Monday, April 12, 2010

Rhymes with "Cow"

For the poetry round-up, Manfred contributed John Betjeman's wicked funny poem "Slough", which I'd never read before.

The BBC comic series The Office (the original and more disturbingly awful series) is set in Slough--an ugly industrial town (right).

The U.S. adaptation is set in Scranton, PA.

Here, Ricky Gervais as office manager David Brent (like Steve Carell's Michael Scott, but perfectly, slimely worse) takes John Betjeman down a peg or two.
Left me gasping.
"I don't think you solve town planning problems by dropping bombs all over the place."


Margaret said...

Oh, The Office.
I'm always between laughing hysterically and cringing myself into a heap.

Fresca said...

That's it, Margaret--that's why it's so disturbing--you laugh and cringe at the same time.

There's an occasional moment when you kinda sorta like Michael Scott and the show doesn't then turn that moment against you,
but this is never the case with David Brent.

Which makes it a better show, I think, but harder to take.

bink said...

That was funny. Contrary to your comment, this bit kinda made me like David Brent. It's sorta sweet the way he defends his town.

Ginga Squid said...

Ricky Gervais is brilliant! I love the original Office although I must admit that Steve Carell is very good too in the US version.

I used to have a boyfriend who lived in Slough (or 'Sluff' as we used to call it).

Fresca said...

BINK: OK, you're right--- I did rather like the guy here---he's not altogether wrong about Betjeman's prissy dismissal of people who never look at the stars!
"What? He never burped?"

GINGA: "Sluff"! Ha! That's even better.
I like Steve Carell a lot too.

Dania said...

Seeing Ricky makes me think of Eddie:

Margaret said...

Yeah, I find the character of David Brent a bit harder to get around, but Michael I actually like quite a lot.

I remember an episode in which they showed a clip of Michael as a kid. The person behind the camera asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His answer:
"I want to get married an have 100 kids so I can have 100 friends and never be lonely."
It's hard to resent that.

Michael's motives, though hardly noble, are very human: the man's just horrifically lonely and wants to be a part of everything. His approach is off, but more often than not, he means well.

Fresca said...

Yes, it's that sympathy one feels for Michael that makes the US Office so much easier to watch... but so much less true to life.

I have known people like David Brent and they are pathetic, but they don't mean well.

Bianca Castafiore? said...

Wonderful stuff."

[and i just found myself imagining one of the many daily situations in which the retort "wot? you've never buhped?" will fit nicely.]

I love your blog. I find myself relaxing... learning and appreciating, also.

Fresca said...

BIANCA: Thank you!

Relaxing... yes, I can imagine, what with that nutter commenter over at your place! Sheesh.