‘ark now ‘ear…

watching spurs lose to arsenal sm

Still more to scan and post from Portland, still more NaNoDrawMo pieces to post…but here is a sketch from this morning while watching the football. IT was the North London Derby, Spurs v Arsenal, a game we (Spurs) had to win, a game we lost last year 5-2. Never again. Er, except today, when we lost 5-2. Not a great way to start the weekend!

Drawn in Uniball Signo um-151 (brown) in Moleskine #11. Outside, a big storm rolls over Davis, inside I have a cold.


29, tv

Penultimate entry, #29 of 30. Funny I should do this on the day of the Emmy’s. Don’t tell me, oh you should get BBC America. If I wanted to watch back-to-back repeats of crap shows like ‘Coupling’, I would have gotten it by now. But they don’t show Match of the Day, so sod ’em.

If you want a vision of the future, they say, imagine a reality tv show, stamping on a human soul, forever. But isn’t Big Brother ending next year in the UK? Long, long overdue, that show, from the man whose ancestor gave us the London sewage system.

And so, this particular reality series is almost over (in fact I just drew the last one), a series of mundane facts about the author, not the most important or interesting parts, but just what I happened to come across while rearranging my head. And my apartment. And it may even be fluff, but hey, I’m fluffy.

Week Three: American TV – may cause drowsiness

Coming from the BBC culture of the UK, it’s easy to forget just how insufferable American television can be, whether it be the overblown news shows, the stomach-churning chat shows or the constant stream of asinine commercials.

“Do you have genital herpes? Ask your doctor for ‘Itch-ditch’. Contains acropolyurinothaloethylene. May cause drowsiness or amnesia.”

I’ve sadly been watching a lot of box lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that what I am really watching are commercials with bits of show added in every so often. Channel hopping is impossible in this climate. I’ll be flicking through like a gunslinger from the Old West, and still find nothing but wall to wall adverts. A half hour show such as Seinfeld or South Park will have between three to four commercial breaks, inserted at the most random moments.

“Why am I happy? I just saved money on my car insurance with E-Z-Sure! More money for me to spend on burgers.”
“In theaters this Friday – from the director of ‘The Cop’ – He was a Cop, on the Edge, and he was Back, for More: ‘The Cop II’ – rated N for Not Sure”

It begins as soon as the opening credits are in – break one. A couple more leap unannounced into the show, and then a final one just before the final credits roll in. Adversely, there will very often not be one between shows – gee whizz, folks, that would be overkill. So why are there so many advert breaks? It surely can’t be so people can check what’s being advertised on the other side. So it’s tilme to check the TV listings in the paper. Americans all have cable, so they all have about seven thousand channels, rather than the standard five most Brits have to choose between (or three if you don’t count ITV and Channel Five, which are shite). So what’s on? A mind-numbing stream of comedy repeats, both American and British (including a worrying double-bill of ‘Are You Being Served?’), bloated ego-centric news anchor shows, dire daytime soap-operas (24 hours a day), serious-browed cop and lawyer shows, over-exposed and under-thought-out reality shows, vacuous talk-shows, the odd multi-channel publicised serial such as ‘Lost’ or ‘Desperate Housewives’ – oh, and the US edition of ‘How Clean is Your House’. You cannot escape Kim and Aggie, even here.

“New at Taco Bell, huge stuffed meat beef chicken lamb and bacon burrito with jack cheese, stringly lettuce and too much rice, chili, cheese, chipotle, chihauhauas and chewing gum (ask your doctor about side effects)”
“America’s most trusted urine remover – Urine-Gone (TM) – rids your carpet of any yellow stains – gets your floor so clean you can wipe your bum with it – call this 0800 URINE-GONE now – not available in shops”

And then the movies – Americans watch a lot of films, throughout the day. Now unlike Britain, which seems to air it’s best films after about 11.45 at night, they are shown all day here. And I love how they rate them in the listings – The Godfather, for example, is rated ‘R – contains violence, adult situations, nudity, language.’ Language? What, Italian? The interesting thing is that this exact same description is used for Jerry Maguire, not a film known for its gangland murder scenes. And ‘adult situations’? Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone is listed as containing ‘adult situations’, as does Back To the Future II. Which situations would those be? When Marty flies off on a hovering skateboard? Yet in the same listings appear Platoon, Hamburger Hill and Braddock: Missing In Action III, none of which have any rating. No language, no violence, not a sniff of an adult situation – what sort of soppy friendly war was Vietnam?

“The new Monster SUV – guzzles more gas than the entire population of Bratislava – for when you absoultely positively have to go off road – protect America, buy the new Monster SUV (may cause dizziness)”

At least, after all of this, they still have The Late Show with David Letterman. Half an hour with Dave and you know it’s all been worth it…


Originally posted on 10/18/2005