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So. Trying to catch up on my political watching/reading and the first stop was yesterday's Question Time. Now I know, I know, it isn't really any good for actual politics, but it is a good source for references, a bit like a poor man's political New Scientist in televisual form. It was actually quite good this time round. There was very little shouting or panellists talking over each other. Or at least, very little in comparison...


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But that's me being very very cynical. Maybe it's the weather. You know it was hailing the other day with a clear sky? It was the weirdest thing ever. It's no wonder I can't think coherently about politics when I'm living in such a strange city. I swear, Manchester must be the only city in England to have five different climate zones.




I do wish people would stop talking about 'Africa' though, especially people from Africa (ha ha). We really should know better because it just encourages this idea that it's some monolithic entity of darkness, corruption and famine (which, and I feel this is very important to stress, only happens in countries where it hasn't, you know, rained. England'd be getting famines too if it stopped raining and couldn't import enough food. And the next person who says 'overpopulation' will get a virtual steel chair to the back of the head. Seriously. Don't. Even). The only reason I mention this is because there was a suggestion from someone in the audience that perhaps Britain should look away from Europe and towards Africa which I previously would have agreed with, but then I remembered the Chinese have already made the first moves and I think that'll do for now. Britain can carry on with the aid thing and leave the Chinese to create the infrastructure.

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 Oh BBC! That word, sci-fi? I don't think it means what you think it means.

And you'd save a hell of a lot more money if you just got rid of whoever composes those scores for you. 

Think about it.
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Music, Money and Hip Hop Honeys was a look into the world of the infamous 'video chick' so common across the UK and US hip hop scenes. Overall, I found it well presented with Hedayat's informal method of interviewing played to it's strength. She managed to ask probing questions in a way the interviewee wouldn't find too rude whilst still challenging their ideas and allowing hers to be challenged at the same time. Her silences, though, were just as golden as her interviews, and I can't wait until she presents another documentary. Considering the dearth of intelligent young women on TV these days, I found her to be a breath of fresh air.

Music, Money and Hip-Hop Honeys )

I think it was just hearing the way the young men spoke about the women they exploit that makes me (still) feel rather sad. Both sexes were depicted as playing some game with each other, but the playing field seems pretty well skewed to me.

What's more... )

Random A/N: on a very superficial positive side, I finally found out the name of this amazing tune I am hooked on:
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As usual over the holidays, I found myself watching more television than I normally do. Due to the weird sleeping patterns of the eternally cramming student, I found myself watching a lot more television than I normally do and now I am free fromt he shackles of revision and examination stress, I am going to write about them in the usual manner of the opinionated, self important blogger.

One of the nice things was that I got to watch full series' on BBC iplayer (a gift from the gods if ever there was one). It was a bit of a pity, therefore, that it was the brand new and updated 'Upstairs Downstairs'.
Upstairs, Downstairs 2: Bigger and Badder than ever! )

Oh well. At least they tried.

What else was there? Dr Who was the usual disappointment; Edwardian Farm was the usual awesomeness (it basically involves historians and archaeologists living out the life of Edwardian farmers along the Taymor valley which might seem ridiculous but they put so much effort and work into understanding, working with local volunteers and explaining every little niche detail that it's not at all patronising but genuinely fascinating to watch). There were also some pretty good documentaries on the BBC3&4: Moseley doing his thing on Medical History (History of the Mind or Brain I think it was. The sort of thing that reminds us scienc-y types that we are as beholden to the judgement of future generations as those in the past are of us) and the up and coming Nel Hadayat presenting Music Money and  Hip Hop Honeys.

The latter was certainly food for thought...
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I'm one of those who's pretty much late to everything, expecially tv shows, so it was on Tuesday that I watched last Thursday's Question Time (hopefully I'll get round to watching last night's later on today).

Of Idiot Features and Metaphysics )


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