September Mailbag

 
Pinch, punch first day of the month and no returns. The first blog entry of the new month is about looking back. I’ve perused all the feedback and mail sent in during September. Here’s what you’ve been saying…
 
Hell’s Kitchen stirred up some strong feelings thanks to the departures of Lee Ryan and Jim Davidson. The former left as he objected to a term used by chef Marco Pierre White ("pikey") while the latter used a term objected to by contestant Brian Dowling ("shirt lifter"). Cue debate:
 
braham83: "I’m quite split over the whole Jim Davidson issues on Hell’s Kitchen. On the one hand I can feel myself sticking up for Jim to an extent…Brian is, and was in Big Brother, famous for exerting his sexuality and using it to his advantage. On the other hand…Jim is clearly behind the times!"
Tired of TV these days: Both utterly pointless people who, if they had any talent, would be making decent programmes instead of prostituting themselves on this show.
Entertainsingh: I for one am really glad that Jim has gone. All he has ever done is use sexual, racial and other types of stereotypes for his gags which aren’t even really funny… 
tosh99: Good on you Jim. Nice to see it’s not just me who is sick and tired of the gay community.
 
Controversy = ratings. I’ll bet my Arsenal collection that the producers heaved a sigh of relief because without these two incidents, Hell’s Kitchen was heading for Flop City. Or at the very least, Mediocre Lane.  
 
An article asking if TV in 1977 was better than it is today also stirred up some reaction. Opinion favoured 1977’s offerings:
MKBS: I just looked at your gallery and 1977 is far better than today!
A J S: At 40 years old, I often despair at the lack of quality and variety that TV offers these days. If one was to remove reality shows and all of the extra soap operas it would eliminate much of what people watch.
 
However, a few voices made the case for perspective:
Bwooth: I don’t believe the quality of TV programmes is worse these days – you only have to think about the money lavished on series like 24 and The Sopranos to see that – but you do have to search across more channels to find them.
 
Another blast from the past concerned the classic Kids Shows We Want Back. Emu is making a return to TV screens. I pulled out some of my childhood faves and presented them in the gallery. I then asked MSN users which other shows should follow…and you replied with gusto!
HeebeeBear: I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, it’s nice to be reminded about my childhood. Bagpuss, Bod, The Flumps, Mary, Mongo and Midge, Swapshop, Tiswas…..
Ruthinshropshire: Anything with Johnny Ball.
Poppilop: Hugh, Pugh, Barney Mcgrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grubb!
MKBS: Trapdoor, Clangers, Wacky Races, Hair Bear Bunch, early Grange Hill, Fat Tulip(something), 70s Sesame Street, Crackerjack, Runaround, Hong Kong Phooey…Bring it all back!
nosliwenuj: Sorry, but Rod Hull and Emu was the worst thing on TV. Can’t believe they’re bringing it back with Rod’s son as the stooge…so bad. I agree with bringing back Knightmare, it was the best. Also Dangermouse, Thundercats, Dungeons and Dragons, Bagpuss, Trap Door, Jamie and the Magic Torch, The Mr Men (not little misses), Chorlton and the Wheelies…I could go on….
 
Here on the blog, I wrote an entry blasting the editing of Tom and Jerry cartoons on DVD for PC reasons. This also struck a nerve. Conway said, "I agree that it’s important that the originals are available uncut.  It’s always problematic to ‘deal’ with racism in media by removing black representations…And there are some very talented performers that can still be enjoyed, in their context….Anyway, great entry!" On this topic, famouseccles added: "I have always said live and let live. I am over 60 so obviously something of a ‘dinosaur’ but I am wondering when the pendulum of PC is going to swing back towards common sense…" I’ve edited both well-argued comments as they’re quite detailed. Ah, the irony!  () Please select the link and read them in full.
 
Finally, I decided to take A Trip Down VHS Memory Lane due to the fact that my video collection is squeezing me out of house and home. Some MSN users empathised:
Alan said: "I too have had the VHS problem. At least 12 years ago myself and a friend tried to count mine and lost count somewhere in the mid 3000s!"
Ken said: "Couldn’t agree more about the old fashioned VCRs…I used to have an old Sanyo top loading Betamax; it weighed at least 3 tons…Finally had to get rid of it due to space, but like yourself, still keeping loads of Vhs Tapes with films on that you can’t get on DVD yet…Very good article.
 
Thanks for all your comments and messages guys. Keep them coming in. That’s it for this month as far as the mailbag is concerned.
 
MSN Editor Coops
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