Thursday, 25 October 2007

Michael Jackson: What really happened

This was the title of a documentary screened on Channel 4 in the UK last night.

(Yes, apparently this is Jacko)

After reading a piece in the Guardian Guide on Saturday, which was written by the programme maker, I was genuinely looking forward to watching it.

Although the article was fairly open ended and didn't really tell me much, I guessed that this was because he wanted readers to watch the programme.

Having watched the programme, I still don't think I'm any wiser, although I did get to see lots of footage from the inside of a car as it drove around.

I suppose the footage represented the film maker's journey as he bumbled around without getting anywhere.

I have read some very positive reviews of this documentary so don't take my word for it but it was definitely crap, take my word for it.

Perhaps I missed out on some of the sparkling content of the interviews because I couldn't help getting annoyed by the way the thing was made.

If your making a documentary, surely it should focus on the subject and not the filmmaker?

This is especially true when the filmmaker doesn't add anything to the experience themselves, unlike Louis Theroux for example.

Jacques Peretti, who made the programme, kept cropping up in the shot to the point where it looked like his head had just gotten in the way of the camera on one occasion.

Peretti came up with the idea that Michael Jackson presented himself to the media as wacky and fed them stories to sustain this.

Apparently, this was to keep the world at a distance and stop people finding out what Jacko was really like

Using a leading question, Peretti essentially got Jacko's manager to agree with this theory and lo, it had become fact.

The last thing I want to say about the programme is about the annoying interview techniques used by Peretti.

While talking with Jacko's ex-manager, he left the most outrageously long pauses after something had been said.

This would have been great and dramatic if something profound or shocking had been said, such as, "Jacko used to force Bubbles to clean his bathroom with his furry arse".

The reality was that a boring, unrevealing conversation was being dressed up, pointlessly.

Peretti also got the ex-manager to explain what he meant by, "you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink".

This was after he had explained that Jacko carried on doing something that he was told not to do.

Is Peretti some kind of idiot or does he just think his audience are?

Anyway, it was hard enough suffering through the programme in the first place without reliving it in this blog.

Things I learnt writing this blog:

Jacques Peretti has made 3 programmes about penises:

1)The Perfect Penis (2006)
2)World's Biggest Penis (2006)
3) And finally, this one about Jacko.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Dear Limey Assholes

Whilst carrying out research for a website I have to produce on the subject of broadsheet newspapers, I came across a hilarious reaction to a campaign that The Guardian launched in 2004.

In a bid to stop George Dubya winning the election of that year, The Guardian encouraged their readers to write to the citizens of Ohio- a key swing state.

Voters who hadn't decided which candidate would get their backing would receive letters from Guardian readers telling them what a disaster it would be for the world if Bush were to get re-elected.

It seems that a fair few Americans found this idea a little patronising.

Almost as patronising as the red line under the word "patronising" that appears when I try to spell the word with an "s" rather than a "z" (that's "zed" by the way).

Sorry, I've gone off on a tangent.

It definitely is patronising and here are some of the wonderful reactions to the stunt from the guardian website.

p.s. Does anybody else find it funny how Brits are often defined by Americans according to our poor dental hygiene? Surely the fact that we're arrogant, superior assholes should come first?

p.p.s. Bush won Ohio

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Cramming fun into the new schedule

Our new, whip-cracking tutor on my journalism course says we're not allowed to go out for the next three weeks because we've got so much work to do.


What about all the stuff I've already arranged though?

Some friends of mine are in a band called Atomic Hooligan and I'm off to see them play a gig in Islington tonight.

Don't tell Hitler... I mean David, our wonderful tutor.

I hope to make my way to Angel tube station, fresh from watching an England victory on a greengrocer's pitch.

The gig is a bit of an industry showcase type thing, where the band will be trying to flog themselves to a major label.

They are set to release their second album, "Sex, drugs and bla, blah, blah" on small, Brighton based label Botchit but would like to re-release it on a major to help promote it properly.

Their stonking, 9-person live act should help to ram the new album down the throats of the industry fat cats in attendence.