Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Back, and with ideas in the noggin!

It's been long, too long, since I've posted here.

Life has indeed taken up time - overtime-heavy work in the busiest time of the year in the business of FE education; music; conversation; trips to London and the BFI Mediatheque at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle; reading books; watching films and interesting TV.

Next on WSMR will be - hopefully - an article on the coalition's plans for education. This will seek to combine a familiarity with the Browne report with IFS and Million+ responses, with some deep thinking about the cuts overall.

Television will be the subject of some of the posts I am planning: an article on LWT's superb The Guardians (1971), which I've just finished watching on DVD, and two rather different series of articles. The first is "an evening in the company of...", a sardonically titled experiment in which I plan to watch a whole evening's worth of television on various freeview channels, giving my views in whatever manner I deem fit. This is influenced slightly by a TV-crit site like Off the Telly in previous years, and also by the approach taken by commentators like Paul Morley in analysing an evening's programmes from 1995 in a BBC4 series a few years back... Ideally this would be carried out in real-time, and could potentially include other contributors following the same schedule of programmes and giving their views.

The other project - which might just be more consistently pleasurable and enlightening - is a plan to watch and review all sixty of the Play for Today titles now available to watch for free in the BFI Mediatheque (in chronological order - though this approach would be pointless if they are planning on adding any more... anyone know?). I possess copies of around ten of them, so that'll make the job easier. It also gives a structure to my many planned visits to the Discovery Museum (handily 3/4mins from my place of work!).

I am thinking about setting up a new blog on Blogger for the purpose of these television articles; possibly entitled "A Window on the World", quoting Dennis Potter. The remit generally being to document and appraise the classic era of British television, c.1960-90, but also to comment on current television, with an open mind (but most definitely an awareness of history).

What are people's thoughts on this venture?

If anyone is interested in contributing, I'd rather like this new blog to be a team effort, with others contributing as much or little as they like - so long as it sticks to the ethos of writing about interesting old and new TV in an interesting way. Let me know if interested in reply to this, or by email: mysteryofthefence@googlemail.com


  1. pleased you will be blogging again. Sounds like interesting projects. It's weird, in a sense, how 'foreign' a lot of older British TV and films seem to be: such different priorities and values.

    I've recently been living with my grandfather, hence not much blogging. I think there was a lot to be said for the post-war generation, but there are also a lot of ways in which we have advanced in Britain recently. I hope to blog a bit about modern British history after giving it more thought.

    Anyway, pleased to hear you've had a productive time.

  2. Such different priorities and values - indeed. I've been reading a book written by Sir Hugh Greene, published at the end of the 1960s, which eloquently sets out a vision of what teleivision should be, that has largely been abandoned over the past 20 years.

    If you'd like to contribute (occasionally or regularly or whatever you can manage) to this new blog - A Window on the World it will be called - I'd be honoured to have you part of it. I've already had a little bit of interest, and it'd be great if it could genuinely be a 'group blog'.