Monday, July 31, 2006

Animal of the Week July 31, 2006 -- Make it stop!

Right, look, I know Sundays are traditionally a day of family outings, long lunches, and quiet down time, but there are vast swathes of people who, in the late afternoon, want to vegetate in front of the television. In a world in which every tinpot organisation has a tv channel, I guess the following statement is going to make me look like a bumpkin extolling the virtues of scythes over those of combine harvesters, but I believe that five channels should be enough, and only have the old terrestrial package. So, yesterday afternoon, with the effects of the previous night's party kicking in, I slumped into an armchair, switched the television on, and picked up the tv guide. My viewing options were as follows:

BBC1: As Time Goes By -- Geoffrey Palmer and Judi Dench besmirch their careers with tawdry snail-paced "comedy"; a repeat.
BBC2: Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em -- Perenially repeated "classic" sitcom, many hold this in great affection so I'm not going to slag it off too much, but every episode must have been shown at least 100 times in the past 20 years, and in all fairness the only three jokes in any episode are Frank Spencer's silly voice, his ill-fitting clothes, and him falling off a roof.
ITV: Call Me A Cabbie -- in which celebrities who have unfortunately been brought back from the jungle (the two greatest problems with I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here are that it's televised and that any of the participants are ever allowed "out of here" [although I'd watch "Celebrity Lost", in which there is no hope of rescue and every chance of mauling by a polar bear]) face the challenges of learning The Knowledge and picking up mockerny accents under the tutelage of a cabbie mentor. The celebrities, you ask: Janet "Ramblin'" Street-Porter, Carol "Iron Mumsy" Thatcher, and Jeff "ex-Mr Jade Goodie" Brazier. Words cannot describe my feelings about this concept (they can actually, but the image I have concocted cannot be broadcast for fear of offending people, those of strong constitutions might like to ask me about this). Call Me A Cabbie is surely the lowest TV ever created...Oh wait
Channel 4: Britain's Top Dog -- Each episode, four untrained dogs and owners from a different region (this week, the southwest) are selected by a panel of three judges then given intensive training before they compete by perfoming agility exercises, scent-trials, and doggie dancing. I have no idea what the point in this show is, perhaps to showcase the complete lack of appropriate care for people with mental incapacities in the regions featured. The normalised insanity of the westcountry truck driver who takes his shelti waterskiing and motorbike riding and the woman with 16 dogs were completely overshadowed by the three-time divorcee whose jack russel had become her fourth husband (when we first see them in their everyday life, she is receiving a massage, the dog is beneath the massage table licking her mouth and she DOESN'T TELL IT TO GET OUT OF THE MASSAGE PARLOUR, BUT SHE KISSES ITS FILTHY DOG TONGUE!!!). Liza Tarbuck, presumably taking huge amounts of ritalin to remain focused on the hyperbanal pile of crap, guides us through the show, and although she never really manages to sound excited she does a fantastic job of not slitting her wrists live on air as a poodle stands still for a full minute completely failing to give a damn about its owner's stolen wallet that has been secreted in the turn up of a mock-theif's trouser leg in the scent trial. The absolute nadir was watching the trucker getting so excited about doggie dancing that he put in hours of intensive extra training and at one point tried to get the dog to jump through his legs as he did a headstand. This was, it turns out, the third of four regional heats. It's f*ing Dog Idol, and it's wrong, wrong, wrong... please read the middle column of this webpage ( then consider the show I have just described. F*ed up.
Channel 5 -- Robocop: The Future of Law Enforcement (fourth part of awful film franchise -- I'd have considered watching this but had missed the first half hour, so probably wouldn't be able to work out what was going on).

But salvation was at hand, in just a few minutes, when Frank Spencer had received an amusingly placed bandage and supremely embarassed himself in front of his mother in law for the fiftieth time (I didn't watch it, but I know these things happened), The Natural World would start. Nature documentaries, that's what Sunday should be about! I decided that whatever it was that was the subject this show would be AOTW. Turns out though, scheduling and programme making had been taken over by three year olds and that The Natural World was one of those god awful storybook accounts called The Monkey Prince in which Kristin Scott-Thomas, providing the narrative voice of a baby female monkey born into a troop of monkeys in India, told the tale of a fellow baby monkey, born to a high ranking female, but cast out after his mother died, but who then rose to the highest rank after surviving many precarious adventures in his life. Suffice to say it was f*ing sh*. First off, they didn't even tell you what type of bloody monkey it was. Why we were supposed to believe this was not just a re-edited footage from six different old documentaries to provide a blatant rip-off of the Lion King, I do not know. White-Ear, Long-Tooth, and Nine-Fingers and the rest were probably all real monkey's, but why, after naming the troop after physical attributes, The Monkey Prince, the longsuffering but triumphant focus, was called Bobo, and not No-Mum or something, I cannot fathom.

So, this week's animal of the week is Macaca mulatta (rhesus macaque), an animal so interesting there are at least three informative documentaries that could be made about it without people becoming bored. Named after a King of Thrace, these animals have given their name to a blood factor—if you're blood type is A negative, the negative refers to a lack of the rhesus factor—that was discovered in them. Widely used in research these are the archetypal primate research model and have facilitated numerous medical and scientific breakthroughs and the focus of many campaigns against animal experimentation. Rhesus macaques live across south Asia, from Pakistan to Thailand; they are highly adaptable, living in hot arid regions, forests, and even mountainous areas where the temperature might regularly fall well-below freezing. In areas where breeding is seasonal, the male's already large testes swell even more during the mating season. Both males and females have strict dominance hierarchies: one male fathers most of the offspring in a troop until he is deposed by a younger, stronger male; the highest ranking female will have best access to food and protection from the males. In China and Thailand, competition with and exploitation by people have forced them onto the margins of existence, in India they have adapted to life with humans, and in some places troops live in metropolitan areas. Not one of these facts would you have gleaned from watching The Natural World yesterday. Sentimental tosh. Grrrrr!

I turned back to the dogs for a bit; then gave up and went to check that the gas was still working in the oven and that our toaster flex stretches to the bath in case such a situation ever arises again.

I thinkyou thanks


At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous, what a weblog it is! This webpage gives helpful data to us, keep it up.
Look into my page ; vacation reply

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

continuously i used to read smaller articles or reviews that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this
paragraph which I am reading now.
my web page - accounts payable check

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howdy! This blog post couldn't be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I'll forward
this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a very good read. I appreciate you for sharing!
Also see my page > acorn slippers women

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was suggested this blog by means of my cousin. I am no longer
sure whether or not this put up is written through him as
nobody else understand such specific approximately my trouble.
You are incredible! Thank you!
My site > absolutely free reverse cell phone lookup

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge about unexpected emotions.
Here is my page ... abdominal muscle spasms

At 1:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there I am so glad I found your webpage, I really found you by error,
while I was looking on Aol for something else, Anyways I
am here now and would just like to say kudos for
a remarkable post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read
it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your
RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please
do keep up the great work.
Also visit my site ;

At 2:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I
think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very
broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to
get the hang of it!
Here is my blog post :: ace personal training Certification

At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are going for most excellent contents like myself, only
pay a quick visit this web page every day as it presents quality
contents, thanks

Also visit my site ::


Post a Comment

<< Home