Celestial Weasel (celestialweasel) wrote,
Celestial Weasel

"Send me up a drink" says Major Tom

1. Adverts for USA Today
1983 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svnaEFbt3f8
Slightly later with minor celebrities singing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3LiURnoFzk (subscribe and get a free tote bag).
I was in the US when USA Today came out (think I did find a copy at some point whilst I was there though they weren't printing it everywhere). A product of its time - technology advanced enough for them to print a colour newspaper all over the country but not for everyone to get their news on glowing things in their pockets. It is an odd paper - and not, I think, without a certain knowingness with respect to the faint absurdity of 'here is a fairly thin newspaper covering a country with 300 plus million people occupying a large chunk of a continent', particularly in the bit which is 'one one sentence news story for each state'. The second commercial above is far wittier than American commercials of the time generally were - the level of wit increased significantly when dot COMs began to piss their money up the wall in the late 90s.

2. Bowie
(as commented on cleanskies LJ but I'm pasting it here, so there)
I cannot help but notice the artifice around major new stories including celebrity deaths - Mark had mentioned that 6 Music had played a few jingles and songs at 7 o'clock - I went back on the iPlayer and listened, and indeed so, but interestingly 5 Live was reporting it as fact at about 6:55 - did 6 Music feel it needed a higher standard of proof than 5 Live given its audience or were they all just trying to get their shit together enough to carry on?
I wouldn't necessarily have expected Bowie to be a Level 2 event, though in retrospect I can't really dispute it.
My favourite Bowie track is Young Americans, I get the impression this is quite an unusual choice. On which note I bring you the 100% genuine Lennon and Bowie version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PhW6x82v7U

3. Deutschland 83
Credits here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9L_PlDsa_BI (the theme is the song Major Tom by Peter Schilling - English version (on the subtitled version shown on Channel 4 anyway) - here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTseSi0Qgow )
As you know professor, I am rarely grabbed by books / TV, but I am quite grabbed by this whereas for example, the BBC4 subtitled dramas haven't really - I watched about 4 episodes of Borgen whilst Nellie was on her way out, but without an expiring greyhound I felt no need to see any more episodes or to find out how it finished. This however I am enjoying; it is a cold war drama, with a somewhat gormless young man (German dramas do seem to like their young gormless male heroes) blackmailed by his aunt into going to West Germany to be a spy. The production values (dodgy set dressing / costumes / hairstyles and other anachronisms (*)) and wildly uneven tone (black comedy and viciousness) suggest they have learnt more from British TV than American.
Also, for fans of Ostalgie, the whole of the film Sonnenallee appears to be on YouTube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGO9ef-wTMI - it is very much a slice of life film in which nothing terribly dramatic happens. It is much less of a jokey fantasy than Goodbye, Lenin, not that I didn't enjoy that - a not funny story about Sonnenallee: I could only find a DVD without subtitles. I found a subtitles file on the internet but after downloading a number of bits of software with such incoherent descriptions I couldn't work out whether or not they were supposed to be able to marry subtitles with video and then finding that either they weren't intended to do that or I couldn't get them to work I gave up and wrote a program to display them in a large font, with start and stop options to keep it in sync with the video, then we watched it with a laptop under the TV to provide subtitles.
I am always struck by how East Germany in the 70s / 80s or depictions there of anyway remind me so much of Britain at the same period.

(*) I'm not misremembering am I, 1983 is at least 2 years too early for a mum to be saying to her daughter, 'be careful, use a condom, I've heard about this disease'?

4. Endeavour
They're just not going to try to make the Morse of Endeavour converge with the one of Morse are they? Probably a good thing too.
I only hope that ITV are fully aware of the severe penalties of encouraging cross-over fanfic. 'Sergeant Vimes of Cable Street', indeed.

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