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TV and Twitter

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything so time to dust off the typewriter, er, laptop and put some words on paper, er screen.

A few years ago I got into Twitter big time and one of the reasons I liked it so much was because you could watch TV with potentially thousands of other people watching the same program at the same time. Sure you had to watch it live and put up with the ads but that isn’t really a big problem at the end of the day. 

Watching shows like The Voice and Big Brother and using the appropriate hashtags would allow your tweets to be viewed potentially by a whole country should they be searching for like minded contributors in the 140 character zone.  It was fun and as I like to think of myself as a bit of a comedian I would always try and find the funny angle to whatever was happening on my Panasonic 50”.  Occasionally one of my tweets might even end up on TV, like it did three times on one season of The Voice.  That always brought about such excitement especially when people who know you, would send you a message and say they had just seen my tweet on TV.

However, watching a show and tweeting about it at the same time would sometimes mean you’d miss certain elements of the show and potentially miss a great moment or a critical plot point.  Well maybe not when watching The Voice but certainly when watching dramas. 

When your face is always in your phone and you’re ‘watching’ TV at the same time you will miss stuff.  I found this to be true when watching The Newsroom and House of Cards.  I’m currently watching these series again with my amazing partner who hasn’t seen them, and with Twitter and myself on a hiatus I’m actually really watching it and LOVING it all over again because I’m actually seeing stuff potentially for the first time but better still I’m able to discuss live, with my partner critical plot points or magic lines ‘That’s exactly what I’ll fucking tell her’ – Charlie on The Newsroom. I’m finding watching these shows even better this way rather than being distracted by reading my twitter feed on the small 4.065” iPhone 5 screen at the same time as ‘watching’ the show.

There are so many good shows on TV nowadays and I’d really like to watch shows like Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy and when I do, I’ll be doing it sans phone as I really don’t have time to watch stuff twice.

That being said, there’s no problems live tweeting to The Voice and Big Brother and other shows like The Bachelor and X-Factor etc.  It adds an element to the show as your opinion about a certain something may be reinforced by the vast majority of people tweeting about it too as well as reading some very funny tweets by some very funny people.

For me though, it’s pretty much phone down and enjoying TV again for the first time in years. And by doing this, I am avoiding spoilers from the show I am recording while I live watch what I am currently viewing. 

I’ll end this article now and go back to watching Big Brother which has been on for 15 minutes as I’m writing and I have no clue as to what has been happening. 

What Has Happened To Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370?

The case of missing flight MH570 is so intriguing. There are so many theories and until the plane is found either intact or in pieces, no one will know for sure. The speculation of what might have happened from a hijacking to terrorism to suicidal pilots to mechanical failure means that any of these is possible.

I have a few questions/theories/points:

1. If it was terrorism, why has no group claimed responsibility? Usually this would have happened by now so I think we can rule out terrorism.

2. If it was a mechanical error, then why is there no debris (within the region the flight should have continued on)?

3. Also, if it was a mechanical error, why are the authorities now saying the transponder was turned off (impossible to do accidentally) and the plane kept flying for up to 6 hours? I think we can rule out mechanical issues or a mid flight explosion.

4. If it was a hijacking, why did the hijacker not get in touch with the relevant ATC and issue his/her/their demands? There’s no point in hijacking a plane with 200+ people on board if you don’t want something. If the plane was hijacked and has landed somewhere off the grid, why wait so long for the demands to be issued? Feeding 200+ people who are angry would be a tough task. I think we can rule out a hijacking.

5. If it was a suicidal passenger who overtook the plane, why didn’t he/she throw themselves off of a bridge instead? Unless it was a spur of the moment decision but then gaining access to the cockpit on flights in this day and age is near impossible. I think we can rule out all of the passengers.

Using the scientific principal of Occam’s Razor where that, all things being equal, the simplest answer is usually the right one. Then this leads me to my final theory.

