Tag Archives: BBC

Kevin Hart and the art of being British.

26 Feb

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A few hours ago, US actor and verbalist Kevin Hart sat down in a BBC television studio in London and ‘did’ an interview, plugging his new film.

In order to ‘do’ one of these promotional interviews, you have to have at least one ‘anchor’ person who ‘does’ the role of asking you the right questions – the ones that allow you to sell your film.

Ideally, two anchors – one male and one female – should ‘do’ the questioning. These ‘anchors’ should always dress like your parents. In fact, TV Anchors are the viewer’s metaphorical parents in an idealistic, slightly off-kilter version of reality on Planet Earth. They are unfeasibly polite, informed, interested and well groomed. Nothing like reality.

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On this occasion, a live breakfast slot in a foreign country and a perfect storm created Television Gold. Sochi Olympic Games…? You have nothing on what happens next. Within 45 seconds, Hart had started demolishing everything in site. Intellectually speaking.

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He completely took the piss out of everyone in the studio – including his management and financial backers.

He destroyed the place.

He killed them all.

He did it ‘live’ and everybody loved him for it.

Here, thanks to Aunty Beeb, is the original footage, still warm. It seems to only have two edit points, so this is pretty much live and without a pause. Please watch it now! I’ll wait here while you do.

Taking The Piss

It is so hard for the British to explain to the wonderful plethora of people living elsewhere in the world what we mean when we talk about ‘taking the piss’. Taking the Mickey, extracting the Michael. Some countries ‘get it’ more easily than others. North Koreans in particular have difficulty with it. Only 35% of North Americans get it. The French? 10% at most. Latvians – 98.3%. Local Police Officer who just pulled you over in your car? .025%. Don’t go there.

Kevin Hart is taking the piss. If you do not see it then it doesn’t matter. If you laugh at his jokes and think that he is funny then that is great. No problem!

But he is.

Hart is described as an actor and ‘comedian’. He has busted his chops on the standup circuit in his own country and he has not been handed a backstage pass to fame. Along the way, he has learned like all standup comedians that his world is actually the world of the Gladiator.

Ideally, this is a point that the audience is unaware of but every standup comedian contemplates only one thing in their quiet moments: Death.

Comedians speak of ‘dying’ on stage. They dream of ‘killing’ their audience. Only one can win.

Kevin Hart makes no secret of his inspiration. Step forward Cosby, Murphy, Chapelle and Rock. That is all fine.

But really – there is something much faster, sharper, sooner, quicker and nastier about Kevin Hart. He is very much a man of his own design and this BBC footage perfectly describes that. He can ‘riff’ and feed off the slightest input but he can do it so fast that, when you re-run the videotape, you still marvel at his sure-footed and lightning fast responses.

This is rapping, finally crossing over into standup. The intonation, the stanzas, the speed of delivery.

In a world where it is now safe to agree that HipHop has become truly multi-cultural and truly a World genre, is Kevin Hart the first ‘verbalist’ to break rap into standup, like a chef cracking an egg into a bowl to make an omelette?

Okay, let’s leave the food analogy to one side. Today, he killed. He became a killer. Count the number of words per minute. Count the separate ideas delivered. Count the punchlines. Measure the total time on air and look at the sheer speed!

Kevin Hart in a black tuxedo, driving a ’65 Aston Martin. Tick box if Insurance Indemnity purchased. Box ticked. Since nobody else is currently standing up to the line, Mr Hart will be happy to serve.

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Human Rights Industry for sale. Click here to add ‘Human Rights’ to shopping cart.

6 Nov

If you are reading these words, then you are a conscientious citizen who cares about protecting human rights.

Or else,  you are an employee belonging to one of  hundreds of worldwide government organisations who monitor the internet for early signs of organised dissent.

If you fall into both categories then your body may soon be found by a passer-by.

If you are ‘time-poor’ or otherwise have a boss who wears sunglasses inside the office, here are the two links:

This one is to the RFK Training Institute.

This one is to the BBC who have written an online article about them.

Off you go. See you back here later.

Over the last two years, Roadwax has noticed a couple of disturbing trends within the media.

