Thursday, 21 August 2008


Sorry to trouble you all again so soon, but I've had rather a shock. As you know, part of my initial motivation for this blogging business was to add some small crumbs of pecuniary advantage to my meagre cathedral/teaching earnings. With this in mind I got the choral-scholar chappie who looks after all the technicalities of blogging for me to sign up for a spot of advertising on the site. I was assured it would be tasteful, small and relevant to the content of my blog. (The fact that, so far, it has earned no more than £2.70 is irrelevant; I still have hope.) Anyway, I 'logged on' as we bloggers say, this afternoon to read the comments on my latest post (I do so enjoy that, don't you? Reading the responses of people kind enough to write a small reply is one of the greatest delights of this whole enterprise; that, and making tiny contributions to the posts of others. But I digress). What do I find when I log on this afternoon to read 'my' comments? Yes, Mr Musgrove is there in his unfeasibly long shorts; Miss Cake is sunbathing in her underwear again and Gill is hiding behind a bunch of flowers. The others, as far as I can tell, seem not to be accompanied by photographs. But no matter. Having read what they all have to say, having responded as appropriate to one or two enquiries and having 'clicked' on a number of their profiles (are you sure about Inspector Morse, Doshea?) my eye strayed momentarily to the right of the main column where I caught sight of a small, otherwise unobtrusive plug for Sky Plus (whatever that is - personally, I would rather subscribe to Sky minus). And there were the words that sent shivers of revulsion and despair down my spine - Last Choir Standing. Last Choir Standing!

I have already written to the Director General at BBC HQ to complain in the sternest manner about the sobriquet 'choir' being applied to the musical (ha!) ensembles participating in this so-called competition. I happened to be trapped into viewing it whilst sojourning with my sister. And it proved difficult to avoid. Having endured it once with something of a rictus grin on my face on the Saturday evening, I then had to repeat the entire ordeal again on Sunday. Dear Lord above, it was enough to drive a man to drink (and if my sister had had any in the bungalow, I might have been forced to take it - intravenously). And the cause of my frustration? The reason for my somewhat negative reaction? Why, the term 'choir' of course. In the course of two entire episodes of the so-called entertainment, I witnessed only one ensemble which could justifiably aspire to the title 'choir'. And they were Welsh. All the others seemed to be made up of unfeasibly young persons up well beyond their bed-times prancing about the stage and dancing to the sound of their microphoned voices. Dear readers, such exhibitionist behaviour does not a choir make. Where was the subtle harmony of voices - the lyrical beauty of soprano; the matronly stability of contralto; the incandescence of the tenor and stentorian splendour of the bass? Nowhere. Instead we were treated to a succession of grinning and gyrating boobies singing songs the like of which I'd never heard and whose lyrics made my sister blush! And now I find they're advertising on my site. Help! Please help! The choral scholars don't return until September. I am bereft. Please tell me, what am I to do?


Doshea3 said...

I am quite sure about Inspector Morse, my dear Can Bass. Though, that list of interests rather needs updating, as it's been there a while. My schedule for last year didn't allow me to watch University Challenge on a Monday night, though unless I end up with teaching hours on a Monday evening this year (perfectly possible), I will resume normal viewing schedule. The only television I allow myself to view, I must add.

I have also stopped collecting books (as they in turn just collect dust), and also have curbed my overenthusiastic CD-buying habits somewhat!

Tim said...

Yeah, hands off Morse, Can! He's an opera fan.

Tim said...

Oh, and I think the word 'Emergency' at the head of your post has done the trick - your ad this morning was for plumbers!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Has this upstart of a show acquired a choral Simon Cowell type master of ceremonies yet?

If not, I suggest you write to the DG saying that until you are appointed, you will withdraw your viewing figure.

Failing that, just storm the studio with a balaclava and a baton.

Or start a rival show called 'Choir Eye for the Unsinging Guy' or somesuch on digital.

We have to make the bad stuff work for us/turn it to our advantage in this life!

Rob Clack said...

We watched about 5 mins of LCS and I entirely agree. It was ghastly and we didn't see one merry band you could properly call a choir.

The answer is the remote - click (off!) Mmmmmmmmmm silence. Nice.

Working Mum said...

I agree entirely. I had the misfortune to catch part of this week's programme and watched dumfounded. They are pop singing and dancing groups not choirs. Where are the real choirs? Bring back 'Sainsbury's Choir of the Year Competition' BBC!

Joanna Cake said...

I think the ads relate to your subject matter so it's partly your own fault :) If I had gone down the advertising route, I hate to think what might be appearing on my home page ;P

As to the choirs, after the months of Maria and Joseph, I got a bit bored so I havent actually tuned in to that one but it sounds hideous. It is a shame that some of the proper choirs singing traditional tunes cant get a look in. Mind you, if it encourages youngsters to join some of their local choral institutions, it's not such a bad thing. In the last two years my son has travelled all over the UK and also several overseas destinations as part of a local choir. It has provided him with some amazing opportunities and fostered his passion for both singing and playing various musical instruments.

PS Doshea3, Have you tried to get University Challenge on iplayer? Most BBC programmes are now available at your leisure for a week after their original broadcast.

Can Bass 1 said...

Well I never - iPlayer! I can review the entire experience should I be in the mood for masochism. I am very interested to hear about your son's musical interests, Miss Cake, and I agree entirely - if such shows encourage people to participate, then that's all to the good. Maybe that's why there is as yet no Simon Cowell-type figure, Laura (I've spent ages looking up who he is, just so I can make an attempt at a response). I'm told that Sainsbury's choir of the year will be on the wireless later on this year, Working Mum. I certainly hope so. As for the plumbers, Dotterel, I'm afraid they're nowhere to be seen at present - it's still that bloody Sky+ thingy. There is, as you so rightly state, always the 'remote' Mr Clack. Except in my case, when there isn't. (My television set is rather old, I fear, which is probably why I still await a Morse epiphany, Doshea.) Oh well.

Elfie33 said...

I try to stay away from most buttons, I don't get in trouble that way. A few years ago my son and I were looking at a site when in the corner I noticed this cute little Betty Boop. I clicked on it thinking it was a little child's me it wasn't. My son keep asking me why are those ladies naked. *rolls eyes*

Anonymous said...

I can sympathise, I loathe it. About a year ago I got an email from the production company asking if my choir would like to take part in a programme then given the working title of "Choir Wars". It made clear that they weren't interested in the traditional choir-ey type stuff, but wanted a fresh, vibrant, rock-gospel kind of feel.

I feel sorry for the weslh choir, they were stitched up when they entered as they had no hope of winning over a rock-gospel outfit that suited their demographic.

Needless to say I gave the producers a diplomatically worded thanks, but foxtrot oscar!

Suburbia said...

Thank goodness I have not witnessed this on TV, mostly due to over bllogging but also because there is rarly anything worth seeing so I ignor the box in the corner most of the time. I hate most of the reality stuff (not that I've seen any you understand!). All I can suggest is more alcohol. It works for me :)

Oh yes I nearly forgot. I also enjoy reading the comments just a little too much! Thanks for commenting on mine.

Lavinia said...

What are you to do? Who can say? Run for the hills, duck under the covers and hope it all goes away, take to your bed with a bottle of Tanqueray, beat your breast, gnash your teeth....shall I go on?