Writing begins with writing.
It's a rather obvious observation for a Friday morning but I always find it surprising how accurate it can be. I often sit here for a while, wondering if I really want to write anything for the blog, but then the simple act of putting fingers on keys inspires me and I find a few words and I'm off...
The week has been another I've had to abandon (despite the fact that I've enhanced my reputation as the nation's sexiest male [Hattip to Graham]). I haven't seen Bill Oddie in days and the messages coming from the Fry wagon-train have dried up. The problem is that I've also become rather preoccupied by annoyances in the office in which we're editing 'Eye of the Storm 2'. As you know, I'm a man of many dislikes but few are as deep as my loathing for bad art.
My recent lack of energy, my mood swings, and my general inability to function have had one identifiable cause: the art that's used to fill the blank spaces in the nation's office blocks. I spend my days staring at a ghastly picture by Wassily Kandinsky. It's all Modernist angst, twisted shapes and distorted lines, mass produced by some firm who clearly believe that a bit of nice typography beneath the print makes 'Sans Titre' a somehow more meaningful. I'm considering making a legal challenge to the building's management about the print, except I'd find it embarrassing to explain why I dislike it so much. How do you politely tell people that a set of male genitals I can see in the upper half of the picture put me off my lunch? The fact that Chip Dale is apparently back and wriggling his way around North Wales suggests to me that I'm one of the few men with a sense of propriety left in the world. I'm telling you that you're all mad!
The paintings in the corridor are no better. Blotchy monstrosities like a yeast infection has suddenly covered the canvas. Yet they match the carpet and that is the only reason why abstract art is chosen for offices. It doesn't require any thought to hang it on a wall. I'm reminded of the scene in 'Hannah and Her Sisters' when Max Von Sydow's character complains that he doesn't produce his art simply to match the sofas (I'm paraphrasing). Unfortunately, that's how modern art is treated and it's not good for the soul.
Speaking of things that aren't good for the soul: my attention for the rest of the week will be taken with writing a sitcom for the BBC's new College of Comedy competition.* I have a month to write 10 pages of dazzling stuff. My record in these competitions is quite striking. I've never got past the first round. This, however, is the first time I'll be entering the competition under my own name. It's now just a matter of finding some interesting idea for a show. My idea is to call the show 'Twitchers' and get Oddie in to help me co-write it.
* Update: Well, that optimism didn't last long. I would have spent the next few weeks writing something for the competition had I not just noticed the small print on the Press Release. 'The scheme [...] is designed for people who have already begun their careers, and can demonstrate some achievement, such as broadcast material, a script commission, or performance of their work.'
Well, that rules me out! Again.
I really need to write about this at some length but, for now, let me simply say that this is a perfect example of what's happening to the media in this country. I've heard that it's pointless sending scripts into the BBC because they don't read them. Commissions go out to people they already know, which saves them the time and money otherwise spent wading through the slush piles. To compensate and to give the impression that they are open to new writers, they have these occasional competitions. However, even this route is sealed off. I ask you: what is the point? What is the bloody point?