6. I think it was a suicidal pilot. There is already somebody in the cockpit so no access is needed. He could have stood up and gone behind the other pilot and incapacitated him somehow. For the next few hours the pilot has changed course and flown in a random direction until the plane ran out of fuel and crashed, probably somewhere in the middle of the South Indian Ocean. Yes, he could have jumped off of a bridge but maybe he had life insurance for his family which is null and void by suicide.  Why did he fly for so long after turning off the transponder?  Who knows but maybe he was wanting to live that little bit longer or was still plucking up the courage to do what he was about to do.

If it was a suicidal pilot, he has done it not for notoriety but probably to support his family. If it was for notoriety surely a suicide note, or Youtube video or something would have been uncovered for now.

Again, this is all speculation and my thoughts. I am probably way wrong and maybe we’ll never find out. It’s sad that there is a possible mass loss of life, but it is a very intriguing case and I hope that we find out the real cause of this missing plane, not just to satisfy our curiosity but for the families of the passengers and crew who must be enduring an agonising wait for answers.

What do you think happened?

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Policy or Politics?

Oh Australian Politics. You have been so shameful recently. Not because of corruption or negligence but because of the school yard fighting.  The name calling and muck raking is more juvenile than a year 5 class room.

I am so over it.

I don’t care about gender in politics. It shouldn’t matter. You are all able to get the job done. That is all that should matter, no matter your gender.  Yet, the Prime Minister continues to play this card.  A bunch of men wearing blue ties. She’s including a hell of a lot of members of her own party in that gender classification. No wonder she is losing support by the truck load from within her own party.

And then we have #menugate. Oh the hashtag allows everyone on Twitter to join in on the conversation on this one. Describing the Prime Minister as a small breasted and big thighed woman was a disgrace for the venue that held the dinner, but I’ll come clean and laughed when I first heard that ‘joke’ a couple of years ago. Now, it’s no longer funny.  It’s distracting the nation from having a more important conversation.

And finally what about the continual talk of the Labor leadership? Ex-PM, Kevin Rudd has consistenly denied he won’t ever be making a challenge for the leadership of the Labor party and therefore a return as Prime Minister. We’ve had a gut full of it all. It’s a distraction from the more important conversation.

It’s time for a change and I think it’s has to be driven by the media. Oh yes, the media. You are not without blame in all of this as well.  You continue to report on stories such as the ones I’ve already spoken about. The Australian public, and I dare I speak on behalf of all of us, have had it up to our eye balls with this stuff.

We want to hear about POLICY. Not POLITICS.

  • We want to hear how the government plans on putting us back into surplus, sooner rather than later.
  • We want to know how you will stop the boats safely to avoid hundreds or thousands more people dying in a dangerous journey in a rickety old boat over an unforgiving passage of dangerous water.
  • We want to know who will be brave enough to legalise same sex marriage.  The majority of the population support this. You are here to govern for the majority.
  • We want to know how the government will protect the environment and protect jobs at the same time.
  • We want to know how families, living in poverty, will be given a fair go to climb out of the basement and into a standard way of living. Note I didn’t say the penthouse. They just want the basic necessities to live by.
  • We want to see improvement in skills and training for all and how we keep Aussie jobs in Australia and how we can compete in an ever increasing globalised society.

Who will answer the call?  Is there anyone out there?  At the moment, I can’t see how either Labor or the Coalition can do this. They’ve descended into such an insipid and derogatory tone, I just don’t think they get it.  Will Clive Palmer and his United Party make a difference?  What about Bob Katter and his new party?  Or will the Democrats rise again?  All interesting questions and only time will tell.

The media in Australia is strong and whether we like it or not, they dictate the debate and tell us what they want us to hear.  They seem to be more interested in the muck raking than the policies. Well at least that is my opinion on the way the media reports in this country, across all of the networks and cable TV.  We need a real life Will McEvoy from the fictional TV drama, The Newsroom. We need someone who will continually ask the tough questions and leave the personalities out of the discussion.

But if we get this someone, we, the people, need to watch and listen and also ask the important questions. We need to stop hash tagging #menugate and #convoyofcleavage and instead start hash tagging #howaboutpolicy or #climate or #jobsforoz instead.

 I’ve had enough. What about you?

