Archive for the ‘Otherness’ Category

So long, and thanks for all the Johns

As Th!nk About It is over and I now have a job, it is unlikely that I will be posting much – at all – anymore.

I can only apologise to the (two) people eagerly anticipating the third, fourth and fifth parts to Broadcast Bingo that are destined never to happen.

Indeed, as I have repeatedly said, this blog was meant to be a “showcase for employers”; I’m not going to read too much into the fact that the only people who offered me a job were the ones unaware of this blog’s existence.

Thanks, then, to my tens of readers – but especially thanks to ‘John’ and his inspiring comment on my ‘About’ section, without which self-indulgent blogging may still be floating my boat today…


A genius + Google Earth =

A digression from my usual, I’ll give you that. But this, from today’s lecture by Chris Brauer, was too good not to share.

This, my friends, is what geniuses can do on Google Earth: a co-ordinate by co-ordinate re-enactment of the flight 1549’s crash into the Hudson River, complete with audio of the actual communications. I dare you not to feel nervous whilst watching.

Ut oh...

Ut oh...

Rossendale Valley – hits the news for the forth time ever!

It’s not very often that Rossendale Valley appears on the national news. There are three other times I can recall, which after living here for 20 years says a quite lot.

The first time was when Sky News decided that the Rossendale constituency was a marginal seat in the 2005 election (incidentally, Labour won again). They interviewed me and asked what I thought about the Tory’s policy on ASBOs. I didn’t know what one was. It was live. It was hell. Moving on.

The second was when a man from Hall Carr (a council estate in Rawtenstall – the town which guide books would, I can only imagine, call “the heart of the valley”) shot at people out of his bedroom window. The mother of my Cheshire-based boyfriend at the time expressed concerns about him travelling to the valley after that.

The third was when Sophie Lancaster was murdered in Bacup (definitely not the heart of the valley) by some drunken scum. This still upsets a lot of people including me, so we’ll move on. This was the last time (as far as I know) that the valley was mentioned in the national press…

Until now!

18,000 Rossendalians could be left without gas and electricity on Christmas day after a gas mains exploded on Monday.

(Wow, get that intro. That’s what a ridiculous amount of ‘news writing workshops’ does to you – writing intos when you don’t even want to be writing intos. But perhaps I should lose the quite obviously fictional term ‘Rossendalians’.)

I have tried to locate all 18,000, and although failed, have found that about ten of my friends are affected – which, interestingly (or not) is about 0.05556% of the statistic.

Gutted for them. It’s quite interesting to think of what you can do without gas or electricity. After you’ve thought you’ll come to the same conclusion as I: absolutely nowt (as we say in Rossendale). I always wondered why Jane Austin, the Brontës and Dickins were such big fans of “needlework”. Now I know.

Let’s get physical – I mean, serious – Tommy Reilly.

Firstly, apologies for the desperate lack of recent posts. I have been in Brussels. Oh how very jet-set.

Secondly, I am going to change my blog (when I get a minute that isn’t this minute). This is because I am becoming increasingly perturbed by the following. My ‘blog stats’ inform me that far and away the most popular search-engine phrases that lead people to click on my blog are:

“Breasts galore”

“Hollyoaks sex scenes”

“Sex in Holloyoaks”

“Hollyoaks Later”

“Swearing, violence, scenes of sexual nature”

“America’s Next Top Model”

Flipping heck is what I say to that. As previously stated, this blog is supposed to be a serious “showcase for employers” – and if the above is anything to go by I don’t think anyone will be employing me any time soon. That is unless they have a slightly scary penchant for cheap sex scenes.

The time has come, my friends, to get serious. Or at the very least to get slightly more serious and slightly less enthusiastic about shit TV. Oh no! But then how will I tell people to look at (and fall in love with) Tommy Reilly?

That’s how! Ignoring that minor blip, I have succeeded in making my blog look well more sophisticated and less like a Year 8 school project.

Actually, I should probably stop saying things like shit, flipping heck, and ‘well’ as an adverb (I think…) come to that. This is going to be harder than I (but probably no one else) thought.

I recommend: Hollyoaks Later, America’s Best Dance Crew and comparing the FT and Times Online.

Anyone else noticed a scary similarity between the Financial Times’ facelift and Times Online? Just replace random greenness with the FT’s infamous blush.

Take a long hard look at these impressively imbedded graphics (took ages) and judge for yourself:

TimesOnline with some random greenness.


The randomly green Times Online homepage.

And the pretty in pink FT:



On a tangent – but a rather exciting one if I do say so myself – I would like to recommend some television programmes, primarily to the majority of my City colleagues who, in my humble opinion, spend far too long watching Newsnight and reading Milton.

Allow me to introduce, firstly, the newly discovered America’s Best Dance Crew. I am convinced that the only people who watch this are the whole of America and myself and my flatmate, but I cannot recommend it highly enough – it really is scarily impressive. Unfortunately for anyone eager to delve into depths of Jabbawockeez or Kaba Modern (two of the ‘crews’ – when I get really good I’ll imbed some videos) the series is about to come to an end… Sob sob.

But fear not! For another recent discovery of mine is the incredible Hollyoaks Later. This is like Hollyoaks but better (and you didn’t think that possible). Because it has unnecessary swearing, violence and “scenes of a sexual nature”. Wow.

So far we have had: “shite”, “bitch” and “fan-fucking-tastic”. And we’re only 26 minutes in. We’ve also had a man walking around naked, with no discernable reason why. Followed swiftly by a cleavage shot lasting five minutes. And then a sex scene (yes, you did hear me correctly, a sex scene in Hollyoaks. In the toilets of The Dog).

I appreciate that Hollyoaks may come at a difficult time for most: 10pm-11pm every week night this week, which results in a horrific clash with Newsnight. But there’s only so much Jezza a journalist can take. When it comes to awful teenage actors attempting to look natural when having sex/swearing/looking ‘ard, however, I firmly believe that one can never get enough.