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Are we losing our ability to do describing of things good?

We are losing our grip on language. We have conceded the floor. Someone else is making the rules. While some of us worried about the death of ‘whom’ or the difference between ‘less’ and ‘fewer’, somebody went and made the phrase ‘migration crisis’ ubiquitous. It isn’t a crisis, is it? It is an emergency. The difference is relatively subtle but incredibly important. ‘Emergency’ implies a situation that is dire but solvable. That is why we have emergency services, emergency plumbers, and emergency dentists. At Christmas, when grandparents visit, you get… Read more Are we losing our ability to do describing of things good?

Did we need a female Doctor Who? Do we need a black Bond?

Can we start by saying Jodie Whittaker is a superb Doctor Who? We can? Great. Because she is. The main priority in casting a new Doctor Who should be, “Who will be the best person for the job?” but the fact that up until now the people asking the question had seemingly forgotten to consider women for the role meant that a female Doctor was way overdue. However, nine episodes in to her first series, anyone who wants to argue that Jodie Whittaker’s appointment was in any way an exercise… Read more Did we need a female Doctor Who? Do we need a black Bond?

Are novels too long?

Ah, the Booker prize and its minor controversies. Every year someone swaggers up to tell us that the books entered need to more readable, or more challenging, or funnier, or more serious, or that they need to feature less llamas, or more llamas, or that all novels should be written by Joe Pasquale, or whatever. This year, some of the judges claimed a lot of the novels entered were too long. That inside every fat novel they read there was a thin novel fighting to get out. As somebody who… Read more Are novels too long?

Should I just stop following the news?

You know Schrödinger’s cat, yeah? Of course you do. Some idiot has put a cat in a box and the odds it being dead or alive are even. Scientists, eh? Open the box and hope for the best, I guess. What else can you do? Anyway, replace ‘cat’ with ‘the news’ and ‘box’ with ‘my phone’ and you pretty much have my life right now. Yours too, probably. The news is trapped in our phone. Should we let it out? At any moment there is a fifty-fifty chance that Boris… Read more Should I just stop following the news?

1. Bing

I don’t think it gets mentioned enough that CBeebies not only provide a lot of positive role models for children but also a host of parent figures who are patient, kind, and loving. Many of you who are familiar with children’s tv may be surprised that Topsy and Tim didn’t make my list, but while I wouldn’t ever binge watch a series of it given the choice of almost anything else, I respect its attempt to portray a relatively normal family (albeit a painfully middle class one) just puttering along.… Read more 1. Bing

2. Top Wing

Less than a year old and already one of the most consistently awful things on television, Top Wing is a phenomenon. At first glance it appears to be little more than a scene-for-scene remake of Paw Patrol but with birds instead of dogs, but Top Wing also incorporates aspects of Octonauts, Captain Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Blaze and the Monster Machines, and half a dozen other worst-in-show kids tv efforts. It’s the pits. It’s a toy advert come to life (and not in a ‘cute inanimate object becomes sentient’… Read more 2. Top Wing

3. Peter Rabbit

Despite it’s best efforts, despite taking out the female rabbit introduced in this series and bringing in James Corden, this year’s film version of Peter Rabbit, unwatchable shite that it was, couldn’t hold a candle to the sheer bloody dreadfulness of this tv version. Sometimes you have to give credit where it is due: Nobody will ever make a version of Peter Rabbit as bad as this one. It is just so unlikable. Incredibly so. James Corden’s version of Peter is a wanker but at least he owns his shit. At… Read more 3. Peter Rabbit

4. Paw Patrol

Paw Patrol! Paw Patrol! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Go! Where to start? Everyone hates Paw Patrol. There are so many reasons, so much to despise. It is so lazy, so cheaply put together. The animation is crap. The music, a sort of shit sub-ska dirge, presumably written in an afternoon by the bass player of Smashmouth, is crap. The writing, both in terms of dialogue and basic plotting, is crap. There is a deep vein of  casual anti-French sentiment running through the programme that is, obviously, crap. But… Read more 4. Paw Patrol