Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sorry. So Sorry. So So Sorry.

Apologising is very much the thing to do at the moment.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has done it (can't remember when a politician last admitted they might have been wrong about something).  Apple have done it.  Although in their case they didn't hold a press conference about their mapping app due to the fact no one with an iPhone would be able to find their conference centre.

I like a good, honest apology.  There's something very British about it.  As Brits we are often sorry about everything.  Maybe it's our history or maybe it's our self effacing nature, but sometimes we get a little carried away with apologising.  It's often used as a pre-emptive strike.

You see, if someone knocks your supermarket trolley, as a Brit it is you who says sorry first, and then the other person who is actually in the wrong says "Oh no, totally my fault.  Very sorry".  And then you say "sorry" for saying "sorry" and so on.

We also say sorry when we mean "I'm really glad about that".  For example the company that says "I'm really sorry, but we've sold out".  They really mean "You were too slow and we've made so much profit we really don't care about your purchase".

Sometimes sorry isn't used at all.  "We would like to apologise for the late running of this train".  Would you?  Well go on then.  Say you are sorry.  (They never do).

I'm guessing you didn't expect to spend two minutes reading about the world sorry today did you?  Well that would be my fault and I'd really like to apologise for that, but sadly I can't bring myself to say "I'm sorry".

Friday, 14 September 2012

Autumn Season

It's September at last which can only mean one thing - lots of new television shows for the Autumn season.  Some will go on to be a part of our lives for years to come, whereas others will fall by the wayside like some reality contestant that doesn't have quite a tragic enough back-story.

What can we expect from the TV moguls this year?  Here are three of the best.

A group of New York twenty and thirty somethings who live in Greenwich Village deal with the fact that one of them has the hots for the other.  There is a wise cracking one called Chancer, an Italian-American called Jonny, a geeky scientist called Russ, a weird hippy called Fiona, an anally retentive clean-freak called Maureen and a fashionista called Fifi D'Amour.  They all hang out regularly in a coffee shop called "Fred's".  This is NBC's last throw of the dice for a ratings hit.  Odds of a second season: 50/50.

Ambidextrous Farm
A BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary looking at the lives of animals who are both left footed and right footed -  and sometimes back footed too.   Odds of a second season:  High.  People like animals with extraordinary talents.

Celebrity Shakespeare
Shakespeare plays get re-made for a young audience featuring famous celebrities.  Season one includes Kim Kardashian in "The Merry Wives Of Windsor", Chuck Norris in "The Tempest" and Sarah Palin playing Lady Macbeth in an ambitious and, possibly, misguided remake of "A Winter's Tale".  Odds of a second season: 50/50.  People only like celebrities when they can understand what they are saying.

Not making it to our screens this year is "Whoops, I've Killed Again: The Musical" a collaboration between the makers of CSI and the producers of Glee.  Too many careers died during production.

So, which show gets your vote?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Please Don't Call Me, Maybe

The most frustrating word in the English language today is "maybe".

Whether it is people playing it cool, or being indecisive, the word "maybe" has become as over used as Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon.  The idea of commitment, of being consistent and of being reliable has been laid to rest in favour of the flighty, the unreliable and the people who are all to often too hip for the room.

Facebook is one place where the "maybe" world of the transient people has taken root.  If you go to the "events" tab on your Facebook page and select a busy event there will be dozens of people who have said they might go - often outnumbering the people who have made a commitment to go.  Ask anyone who regularly organises events and they will tell you that it's a miracle if just one of those "maybe" people turn up.

When people said "maybe" they used to mean:  "I'm waiting to hear about something I've already committed to on that date.  I will let you know as soon as I can".

These days when people say "maybe" they usually mean one of the following:

"I don't really want to come but I'm an utterly spineless human being and can't say no"
"I'll come along if I don't get a better offer so I'm going to hedge my bets"
"I'll probably only come if I feel I owe you for something.  Did I borrow money from you recently?"

Is it a coincidence that the people I see succeeding most are the people who say "maybe" to things the least?  Maybe I've just made that up in my head.  Maybe.