Friday, November 18, 2011

Guest Author: Jeff Hickmott

Today's submission is from Jeff Hickmott, with two T's, no N's, not Jeff Hickmont, as he was listed here....briefly...last year (I have no idea who Jeff Hickmont is; probably a nice enough guy, drawn into all this ugliness through no fault of his own...unless he's a tool, in which case, screw him).
I don't have to write an intro, as Jeff has done that himself. I just have to spell his name correctly (two T's, no N's). Other than that, all I have to tell you is he's British which means he's inherently funny, as he hails from the land that gave us Monty Python's Flying Circus, Peter Sellers and Ricky Gervais and that still kind of owns the country that gave us Kids In the Hall. Ladies and blokes, Jeff Hickmott (two T's, no N's)

So, here is the bit where I tell you about myself. Hmm, what can I tell you that you don't already know from reading my wildly popular blogs The World Of Jeff! and The Food Of Jeff!, not forgetting my guest shot on last year's blog-sitting-type-thing-a-thon-of-infinite-wonder. Well, in the past year I have been employed twice, unemployed twice, and started me a little community action group in my hometown of Tenterden, Kent which you can read about in my third blog, Transition Town Tenterden, at Oh, and I'm in lurrrve. With Laura. I was last year too, but I didn't mention it then. Aaaand I'm rambling. Right. Biography over. On with the motley!

One thing about British TV when compared to American TV is the difference in what's allowed to be shown. Sure, over there in the good ole U S of A you are allowed to have political pundits and religious nutjobs spouting off all kinds of stupid and inflammatory remarks 24/7, but show a movie with a dirty word in it and it's either bleeped out, or more commonly, replaced with an innocuous and ridiculous one. Over here we are allowed to say words after the watershed hour that makes George Carlin's "7 Dirty Words" sound stupid and pointless. And it's not just limited to what you can say. If in the UK you have a programme that is pseudo-health-oriented, then full-frontal nudity and extreme close-ups are A-OK.

Channel 4's show Embarrassing Bodies (along with its sequel Embarrassing Teenage Bodies) has people with serious health complaints on.

A rather unfortunate promo shot for Embarrassing Bodies, and yes, these people are actual doctors.

These people are too embarrassed to go to their regular doctor with these unusual ailments. However they don't seem to mind coming to a studio and having a camera broadcast the innermost workings of their naughty bits to the nation. To give you some sort of example of what we are subjected to every week, I shall tell you some of the ones I've seen (and I've only seen a couple of episodes). The one I remember most was the young man who had a... well, he had... well, it was sorta to do with his butt crack... well, he had a lot of hair growing in his... and, well, he... see, I can't do it. It's too embarrassing. But you can check it out if you want - they have a website... with video clips... oy vey. It's at

But it's not just limited to this show. On ITV in the a.m. you have Phillip Schofield, former Children's BBC presenter and now sorta-serious journalist (just kidding - there's no way that his oeuvre could be considered serious journalism) co-anchor of ITV's This Morning which recently shocked the nation by showing a live demo of how us guys should be checking our (ahem) balls, which apparently we should do ALL the time. Well, Kojak, let me clue you in - we are guys. We need no provocation or incentive to touch our packages ever. We DO do it all the time. Probably even more than that. But the week before that they had another live demo of Sex Positions for the Over-60s. I kid you not. (It's OK, the senior citizens were dressed).

This sort of stuff would definitely not fly in the United States. Your Bill O'Reillys and your Sean Hannitys and Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins and all the other tea-bagging loose cannon political loons and their friends the religio-nutters at the 700 Club and TBN would have a field day, with outraged cries of FILTH and PERVERSION and so on and so forth. C'mon, you know they would. Imagine Dr. Phil doing a live nutsack or boobie inspection. Or on second thoughts, don't. Imagine the cast of The View doing it. Aah. That's much better.

So why is American media so uptight when compared to its UK counterparts? Why is "The Land Of The Free", "The Land Of Opportunity", "Home Of The Brave", the country that produces about 90% of the porn on the planet, so sensitive about swear words and nudity? Why can you only see uncensored rude material on pay channels in the USA, when you can turn on your TV after about 9pm here in the UK and see expletive-laden stand-up comedy shows such as Russell Howard's Good News? My friends, it's no use asking me, I'm simply asking rhetorically. I don't have the answer. But it's probably got something to do with money and religion. After all, US currency does say on it "In God We Trust".

No God references on English money, no sirree. The Church of England does not have a tight grip on the BBC or ITV. We have very few evangelists on TV, and the ones that are on are usually satellite broadcasts of TBN shows anyway, and most Brits probably consider them a bit of a joke with their glistening cardboard hairdos and their impassioned cries of PRAISE-UH JEE-ZUSS-UH! It's like like a parody of itself.

So as usual I have managed to say a whole lot without actually making a point or accomplishing anything. I guess the only thing I can conclude at the end of this is one of two things: either

(a) We Brits are just a bunch of foul-mouthed perverts, or

(b) You Americans are just a bunch of uptight assholes.

However, as a Brit who lived in the States for 18 years, I can safely say that both statements are false. And somewhat true.


Ruprecht said...

Oh ... you made you're point all right Mr. Hickmott (two T's, no N's):

I'm an American, thus an uptight asshole. (I prefer term asshat. It is all about me, after all. And, if that's the case, I think I've adopted a new theme song:

Love and Rockets, Ruprecht

Jeff Hickmott said...

Cheers matey!