Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Fawke Off List

No.1) Dizzy whatever his name is talking to Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight yesterday evening attributing Obama’s recent Presidential success solely to the far reaching, world harmonizing effects of “hip-hop music”.

Yeah right, cos like it was his fly rappin’ what won the election for ‘im, innit?

Now, I don’t doubt that having a young, black role model has encouraged young Americans (black and white) to get off their backsides and vote – contributing to one of the best voting turn outs America has seen for a long time – but I don’t recall hip-hop having much of a role in this.

Personally I put it down to worthy policies, intelligent strategies, uplifting rhetoric and the promise of much needed change from the top down after the long stagnation of the Bush (mis)administration. Not a predilection for a lickle bit of drum and bass.

Besides which Obama looks more like a Nat King Cole man than Dr. Dre.

Paxman just looked bemused by Dizzy’s stuttering schoolyard outpourings and I couldn’t help thinking that the show’s producers had merely asked Dizzy to take part simply because he was black and had street cred and not because he had anything intelligent to say.

Sorry to dis you, old chap, but that’s just how it is.

No.2) Fireworks. I hate them.

Call me a killjoy. Accuse me of not being down with the kids (what’s wrong with a lickle bit of Nat King Cole, eh bruv?) but if ever I got into a position of power I would ensure the nationwide ban of all firework sales to individuals.

Now I’m not saying they should be banned altogether. Properly organized displays are fine. They’re safer. Less damaging to the environment. And less damaging to the social well-being of local citizens.

But in the hands of individuals they are lethal.

I’m sick to death of being woken by idiots detonating atomic explosions at 1, 2 and 3 in the morning. I’m sick to death of seeing teen Neanderthals launching fireworks down roads towards occupied vehicles coming the other way.

Most of all I’m sick to death of hearing every year of some poor kid or animal that has been badly burnt by (a) rogue fireworks that have detonated by mistake (b) mindless individuals who use fireworks as novelty weapons or (c) hospitalized by makeshift bonfires that haven’t been properly tended or constructed or have been tampered with by local yobs.

One injury is one injury too many. End of.

Selling fireworks is selling gunpowder without a license to people who, with the best will in the world, don’t always have a brain.

OK. The soapbox is now put away.

27 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Nat King Cole - yes. (Until then I hadn't seen ther resemblance). As far as fireworks go, it's like the Somme here from mid-September onwards. Ban the bloody things, I say.

Tristan said...

You are slowly turning into Victor Meldrew. And not just because of the newly discovered yearning for a flatcap...

EmmaK said...

Oh darling, I feel your pain. I usually wear wax ear plugs on days when I think fireworks are going to go off. People should have to have an IQ test before they use fireworks, just like those old people who drive around like maniacs on those electronic scooters should be tested to see if they're compis mentis first.

Deirdre said...

point 1? Agree...point 2? agree...and Nat king cole...now you're talking.......

Inchy said...

Don't be daft, Steve.
Clearly Obama can 'bust a move' with the best of them.
He had policies?

Really??

Steve said...

Nice to have you with me, Dotterel!

Tris: what do mean turning?

Emma: absolutely. I'd like to take all the fireworks in the world and attach them to those mobility scooters, point them off Beachy Head and light the blue touch paper... Quadrophenia rules!

Deirdre: you are quite clearly a woman of sound taste and politics.

Inchy: damn it, I must have missed the body-poppin' slam off between Obama and McCain - darn it! I bet Palin can spin on a 5 cent piece...

Inchy said...

I dunno about that Steve, but I can certainly find her something to spin on!

Steve said...

Inchy: are we talking 45rpm or 33?

kate5kiwis said...

some supermarkets here have stopped selling fireworks.
for the first year ever we didn't buy any. we watched a public display up on the hill from the convenience of our driveway.

but i have great memories of holding sparklers as a kid, writing our names in the blackness.
oh, and the freaky feeling of trying to drop the double happies before they blew up in our fingers.

two words: parental supervision.
shame we still don't live in the seventies, really.
X

The Sagittarian said...

Yup, fireworks got the thumbs down at our place this year too. The girls were too worried about how the bunnies would cope despite their father stating that "the damn things get shot at in the wild, they're used to a bit of banging" (and I am assuming he meant as in "noise")
AND Nat King Cole - yes, like him. His daughter put out a CD awhile ago doing duets with him (no mean feat considering he was dead at the time) - have you heard it?

