I was all prepared to talk about today’s television and radio offerings in Britain, something I don’t often do. A new cable TV channel is being launched tomorrow: More4. Of chief interest to me, I have to admit, is that it will air Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, albeit yesterdaily. I’ve also been following this, the second season of the X Factor, which is the only British must-see for me this fall. I have commented on this improvement on American Idol (or Pop Idol) before in this journal. The at times tedious auditions are finally over and the contestants are going head to head each Saturday evening in live telecasts. I don’t have a favorite yet, other than judge and promoter Sharon Osborne. Last season, which I only caught midway (after moving here from the US), it was the wonderfully overwrought Rowetta who, it appears, has become somewhat of a queer icon.
What else was on yesterday? Well, there was Margaret Rutherford, again, on BBC 4, in the delightfully wacky high school farce The Happiest Days of Your Life. And then there was that atrocious documentary about Mae West last Friday on BBC 4 radio, part of a new series of talks celebrating Great Lives.
I have never heard a more off-the-mark impression of that glamorous dame, whose comic allure was so effectively evoked by the stage comedy Dirty Blonde. The discussion about her conducted by the two supposed experts was tiresomely trite. I had hope for some clips from her films, or for a mention at least of Oboler’s “Adam and Eve” sketch, which got West banned from US radio. I mean, if you’re on radio, talk radio already!
I was prepared to expound on any of these viewing and listening experiences until I realized that many of my prior journal entries were littered with symbols and marks that rendered them, if not illegible, so at least highly unprofessional. It seems that my m-dashes—to which I am partial—are metastasizing into something ghastly once they are being left here for a few weeks.
How irksome this is to someone who knows little about html but makes an effort to adhering to the code of the standard English I cannot begin to express (I guess language fails me there, after all). I have made a few corrections, but some of the previous posts are still in shambles, I fear.