17 February, 2007

Oh no... not again...

So, my new job involves working with archive material. I started on 2 January and I'm with a very lovely team of people who all want to work hard and do their best. It's amazing how being placed on a project with funding, purpose, future direction and a lot of love can do wonders for the sense of self-worth. I still get very down about the usual relationship issues but generally my work-mood has been up-up-UP!


We've discovered something that's a teensy bit upsetting about the past. See, people were racist - openly so - none of your coded could-be-just-institutional-racism that we saw in recent weeks with Big Brother. No, this is open sneering from a travelogue reporter about the locals. It's marginalised stereotyping. It's..


I'm old enough to remember The Black & White Minstrel Show from the 1970s, just before Bill Cotton took it off, and to be honest, I was more concerned by how boring it was, and I still am. Still, it's history and as Spike Lee's film Bamboozled shows, there's still a lot of talent involved in those minstrel shows, even if the stereotypes we saw weren't hardworking 'Negro' entertainers but fat Welshmen with sponge wigs and cole-face makeup.

But some of my colleagues do get very worried by the fact that archive TV can be seen as 'A History of People Blacking Up', and it's easy to see why. It's partly guilt that our forefathers let this kind of thing happen for so long, it's partly because anything naughty can trigger inappropriate giggles in ourslves and it's partly because the Great British Public likes nothing better than a good moan at our expense. Moan because we show this kind of stuff. Moan because we don't show it at all any more. Moan because there are too many repeats. Moan because the TV's not as good as it used to be.

We're taking the approach that this is how TV was and that such material will receive suitable warnings before it's made available to the public, but we're still on edge.

And then yesterday, I watched a programme starring a much-loved fox-shaped puppet. First gag - 'What has 22 yellow legs and four wings? - A Chinese football team.

Oh, Basil - how could you?!


Hooray! I've broken my left

foot! Am in plaster at the

hospital - hope 2 b upright v

soon! Will call asap AM in

kings@camberwell /

Denmark Hill

That's the text that woke me up at 3.57am on 6 February. My comedy flatmate - the one who looks like me but shorter. Poor luv's a clumsy sod anyway due to a combination of previous foot-related accidents and a deaf ear throwing him off balance. But this one was nasty - he tripped over by Trafalgar Square and broke his tibia. Prior to 6th Feb 2007 I doubt I could have pointed to a tibia with any accuracy but now the flatmate has a huge plaster bandage to show me roughly where it is.

I told him if it isn't healed within 14 days I'm having him shot. No good to me if he can't go out to market and come back with a full cart.

It's terrifying to see just how immobile he's become though. Because his other foot - the one that's now supporting his weight - has only just recovered from a knock at Christmas, he's in agony every time he has to walk to the bathroom and his weekly tips to hospital leave him in a lot of distress.

Luckily, there's a lot of nice people at work who've come over with emergency entertainment packages for him. DVDs and books to borrow, a gorgeously heartfelt card and some home-made cake.

In the meantime, I get to be sole cook and bottle-washer in our kitchen. It's nice to be fed by someone else every now and then, but I'm enjoying the challenge of thinking up new meals each day rather than sticking with the same recipes and arrangements.

Still, it's going to be a Chinese tonight and I think he's paying. Hurrah!

Blog off

I'm rubbish at this blogging because I still have too much embarrassment dragging me back. Plus I'm on a couple of mailing lists with friends and I tend to just post thoughts there instead of here.

Oh, and I spent the last month without my own internet connection. TalkTalk were typically rubbish about the entire thing and I had to phone them up to tell them to back off after they suggested they might bill me for the remainder of my contract. SOD OFF YOU EVIL BASTARDS!!

All the while, BT politely chuckled along with my rants and were, on the whole lovely. I received a bill from them yesterday for £80 and I was a bit narked at their cheek until I phoned them up and they confirmed that it wasn't a bill but a recredit. Yarooh!

I've not quite got the hang of daily posting. I tend to do a few in one go when the urge takes me. Today's going to see at least four. Is that rubbish?

Am I bovvered?

And now I know

Further to the previous entry - thank GOD I didn't say anything. That would have been embarrassing.

[In as little as 12 months, none of this will make any sense to me.]