Media Archives

November 7, 2004

Simon Schama Schpectacle

Looks like I should have tuned in to the BBC on election night. Blood and Treasure writes:

And when writers, purblind or not, gather with worldly America, they take refreshment in large quantities. I saw Schama on the BBC around midnight on election night and he was absolutely rat arsed. Not just merry, but wall eyed, fuckwit blotto. His shirt was three buttons undone, his tie vanished, an absurd lecherous grin on his face as he yelled

"'s the Democrats. The Democrats. I know because my daughter was in new Hampshire today and they're all lovely people up there and she was getting out the vote and there were people hugging and voting and she cried and the Democrats are going to win!"

Then he turned to fellow panelist David Frum and shouted: "are you looking at me, you self-hating Canadian bastard or are yer chewin' a brick, 'cos either way you're going to hospital."

Well no he didn't. Not the last bit, anyway. He was cut off too soon for that. But I do detect a certain crapulous tone to the Guardian piece.

Here in the Netherlands, we had the great, if somewhat smelly, Maarten van Rossem, but I went to bed at quarter to three AM when it was clear to me which way things were going. By that time, van Rossum had knocked back three or four stiff ones, so he was only at his baseline.

November 16, 2004

Was it Pim or William?

A KRO contest picking the greatest Dutchman ever returned Pim Fortuyn yesterday, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the not completely stupid. But wait! There were some problems with the phone lines, and apparently a recount including late-arriving votes has returned William of Orange (the first, not the guy who married the English chick) instead, Radio 1 reports.
We'll hear more tomorrow, I'm sure. We're a bit short on Important Issues to Go Into a Murderous Rage About lately.
For what it's worth, though, the votes counted before the end of the final TV show make up the official results. Those gave Fortuyn 115,000 votes to William's 111,000 - a very meager mandate. The unofficial count is William 161,000 - Fortuyn 130,000.

For comparison: in similar contests, the British picked Winston Churchill and the Germans Konrad Adenauer. Surely those will have been the subject of heated debate, but they do indicate that our neighbours haven't taken leave of their senses yet.

January 9, 2005

Wardrobe malfunction

Found via the Keenspace forums:
Mickey Rooney's backside not fit to show during the Superbowl.

Fox has rejected a Super Bowl ad featuring a Mickey Rooney wardrobe malfunction.

In the spot for Airborne, a natural cold remedy, the 84-year-old star of such 1940s staples as National Velvet and the Andy Hardy films is in a sauna when someone behind him coughs. He overreacts, jumps up, screams and heads for the door. In his rush, his towel drops, baring his buns for about two seconds.

"Our standards department reviewed the ad and it was deemed inappropriate for broadcast," says Lou d'Ermilio, spokesman for Fox Sports.

I suppose it's just as well that this ad won't be shown, because it would set a bad example for America. Sauna towels are for sitting on, not for wrapping around you. You want the sweat to flow freely to get the full benefit of the sauna in the first place. Swimsuits are a big no-no for the same reason. In a culture where people understood these things, an ad like that would not have been made in the first place.

January 18, 2005

Go tell'em, Gianna!

At last, someone fights back against the Anti-Fun League. And what do you know, she's from ole Yoorp!

Athens chief fumes at US lewdness claims

By Karolos Grohmann

ATHENS (Reuters) - A clutch of complaints by U.S. viewers that the Athens Olympics opening ceremony featured lewd nudity has incensed the Games chief, who warned American regulators to back off from policing ancient Greek culture.

Gianna Angelopoulos warned the Federal Communications Commission watchdog, sensitive after a deluge of outrage when singer Janet Jackson's breast was exposed at a Super Bowl game, not to punish NBC television that aired the Games.

Male nudity, a woman's breast and simulated sex were the subjects of shrill complaints about the opening ceremony on August 13 which were posted by the FCC on its Web site.

"Far from being indecent, the opening ceremonies were beautiful, enlightening, uplifting and enjoyable," Angelopoulos wrote in a weekend commentary in the Los Angeles Times titled "Since When is Greece's Culture Obscene?"

"Greece does not wish to be drawn into an American culture war. Yet that is exactly what is happening," she said.

