Saturday, 28 November 2015
There's always a kid at school who's got at least two webbed fingers. It's a fairly minor quirk of evolution and completely innocuous, but it becomes somewhat of a fascination to everyone. And in particularly boring geography lessons all you can do is stare at this webbed fingered entity and wonder if their mum had a bit of how's your father with a frog.
And it's this lurid obsession with the abnormal that leads to a grotesque desire to shine a light on these harmless souls. Way back in the olden days the freak show was a popular carnival treat which promised to highlight the rarities of Mother Nature's hand, but it's not the olden days anymore, so TV reigns supreme. Hence the endless glut of shows on Channel 4 and Channel 5 which propose to document the lives of people who are physically unnatural in the eyes of a perfectionist society.
It's a fairly modern phenomenon of the TV schedules and one that don't seem to be going anytime soon, so it's ripe for lampooning and satirising. And that's exactly what Alice Lowe did in LifeSpam: My Child is French.
Saturday, 21 November 2015
When you're a kid, mastering the art of swapping is pretty essential. After all, there's always something your mate's got that you want and vice versa. Cold hard cash, of course, is a commodity so scarce to kids that it's not even worth saving up. And waiting for Christmas or your birthday takes absolute aeons when you're a little squirt, so yeah, swapping, what a great way to get what you want!
Actually, you know what? Eradicating all currency and purely relying on swaps wouldn't half be a good system to consider for the entire world. Ownership is purely transient, so why should we bother fumbling around with coins and notes when, instead, we could reduce the clutter of possessions that, the pursuit of which, causes us untold and biologically unnatural stress?
And money don't even exist anyway! It's purely a series of numbers floating around in the cloud (probably, everything's up there now except God and his unfashionable peace and morality), so let's consign it to the trashcan because quite frankly we've all had enough of bankers running round with their trousers down and their shirts off whilst glugging jeroboams of champagne.
So, to sum up, in just a few paragraphs we've managed to solve all the financial stresses and injustices that riddle society. The future of market trading lies in swapping and we're all gonna live happily ever after like in that John Lennon song 'Imagine'. Oh wait, hang on, we'd only gone and forgotten about bloody Alfonso Bonzo! Now there's a cautionary tale on the dangers of swaps if ever we heard one, so let's take a quick ganders at it!
Saturday, 14 November 2015
What in good heavens are the best Peep Show episodes? An important question, obviously, and more pertinent than ever now that Series 9 of Peep Show is here and the writers, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, have finally decided that these will be the final six adventures for Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Usborne. Forever. Until, of course, they get the band back together for a geriatric reunion special in 2040. And we really want that to happen.
So, yeah, Peep Show, what a marvel it's been over the last 12 years. Mark and Jeremy's exploits straddled our 20s like some comedic facehugger which refused to let go of our guffawing chops. And, by jove, didn't it bloody resonate with us til it hurt?
You see, anyone who's ever stepped foot in that uncertain state known as humanity will know exactly what it's like to go through the whole gamut of finicky and bewildering traits on display in Peep Show. Because, sure, we all want a huge helping of happiness for us, our friends and our families, but, like Mark and Jeremy, we often grind to a halt at that self preservation stage. And it's our intrigue with what happens when you give in to such base, selfish desires that's left us fascinated with Mark and Jeremy's befuddled inner monologues and outrageous external actions.