Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Nobody does weird like the Latin Americans, which explains why 1959’s ‘Santa Claus’ appears to be a collaborative work between Salvador Dali, Ed Wood and the Pope .

Up in Santa’s castle of gold and crystal, which floats above the North Pole for no good reason, happy children from all the nations of the world help Santa make his toys, all while singing off-key and staring at the camera with the theatrical flair of roadkill. As they work, St Nick plays his pipe organ like some sort of Santa of the Opera, leering at the children at a manner which is probably intended to be jovial, but actually comes across as intensely creepy.

Meanwhile, down in Hell (which appropriately enough resembles a brimstone-laden jazz ballet class), Lucifer commands one of his devils to go up to Earth and tempt boys and girls to be naughty rather than nice. The devil, whose name is Pitch, jumps to it, and soon has a trio of little boys chucking rocks at a mechanical department store Santa… which let’s face it, we’ve all been tempted to do at some point. I don’t see the big deal myself.

Thus the battle between Santa and the Devil is joined, proving that we may need a few more missionaries to head down to Mexico to bang some kinks out of their theology. It doesn’t help that Santa is armed with some of the most sinister accessories ever conceived. His reindeer are clockwork robots who chuckle like they’re about to go for your neck, and he keeps tabs on the children of the world through a disturbing machine with an enormous set of human lips, a telescope with a giant eye that emerges from it on a flexible rod, and a human ear apparently grafted onto an oscillating fan.

There’s also some magic powder (well, it is Latin America), and an enchanted flower that allows Santa to teleport, and a weird dream sequence in which a kid gets his own parents in giant boxes for Christmas… well, basically, it’s all just weird.

Feliz Navidad everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


The past is a simple place, populated by simple people, which explains why last night's MST3K offering was given the admirably direct title 'The Mad Monster'. They didn't specify whether the monster was angry mad or crazy mad, but, in the words of Abe Simpson, it may have been a little from column A and a little from column B.

It's 1942, and mad scientist Lorenzo Cameron, who despite his first name looks about as Mediterranean as Bjork, has rented a country manor with his beautiful daughter (and Judy Garland impressionist) Lenora. Like most rented country manors, the house has a laboratory with two secret entrances, one in a garden wall and one behind a bookcase. Lorenzo passes his time gadding about in his laboratory with as many screws loose as a cheap Ikea bookcase, occasionally chairing imaginary meetings with his former colleagues at the university. The astute viewer may suspect that when your translucent imaginary nemeses think you're crazy, chances are they're right, but Lorenzo is having none of that. His studies into... er... some sort of science that is never really explained... have allowed him to create a serum that will turn an ordinary man into a man/wolf hybrid. His test subject is his slow-witted gardener Petro, who has obviously read 'Of Mice And Men' once too often and taken Lenny as a role model.

Lorenzo's aim is simple; with a lumbering wolf man at his command, he can slaughter his many enemies. He starts, as any sensible man would, with Shirley Temple. Not having Shirley Temple to hand, the monster takes out a little Shirley Temple lookalike. Lorenzo is satisfied that if the mad monster can kill child star clones, it can kill anyone, and so he begins planning his revenge.

His convoluted plan is to drag the slow-witted gardener around the countryside, introduce him to his victims, then by stealth or trickery inject him with the serum, slip out, and let mad science take its course. The cynical viewer may wonder why Lorenzo doesn't just sneak up behind his enemies and whack them in the head with an inexpensive hammer, but mad scientists never do things the easy way. They have poetic souls, and the irony of bumping off one's enemies with a creature that those enemies swore could never exist is too delicious for them to resist. When it comes to ironic retribution, mad scientists have all the self control of a baked stoner in a Dorito warehouse.

The first revenge murder goes more or less as planned, although it does attract the interest of an investigative journalist named Tom, who has come to the town to provide a love interest for Lenora report on the unexpected demise of Shirley Temple. His suspicions are confirmed when the second murder doesn't quite go as planned, and Lorenzo is noted to have been with both men just prior to their deaths.

