Monday, March 30, 2009

This Week In News, With TV's The Bloke Off Of "CSI:MIAMI"

Alright now, be honest. CSI: Miami is a bit pish, isn't it? CSI: The First One's been fairly rubbish since around 2005 or so, so it's pointless to expect any spin offs to be of any worth. I mean, really. What's going to be next? CSI: Schenectady?

But just because he's on a bit of a pishy show, doesn't mean that the mumbling sunglasses guy can't moonlight as a news commentator from time to time, and this week, the story of Vince Shlomi caught his eye. And so, we present...


Paul And Spike Show Podcast, monday morning catch-up.

Missed the show on Friday? Fear not! Catch up with the multi award-losing podcast from the boys who brought you such exciting fare as "The Paul And Spike Show episode 102", "The Paul And Spike Show Episode 103", and the upcoming "The Paul And Spike Show episode 105". Don't miss this amazing and thri... what? Oh, sorry - I have to go. My tea's out.

Here it is!

The Paul And Spike Show, Episode 104. Originally broadcast on Radio Six International at 2230UTC, March 27th 2009.

Downloadez-vous les entire show ici!

Podcastez-vous ici avec le iTunes, et al. Il es le feed du RSS.

00:00 - Apple-cheeked with alcohol and fired up from an online debate with a tireless Obama-basher, The Boys are ready to dive into the fray. After some FM radio introductions and a special prize given to Alice Farfnarfer of Dunbar, it's BOOM! POLITICS! Obama getting the short end of the stick by the GOP? And he's an ideologue? Really? Is it really a shame that the GOP has turned into The People's Temple Of Rush Limbaugh?

18:18 - It's a Booze Update! What are The Boys drinking? Is boxed wine better than bottled wine, and does "cheap plonk" tell the same time as a $4000 Rolex? Wait, what?

25:40 - He's a-pickin', and he's a-grinnin'. The big news stories of the day given gravitas, elevation and importance by having rubbish puns written about them, and delivered in between bursts of twangy country music.

28:56 - Spike wonders whether Mike (the boss) is enjoying the show, and The Boys sift through the weeks' correspondence, including a correction of Paul's research, a disagreement with Spike's analysis of Genesis and which Wii game they made someone buy.

35:07 - Local legend The Amazing Delores (now the Deceased Delores) wowed the crowd of drunks and lesbians (and drunk lesbians) at Paul's 30th birthday party. Find out why, and discover the little-known fried food-focused guitar solo embellishment of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird"

Now you - yes, even YOU - can enjoy the energetic talents of The Hardest Working Great-Grandmother In Showbiz for a mere 51 American Cents! (correct at time of writing). The Amazing Delores put out a CD of songs back in 1994, called "Stop Messin' With My Mind", including such classics as "Rats In My Trailer", "Do The In And The Out" {{{shudder}}}, and "Goin' Over 40". OH. YOUR. GOD. Buy it now, before Time-Life reissues it and gouges you by charging twice the price: $1.02.

41:31 - This Week In Stuff! What the boys are reading/watching/playing. Paul has a non-flashback retro review of Pink Floyd's "The Wall", Spike's been enjoying "Bolt" and "The Kit Curran Radio Show", in which they find a link between local radio, "Local Hero" and a potential Star Wars spin-off series. Hmmmm. Also, which is better; cell animation or CGI?

56:36 Perhaps for the last time, we try to find out Whoooooo Is Nicking My Hot Water. Know who it is? Know what they're talking about? The water thief is a newsmaker from this past week - if Yoooouuuuu know who the water thief is, email the show here. Or, don't. S'up to you.

Aye.... very good.


Keep in touch! Good, bad or ugly, we love to hear from you and what you think of the show. You can email us at the usual address, if you is a Face Booker, you can join the P&SS Facebook group, too. It's good fun. No - really - it is. Sort of. In a way. Oh, also! D'yer Twitter? You can find Spike here and Paul here. Feel free to recommend them (and the show) for #followfriday too!


The (broadcast) times, they are a-chaaaaangin'. Radio Six International will, from the 11th of April, be broadcasting the Paul and Spike Show three times. w00t! The premiere time gets to be half an hour earlier, at 2200UTC (6pm US/e) with a repeat on 0800UTC Saturdays (4am US/e) and 2000UTC Sundays (4pm US/e). So you've no excuse. Over at the excellent 88.5 World FM in Wellington New Zealand, the times they aren't a chaaaaan-gin': the show will continue at 7pm Saturday nights local time (listen online, Saturdays 0600UTC, 2am US/e) Every so often, you might hear us, or any of the other quality Radio Six programming, on Maine-based shortwave powerhouse WBCQ: The Planet, via 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz. Let us know if you do. It being shortwave, there's no telling where you would be able to hear it in this fine world of ours.


