Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Monday, 21 April 2008

Fingermouse and the Badass Wombles, Sweetie.

I hate AOL. I have been unceremoniously booted offline six times in the last three hours. The only good thing about using AOL is that, whenever I get an email, Joanna Lumley interrupts what I'm doing to shout at me. That's quite useful - though with the amount of times it has made me jump a foot in the air when I'm not expecting it - I think it has shortened my life expectancy considerably. I need to upgrade to broadband too, but we don't have a BT phone line so it'll mean installing cables and faffing about, which puts me off. I'll get around to it eventually.

…Or I'll wait until we go on holiday, and then find some unsuspecting relative who'll agree to pop in when the tech-guys are due, not realising that it will mean turning the house upside-down.

I don't like too much chaos in my surroundings, because I get enough of it inside my head. I've long compared the interior of my mind to the staircase scene in Labyrinth (the one taken from the Escher work Relativity, which I added to my FaceBook gallery today for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.) I was watching Labyrinth again this afternoon, and I still feel those particular scenes more powerfully than any other in the film. In M. C. Escher's artwork, the scene is bustling with people and plants living their lives perpendicularly to each other. In Labyrinth, the stone staircases represent the impossible challenge of getting from where you are to where you wish to be. You quite literally do not know which way is up. I find a comfortable affinity with that fictional sequence, which should be disturbing but is just peculiarly accurate.

The Stairway scene in Labyrinth

That sounds a little forlorn, so I should probably tell you that I spent most of the scene thinking about how much I liked the leather boots Jareth the Goblin King (Bowie) is wearing in that scene. They distract me from my 'History Today' style subconscious, which - when confronted with that scene says (in David Baddiels' voice) - "See those stairs? That's your brain that is. That's your mind."

Now I have admitted to hearing voices. That's never good is it? ("Not even in the wizarding world Harry." My name's not Harry, and how did Hermoine get in here?) I don't hear snakes yet. If I start hearing snakes I really will have myself committed. Though I'm not sure how I know that I can't understand snakes. We don't have many in Portsmouth so it's not a skill I would naturally have discovered, even if it were possible. (Would that it were! There's a vacancy for reptile-fancier since Steve Irwin got overly friendly with a stingray.) I say that we don't have snakes here, but I should amend that statement and say that we don't have many. Slightly mad people with too many tattoos own the ones we do have. They usually live in council estates or blocks of flats too, don't they? Because when the snakes escape via the toilet, they never know whose flat it will show up in, and people have to weigh-down toilet-seats so that the snake can't slither out. I either saw that on the news, or in a film - so decide how much credibility you are willing to give the story accordingly.

Joanna Lumley is shouting at me again as I write this. If I'd designed AOL, I would have slipped in a few surprises: such as get her to mimic her character Patsy from 'Ab Fab,' and instead of demurely saying "You have email," I'd have her announce "You've got another bloody spam, sweetie. Let's send a virus to the bastards." I'd like that.

I was watching the Comedy Map of Britain yesterday and they featured Richard Beckinsale, from Porridge. Thy interviewed former friends and family of the late star, and one said that underneath the wallpaper of a flat they'd been staying in he had written: "Richard Beckinsale will someday be famous." They said it's probably still there, unexpected, in some forgotten corner of London. The best story like that I have ever seen was on BBC2 recently. Some forgettable scottish drama featuring two men whose job it was to clear and clean council houses after the occupants death. Whenever they had to replace a carpet, one of them would lie on the floor and the other would draw a chalk outline around them, to make the place look like a crime scene. They also took a Polaroid photo, marked it with the date, and slipped it between the floorboards. I would do that. I will. If ever the carpet needs replacing, I will make every effort to fake a crime-scene on the floorboards. It's not a joke that I would ever witness the punch line of, but it would still be more than worthwhile. That this idea appeals to me so much might not be a sign of my sanity, but is definitely testament to my appreciation of mischief.

Scientists can be mischievous too. On BBC OddNews today they are talking about scientists who have managed to mind-control flies to make females behave like males. I'm not sure why they spent so many months on the project - because a few pints of lager do the same thing, without all the fuss.

In equally meaningless news, someone has overdubbed an episode of the once-fabulous Wombles with tacky American-style slang. 'BadAss Wombles' are supposed to be a protest against the disparity between children's programming in the 70's and 80's when compared with today. I think it just made The Wombles look incredibly stupid. Like anyone would ever believe that Uncle Bulgaria would say "whatever." I wonder if Tim Henman ever watched The Wombles? He's the right age, but I don't think he ever really grasped the concept of 'cleaning up at Wimbledon.' Maybe he should have spent less time playing tennis and more time watching kids TV. (Though as career plans go, improving your game by practicing less is probably not the best one. Still, groundskeeper at Wimbledon is the best Henman can hope for now, so maybe The Wombles could teach him a thing or two.)

BadAss Wombles

BadAss Wombles, indeed! What next - Blingin with Bagpuss? Pimp My Ride with Brum and Ivor The Engine? (Okay, that's even more ridiculous than the Wombles one, but I loved those shows as a child and wish they'd just re-air them unedited, not simply use them to make an - abeit valid - point.) I think kids would still watch Mr Benn, and Dangermouse. Maybe Button Moon has dated a bit too much (though anyone else says that and I'll hate you forever,) but I think a lot of the kids' shows from my childhood would still have an audience today.

I'd pay good money for the end of Fingermouse to have just been a dream. (Though I remember the bloke who created Fingerbobs, and I really don't recommend, that - if the series is re-commissioned under my aforementioned suggestion - they copy the Dallas shower scene for "it was all a dream." Not something that children would want to see. Not something anyone would want to see. In fact...I'm beginning to understand why Fingermouse drowned himself in the first place.

May he rest in peace.

This blog entry is dedicated to the memory of Fingermouse, and the power of the babe.

EDIT: Anyone who has not seen Labyrinth/Harry Potter/Baddiel and Newman/Porridge/Wombles/Fingerbobs will think I have finally lost it, and you should go and spend a few hours on YouTube because your lives are cruelly empty. How can you not have seen these programmes, and yet still tell me you are complete?

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