Live from the Houses of Parl-ia-ment

July 26, 2008

Ooooh, I’m all sixes and sevens with the move and everything. Talk amongst yourselves and I’ll catch up presently.


  1. My friend Rory showed me Feist on Sesame Street the other day and also brought this to my attention: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqHfser_9_s
    And I didn’t think I could love that man any more…

  2. Ah. De Niro. My favourite source of riboflavin.

    As if its craptacularness was not enough, this…


    …is surely proof that reality TV should be banned. We’ve reached such supersaturation that there’s now a classifiable psychiatric disorder in which people believe that they are the subject of a reality TV show (a la The Truman Show, hence the name for the disease). Although that movie was pretty good. I like serious Jim Carrey much better than ‘funny’ Jim Carrey. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind was pretty good too. Have I deviated from my original point?

    Good luck with the move, Graham! I hope it all goes smoothly.

  3. I think I used to have that disorder when I was younger!
    I used to imagine everybody had a little black and yellow handsets and could watch me 24/7. I thought the world revolved around me. I was never certified though.
    How is it medicated? With harsh reality?

  4. Sort of to do with reality TV. I’m a bit late responding to this but it had me nodding furiously a few moments ago, having also just read Adam Buxton’s post mortem on BBC3 passing on a series of MeeBOX.

    The demographic that the channel is chasing after only exists as an imaginary construct in the minds of media people… but that’s nothing new.

    In the 80s and early 90s, Janet Street Porter churned out years worth of Network 7, Normski and Rough Guides, on the assumption that everyone wanted to be a power dressing, ‘Face’ magazine reading TV Exec with a rapper for a boy friend.

    What is striking about BBC3 by comparison is how inward looking it seems. At least something as dismal as, say, ‘Club X’ was trying to respond to a real thing that was happening in the world to a lot of people, but which wasn’t on TV at the time.

    Most of the programmes in BBC3’s schedule are snide and knowing homages to Charlie Brooker’s TvGoHome site, only entertaining as titles to read in the TV listings and no more.

    Compare this to the dawn of youth-oriented TV broadcasting: I wasn’t there at the time, but it seems as though ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’ nailed it. This was because it was made by genial old TV duffers, who wisely let their junior researchers and producers get on with it because they were part of the Mod culture, and went out to do the same things on a Friday night as their audience.

    BBC3 seems to be made by cynical 30-somethings obsessed with branding. The MySpace / Facebook generation that the channel is meant to be appealling to can be quite witty and happygolucky by contrast. A fanzine asthetic is trying to claw its way out of a heap of plastic glasses and trilby hats. They get through emblems and badges as fast as the shooting star of a meme hits the internet, then burns out on impact.

    If the name of the game is to compete with Play Stations and the internet for the kids’ attention, it would be better as BBC2+1: with a decent strand of youth programming and more money for fewer, better shows. That’s why the kids are ripping off old films: they were made better, with more thought and craft, than what’s on TV.

    It’s amazing, considering the contempt that the channel seems to hold its viewers in, that they have a reasonable track record of making comedy. The fact that MeeBOX wasn’t picked up and that Adam and Joe aren’t on TV all that much is indicative of the fact that TV people my age have lost the plot.

    I’m not saying the old system – of Barry Took gently nursing the recent batch of Cambridge Footlights graduates to be the next Pythons – should come back. But TV by its nature should be more thoughtful and take time to nurture talent and ideas. The internet is quicker and dirtier.

    Making BBC3 the Facebook TV channel is like comparing pencils and pens, Macs and PCs. They do different things. Trying to bridge the technologies is a mug’s game.

    Eventually YouTube will spawn a documentary movement, comedy, news. When it does and it’s good, it will look an awful lot like good TV, which has been around for decades as a form.

    In summary, down with this sort of thing.

  5. Tr2n, anybody?


  6. I saw Step Brothers last night, Graham, and all I could think about were your statements on the charmlessness of contemporary comedy. You couldn’t be more right; just because all the barriers are broken, doesn’t mean purposely being vulgar from start to finish is edgy. I would’ve liked the film a lot more — and most of the so-called Frat Pack movies — if they weren’t constantly going for the cheapest possible laughs.

  7. Thanks for causing me to look up that phrase “at sixes and sevens.” I’d never heard it before and it was an interesting etymology.

  8. the truman show thing is great.

    does everyone know this site yet?

  9. B’dum, that photoshopped woman with only one nipple and a gigantor head is probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. I just know she wanders the streets at night, stealing nipples from any poor soul unfortunate enough to cross her path.

  10. I hope you’ve made time to see The Dark Night?

  11. *Knight

  12. The Dark Knight? Pshaw, a children’s bedtime story compared to the horrors in The Banjo Players Must Die

  13. Graham… just wanted to thank you for your mixed tapes, and *especially* for turning me on to MGMT. I saw them live last night… great show in a small club. The only problem that I had with the show was that me and my similar music-minded friend, who’s also 30-something, were the oldest people there. I’m moving this week too… good luck!


