Couple of Good Things

‘It Takes a Killer’ on CBS Reality

It’s not Mad Men or Girls, but I really can watch episode after episode of this. Each instalment chronicles a real-life murder or series of murders and the police investigation around them. The show is very fast-paced and has an assured, modern style. The video-game Metal Gear Solid springs to mind. Stuff flashes by: photos, maps, text, talking heads, stock visuals and snatches of reconstruction. On paying a little closer attention I noticed that every move is accompanied by either a ‘whoosh’ or ‘blade unsheathing’ sound effect. The guy working the sound board must surely have developed arthritis. The voice-over is as you’d expect from the title- grave, heading towards devilish- but not dorky and overdone in this case. The experts are compelling characters in their own right: Weary LAPD guy, distant 30-something English woman and slim pork-pie hat dude. There’s a lot of background material, footage and police evidence from each case, some of it jaw-dropping, and interesting wider perspectives are presented. I think much care has been taken. Two thumbs up.


I first heard the term ‘podcast’ back in 2009/10. To me it sounded like something both second-rate and troublesomely technical. I was aware that Ricky Gervais was doing one and I didn’t like the sound of it either- him and his mate laughing at a buffoonish third guy. That was it for me until 2014, when the podcast ‘Serial’ appeared and had HBO-like credibility. They’ve crept up in a big way since then and I have various ones on all the time now. Life is better for them- it’s ‘take what you’re given’ no longer culturally speaking (or even more-so now anyway), plus they make dull tasks tolerable.


Prompt: Carry

Carry on luggage- The last hold-luggage holiday I was on was to the South of France with my parents in 2009. My parents go to the South of France for a summer holiday quite a lot- they’re off there again next week in fact, the spazzes. We stayed in Juan Les Pins in 2009, just down the bay from Cannes. I remember helplessly repeating ‘wan ley pan’ to a bus driver one afternoon, until a long-haired Frenchman in his forties leaned over and slurred ‘jou-an ley pan’ at him, then shot me a wink-and-click-noise ‘sorted’ thing.

The Carry On films- Parochial British sex-comedy films of the 60’s and 70’s. They still show them regularly on ITV and the even more downmarket Channel 5. I flicked past one late at night recently and thought to myself, with a surprising strength of feeling, ‘I’d rather die than watch that’.

Carrie Bradshaw- The wish-fulfillment little princess materialism thing on Sex and the City is unpleasant. Samantha was good though- that voice and manner are very memorable. Kim Cattrall is kinda interesting.


The word ‘Austerity’ crept up without me noticing and is now everywhere. It’s the government approved term for the economic strategy being followed. David Cameron used it first in a speech in 2009, with his ‘Age of Austerity’. Webster’s made it word of the year in 2010. It seems to be used uncritically by all sides now, strangely. It absolutely is a tad creepy and Orwellian, in the way it can be a bad thing when it needs to be and a good thing when it needs to be. It screws opponents of the economic strategy – the anti-austerity marchers and ‘End Austerity Now’ campaigners. What do they want instead? Indulgence? I can’t remember anything as crafty as that in politics before.

Then in the run up to the election Cameron got the name of the football team he supports wrong. He was talking about the economy or something, about how football support brings in so much revenue, and he’s saying he encourages support for all teams across the country, then adds jovially- ‘But of course I’d rather it was for West Ham’, at which point his face froze for a brief second as he remembered it was Aston Villa he’s been claiming to support for years.

I mean, that’s fucking dreadful. I wonder are people out there as thick as he and his advisers obviously imagine them to be? Whatever the case, both of the above make me think there’s something quite cold and insulting going on. The austerity thing suggests a commitment to and knack for manipulation, and the football thing speaks for itself- the idiots must be humoured.

Jeremy’s ”Fuck You Bush’ poem from Peep Show sums up my mood (awful recording but whatever):