David Mitchell: Taking Offence

That's what I really despise: the political opportunism. How long do these ministers imagine the friendships in the rabblerousing tabloids that they are so buying will last? And the price is high; they're supporting a campaign to associate the BBC, its comedians and producers - my whole profession - with all that is offensive, smug and self-serving; to encourage millions who are justifiably angry or afraid, who imagine a mugger in every hoodie, who fear for their jobs and houses or have lost both, to associate the causes of that fear and anger with entertainment and, of all things, the BBC.

Look For Me, I'll Be Around

Luke is on the move!

FREE EPISODE FIVE!

Fist of Fun and TMWRNJ (TMWRNJ!!) now up on Google Video, courtesy of Mr. Lee.

SATIRES!!

Has Jacqui Smith been letting her husband loose on Dreamweaver again?

Talk With Dylan

I love the idea that Dylan talks like this all the time.

Well, a number of things. He’s got an interesting background. He’s like a fictional character, but he’s real. First off, his mother was a Kansas girl. Never lived in Kansas though, but with deep roots. You know, like Kansas bloody Kansas. John Brown the insurrectionist. Jesse James and Quantrill. Bushwhackers, Guerillas. Wizard of Oz Kansas. I think Barack has Jefferson Davis back there in his ancestry someplace. And then his father. An African intellectual. Bantu, Masai, Griot type heritage - cattle raiders, lion killers. I mean it’s just so incongruous that these two people would meet and fall in love. You kind of get past that though. And then you’re into his story. Like an odyssey except in reverse.

Reverse Midas Touch - A Slight Return

Previously: I failed in my attempt to locate the tracklisting for Reverse Midas Touch. I even tried to recover data from an old and dusty hard drive, but to no avail. Today, though, we’ve been going through the loft, and lo! what did I find but a CD backup of my old Linux hard drives? My dissertation survives! As does this:

Reverse Midas Touch

  1. Grandaddy — AM 180
  2. Spearmint — Sweeping The Nation
  3. Mono — Life In Mono
  4. Sleater-Kinney — Little Babies
  5. Ooberman — Shorley Wall
  6. Cotton Mather — She’s Only Cool
  7. Velocette — Bitterscene
  8. Black Box Recorder — The Facts Of Life
  9. Belle & Sebastian — Legal Man
  10. The Flaming Lips — Race For The Prize
  11. Brassy — Good Times
  12. Elliot Smith — Waltz No. 2 (XO)

Mark and Lard began their afternoon show on October 13th 1997, having helped to ease the burden on Radio 1’s overworked transmitters by chopping off two million listeners from the Breakfast Show’s audience.

The hapless duo stated their intention to perform as well in the afternoon as they did at breakfast, hoping to reduce the next RAJAR audience survey to double figures. They brought all-new (and some well-worn) quality items to the show; who could forget the blazing originality of the Cheesily Cheerful Chart Challenge, or the staggering genius of “Flick or Trick”? Who could resist Lard’s sultry “Waaarrps”, or Mark’s slavish devotion to the Radio 1 playlist? Or the spectacular collaboration between Fat Harry White and the London Philharmonic Orchestra? This, and many more radio gems, are not included on this CD.

For this is a CD celebrating the Record of The Week. For anybody in Radio 1’s target audience, that’s all those bits of noise that they play before 911 comes on, or the latest Number One by a Chancer With A Drum Machine Washing On The Right-Hand Side. For everybody else, seeing what the duo had picked for this week’s record was worth sitting through the endless repetition of Steps/Lolly/insert playlisted song here. Scream if you want to go faster!

They all had something in common. They sold six copies each.

So, without too much further ado, we present “The Hit Parade of an alternate universe.” A universe where the Lighthouse Family are indeed locked up in a lighthouse, Michael Bolton is a failed hairdresser, and where the word “playlist” is verboten.

(note - obviously written before my Popist days. There’s no worse zealot like a convert, remember)

Girl VII

Or Is It The Businessman, In His Suit or Tie?

SOTCAA trace the history of ‘Del Boy Falling Through The Bar’ in their own thorough and unique manner.

(warning: contains bitterness. Though often well-placed. Not quite sure what TJ and Unruly Butler/Gralefrit did to make them enemies, mind you)

The depressing thing is that I remember a lot of those threads from the first time around…

EDIT: Why the North, Stew? Why the North?

It's Only Springtime

I am obsessed with fizzy cola bottles. It’s a childhood thing, I guess; that trip down to the shop every Saturday morning to get Transformers for 32p, and the rest of the 50p being spent on sweets. Eighteen cola bottles, each so sour that you’d screw your face up in all sorts of contortions on every bite.

The newsagents that I used to village is now a horrible little Tesco Local that somehow manages to have half the things that Jay Kays used to and still feel cramped (I’m guessing growing up has a part in this, but I think that remodelling has indeed made the place much smaller), and cola bottles have never really tasted the same since some point in my teens.

Since I’ve started making sweets and chocolates last year, I’ve had a few attempts at making gelatin gummies, but they’ve all been complete failures, except for an odd batch of blue raspberry strips that I made almost by accident last Easter. So, time to try again.

Normally, you’d add the flavouring just before you pour the gelatin into the molds, using a concentrated flavour compound. This time, however, I decided I’d bloom the gelatin in the flavour I wanted (I used blackcurrant syrup - perhaps cola next time). This way opens up the idea of using any flavoured liquid you have to hand - fairly useful, perhaps. Anyway, these seem to have turned out quite well, leading me to think that I could embark on a pectin version soon (I’d prefer to have a vegetarian-friendly version if possible).

Blackcurrant Gummy Bottles

I’m also toying around with texture in chocolates at the moment. I want things to be crunchier. I had a go with ground cornflakes a couple of weeks back, which worked fairly well, but after coming across Michael Laiskonis’s playing around with caramelized rice, I thought I’d make an All-Caramel version - rice and white chocolate turned wonderfully brown and tasty…

Caramel Crunch

Next week: I may begin the Giant Creme Egg madness. Be afraid.

Really, This Is What Channel 4 Has Come To? (The Rappers, You've Seen Them)

From Chortle:

‘The danger of taking risks in comedy is that you get slagged off disproportionately. If it launched today, The 11 O’Clock Show would be strangled at birth by embittered comedy bloggers.’

Oh, for a time machine. If we could have started Blogger just a few years earlier, we would have been spared so much…