July 13, 2009
NSFMMTR (not safe for my mum to read)
I like language.
I’m quite fond of bad language too. I was a reporter, after all, and in most news rooms “Fuck You” is considered witty banter and/or a jovial greeting between peers.
And so it was that I was very angry to discover a journalist was fired for telling an editor to fuck off. But that was some time ago. I no longer mutter “motherfucker” under my breath when I think of it (arse).
Today’s lesson: swearing is good for you, particularly when you bang your head on the upper bunk while tucking in your four year old daughter/comedian/mimic.
It’s true. Scientific America told me.
“The study, published today in the journal NeuroReport, measured how long college students could keep their hands immersed in cold water. During the chilly exercise, they could repeat an expletive of their choice or chant a neutral word. When swearing, the 67 student volunteers reported less pain and on average endured about 40 seconds longer”.
I find the longer the string of words, the happier I feel.
Sadly, I’ve also discovered that some people view swearing in the same light they view kicking small dogs: that is, it’s not for polite company.
Interestingly, I work in an open plan office very near the boss, surrounded by accountants and people who have corporate jobs. They’ve never worked for an angry red-faced man with a too-tight collar and a bad tie who ate junior reporters for breakfast and spat out the pips onto the newsroom floor. Neither have I but they all think I did (either that or that I secretly ran away to sea many years ago and instead of a tattoo or syphililis, came home with a Vocabulary).
Still, they’re learning. I swear (ha) I saw someone taking notes during my last outburst. It went something like this:
and was a sight to behold.
EDIT: Asshole! Embedding not allowed? Wah? Huh? WTF? KMA, MF!
As I was saying, the boss doesn’t seem to mind. He seems to quite enjoy it at times.
August 10, 2008
Usually I don’t mind not living in London. I mean, I never have, so why miss it?
Gillian took me on a journalist’s tour of London in 48 hours that started with Fleet Street, long after the media had departed.
We visited a traditional journalist’s pub where, she said, ink ran in the beer, there were old chaps who’d stood their ground against Murdoch’s men and who hadn’t worked since and where I could get a real English pint without any of the fuss.
However, it was Waitangi Day in New Zealand and all the ex-pat Kiwis on their big OE were charging round on the tube wearing t-shirts with the map of the Underground but with the place names crossed out and places like Johnsonville, Geraldine, Te Awamutu, Cambridge etched on instead.
The pub was showing Classic All Blacks’ matches and serving Steinlager and was full youths in black shirts “talking loud in a Kiwi accent” including, but not limited to, a couple of guys I’m sure I remember from Waikato.
It was quite surreal and perhaps the best way to visit London.
But I would like to see Tennant’s Hamlet. I very much would.
May 24, 2008
Just as the actor playing The Doctor changes periodically, so too do the staff behind the scenes.
Rarely, though, has anyone behind the scenes had as much of an impact on Doctor Who as Russell T Davies who quit as exec producer this week.
He’s moving on to other things, as is to be expected, following the most astonishing comeback in TV history. Forget wossname (hah) waking up and finding her dead husband in the shower on Dallas. Forget Magnum waking up after walking off into the clouds. Nobody in their right minds expected a Welsh writer to revive TV’s oldest SF show and make it into a drama for grown-ups as much as a homage to the children’s TV show it once was.
That Davies is moving on is sad news, but not a surprise. He had a career before The Doctor and he’ll have one after.
The great news is that the man shoulder tapped to take over is Steven Moffat, the writer behind such episodes as Blink and who clearly loves the show as much as Davies and as much as the fans.
From the BBC story:
“Moffat, … said the whole of his career was ‘a secret plan to get this job’,” which is just lovely.