Posts Tagged ‘culture’

TV watchers now enlightened gurus

In Satire on October 2, 2013 at 1:34 AM

People once considered ‘fat slobs’ are now thought of as cultural gurus thanks to the ‘golden age of television’, according to new research.

The Institute of TV Studies has found the esteem in which serial TV watchers are held has jumped by an impressive 35%, due to the proliferation of big budget American imports such as Breaking Bad, Dexter, Game of Thrones and Mad Men.

A spokesman for the institute said: “Our research shows the type of people who were once seen as lazy, unambitious, degenerates even, are now enjoying their role as cultural tastemakers, as television is increasingly seen as high art, as opposed to something to obviate the need for families to actual talking at dinner or as a Marxist tool for controlling the proletariat.”

We spoke to some of the newly enlightened fellows (the research shows they are nearly always male) about their new role at the top of the culture tree.

Mike Jones, a seasoned TV watcher, said: “It’s great. Where once I was just this guy who lay prone, eating Doritos perched on his rather considerable belly and neglecting his children, I am now treated like Brian fucking Sewell. Even though I haven’t really changed my behaviour.”

“It’s pretty easy really. All you have to do is watch a show, say how great the cinematography is, how complex the characters are, and chuck in a line about how it’s ‘like modern-day Shakespeare’, and you’re golden.”

“Old William wrote 53 fucking plays – of course a half-decent show is going to be like something he did. It’s a meaningless enough phrase that no-one will really query – I just made that figure up for example. But it makes you look clever.

“So basically I do the same thing I’ve always done, but now it’s as if I’ve read the complete works of Dostoyevsky and I’m thought of as this enlightened dispenser of wit and wisdom.

“And, as I’m nearly always watching TV anyway, I’m even seen as ahead of the crowd, instead of a bandwagon-jumper. Like with Breaking Bad, I just stumbled across it way back when the first season was shown on Channel 5 ‘cos I just left the TV on after watching World’s Deadliest Sharks or summin.”

“Then I told people about it and that it was about family, finding one’s passion, I think I even said mortality…I was treated as if I’d actually given them this fucking life-changing drug.”

“So cheers, Vince Gilligan!”

Tom Phillips, another well-watched person, said: “It’s all about the minorities. TV shows love minorities, through some combination of offering escapism and filling ethnic quotas, and they give half-arsed critics like myself a great chance to sound intelligent and right-on.”

“Just say ‘such and such a show really deconstructs the stereotype of such and such a minority as such and such a thing’, and explain it a bit or maybe develop it a little bit further with some counter-arguments…trust me, they’ll be eating out of your newly-sophisticate hands.”

“All you’re doing really is pointing out the obvious – that groups and even individual people are complex and varied things. And who, apart from UKIP voters, seriously doesn’t believe that?! But the important thing for the wannabe critic is to remember that the stereotypes do exist and TV shows offer people a way to challenge them in a seemingly intelligent way.

“Little tip here: ‘zeitgeist’ – look it up – is a good word to use here because it’s foreign and begins with a z so it makes you makes you sound smart.

“Orange Is the New Black is great for this – black people, hispanic people, immigrants, lesbians, drug addicts, and all of them women, locked up in a prison run by mostly lecherous and corrupt male guards (the ‘patriarchy’). It’s like minority central.

“It’s pretty good too.”


The Novice’s Guide to Surviving Football Conversations

In Satire on March 5, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Football is so ubiquitous now that, in certain circles at least, particularly male ones, professing not to take an interest in it is tantamount to saying one doesn’t shower or never gives to charity: an indication that one is somehow deficient, rather than a grown adult making an informed decision. It can leave one feeling very left out. This was certainly the position my ex-housemate found himself in living with three football fans. As a kind of pub-conversation survival guide, I created for him – and now you, dear reader – the ‘football-ionary’.

As general tips, the ‘football virgin’ or ‘football novice’ would be well served to express points in a confident, vociferous, humorous, stereotype-laden and politically incorrect manner, ideally pint in hand. Knowledge of specific facts is actually not terrible important. Good luck and God speed…

50/50 n descriptive of a situation in which both competitors have equal, hence the name, chance of winning possession of the ball.