Complaints focused on a parade of actors portraying naked statues. Among them were the Satyr and the nude Kouros male statues, both emblems of ancient Greece's golden age.


"We also showed a couple enjoying their love of the Greek sea and each other. And we told the history of Eros, the god of love. Turning love, yearning and desire into a deity is an important part of our contribution to civilisation," Angelopoulos said.

The FCC, whose authority only extends to U.S. media, has said it is looking into complaints, nine of which were listed on its Web site, but it was not clear whether a formal investigation would be launched.

Angelopoulos, who said the handful of U.S. complaints were dwarfed by the 3.9 billion people who watched the ceremony, had a blunt message.

"[...] it is astonishingly unwise for an agency of the U.S. government to engage in an investigation that could label a presentation of the Greek origins of civilisation as unfit for television viewing."[...]

May 20, 2005

What we should do

We should campaign for the breakup of Belgium. We should also stir up local trouble between the German Bundeslaender, in the hope that Bremen, Hamburg, Niedersachsen and Nordrhein-Westfalen —our nearest neighbours— all become independent nations. A minor civil war may be a price worth paying; after all, the former Yugoslav Republics were all killing each other's citizens a decades ago, and now they love one another, they really do. This basically validates the aims of the event. They are good aims, and they work.
We should stop sending people of Surinamian or Antillian descent. Sorry to be so bluntly racist about it, but New Europe doesn't want to look at them, doesn't care about their musical heritage, and won't award them points. Instead, we should pick the teenaged daughter of a Yugoslavian refugee off the streets, dye her hair blond, stick her in front of a microphone, and let her warble in her ancestral language. English doesn't increase appeal like it used to. Actually, we may not have to dye her hair blonde — it seemed to me that the peroxide quota was down this year.
What we should stop do is pick contestants based on their singing abilities. First of all, sounding like Whitney Houston is clearly worse than singing out of tune. Secondly, we have a history of sending out singers who fail to hit that high note on the big day, in the same way that we have a history of missing penalty shots when the pressure is up. Better not to shoot for that high note at all; after all, there were quite a few contestants who couldn't sing at all, and they got through to the finals. As a strategy, impressing the viewers with your vocal qualities is doomed to fail.
We should probably try to get some decent songwriting into the event, but only if it's squarely aimed at the lowest common denominator. Danceable ethno-pop or tunes that sound like John "Jellybean" Benitez rejects from 1985 will do quite nicely; impassioned soul ballads will not. Alternatively, we should finally embrace the high camp of the event like everyone else.
Only if we do those things will the Netherlands have any chance of ever taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest finals again, let alone winning. So let's start fomenting unrest in Germany and Belgium today.

November 21, 2005

Caning a diabetic dog

A repeat performance from Andrew Rilstone in which he demolishes another "PC Brigade" story, taking off with the headline

"Yes, it's hard to believe, but now Santa AND Christmas lights have been banned."
. Upon closer examination, the actual story turns out to be
Local council doesn't ban the word Christmas from light switching on festivities at all.
Town moves Santa five minutes round the corner
Again, read it. And next time you come across a story like the one he dissects, or a second-hand report of same, engage maximum skepticism. You may want to blogroll Andrew's blog as well - he doesn't post much but when he does it's always great stuff.

Update: See this story at Media Watch Watch. It gets a bit confusing because that website was set up to counter an organisation called Media Watch and in this post links approvingly to Australian Mediawatch but once you've got the sourcing figured out, it's another good example of a non-story being turned into a story by means of Making Shit Up. It's about a report that British banks were "banning" piggy banks for fear they might offend Muslims. The reality: banks haven't been big on porcelain porcines for some time.

December 13, 2005

The final word on the "War on Christmas" from an American perspective

A good, carpet-F-bombing rant from

Can we back up just a couple steps here? At what point did a basic understanding of the separation of church and state become a fucking war on religion? And how did we get to the point where you can call an organization set up to defend our civil liberties "Terrorists" on national television and no one fires your ass? Enough. Fuck all of you lying little shitheads who wish the world was out to get you so you could play the poor oppressed victims. Wake up assholes — you're the cowboys, not the fucking Indians.

