Archive for the ‘satire’ Category

Paper Scissors Rock of Ages

PaperScissorsRockofAges1PaperScissorsRockofages2PSR3PSR4

The Low Life

In the week we learn that Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s proposition to charge people a pound for using the toilet on Ryanair planes is not meant as a joke, sick or otherwise, these new passenger instructions strike a chord…

Ryanair Passenger Memo

Ryanair - The low life airline

Animation for the Nation

The broadband animation project I have been working on all year has finally launched in Beta at www.4mations.tv. This is the new home of Channel 4 animation and has suitably bold ambitions to be the Centre of the Animated Universe. Produced by Aardman in Bristol and Lupus Films using video SNS technology from Reality Digital.

It works – which is always a good start, providing a wealth of animation and games, including the best of C4′s outstanding 25 year archive of short animations. People who upload their work are in the frame for cash rewards awarded to the most watched contributions.

The first 400 contributors get this special, very valuable badge:

First 400 blog badge

First 400 blog badge

And, in the spirit of Olympic hand-over and 2012, the toppest community members get this little golden baby:

gold blog button

gold blog button

How can you live life without those? Come on, shake a leg, get animated and explore the dark corners of 4mations…

Update 28.8.08:

4mations in The Guardian

Osama fun in the Currant Bun

The dear old Sun has picked up on Osama Loves today in a full page spread on p22. Naturally enough they’ve brought their own special magic to it – like photoshopping out the male half of our dynamic Muslim duo.

Osama of Love global hunt Doctor

Osama of Love global hunt Doctor

Osama Loves

Farrah and MasoodThis morning two young British Muslims, Farrah and Masood, set off on a 50 day mission right across the Islamic world. Their goal: to meet 500 Osamas. Why set out to meet so many people with the same first name? ‘Osama’ conjours up the most prevalent cliches of Islam in the minds of most non-Muslims. By seeking out 500 people with that name – people of all ages, shapes and sizes, backgrounds, hopes and loves – Osama Loves seeks to undermine the cliche and put a human face on Islam, whilst showing the diversity of Islamic culture across the globe.

The project came about when my fellow Channel 4 commissioner, Aaqil Ahmed, came to ask me if I had any ideas about how to give his Islamic culture TV season (The Wonders of Islam) an online dimension. He had commissioned a very special documentary about the Qur’an, a series about the Seven Wonders of Islam and some other programmes, all highlighting the diversity of Muslim culture beyond the Middle East. So that was the brief: show how varied Islamic culture is across the world.

I had been talking to Andy Bell at Mint Digital for a long time about doing a project together but it never quite happened, the right thing hadn’t come along. From chatting to Andy I knew he had recently married a Muslim woman, that he had a strong interest in things spiritual, and that he had insight into both worlds. We bounced a few ideas around, brought in other colleagues from Mint, combined a few themes and merged some ideas until we had the participative journey that is Osama Loves: Searching for 500 Faces of Islam.

So today that journey starts and Farrah and Masood are going to need all the help they can get… If you know an Osama or can help them on their travels in any way please do let them know via the site’s blog comments.

The question came up while we were developing the Ed Spec, what if they find That Osama (the cliche one)? We wrote into the Specification that if that were to happen Mint definitely get a second series with a decent budget ;-)

Another important question is why are our young travelers bothering to cross continents in search of names and faces? Let me briefly tell you Farrah’s story. She was doing her medical training in East London when one day she finds herself in an operating theatre into which is wheeled a patient for an amputation. It struck her as odd how young this patient was – usually there are years of artery furring abuse behind an amputation like this. To cut a long and sad story short, the patient that day was one of the victims of the 7/7 bombings in London. Suddenly the reality of that outrage, committed by men with very similar backgrounds to Farrah herself (a fact that quickly struck her), that outrage shook her identity to the core. Now she’s on a mission and this time it’s personal: to prove that That Osama does not represent her community, to explore what Islamic culture and belief really means to her, and to provide insight into the day-to-day realities of Muslim communities, their concerns and hopes, their perspectives and loves. “Osama” and “Loves” are not two words you often hear together, or expect to. This initiative is yoking them together whether That Osama likes it or not.

Talking of Thes and Thats, for now I’ll leave the last words to Matt Johnson of The The. I met him once when I was working with Tim Pope and Pete Goddard who made some of their best promos – Matt made me a cup of tea the first time he came into the office in Marshall Street – tea-making was my realm at that point in my first job so it was a generous gesture which hasn’t been forgotten. Writing the last paragraph punctuated with “Loves” reminded me of this song of his about two people walking away from death and conquering with love:

Me and my friend were walking
In the cold light of mourning.
Tears may blind the eyes but the soul is not deceived
In this world even winter ain’t what it seems.

Here come the blue skies, here comes springtime.
When the rivers run high and the tears run dry.
When everything that dies
Shall rise

Love love love is stronger than death
Love love love is stronger than death

In our lives we hunger for those we cannot touch.
All the thoughts unuttered and all the feelings unexpressed
Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath.
But, awoken by grief, our spirits speak
How could you believe that the life within the seed
That grew arms that reached
And a heart that beat
And lips that smiled
And eyes that cried
Could ever die?

Love love love is stronger than death
Love love love is stronger than death

Shall rise, shall rise
Shall rise, shall rise.

Web 2.0 – The Musical

Web 2.0 - The Musical

Take some Tweets, throw in a Poke or two, add a Digg and a Recommendation, and voila – ‘Web 2.0: the musical’ – enjoy!

Tomorrow night at the Rochelle Theatre School as part of 2gether08 festival

Dot Comedy

dorothy parker
Some favourite quotes from Dorothy Parker:

* Brevity is the soul of lingerie.

* Wit has truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words.

* You can’t teach an old dogma new tricks.

* You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.

* She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

* If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

* Salary is no object – I want only enough to keep body and soul apart.

* Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.

* This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.

* I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

* All I need is room enough to lay a hat and a few friends.

* It serves me right for keeping all my eggs in one bastard.

* That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment.

* I don’t care what is written about me, so long as it isn’t true.

And, to celebrate the 40th anniversary this month of the Prague Spring, a little mash-up:

* The two most beautiful words in the English language are “cheque enclosed”. The two most beautiful words in the Czech language are “Czech freed”.

Face(book) Time

As we move into the Review of the Year season, I just found this screengrab from my InBox of 2nd July which I remember marking the sense that a phenomenon was really happening at Facebook:

Facebook

And this cartoon [courtesy of Royston Robertson at Private Eve] marks another real phenomenon of Web 2.0 in 2007:

Cartoon

A pretty interesting year in the interactive world – here’s looking forward to an equally colourful 2008…

The Data Day – the best of British comedy

lost CDs

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