a multifaceted jewel, with something different to appal every time

Up not quite as early as I’d noped and dash off to Jan’s to continue with what we were doing yesterday. This finishes late.

I get home at 8:30, have something to eat and decide to watch Have I Got News For You. Before this, of course, is the tail end of Fame Academy, which is somehow more appalling than before. I think what I find appalling this week is the sheer lazy cynicism of the exercise, but this programme is a multifaceted jewel, with something different to appal every time one sees it.

Then HIGNFY which is also lazily cynical in its way (Anne Robinson as a fill-in presenter). It gets laughs, but more cringy ones than previous. I officially commit myself to Friday Night Television – Porridge (still very good after twenty-five years – cue me voicelessly muttering “twenty-five years!” to myself); Jonathan Ross (Whatever. Still wants to be some kind of Letterman); Late Review or whatever it is nowadays (Tom Paulin seems to have realised that this has become, to some extent, his job. I smell panic); Later (including The Polyphonic Spree, although they don’t really capture the full glory of the Spree sound, and make it sound a bit of a mess compared with the Spree live; also including other people. David Gray appears to be incapable of jiggling his head); the much-vaunted Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I normally simply cannot understand why people rate it so highly. Watching this episode I realise that it is about a group of white, middle-class aesthetically acceptable kids fighting off the forces of Otherness, and is so (as they used to say at college) deeply reactionary. With a DVD of a season or two, a spare few hours and a lot of coffee I could probably work that up into a proper critique, if I could be arsed.

I’m struck by the comparison with Alan Moore’s American Gothic series for Swamp Thing in the 80s, where he took the staples of horror and often inverted them, or at least the moral and emotional codes they traditionally contained. This is remarkable straight, possibly even proto-Bushist propaganda at the same sort of level as Alien-panic movies of the fifties.

Or maybe I’m just a grump.