As the threat of exposure by a weedy, clean-cut young man increases, Lorenzo gets sloppy, and the mad monster gets into the house and goes after Lenora. One things leads to another, the house catches fire (apparently by lightning coming in through an open window and hitting a bottle of turps) and both mad scientist and mad monster perish in the blaze, leaving Lenora and Tom to clutch each other in the garden and reflect on the perils of unethical science experiments, obsessive desire for vengeance, and leaving explosive chemicals next to open windows in a thunderstorm.

It was a very funny episode, especially by the lower standards of the first season, although oddly enough my favourite lines came not from the MST3K riffs but from the movie itself. Such as Tom's comment to Lorenzo when he first sees the laboratory:

Tom: You seem very well equipped.

To which the only possible response is, "Why, thank you."

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Dear Mom,

Greetings from Mars! I’ve always wanted to say that, and now I can! You’ll be happy to know that I arrived safely after a long journey, and they’ve kept me so busy since I got here that I haven’t had time to feel homesick.

I know I shouldn’t complain, but being on secondment to UAC security isn’t turning out to be the clever career move I’d hoped. The marketing may imply that UAC is a top-shelf professional organisation, but as anyone who’s ever used one of their consumer products knows, that’s not quite true. Remember that toaster I gave you, which always burnt the bread? UAC. The PVR that refused to record anything but Bulgarian soap operas? UAC. That popcorn maker that was possessed by Satan? UAC. Honestly, it’s a wonder they can make it into space without the rockets falling off.

Right now my biggest gripe is that the entire Mars City complex seems to be lit with a single 40 watt lightbulb. Ever since I got here I’ve spent most of my time banging into crates and tripping down stairs. I don’t see the point of sending men all the way to Mars, only to have them blundering about in the dark like a convention of Stevie Wonder impersonators. At least when the Gateway to Hell opened it let a bit of light in. The only time I can see where I’m going is when one of those flaming skulls flies through the room.

I’ve been busy since I got here, going through orientation, running errands and fighting off the living dead. At least I assume they’re the living dead. Frankly their attitudes were so bad when I first got here that it’s a little hard to tell. “Where have you been, marine?” “Can’t you see I’m busy, marine?” “Hurry up and finish that assignment, marine!” Having them merely wanting to eat my brain is actually a step up. And at least now I’m allowed to shoot them!

Anyway, I’ve got to go now. There’s a team of undead scientists coming down the corridor, and you wouldn’t believe how many bullets it takes to bring them down. I’ll write again soon when I don’t have the Legions of the Damned all in my face. I hope you and Dad are well, and please give my best to Mike and Cheryl and the kids.



P.S. If a flaming skull comes to the door, it might be best not to answer it. Oh, and practice ducking.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?

I'm in the middle of some things. I'll restart later.

Are you sure? The updates can't take effect until you restart.

I'm sure I can live without updates for a couple of hours. I'll pass.

They're really good updates.

Do any of them install Half Life II on my computer, or provide GPS coordinates for Angelina Jolie, or anything else I want?

Well no, but they do provide minute increases in security and fix bugs in features you've probably never used.

Thanks, but they can wait.


I'll restart later.

Okay then.

Now, where was I? That's right, letters to clinical academics regarding course notes for second semester...

What about now?


What about now? Do you want to restart now?

I already told you no!

But that was five minutes ago. I thought you'd probably have changed your mind by now.

Why? Why would I have changed my mind?

Well... they're updates. Who doesn't love updates?

I don't love updates!

That's just because you haven't experienced these ones. They're great!

Do they change the interface on the programs I use? Do they make my computer run noticeably faster? Will I actually notice any difference at all once the updates have been installed?

Um, no, not unless you regularly grub about in the root directories of your operating system.

Which I don't.

Well maybe if you took more of an interest in what was going on in your computer...

Look, I will restart when I'm ready and not before! I will not be ordered about by a computer program! Quit asking me if I want to restart to install your damn updates and leave me alone!

Fine, fine. All you had to do was ask. Sheesh.

Thank you. Maybe now I can get some work done. Now, letters to clinical academics regarding course notes. Open general letter template, type in today's date, change address details. "Dear Doctor..."

Updating your computer is almost complete. You must restart your computer for the updates to take effect. Do you want to restart your computer now?


I've developed the habit of watching the repeats of Dr Who on weekday evenings when I get home from work. Right now it's an especially interesting experience, as we've moved into the mid-80s episodes that I've never seen before, since I spent most of the mid-80s without a television.

