it’s the most wonderful time of the year!* (*irony)

December 24, 2010

Hail chums

This year’s boredofjam ecards are here.

Enjoy ’em, yo? (it’s a PDF, be warned)

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kids your lesson for today starts here:

April 29, 2010

Remember, children: Never ever get involved with computers.

Don’t talk about how you once saw a computer on the television. Don’t say you saw a computer in a shop. Never admit to hearing about your friend’s dad installing a wireless router. Don’t buy a PC magazine. Don’t have an opinion on a games console. Never visit PC World. Never ask for a laptop, a desktop, a netbook, a mobile phone or an MP3 player. Don’t work out how to make some text go bold in Word. Ignore the internet. Never read up on new gadgets. If you can help it, try not to switch on a television or watch a DVD. Don’t set the clock on the dashboard of a car. Don’t replace the batteries in a remote control. Never get an email address. Avoid wearing black and never eat Mars bars and drink Pepsi. Your hero is not Dennis Nedry.

But even if you remember all of that, you will still be the computer expert in your family and be required to set up the wireless networking for your parents.


further exclusive christmas e-card goodness

December 18, 2008

Instead of going out and doing Christmas shopping this evening, I stayed in and did this third exclusive card. For you. Just you.

Friends, relatives: You have no presents this year.

Card 3

The final design will be with you quick-sharp.


oliver postgate

December 9, 2008

Obviously, kids these days don’t know they’re born. If they did, they’d probably be more bother than they are now, so don’t let on. It’s relatively quiet where I live.

I woke this morning with a funny sensation in my stomach. I’d been dreaming of Ivor the Engine, Clangers and Bagpuss. I stared at the ceiling in my room for a while before checking the time. It was 7:14. That meant I’d missed the news and I had overslept a bit (due to being up all hours last night cooking my Christmas cake. Delia, you’re a Goddess, but dear me, can’t you make your cakes cook in less than four hours?).

Slowly I realised I’d not missed the news, but had been in that half-awake/half-asleep mode and that Bagpuss and his pals had been featured on Radio 4. This could not have been good news. It could only mean one thing: Oliver Postgate had died.

These days, with so much computer-generated buffoonery, villages inhabited by every minority possible and seemingly drug-induced Midnight Garden-ing, kids telly is all very very high production values. I don’t mean that a lot of cash is necessarilly thrown at it (I believe it’s cheap enough that Cat from Red Dwarf and Terry Wogan will occasionally read a story), but that it must not appear to be anything less than shiny-perfect.

There is no room for torn-edges or washed out colours. It’s sharp and primary or nothing. And whilst you’re about it, we need a pop band to sing the theme  – and release it on iTunes too.

Indeed, earlier this year, a bunch of feckwads with the terrible name of Coolabi bought the rights to Bagpuss and announced with the omnious and over-enthusiastic blah-speech of people who just don’t know when to leave stuff alone, that they were going to “introduce Bagpuss to a new generation”.

Anyone notice that they’ve done this to Postman Pat this year? No longer Greendale for bachelor-boy Pat. Oh no, dear god. Pat’s got a helicopter, a wife, a kid and probably a jet-pack, some rollerblades and an expensive cocaine habit.

Let us consider what, perhaps, this will mean for Bagpuss:

  • Will it be out with the simplistic animation and the folksy-songs?
  • Perhaps we’ll say so long to Bagpuss’s rather slothful and rotund attitude?
  • Will know-it-all Professor Yaffle no-longer be bossy and no longer know-it-all? (Bossy know-it-alls aren’t acceptable in modern-day kids’ telly, unless at the end of the episode the bossy know-it-all has been taught a lesson and has befriended a lesbian in a wheelchair).
  • The mice will be on Ritalin and will have calmed down a lot.
  • No remake of the infamous chocolate biscuit from butterbeans and breadcrumbs episode. Well, not without the next episode focussing on how good fruit, veg and organic farming are.

So my normal friendly attitude has been wearing thin today under the thought that more of my childhood is about to be presented back to the world as a bowl of vomit from some independent production company’s crazed minds.

The wonderful thing about the original stories, written, drawn, animated and told by Postgate and Peter Firmin was that they were so beautifully handmade and simple.

No.

That wasn’t the thing. That was a good thing, an excellent thing. It is something that should be taught in Media Studies courses and in art lessons.

The thing about Pogles’ Wood, about Ivor the Engine, about the Clangers, was Oliver Postgate’s narration. His voice is not just the voice of Noggin the Nog, or Bagpuss, it is the voice of the entirety of children’s television from the ’60s and ’70s.

I’m sorry if that annoys you Trumpton fans. Brian Cant was good. Roobarb and Custard’s Richard Brier’s was ace. But only Oliver Postgate had a voice which could make your soul cry with wonder and happiness.

Purchasing the Noggin The Nog DVD a few years back, I watched it all in one sitting. On my 31st birthday. It made me cry.

Thank you Smallfilms. Coolabi, beware.


everybody please sing up

April 30, 2007

Or sign up. Or do whatsoever you feel.

For today is Unc’s birthday*, and I know how much you all like Unc’s cutting, witty remarks.

His way with words.

His upcoming and generous pension provision.

So come on and celebrate.

*His age is a closely guarded secret, as such numbers have been banned as cruel under the Geneva convention.