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Monday, March 23, 2009

Your Paul and Spike Show Monday Morning Catch-up.

Just in case you missed it on Friday; it's episode 103 of the award-losing Paul and Spike Show. Share and enjoy!

Y'down with RSS? Yeah, you know me! Subscribe in iTunes (or similar) by clicking here.

Mike (the boss) says you may download the entire show in the popular mp3 format by clicking here. But just watch it, alright. Watch it.

A bumper "bloody hell, we talked that long?" episode of the Paul And Spike Show, featuring twenty - that's right, TWENTY - minutes viciously slashed from the Radio Six International transmission.
  • Right from the get-go, there's what we in the business call a "false start" whereby we make you think you're listening to one of NPR's extremely helpful advice shows. And maybe you are, we'll never tell.
  • In segment one, starting at 2:10, The Boys tackle that most important of subjects; Paul's nose douche! Yes, it's a Nettipot update! Then, they gently sift through some of the correspondence from the past seven days; one good, one frighteningly authoritarian.
  • At 15:44, the boys don them's banjos and them's gee-tars to cover the week's news in a Pickin' and Grinnin' stylee.
  • This Week In Stuff (at 18 minutes past) runs the gamut, from high cultured literature to a TV show about a guy with a mullet who kills bugs. Really. Oh, and Paul has ditched the hallowed, geek-favourite VLC player in favour of the KM Player for all his video/audio needs. Shocking!
  • At 36 minutes, The Boys have a (psshhewwwwww) FLAASSHBAAACKKKK! (pewpewpew) and review a couple movies of old; Paul's rediscovered George Lucas' "Howard The Duck" and gives it a fascinatingly positive retro review, and Spike has been watching the Pet Shop Boys 1988 movie "It Couldn't Happen Here", which also fares better than anyone expected. What were they THINKING?
  • Oh dear. Some disagreements at 54 minutes in "Over/Under" as the boys discuss the most over-rated and the most under-rated music acts of the 1980s. To say there are some surprises here would be rather a large understatement. Does Paul really compare a heavy metal band to the great composers...?
  • No winners last week in the competition that simply everyone (currently broadcasting) is talking about, "Whoooooooo Is Nicking Spike's Hot Waterrrrrrr?" Can you guess whooooooooo is nicking it this week? And do you know what they're talking about? The new edition is at 1:15:30 - if you know whooooo it is, email the show. No winner last week means that this week is a rollover, so you'll have two haikus written about you, if you can identify the newsmaking water thief.

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The Paul And Spike Show is broadcastered weekly at 2230UTC, Friday nights on Radio Six International. That's 6.30pm US eastern time and 10.30pm UK time. You can also catch it at 7pm Saturday nights local time on 88.5fm in Wellington New Zealand, via World FM. You can listen online here, at 0600UTC (6am UK, 1am US/e) Saturday morning. If you're lucky, you might even catch it on shortwave, at either 5.110MHz and 9.330MHz. Maybe.

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Dude! We, like, totally love it when people link to the show or give us blog/myspace/facebook/twitter-centric plugs and props. It's, like, the bomb! Details on embedding the audio and permalinking are is here. Thanks!

Want to comment on anything you've heard on the show? Think you'd be a good guest one day? Want to get something off your chest? Eager to say hello? Want to hurl money and/or send abuse? Champion! Click here to email the show.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jade Goody: Are We Donne Yet?

One of the most surreal and profound moments of my life came the morning after TV's Diana, ex-princess of Wales, died. I was up late the night before and had caught the announcement that she had been in a crash, but did not yet know of her ultimate fate; that she had, as her name acronyms, Died In A Nasty Accident. My Mum came into my room, swished open the curtains to let the Sunday sun flood in and said, "Well! You should see what's on the news!" I replied to her that, yes - I already knew. Car crash in the extremely photogenic city of Paris, TV's Diana taken to hospital where she'll no doubt make a stunning and speedy recovery, and before we know it, there she'll be; hobbling slowly down the red carpet of the (private and pricey) hospital on platinum crutches, photographers flashing around her, snapping every angle of her Gucci dress and Versace cast and Gaultier eye patch, any one of which could have paid for an entire National Health Service hospital wing. And everyone will be all a-glow about how brave she is and how wonderful she looks, and what an inspiration she is to all the little people in the world whose stretch Mercedes has crashed in an exotic location because their personal chauffeur was drunk and driving at twice the speed limit.

"No," Mum said, "She died."

