successes to happen to all four British states have happened while they were British, b) the last time a sovereign nation came into being without conflict and hatred as a cause was probably never so why bother we’ve stayed together this long, babe, we love each other really – let’s just get counselling and a fresh start and c) not one of the pro-independence politicians has demonstrated an ability to found a nation, or even a nation that already exists.)

Plus also I don’t want my ethnicity and nationality to be any shittier to categorise on forms. Anyway, thoughts?

The Ten O’Clock News: There’s a Word for What Happens to Your Nose When You Have a Cold!

Actually I don’t think there is. When I started this post I felt sure I could come up with a term, but the thing about colds is that they render the brain completely useless.

So any suggestions are welcome. So far I’ve considered:

  • Tissue rash
  • Snotticus nasalrash
  • Sneeze-induced face rash
  • Notevenmedicationcansolvethis

Ugh. Help.

The Ten O’Clock News: Some People At FOX Are Mad-Angry Not Mad-Irritated At Non-Republicans!

I think Paxman looked like he was asleep on Newsnight a couple of weeks ago, so here are some funny news-ish videos because my eyes itch and those six hours of sleep are catching up with me.

 

 

Genuinely think that one day Holly Whillouby will lose her temper and bash Katie Hopkins with her papers.

The Ten O’Clock News: Another Tribute

I really don’t know where to start with this post. I garbled a bit about Mandela in June when everyone was all “he’s going to die soon! We had better write something really intense beforehand so that we don’t look like we’re following the crowd when he has died!”

And now he has and I don’t think another blog post is going to add much to the cacophony of essays that’s flooded the press since last Thursday. There have been articles on his dress sense, South Africa’s current issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s reaction to the news, the schizophrenic sign language guy, columns about the time so-and-so’s cousin’s friend’s neighbour’s cousin met Mandela… I don’t know if I have anything to add (which after last week might be a good thing, because although I might be able to handle a lawsuit from a tabloid I don’t think I could cope if South Africa took one out against me for misconstruing myself. It’s been a long week).

Maybe this post should be written in a year’s time, or in a decade. There’s been quite a lot of ‘legend’-like words floating around newsrooms – but my feeling kind of is that up until a week ago, Mandela was a (very interesting, incredibly important and extremely awe-inspiring) person and it is only with time that we’ll really know the extent of his legacy? Because Africa is still a huge mess in terms of inequality  – not that the rest of the world’s got that much of a lead, now that I think about it. Maybe the best tribute is to follow his example and try to be better people. I mean, even imagining living under apartheid is difficult for me because as a white girl from the UK, I’m way up there in the ‘society likes you’ list. I saw a blog post once where the writer said to imagine you were playing a computer game called Life and you get to start with different advantages or disadvantages, like selecting the ‘male’ option or the ‘well-educated’ one, and your selections impact the difficulty of each level. I don’t even remember what it was called but the metaphor’s stuck with me and I’m trying to imagine selecting ‘black under apartheid’ and it’s hard. So maybe we should all do that and quit complaining that not enough coverage was given to the weather.

It’s weather, people. It’s always there. We can see it if we look out the window. Thankfully apartheid is not. Except equality is also not.

There’s a poem in that somewhere, but I really think I ought to go to bed while I can still type.

The Ten O’Clock News: an Article About Some Articles About a Certain YouTube Video About… oh you get the picture my eyes have gone fuzzy.

I would have talked about Nelson Mandela if I hadn’t been planning this post all week – I might do one next week when the dust has settled a bit and I no longer want to cry when I watch the news.

Anyway.

You guys didn’t just think I’d let a prominent sportsperson come out on YouTube and not take the piss out of get angry at investigate the media’s response, did you?

Bit of back story: I first read the news on the BBC app on Monday morning and kept smiling stupidly whenever I thought of it, because the way the article worded it was all cute… then it hit social media and everyone else started chatting, then it was on the six o’clock news and I was simultaneously delighted and disgusted that someone getting a boyfriend is newsworthy, then I went online and found some good responses.

By ‘good’ I mean ‘contains lots of points for discussion’.

Tom Daley’s ‘brave’ announcement should not matter – but it does

Hole in one, BBC Sport. I knew that being queer in sport simply isn’t done, I guess because most sports are traditionally “masculine” and all that bullshit, but I had no idea that it was such a taboo. Apparently “3%” people are gay (my thinking is that a lot more are queer?), so 120 out of the 4,000 members of the Football Association are. Extrapolate the figures to something like the Olympics and that’s a shitload of people. The article reckons that there were “10 openly gay athletes out of 10,000 at the 2008 Games”, which says a lot about global views. Acceptance and rights have improved in recent years, especially on a local level, but there’s a lot of work to be done before it’s okay for people’s sexuality to be so irrelevant that the world stage – and the inter-state athletics associations – doesn’t care.

Diving puns: 1. I also read “humble tumbler” as some sort of Tumblr icon as a tumbleweed.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

Tom Daley is the most significant British sportsman to come out

… ah, but only because he’s so cute. No really, Daily Telegraph, what is up with these assumptions? The “dramatic pause before the big reveal” demonstrating “that Daley is a member of the X Factor generation” might be there because he’d like half a second to contemplate and deal with the huge fucking way his life will change after saying his next sentence. I also take issue with the sweeping statement that I am of a generation defined by a talent(less) ITV show.

The bit about John Amaechi is interesting – what’s up with team sports being homophobic? Is it because in sports like American football, there’s a certain amount of touching involved and some people can’t take it? Don’t flatter yourselves, people.

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

While we’re on the subject of The Telegraph, I read this and was going to go on a “oh hey here’s another journalist twisting the story to bemoan their own coming out, this guy doesn’t even know what it’s like being a professional athlete, how tabloid-dramatic,” when the penny dropped that the writer, Gareth Thomas, is a gay man who used to play rugby for Wales. He’s mentioned in the BBC Sport article. Let that be a lesson in context!

We shouldn’t rush to define Tom Daley’s sexuality

I don’t tend to read The Guardian much because it seems quite pretentious quite a lot, especially in some columns (actually most columnists do my head in, but that’s for another day). But this article sums up my feeling about the whole media circus perfectly. A lot of broadcasters have struggled to use the right definition, in part probably through ignorance of the sexuality spectrum, and in part because absolutely nowhere in the video are the words “I’m [insert sexuality definition here].” I interpret “I’m with a guy but I fancy girls” as ‘queer’ – being ‘not straight’ and way easier to understand and spell than a lot of those acronyms floating around, but it looks like there still needs to be a lot of work done in regards to educating people about definitions?

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: nonononono (to be said like in The Vicar of Dibley.)

I know Tom Daley is an admirable chap but I can’t help feeling a little manipulated

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like the Daily Mail? Well, I found this article and decided a paragraph just… wasn’t enough.

'Mail' Commentary 1

'Mail' Commentary 2

  Let me know if I should prepare for a court case!

 

The Ten O’Clock News: Holy Shit (not a Pope-based pun this time)

…Although it does involve answers to existential questions.

I don’t know who Andy Weir is or what he does other than solving life’s conundrums, but The Egg is really interesting. Ruby sent it to me.

It’s not really news but I’m exhausted and my eyes itch. I think I might watch TV with the dogs and eat more chocolate – and you never know, The Egg might solve a few religious issues…?

Eh maybe not.