"But we want to display our Christmas tree on city property!" You can, go right ahead. "They're stopping us from praying in school!" They're not, so fuck off. "We're not allowed to say 'Merry Christmas' anymore!" Are you fucking kidding me? Knock yourself out. Say it at work, scream it in your high school lunch room, hell, tattoo it on your fucking forehead for all we care. Guess who's gonna be there defending your right to do every one of those things? The fucking ACLU. One of these days you bastards are going to drive those fuckers out of business, and then you'll see some actual attacks on your religious liberties. I thought conservatives were supposed to be all proud and independent? When did they turn into a bunch of fucking crybabies?

[snipped bit including an interesting link to a Christian website summarising the known scholarship on the birth of Christ and its celebration, or rather, the lack thereof, in early Christian history]

But you boys at FOX still freak out every year about how everyone's out to get your special trees. This is really the most important thing you have to talk about? Whether Target says Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas? Here's a brainstorm: there's a fucking war on. Our soldiers are out there dying while you guys do your 14th live feed of the day from WalMart to show us what good little consumers we are. What Would Jesus Do? He'd jump over that newsdesk and kick your ass for that shit. Are you sure you want to hang your journalism credentials on a story about what some guy calls a tree?

Well we've fucking had it. You want to play bullshit games and scream about how God's fucking judgment is gonna come raining down on us if we don't start watching our vocabulary? Go right the fuck ahead. But let me clue you in on something: fire and brimstone ain't no deterrent for us. We're not going to hell, assholes, we're fucking in hell. We live with you.

That cheered both me and Jeroen up after a difficult Monday and Tuesday morning... (Via)

February 16, 2006

A Bear called, er, Jeremy

Another quick one from my childhood: Drawn's Jay Stephens reminisces on A Bear Called Jeremy. I recognised this guy at once... funny how all the media my brother and I consumed when we were little has stayed with me, when I can hardly remember anything I actually did myself.

Anyway. This fella was known to me as Beertje Colargol, het beertje dat kan zingen and seeing him again brought a little smile to my face. Maybe I should try writing and drawing for children's television, to brainwash a generation or two into loving my creations.

May 20, 2006

Suomi Perkele!

Just when you thought it was turning into the Warsaw Pact Song Contest, Finnish entrants Lordi win the Eurovision Song Contest. They... don't look a bit like Värttinä:
Lordi's ideal-son-in-law type frontman.

I've been told this is Finland's first win, but if they just send Finntroll next year they'll have their second victory in the bag soon enough.

The clean-cut instrumentalists

Monster band has Finland fretting over face it shows - International Herald Tribune backgrounder

July 20, 2006

There but for the grace of God go I

Why Finntroll is allegedly bad for humanity
Hey, he's having fun, all right? If you haven't ululated along with Finntroll, you haven't lived.

August 16, 2006

Some lounge music while we wait for the server to come back up

This is not safe for work, immature, puerile, tasteless and you've probably seen it before. It's also an earworm. Therefore, I am posting it here:
Music by The Wet Spots
Update: I found out that the video I linked to was no longer available for, ahem, some reason. However, I could find another version easily, and updated the link.

February 8, 2007

Doing my bit to stamp out the myth of the Poor Man's Copyright

Every once in a while, the issue of how to copyright your artistic work comes up in a blog or forum. When that happens, chances are someone will bring up the neat trick of sending a copy of your work to yourself in a sealed envelope, so that the date stamp proves that you owned the work on that date and that it was created before that.

Here's what Plagiarism Today has to say on Poor Man's Copyright:

It is the worst kind of myth. It is wasteful, achieves nothing, gives a false sense of protection and can leave good people more vulnerable than if they had done nothing at all. There is simply no way that poor man's copyright is a valid strategy for protecting one's work.

To find out why, read the rest and read the entry on the myth that PT links to.

February 9, 2007

The Voice of Death is dead.

Ian Richardson died today. I mostly knew him from his fantastic performance as Sir Francis Urquhart in House of Cards and its two sequels. I also enjoyed him playing the Voice of Death in the Sky adaptation of Terry Pratchett's novel Hogfather broadcast last Christmas. One of very few lines in the script to that two-part series that deviated from the novel was that line. The line from the Francis Urquhart series that everyone who's seen it remembers. "You might think so; I couldn't possibly comment" Even as Death, Richardson couldn't get away from his most succesful role.