1) The increasing use of the term “Human Rights Activist”.

2) Investigative journalists who mock Twitter for being a fickle gossip shop yet all have Twitter accounts.

Let’s take a closer look:

1) “Human Rights Activist”. Er…someone who actively promotes human rights? Not just a “Human Rights Supporter” – someone who supports basic human rights but…well…someone who goes a little bit further. Maybe, too far.

Even the most right-wing dictator or left-wing Supreme Leader supports human rights. It always looks good on their CV or resume and calms fears that they might actually be a right-wing dictator or a left wing Supreme Leader. But hey, running around and actively supporting Human Rights – now, that is just asking for trouble. Best stay at home and click ‘like’ on a Facebook campaign when asked. Don’t push it. Don’t get active. You need to be a trained pro to do all that stuff. Best leave it to someone else.

On what date in history did we normal humans apparently stop actively supporting our rights? Or, is popular media beginning to use the term ‘active’ as a kind of negative adjective, a nudge in the ribs to their readers and viewers?

“Watch out for Dave. He’s an Education Activist. He openly questions the teachers at parent meetings.”

“Watch out for Ella. She’s an Animal Welfare Activist. She persuaded her local store to stop selling battery-farmed eggs.”

Supporters are supposed to fill seats in the stadium and watch the activists do the work.

Nonsense. Dangerous nonsense.

We should all be Human Rights Activists. We should regain ownership of the term.

Which brings me neatly to point number 2).

Again, in the space of a couple of years, Twitter has gone from lightweight world chat-room to premier source of breaking news.

How do we know? Well, we could conduct a simple scientific experiment:

1) Have a huge storm hit a major city. New York will do fine.

2) Go on to Twitter and watch what ordinary people say and upload as pictures.

3) When someone uploads a picture of a shark swimming in their yard…

4) Watch how long it takes in seconds before major news websites carry the story…

5) …before dumping  it and instead running a “How to Spot a Faked Photo” article.

So, without causing any cruelty or suffering to animals, we can test out how the major news-gathering organisations work these days.

They watch Twitter. They use a mixed bag of paid and unpaid freelance reporters to report from the front line. They use activists.

Staff reporters visiting dangerous places? Not likely. Have you any idea how expensive and embarrassing it gets when a staff reporter gets their head stuck in a toilet in a Kiev brothel or runs down a local warlord’s mother-in-law while driving a Sixt Rental Toyota in Afghanistan? Nope. Staff reporters do the restaurant reviews and click on Twitter.

The RFK Training Institute have spotted this trend. The BBC have spotted the RFK Institute spotting this trend. Roadwax spotted the BBC spotting the RFK…oh – you know how word travels.

The RFK Institute in Florence, Italy are opening their doors today.

They are offering to train Human Rights Activists how not to get caught, killed or disconnected. The big beasts. The ones who report human rights abuses in other people’s countries. Countries where nobody can tell who the guys with the guns and the Toyota pickup truck work for. The guys outside your house.

If you want any more information, email  Valentina Pagliai on:  pagliai@rfkcenter.com but do not waste her time. They are apparently looking to focus efforts on the most high priority cases – the men and women who already have to hide from tyranny to stay alive long enough to report it.

The BBC says that the RFK Institute are going to sell courses to teach human rights activists how to protect themselves online from being tracked, monitored, shut down or effectively marginalised.

The first students will enroll in January 2013.

Strange.

Instead of offering all this information free to everyone via the internet, the RFK Institute is carefully hand-picking a few whose names will be kept secret and who will be trained behind closed doors.

Instead of freely revealing all the tips and tricks that every human ought to be aware of to be kept safe while using the internet in 2012, RFK is teaching maybe fifty or a hundred paying guests.

They will become the elite who can protect themselves from prying agencies. RFK Institute will issue the qualifications, I assume. Control the market, as it were.

The RFK Institute has just created the Human Rights Industry.

It has just put a price on knowledge instead of uploading it for free to everyone.

If I become a donor to this charity, will I get a monthly newsletter that includes a helpful ‘handy tip’ on how to keep my freedom online? I doubt it. I sincerely hope not.