So what is one to make of this era's episodes of Dr Who, widely regarded as the worst in the venerable show's forty year history? For a start, the bad reputation is well-deserved. They came quite close to working, in some cases, but they were let down by shockingly, spectacularly, almost willfully bad scripts. It's like every single writer was suffering from crippling clinical depression. The future societies are always dystopias in which corruption, oppression and sadism run amok. The past societies are always threatened by aliens who pick us off one by one in gruesome ways. In more than a couple of storylines, the writers seem to imagine that "dramatic tension" means killing off every member of the cast who isn't a regular. It becomes a joke... as if they were contractually obliged to pay the actors extra if their characters were still alive at the closing credits.

Colin Baker's Doctor is a vain and self-absorbed bully, although he does manage to wrest some charm from the character. His assistant Peri is written as a squawking American, forced by an apparently xenophobic wardrobe department into a range of candy-coloured, cleavage-enhancing T-shirts, vast bermuda shorts and high heels, but she too grows on you.

peri & dr

Unfortunately a very great deal of the time the villain is The Master, who is about as scary as a My Little Pony, especially when compared to the Daleks or the Sontarans. It's hard to take a villain seriously when he spends his time mincing about in a black frockcoat, threatening people with what appears to be a heavy duty steel dildo. And like all mediocre villains, he laughs too much. I don't think he actually says, "I'll get you, my pretty! Aha ha ha ha!" at any point, but he's not far off, and in any case I haven't watched all of the episodes yet, so who knows?

The only other explanation for his constant lame cackling is that only evil people laughed in the mid-80s. Apparently the good people were all supposed to be grimly serious about the threat of nuclear annihilation, pollution, over-population and Sheena Easton records.


This morning, as I was waiting at the traffic lights outside UWA, I noticed something odd. A man in a dark suit was standing on the roadside, with his back to the traffic, using a digital camera to film the iconic clocktower on Winthrop Hall.

winthrop hall

As he finished filming he turned, and revealled himself to be, as the news reports put it, "a man of Middle-Eastern appearance". He even had one of those bushy Saddam Hussein-style moustaches. He glanced furtively at the cars, then strode off towards the administration buildings.

If it wasn't for the fact that blowing up Winthrop Hall would acheive nothing other than the destruction of some very nice Napier Waller mosaics, and perhaps the odd pipe organ enthusiast, I'd be sort of worried.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


My rant about mediocre versus magnificent church music yesterday reminded me that I wanted to link to Tris McCall's wise, witty and astute round-up of Christmas carols. If you want to know my opinions, they're about a 95% match with his. We disagree on 'Silent Night', and I hate 'Frosty the Snowman' with more vehemence than he probably has in his entire body. But his evaluations for 'Joy To The World', 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' and 'O Holy Night' are spot on.

Monday, December 12, 2005


At church on Sunday morning the musicians continued in their long-running campaign to drive me mad with bad worship songs. We had to sing a song called 'Open The Eyes Of My Heart, Lord', which I can never hear without mentally adding, "And if it's not too much trouble, Lord, could you please unblock the ears of my lungs while you're at it?"

It's an awful, incompetent song, quite possibly worse than the aural spackle churned out by Hillsong. It certainly comes from the same "Whine to Show How Earnest You Are" school of ecclesiastical music.

And note to Paul Baloche, who is responsible for this travesty: the word 'Holy' repeated eight times does not constitute a chorus. Reginald Heber got away with repeating it twice*, but that was only because he was quoting Isaiah 6. If Reggie and God can show restraint, so can you.

It was especially offensive as I'd spent the morning at home listening to traditional Christmas carols, which demonstrate Christian music at its finest. "Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord" does not stand up well against "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing." The former is like being batted with a beach umbrella uprooted by the wind. The latter is like having a gothic cathedral fall on you. It's potent enough when simply sung by a large group of people, but if you add a choir singing the descant, which swoops and dives around the melody like a flock of exuberant birds, it enters the realm of the sublime.

*warning - loud midi on link


Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the most embarrassingly named cake in all of Texas!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I seem to live my life in a slow-witted haze. Information trickles in through my senses, then echoes about in the cavernous emptiness of my head, before some synapse decides to come off its coffee break and deal with it. It means that I have the reaction time of a hibernating bear, often failing to notice the significance of things around me until too late.