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I'm afraid I have to disagree guys..... Obama was born within a few months of me and I see him more as a disco man.I can see him in his suit doing his John Travolta impression at
family weddings.
And as for fireworks.....well I think the credit crunch must be hitting around my house in Cardiff(or just I sleep very well) but I have only heard I lonesome firework after midnight all week.

Steve said...

I must admit, Kate, despite the awful fashions, bad politics, racism, sexism and some really dodgy music and hairstyles the seventies weren't all that bad a place to be... not if you were a kid anyway. And yes, parental supervision - it seems to happen so rarely these days. Which is just so wrong.

Amanda, yes indeed - rabbits do like a bit of banging. Quite a bit in fact. Heavy metal fans the lot of them. I haven't heard the Nat King Cole album but I did see a video from it and thought how spooky it must have been to harmonize with your dead father...

Ally, now that you mention it I think the credit crunch has had a beneficial side-effect as there have been less fireworks detonated here too. Usually they go off for weeks in advance of the 5th - but there's been hardly any - and then they go on for weeks afterwards - hardly any last night. Cool! Let's hear it for ecomonic collapse! Whoo! As for Obama - you could be right about the Travolta thing - airplane collars would definitely suit him.

Brother Tobias said...

I do have happy memories of the excitement and wonder of fireworks parties, first run by my grandfather, and then at home. Later we did the same for our children. These were not the grand, impersonal public spectacle of municipal displays, but the cosy domesticity of a roman candle, a catherine wheel, a bonfire of leaves and a home-made guy. The abuse of fireworks needs to be tackled, but I'd be a bit sad if the all-controlling killjoy State stepped in to prohibit another piece of childhood enchantment. I guess we were lucky always to be in the country. The only injury I ever saw was from a rocket at a professionally-organised school display.

Reluctant Blogger said...

I agree re fireworks. My youngest was petrified of them when he was a toddler and would wake screaming night after night during firework season.

We don't buy any (other than sparklers) we go to displays. I am far too much of a wimp to light fireworks (I have to psyche myself up to light the candles on a birthday cake) and anyway they are very expensive.

I did your meme thingy!

Steve said...

Have no fear, Brother T, I'm just a grumpy old git who is unlikely to come into any significant power so the ritual of the home based firework event is probably safe for another decade or two (credit crunch pending).

We're the same, Gina, we go to well organzied displays and don't tend to buy in any firworks ourselves. One of my mates used to spend hundreds of pounds on fireworks and would coordinate a backgarden event that lasted literally two hours. It was, I admit, good fun but I could never help thinking that it was a phenomenal waste of money... I'd rather spend my cash elsewhere than on tinder! I will hop over to your blog and check your response to the meme as soon as I can! :-)

Rol said...

This sort of thing wouldn't happen if children were kept chained to a radiator in the cellar until they were 29. There'll be anarchy, mark my words.

Steve said...

You should run for Parliament, Rol. You'd definitely get my vote.

justme said...

I don't mind proper firworks displays once or twice a year....but I HATE that there are random bangs and pops for weeks at all hours of the day and night.
Ummmm I LIKE Dizzee Rascal.....and I thought that the bit I heard of his interview was quite sweet really......... (creeps away quietly wondering if should admit that Dance Wiv Me is currently my ring tone....?)

Steve said...

Aw don't mind me, Justme, I'm just an old fogey who even spelt Dizzee's name wrong because I'm so helplessly out of touch with youth culture. Of course, it doesn't change the fact that I am totally right. ;-)

Daisy said...

steve...you forgot to mention the thousands of dollars spent to warn people about fireworks WHICH ARE ILLEGAL but they have to warn them because they find them and light them off...i agree!

justme said...

LOL! I am hardly ever right these days......sigh....
And I bet I am older than you as well!

Steve said...

That's very true, Daisy, and apparently the police here have had a huge round-up of illegal fireworks - a multi million pound industry by all accounts.

Justme, I'm a '69 baby. Don't feel you have to top that!

KAZ said...

As a Chemistry teacher I suffered for years with COSHH forms, safety spectacles and safety screens.
We even had to fill in forms to use limewater.
So I am annually amazed when I see Sainsbury's selling fireworks 2 for the price of one!!

Steve said...

Kaz, do you think it's an attempt at some kind of population cull?

justme said...

Yup! WAY older than you! LOL!

Steve said...

OK - you win! ;-)

justme said...

Or lose! Depending on how you look at it....