Cold Collation

Some posts benefit from a high concept and offer the reader a single unify theme – well, we can all dream.  Other posts rely on me trying to shoe-horn a bunch of disparate (some might say desperate) ideas under a fig-leaf of unity (whilst merrily mixing my metaphors).  The title may have given you a clue, but this will fall into the latter camp – and will even dispense with the fig-leaf.  It will just collect together a number of my recent musings which the day job has prevented me from developing into fully-fledged posts (but, then again, who wants a feathered post?).

A little before Christmas, I found myself crossing the men’s underwear department of John Lewis on my way to an assignation with the ties.  As I passed the under-crackers, one packet caught my eye – not for its contents or the graphic depiction of a chap modelling the product, but for its strap-line.  This garment promised a “body-defining fit” – even some four weeks later, I still have no idea what that might mean.  In what way could the fit of my boxers define my body?  I struggle to find an adjective that could be shared by both fit and my body – so far “good” is my only serious candidate (unless, any readers consider my body to be “snug”).

We find ourselves in the midst of the annual orgy of prize-giving once more.  Despite my usual disinterest in such matters, I was interested to see that Ron Weasley has been nominated in several categories at the Brits.  I’m really not sure an alumnus of Hogwarts should be participating in a muggle competition – and certainly not under a pseudonym (Ed Sheeran).  He hasn’t fooled me, and I really don’t see this ploy fooling the Ministry of Magic either.

In the world of film, The Artist seems hotly tipped to collect the lion’s share of the awards.  Now, I’ve seen the film and it’s perfectly enjoyable and does have a rather nicely trained dog which (just, only just!) avoids the cliché of bringing help to someone who has fallen down a well.  It has the novelty (for 2012) that is is both silent and in black-and-white – though 80 or so years ago, this would have been nothing special.  Otherwise, it didn’t strike me as anything exceptional – the plot was pretty predictable and I can see people (well, myself at least) mugging at a camera every time I use Skype (or record a vlog).  I do wonder if its popularity derives from the fact that it is a film about film, and this appeals to the film-literate critics who vote for these awards – or perhaps my comparative lack of appreciation is just a symptom of my limited critical faculties.

I am not the only person who likes to bring things together under the umbrella of a common theme.  It is popular device in the wacky world of television, where theme nights seem to come round at least once a week.  I’m not generally a fan of these as either (a) I have no interest in the theme, and so the entire night’s televisual offerings are a write-off or (b) I am interested, and so am stuck in front of the television all evening with no chance to garner snacks or a hot beverage (or indeed, deal with the after-effects of consuming said snacks or beverages.  I have, so far, resisted the colostomy bag).  However, last night at nine, the even-numbered BBC channels offered a new take on the theme night.  We had the choice of a documentary on Pugin or one on Putin – quite a contrast in subject matter.  I rather like the idea of using themes that rhyme or perhaps themes which differ only in a single consonant – and why stop at two?  I think I may appropriate this idea for GofaDM: private and primate? miner and mixer?  lifer, liger and liner?  The possibilities for juxtaposition are endless.

Finally, I notice that the world (well, the English speaking, non-mobile world) was robbed of access to Wikipedia earlier in the week.  GofaDM stayed up throughout with its treasure-trove of obscure knowledge and dodgy puns.  This led me to wonder if I should be expanding my efforts to form a more complete encyclopaedia of all the knowledge needed by the right-thinking.  If any readers have requests for subjects they would like me to cover, prior to the next loss of more traditional sources of half-baked facts, they should submit them via the usual channels and I will consider them…

Bored of Awards

We seem to find ourselves in the middle of the so-called Awards Season.  We’ve had the BAFTAs, the Brits, the Grammys (one of the few awards for grandparents), the NTAs, the Golden Globes and, no doubt, many more that I have contrived either to forget or never discover.  I must admit that I have almost no interest in who wins any of these lumps of metal or plastic – whether voted for by sections of the public or groups of worthies, critics or experts – and have studiously avoided watching any of the ceremonies.

I suppose this plethora of prize-giving ceremonies must be keeping Colin Firth’s dry cleaner in business.  I’m not quite sure what other purpose they serve – except as cheap television schedule (and, I suppose, newspaper and other periodical) fillers and marketing for their winners, nominees and sponsors.

On the tube yesterday, I discovered that award fever does not only apply to the (widely perceived as) cool creative arts.  No – dietary supplements, for those unable or unwilling to consume a balanced diet (which is surprisingly easy in these days of refrigeration, air freight and the banana boat), have their own awards.  Yes, in a no doubt glittering ceremony, earlier this month the Boots Vitamin Awards 2011 – known as the Vitties to the cognoscenti – were handed out.  I like to imagine a sobbing (and as a result effervescing) Berocca tablet accepting its award as Best Energy Supplement – the tears would, happily, limit the length of any acceptance speech.  My favourite Vittie category was for Best Snore Relief – though oddly it did not go to any of divorce, the spare room, the couch or ear-plugs (perhaps because Boots does not, yet, offer most of these items via its stores or website).

I suspect that vitamins are far from being the most obscure area to have its own awards. I quite fancy the idea of awards for kissing – to be called the Osculars – though if these are to be voted for by the general public I fear that potential nominees may end up with rather chapped lips.  Possible award categories might include best French, Air and Gate. Or, perhaps, awards for trade between the US and Canada or Mexico – to be called the NAFTAs.  Or, and this is perhaps my favourite idea in this strand of foolishness, the Writs to celebrate the very best in court issued injunctions.