I’m in Falkirk. So instead of Jools Holland on BBC2 I’ve got carpet bowls and trendy-looking presenters of un certain age (excuse my French) pretending to get excited about ‘that amaaaazing play’. Do they have no shame? (Annoyingly, the commentator, Dougie Vipond, is actually a guy with musical cred, but it’s his call).
Anyway, here’s my 3 thoughts. I have others, mainly around whether BBC Scotland’s having a problem of scheduling or whether it’s a wider reflection of BBC funding and if so I can’t really see how that means i have to see carpet bowls I’d rather see peat cutting in Lewis (see that Cormac McCarthyesque non-punctuation there? (‘Tricky carpet’, btw, says the presenter).
1. ‘Step up to the plate’. The what? How many times do we hear this? WTFs a plate? Actually, we all sort of know what this means on account of we vaguely know that it’s an Americanism which has entered the lingua Franca (just kidding, Academais Francais). But why, really, do media folk in the UK say and write this? Few people have any idea of the function of a ‘plate’; except those crazy guys who fanny about pretending to be jocks in Hyde park at seven in the morning. It’s a baseball term. No-one here knows the rules of baseball. The ‘crease’? Maybe. But not in Scotland. Jesus.
2. ‘Chatham House rules’. I’ve been invited to many meetings on this basis. And I really don’t know why journos don’t screw over more politicos (and pseudo politicos, much more to the point) on this one. There’s only one Chatham House Rule. And here it is. You can report anything you like but not identify the speaker/s. The point is to encourage free debate and dissemination of ideas and let speakers feel free to speak. It’s not (note everyone in Westminster and everywhere else) ‘it’s between these four walls’. It’s the opposite of that. Jesus again.
3. Bryan Ferry is not that cool now. He’s just come on Jools (late, see above). He looks cool. But I get the sense that he’s nervous about it all. Oh, you disagree, Bryan? Well, mate, there’s a difference between buying a laird-like pile (that’s nice) and imbibing the values of your lairdly predecessor without really understanding what those mores are all about. Ask your son. So there.
OK, you are quite cool. Still. Damn.
And if you’re watching Jools, right now, then Midlakes’s the loveliest thing. Mental and lovely. And yet, I’m not sure Jools always get’s it right with that distinction between – ‘it’s my programme and I’m the Man’, and ‘some of my guests are truly massive and worthy of more respect than my schtick can accommodate’.
What? No idea.