Motivation Fail

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As literally dozens of you might have noticed, we haven’t updated the blog for a while. The reasons for this are many and varied. We’ve been, oh, we don’t know, visiting farmyards in Oaxaca and coughing on pigs to see how they like it or something topical and witty like that. We’re back now, and as tradition dictates we haven’t really got any good ideas on what to write about. Time for some idea brainstorming!

IDEA ONE: Spoof on the new London Evening Standard adverts

(See image above.)

Suitability: A bit pointless. It’s not that clever, the vast majority of our readers don’t live in London, including us, and the adverts aren’t even on telly. 3/10.

IDEA TWO: An embedded video of Applemask’s ace new local telly retrospective


It’s on ITV in the South-West of England this time, it’s in three parts, and it’s well worth watching. Embedded goodness below, but if you want to see it in HQ-o-Vision visit the YouTube page proper here.

(Note: The Windows Live Writer preview suggest the above could be three copies of a video called “Cop Tasers Child!!!” Hopefully that’ll fix itself when we publish this.)

Suitability: Well, it’s really very good, and it is about telly, and Applemask did tell us about it which makes us feel a little bit important, so all that goes in the ‘plus’ column. But, it is just us embedding someone else’s YouTube videos, and Applemask’s work just throws our loss of mojo into even sharper relief. 5/10, although if we’d done the video we’d be giving it 9/10, like when BBC News tries to make out The Bloody Apprentice coming back is an actual news story and not just shameless self-promotion. Though we’d have used a colour rather than red for the ‘rant in progress’ caption because it tends to clash quite badly on a stark black background when encoded to .flv. Also, we liked Best Defense, because the bloke who played Sledge Hammer was in it.

IDEA THREE: Something about Failblogs and Failblogging


Failblog.org is generally a force for good, and we don’t begrudge them winning a Webby award (unlike with the New York Times, who pipped us to the ‘Best Writing’ award. Man, they’re like the Whizzer to our Chips). However, what does irk us is when they post an image of a perceived mistake that was quite clearly intentional in the first place. Such as this:

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Which is supposed to be funny because someone is suggesting that the owners of a gas-guzzling SUV are claiming to be environmentally friendly. Except! The whole point of the vehicle is to draw attention to the fact it has been converted to run on hydrogen, and as such it actually is both environmentally friendly and eye-catching, so, erm, FAIL FAIL. Similarly:

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Which isn’t fail at all. It’s a very deliberate title for a satirical book by Lewis B. Frumkes mocking the entire self-help book industry. After all, what possible reason could there be for a book having that title otherwise? JOKE GET FAIL.

Anyway, with the above two examples in mind, we’re sorely tempted to send this to Failblog:

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Do you see?

Suitability: Making some sort of point about something largely inconsequential, but it’s still not about telly. 4/10.

IDEA FOUR: An embedded video of an old Shaun Micallef sketch

Hells yeah!

Suitability: A great skit, but really, get it together. If we don’t turn this round in time for our live Eurovision special, we’ll probably end up firing ourselves and bringing in some fresh blood from a local employment agency. 2/10.

4 comments:

Another great contribution! said...

Aren't there any clips of S Micallef being slightly rubbish at the beginning of his career, perhaps fumblingly out of his depth hosting a children's programme phone-in wearing a silly hat or being awkwardly stiff in an advertisement? On the evidence of this early sketch he appears to have sprung from someone's forehead fully formed. (Inappropriately spoiling the illusion by walking off the set at the end might count, I suppose.)

Anyway, inspired by this and remembering the return of the upside-down-set bits in The Micallef P(ogrom)rogram(me), I shimmied to Youtube to find the F Astaire dance from Royal Wedding which established the style, only to discover the ridiculous idiots at rights-owning company Warners have (a) insisted the entire soundtrack of the clip be removed and (b) cut it off at 3m, just when the dance begins. The unsupportably sneery MOR-CRETS.

