Saturday, April 15, 2006


Grumpy Old Me

So I'm back, safely ensconced, at my parent's house for a short while. This comes with myriad frustrations. Take last night, for instance.

For reasons that I can't be arsed to go into, only one television in the house picks up digital. So at ten o'clock last night, I got myself a beer, picked my favourite seat, and plonked myself down. On E4, after all, was 'Ghost Busters', a film of which I have cherishably fond memories. Now, I know it really isn't cool for anyone who professes to like films to like 'Ghost Busters' - it is a bit naff, to be fair - but hey, it was one of the first films I ever saw and it does have some great one-liners.

Problems. My parents had gone out somewhere, doing whatever it is old people do on Friday nights, but my dad had taped 'Grumpy Old Men'. For those of you who have the good fortune not to be acquainted with this programme, it features middle aged (almost uniformly white and upper middle class) men, who happen to be moderately famous, whinging about everything under the sun. Unfortunately, it was on at the same time, and this particular television will only display the channel that is being taped.

Well, you might imagine my language. It was, I admit, intemperate. I flung cushions at the television. I swore like Ball Bag. I tore whole tufts of hair out of my head. Here I was, trying to watch a film, and instead I had to listen to these fucking tedious, superannuated old twats droning miserably on about all life's minor irritations, as if anyone really gives a shit what John O'Farrell thinks about anything whatsoever. 'Oh, oh, they don't play the national anthem after films at the cinema any more'. Who gives a shit? Grow up and act like you've got a pair!

Then, in one of the singularly most frustrating moments of irony ever to occur, they started having a go at Bill Murray, star of the very film I was trying to watch! One particular geriatric duffer who was such a non-celebrity I didn't even recognise him, was having a go about basically everything Murray has done for the last five years.



What is even the point of 'Grumpy Old Men'? The programme cleverly frames its arguments in such a way that if you only half watch it, you find yourself vacantly nodding in agreement, but in reality their arguments don't stand a moments consideration. For instance, they spent five minutes going on about what a 'con' bottled water is. All of them admitted to buying it. Here's a radical idea - instead of whining, why don't you just stop buying it?

Then they started moaning about how confusing it is when the gas board provide you with electricity. Not for anyone with more than 80 IQ points it isn't. One of them even complained that he just wanted companies to provide their original services, and only to have a choice of one for everything. In other words, he wanted to nationalise everything. 'I don't mind paying a few quid more', he said. Well you want to try living like I do then mate, struggling to pay the bills from quarter to quarter, and then you'd understand why some of us like it if the gas board can provide the electricity for a cheaper rate and don't care if it's what they're 'supposed' to do. Fucking pompous twat. Oh, it's alright for those with the money, who can sit there nodding in agreement, because twenty quid a quarter doesn't make any difference to them, with their nice media salaries. They can all fuck right off.

Everyone else in life just shrugs off the minor irritations of life like bottled water and confusing bills. Why do these people get a special platform to whinge? And while I'm on the subject, can Geoffrey Palmer please stop pretending in his narration that it is 'brave' and 'transgressive' to hear the worldview of pompous, liberal, urbanite, upper middle class white males, given that this demographic also produces most of the nation's news readers, politicians, judges, op ed columnists, think tank members and general, all-round opinion formers?

The day I care what Des Lynam thinks about anything will be the day the world stops turning, hell freezes over, and Ashlee Simpson starts singing in live television performances.


I've been Pooterlanched! Welcome Pootergeek readers. I've put the kettle on, make yourselves at home - just don't put your feet on the sofa.

GODDAMM"! You beat me to it Steve. This programe is a pox and really should have been taken out and shot after the first series. The fact it still limps on with ever decreasing levels of amusement is a testement to the smug, 'We had it so good and now everything is shite and it's all YOUR fault' babyboomer cynicism that frankly makes me want to fucking piss on Bob Geldof's face for eternity. Not that it would stop the cunt from nasally whingeing about speed bumps and congestion charges.

The latest series had only been on five minutes and I was foaming at the mouth. The moment Richard Madely appeared I just had to change channels for my own sanity.
Ah yes Grumpy old men. Mildly amusing in a 'there's nothing else on' kind of way for two minutes then Jeremy Clarkson or someone equally loathsome appears. The whole thing is shite. I am going to write to the BBC and demand they take it off air, to be replaced with 'Grumpy Old Bloggers' in which I and my blog chums see how many episodes we get away with before, the BBC realise we've done nothing but moan about the licence fee and their shit output.
I always liked John Peel when he was on it. How could you not? He just grumbled anecdotally and made you wonder what he was doing on a programme with attention seeking old tarts like Rory Bloody McGrath and Rick Fucking Wakeman, with their 'by-rote ranting' and 'look at me, i'm middle aged' blustering. Geoffrey palmer is now officially a ring piece too.

