I’m Bald and I’m Proud

Throughout the history of humanity, a large percentage of the male population have wound up bald. There no shame in this; it’s merely a fact of nature.

Many men however for reasons which totally escape me are ashamed of becoming bald. Personally I blame male vanity together with the gentle ribbing suffered from friends, colleagues and family, especially from the female members of humanity.
With vanity or enforced shame brought on by nagging, many of the aforesaid either buy an ill-fitting toupee, which at best looks like the semi-wild neighbourhood tomcat has taken up residence, or subject themselves to implants.
Then there are the equally weak members who are browbeaten into shaving their heads by their spouses? I would suggest this sector number in the hundreds of thousands.
Personally I’d rather be bald on top with the remainder of my head, namely around the sides and back, left alone to continue sprouting hair rather than being forced to shave my bonce to look like a convict!
In times long past our bodies were covered in hair. Hair was, and to an extent still is, our bodies defence against the ravages of climate.
There is however one subsection of the bald fraternity who should be forced to change their hairstyle in my humble opinion. Why? Because they bring great shame to our venerable order!
I refer of course to the members of the dreaded comb-over brigade.
Seriously guys – having a horizontal parting just above the top of your ear running fore and aft along the side of your head is not cool! Plus, by adopting this approach to encourage what amounts to a tatty, often matted lick of hair to cover your bald spot, which inevitably flops back over your ear when a breeze blows, is definitely a no-no. So for the sake of the honourable members of the venerable order of baldies, desist forthwith or be cast out forever!
Lastly brothers remember one thing. Whether your head is shaven, or like me naturally bald on top, our domes are a natural target for skin cancers when out in the sun, no matter where we live across the planet. It’s not rocket science here guys; protect yourselves from the ravages of the sun by wearing some form of headgear.
Don’t give in to public derision and family pressure my brothers. Instead be proud of the by-product of our testosterone induced lack of hair growth on our heads.
Carry your shiny badge of masculinity with dignity my brothers.
Finally, repeat after me, “I’m bald and I’m proud!”

Ah the joys of Freeview. Methinks it promised so much Horatio, and yet…

In the commercially driven world of British television today, we are given so much choice when it comes to quality viewing on so many channels, or are we?
For those of us who do not wish, purely on principle, to contribute monthly to the wealthy bank balances of Sky or Virgin Media or any of the other ‘pay to view’ systems currently available, there is Freeview. It does what is says on the tin here folks – it gives us free access to hundreds of Television and Radio channels.
However while it does offer us a plethora of choice, in reality Freeview is nothing more than a dumping ground for shopping channels and all the others dumped by their originators, simply because they do not turn a profit, or more importantly attract large numbers of viewers, essential to the ratings system.
And now we come to channels like ‘Yesterday’, purportedly a history channel, or Film4, a channel dedicated purely to film – the clue is in the title in both cases here folks.
Take Yesterday for instance. While I applaud the idea of a channel dedicated to the subject of history, what I do not appreciate is the continuous and endless repetition of programmes under the banner of Yesterday. Surely there are far more programmes of a historical nature than the dozen or so, currently on offer. And while I’m on the subject of history, where exactly does repeating the excellent BBC programme Antiques Roadshow under the Yesterday banner fit within the category of history? It’s about antiques for heavens sake!
What about Film4? This channel is even worse when it comes to endless repeats of maybe at best twenty films in their archives which quite frankly where so bad when they were originally screened that mercifully they simply disappeared. Oh no wait a minute here they are alive and well, resurrected from the film graveyard on Film4!
Ah I hear you cry, but other channels offer films to.
I agree with you, yes they do. But if you bother to check the titles instead of merely sitting in front of your television with your brain switched off,  you will find that all of the television channels simply pass around the same twenty or so films amongst themselves under the subheading ‘New to this Channel’.
I mean really, how many times can you watch a film like Doctor Doolittle, starring Rex Harrison( circa 1967), or maybe Independence Day starring Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum(circa 1996) before you cry “Enough already!”
While I’m on the subject, who in their right mind wants to watch channels like ‘bid tv’, or ‘Ideal World’, or maybe how about mindless drivel like QVC?
I know the system is called Freeview folks, with the emphasis on the ‘free’ part, and I know it is the latest means of giving us choice here, but really there are limits!
At least with the Freeview system and the digital technology now slowly replacing the old analogue one, I can now settle down in the evening to watch quality BBC programmes on the Beeb’s best channel BBC4.  Wait a minute though. Even they have stepped aboard the repeat bandwagon of late.
Oh well, time to read my favourite good book again, with maybe BBC Radio 3 playing some soothing classical music in the background.
Now that’s my idea of repetition…

My Review of "A Sound of Thunder" (2005)

Science Fiction Film – adapted for the silver screen from a short story by Ray Bradbury.
Starring Edward Burns, Catherine McCormack and Ben Kingsley
                                                                                                                              It’s the butterfly syndrome become reality. Change one tiny thing in any given time period and everything changes.
Why? Simply because a frightened panicked fool stepped off the path and in so doing, killed a primitive butterfly, sixty-five million years in the past.
As a consequence of this seemingly minor act, time waves keep on washing over present day Earth changing everything, returning the Earth back to the time when dinosaurs ruled.
Somehow the error has to be rectified.
While Bradbury’s story is highly imaginative with a great premise, sadly the acting in this adaptation leaves much to be desired. But setting aside the cast of nonentities for the moment with the token big named actor (Ben Kingsley) thrown in to attract movie goers, I enjoyed it immensely.
Will I watch it again – yes? But then I am a sucker for true Sci-Fi.
If Ray Bradbury were still alive today, would he enjoy the way the makers of this film interpreted his short story? Who knows…
I give it four stars.

An interesting keynote speech on the subject of the writing world