Stuff & Nonsense #1176

-> Say she always puts a game show on and
-> Now she says she wants to be in movies
-> Cause it feels just like the apartment where you stayed
-> And her favorite show means nothing to me
-> Cause I think I’m sick of it now
Say she always puts a game show on and

If you choose to operate in the analogue business world, where all costs are squeezed and where the sharp suit and confident manner matter more than problem solving, that’s fine. We need plumbers, nail salon owners and, indeed, blonde divas of all genders from across lower management to learn how to work in teams.

But that’s not the world that is emerging.

If I could get my hands on the apprentices, I would first teach them to write code. Next, to attend a hacker convention, where their suits and abrasive manner would be ridiculed until both were abandoned. Next, to a hedge fund, where they would be asked to design an algorithm for arbitraging various commodities markets. Next, to a customer-centred business or charity, where they would learn that looking and sounding like a prat is exactly the opposite of what drives market share.

And I would make the jeopardy real. On being sacked, you would get to trundle your suitcase into a Job Centre Plus, where – after a short lecture about flexible labour markets – Iain Duncan Smith’s people would set you to work cleaning drains for minimum wage. Forever.

Because the lionisation of pinstriped hubris and the stigmatisation of economic failure go together. Benefit porn and “hapless aspirational fool” shows have become the mirror television holds up to society. Both seem utterly distorted.

Paul Mason

Now she says she wants to be in movies

Essentially, while I am allowed to exaggerate for comic effect (if it is considered by the lawyers that the exaggeration is obvious and clearly authored by an unreliable and biased character, ie me), I am not allowed actively to lie. And it struck me as strange, as I watched the eggs rain down on Conservatives this month, that my standup comedian’s lowly standup comedy routines are held accountable to higher legal standards of truth and decency than, for example, a prime minister’s conference speech.

Cameron’s repeated smearing of Corbyn in Manchester, for supposedly saying 9/11 was not a tragedy, when he obviously did the complete opposite, is the case in point. Paradoxically, while the BBC can broadcast Cameron’s lying speech in full, without any critical analysis or disclaimers, if I had written the same comments in a standup comedy routine the lawyers would tell me it could not be transmitted.

The Tories seem free to operate beyond the law, beyond truth, beyond accountability, beyond good and evil
I suppose somebody in Conservative central did the maths and decided that the long-term benefits of associating Corbyn with a dishonestly decontextualised phrase about 9/11 outweighed the risk of Cameron himself being perceived as a fundamentally deceitful and manipulative liar; and that a sympathetically biased, or cowed and fatally compromised, media were unlikely to hold the prime minister to account for his lies.

To be charitable, perhaps Cameron genuinely thinks that, for the long-term good of the UK, Corbyn must be discredited at any cost, and that truth, ethics, decency are justifiable collateral damage. This is the kindest thing you can say about the unprecedented depths of dishonesty the prime minister sank to in his conference speech.

Stewart Lee

Cause it feels just like the apartment where you stayed

For years he drew deep on the tradition of well-dressed early 90s sales rep whose natural habitat is a service station just off the M6 eating an all-day breakfast with a look of bitter melancholy in the eyes. In warmer climes favours the lighter coloured suit, sometimes in a vivid blue and, at awards gigs, can sport something a little shiney and flash, no doubt purchased from an expensive menswear shop in Leamington Spa. Seems almost certain to have owned those strange stripy shirts with a plain collar. Off duty, I imagine it’s all pink polo shirts, slacks and anything which will soak up gin.

John Nicholson

And her favorite show means nothing to me

What is it about British culture that chews up funnymen and spits them out the other end as finger-wagging purveyors of chattering-class orthodoxy?

So many comics have undergone this humour-neutering process. They start off as joke-tellers, pricking social pretensions, and end up as angry enforcers of new social doctrines…

He’s metamorphosed from a side-eyeing, witty observer of the weirdness of 21st-century life into a faux-outraged railer against anyone who doesn’t share his outlook….

It’s like the British cultural establishment, and especially the Beeb, is a kind of dying star, sucking in fresh, funny people and flattening them into conformist cardboard cutouts of Alan Yentob only with a few knob gags for old time’s sake.

Brendan O’Neill

Cause I think I’m sick of it now

The way we all consume news is changing. The way we share news has changed and will continue to change at a faster pace. This week TV and newspapers have proven to me why they are not the future of news. If they can’t even get their facts right, be trusted with clear information and then report it accurately is it any wonder that we are all turning to Facebook, Twitter and other internet sources for our news and information? The internet allows us to come to our own conclusions by checking our own facts. We really can’t trust the traditional outlets to do it right or properly.

John Darvall


– > Gerard Way | Television All The Time


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