Monday, October 5, 2009

Look South

Good evening and welcome to Look South. On tonight's show, I'll be taking a look into the curious issue of Dan Bantam's sexuality, the form and function of my office sweepstake X-Factor pick, Miss Frank, as well as looking ahead to tonight's big Pro Evolution Soccer matches and tomorrow's weather.

But before I do that, I'd just like to have a quick recap on the status of a certain Facebook group. I'm talking about The Friends of Barry Newsdesk of course. Just five days ago, I took the online law of friendship into my own hands.

I had become frustrated at my inability to drive up the blog's followership and having tried emotionally blackmailing a small group of Facebook friends, using nothing more than a six sided die and a threat of de-friending my quest for greater uptake had come to naught. Enraged I decided to widen my threat, I set up a group called the Friends of Barry Newsdesk, then invited every single on of my Facebook friends to join. A failure to join up would mean you'd be put on the hit list and, like Beatriz Carvahlo, be de-friended.

To be honest, I didn't think anyone would bother joining really. However, I was wrong, my main French pal Mess joined up. Then my fav Californian babe also joined up, Jennifer Walker Shannen, saying: "Sorry I was late to the party. You know you're my favorite, though, right?"

How cool is that? But it gets even better, ace blogger Mr London Street also signed up, using his real name, which I will not reveal here, in case he prefers to blog in cognito. He said: "Barry = legend."

LEGEND! Like Bob Marley.

Then, globe trotting around the world, my fav kiwi follower Megan Rose signed up saying: "Ooo, I love this. I get to be both a rogue stalker and a legitimate fan all at the same time. Good work Barry Newsdesk."

Well, I was bowled over with joy. At the time of writing, the Friends of Barry Newsdesk has 24 members (but that includes 23 really).

The really great news though, is my blog followershipness has bounced back from 24 to 26 again!

That, my friends, is the POWER of social media.

Anyway, the rampant success of the Friends of Barry Newsdesk has caused me to have a serious long look at the blog, and I've decided to get back to some Citizen Journalism. Which is why I started writing today's post in the style of a regional news show. I know this re-focus will certainly please Tennyson ee Hemingway, as he commented not so long ago: "Well Baz, hopefully this will get you back to doing the Citizen Journalism we love. I've missed that part of your blog lately."

Have you noticed what I've been doing readers? I've been using quotes. That's something proper journalists do to pad out their stories.

I'm also hoping that my re-focus will bring back Mr C, whose comments I have missed. Maybe he's sulking because I haven't thrown the welcome back party? Don't worry Mr C, I will, I really will. I just want to make sure things are back on the straight and narrow first.


I'm starting to think that Dan Bantam might be on the verge of telling me that he prefers boys to girls. As older readers of the blog will know, Mr Bantam (my boss) became Dan (my flatmate) when not so long ago he split up with his wife Clare. I had always thought he was a big hit with the ladies, he certainly takes care of his appearance, professes to be a wizard in the kitchen and almost all his friends are girls.

The thing is readers, I'm not stupid, I'm a man of the world. And, when the other night at an office karaoke party, Dan did a cracking Lola, I realised the score. It's a mixed up muddled up world readers. Each to his own and all that. But I have to admit, I do feel a little bit uncomfortable walking around the flat in my pants these days. Dan has made several disparaging remarks. More than Gill ever used to make.

Then, after his customary night out in Clapham at the weekend I heard more than one voice in his room. It was clear that he and A.N.Other were a bit merry, pretty soon I heard his stereo fire up Lady Gaga's insufferable new album and there was the unmistakable noise of the beast with two backs.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not a homophobic, but under my roof?! I think I'm going to have to ask Dan to respect my wishes and not bring fellers back to the flat readers. I think it's only fair, particularly as I've not had much luck lately in that department. Not the fellers department readers, I don't bat for that side.

Sometimes though, when I see how happy Dan is these days I wish I was a bit gay. Maybe a bisexual or something. The best of both worlds. It would up my potential target market by 50 per cent. Although, I wouldn't want anyone too big. I think it would be intimidating. I've heard that Indian men have got small willies, so it might be an ego boost to get one.

