July 12th, 2006


In the cred corner...

Street Cred Sudoku
MTV Studios, Camden, Tuesday July 11th

Last night addedentry and I went to see an episode of UKTV game show Street Cred Sudoku being filmed. Googling for the show will give you the mistaken impression that Steve Punt may be involved, but sadly (at least for this aging Mary Whitehouse Experience fan) that wasn't the case: team captains were Robin Ince and Rufus Hound, their respective guests were Lucy Porter and Ben Norris, and the show was not-actually-very-ably hosted by Andy Goldstein.

It's not a good start when the presenter and the panel can't agree on how to pronounce "sudoku". Collapse )

It was funny, though, even if part of me hates to admit it, to hear all the jokes that were clearly never going to make it on to UKTV -- the self-referential asides, the gratuitous swearing, and what became a running gag about Nazis which was far funnier than it had any right to be, even if only through repetition and the sense of a shared secret. It may not be big, it may not be clever, but we sat at the back and sniggered and had quite a good time in the process.

If you have UKTV, I think the show's is on air tonight. (If you don't, I still think the show is on air tonight, but you probably won't care.) If you look closely, you may be able to see the back of our heads. Do let me know. I mean, I brushed my hair specially and everything.

Writely or wrongly

While I'm doing reviews... I don't really, deep down where it matters, think of myself as a writer with a readership: I think of myself as just some random broad with a blog, boring my friends over a beer in the corner of some kind of virtual pub. So it came as something of a surprise to find that some of the people who had participated in the choral concert that I reviewed the other week had read my review, and my first thought was to feel a pang of remorse for having been so dismissive about the Harmonia Quartet. Yes, they sounded slightly underrehearsed; but I've sung a lot of the music they were singing, which on the one hand means that I'm more likely to hear tiny mistakes, but on the other hand means that I appreciate the difficulty of what they do. And they were certainly enjoyable to listen to, and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. All I can say is I'm sorry, guys, and I'll gladly buy any of you a flagon of the finest foaming fa-la-la if we find ourselves in the same pub.

It was probably a timely reminder, though. The lines between performers and audiences and writers and readers and critics seems to be getting extremely blurred (not that that's necessarily a bad thing, or indeed a good thing); I still have trouble thinking of my friends' bands as "real" bands, but there clearly comes a point when you have to admit that they're as "real" as it gets. And, in the other direction, real bands have livejournals and myspaces; they read blogs, they meet people, they make friends, they make typos, they flame lusers. They put their trousers on one leg at a time like the rest of us. Real authors whose books I've read have commented on my blog: that's a bit scary, and it's a bit humbling to be reminded that among the people I'm boring are people who actually know what they're talking about; but it's also empowering: if they can, I can. It's not news that famous people (whatever that means) are real people (whatever that means) too, but it's getting easier to cross the line at many different levels. The fourth wall's been rubble for a long time; now more and more of us are joining in the stage-invasion.

All of which is just my observation, rather than drawing towards some grand theory. Maybe all that separates me from the Real Writers is that they're more likely to bother to finish what they're saying, whereas I'm more likely to think ah the hell with it and make another cup of coffee. Maybe one day I'll finish saying something worth saying. Maybe one day I'll start.