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Am I sad? Not really.

By Mike Cunningham On August 12th, 2014 at 9:25 am

This morning, I attempted to re-tune my radio, as I came to the conclusion that my choice of broadcaster, namely the BBC and specifically the Today programme; had been usurped by some strange spectral radio station bound to repeating, at least fourteen times during the first hour, and many more times after that, a smiling and sunny eulogy for Robin Williams the American actor.

Now most sentient people in Western countries where humour is allowed will admit freely that humour is subjective. What is literally that which one man or woman will keel over in near hysterics over, will obviously leave his or her neighbour wondering what all the laughter is about, which is why I, personally, would not describe Mr. Williams as a comedy genius. His rapid-fire chanting, his manic approach to his job, his anarchic approach towards other people, left me stone cold; but equally obviously made him millions of fans.

But perhaps the real reason why the BBC and their Today team made quite so much of the death of Robin Williams, and brought quite so many clips of his work onto the morning’s programme, is primarily because of their admiration for his long-term hard drug use, not giving it the true term of an addiction, and his often-spoken confessions for his disgusting habit, and a complete disregard for the fact that many impressionable people were probably drawn into the snares of the drug dealers because of his open affection for the death-dealing properties of these substances.

As a film actor, he gave some performances which were both muted, substantial and completely worthy of high respect and accolade; as a comedian, he deserved total anonymity and despair; but, there again, that’s just me!

 

 

Heroes and Idols

By Mike Cunningham On May 13th, 2014 at 10:13 am

Many of my posts contain the immortal phrase ‘when I was much younger’. It is a singular truth that youth is wasted upon the young, but I regret nothing done when much younger than I am today.

arealtonyMy comedy heroes were real people, real because they were flawed as most humans are, but they overcame those flaws to delight their audiences. Men such as Tony Hancock, whose ability to speak his scripts and pass on the ability of the writers, was itself a work of near genius. A man who could say the words “Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? Brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten! Is all this to be forgotten?” and have the audience rolling in the aisles with laughter. A man who could play the part of a self-important no-body who had volunteered to be a blood donor; suffered the pin-prick of the sample needle, but upon being told that that was not the donation, but was to be the pint of his blood. His reply went down into comedy history as “A pint. That’s nearly an armful!”

Most younger ATW readers will not have heard of the Goon Show, but for some nine-odd years, from 1951 to 1960, it was the top-rated comedy show broadcast by the BBC. Some of the phrases invented by the stars of that show have entered the English language. Have you ever heard anyone ever complain “I’ve come down with a bad case of Lurgi”? Everyone understands exactly what he has, which is probably a dose of ‘Flu, or a virus infection; but the ‘Lurgi’ was invented and first broadcast by the Goons somewhere around 1955. The Goons also scored the first truly political broadcast ‘bullseye’ when there was some political furore based around Churchill allegedly ordering Field Marshal Montgomery, by telegram, to store the surrendered German weaponry carefully after the end of the War, as the Germans might have to be re-armed to fight against a Russia determined to rule Poland. The Labour Party whipped up some rumours about how the Prime Minister had been ready to use German soldiers against Russian forces, and there was quite a search for the telegram. In the Goon’s broadcast, a cast member asks, “Who is that short, fat man underneath the table?” Peter Sellers, who was well known for his ability to mimic other people’s voices, replied in a perfect rendition of Churchill’s tones, “Looking for that blasted telegram!”. The BBC actually apologised to Churchill.

A simple but strange commentary upon the way we, as a nation, were entertained is the truth that not one, not a single comedy show, in those distant days of, perhaps a more gentle time, ever featured, if that is the correct term, any swearing, any obscenities, any references to people’s sexuality; and still we laughed, and enjoyed those shows; but perhaps these times reflect a harder truth about how we have been subverted by liberal philosophies!

 

Sad, or just ‘Edgy’?

By Mike Cunningham On December 8th, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Listening to a discussion regarding the so-called ‘Prank’ phone call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was receiving treatment for problems associated with her pregnancy. The full call, when recorded, was broadcast with due hilarity by the two Australian D-Js who celebrated their tacky triumph of their ‘Royal Call’ over the airwaves, on Twitter and other media outlets. The tragic news about the suicide of the nurse who actually received the ‘Prank Call’ reached Australia with the speed of light, but the 2Day FM stration continued broadcasting repeats of that grotesquely-named phone call until the commercial backlash commenced, with major advertisers actively pulling their names and businesses off the Broadcaster’s accounts list.

I am not a firm fan of the use of a commercial boycott against political or business opponents, as too many have ended up in the gutter along with the very people they are trying to attack, but I do see merit in any attacks made against an organisation which refuses to accept any blame for the death of this lady, whose only mistake was to accept the identification words over a phone from a couple of dangerous clowns intent on ‘edgy’ fun and cheap laughs.

Fortunately, we have experienced few similar episodes in broadcasting here in Great Britain, with the disgraceful slurs phoned and broadcast by the likes of Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross. At least Brand had the courage and good sense to resign immediately, but not so Ross, who was suspended but not dismissed out of hand, as he deserved.