The RFK Institute appears to be ‘professionalising’ human rights activism.

My heart hurts.

Standard Chartered and FSA stumble after NYSDFS and Jeffrey Robinson kick zimmer frames.

7 Aug

“Comatose”.

With this one word, American financial crime analyst Jeffrey Robinson described the  British Financial Services Authority on the BBC’s national radio news today.

Of course, being a writer, Jeffrey placed the word into a coherent sentence (you get more jobs that way) but his damning judgement rang out across Britain as a thousand pictures could never do.

The New York State Department of Financial Services is gunning for City of London -based Standard Chartered Bank. Standard Chartered was accused of breaking pretty much every rule that matters in an apparent attempt to launder Iranian money.

Standard Chartered shares dived by over 16% in value today as the news got out that the bank had ventured into the cross-hairs of one of the world’s most influential financial investigatory bodies.

Strange then, that Britain’s own FSA was not the one making the accusations or even raising a pair of opera glasses? Not really.

Although the FSA describes itself as the body that regulates the financial industry in the UK, it has an almost unbroken record of not regulating the financial industry in the UK. The FSA’s record is startling in both breadth of inertia and depth of failure.

The FSA has failed to step in on almost every single case relating to a British bank that is now facing charges of corruption, mis-selling, dishonesty or fraud. Almost every high-street bank in Britain is now facing legal action for one crime or another but none of those legal challenges was begun by the FSA.

The FSA appears to be run by people who share the interests of the fraudsters whom it is responsible for regulating and excluding from Financial Services. How else could it explain such a ridiculously poor performance? Has it been off work with a bad back since 2002?

And this is where Jeffrey Robinson comes in. While the American version of the British FSA is regulating British banks, the American version of our business analysts accuses the British FSA of being “comatose”.

You see, as the Americans have often pointed out, we British don’t know how to complain.

And if we do, we often find that doors close in front of us and promotions don’t appear as they used to. Our job positions are deleted in sudden cost-cutting exercises and we may be regarded as “no longer having the correct security credentials.”

Jeffrey Robinson doesn’t need a promotion to keep up with the mortgage on his apartment and he’s not scared of the greasy and corrupt men and women behind the scenes in the City of London. Many British commentators are afraid and with good reason.

Remember, Britain is a small island, easily fitting inside the footprint of some US states. David Kelly ended up committing suicide when he was hounded for leaking a few facts. Well, that’s the official explanation. Read the whole Wiki article before you reach a judgement. The undisputed facts of a very British death.

Just like in World War 2, The Americans may have dived in a little late but they do seem to be digging in rather nicely, making up for lost time. Once again, they’re fighting alongside the British people against a small band of wealthy elitists who threaten the democracy and stability of the west.

It is not quite clear whether Prime Minister Cameron and Chancellor Osborne are willing to ‘do a Rudolf Hess’ and extract themselves from the influence of their six Bullingdon Club friends and the dozens of Old Etonians who are now influential city bankers and financiers. It would be difficult for either of them to use the excuse: “We were only following orders.”

An out-of-touch and under-skilled Prime Minister gives the job of Chancellor to his close Bullingdon Club friend, despite that friend having no personal experience of business. Not a problem…if your city friends actually run the show from the shadows, is it?

Unless American institutions and American commentators start to speak up now, the bad guys could win for good this time.

Today’s war is not about Democracy versus Fascism, nor the failure to regulate. It is a war about Lawfulness versus the illegal and covert creation of supreme wealth and unimaginable power.

New U.K. Immigrant Citizen Test: If you pass it, you’ll end up like us.

1 Jul

The UK Home Office is re-writing the test given to immigrants wishing to become British citizens. If you are an immigrant to the UK and are currently thinking of applying for British citizenship, then Roadwax is pleased to welcome you to this sceptered isle and provide you with the following information.

A Brief Definition of the United Kingdom:

The UK is made up of a group of different countries who are not actually united. These countries are: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  To get round the obvious problem of historical and cultural disunity, the government describes the citizens of these four countries as collectively being “British”.

