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AE on Telly News (NEW CONCEPTS)
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Mick Harper
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Hatty, is there any clue in Paris Police 1900 as to which side we are meant to be supporting, Dreyfusards or Anti-Dreyfusards?

Speaking of French presidents and blowjobs, I once scored heavily with an impressionable mathematician when, sitting in a re-creation of a Parisian bistro in Covent Garden, she said, "Why is there a picture of Henri Poincarré on the wall? He was a mediocre mathematician in my opinion." To which I was able to explain, "He was also president of the French Republic." To which she replied, impressed, "Your place or mine?"
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Mick Harper
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Fear and Loathing in Aspen (Sky Documentary Channel)

Hunter S Thompson smoked Dunhill International and so did I! The strangest thing about the (so far excellent) film -- a 2021 recreation of Thompson's run for Mayor of Aspen -- is that it was directed by Bobby Kennedy III. How does that work? The clan put up the money? His granpappy was assassinated in 1968, leading to the backlash that led to the backlash that led to the mayoralty run in '70?

And who calls himself Bobby Kennedy III anyway? It presupposes that his dad would also be nicknamed Bobby which puts two Bobbies round the Hyannisport kitchen table. Workable but not advisable. 'Ya gonna pass the mash potatoes, Bobby?' 'Ya gonna pass the Civil Rights Bill, Bobby?' Kennedys round a kitchen table... it's an enduring image. Jumpers for sailboats.
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Mick Harper
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I have been listening to the radio quite a lot recently. Some of you may know it as the wireless. Mainly R4X which is a sort of Best of The Last Fifty Years. Not having listened to the radio for fifty years means I have no idea what is good and what is bad so I just press the Record Series button for every new one and then (usually) Delete Series when I get round to listening to the first two minutes. Why?

Because it is mostly young persons performing before other young persons. I have no objection to young persons per se but I do object most profoundly when I am listening to them on the radio and they are performing live in front of an audience. It's a totally different medium. What works for one doesn't work for the other, and certainly doesn't work for me. All right, I do have a rooted objection to young persons but that is beside the point.

Why is R4X so keen on the format? Television dispensed with this lunatic arrangement (and its bastard offspring, the canned laughter track) when I was nobbut. And anyway why would people go to a theatre to watch half an hour (sometimes fifteen minutes) of people standing on stage reading scripts? They must be very sad people and it is no wonder that their sense of humour does not coincide with mine.
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Grant



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TV news nowadays consists of:
- black people moaning because people looked at them in a funny way or said something inappropriate
- gays complaining about something (I never pay any attention to what it is)
- women complaining they can’t do everything men can do
- so-called scientists telling us that CO2 is now a poison
- hand-wringing about a bug which has killed a few old people

Whatever happened to investigative journalism? Is it even a thing any more?
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Mick Harper
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Surely you are forgetting the Guardian, Grant.

The only way to “know” about .... is to hold hypotheses and theories lightly and gently, ready for them to be revised in the face of new ideas and facts: not a bad approach, in fact, to knowledge in many other fields. Today's Guardian editorial

Only this was about Roman Britain and since accounts of that haven't been revised since Tacitus was written in the sixteenth century the Guardian should not be holding its breath. In fact it might make a start by doing some investigatory journalism into Roman history on its own account. And, dear Guardian, don't wait until someone leaks the contents of Tacitus's computer. What can be kept on an Amstrad wouldn't fill two newspaper columns.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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From the Wiley Notebooks. The Normans started off as Viking warriors and went on to adopt Romanesque architecture, but not villas with mosiacs, as clearly they didn't want to be seen as effete. We had to wait for the Venetians for the villa to make a come-back.
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Mick Harper
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The Tower (ITV)

Even the populists over at ITV have come into line. We have a woman (not eye-candy either) leading the investigation. A hulking (ie eye candy) black male sidekick. They are not sleeping together so we can rule them out for all criminal purposes except of course disobeying lawful commands from higher-ups. One of whom is a white male with piggy eyes so he's probably up to something but it may only be 'being leaned on' by higher-up piggy-eyes that we haven't met yet. We don't know how high up the corruption goes but, believe me, it will be high.

They are hunting for a black caring competent woman police officer -- so we know she will be innocent of all charges. She has a fat, white male sidekick so we can be sure he is guilty of racist banter, as charged. But she may have to die because she is is sleeping with her white male boss so he will be guilty of corruption. (Irish, bearded which is a new trend worth keeping tabs on.) There are no normal police persons i.e. the ninety-five per cent of British police in real life.

