The Front


The best lilm ever: the people have spoken

Poll vaulting

We’re deluged by opinions: stop reading now. M’Jor'ilf'): Jason Hall

o what's with this opinion piece anyway"? Has there hccn any other

time in human history when there hayc heen more outlets l‘or the

loudmouthed to \oicc their hall-baked ideas to the doughy—hraincd'.’ ()nline lorums. Viewer-Voting on reality TV. national opinion polls. weh-hased slll'\c_\‘s. premium rate phone-ins. talk-radio shows cycn this \cry column. You'yc got something to get till your chest'.’ There‘s a platform for you somewhere. Why not sound the all-ahoard and start letting oil steam‘.’

I‘ll tell you why not. ()pinions suck especially other people‘s. Why should I care about your opinion’.’ And why sliotild you giyc two squirts oi gas l'rom a rat’s rotten ass ahout minc'.’ Personal opinions are best kept personal and only the arrogant and the loolish would think otherwise. There‘s nothing humhle about the need to force an opinion down some poor sap’s throat irrespectiyc oi how ol’tcn you might prelix cycry rash statement with: ‘ln my humhlc opinion . . .'

'l‘he pi'ohleni is that our news media doesn't see it this way. In fact. it seems all-too-keen to solicit our two-pence worth and sell it hack at an artilicially inflated yaluc. line and dandy when it comes to inane triyia such as the greatest cyer Britons‘. But when we‘re talking ahotit whether or not to go to war or how we yote in a coming election. I really don't want to he asking the audience or phoning a friend. The public

\‘olcd Slur ll'urs as the best film of all lims‘. i'eiiiemher'.’ So when the media cites the and

results oi a telephone poll as credihle _ eyidcnce. it’s enough to make anyone roar a news medla (‘h ‘wha ‘a-lik ' howl. ' h '

L L“ L IS t en

()1‘ course. the mother of all pointless opinions is the opinion poll itsell‘. Why should we think for one second that they are in any way repi'csentatiy‘e of what the majority thinks‘.’ 'l‘hey're fundamentally flawed. Do you value the opinion of anyone who allows themsely'cs to get collared on the high street by a clipboard-wielding asshole'.’ Do these idiots speak loi‘ you'.’ Any clued-up customer has only one thought when clocking a clipboard: get outta my way. I‘m trying to shop. You really want to hear the majority yiew'.’ 'l‘hen here is the news: the majority of the population walks right past those cliphoard guys. hangs up on telephone canyassers and lllL‘\ written questionnaires under ‘Stop Wasting my Time. 1 (lot .\'ails to Paint.

()pinions suck and news media is their l)yson. We may think w e'i'e contributing to the debate when we add our Vote to their meaningless polls htit we‘re only extending the myth ol’ their relevancy. What kind of existential angst is it that makes us so keen to trade listening to the debate for saying our hit'.’ We're behaving like reckless Vandals. our opinions reduced to yerhal gralliti. In a conceited attempt to assert our own \Vlilll]. we're spray-painting the walls of an uninterested world. But haye we really said any more than ‘I wo/ 'ere'l’

You want my opinion‘.’ (io ask yourself why.


10 THE LIST ‘24 ' .‘.':a'

1 Glasgow Comedy Festival Comedy A damn fine line-up has been gathered together f0r Glasgow's own fun- filled extravaganza. led by Johnny Vegas. Frank Carson and Nina Conti (plus Monkey). See feature. page 16. Various venues. Glasgow.

2 XBox Live/Gameboy Advance

Games Two hot pieces of hardware hit the shops this fortnight. both making further strides to revolutionise the games world. See review. page 103. Microsoft/Nintendo.

3 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Film The boy Clooney‘s directorial debut is a riot as we hear the (pOSSibly) true story of Chuck Barris. a gameshow host who claims to have been a CIA hitman. See reView. page 24. General re/ease.

4 Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!

Dance Choreography‘s enfant magnifique brings us his new adventure. a Yuletide- infused adaptation of ETA Hoffmann‘s classic winter's tale. See feature, page 14. Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.

5 Texas Chain Saw Massacre DVD Tobe Hooper's notorious horror landmark still rips audiences down the middle. Here's a chance to see the film and watch cast and crew recall the hell they endured making it. See reView. page 109. Blue Dolphin.

6 The Entertainer

Theatre Ex-EastEnders star Caroline Paterson directs John Osborne‘s play about an ageing music hall star and the crumbling Britain he thrived in. See feature, page 13. Citizens’ Theatre. Glasgow.

7 Roobarb and Custard

TV The wildest cartoon of the early 705 (and that‘s saying something) riffs its way back onto our screens with reruns of all the classic episodes. See review. page 1 10. Five.

8 Mark Thomas

Comedy The self-proclaimed Tommy Trinder of political stand-up brings his caustic wit to Iraqi affairs while also sparing some worry over the Gilded Balloon's demise. See preview, page 69. Traverse & Festival Theatre, Edinburgh.

9 Manitoba

Music Up in Flames is a gloriously trippy and rule—haemorrhaging electronica/pop fusion which owes m0re to the Byrds than Aphex Twin. See review, page 106. Leaf.

10 Nick Ryan

Books It’s hard enough to investigate the far right while undercover but Nick Ryan was upfront when he infiltrated some Nazi sects. Homeland is the impressive result. See review, page 104. Mainstream.