Wales, Scotland and Ireland all have their own languages and cultural beliefs. The British government has fought hard to stamp these out and officially obliterate them over the last two centuries. Only a few weeks ago, the young lad carrying the Olympic torch through Cornwall had his Cornish flag ripped from his grasp by a security official, obviously anxious to promote social harmony and cultural respect. This bullying and suppression has served only to enhance the differences within Britain and reinforce mass contempt for Whitehall.

Immigrant communities also bring with them their own cultural values and belief systems. Likewise, these are tolerated so long as they do not significantly threaten to change the existing system of law or social hierarchy. If they do appear to threaten the existing system then they will be suppressed by either destabilising the particular community or by making the cultural practise illegal, or both.

Britain is ruled by a Monarch called Queen Elizabeth. She has no actual power and does not actually rule. Although she is seen as the figurehead of British society, Queen Elizabeth is herself half German and is married to a Greek. To stop people continuing to notice that they are both foreigners, they use the false surname: Windsor. Like many British people, the Royal Family claim Benefits (financial support) from the government so that they can survive.

A Brief History of Britain:

Britain is an island, just off the coast of the continent of Europe. Every tribe and culture of significance has taken turns in trying to invade it, set fire to it, rape and pillage it and rule it. Ruling it (staying in power) is the difficult bit.

The Romans built a wall to keep out the tribes from Scotland but then realised that the Scots were using it to keep them out instead. The Romans left.

The Norwegians and French invaded and then realised that ‘invading a country’ is quite different from ‘ruling a country’.

The Spanish tried to invade but forgot to bring enough seaworthy boats.

The French tried to invade again, remembered to bring enough seaworthy boats but forgot to steer them properly.

The German 3rd Reich tried to invade, cut out all the complicated stuff involving boats, used bombers instead but forgot to bring enough of them.

From time to time, other cultures have attempted to invade Britain and overthrow its ruling elite. Both USA and Russia have tried controlling Britain through a mixture of cultural dominance and diplomatic blackmail. Both have failed.

If you are considering invading Britain or overthrowing its ruling elite yourself, you might consider first trying a practise run on a smaller, much easier island. For example, Sark…

A Brief Explanation of the Political and Legal System

Britain has always been ruled by a small elite, taken from a group of wealthy, educated and powerful British families. To hide the fact that this is effectively an ‘Oligarchy’, a democratic system of government is now installed and elections are regularly held. However, whoever wins these elections and becomes the Prime Minister nearly always becomes deeply socially connected to this elite. Go figure.

The present Prime Minister and Chancellor are so deeply embedded in this traditional ruling elite that their grasp or understanding of everyday life for millions of normal citizens is seriously questioned. Their own awareness of their lack of credibility among non-millionaire British voters is doubted.

After more than a century of mass voting, the 95% of Britain’s wealth and land ownership has curiously ended up staying with the 3% of those most wealthy families who have ‘owned’  it for centuries, having originally stolen it as local warlords many centuries ago. So much for democracy.

Britain does not have a written Constitution nor statement of citizens’ rights. British people have no actual rights of their own. All citizens’ rights are over-ruled by laws introduced recently “in the interests of National Security”. Nobody is quite sure what those interests are since Britain’s state interests are a secret.

Citizens no longer have the absolute right to defend themselves in a court. They are instead appointed a lawyer through the Judicial System. If a citizen can afford a lawyer to represent themselves (instead of the one appointed to them by the legal system) then that lawyer will normally also come from a family associated with the ruling elite.

The British Judiciary itself accepts openly that it is made up of a small elite, almost entirely connected by genetic and social ties. It acknowledges that this is not democratic and that it is trying to rectify this situation. Despite this admission, there appears no evidence of a genuine effort to change the system.

A Brief Explanation of the Cultural Beliefs of Britain

Historically, Britain is liberal-minded and only extremist cultures and groups find they struggle to survive. Every religious or political group that has attempted to enforce an extreme belief upon the British has failed. Facism, Catholicism, Protestantism have all failed through their use of violence, physical abuse and financial extortion.

