Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympics...What Olympics?

Well, the Olympics are underway and and while I wish I could say I'm watching it, thanks to NBC I'm not. As I am only a lowly serf who has a basic antenna, NBC has deemed me unworthy to watch online-meaning I can't see anything live and have to wait 6 hours for the primetime feed. Yet, every media outlet in the world including NBC's own news department already has published the results so I was stuck knowing the results of the mens swimming competition then watching it 6 hours later with announcer trying to tell me that Michael Phelps had a chance of winning. Yeah right.

More disturbingly, even if one has cable and can get the online feed, the event is cut into by advertising every 5 minutes! Watching at my parents house, I counted no less then three ads for THE OLYMPICS each commercial break. I hate to break it to the corporation but the users are already watching the games. As those who know me already found out, my wrath began when the network needlessly chopped up the tape delayed Opening Ceremonies, brought in three commentators who liked to hear themselves talk rather than letting the audience watch the program, deleting some songs and not even showing the 7/7 tribute so Ryan Seacrest could interview a bored looking Phelps. First, if the BBC ever deleted a 9/11 tribute, we'd never hear the end of it from Americans. Secondly, what does Ryan Seacrest have to do with sports. Isn't he an entertainment/fluff presenter? But I've noticed many NBC Olympic commentators know only the basics of the sports they're presenting and not the specific workings of the sports.

As the hashtag on Twitter #NBCfail has shown, many people are frustrated and disappointed with the way the network has handled the games. Given as they have blocked their email account and not replied to the deluge of Facebook comments, nothing will change.

Rant over-In order to end my entry on a high note, I recently went to the Hirshorn Gallery in DC and took some photos of the temporary exhibition sculpture of Ai Weiwei called The Zodiac Heads. These sculptures were place around the outside fountain in the order of the Chinese Zodiac. I'm the year of the Boar so naturally I had to take it's picture

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Back again

After a long time away from the blog due to personal and professional reasons, I've decided to start writing again or as the mood hits.

Since Doctor Who and Sherlock have finished for the season, I've been quietly gearing up for the Olympics in London-like many other Anglophiles. To that end, I've been catching up on a mockumentary called Twenty Twelve a fictional look at the group that is preparing the Olympics. Written by the same people who wrote The Thick of It and People Like Us it's a mild comedy that is not Office-cringeworthy but gets it's laughs from the narration(a perfectly pitched David Tennant) and the situations the characters get themselves in. Cast is headed up Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville who shows his comedic straight-man chops and Spaced star Jessica Hynes who plays the most irritating catch phrase PR director ever, Siohban Sharpe. The real laugh is how close to life the story lines are to reality. The first episode was about the Olympic clock and whether it should be counting down from the Games backwards to the present or whether it should run forward to the Opening Ceremonies. The show got a burst of publicity when the real Olympic countdown clock stopped working the day it was unveiled.

The second episode dealt with the Olympic deliverance committee getting lost on a bus driving to the Olympic stadium, and this week, one of the first American athletes to arrive in Britain tweeted that the bus he was riding was lost for four hours! It is now airing on BBCAmerica or you can download it from iTunes. I highly recommend it.

Finally after a bad day, came home today to find on my doorstep, a wee Little Urn from Yorkshire Tea. After having seen the real one a few years ago when it came to DC, I knew I had to get the mini-me version. So cute. Pity it doesn't make a cuppa for me!