Thursday, October 30, 2008

Part of what I refer to as the insanity of modern Britain has been the decline in the standards of humour. But perhaps the public's reaction to the BBC's descent into slime with the execrable Russell Brand and the clever-but-puerile Jonathan Ross marks the beginning of the end of this trend. One can only hope so. Click here for a professional critic's view on the 'darkness which has yet to be lifted". And, if you haven't yet seen Curb Your Enthusiasm, I recommend you rush out to get an episode or twenty.

During Spain's 'fat cow' years, town hall politicians became rather [in]famous for the stickiness of their fingers. So it's hardly surprising they also indulged in a high level of official extravagance. This was not even noticed back then but, now the cows are thinner, it's naturally considered worthy of both considerable comment and censure. In a bow towards tabloid-type exposés, the country's newspapers are now vying to uncover just how much has been [over]spent by regional and municipal leaders on their personal appurtenances. Our own Xunta president, for example, is being taken to task for having spent millions on his office refurbishment and hundreds of thousands on his car. And on the radio this morning, a chap with an Andaluz accent was contrasting Málaga's fleet of 30 official cars with Leed's total of 3. The cities are the same size he said; so why the difference? I found myself struggling to reply.

Down on the east coast, the PP party running the Valencia region has tried to thwart the government's attempts to laicise moral instruction of pupils by having the new Citizenship subject taught in English. And, so far, they seem to be succeeding. For, as El País reports, the first exam has resulted in a 99% failure rate. There were two successful students but both had the advantage of being British. Unlike many kids in the UK, they must recognise the concept of ethics . . .

Talking of that part of the country . . . Perhaps it's because I'm a lapsed Catholic that I find it more than amusing that Valencia is about to host the first ever international congress on the Holy Grail. Needless to say, the real chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper has just surfaced, providing a real imputus to the event. There's a document which proves its provenance apparently. Just like at Sothebys.

Which reminds me - According to a cartoon in a local paper Jesús is Jasús in Gallego. But what's in a name? Especially if you're God.

I was writing only yesterday about poor customer service here and now I've just received a text message from my dentist reminding me of an appointment for tomorrow. Of course, he's private and times are tough but I'm still impressed.

Finally, if you want to get an idea of the old friend who's just been my house guest, go to Facebook and search for the Geoff Pucci Appreciation Group. There are 388 members, which is quite a tribute as they're all his pupils, past and present. Ironically, Geoff has about as much idea of how to use Facebook and, indeed, the entire internet as my border collie, Ryan. Possibly even less.

Postscript: You couldn't possibly make it up.

7 comments:

cdamian said...

I think the reaction to the BrandRossGate is just silly. It was just ignited by a tabloid press article and most of the people who complained probably haven't listened to that show or any of the previous Russel Brand shows. Russel has been insulting and sexing celebrities for a while and so far nobody complained.

I was listening to the show as a podcast here in Barcelona and was laughing so much that people in the street and the metro must have thought that I am a mad man.

I just hope another radio/podcast station picks up the show. I am not so worried about Mr. Ross, I am sure he has earned enough money and his shows are getting a bit stale.

Sierra said...

You don't have to use the premium rate number to make an appointment with Sergas, they also provide the direct telephone number for your medical centre. In addition you can make an appointment via their website

Colin said...

Thanks. That's good to know for when I'm allowed to join the social security. When I reach 65.

Sierra said...

On BrandRossGate, I think The Daily Mash provides the best comment:

"THE Madrid government last night sprang to the defence of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross hailing them as the new heroes of anti-Spanish racism.

Prime minister José Luis Zapatero said the assault on Andrew Sachs was 'measured' given the actor's portrayal of a halfwit Spaniard who thinks a rat is some kind of Siberian hamster.

Zapatero said Sachs, banned from entering Spain since 1976, was single-handedly responsible for the country's image as a nation of greasy-haired chimpanzees who have to have everything explained to them twice."

I haven't provide a link as it tends to be NSFW

Colin said...

Sierra, I saw this yesterday on another blog [Kalebeul]. I think it's a spoof - though wonderfully done as it's plausible - and I wonder whether the DM pointed this out . . .

BTW - What is NSFW?

Sierra said...

Not Safe For Work

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/

Colin said...

Apologies, Sierra. I misread Daily Mash for Daily Mail and assumed the latter had picked up on it . . . .

Now I don't have to bar you as being a Daily Mail reader! [Though I think Moscow feels I am one of these. In fact, I love to get annoyed reading my mother's copy when I am in the UK]