There have been calls for the two broadcasters to face ‘involuntary manslaughter’ charges; but I would not go so far myself. For both to be fired, and never ever to be allowed within ten yards of a working microphone for a long, long time would, to my mind, be sufficient punishment for this particular ‘dashing duo’!

 

Less than the awful truth; unfortunately!

By Mike Cunningham On August 19th, 2012 at 9:50 am

The scene is the London home of Tony Blair, guarded of course by armed police officers, with a full ‘security’ team monitoring all visitors.

A man then approaches the front door, dressed in a T-shirt bearin g the words ‘Foundation for the Glorification of Tony Blair’, saying he has come to do the initial measurements for the new ‘Stained Glass Window’ which the Foundation is presenting to the ex-Prime Minister, After a few words with the copper on the front door, he is allowed in, and proceeds to measure for the afore-mentioned window (pictured below). He also mentions to one of the police guards that the ‘Foundation’ is actually in touch with the Vatican to have the Blessed Tony made into a saint, presumably before he dies.

The actual programme is called ‘The Revolution will be Televised’ and features similar stunts with George Osborne, Philip Green (TopShop) and Boris Johnson.

Apart from finding the whole idea quite funny, I have however one query, and one comment:

Why are Metropolitan Police Offcers delegated to the protection of a multi-millionaire ex-politician?; and:-

Tony’s hands are not spread out in a blessing, but are in fact begging for lots more cash so Cherie can add to her shoe collection.

 

 

Courtesy of the PayWalled Sunday Times

 

A LITTLE HUMOUR

By David Vance On March 5th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

This is a real image of a relatively minor accident in Dublin between a bus and a tram. Take a good look…

Computer keyboard = instant reaction

By Mike Cunningham On January 16th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

If you are a Labour MP, and a ‘media advisor’ to boot, and set out to spoof the SNP leader Alec Salmond with the ‘Downfall’ video clip on Youtube, you had better be wearing your bulletproof trousers, armoured underpants and a really good heavy duty fleece with reinforcing set in the back!

Perhaps you forgot that just about all lefties, nationalists and all mainline politicians have just got no sense of humour!

A SIRI-IUS MATTER!

By David Vance On December 30th, 2011 at 7:47 pm

This made me smile… well, it IS the silly season!

A 12-year-old boy got a shock when he tried out the new iPhone 4S in a shop it answered: ‘Shut the f*** up, ugly t***.’

Charlie Le Quesne had been trying out the new gadget’s Siri voice assistant system in a Tesco branch in Coventry when it came out with the string of profanities. The obscene response came after he had asked the phone: ‘How many people are there in the world?’

After they complained to the store manager, apologetic shop workers agreed to unplug the phone and remove it from the display. Staff believe that pranksters tampered with the phone’s set up to make it come out with the foul language. Siri always refers to the phone user by name, using information kept in the iPhone’s contacts system. Whoever had sabotaged the phone had entered the seven-word phrase as the phone user’s name, so that Siri blurted it out whenever it answered a question.

A LITTLE LIGHT RELIEF…

By David Vance On September 29th, 2011 at 10:20 am

SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

By David Vance On September 20th, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Frail and fragile: Despite her broad smile Ulrika Jonsson looked worryingly thin as she left the ITV studios earlier today

 

STRIKE ONE!

By David Vance On July 27th, 2011 at 7:40 pm

An ATW reader writes…..

“Muslim suicide bombers in Britain are set to begin a three-day strike on Monday in a dispute over the number of virgins they are entitled to in the afterlife. Emergency talks with Al Qaeda have so far failed to produce an agreement.

The unrest began last Tuesday when Al Qaeda announced that the number of virgins a suicide bomber would receive after his death will be cut by 25% this October, from 72 to only 60. The rationale for the cut was the increase in recent years of the number of suicide bombings and a subsequent shortage of virgins in the afterlife.

The suicide bomber’s union, the British Organization of Occupational Martyrs (BOOM) responded with a statement that this was unacceptable to its members and immediately balloted for strike action. General Secretary Abdullah Amir told the press, “Our members are literally working themselves to death in the cause of Jihad. We don’t ask for much in return, and to be treated like this is like a kick in the teeth.”

Speaking from his shed in Tipton in the West Midlands, in which he currently resides, Al Qaeda chief executive Osama bin Laden explained, “We sympathize with our workers concerns, but Al Qaeda is simply not in a position to meet their demands. They are simply not accepting the realities of modern-day Jihad in a competitive marketplace.Thanks to Western depravity there is now a chronic shortage of virgins in the afterlife. It’s a straight choice between reducing expenditure and laying people off. I don’t like cutting wages but I’d hate to have to tell 3,000 of my staff that they won’t be able to blow themselves up.”

Spokespersons for the Union in the north of England, Ireland, Wales, and the entire Australian continent stated that the strike would not affect their operations, as “there are no virgins in their areas anyway.”