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Month: April 2011

Calling at Superin Junction, Gagging Order Halt…

Calling at Superin Junction, Gagging Order Halt…

Forget your Twitters. Cheeseford is the home of the real news about this ‘superinjunction’ shizzle that’s going down in the high courts, with the A-listers all enlisting their learned friends to keep uncomfortable details of their private lives out of the red-top blatts. As I have an exemption from prosecution for defamation that I bought out of the back pages of Health and Efficiency for a tenner, I can blow the lid off. That’s enough about my flatulence, though. Here’s what the big names don’t want you to know:

  • T*d Rogers was f***ing D*sty B*n.
  • L**d C***les went off the rails after the death of R*y Al*n, and began pimping T*ch and Qu*ckers in a M*yfair fl*t to feed his gin and quaalude habit.
  • The B*C N******n D***e O******ra and the D******m G*rl P*pers – the details are too sordid even for this blog.
  • Ch*rlton, with numerous Wh**lies, in his dressing room at C*sgrove-H*ll.
  • That take 1 of the H*rry W*rth opening titles featured the comedian doing the wind*w trick st*rk b*ll*ck n*ked.
  • The identity of the illegitimate offspring of the Y*rkshire T*levision ch*vr*n and the B*rder ch*psticks.
  • B*lly D*inty and B*tty the T*a L*dy – Let’s just say that I’ll never watch EBC1 in the same way again.
  • Al* B*ngo – the unconventional way in which he made things disappear, the cheeky scamp.

More as we have it. Cheeseford will not be cowed or silenced.

Bright and not so beautiful

Bright and not so beautiful

The existence of the BrightHouse chain of stores goes some way to explaining why we’re in so much trouble as a nation. The company describes itself as “the leading UK rent-to-own retailer, providing quality branded household goods on affordable weekly payments”. What this means is that you can have your consumer durables now as long as you don’t mind spending the next few years of your life paying through the nose for them. Let’s take as our example a mid-range flat-screen television such as this Philips 32″ LED set. If you have the cash or a credit card with the headroom to buy it, you can have it for a shade under £760. Or you can pay over 3 years at £7.01 a week, and it’ll cost you a total of £1093.56. However, there’s every chance that the item in question will be broken by the time you’ve finished paying for it, so, of course, you pay the extra ‘optional service cover’, which takes the total cost of that telly to nearly £1700.

The key phrase above is “if you have the cash or a credit card with the headroom”. Nobody with either would go to BrightHouse (Obviously they’re not loan sharks. Their name contains the reassuring words ‘Bright’ and ‘House’. Shiny. Shiny. Nice. Not at all sharky.) unless they like pissing money up a wall. The company’s whole business model is based on preying on the acquisitive poor, who are likely to get poorer and poorer if they keep supporting companies like BrightHouse. Interestingly, the company is an offshoot of what used to be known as Radio Rentals, from whom my grandparents rented a Baird TV (and later VCR) for about 30 years. In those days when TV sets were, by necessity, massive items of expenditure and the cathode ray tubes were notoriously capricious, renting made sense even if you were the sort of person who didn’t hold with ‘easy terms’ for anything. Then is not now, though.

If you can get on without that state-of-the-art flat-screen set (and let’s be clear, this is a case of want not need), you can have a lovely telly for 2/10 of sod all. There’s Freecycle/Freegle for starters. Also, about 200 yards up the street here in Lowestoft, there’s a giant British Heart Foundation charity shop selling second-hand furniture and electronics. They have a wall of widescreen CRT sets, all with 28″ screens, for £45 a throw. Not £45 a month over 3 years. A perfectly serviceable TV for 15 pints of beer (or 10 at London prices), and you’ll be saving a lot of plastic, metal and glass from going to landfill. OK, your spanking new flat-screen TV will be HD-capable, but how many HD programmes will you be watching on it? Even if you think that flat-panel TVs are better than CRTs (and the jury’s out on that as far as I’m concerned), is the set in question 24.3 times better than the second-hand set from the charity shop? And even if you can make that leap of perception, is it really worth enslaving yourself to the likes of BrightHouse for years on end? If you can make the leaps of logic required to answer yes, you’re buggered, and you deserve to be.

Herring Fishery Score

Herring Fishery Score

Good news, Richard Herring’s Christ on a Bike is coming to the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft, on 28 April. Having been in a cocoon of Dawsonage for the last few months, I failed to notice this in the list of upcoming attractions, so I am grateful to Reverend Kyle Paisley of Oulton Broad Free Presbyterian Church for bringing the “infantile” and apparently blasphemous production to my attention. The Rev Paisley (now there’s a name that cries tolerance and understanding, dontchathink?) plans to lead a protest outside the theatre. Good luck to him. It’s a free country (still, just about). However, his fulmination has resulted in at least one extra ticket sale for Mr Herring, namely mine. What’s that about the law of unintended consequences?

AV in Colour

AV in Colour

I can’t fault a word of Beetwaste’s analysis of the AV debate. I’m in favour and will be voting accordingly. AV isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an improvement on what we have. Also, a win for the no side of things will kill the debate on electoral form for a generation or more, as the victors present rejection of AV as a comprehensive rejection of any sort of change.

Michael Jackson – Up the Wall

Michael Jackson – Up the Wall

There is a recording studio in London called The Premises. Until a couple of weeks ago, it was best known for its commitment to renewable energy and the recordings that have been made there. Right now, though, it’s best known as ‘that place with the statue of Michael Jackson dangling the baby out of the hotel window’, and the studio website has been deluged with messages from Jackson fans condemning both the statue and The Premises for displaying it. The artist has, according to one fan, racked up a hell of a lot of ‘Karmic debt’. What’s the karma exchange rate for dangling a child out of a window? Anyway, three questions spring to mind:

1) Is art that depicts distasteful events intrinsically distasteful?
2) If you have a problem with what the statue represents, don’t you have a problem with Jackson himself and his baby-dangling antics?
3) Do you have to be stupid, mad and deluded to be a Michael Jackson fan, or is it optional?

We’ve been here before, of course.