Friend: Hey, Blandwagon, I got you a present!

Blandwagon: What?

Friend: I got you a present!

Blandwagon: Oh.

Friend: ...

Blandwagon: ...

Friend: Well, if you don't...

Blandwagon: Hey! You got me a present!?

Yesterday I had to borrow my boss' car to drive some papers over to another office. A mechanic had obviously unplugged the battery recently, because all the presets on the radio were gone. As I crawled up to the exit boomgate, I used the seek function to scan across the dial and programmed in the stations I know my boss likes (Boomer hits 'n' memories stations and easy listening) and ones I like (college stations, kitsch merchants and classical).

In between punching buttons, I noticed a small delivery truck parked just inside the boomgate. It seemed a strange place for a truck to be parked, but I was busy with my radio buttons and I didn't think to analyse why. As I got closer, the driver rolled down his window. I didn't wonder why. I rolled by, flipped my card through the boomgate scanner, and pulled forward as the boom lifted.

I heard the truck behind me rev suddenly, and I noticed it lunge forward in my rear view mirror. Only then did I realise that he didn't have a card for the boom gates. He must have slipped in behind another car at the entry gate, which stays up for a good ten seconds after it's activated, and now wanted to slip out again.

Doesn't he know that the exit gate is a lot faster than the entry gate? I thought. Apparently not, as the boom came down again, and bounced a couple of times on the truck's roof before catching on the top of the tailgate and snapping off with a loud crack and an explosion of splintered wood.

Even then, it didn't occur to me to stop. As the truck stopped and the driver got out, I just pulled out onto the main road and continued on my somnambulent way.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Following the departure of its chief editor after just seven issues, 'The Monthly' faces an uncertain future. It's been announced that owner and parasite host bankroller Morry Schwartz is doing a bit of editorial adjustment, but whether that means he's hitting Kerryn Goldsworthy over the head with a shovel or just adjusting the font size remains to be seen. I'd hate to think I was not going to have my 12 issue subscription honoured.

The central problem with 'The Monthly' as I see it is that it rewards mediocrity. The magazine reads like the newsletter of some smart artistic types who secretly despise the wealthy society matron in whose salon they congregate. Morry pays $1 a word for articles, which was intended to bring Australia's best writers running. However, what it's actually done is allow a few leech-like writers to attach themselves to him as their main source of income. The best part, from their perspective, is that they don't even have to give up their day jobs to do so. Helen Garner was paid thousands for watching a few Russell Crowe DVDs over a weekend and offering her opinion on them. Amanda Lohrey was paid even more for telling a long-winded anecdote about her daughter's education. Malcom Knox was given front page prominence for what was basically a science fiction story, one with some interesting ideas but terrible characterisation and droning exposition. And John Harms was paid handsomely to go on a roadtrip, and to be the most pretentious dickhead ever to get behind the wheel of a Volkswagen convertible... which, given that he has me as a rival, is quite an acheivement. In fact, the bulk of most recent issues has been what some worthy person opines about an issue, rather than an exploration of the issue itself. It's the Dark Side of Gonzo Journalism.

If Morry wishes, as he once stated, to create an Australian version of 'The New Yorker', he needs to make a few more adjustments:

1) Offer individuals a maximum of no more than four pieces a year, just to keep 'em hungry.

2) Reject any article that doesn't show evidence of a thesis in the first two paragraphs, to avoid directionless rambles by writers from the "stream of consciousness" school.

3) Reject any article that doesn't show evidence of original research to support the thesis in the first three paragraphs.

4) Include some cartoons. Would anyone read the New Yorker without its cartoons?

5) Read my post about the vital importance of honouring the promise to publish the wit and wisdom of Sophie Lee.


Judging from this article, the rather vile-sounding Philip Pullman seems to be be doing his level best to become a character in CS Lewis' 'That Hideous Strength'.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Tomorrow is my one year blogiversary. The traditional first blogiversary gift is 'paper', which might make life difficult for the struggling gift giver because it's not terribly specific. After all, 'paper' covers everything from 'convenience store greeting card' to 'rather nice Charles Blackman charcoal sketch'. How are people supposed to know what to get me?