There are some Muslim suspects divided into 'good' i.e worked for the British in Iraq, but kept in a camp for two years awaiting permission to stay so may have turned 'bad' and a pimp who beats up his prostitutes (pimp=bad, prostitutes=good). Other (media) stereotypes to follow.

Thank God I don't live in television England.
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Mick Harper
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Where according to Newsnight who had dug up a Professor of Corruption (who knew?) from Sussex University (where else?) there is not much corruption to speak of.

The Centre for the Study of Corruption
The Centre for the Study of Corruption (CSC) is an internationally renowned centre of excellence for research and teaching on corruption, widely recognised for combining cutting-edge academic approaches and research with practical experience of how corruption can be addressed in the real world.

They were going after another Tory MP who had been working during lockdown instead of being locked down with his constituents. In the sun-kissed Caribbean! Bastard.
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Grant



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The Tower
You missed the fact that the main police officer is also a lesbian. I’m sure they said she was getting over the breakdown of her relationship with another woman, or maybe I was fantasising.

Sex trafficking is an interesting and almost non-existent problem. Just imagine if you’re a Romanian prostitute working in a brothel which is raided by police. Do you say, “Yes, I’m a prossie who came from Bucharest because I heard I can make good money in London” or “I’ve been trafficked.”
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Mick Harper
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I spotted that but unless it develops into a partner-in-jeopardy plot development later I assumed the reference was simply to take the partners-in-car bed-scenario off the table without doing a disservice to either. In this, the genre has come full circle because in the early days of television female authority figures, they were always being accused of lesbianism by male oafs and had to be given a stormy hetero backstory.

Sex trafficking stereotypes drive me mad too. The idea that anyone would risk using force on customers who have paid tens of thousands of pounds in order to ply their trade abroad is downright weird. They are called people-smugglers if their customers wish to pursue any other trade but 'traffickers' if the trade happens to be prostitution. Personally I think the government should give prostitutes quota exemptions since, like HGV drivers and care home assistants, this is yet another job the locals won't do in sufficient numbers to meet demand.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Mick Harper wrote:
Personally I think the government should give prostitutes quota exemptions since, like HGV drivers and care home assistants, this is yet another job the locals won't do in sufficient numbers to meet demand.


You would need to ensure that only the highly skilled were granted entry.
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Mick Harper
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I bow to your expertise in this area. My own sexual partners have never revealed any evidence of expertise but of course they are all products of British sex education, as am I, so we try to avoid it as much as possible. In fact we might have to import foreigners for the prostitutes to have sex with. Where will it end?
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Wile E. Coyote


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Ancient Secrets of Althorp. Channel 4

Wiley enjoyed the search for an Anglo Saxon village in Earl Spencer's grounds. I have to say Cat Jarman took it incredibly well after a few days digging, and being about 10 foot down, they discovered plastic piping.... This was especially impressive from Cat, given that Earl Spencer had rather unkindly made the archaeologists camp in his grounds, despite owning such a large pile, and with so many rooms, he at one stage confessed to being lost during a tour of his own cellars.

It was a sort of Time Team reboot, only much more relaxed.
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Mick Harper
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The Electric Car Revolution -- Winners and Losers (Panorama, BBC1

This had my jaw perilously close to the ground. Settling back for some refugee from Top Gear to tell me all about charging points and saving the planet, we were taken instead to the Belgium Congo, as was, because 80% of the world's cobalt comes from there and electric cars run on cobalt. Fair enough, didn't know that. And there they were, all the big names, running stupendous operations getting it all out so we can run our electric cars and save the planet What's the beef? I wondered.

Cut to thousands and thousands of DIY Congolese miners beavering away under the broiling sun in makeshift mines of their own. Blimey, I thought, they must have come from miles around to make a bit of money. Good on them, I thought, and good on the Congolese government for letting them do it. Most don't because of restrictive agreements with whichever of the big mining companies got in first with the bribes.

But no! I had got it all wrong. We were meant to be excoriating... wait for it... Elon Musk for not leaning on the Congolese government to stop the DIYers on account of some nuns (cue repellent -- white -- mother superior) saying someone got injured the other day (cue pix of somebody who got injured the other day).

Elon Musk, bastard. I'm writing it down in case I forget. Elon Musk, bastard. Yep, gottit, Panorama.
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Mick Harper
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Amazing Animal Friends Sky Showcase

My favourite programme at the moment. Heart-warming stories of porcupines buddying up with hyenas and motherless lambs being adopted by giant African rabbits. A lesson for us all and one in the eye for those who say I'm losing my hard edge. Yeah? You wanna buddy up to me? Try it some time.
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