Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Radio Radio

My car aerial has snapped off, leaving just the bit that threads in, with nothing protruding so I am more less without a radio, and given that the cd player is also kaput, I am growing used to the sound of silence, or, more accurately, the sound of the endless stream of nonsense that flits in and out of my brain. I can get 5 live until I get to the other side of Pontypool, deep in the valley, then nothing. So from Pontypool, to Abertillery, I have been omming, as in chanting om, or aaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I let the sound start deep in my belly and travel up and resonate through my chest and throat until the mmmmmmmm vibrates behind my eyes and cheekbones.

It's marvelous, and, safely cocooned in the vehicle I have no fear of looking a berk, at least, not until the spring, when I will forget I have the windows rolled down and will notice fellow road users at traffic lights regarding me with suspicion and alarm. I don't know if it's connecting me with the universe but it certainly isn't connecting me with the patron saint of traffic lights, as I hit every set on red, every day. Maybe it's working at a deeper, more subtle level. Maybe it does nothing at all, but it keeps me occupied.

I do have some coverage; I get a crackly 5 live between Cwmbran and Pontypool, but once I go deeper into the valley, all is lost. My ten minutes of 5 live every morning really irritate, me, but it’s like an itch and I have to tune in, not least in the hope of hearing that the Blues have signed somebody, anybody. 5 live has decided that we, the audience, want to listen to press conferences; the whole thing, not just the juicy bits. So, the parents of a murdered child are holding a press conference; lets go and hear the whole thing; a man has been convicted of an appalling crime, the head of the local CID is holding a press conference; lets hear the whole thing, a man who cannot speak English but who knows a thing or three about football is holding a press conference, lets go and hear the the whole thing, and on it goes.

They are invariably shambolic and chaotic. We can never hear the questions, just the answers, and, when it is all over, a reporter repeats to us what we have all just heard. There will then be a discussion before the presenter goes back to the previous discussion, which will probably involve some bloke moaning about how the NHS treated his swollen nuts, or somesuch. This morning as I switched on for my ten minute fix, they went over to a press conference to announce the nominations for the baftas. I don’t know if they listed each nominee for each category, because I switched off, and started my omming early.

I may be wrong, but does the BBC not have a small army of well trained, well paid staff to go to press conferences, sit through them sift out all the boring bits and then present us, the people of Great Britain, with the salient points?

The five live entertainment reporter has said that these could be the most important Baftas ever, because due to the writers strike in America, these awards will have more stars present than any other. No mention of quality, or profundity, or art. No, these will be good, in this breathlessly idiotic reporters opinion, because a load of stars might turn up. I should stop listening to 5 live, it is detrimental to my emotional well being.

Christ, there isn’t any romance left in football is there? Shortly after Luton drew with Liverpool in the cup they sold two of their better players for peanuts, so one of their only two chances of getting anything out the reply, Slim, left town, leaving only his mate, None. Luton duly got stuffed whereupon their manager, who hadn’t been paid for 4 months, got the boot. Five live sports news led on news of the “dead man walking, Benitez and his relief at the victory. I know which story was of more interest to the true aficionado.
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