  14. What do you think about “Generation Kill?”

    I’m glad that they’re depicting Iraqi casualties of war and the complexity of armed combat.

  15. Graham,

    Could you please forward me your new address?

  16. and could I have a copy of your bank details please?

  17. There’s plenty of muppets (but no De Niro) in this mash-up of Pulp Fiction http://richandcreamy.org/pages/index.php?article_id=301. I went to see Dark Knight on Sat night and there was a couple came dressed in role play. Two IT nerds they had to be. Even though he had all on skin tight leather garments, everything was hanging off him. In the queue they talked about how much one of them liked carrot cake and the other disliked it. Saying that new Batman flick wasn’t bad.

  18. Dark Knight: 5/5. Saw it in Screen 1 of the Savoy in Dublin on Thursday. Going to see it on IMAX in London soon. Yay!

    Graham, if you’re still around Dublin this week, I’ll take you for a going-away pint! Whaddya say?

  19. Dark Knight is good. I don’t quite see the groundbreaking masterpiece that everyone else sees but it’s still a good time, although the last act was a mess. Heath definitely lives up to the hype if nothing else does.

  20. as an atheist and a surfer i find this site odd…


  21. Walked past the Kentish Town Forum this morning and noticed MGMT and Vampire Weekend are playing there in the autumn


    Also some guy called Dylan Moran, but I don’t know what his songs are like.

  22. Hi there Graham,

    My name is Ben – i’m a designer for innocent drinks (www.innocentdrinks.co.uk). I thought I’d get in touch to see if you were interested in contributing to a project we’re working on here. I won’t block up the message board by posting all the details here but we’ve already got lots of people responding and it would be great to get some more people like yourself involved. It would be really exciting to have you on board. Please do drop me a line on ben.williams@innocentdrinks.co.uk and i’ll get back to you with the details.

    Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks for your time – have a good evening.


  23. sorry, ben. Too much on at the moment.

  24. http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/08/hitchens200808

  25. The money was just resting in his account. Sen. Ted is in hot water:

    Yup, that’s Sen. Ted “The internet is not a truck” Stevens from Alaska.

  26. You may have seen this before Graham, but I thought you’d be interested as it involves both Alan Moore and Stewart Lee (of whom I’m confident you must be a fan!)

    Stewart Lee did a program called “Don’t Get Me Started” in which he asks “What’s Wrong With Blasphemy?” Both informative and amusing.

  27. I’ve just seen the cinema trailer for what I thinks looks like the worst movie ever made in the history of the world…
    It looks truly horrible

  28. Zohan = wrongest trailer I’ve ever seen. For so many reasons. Such a shame to see Nick Swardson in yet another Sandler cackfest. He was phenomenal in Reno 911.

    Off to Tom Waits soon! You going Graham?

  29. the dark knight? can’t believe i sat through that. not trying to be a troll here but what utter drivel. do hollywood think that because this is supposed to be based in a supernatural world of gotham that we should suspend our disbelief that bit more than normal (for hollywood). i just feel like an idiot for believing the hype. my advise: wait for about two years and fall asleep to it after your christmas dinner. fall asleep you will

  30. Meanwhile on LinehanWatch, those weird “SOTCCAA” blokes are back, spouting bollocks as ever like a comedy-based David Icke.


    Check out this for mentalness about IT Crowd:

    “Here’s an analogy. Take the recent campaign by, among others, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall to stop supermarkets stocking battery-farmed chickens. It’s a great campaign, because it seeks a positive outcome by using apparently negative tactics: they use anger and ridicule, but they do so to (a) expose what’s wrong with a current situation, and (b) remove the public’s blinkers. It’s all about the greater good.

    But this doesn’t seem to happen when it comes to discussing creative endeavours. The IT Crowd is very much the sitcom equivalent of a battery-farmed chicken, but campaigning against it isn’t encouraged. Those who dislike it are expected to either ignore the programme completely or bloodymindedly search out the least offensive bits. An attitude which wouldn’t go down quite so well at a chicken protest: ‘I’ve decided to stop moaning about chickens and simply eat food I enjoy instead! And anyway, the feathers are quite pretty…’”

    Can somebody translate please?

    They also slag off the brilliantly funny Lab Rats and Peep Show, a programme which everyone likes. Except them it seems.

    I recommend it if you want a good laugh.

  31. boigaz- Suspend your belief cos it’s set in Gotham City? Well yeah. Unless you didn’t know what Batman was about you can hardly complain that it’s not realistic enough.

    AstonishingSodApe- ugh, absolutely and I have friends organising a time for me to watch that with them already.

