Sony Bravia advert spoof follow-up

Sony Bravia advert

Most of you — at least those in the UK who watch television — will have seen the colourful Sony Bravia advert. For those of you who haven’t, or if you want to see it again, here it is (courtesy of YouTube):


I discovered this spoof interview with a supposed resident. It’s very, very funny.

The making of the Sony Bravia advert

The advert was actually filmed in Glasgow, at Toryglen. Here’s a five minute documentary about the making of the advert:

You can also check out more at

The Singing Ringing Tree (1959)

In a conversation with a work colleague, Andy, the other week we got talking about our memories of childhood TV.

One of my favourite shows was Rubovia, a Gordon Murray production before the glory days of the Trumptonshire stories. One of Andy’s was The Singing Ringing Tree.

While I had recollections of the name, the images of the show didn’t come readily to mind. That was until I looked it up on YouTube.

And I have to admit, as a children’s TV show it had everything:

  • a princess
  • a man in a scary-looking, poorly-constructed bear suit
  • a dwarf who can freeze waterfalls
  • a weird, giant fish
  • a woman beating ice with a shoe
  • and a terrible English translation

It certainly puts Pokémon in its rightful place in the history of children’s TV! You’d never find Pikachu beating ice with any form of ladies’ footwear. I think that stands as a testimony to itself.

And they say that it was in the 60s that they started taking drugs!!! Proof, perhaps, that some were dabbling at the end of the previous decade.

My favourite kitchen appliance rock group

… and now for something completely different: Hurra Torpedo performing Total Eclipse of the Heart.

If you’re not familiar with them Hurra Torpedo are “the world’s leading kitchen appliance rock group”. Those are their words, I’m sure you have your own favourite kitchen appliance rock group so please don’t let their boasting upset you.

My favourite YouTuber comment appeared on another upload of the same video:

That was so great that I can’t even talk about it right now. I feel both reborn and filthy.

I think digiflapjack speaks for us all.

Keith Allen, a jug of water and Jesus

Water being poured from a jug into a glass.

Catching up with friends’ blogs today I came across Neil’s review of the Channel 4 show “Keith Allen will burn in Hell” the other night, the show where he visited one of America’s most controversial churches, the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas.

I don’t watch very much TV so I missed that this was on, but thanks to the wonders of YouTube I watched it this afternoon: Keith Allen will burn in Hell on YouTube (the show is in five parts on YouTube).


Reading Channel 4’s description of this show it’s quite clear that this wasn’t going to be a terribly high-brow documentary:

Programme-makers in America and Britain have repeatedly tried to expose their beliefs as anti-Christian, but these attempts have failed. In Channel 4’s investigation, Keith Allen takes a smarter, more streetwise approach. During three extraordinary days at Westboro, Keith reveals more about the church than other television programmes have unearthed in three months.

By “streetwise” I presume they meant “is willing to dig the dirt” and “will occasionally resort to playground name-calling and swear words”.

On a few occasions I felt that Keith Allen’s actions were cheap and didn’t offer anything constructive to the documentary (his scene in the studio with the naked man, for example).

But his bravery for going into that situation, into their territory, and taking them on (armed only with his wit) has to be applauded. It would be too easy for me to sit comfortably at home, in front of my PC, and criticise — I’m not sure I’d have the courage to do it.


On the whole the documentary left me feeling quite sad. Sad that these Christians are known more for their hatred of people who are homosexuals, their controversial picketing of dead American soldiers’ funerals, their offensive signs and confrontational attitudes, rather than for their example of living out the person of Jesus in their every day lives. They seemed to demonstrate anger more than compassion, judgement more than love.

  • The WBC’s response to people’s sin (what they do that separates them from a close relationship with God) is to picket and rant and tell them that God hates them and that they are going to hell.
  • God’s response to people’s sin (what they do that separates them from a close relationship with God) was to send Jesus to show us just how much he loves us.
  • Jesus’s response to people’s sin (what they do that separates them from a close relationship with God) was to love them, to heal them and be a living example of God’s love to the point that he forgave them while they were crucifying him.

Desert Fathers

There is a story from the Desert Fathers (the Christians from the 2nd and 3rd centuries) about a brother who had “committed a fault”. So a council was formed to which Abba (Father) Moses was invited. But he declined the invitation and stayed at home.

Eventually the priest sent someone to him saying “Come, for everyone is waiting for you.” So he got up, took a leaking jug, filled it with water and took it to them.

The members of the council came out to meet him, and on seeing the leaking jug asked “What is this, Father?”

The old man looked at them and said, “My sins run out behind me, and I do not see them, and today I am coming to judge the error of another.”

When they heard that they said no more to the brother but forgave him.

(Found in The Way of the Heart by Henri J M Nouwen)


I find it hard not to want to judge the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, as witnessed on that documentary. But I know that I shouldn’t.

All I can say is, simply, that I did not recognise the Jesus that I know and love and read about in my New Testament in their actions. The Jesus that I know would be standing at those soldiers’ funerals weeping with their families; or spending his evenings in the gay bars getting to know the clientèle.

Christianity is not about fear, hatred or anger — it’s about our lives being transformed by God through love. And that’s not wishy-washy. It’s a hard, hard thing to sit in honesty with our own weakness, vulnerability, brokenness, nothingness and offer ourselves humbly and completely to God. It’s easier to hide behind a façade, a mask, a compulsion, even a sign that berates others. But it’s not healthier!

I simply know that those moments that I have dared to seek God in silent prayer have revealed to me that … well, Nouwen puts it this way: “[I] realize that nothing human is alien to [me], that the roots of all conflict, war, injustice, cruelty, hatred, jealousy, and envy are deeply anchored in [my] own heart” (Op cit., p.25).

So who am I to judge others? All I can do is start by asking God to change me, and pray that others may see something of God in my transformation.

I just wish there were more TV shows that explored something of that, such as the BBC series The Monastery.

Video plus lipsynching equals fun

You know those days when you come home to an empty house, having spent half the morning in a hospital gown and a doctor doing ultrasound scans on your testicles, and then half the afternoon trying to work your way through a pile of immediate website fixes before getting to the stuff that you promised someone in another unit that you’d finish in two days and that was three and a half weeks ago?

Well, this video is something akin to an antidote to those kind of days. According to this is “just a bunch of Americans mucking around and miming to Harvey Danger‘s ‘Flagpole Sitta’.”

But I think we all know that it’s more than that. This video embodies the hope of a new generation, it questions the fundamentals of western civilisation as we know it, it captures the Zeitgeist of … oh, just watch the video and make up your own mind.

It made me smile.