It only gets worse. The traditional thirteenth anniverary gift is 'lace'. What the hell is your average blogger supposed to do with lace? Make a printer-cosy? Put a doilly under the mouse mat?

Let's face it, the exploding popularity of blogging requires a complete overhaul of the anniverary gift pantheon. As such, I hereby offer...

The Get On The Blandwagon!
Modern Blogiversary Gifts List

1st - paper
2nd - plastic
3rd - sugar
4th - anti-depressants
5th - porn
6th - iPod accessories
7th - rare earth magnets
8th - Louis Vuitton knockoffs
9th - livestock
10th - chintz
11th - acrylamide-acrylate polymers
12th - Audis
13th - aerosol cheese
14th - schadenfreude
15th - cosmetic surgery
16th - pieces of the One True Cross
17th - pieces of Tim Blair's Mazda
18th - weaponised anthrax
19th - Liechtenstein
20th - the hand of Tim Berners-Lee's youngest daughter in marriage.

Given that very few people have been continuously blogging since 1985, there's not much point in stating what further gifts should be. We'll leave that for future generations to decide. I imagine that hovercars and wisecracking robots will feature at some point.


Over the last two nights I've had the spare time and the inclination to make cocktails. I received a cocktail recipe book for my birthday back in October, and thanks to my annual cocktail parties I have innumerable half-bottles of odd liqueurs cluttering up my pantry, so I've decided it's about time to use the one to deplete the other.

I'd like to say that I mixed manly, sophisticated cocktails like martinis or manhattans, but let's face it, they're no fun. They have like two ingredients, the colours are boring, and in any case I was out of olives.

1) The Black Opal

Equal parts Black Sambuca, Bailey's, Cointreau and cream, layered.

Ah, the classic combination of licorice, orange and coffee. Er, right. Actually, the flavours work surprisingly well together. It also looks very smart, with the layers of clear Cointreau, blue-black Sambuca, beige Bailey's and pale cream.

There's a stage in which you're supposed to set it on fire, which apparently creates an opal effect as the flames shimmer through the Sambuca, but mine refused to ignite. Instead I just got a microlayer that tasted like burnt matches. Back to cocktail school for me.

2) The Boston Cream

2 parts coconut cream, 1 part cream, 2 parts Cointreau, 1 part grenadine, shaken with ice then strained.

The Boston Cream is served in a martini glass, but that's about as butch as it gets. It's bright pink, creamy, sweet, low in alcohol and served with chocolate sprinkles on top. No, I'm not kidding; chocolate bloody sprinkles! It's like drinking distilled oestrogen.

3) The GBR

3 parts rum, 3 parts Galliano and 1 part grenadine, built over ice.

This drink is served with a mint leaf floating in it, which according to my cocktail book is supposed to infuse the drink with subtle mint essense or something. But here's my question; in a battle between cheap rum and a single mint leaf, which flavour is going to completely beat the living crap out of the other?

Out of the three, I'd probably only bother making the Black Opal again. Although now that I think about it, if I poured a batch of Boston Cream into my icecream maker...


My usual morning perusal of quality blogs has been curtailed today by the apparent collapse of blogspot. Everything else is working. Even blogger is working. But blogspot isn't.

It's a little disconcerting. If no one can see my blog, then I can't get stats or comments. And if I don't have stats or comments, how will I know if I'm popular? And if I don't know if I'm popular, how do I quantify the value of my existence?

You can see my conundrum.

Monday, December 05, 2005


Valentino’s is a large, popular, even iconic restaurant in the very centre of Perth’s nightclub district, and I was invited there on Saturday night for a friend’s birthday.

The food is barely competent – the menu basically consists of large masses of carbohydrates studded with anonymous meats and vegetables then draped with inoffensive sauces - but Valentino’s didn’t get where it is via culinary expertise. It relies on calculated staff training, economies of scale, and its location.

Our waiter, a blandly good-looking twentysomething with a gentle, unplaceable American accent, was a master of both showmanship and crowd control. He managed our table of thirteen with discreet authority, being simultaneously friendly and aloof. He made sure that no one deviated from the script, announcing how each step of the ordering process would occur. There were no veiled threats about what would happen if we wanted to change the serving sizes or ask for different sides, because he didn’t allow anyone to even have such thoughts enter their head. The efficiency of it all was so subtly managed that it was quite marvellous to behold.