Aw well, said I. Who cares? Yet another member of the privileged elite gone to the great country club in the sky. The only tragedy that occurs when these people cark it is that their death doesn't leave open a job for somebody who actually needs one. My mother, perhaps shocked by the severity of my argument - or maybe just surprised that I was compos mentis before noon - left the room, quoting Donne's 'Meditation XVII': "any man's death diminishes me". And, in a flash of literacy, two paragraphs of working class hero vitriol were expertly rebuked by five words of pointy-bearded Jacobean wisdom, and her opponent in the battle of wits was left unarmed. And hungover.

In the perfect world, and were this the Hollywood version of the blog, I would have changed my stance on death at that point and would have spent the next twelve years trying to being more sympathetic, eventually opening some sort of vastly successful grief counseling service, and then triumphantly running up some stairs to a fist-pumping John Williams soundtrack. But I didn't. Nothing changed. I still feel little more than the minimum sympathy for the camera-hungry ex-royal who lived, and died, in luxury. Could it be that any pauper choose his manner of death, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to spend their final night on earth speeding away in a fancy car from a pricey restaurant in Paris. They'd probably tell you that they're ready to go right now.

Is death a tragedy? Sure. Is an "untimely" death a tragedy? It's a subjective term, but sure. People are always affected by the death of someone close to them, and no amount of riches, privilege or servants serving you swan pate on toast in your four poster bed can make up for the loss of a loved one. The only difference is that those people don't have to heave themselves out of bed and go back to work making someone *else* rich once they've taken a corporate-approved paltry amount of "grief leave". But is the very public death of one figure worthy of any more grief than the private death of another? Is a death in the headlines more tragic than a death on a housing estate? What if the death was that of an "unworthy" figure?

Fast forward to 2002, when "Turner Diaries" author and noted white supremacist William Pierce finally cashed in his chips - and in my own fair state, no less! Pierce, member of the antisemitic, neo-nazi National Alliance and the man behind the book that allegedly inspired the anti-government firearm enthusiast Timothy McVeigh to kill 168 people in Oklahoma, died from cancer. And there was much rejoicing. He wasn't executed in an ill-informed act of 'revenge' like McVeigh was. He didn't commit suicide in a fit of shame. He withered away and died. Sure, we all stifled a snicker that day, perhaps we looked up to the heavens and imagined to ourselves the scene; Pierce arriving at the pearly gates and St Peter laughing right in his face, pulling a comedically outsized lever and a vast, cartoonish trapdoor opening up beneath his feet to swift the white supremacist down to where he rightly belongs. But chances are, in whatever way, we probably celebrated just a little, and felt that retribution had - finally - been served on an utterly ghastly human being.

And such subjects - those of celebrity, racism and death - brings us nicely to the life and legacy of the late Jade Goody. That very British creature whose claim to fame, notoriety and vast fortune is only that she served as a televised mirror to a sub-section of the "great" British public and as a modern-day freakshow to the rest. I'll let you do your own research on her and what made her what she was, this bleedin' post is too long as it is, but let me say this: Yes, I do feel sorry for her. Yes, I do think her death is a tragedy. No, I'm not pleased that she's away. But, and this may be a controversial viewpoint, it seems that she could actually do more good in death than in life. Bear with me on this one.

Death has always done wonders for careers. Look at John Lennon. Is anyone really under the impression that he would be as lauded today had he survived? Come on, of course not! He would have disappeared even further up his own pretentious backside. But Jade's legacy won't necessarily be that of a continuation of the brand. It might not even be one visible to the public eye she so endlessly and desperately craved. Word has it that ever since her (televised) diagnosis with cervical cancer and her (televised) struggle with chemotherapy and the (televised) spread of her cancer, instances of younger women getting tested for the disease has increased by more than 20%. TWENTY PERCENT.

Jade was not a pleasant character, but I find it hard to fault the media blitz that has ensued over the past few weeks since the disease was classified as hopelessly terminal. I find it hard to criticise the fact that she and uber-publicist Max Clifford did everything they did to grab as much cash as possible which, we're told, will all go towards her two kids' education. And I find it near impossible to feel nothing but raw emotion for those kids who, at five and six, have lost their mother and have had to watch her disintegrate in such a short period of time. I don't believe that there is a grace period for staving off criticism when someone dies, but I do believe that - unpleasant or not - Jade Goody has finally done some actual good, both for her kids and for a countless number of younger women who may not have otherwise gone through the hideously unpleasant and undignified pap smear tests.

Jade did very little to further the cause of humanity when she was alive, other than to serve as cheap entertainment. She certainly didn't serve as a positive role model and her actions were based solely on personal gain than to be an inspiration to others. But in death, she may really make a difference to people's lives. And, as far as I'm concerned, that wipes the slate clean.

Friday, March 20, 2009

My New Favourite NPR Podcast.

I tells ya... if you've ever had a problem with a gadget or electronic device, Long John Dablinski's yer man. After Fevzi, of course....