Sunday, 29 January 2012


A recent article in the BBC magazine talks about unwanted noise, mentioning car horns, beeping machines and the like.

The French intellectual Jacques Attali, in his book Noise: The Political Economy of Music, maintains that, even if the sounds are attractive, it is the monotony of repetition - introduced with mechanical musical reproduction - that takes the pleasure out of listening.
I don't know about you, but I like the sound of mechnical musical reproduction. It kind of makes me think of something like this.

Disappointingly, the article does not mention the Italian Futurists, who might be scary and fascistic if they didn't come across as being more than slightly ludicrous:

We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.

Erm... okay guys.

A thing I have noticed since obtaining a pair of noise-cancelling headphones is that your sense of space when walking about is affected. I kind of like that too, although it does take a bit of getting used to.

I think the best thing to do if affected by noise is to stick some of those earphones in and listen to something with a lots of "frequencies". Something like this, perhaps?

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hello My Name Is Twilight And I Am A Dracula

I invented a new game recently. Sometimes, for my own amusements I like to get things wrong, adding "the" and pluralising where it is not necessary. I am probably the only person who finds this amusing, but nevetheless I feel the need to take it to the next level.

There is brief amusement in confusing fictional characters and the authors who created them or the actors who portray them, but I want to go further than that.

 I want to confuse characters or catchphrases with titles. It's the only way forward.

In its most basic form, you can start by assuming the name of the band is the name of the singer.

You know that guy, Jethro Tull? Plays the flute?

Which one's Pink?

This is just the beginning though. Taken to extremes, you can apply it to any media.

Monday, 2 January 2012


Television, like all of the arts, thrives on familiar formats. If something new becomes successful, then you won't be able to move for the next few months, or ever years, for soulless rip-offs. Some of these, of course, trascend their origin and become excellent in their own right. I like it when this happens. I like being proved wrong when I've been cynical, though not too often of course. Then it gets boring.

My favourite thing I've noticed a lot on television recently, although I don't know if this is thing that has actually become more prevalent in recent years, or if it is just my imagination, is a noticeable increase in what I refer to as the Enthusiastic Man

The classic home of an Enthusiastic Man is one of those television shows which has several presenters, all of whom do their own little section within the programme, adding up to a glorious whole – well that is the plan. Like a lot of things, if you get bored with one section, fear not, there will be something else along in a minute to take away the pain.

I should make one thing clear here at this point, the Enthusiastic Man is always a man. I'm not saying that woman cannot display enthusiasm when presenting a television programme, just that the traits of the Enthusiastic Man are, male in the stereotypical fashion. The stereotypical ways women presenters are used on television is a whole different thing, and not something I am going to go into detail about now.

Perhaps if the Enthusiastic Man were allowed to break free from his allotted slot, and front an entire television show, we might become irritated by him*,  perhaps he is better utilised in moderation, like swearing and binge drinking. This is obviously the thinking behind having him in small chunks on the programme, the programme makers obviously feel that he would outstay his welcome if he was there any longer.

The Enthusiastic Man finds beauty in things that are not normally considered beautiful, but also additional beauty in things that are, his presence and enthusiasm adding a whole new layer of appreciation. This is why I like him.

I would like more excitable about things. I do get excited about things fairly often, but I do tend to get rather self-conscious about it. I would not make a good Enthusiastic Man. My arms do not flail around freely but remain boxed in near to my body. I am the textbook “bad actor”, my heartbreaking and hilarious one-man show will not be touring any provincial theatres ever.

This blog is named in tribute to my favourite of all the enthusiastic men, King Enthusiastic Man, if you will, is Geoffrey Munn, jewellery expert on the Antiques Roadshow.

* I think a lot of people find Enthusiastic Man irritating even in his limited time on the programme, but each to their own.