  32. This is a cure for any kind of depression! LOVE Little Edie!!

  33. Did you look at the info for that video Brendan?
    “Madonna is THE most original and pioneering woman (or man) to ever have worked in music.”

    If I met the person that wrote that I’d either slap them in the face or pray for their salvation. And I’m an antheist.

  34. LOL no I didn’t see that, what a tool! I love it purely for the clever edit of the fabulous Edith Beale dancing.

  35. I think they were quoting ‘perezhilton.com’ which perhaps reviewed their vid?

  36. Jeez, Perez Hilton, he makes me have homophobic thoughts, and I’m gay. I’d like to see Perez Hilton and Graham Norton interview one another, no, I take that back, I’d like to see a painting by Francis Bacon of that encounter.

  37. haha.. well i didn’t actually know the site existed until i saw it was quoted in the little Youtube vid description. But having Googled Perez Hilton i totally want that painting now.

  38. shameless self promotion dept, but am very proud of this, my first Edinburgh show! geekiness will abound as Jimmny Homunculus goes live!


  39. Hi Graham, no worries, thanks anyway. We’re still in the early stages, so if you don’t mind I might contact you again when we’re a bit further along with it. It’s a very small time contribution that we’d be after, but having someone like yourself involved would be fantastic. Thanks for responding, Ben.

  40. Retro Futuristic Motion Logos! Ahh, nostalgia…


  41. Sharker: Is that ‘Corpses’ thing still going? What a meaningful life those young men have carved out for themselves….

    Ben, this site isn’t really the best place for what you’re talking about.

  42. Hey Astonishing, if you’re into nostalgic logo animations you might like this video from Justice.

  43. I was reading this report on Indymedia about cops at this year’s climate camp intimidating the protesters there (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2008/07/405063.html), when I came across this amazing sentence:

    “Police were issued with a warrant for the searching and seizing of articles for use in criminal damage. Confiscated items have included: planks of wood, carpet and a war-on-terror board game.”

    I know you’ll be proud of us, Graham! Better flush the stash before they come after yours.

  44. @ sbrugby…yeah, I really love that video, good call. What a fantastic job! I prefer the 70s stuff to the 80s stuff, but it’s all good.

    But I can’t stand the song itself. Annoys the hell out of me, just like D.A.N.C.E.!

    @ Andrew Sheerin…that article is nuts. How on earth did they figure the War on Terror board game was going to be used for “criminal damage”? Reminds me of Ted explain the dreams/reality concept to Dougal. And the “small/far away” lesson!

    “Those men on the board, they’re small. And those ones on the telly, they’re far away. Small – far away.”

  45. Lo-fi Matrix Ping Pong

  46. Is your Edinburgh speech thing going up anywhere?

    and another question, this time regarding a radio show you done 5 years ago, did you get to see a proper Daniel Kitson show?

  47. Going to try to put it up…hope I can do it…

    Nope… never seen a ‘proper’ Kitson show…

  48. Does anyone want to hear the Chris Morris/Peter Cook collaboration ‘Why Bother?’, if so do you know a free website that hosts mp3s?

  49. Made me laugh..

    Hipster Olympics

  50. Looking forward to it.

    There’s bootlegs y’know… *wink* *wink*
    Alternatively he has a whole set up in podcast form.

    wrong headed: isn’t Why Bother still commercially available?

  51. Wrong Headed: I’ve heard bits and it’s great. I know it can be purchased in digital format for a measly 4 English punt, here:


    May I also recommend the book “Tragically I Was An Only Twin” – hundreds of sketches and writings by Peter Cook, plus biography, spanning his whole career. Plenty of Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling in there. Link:


  52. I shouldn’t upload it if it’s commercially available? Are those the rules?
    What if I post some of it then give a link to where you can purchase the CD? Is that a loophole?

    My favourite bit is when he talks about being forced to stand on a frozen lake by his father for “a year and a quarter”, the perilous cold and masquerading as a bear. Chris Morris asks, “And how did you end up leaving the ice?” and Cook replies, “I decided to walk off.”

  53. Thanks, AstonishingSodApe! I bought it for 1 pence.

  54. yay science! Check out this article ‘Anthrax genes will point to perpetrator’:

  55. I try not to do this, but ‘Good luck, Father Ted’ was on E4 tonight. Apart from the pleasures of Freak Pointing, Spider Babies, and Duck Startling, the dream/reality animation in Dougal’s head always makes me incredibly happy…

    “A child has been lodged in the Tunnel of Goats… If a nurse could please come to the Tunnel of Goats… A goat and a child have now become lodged together, and a nurse has become involved in the incident… Another nurse is required to remove the nurse mentioned previously…”

    Gold, Jerry, gold.

  56. This is the launch of Bayern Munich’s new kit.

    What a bunch of tossers!!

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