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Russian Roulette Sunday: The Trouble With 7 Reasons

Posted on September 19, 2010 in Russian Roulette Sunday | 2 comments

Howdy! I’ll give you two guesses as to who is writing this. Wrong! Correct! Yes, it’s me, Jon. Now for those of you who read 7 Reasons on a daily basis (I.E.: Marc) you’ll know that on Wednesday of this week I wrote a rather scathing piece about the modern day Blue Peter. I think it’s horrendous. This belief is not irrational, I did actually watch it. In my piece I criticised a lot of things. The presenters, the props and the theme tune to name just three. Mainly my angst was with the presenters though. I, rather harshly in hindsight, described them as ‘idiots’. I retract that now. They are not ‘idiots’. They’re just ‘playing idiots’. And there is a big distinction. I am sure many have read some of the stuff I have written on this site (Thursday for example) and thought I am an idiot. I’m not really, but I do act like one. For entertainment purposes. My own entertainment.

The reason I bring this up, is that one of the Blue Peter presenters, Andy Akinwolere, contacted 7 Reasons about the piece. It was hard to tell if he was annoyed, baffled or frustrated by my words, but I was glad he challenged me. Not because it means 7 Reasons is being read by an ever expanding audience, but because he believed I was wrong. And that’s great. I loved his passion. I loved the fact that he was compelled to say, ‘Oi Lee! What the hell are you on about? You’re wrong. So wrong!’ Or words to that effect anyway. At least, I think he thought I was wrong. Like, I say, it was hard to tell. Either way, after I had got over the rather boyish ‘ooh look, I have annoyed a Blue Peter presenter’ phase, I began to realise what this meant.

Much of my better, and some would say funnier, posts are based around me attacking/belittling/ripping to shreds a person/song/film/book. Janet Street-Porter, Tracy Emin, Owl City and the New Radicals have all faced the wrath of Jonathan Lee. Now the automatic assumption would be that I have an intense dislike of all of those. In fact, the truth is that I don’t. I am fairly indifferent to Janet Street-Porter (unless she talks). I am fairly indifferent to Tracy Emin (unless she tries to convince me that she’s an artist). I quite like Owl City’s Fireflies (despite the lyrics making no sense at all). I am very fond of the New Radical’s Someday We’ll Know (again, despite the absurd lyrics). And that I guess is the trouble with 7 Reasons. Sometimes, unless you are me, you don’t get the irony involved in some of these pieces. Just look at the comments beneath 7 Reasons The New Radicals Should Have Done Their Research Properly. It’s fair to say I am not on their Christmas card list.

Admittedly there is a difference between the New Radicals piece and the Blue Peter piece. One I like, the other I certainly don’t. And I think that’s the point. Despite all the abuse I received about the New Radicals post, I still like it. The abuse doesn’t bother me, in fact I think it’s quite amusing. I guess that’s the sadist in me. The Blue Peter piece though, I no longer like. And when I wrote it, I did. Whether Andy Akinwolere has pricked my conscience I don’t know, though I expect he has. I feel bad, not for criticising the props (balloons instead of rulers?), but for criticising the presenters. As I said before, I am not an idiot, but I do act like one. I suspect (and hope) that the current Blue Peter presenters do exactly the same. All be it for an audience that is twenty years younger than I. Fundamentally, that is what is wrong with the Blue Peter piece. I didn’t take the act of idiocy into account. Just as those who lambasted me for the New Radicals piece didn’t take my act of idiocy into account.

The reason I have written this, is not because we didn’t have any ideas for Russian Roulette Sunday this week, but because I genuinely find it to be an interesting development. As a writer. Only time will tell, but I hope that I will now write more considered 7 Reasons posts. Dare I say it, a bit like Marc.

I can only apologise if you are now bored and were in fact hoping for another film or a picture of Marc’s friend Katey wearing a cardboard cut-out of my face. And yes, one does exist.

Incidentally, I have asked Andy if he’d like to write, ‘7 Reasons You Are Completely Wrong About Blue Peter’. And I really hope he does. Because if he doesn’t think I am wrong, then he really should move on to Newsround now.

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  1. This has to be one of my favourite Sunday posts. Not for it’s humour (although I did weep with laughter at the comments on the new radicals piece) but for interest and insight. Don’t stop acting like an idiot too much, it’s to our entertainment as well as yours.

  2. Thanks Simon. I won’t stop being an idiot, I’ll just stop the way in which I go about it!

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