With a few differences. My apologies, loyal readers, for my absence. I simply have to get over the idea that every time I post, it has to be with an essay of Clive Jamesian perfection; somewhat lengthy (by standards of the internet), well argued, humorous and eloquent. I suppose that’s because for me, the greatest pleasure in the blogosphere, is coming across such writing. This doesn’t happen very often. And it may even be missing the point of what blogging is all about.
Certainly I haven’t abandoned my literary ambitions. I still seek a publisher for my children’s books The Wild Cats of Piran, and for my travelogue memoir, which I’m now thinking about calling ‘An Expensive Education’.
But. These works will have to wait until publishing deals are in place. At the moment, my focus is on the telly. A thing for “appearing on, not for looking at”, as Noel Coward put it. I wouldn’t go along with that necessarily, especially when you compare the state of television drama with the big, dumb loud and bombastic experience that seems to characterise most feature films these days. An overpriced run down the multiplex to watch Green Lantern or Transformers XVII. No thanks, I’ll stay at home with Boardwalk Empire. Or for that matter, reruns of I Claudius, Brideshead Revisited – or practically any BBC documentary with David Attenborough, Terry Jones or even that prickly old lush, Keith Floyd.
Perhaps also I’ve been getting up to on Facebook what I really should be doing here. Short, sharp and concentrated updates on my progress as a writer, producer, presenter and actor; along with plugs for people and places I think deserve it. If there’s one life lesson that has had to be drummed into me, it is that less is so often much more.
So, the Jet Set Hobo’s home in the blogosphere is being repurposed, rebooted somewhat. Do not adjust your internet.
Image by Getty Images Europe via Daylife
Oh, so nobody on True/Slant has even mentioned that Russell Crowe stormed out of a BBC radio interview a few days ago, so than I will. This was because during an interview for BBC radio, the somewhat-spiky-himself journalist Mark Lawson dared to suggest Russell Crowe’s accent in Robin Hood had something of the Irish about it, to be sure and all. Mr. Crowe responded quickly to this outrage, this unforgivable slant on his abilities as a mimic:
“You’ve got dead ears, mate. You’ve seriously got dead ears if you think that’s an Irish accent.”
On the tape you can almost hear Lawson draw in his breath and continue with the interview, mindful probably that he has another five minutes airtime to fill, until the next news break. At which time there’ll undoubtedly be more important things to talk about than Russell Crowe’s strength as an impersonator. Read More »
Of all the hair-raising escapades in the show, being chased by murderous Alabamans was the scariest says presenter in new book…
Traditionally, the question asked of me when I meet anyone for the first time has been: “So what’s the best car you’ve ever driven?” Recently there’s been a change, the new question running thus: “Did you really [insert ridiculous moment from Top Gear] or was it made up for the telly?” And for roughly a quarter of a year, maybe more, the new question was: “Were you really chased out of town by those American rednecks, or was it made up for the telly?” via Top Gear in America’s redneck country – Times Online.
Americans, particularly those south of the ol’ Mason Dixon line! Do you believe this? Believe what? Well, read the entire article for clarification. Or stay with me now for the aperçu. Richard Hammond, one of a trio of presenters who front a BBC motoring show called Top Gear, recounts a harrowing escape from Alabama rednecks. The presenters you see, thought it might be a bit of a wheeze to paint potentially… controversial slogans on their cars, while motoring through Alabama. The slogans included ‘Nascar sucks’, ‘Country music is rubbish’ (well, not much disagreement here on those two) and the decidedly more spicy, ‘Man love rules ok’.
Richard Hammond, or the ‘hamster’ as he is known by his fans (his fans!) claims their motorcade was harassed the next time they pulled over for gas. It began with a woman who, as the hamster describes her, was straight out of Central Casting. “Y’all queers trying to see how long you can last in a redneck town?” she enquired. Soon the gas station was filling up with gun toting truckers, and the BBC team made a run for their lives.
I reserve judgement. I know personally I’ve always wanted to visit the South, and I’d be as likely to adorn myself with such slogans as I would be to go walking around East LA in a White Power t-shirt. For example. Not that I own any such apparel, heaven forfend.
It also seems to me the BBC is really going downhill, if this kind of Brüno inspired tomfoolery is what the British taxpayer’s pound is funding these days. And I love, or rather loved the BBC. It is, or was, what the writer and critic Clive James once called “the least worst television” in the world. But what I’m curious to know is, after reading the piece, do True/Slant readers think Hammond is only reporting what happened? Or do you detect an element of embroidery? Answers in comment form please. I thank you.
Artist David Hockney has said he loathes the Labour Government for interfering in his life by introducing the smoking ban.
The 72-year-old lifelong smoker is backing a cross-party group of MPs who want the ban to be relaxed, so people can light up in designated rooms in pubs.
Hockney told the BBC’s Politics Show that he was appalled to find that his local cafe in east Yorkshire no longer allowed people to smoke at tables outside, because they were frightened that smoke would waft inside and breach the law.
He said Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessor Tony Blair were responsible and added: “I loathe them for it.”
via Artist David Hockney slams smoking ban – Yahoo! News UK.
The Jet-Set Hobo couldn’t agree more. As I’ve said before, if non-smoking bars were such a great idea, why didn’t the abstemious of this world open their own smoke free pubs a long time ago? There was never anything to stop them. The truth is, they wanted it both ways. Look at the prevalence of smokers among actors and writers and other interesting types. Certainly, for our ilk, smoking goes hand in hand with drinking, literally speaking. On the one hand you have your glass of red, on the other a Malboro light. Sociable types that we are, we still congregate in bars, and the non-smokers have had their petty, longevity obsessed victory. They get to hang out with dangerous chancers and charmers, but at no risk to their cautious, dull existence. I was always more of a Hockney man than a Warholian, now you can make that a double. And smoke if you’ve got ‘em…
I figure the Jet-Set Hobo’s mandate is to chat or “Spraff” as they say in Leith (Edinburgh) about pretty much anything, although with a definite slant towards travel – and enjoying the finer things of life, while the old bastard still can. So now and then I will air some of my musical preju.. er, preferences. On that musical note did you know that in 2004, BBC2 listeners voted the following as best opening lyrics of all time:
“I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand walking through the streets of Soho in the rain”. (It Read More »