Thursday, 28 February 2008

Yang

Yin and Yang. Karma. Or just swings and roundabouts... I've always had faith in the notion that Life has a way of evening itself out. Cosmic Balance. Celestial Harmony. For every new reality TV series written by Jordan's breasts and starring Kerry Katona, there's bound to be something that balances it out. Without at least one Jamie Oliver, we might not have Larry David. For every Crunchie in a box of Cadbury's Heroes there's always a Twirl.

Yet over the course of the last few years, I've begun to think that Life is all swings, or indeed, all Crunchies. There's just far too much Yang in the world. Kerry Katona's face mocks me from the advertising hoardings as I trudge through the waking city centre each morning at dawn. Her down-the-nose sneer is the confirmation of my own hubris. Kerry gets yet another new series while 'Arrested Development', one of the best comedies to come out of America in the last decade, was cancelled part way through the third series. Chaplin is dead. So are Stan Laurel, W.C. Fields, Groucho. Hunter S. Thompson has knocked back his final whisky and P.G. Wodehouse has wore his last spat. It's dangerous having me as a fan. Look at my dear friend Stephen recently run over by a marauding manatee.

Today was another day when the swings won. Yang is laughing at me for believing that at some point, my luck will change, that I will begin to feel good about myself. But what's that you say? “Ah, Richard, don't harp on about how tough things are when the world is full of famine, illness, and people born without elbows.” And you would indeed be right. Statistics would prove that there is a worldwide shortage of elbows and that Yang laughs at other people far more often than it mocks me. But the truth is that I'm too tired to question the self-evident truth that I have really made a mess of things. Judy might land us a new deal after the Channel 4 contract runs out but in the meantime, I'm getting up at six o'clock and getting home twelve hours later after doing some anonymous voiceover work for a cracker company that's only famous in China. Today it was pointed out that I'm not very good at my job. This might well be true. How can any competent man make a mess of the line: 'it's the crazy crisp of the crunchy Chinese corn cracker'?

Tomorrow is another day. Think of me and pray for Yin.

15 comments:

bertas said...

Richard old chum I simply refuse to join you in the pity party...
You are good at what you do and thats enough of that... plus where can you possibly go from here if you compare yourself to Kerry bleeding Kantona?
Next series of Celebrity Big Brother?

Give it a rest will you?
I always claimed my life would be much easier if I was a tad bit dimmer... but I'm not and thats ok... so just sit your arse down, write that book and stop comparing yourself to everyone else...

The Twitch said...

Dick....take that road trip with Bill to Blackpool...the sea air will do you good. I hope Judy has the good sense to hide the shotgun ... your dark mood sounds dangerous Dick.

Selena Dreamy said...

Chaplin is dead. So are Stan Laurel, W.C. Fields, Groucho.

Stan Laurel lives, as does Oliver Hardy - in my own collection of videos, painstakingly assembled over the years. I sorely miss W.C. Fields. I have some Groucho classics. Including Love Happy - 1949 - featuring (very briefly) Marilyn Monroe. I adore classic comedy - not excluding Sergeant Bilko, of course. But it is Frasier whom I treasure. And his brother Niles, needless to add. The dialogues are sharp, well timed, and exquisite ( and equally well remembered, perhaps, as an example of American professional skill in locating and satisfying a challenging market). What impresses me in the UK is the high percentage of those without a marked talent for any particular type of humour, involved in writing comedy. Unless, of course, one cares for hilarity based around four-letter words, fornication and the different types of bowel movement from which no banality is spared. And that, I believe, typifies the likes of "Kerry bleeding Kantona".

Dreamy

Richard Madeley said...

Bertas, I love you. I really do. You are the Yin to my Yang, the custard to my apple pie, the person who talks so much sense when I'm feeling down. You are right and I am going to sit down to write more of my book tomorrow. At the moment, I'm in a bit of a bad way. My feet are bleeding from numerous large blisters that have developed after walking miles to and from the station, my eyes are sore/dry/painful after 8 1/2 proofreading from a small screen, and I'm tired, which is what happens when I get up at 6.30 and only get home again for 6. Other than that, I'm happy to say that it's been a better day. Much more Yin. And I'm all yours again until next Wednesday.

Twitch, Oddie and I will take that trip. Do you want to come too, Twitch? Bill might let you play with his shotgun. We'll be picking up Bertas and Selena on the way. We'll have a good time, all my regular readers and supporters.

Oh, Selena, talk that sexy talk! Now you are really exciting me. I was bought the complete Laurel & Hardy DVD collection for Christmas and I've been working my way though them all. Some of the silent films are gems I've never seen before. Laurel is something of a hero of mine. It's just a shame that it's missing some of the features and work they did after the days with Hal Roach. I also love Bilko and have all the DVDs I can get.

