Turned Up To Eleven.
Taste, How Low Can You Go?
Michael J Fox’s wife is in the mood for love, but he informs her that he’s forgotten to take his medicine. “That’s ok”, she replies, “at least I won’t have to do all the work”.That’s not one of my gags (although I wish it was), but a line from the pilot of his new sitcom that started on NBC this week. Apparently there’s also a slapstick scene involving him trying to open a jar. No word on any attempts to eat yoghurt sadly….
Might be worth a watch, it definitely sounds promising, although being an American network sitcom sentimentality could be lurking just around the corner….
DEXTER said goodbye this week. For eight years we’ve watched the opening titles, where he’s killing from the moment he woke up, safe in the knowledge that the next hour would involve moral ambiguity and skewed justice. The show wrapped in typically quirky style, an ending that didn’t spoon feed you the answers drawing an end to one of the better shows of the past decade. It wasn’t Wire or Sopranos good, but, apart from a sag in quality in season five, was consistently entertaining and suitably bloodthirsty. I miss it already.
Mister Ed Takes On The Man
Well there’s stupid and there’s properly stupid, and this week in Brighton Ed Miliband decided to listen to advisers who were clearly auditioning for the sequel to Dumb And Dumber, which recently began shooting. The bright idea is to attack big business, specifically the so called Big 6 energy providers. Guaranteed winner with the voters right? What could possibly go wrong? Well, quite a bit actually.
The first thing is how bad these bad guys actually are. We know they do enjoy putting their prices up regularly, especially for domestic customers, but how much of are they actually making? Oh I know they make billions, which the tabloids love to let us know at every opportunity, but on its own that figure is useless from a business point of view. What will really give us a handle on how excessive the profits are is to compare it to the amount they’ve invested. Well the maths works out at around 6% yield on capital invested. The same amount the Sarah Beeny and her bosom would have you expect from a buy to let investment property, and doesn’t sound like excessive profiteering to me.
Even if we just ignore that we have to look at exactly who Miliband is aiming this cap in pricing at; or rather, who he can aim it at. It’s easy to cap domestic pricing; you just tell the companies the maximum they can charge on any tariff. (Although now they have two years to think of other ways of getting the money back off consumers, much like mobile firms have with exorbitant roaming fees for simpletons who can’t stay off their phones on holiday. You didn’t think those free calls and texts in your contract were actually free did you?) The trouble comes with business customers.
If you run a big factory you will have a contract which can be three years long. It’s simply impossible to cap a price of gas or electricity three years in advance, since the spot price can vary wildly from hour to hour. Also there are flexible pricing mechanisms, which can change the contracted price monthly depending on usage. Again, impossible to cap. Sorry Ed, much like when politicians follow up praise for the police with a pay cut this is populist bollocks.
What you should be doing is backing the firemen, who are having their pensions so eroded to pay back a deficit they didn’t cause that they’re going to have to run into fires and knacker their lungs into their 60s to make up the shortfall. Anything on that, beyond some generic pretend left wing twaddle? Thought not. A cause you should be pushing relegated down the pecking order so you can drone on about some unworkable headline friendly cobblers. Nice one.
Gangster’s Paradigm Shift?
So the Mark Duggan inquest has rolled round. You remember him? No? Well you’re in good company; mainly the hordes of rioters who took his shooting dead by the police in 2011 as a sign to rise up against the country they lived in, and kick in Foot Locker’s windows. (Best image of the whole riot? A whole high street burned and smashed, and in the middle of it all a Waterstone’s, pristine and untouched. Poignant). Essentially the ones who could actually remember his name decided, without access to the evidence or any testimony, that it was another case of police brutality and racism. That might turn out to be true, but let’s be honest why bother with courts and trials when there are a group of people who know the verdicts instantly anyway?
The most interesting bit of this has been the reaction in the black community. Normally in the past these kinds of events have been met with revulsion and universal condemnation. This time however the burgeoning black middle class in this country, who have mortgages, jobs, and have as little in common with the Tottenham Man Dem as some suburban mummy’s boy from Aylesbury, have looked at it and thought ‘fuck him; he took on the cops and came unstuck’.
Duggan is the complete stereotype; broken home, petty crime, rootless, jobless, all the stuff. The realty intriguing thing is that he was twenty nine years old when he died. TWENTY NINE. A grown man running round Tottenham playing at being a bad man. Bit tragic really. To be honest it’s not the fact that he was used by lazy idiots to rob things that they couldn’t be bothered to work and save for. It’s the fact that his death has raised no questions about how there are huge numbers of black people for whom his lifestyle is completely alien, and how they have come from the same neighbourhoods (they’re not ghettos; the Jews were forced into ghettos and made to live that way, this is by choice and poverty of ambition and application) and made something of themselves.
But then that would involve time and effort, and confronting some unpleasant truths about how the world isn’t split by black and white, but by having money and not. Which makes Mark Duggan a wakeup call for everyone that has been ignored. Again.
The assault case against Liverpool footballer Raheem Sterling has collapsed. He claims he didn’t touch it, it must have walked into a door.
And really finally….
Here’s this week’s reason why i love the internet.