Armchair fan a fan who is not seen to support the game and his/her team because he does not spend extortionate amounts viewing matches live (also, fair-weather fan).

Blind adj a judgement passed upon a referee’s – supposed – poor decision making (however, officials, by definition, can’t be blind).

Big lad both descriptive of a player’s physical attributes and, typically, his high-strength but relatively low-skill game (see also put on the big lad).

Box the penalty area.

Don’t like it up ‘em colloq a vague term which suggests the opposition particularly does not appreciate, and therefore play well against, aggressive play. It can usually be safely applied by the football virgin testing out the waters of his or her unknown territory, and may often be reinforced by further comments asserting how the team of choice is going to “get stuck in” and “smash them”.

Early doors adj, n early on during the match e.g get stuck in early doors.

Early bath n a sending off, for when players are guilty of a serious foul or ungentlemanly conduct.

FIFA officially the ruling establishment of football – who are typically referred to very negatively – but also a popular football simulation computer game. Be wary: this is a potential banana skin for the football novice.

Footy ManFooty Manager or FM football management simulation computer game that is as important, if not more, for many football fans as the game itself. It is often juxtaposed with the real game e.g “*player* is playing shit at the moment…he’s smacking them in for fun on my Footy Manager game, though!”

Game of two halves n another nebulous, catch-all term which describes the arbitrariness, capricious nature of football.

Gaffer synon manager.

Gloryhunter a fan of a team who is supposed to only support them for their triumphs, not through thick and thin, which is often considered requisite in football contrary to its largely consumerist, capitalist nature.

Heskey n a lovable oaf, and also anyone vaguely resembling him.

Lad common way of referring to those men involved in football.

Lino colloq the linesman – the official responsible for determining throw-ins and offsides.

OG abbr own goal.

On a plate adj (concerning a goal-scoring opportunity) easy.

Pen abbr penalty.

Play the whistle colloq a dictum to continue playing until an official directs otherwise.

Poncy adj descriptive of football which is seen to fail for its over-complication and fanciness. Perhaps the foremost exponents of poncy football are Arsenal. When successful, ‘poncy’ football is referred to as, variously, ‘good football’, ‘champagne football’ and displaying ‘tekkers’.

Poof 1. Any player that reads a broadsheet newspaper (this definition, in football terms, typically extends all the way down to The Daily Mail).

2. Any player that doesn’t recklessly put their body in danger for the benefit of the team.

Prawn sandwich brigade a term coined by infamous hard-man Roy Keane to describe, negatively, the influx of the bourgeoisie thought to be far less fanatically (and unquestioningly) passionate about the game and ‘their’ team than those who favour Pukka pies for nourishment. A tricky one to employ, but will earn the football novice real respect as a ‘proper’ fan if employed properly (see also Pukka pie).

Pukka pie n stodgy, meat-based produce favoured at half time at football grounds, especially lower league. Generally thought to be real, honest football grub.

Put on the big lad colloq a tactic often employed by teams in dire straits, whereby they stick an aforesaid ‘big lad’ in attack and play long balls up to him in the hope he can push some people out of the way and head the ball for a typically more talented player to score a goal. A pretty foolproof piece of tactical advice for the football novice to spout when a team is not winning.

She fel’ over colloq a chant echoed when a player, typically the keeper, falls over. The humour lies in the fact that most competitors of football are male – not in fact female, as the chant ostensibly suggests.

Short corner crap colloq descriptive of poncy play at a corner, passing the ball rather than whipping it into the box.

Sitter an easy goal-scoring opportunity (typically applied upon a miss of said chance).

Stonewall adj (concerning a decision) certain. The football virgin can usually get away with applying this if there is merely a reasonably strong case for a decision (if the football novice is feeling adventurous, he may want to mix this with ‘pen’ e.g. “that was a stonewall pen!”)

Tekkers adj, n exhibitive of good technique. If especially so, is often prefaced by ‘unbelievable’. Etymoleng. Technique.

Thursday nights, Channel 5 colloq the term, deriving from the actual scheduling, used to disparage fans of clubs with the misfortune of playing in the Europa League, Europe’s less prestigious domestic competition.

Wanker synon the referee.

Joel Durston