I'd been rather hoping that he'd stay on for a sequel to Hogfather. From the accompanying "Making Of" documentary, there was no indication that he wouldn't be up to it. At 72, he looked fit and in good spirits, and indeed the news reports say he wasn't ill.

I'd been singing Ian Richardson's praises to my younger studio-mates, telling them that they had to see the Urquhart series some time. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any preview material on YouTube, otherwise I'd have taken the opportunity to show some right here and now.

Below, though, is a longish excerpt from Hogfather, towards the end of which Richardson says the line.
Watch it.

February 14, 2007

Trash Your TV!

Found via blogads on Shakespeare's Sister:
TV Smarter, a collection of resources on TV, social capital, brain activity and democracy. Fascinating stuff which I, as a non-TV-watching person who is unfortunately also an internet addict, could wastespend many hours reading. There's an associated blog, Trash Your TV.

May 1, 2007

An honest obituary of Boris Yeltsin

I found this more than a week late, but Yeltsin: An Obit of a Drunken, Bloblike Train Wreck of a Revolutionary Leader by Matt Taibbi is still worth a read because it's well-written and gives a better insight into why the Russians didn't care much about ole' Boris than the "they prefer an authoritarian over a buffoon" line that was common in the conventional obits. (Via Majikthise)

May 14, 2007

A beginner's guide to Eurovision

Mr. Bob posted this on the Comicgenesis forums (I think it's by him. It's not credited but it looks like his style and is the sort of thing he would do. Besides only a Dutch artist would give that much prominence to the Dutch-Belgian blocquette): A beginner's guide to Eurovision for Americans and other lifeforms of feeble intellect and little awareness of the outside world
Stereotypes galore, but actually pretty accurate. Especially about the Dutch having to be high to think they have a chance to ever win it again.

July 17, 2007

Arms Don't Work That Way

Look at this Before-and-after montage of, er, someone called Faith Hill on a magazine cover. It's hypnotic and freaky, but what's especially worrying is the arm in the published version. Arms don't work that way. If a comic book artist was found drawing arms like that, they'd be posted all over Scans Daily within a day.

January 27, 2008

0.7 million a cheek

So the FCC wants to fine ABC 1.4 million bucks for

briefly show[ing] the side and back of a naked woman getting into a shower.

"Although ABC argues, without citing any authority, that the buttocks are not a sexual organ, we reject this argument, which runs counter to both case law and common sense," the FCC said in its complaint.

Kind of makes you wonder how much the Republican-led FCC knows about common sense. My friend leya responds as follows:

For those of you that may think this ruling is fair, please let me elaborate.

The backside of a human being is not a sexual organ. The buttocks are are rounded portions of the anatomy located on the posterior of the pelvic region. They are composed mostly of gluteal muscles with a lovely layer of fat, and their purpose is to allow us to sit upright without putting weight on our feet. True, they do split at a point and surround a hole, but that hole is designed for the defecation of waste material. It can be used in a sexual manner, but so can the mouth, the hand, and indeed a greased up knothole in a tree. This does not make them a sexual organ. They are nothing to be ashamed of, they are nothing to be afraid of, they are part of the human anatomy.

They have been sexualised, yes, but that is due to the fact that humans, like most animals, are randy fucks. And most often due to the titillation factor of a body part usually unseen by casual clothing. Other items that have been sexualised are legs, feet, foodstuffs, languages, the entire female body and sheep.

But lastly, and most importantly

If you can't stand the sight of a pair of human buttcheeks YOU SHOULD NOT BE FUCKING WATCHING NYPD BLUE. It is not a nice show. It showes the aftermath of bloody murders, horrific sex crimes, the seedy underbelly of humanity. If a human arse offends you to the point of writing a nasty letter, but the other factors waft serenely by your mental blinders, then get the FUCK out of my genepool.

To which I don't really have anything to add, except that I hope these idiots get thrown out with the rest of the Bush administration in November.

About Media

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Waffle in the Media category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Linklog is the previous category.

Meta is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.34