I can be incandescently angry about this programme until the end of time if needs be. Bunch of clueless shitehawks.

And it made Steve miss Ghostbusters............
But have you seen the follow up, Grumpy Old Women. Little more than an excuse for a load of middle-aged women to sit around moaning about how crap men are.
And here I thought Grumpy Old Men was a Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau vehicle!
If only it was STI, if only it was...............That was actually remotely amusing.
Ill Man - I seem to have touched a nerve! You're right, I did see a couple of episodes when John Peel was on, and I never hated it then. It's hard to put my finger on the difference between him and almost all the other contributors, but I think, looking back, he took it a bit less seriously, laughed a bit, and didn't constantly sound like he was blaming me, personally, for everything that upset him.

Clairwil - 'Grumpy Old Bloggers' sounds like a winner. I could moan about the licence fee for an eternity. I suppose, in my own way, I'm no less of a miserabilist tosser than they are, but the real difference is I can't keep people from seeing 'Ghostbusters' when they want to.

Binty - Yes, I caught that once! Needless to say, once was enough. As if Germaine Greer doesn't have enough forums for making her opinion public. Apparently, not only has it not been axed, but it's going on a live tour. God help us.

SafeT - Got to confess I haven't seen it. One for our equivalent of Netflix!
Err "here's a radical idea - instead of whining, why [didn't] you just stop" watching it?
Well, fair question, but if I hadn't watched it, then I wouldn't have been able to moan about it, would I?

Okay, okay, I'm a hypocrite, moaning about people moaning. I'm a hypocrite - and I'm okay with it.
Turns out you're right - I watched a bit this evening - it's really awfully dreadful. Whoever commissioned it wants fucking with a frosty mop. But I did manage to switch it off....
One of the saddest days of my life was when I saw Bill Bryson on it.

I loved his books so much, but he had to go and do THAT.
Hughes - I knew you'd come around!

Anon - Yes! Too true. I'm something of a devotee of Mr Bryson, who is one of just four people on the cast list for that programme that I don't want to force into public death matches. Fortunately, I believe he's only been on a couple of episodes, and thus escapes major contamination.
Grumpy Old Men is a great idea, but they pick the wrong targets and don't hit them hard enough.

If I was on that show, one of the first things I'd rant about is the millions of pounds of licence fee money the BBC wastes showing pointless and inconsequential trailers.

I mean, you sit down at 7:28 pm, thinking "right, nearly time for EastEnders" and what happens? The previous programme finishes, then you get a 30-second trailer for EastEnders! Yes, I know it's on next, that's why I'm sitting here, you stupid fucking pony-tailed programme-planning Islington-inhabiting twat!

Even worse than that, you then get a trailer for a new series of something excellent, such as Hustle or Waking The Dead, and just as you're thinking "oh, that looks good, when's that on?", they sign off with "Coming soon to BBC1". Coming soon? Christmas is coming soon, why can't they just tell us what fucking date and time it's on? Or do they think, because it's more than a week away, that such a long time period is beyond the understanding of the average Comprehensive-educated viewer?

And then, to cap it all, just before the 9pm watershed, you get a trailer for some crappy kids programme that's going to be on at 3pm the next afternoon. Nobody who's watching at that time gives a flying fuck, especially when the programme is to be presented by the terminally illiterate Dick and Dom - I didn't think it was possible for two presenters to be more annoying than Ant and Dec, but these two have somehow managed it.
The day I care what Des Lynam thinks about anything will be the day the world stops turning, hell freezes over

I like you..

I hope you don't mind but this is my blog
I'd like to know from a man of experience,how i'm doing
Pardon an ignorant Yank, but you people actually have to PAY to watch the beeb? We've got something called "Public Radio/TV" that gets by on a government dole and panhandling the public at large. most folks manage to ignore it quite happily, except for our Liberal types, who watch it as some sort of ritual religious obligation. Something about boredom being good for the soul or some such masochistic balderdash.
Rudolph - If you ever read this, I just want you to know I agreed with every single word of that, and it was well funny too. Particularly annoying is those 'coming soon' trailers - just give me a date, God damnit!

Wavey - You're doing fine mate! By far the best piece of advice I can give you, though, is not to worry what anybody else thinks, though I'm not terribly good at that myself. Case of do as I say not do I as I do!

J - We do, and it's a complete rip-off - about $200 per annum. If you don't pay it, you can have your TV confiscated and be thrown in prison. It is a Stalinist travesty.
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