Further efficiencies were no doubt going on in the kitchen. As with most large restaurants with a fairly dismissive attitude to food, the kitchen at Valentino’s must resemble a series of production lines that would warm Henry Ford’s cold dead decomposing heart. There’s no other way to explain how my fettuccine was piping hot, but the chicken in it was merely warm, and the broccoli stone cold. The parmesan cheese had also melted in an uneven way, suggesting that the bowl had been microwaved at some point.

On the plus side, the two glasses of the house red I had were entirely beguiling.

Fortunately for me, my party was seated at a table on the sidewalk, so we could partake of the one thing that makes going to Valentino’s worthwhile – the passing parade.

Scenes from the world around Valentino’s

- a hard-faced Indonesian woman handing out flyers for a local club. The abandoned flyers littering the pavement around her show pictures of girls in bikinis.

- middle-aged men and women festooned with glowsticks and coloured lights, purposefully striding up and down the street attempting to sell long-stemmed red roses to any couple who look like they might be having a good time.

- a young man with a head full of gel, wearing what was once a rather nice rugby jumper, before some chain store designer splattered it with random text and graphics.

- a beautiful and anorexic Mediterranean girl swathed in scanty black silk, passively being towed down the street by her buffed and polished boyfriend, who seems more interested in talking with his mates than with her.

- a dopey teenager showing a good twenty centimetres of red checked boxers above his low-rider jeans, either drunk, drugged or slightly retarded, pacing up and down the footpath with his mobile clasped to his ear, routinely meandering out into the traffic and being blasted by horns as cars brake to avoid him.

- Innumerable pale, chubby girls moving in pairs or trios, wearing clothes that suggest they’ve been shopping at Skank on a Budget, walking fast and shivering in the cool night air.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Last night The Flatmate and I got busy decking the halls, jingling the bells and harking the herald angels. Despite the example of the shopping centres, who have started putting up anticipatory tinsel in late September, I like to wait until December 1 before dragging the tree out the back of my wardrobe and the baubles out of the cupboard. It's always just a little sad, seeing everything coated in dust and slightly nibbled by the more adventurous silverfish. But once they're shaken out, and we finish our coughing fits, the yuletide buzz kicks in and I for one start to feel that unique joy that only comes with Christmas.

We started with the tree, which is an odd structure originally intended to festive up the aisles of a boutique department store. I acquired it several years ago while visiting an arts and crafts wholesaler, and I've kept it because a) it's cool and b) no one else has one. It's basically a spiral of dried and twisted vine. You attach the centre of the spiral to a hook in the ceiling, and it unwinds to form a conical tree shape. The little thorns and split vine ends are perfect for hanging baubles, and the entire length can be easily wound with tinsel.

The lack of a stand also means that Santa can fit more loot under it. And I want a Playstation this year, fat boy. Or an Audi.


Next I set up my Nativity, which I bought at Pellegrinis, the local Catholic store. Pellegrinis is well worth the occasional visit. It's a bastion of woggy kitsch, with plastic Madonnas, rosaries in every colour of the rainbow, and those creepy pictures of a wispy-bearded Jesus with eyes that follow you around the room.

And still, it's nowhere near as tacky as a Protestant store like Koorong. Go figure.

My Nativities tend not to follow the strict letter of the gospel accounts of Jesus' birth. But I like to think that they follow the spirit.


And finally, I put up my Christmas Greeting magnets, which I made after the house was burgled in early December 2001. They pass on my joyous yuletide message even to those who would invade my home and generally cause me grief.


Thursday, December 01, 2005


The TV Guide in today's Australian has this entry, which contains either a grammatical slip or an exquisite editorial comment on the fuss surrounding the death of Graham Kennedy (an entertainer who has been forgotten everywhere except Melbourne since the mid-1970s):

9.30pm - TV Legends (PGs, CC)

Graham Kennedy (1934-2005) will always be remembered as the king of television. See clips that haven't been broadcast for years, featuring Kennedy at the height of his powers.

I for one would welcome clips that have only been broadcast for weeks or months, rather than years.