Canterbury Tales

What on earth has happened to Question Time? Once a pillar of televisual political debate it has descended into some sort of dumbed down Wright Stuff. Whether that is a reflection on the BBC, popular culture or the state of politics in general is debatable. What is certain is that the late Robin Day would not have been impressed by what this show has become.

Last night’s episode had been built up by the Beeb themselves as a battle between the former addict and lethario Russell Brand and the acceptable face of the far right, Nigel Farage. At times the whole thing just collapsed. David Dimbleby seems to have just given up. Looking bemused at times, often not bothering to effecively chair proceedings, guests and audience members just shouted over each other.

The audience seemed to largely fall into Brand-ites, whooping and hollering at whatever he said like they were at an American stand-up gig and UKIP-ers baying for the blood of any potential immigrant within a 500 mile radius.

Canterbury’s finest were all there. The mad shouty woman, the shouty man with the stick and the classic, “now I’m not racist but…” lady. The local Head of Tourism must have been having cold sweats.

As light relief the potty mouthed, Tory diver Penny Mordaunt was there only to be reminded early doors by Dimbleby for her love of the word “cock” and she never recovered.

In truth the whole Brand vs Farage thing was an anti-climax. They might as well have re-booked that Welsh bloke from the call centre thing. Perhaps Question Time should go further and just book Anne Diamond,  Scott Capurro, any random Australian soap star and replace Dimbleby with Matthew Wright.

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Buried Alive

It’s been a week of podcast controversy in and around the WWE Universe. Whilst the majority of the headlines have been concerned with CM Punk’s revelations, Steve Austin had Vince McMahon to probe via the WWE Network. As much as all eyes were focused on what Vince’s response to Punk might be there was something more revelatory in that interview which stood out for me.

Traditionally, Triple H is the notorious bringer of death to an up and coming wrestler’s career. If there is an opportunity to bury someone, Hunter is usually there spade in hand. However it was Vince’s turn to perform the last rights when he discussed Cesaro. He lacks “it” according to the boss leaving Cesaro buried alive.

You can go back and take a view at a long list of squandered potential throughout WWE’s history. You can make a case for a number of talents who literally forced themselves through the proverbial “glass ceiling” too despite, by and large, the negative shovel skills of a certain Mr HHH. (I’d suggest Jericho and more recently Daniel Bryan here for starters) Vince’s comments though will have been sure to sting The King of Swing. Cesaro has pulled off some great matches but WWE have squandered the opportunity to push him.

If one thing stands out from CM Punk’s talk to Colt Cabana (if we are to take Punk’s words at face value) it’s that WWE’s forward planning is somewhat lacking. Cesaro seems a case in point. Despite some quality in ring work WWE has had him lurch from one half hearted programme to the next. The lack of some clear direction has been key in Cesaro’s mid-card purgatory and no doubt a corporate lack of faith hasn’t helped either.

In the meantime all Cesaro can do is keep having great matches and hope Vince’s head can be turned. He might also take comfort in the fact that at least he’s not Fandango, whose re-package seems to be Rosa Mendez, new music and a shirt.

Terror at TESCO

A few months back, I popped into TESCO on my lunch break and wandered through the technology department. Amongst the latest tablets, digital cameras and video games was an arrangement of boxed television sets. Nothing unusual there you might think. However, on closer inspection I was intrigued by this display. In fact, I was a little bit concerned by the makers of these TVs, their name boldly emblazened on the box. As you might expect we’re not talking a ‘big name’ brand here. These sets were properly “cheap as chips”, except the makers seemed familiar, just not in the context of value for money technology. Who was this mysterious budget brand?

ISIS.

Yes, that’s right ISIS!

Now, I understand, thanks to our Home Secretary, that the terrorist threat is at the “we’re all doomed” level, recently increased of course from the previous “run for your lives” level. I wasn’t expecting terror in TESCO though! What was going on here? What sort of evil plot to bring down Western civilisation as we know it could involve the sale of shoddy tech at a popular supermarket? Should I report this somewhere? Surely, this is exactly the type of thing Theresa May has been guarding us to “remain vigilant” about.

In the end, I casually went and bought a sandwich, crisps and drink “meal deal”, also good value, although without the threat of terrorist activity and left the store and thought nothing of it. I figured that ISIS must just be an unfortunate brand name coinciding with the terror group of the same name.

That was until Black Friday, when the same cheap televisions, (now at seriously rock bottom prices) spawned apocolyptic scenes in the scramble for    a one-off bargain. Fighting, mauling, gouging, trampling, kicking, screaming. Oh the humanity!

Terror had truly hit TESCO and ISIS had won.

ISIS?
ISIS?

If only I’d warned Theresa May.