Every Prime Minister who has taken Britain into war or used excessive force against British citizens has fallen from power almost immediately, never to return. Recent examples are: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

The British belief in ‘fair play’ is generally supported across all social classes. Unfairness is seen as a greater sin than dishonesty.

This is because ‘honesty’ is not seen as the same thing as ‘fair play’. The British reserve their right to privacy and defend it as much as they still can. But in the current and recent public scandals involving politicians and business leaders, it has been a revelation to many British citizens to watch their leaders being openly dishonest, defending themselves by lying in such a way that they cannot actually be proven to be guilty of a crime.

This blatant manipulation of the law has caused the majority of British citizens to turn their backs in contempt against  the Establishment – the political leaders and judiciary – and this is shown by the ever-declining numbers who now bother to vote. The Establishment has no problem with this trend because it serves to secure their grip, not weaken it.

There is a growing belief in British society that fair play does not apply to the wealthy, that one’s honesty is never seriously questioned if one is powerful. Therefore, prison and punishment exist only to keep the disadvantaged citizen in line.  Wrong-doers who are both wealthy and influential never get sent to prison.

As has often been said about the British Legal System: “…Just like The Ritz Hotel, it is open to everyone who can afford it…”

Why Britain Needs More Immigrants to Become Citizens:

Britain needs tens of thousands of migrants to settle in this country and become British citizens. The government is doing all it can to attract particularly wealthy and educated citizens. They spend more.

Britain needs these immigrants to work hard, earn hard, spend hard, consume goods and services that have huge taxes applied to them (like fuel, education and housing) so that extra revenue is created to pay for the massive cost of keeping the system going without changing it.

The BBC website notices that The Sunday Times says that immigrants will be told:

“…historically the UK is a Christian country…”  Interestingly, the BBC forgot to insert the original comma after the word ‘historically’. So, not a very good grasp of written English from the BBC, there…

The Sunday Times reports:

“…In an explicit attack on Islamic fundamentalism, it [the Home Office] states that there is “no place in British society for extremism and intolerance”…”

…er, no – zero points to David Leppard and Jack Grimston from the Sunday Times, who wrote the article. That is an implicit attack, not an explicit one. Actually, it probably isn’t an attack on Islamic fundamentalism at all.

It is merely stating the bleedin’ obvious.

So, the BBC and The Sunday Times, both quintessential pillars of “Britishness”, are only semi-literate. And Theresa May, the Home Secretary (or: “home secretary” as The Times describes her – a secretary who works from home) is making an ass of herself by trying to re-write the questions in the handbook for immigrants applying for citizenship of Britain.

Theresa wants you to learn the first verse of the national anthem. She has removed the bits about claiming benefits and the Human Rights Act. You will have to learn a little bit about our famous battles, artists, poets, inventors. The test will last about 45 minutes.

You will not need to know about how the legal system works, nor explain why we do not have a declaration of citizens rights. You will not be asked how much you can buy a knighthood for, even though the price is quite clearly between £2m and £5m.

You will pass the test.

You will become one of us.

British Royal Wedding souvenirs “made in Chinese sweatshops” -BBC Radio 4

23 May

“Hey, Mister – wanna buy a dish cloth…?”

On 18th May 2012, at 02:21 GMT, the BBC Radio 4 World Service announced that many souvenirs for the recent Royal Wedding had been made in sweat-shops in China. Young Kate Middleton knows a bargain when she sees one.

The more you think about this amazing fact, the sadder and more strangely disconnected from reality the Royal Family appear to be.

I mean, these are not the counterfeit goods – these are the official souvenirs. The souvenirs that have been commissioned, sourced and approved by the Royal Family.

I have waited a few days to see if this news item was repeated by the BBC but, as is often the case, it has been ‘spiked’  – no doubt under pressure from Buckingham Palace who have their hands full trying to organize the celebrations for the Queen’s Birthday which is coming up shortly.

Now, you don’t suppose that Buckingham Palace awarded the contracts for  manufacturing these “Happy Birthday” souvenirs to the same eager applicants, do you…?

Would the Palace care to comment on this issue?

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