What's in Paisley's Pants? Political ramblings about things that catch my attention... (rather than some smutty double entendre...)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Little Britan receives award for comedy writing...

An infinite number of monkeys could write Shakespeare, but it only takes two to come up with Little Britain.

Last night, David Walliams and Matt Lucas were awarded with the inaugural Ronnie Barker award for Comedy Writing at the British Comedy Awards. It is, appropriately, an absolute joke.

Little Britain engages in the cheapest, laziest form of comedy writing, that is, catchprhase comedy. It is the reason it is so successful - the catchphrases translate so very easily into playground language, mainly because they're not too far from it already. While in the first series, there was some element of intelligence in the writing, that has been ironed out in favour of crude stereotyping and the ever-present catchphrases.

The actual humour of catchphrases escapes me. How often is it funny to hear somebody say 'I want that one'? Yet the studio audience, and presumably the audience at home (the show receives absurdly high viewing figures), relish the prospect of this line being said twice an episode. Some would argue that the hunour comes partly from knowing what is going to happen next, but if this is true, then LB lacks the imagination to make the journey from premise to punchline entertaining for the viewer (a failure which is highlighted by the absurd, entirely predictable, but hugely entertaining comedy of errors 'The Worst Week of My Life', shown after LB). Even The Fast Show, the last big catchphrase comedy show, showed imagination, and allowed characters to develop within the established framework of 'what they do' - look at Ted and Ralph, for example.

By all means award Little Britian for gaining high audience figures, or selling a huge amount of merchandise, or even opening the gates for getting comedy off BBC 3 and onto the mainstream channels, but don't reward Matt Lucas and David Walliams for the quiality of their writing, as any quality is woefully absent.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Boris Berezovsky - motivated by greed

Boris Berezovsky was the subject of the opening episode of a BBC 2 documentary last week, 'Russian Godfathers' Berezovsky is one of the oligarchs who rose to prominence under Yeltsin. WHat sets him apart from Roman Abramovich et al. is that Berezovsky gained huge political influence in Moscow. So much so that it was him who proposed Vladmir Putin to suceed Yeltsin, which of course he did without election.

Things changed for Berezovsky when Putin took advantage of the huge wave of public support he had and turned on his makers - Mikhail Khordorkovsky, CEO of Yukos oil firm was imprisoned, Berezovsky himself was exiled, and is wanted by interpol. He currently lives in Britain, who granted him political refuge, and Israel, where he his allowed back due to his being a Jew.

Berezovsky now has one mission - to bring down Putin. He operates mainly through his newspapers in Russia and the Ukraine. However, he also financed the Orange Revolution that took place in the Ukraine last year, in which the Kremlin backed Viktor Yanukovych was displaced by the populist Viktor Yuschenko. The protest in Kiev that stretched out for weeks were funded by Berezovsky, in an effort to undermine the Kremlin's influence.

Berezovsky claims his motivation is to do what's good for Russia, and to bring democracy to the country. This is utter rubbish. The man has become obsessed with power, and is trying to win it back. Berezovsky had no regard for democracy when he put Putin in power with no election, and if he still held influence in Russia, he would still not care a jot for the will of the poeple. It is only now that he is exiled that he sees that the word 'democracy' is his key to regaining power. It is a pitiful and cynical manipulation of language that he his employing to justify his actions, and unfortunately it acts to cheapen that which he involves himself in, such as, regretably, the Orange Revolution.