Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Competition

Yesterday, I made a request that someone, perhaps a millionaire, gave me £24,000 so that I could go and take some improv classes in New York and generally sort my life out a little bit. It wasn't a massively bold request, in my humble opinion.

However, as I was browsing the site of the institution at which I have been studying (and indeed the place to which I intend to return) I noticed the following video:

Please Give Me One Million DollarsUCBcomedy.com
Watch more comedy videos from the twisted minds of the UCB Theatre at UCBcomedy.com


I am alarmed at this. Someone has had the idea before me and asked for A LOT more money. I will not be deterred. Competition is healthy... and I think I have the edge.

Think about it. You're a millionaire and you see his comedy video. Instantly, you think "Ah, this is just a bit of comedy. I'm not giving him a million dollars" whereas you see my blog and you think "Oh, this guy has a purpose and he's only asking for £24,000. I'll think about that".

Even so, I've got my eye on you Craig Rowen... and not in the "Going for a couple of drinks and then feeling each other up in a bus shelter" kind of way.

I might also do a video asking for the money.

Monday, 13 December 2010

All I Want For Christmas Is...

"I'm cutting back this Christmas. I don't want loads of presents. Just one. I'd like £140,000. In cheque form it's not hard to wrap." - I sent that as a tweet on Twitter the other day.

I realise it is somewhat unlikely that this gift is going to come from immediate friends and family this year, so I have decided to amend my request to Santa / The world / The universe and ask for something much more reasonable.

I would very much like £24,000 for Christmas this year. I reckon there are so many lovely human beings out there with money they have spare. Think I'm wrong? Did you know if you divided all the money in the world out evenly that we'd all own about £2 million each. I don't have anywhere near that, so I figure that if (after giving to charity, sorting their own needs and investments and putting something aside for a rainy day) a millionaire wishes to give me £24,000 to travel to NYC and do some improv classes and generally sort out my finances, then that would be ace.

The way I figure it, you don't get anything without asking. So here I am... asking. I've said what I'll do with it and everything. I realise it's not especially "worthy". I realise the money is for me to further my own interests so I'm going to add a special clause; If I end up with a million Great British Pounds of disposable cash at some point in my lifetime I will a) refund the original sum to the donor and b) donate £24,000 to someone random so that they can further their personal goals.

Now millionaires, doesn't that sound like a fun way of investing some of your cash? I'll even send you regular email updates and photos if you want them.

You can get hold of me via my website: www.lloydie.net

Thank you - and Merry Christmas to you.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

It's a real reality nonsense

Britian is in the midst of an epidemic that is removing a sense of reality from the lives of its citizens. Ironically, this epidemic is called "Reality TV". I enjoy a lot of reality programmes. I'm as keen as anyone to see celebrities we've never really warmed to being forced to eat animal genitals whilst sat in a tub of custard, or homely ordinary folk being made stars for five minutes. Yes, I even enjoy seeing a former boss of a computer firm that I always thought of as one stage up from Tomy saying "You're fired" each week.

My problem with "reality" programmes is the hysteria that goes with them. This week former Tesco checkout worker, Mary, was voted off the X Factor. The judging panel had the final say, as they have done in the past. Thing is, Mary and some of the press have decided that this was some sort of "fix" despite the fact that it was within the rules.

Mary seems to think that the judges have an agenda. Well, guess what Mary... of course they bloody do. It's a television show which has judges discretion built into the format. Let's drop the pretense. Television is made so that people at home get entertained. The X Factor is also there to sell recordings for publishers, record labels and agents. We all know this.

The red herring is clearly in the title. There is very little "real" about television. You have a load of action happening in a studio with lights, cameras, sometimes an audience, producers, directors.... My life has none of those things in it. I often think it would be far more showbiz to walk down the street after a stylist has told me what to wear, while a pack of photographers follow, asking me Smash Hits magazine-style questions like "What's your favourite colour" and "Is it true you're dating one of the Thunderbirds?".

Television is a construction of a reality with a narrative controlled, to a large degree, by the producers. Yes, we sometimes get to vote as part of that, but there are also safeguards built into the format to ensure it entertains the audience. So long as no one is defrauded in the process then where's the problem? Saying the judges have an agenda in the X Factor is simply stating the obvious.

I'd love for us to lose the hysteria and enjoy the entertainment. I'd also love contestants to understand that they're a player in an entertainment game. I wish they'd do us a favour and understand that before agreeing to take part. That way we'll all end up winners (to borrow a "reality" cliche).