Ricky Gervais

Spirit of Adventure

Lots of people write blogs about their various travels to glorious places, where they take fantastic pictures with cameras worth more than I would get if I sold one of my love spuds on eBay. Jealous much? Maybe. But then again maybe not. I love looking at the pictures, there are some spectacular places in the world. Do I want to travel there? With the plane journeys, spiders, and mile long hikes only to find the view is obscured by fog. No not really.

Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant (creators of the Office) have made two series (seasons) of travel shows for people like me. “An Idiot Abroad” for those who haven’t seen it is where they send Karl Pilkington, a man who shares my view on world travel, to all these far flung places. Then they film his views and reactions, to be fair Karl looks at things in a unique way that I could never get close to, so maybe it’s not a good comparison. But there is common ground.

It’s not just travel. I do not like to take risks, I like to plan my fun night out, I hate surprises, I’ve never taken any drugs stronger than ibuprofen largely because I’m not sure how they will effect me, no anti-drug crusade here. I know that my friends from time to time must get frustrated with my inability to go for so much as a coffee without consulting my calendar.

What is to be gained by spontaneous actions? Whenever I have thrown caution to the wind it has come back and smacked me in the face. There is a reason why the term “grasping the nettle” exists, in my experience all you get is a swollen hand and a spontaneous afternoon in search of calamine lotion or a dock leaf.

There must be something to it, otherwise no-one would do anything. High risk strategies pay off in lots of areas, business for example. The iPad when it first launched was high risk, all tablet computers had failed and now look at it. Perhaps some of you are actually looking at it, Hello there iPad blog readers! I guess that’s why I’m never gonna be Steve Jobs.

Spontaneous actions drive progress. Travel broadens the mind, enriches the soul. But without the planners of the world, the progress would stagnate because the inventors of the “next big thing” would have already moved on to the “next next big thing” leaving early adopters in the dust wondering why they brought what they did.

Sometimes I yearn for adventure, but then the nerves kick in, and I have to consult my calendar!

I’ll leave the adventures to these folks! They take better photos than I could dream of!


(BDYBIS) Unfollow

I’ve written before about personal accountability. The fact is its due another piece. Due to the rise of twitter and other social media “platforms” people now feel closer than ever before to celebrities, whether that be your bonafide celebs, people who actually have a talent Actors, Comedians, etc or people who are famous for being famous or infamous.

There is no entry exam for anyone on social media. Hell they even let hairy bastards write blogs. The good thing about being an anonymous blogger is that no-one can have any expectations. Even people who know me outside of this here window are not expecting word perfect stuff, to be entertained everyday or even to be informed. I have no persona or character to live up to.

For celebrities it’s a different matter. We all perceive celebrities in certain ways, actors are of course like their character on TV, footballers are like their on-field persona, comedians are funny and comedy writers are funny. 24/7 365 days a year. Why of course they are. None of these people are allowed to express any opinions other than those we would expect from the pigeonhole we put them in.

Ricky Gervais is a marmite type character. You either love or loathe. He has already left Twitter and returned to it once before, citing boredom. One of his followers today complained that he “only tweets about atheism.” Now the follower may have a point, not a very good one, but Ricky does tweet about religion a fair bit. However this is not a stand up tour, or a new series on BBC 2 it’s a twitter feed. 140 characters.

Graham Linehan writer of Father Ted and the IT Crowd two of the finest TV comedies of recent years is also on Twitter. Followers of him complain that he isn’t funny on his feed. They are right he’s not, instead he airs political views mostly and why shouldn’t he there is no law against it and no-one forcing followers to follow.

Frankie Boyle, controversial comic who recently lost the favour of Channel 4 by tweeting about the Paralympics, is probably a good example of why some comedians don’t try to be funny on twitter. More trouble than it’s worth, it’s lost him a lucrative TV contract, at least for the time being. Someone commented on a website, most probably digital spy that half the people who follow Frankie do so to complain.

I don’t find Frankie Boyle funny. So I never have followed. This is what I mean about personal responsibility. I don’t feel the need to tweet Frankie Boyle and tell him that I don’t find him funny. One, he doesn’t care and two, he’s made a pot of money because people think he is.

I used to follow David Haye, just before his first title was won. I thought it would be interesting to see what he put. However the brawl he had with Derek Chisora in Berlin put me right off, so I un-followed. I again did not tweet David Haye to say why. I’m not that important.

Online, offline, wherever you are, you have control over what you consume. Food, drink, media, bog rolls, tech products. Whatever you consume as a consumer, if something isn’t floating your boat, stop consuming it. If someone isn’t what you thought they’d be on Twitter just stop following. But know that they won’t notice you are missing.

Unfollow fellow Whitleyite Ricky.. me? nah