11 Nov 2015

Spiny Norman loses cherry...

So, a Tory MP wants the humble hedgehog to be adopted as our National Animal does he? A hedgehog! I ask you....mind you, they say a country's symbolic beastie reflects its characteristics, don't they? The Russian Bear - lumbering but scary, aggressive and surly; the American Eagle - keeps out of reach, a circling predatory killer with a beady eye for the main chance; so why not the British Hedgehog - small, a bit slow, easily provoked into a ridiculous defensive pose, overreacts to the onset of "winter", prickly.

Phil Collins is mulling over coming out of retirement. Fair play to the bloke, it's not like he needs the money, even after all those divorces. As I'm sure you know by now, some wag set up a petition calling on the United Nations to prevent Mr Collins from inflicting his pop ditties on the world, saying "Phil Collins has announced he is 'no longer in retirement'. There is far too much suffering in the world as it is. This must be stopped.", and more in a similar mildly amusing vein.

As the author himself has said it was an attempt at "lowbrow satire" obviously lost on Collins' po-faced fans who, missing the point entirely took to ye interweb in droves defending their hero, with one fine rant in particular by some humourless bloke with a broom handle so far up his arse he was having difficulty breathing, going to extraordinary lengths spelling out why Collins is on a par with Mozart, and how the petitioner should have his testicles speared by Collins' drumsticks. Well, the holier-than-thou righteous brigade have won the day, as the author has now removed the petition saying:

"People who signed this get that it was a joke. Some others didn't. It very obviously wasn't a serious petition. Surely no one could think this was going to be sent to the UN?

It was lowbrow satire, a farcical jest that I shared with some friends...I doubt very much that Phil Collins would give a damn about my musical taste...It's gone now, so people who were annoyed about it and gave their attention to it... may direct their attentions to something of real importance. This petition wasn't that."

Read more at http://www.nme.com/news/phil-collins/89588#W0Mmvdgs42ajLQ2t.99

If I were Collins I would have signed it myself for a laugh, and one wonders if those same riders of the moral high horse would have got so hot under the collar were a similar satirical petition set up calling for Justin Bieber to stop, now.

After over 20 years, Burwood Towers is no longer receiving TV signals from a subscription service, a change I should have made some time ago to be honest. Several years ago, we switched from Sky to Virgin, partly because of the ever-increasing cost of largely unwatched Sky Sports, which I ditched, and partly because Virgin offered by far the fastest internet speeds in our area. Over the years since we have seen the basic Virgin TV package we subscribed to slowly but inexorably increase in price to the point where our paying £16 a month for the privilege of my watching Sky Sports News on Saturdays, and access to a few other Sky channels neither of us ever bother with was a daft waste of money.

The main attraction of the Virgin TV box was its catch up TV services and its recording capabilities. Now we have recently finally entered the modern age chez nous, and got ourselves a smart TV, we no longer need the Virgin box for catch up services, and the addition of a cheap HD recorder has provided the final piece in the jigsaw. Kudos to Virgin, who only half-heartedly tried to talk me out of returning their box of tricks, they also re-wrote my contract for broadband and landline and gave me a £9 per month loyalty bonus for 18 months - a consumer company offering loyalty payments, whatever next! - making a grand saving of £25 per month on my old bill. Woohoo!

It will be interesting to see how subscription TV adapts to the rise of internet capable TV systems and cheap HD recorders, as I guess folk who are or will soon be suffering at the removal of tax credit payments find they have to cut luxuries out of the family budget. Ultimately this may have a big effect on my sport of choice, and it would be great to see a more level playing field in the Premier League. There are only two clubs who would not be affected by a big reduction in TV money, Chelsea and Manchester City. Most of the rest would go bust and start again, but a few (Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs possibly) would carry on but be unable to afford to renew massive player contracts or pay ludicrous transfer fees. The effect on world transfer markets would be huge...one can but dream!

Hello! I Must Be Going....

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