Mark X said...

If you're especially keen to check that Mr Micallef is a human being with his very own hopes, dreams and vulnerabilities - and not, as might reasonably be assumed, an alien from the planet ComediGenius-6 - he does make a disappointing appearance in the US/Australia mermaid comedy Aquamarine (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0429591/). He plays the role of father-cum-local-news-reporter, and doesn't get to do anything especially interesting unless you count speaking in a slightly unconvincing American accent. A shame, because Micallef being in it was the only reason I sat through the damned thing. If it's any consolation after your mute Astaire find, here's another clip of Micallef (as Dave McGahan) tweaking the nose of Lady Gravity, also from Full Frontal: http://www.youtube.com /watch?v=HVdofZ3mcd4

The DVD set of 'The Incompleat Shaun Micallef', which is so good it can merely chuck *all* of the Dave McGahan's World segments into an 'extras' section of disc two, is a worthy purchase for everyone on planet Earth. It's even a Region Zero disc, so there's no excuse not to.

Another great contribution! said...

>If you're especially keen to check that Mr Micallef is a human being
>with his very own hopes, dreams and vulnerabilities

Not really, no. (Great throw, there -- Everyone.) It's more that S Micallef appears to have come out of nowhere with his comedy whole (Full Frontal is his earliest appearance, yes?), rather than struggling for a decade or so to establish his style in the wrong surroundings. It's a bit like RT Davies going straight to The Flashing Blade without years in the Why Don't You mines.

>The DVD set of 'The Incompleat Shaun Micallef'

Faboo, I had no idea anything was available, because Ebay and Amazon insist he's a conceptual artist called Anthony Micallef and nobody else. Trying a general search, I see also that Micallef in a Box (the three series of the Pr(ogrom)am(me)) came out in, er, 2006, also there's a Best Of... Micallef Tonight. Any recommendations for Oz buy-o-sites, Brokes?

Mark X said...

I've used EzyDVD (http://tr.im/kQTH) in the past, though they don't seem to have any in stock at the moment*.

(*Although they do have DVDs of CNNNN (http://tr.im/kQRF) and The Chaser's War On Everything (http://tr.im/kQRL) going for around £10 each, which is mightily tempting. From what I've seen of each, the former is effectively Newstopia With A Bigger Budget (though pre-dating Newstopia by several years), and the latter sees the team behind CNNNN doing an antipodean-flavoured take on The Saturday Night Armistice.)

A better bet is ShockDVD (http://tr.im/kQRW), who are the people behind the production and distribution of the Incompleat disc. Price to the UK, including shipping, currently "17.0200783 British pounds" according to Google's converter. Failing that, Sanity (http://tr.im/kQT1) also seem to have it in stock, for an extra approximate pound. Slightly oddly, the two pages I've just linked to have different (but similarly horrible) cover designs for Incompleat, whereas my copy has a nice sober green design (http://tr.im/kQW8) more in keeping with the P(r)ogram(me) sets. All three carry the same catalogue number, and the listed extras are identical, so everything should be fine. There's also the added fun of playing "Spot the Eric Bana", as he appears in several sketches as a member of the Full Frontal team.

Micallef's arrival on the scene as fully formed comedian is indeed a magical thing, though I'd like to believe (almost definitely inaccurately) that Australian TV is still at the stage where relatively untried talent can be given a shot with the backing of a supportive producer, much as with the atmosphere at the BBC when shows like Q and Python made it to air. Whereas over here, we've now got a Beeb that will restrict inventive and promising shows like Biffo Vision and Adam Buxton's MeeBOX to a single half-hour pilot, and then throw 24% of the licence fee into promoting Horne & Corden at bus stops.

Maybe I'm just a bitter old crank, but would the Corden One Out Of Horne & Corden be prepared to have an entire sloping set built for about two minutes of airtime, or would he just wobble his belly and say something that was in The Goonies? (SPOILER WARNING: It's the second one.)