Peter Rhodes on too much TV sex, the case for whelk stalls and the bucket-listers spoiling the world
Who needs Jamaica?
POETRY among the isobars. I loved one weather forecaster's turn of phrase on a chilly morning this week as the Beast from the East arrived: "A pestering of snow showers." Dylan Thomas would have been proud of that.
ONE obvious way to halt the sexual objectifying of women in drama is to get more female actors, directors and producers in the system. Or so you might think. In the Beeb's new thriller, Collateral, the star character is a woman, so are two executive producers, and above all so is the director, S J Clarkson. And yet the second episode included a gratuitous nude scene which added nothing to the plot and told us little about the character. It looked like nothing more than a skin-flick moment, designed to attract slavering male viewers. This was not feminism's proudest hour.
GREG Dickinson, a content editor with the Daily Telegraph, warns that "bucket list" holidays are taking hordes of people to "fragile" holiday destinations in the belief that they simply must see these places before they die. He says places like the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and poor old Venice with those mighty liners cruising up the Grand Canal, were never built to withstand thousands of footsteps every day. He refers to the irony that the polar regions and the Great Barrier Reef are at increased risk thanks to the "bucketloads of carbon it takes to travel to these sights." Tourism has an unfortunate tendency to destroy everything it touches. However, as one of Dickinson's readers points out, if 10 million people a year are visiting the Great Wall of China, at least they're not damaging somewhere pretty.
MY own ploy from time to time is to show off a photograph of my favourite holiday destination, a white-sand beach in Jamaica where we frequently lie in the sun while sipping plantation cocktails. The aim is to send gullible folk scurrying off to Jamaica while my friends and I relax on the beach in the picture, which is actually in Scotland. And, no, I'm not telling you where.
TO be honest, we have never sipped plantation cocktails on this beach. Bovril, usually.
YOU know what our political system needs? A number of whelk stalls. They could be set up in pretty seaside locations and made available to MPs and civil servants who, when they finally get the hang of managing the business, get a special certificate of proficiency. It would be most useful for people who pontificate about what British industry and commerce needs or does not need but whose CVs reveal that they have never spent a day in anything resembling real work. Such "experts" are always vulnerable to that wonderfully Victorian put-down: "That bloke couldn't run a bleedin' whelk stall." The certificate would prove he could.
I WROTE a few days ago about the death of our cat. I have had more correspondence on that little domestic tragedy than on Brexit, gun control and foreign spies added together. Many thanks.