Sunday, 13 July 2008

Cry freedom

I have been rhapsodising at great length to anyone I meet about Last Choir Standing, the BBC's new Saturday night programme with real people in it that is not a quiz or the news. If you are the sort of person who has better things to do on a Saturday night than watch Last Choir Standing then a) who are you, b) do we have anything at all in common, and, where b) is 'no', then c) what on earth are you doing reading this [although you're welcome and lord knows I could use the stats].

Anyway. What I have been saying to my friends is that LCS is like crying Viagra. Perhaps, on account of many and varying trials in your life, you are feeling slightly emotional, a little bit sangry*, but are having trouble letting go of your pride/sense of self-possession/meticulously applied eye make-up and drenching your upper body in the bittersweet balm of fresh tears. Whoever you are, whatever your inhibition, Last Choir Standing is your release. Unless you are a lump of coal, after no more than seven minutes, I guarantee your eyes will be slightly to very moist. After 14 minutes, tears will be flowing like Niagara Falls. And after explaining this to several friends, I thought to myself 'Hmm, what else is crying Viagra?' And furthermore, 'This is exactly the kind of whimsical self-indulgence that makes for a blog post.' (The self-indulgence of blogging is another thing I have been talking a lot about recently.)

However, then I read this in The Guardian. Apparently, it's more over than Oasis to say that anything is 'something Viagra'. Damn The Guardian, with their compulsive, smug and frequently tenuous trend-spotting (no offence, Miss W). I am quite over many aspects of their paper, in particular their many factual errors, one of which, brilliantly, occurs at the end of their vitriolic blast on the subject of the Viagra metaphor. But I am nothing if not weak-willed and easily led, and also loathe to contribute to The Guardian's ascendant sense of self-satisfaction. So:

Miss Jones' Most Efficacious Cry Porn (a work in progress)

1) Last Choir Standing – see above. In particular the Choir Of Elderly Fisherman ('Well, we didn't get through this time but maybe this will attract some young members who aren't likely to die within 5 years') and the Policemen's Choir ('The Choir really helped me through after the premature death of my wife').
2) The watery eyes of Bernard Cribbins.
3) Watching YouTube clips of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympic 400m semi-final.

4) The London Marathon. Not just the dogged charity fundraisers collapsing yards from the finish and the rousing Chariots Of Fire-pastiche music but, in recent years, the messages scrolling along the bottom of the screen saying 'Go on Dad, we're so proud of you, from your loving family' etc etc. Jones Major is keen to run in 2009. Heaven help Jones Minor's tear ducts should his application prove successful. Jones Minor is me, if you were unsure.
5) The end of The Railway Children. This is for advanced recreational cryers only and should not be attempted by amateurs needing to accomplish anything during the rest of the day.

*Sad and angry (copyright Randy Hickey)


Jones Major said...

Re. item 4 in your list - am I alone in wondering just what, or whose, purpose those messages scrolling across the bottom of the television screen are supposed to serve? As I'm pounding the streets of London next April (or in however many years it takes me to get a place in the ballot) am I supposed to pop into a convenient branch of Comet en-route, timed perfectly to see a fleeting message from my loving family? Or am I supposed to see it on the highlight programme later that evening, as I lie crippled on the sofa and reflect, without trying to sound too ungrateful, that it's a bit late?

Something to contemplate on those long training runs...

Miss Jones said...

...but not while you have a chest infection please. xxx