ideas, history, culture

Sign-up for the Age of Division newsletter.
Abba.
Stephen Ward.
Sweet Dreams.

Most Recent

Word Salad

Initially a colloquial term related to psychiatry used to characterise a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases as used in speech. Now also used as a criticism or insult against such personalities as political personalities as Boris Johnson or Kamala Harris.

Berlin Wall BaW 1000 (1).jpg
Liberty.
Why We Like It

Well, what to say about this, apart from that it's funny and rude?

Is there anything more entertaining than watching people (just like us) making complete fools of themselves on television? What's interesting about this selection of gameshow clips from over the decades is that most of them are from unintellectual, responsive format shows that invite their contestants to vocalise what immediately appears in their minds.

Cue absurd, unfiltered and, at times, bizarre comments made innocently by people with the best of intentions.

The fact that so many of these examples are sexual speaks to what we are as people underneath the carefully presented surface normality most of us do our best to maintain. Is it really that most of the time what we are thinking about sex, even only as a background hum without much heat or trouble?

On the evidence here, very possibly it is.

The other commonality that this at times very funny selection demonstrates is how impulsive and (let's be honest about this) stupid human reasoning can be when it is unrestrained. As a result, it is comforting to be a party to the silliness on offer here (the couple struggling to spell "mosquito" is a particular joy). It is also reassuring, which is probably why the audience(s) in these clips take such pleasure in what they are hearing. It's a celebration of our commonality, of how dumb beneath the surface we really are.

There are no rocket scientists on display here, just people just like us.

Rather encouragingly.

Before That

Sequel Fever:

Black-outfits-looking-up-e1554397776884-2.jpg
10cc.

Great Lyrics:

RI:SE.
Space: 1999.
Friends.
Bosch.

TV Hit or Miss:

Divisions:

Balkan Civil Wars.
Cuban Missile Crisis.
Joe Biden.
The Book of Mormon.
Facebook.
Richard Nixon.

Politics:

Eurovision:

Products:

Concorde.
iPOD.

Pet Sounds:

Perhaps it is bloody-mindedness on the part of our Scandinavian pop parents, or simply their need to blow off their version of creative steam (this was after all at the height of punk), but The Album is a curious affair.