Jason Alexander – On Australia


Iconic American actor, Jason Alexander, best known as George from Seinfeld, said this about his love of Australia, during an interview, he did on Channel 7’s Sunday Night program.

"Here's the easiest way for me to feel, tell you why I love the country.  "MATE!" It is spectacular! The notion that the guy that serves you your coffee is your mate. The guy that runs your banking account is your mate. The guy on the sporting team is your mate and the prime minister of the country is your mate. That you're all mates, that you're all in it together. That there's a sense of, we're Australians. We may have differences between us. We're Australians. That sense only happens in America, for me, when we have a disaster. But you guys propagate it every day just by going "hey mate", "good morning", "good day mate". It is, I love it. I love it. And it is so welcoming and so embracing and so human and to me that is the character of the country and I think that is why I respond to it".

Mate, you got it spot on. I’ve never heard anyone articulate it so well, exactly what it means to be Australian and it took an American to remind me.

I think sometimes we forget that as Australians.  Let’s never lose our ability to be mates with everyone. To be neighbourly. To lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed. To show the world exactly what being mates can be. How free we feel and friendly it is to be Australian. Whether you were born here or brought here, everyone is mates.

I’ve always called people mate, and not just because I didn’t remember their names. Let’s keep the word ‘mate’ front and centre and keep our country friendly and welcoming to all.

Thank you, Jason, for the reminder.  We’ll see you on our friendly shores in July. You can catch Jason’s show, Jason Alexander And His Hair, around Australia. Click here for more details for his Brisbane show.

A Musical Kind Of Guy

“I sure do”.

That’s the answer I give to people when they ask me if I like Glee.  Actually that’s a bit of a little bitty lie. I actually love Glee.

And Wicked.

And Les Miserables.

And Grease.

And Rock of Ages.

And Hairspray.

And a heap more musicals.

And now I love SMASH.

My friends often joke about me being gay to enjoy such shows.

Well I am 100% straight. I like girls as much as the straight guy next to me. Hmmmmm, girls. How you doin?

I also happen to love me a good musical.  And that musical can be on the big screen,  the small screen or even live on stage.

I don’t care what people think.

I am a loud and proud musical kind of guy!

I’ve even got my own idea for a musical movie or stage show!  I just need a lyricist to help me write it. Know of anyone?

My latest love is SMASH and even though CBS has axed the show after only two seasons, I have really enjoyed the musical within a TV show format.  This weekend my girls and I have been singing ‘Broadway, Here I Come” by Jeremy Jordan from Season 2.

This is the clip from the show which picks up the song half way through when the star of the show, Karen Cartwright (Katharine McPhee) stumbles upon a bartender, Jimmy Collins (Jeremy Jordan) singing one of his own songs for a musical he is writing.  It’s called Broadway, Here I Come, about, you guessed it, someone with a dream of making it big on Broadway.  It’s a great song and can be used as a metaphor in just about anything to do in life that needs a focus to succeed.  Take a listen below to the clip from the show and then at the end of this post, is the full vocal version which is bloody awesome.

So tease me all you want. It’s ok.  Straight men can love musicals too! Try telling me I can’t!  Go on, I dare ya! Or how about you let go of the stereotype that only gay guys can enjoy this stuff and get your feet a tapping and your voice a singing, because folks, there’s joy in these songs and shows, and we can never have too much joy in the world.  It does make the world a better place.

What is your favourite musical?  Have you watched SMASH? Did you enjoy it or happy to see it go?

Gun Control and John Oliver

If you’ve been living under a rock, you probably don’t know that there is a massive debate happening in the United States right now surrounding gun control following yet another mass shooting, this time at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December.

The Daily Show, a US TV show hosted by Jon Stewart, has recently shown a three part series on how Australia has dealt with gun control since then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard introduced a ban on automatic and semi automatic weapons after the Port Arthur tragedy in Tasmania in 1996.

By cleverly using satire to get his point cross, John Oliver makes a pretty convincing argument in favour of gun control.

Take a look at the three video’s (click on the links) and tell me if you agree or disagree with gun control reform in the United States.  If you disagree, you better have a pretty good argument and waving the US 2nd Amendment in my face is not it.