Bill Fields is another hero. I tend to avoid reading the biographies of my heroes but for him I made an exception. A real talent in so many ways. The fact he was one of the world's great jugglers tends to get overlooked. I've got lots of his films on DVD and prize every new one I can find.

I suppose I should also mention Keaton, who did some of my favourite gags but also did great work at the end of his career. I've got this great DVD he did for the Candian Tourist Board towards the end of his life which is just so special.

I could go on forever about this stuff... Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. I love the Marx Brothers...

As for modern comedies, while I wait for the DVD release of 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' (you should try it if you haven't already) I've recently discovered 'My Name is Earl' which is a huge consolation at the moment. 'Frasier', I agree, is so good it's quite scary how many episodes there are. In contrast, I'm not much of a fan of Ricky Gervais – though my experience of offices makes that series seem less funny. I also don't accept this very British notion of making a few episodes and the quitting. He keeps drip feeding the nation these comedies, yet Frasier make dozens a series, all of which surpass his stuff. The last great UK comedy I watched was probably 'Father Ted' and the series of Alan Partridge. I've probably missed a few good series so I'm up for some recommendations. I hear that 'Black Book' and 'The IT Crowd' are supposed to be very good.

Oh, look at the length of this comment, Selena. We should really have got a room...

You have all cheered me up considerably.

bertas said...

Sheeesh Richard... you are making me blush :)
I do think you are very talented, I just thought you needed a bit of a kick in the behind :) The intention is there and thats great (I think Kant would approve if I remember his axioms correctly)... and since I had support and also some stern talking to when I was down in the dumps, I'm just paying it forward, that can mean so much when you start to doubt yourself... trust me I know, been there, done that, have a t-shirt to prove it :)
Ah boys I will be boozing it up in England next week :) So if you are in the area...
the only thing that bothers me itsy bitsy bit where am I going to smoke? :) The last time I was in England it was still legal... so anyhow if you see a blond lighting up in front of a pub come and say hello :)

Richard Madeley said...

Bertas, don't blush. I was just grateful for the kick. I'm very aware that I've been feeling sorry for myself but I feel like my blog is just the place to be myself and that's just how I've been for the last couple of weeks. It's new routines, abandoning my daily writing, sacrificing a few days each week to earn the sort of money that most people would spend on a meal... It doesn't make me a happy Richard.

Anyway, enjoy your holiday. I look forward to seeing the snaps. Unfortunately, you'll be in the wrong part of the country by a good few miles from where I am. As for smoking, most people seem to do it standing outside of buildings, usually in the rain and cold, both of which we have in abundance at the moment.

Lola said...

I'm a bit late arriving at this love fest, which is probably lucky because the original post was calling out for one of my self-affirming 'poems'. Bertas and Selena seem to have cheered you up already, which saves me the effort of writing anything that rhymes with 'Clarkson' and saves you the pain of reading it.

p.s. I thought you might find it amusing to know that my mum is certain you don't exist. I know better than to contradict her in real life, but she's so wrong.

bertas said...

Oh I think there will be plenty of snaps... :)
I did get used to standing outside in the snow, sleet and icy wind, so I see that hasn't changed much... the only thing it seems I cannot do now is sit inside (next to the toilet in most occasions)... :)
I just thought I should ask to avoid any wrong doing on my part, I don't really fancy getting a fine and/or ending up in jail :)

Oh Lola at least your mum knows who Richard Madeley is... my mum still doesnt have a clue who Stephen Fry is no matter how much I harp on about him, although she quite fancies Michael Palin, there are re-runs of his documentaries at the moment... well him and Hugh Laurie of course but thats a bit obvious :)
Dad does not understand the fascination over a limping guy as he calls him.

Selena Dreamy said...

Which reminds me, Michael Palin's Ripping Yarns, is some of the best comedy I've ever seen - exceeding perhaps even his Monty Python stuff.

And, Lola, my Mum never thought I existed, until I was about seventeen years old...

D.

elberry said...

In Tai Chi a yang shaped hand is full of yin energy, and vice versa. Think of your yangy state at present as accumulating yin energy.

In alchemy putrefaction or inaction isn't seen as negative, it's a preparation for spring. Your spring is surely coming.

mutleythedog said...

I feel I am more miserable than you - at least I admit to being unemployed ...

Just Me said...

Big Dicky,
It's sacrilidge isn't it, Kerry's show alive and well, while Arrested Development has ceased to develop...what does that say about Americans or us Brits for that matter?!

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