Anyway, since I'm exploring fresh new avenues of sexuality, I decided to take part in the office X-Factor sweepstake. I've got Miss Frank. They're a band, so Louis Walsh has got em, and they're unusual in that they all got to Boot Camp as solo artists, but weren't good enough to make it on their own so were clumped together by the judges.

Listen to me readers, I sound like a natural. But I got all this info by listing to Suzi and Dan chatting about last night's show, during which the judges chose the Final 12. I won't bore you shitless with a description of the rest of the show's entrants. Although, I have to confess the red blooded male part of me would have rather had Kandy Rain - another band composed entirely of ex-strippers. They're a bit more pleasing on the eye than Miss Frank. If you don't believe me, check out the everyone's fav newspaper, the Current Bun.

Actually, The Sun isn't everyone's fav rag, really, it's read by illiterate morons. But it is full of tits and as Dave the roofer says, you can't put a price on tits. I'm going to go off-piste here readers, but the Sun recently came out in favour of David Cameron. A famously right-wing rag in the 80s, the Sun switched its political allegiances and, if it's own PR is to be believed, almost single handedly convinced the British public to give New Labour's Tony Blair a chance.

They're not driving the political agenda of this country readers, they're bandwagon jumping mercenaries who prey on the 'minds' senseless tit-lovers. I know that David Cameron will get in readers, but I'm a socialist at heart, always have been and it'll be a dark day indeed.

The Sun's sudden switch back to the Tories seems a tad desperate. It would be like me pretending to me a Man Utd fan last season and then deciding that I'd follow Chelsea this year.

Speaking of football (and seamlessly getting the show back on track), tonight will see Newsdesk Utd, my Pro Evolution Football team take to the field for the first time in ages. I have to confess, I've been looking at adverts for Fifa 10 by EA Sport. I've been a Konami Pro Evo man ever since I flogged my Megadrive and bought a Playstation. But I suppose if I can consider a life of homosexuality, and if the Sun can switch political party, then I can try out the Pro Evo rival.

It looks absolutely mint I must say. Until now I've resisted the urge to buy a Playstation 3 and have soldiered on with the PS2. But it's getting to the stage now where the difference in quality is like comparing the EA Sports Fifa 95 on the Megadrive with the PES5 I play. Things have moved on, and maybe it's time for me to move on. But not before I finish just one more championship winning campaign with the old boys Newsdesk Utd.

I've got some Cobra chilling in the fridge and I've been looking forward to this all day. Dan's out at pilates so I've got the place to myself.

Before I go though. I thought I would have a crack at forecasting the weather. They always do the weather last on the news. The thing is, I'm not convinced that they really know much about forecasting weather at the met office any more than someone simply guessing tomorrow's weather based on the what it was like today.

So, today it was a little bit chilly, quite grey and overcast, with fairly persistent drizzle. I think tomorrow, will be slightly drier, and maybe a little bit windier.

And that's THE NEWS.



  1. Wow Baz loved this post ! As you probably know I'm so glad we met - that's deffo the magic about internet (and it works for love too !) and I will quote Lady GaGa : "I'm your biggest fan, I'll follow you until you love me", altho you already told me you loved me. But that's for the image !

    Twitter helped me a bit increasing my number of visits but I'm still stuck here ! Still, I'm thinking of deleting my blog (not my account) and open a wordpress one, love their design, I'll keep you updated. It's just that I can't be 100% honest when I post (you may know why) !

    As for XFactor, I can't watch, but The Sun published a rubbish story about the Sugababes today, it might became a subject for a citizen journalist ! ;-) loooove the babes !

    Anyway, I just sent invites for your group on FB. Roll on BarryNewsDesk !!!!


  2. Ah yes, Newsdesk is BACK!! And you can definitely count me as happy.

  3. You know, I would sign up in an instant but I don't do Facebook. I've been holding out forever because I'm non-conformist and edgy and I had an account years ago and got sick of being effing POKED so I deleted it. But I'm there in spirit. Oh yes.

  4. Mess - thanks for your recruitment efforts. If you do ditch Blogger for Wordpress let me know how it goes. I've heard Wordpress is better to use....

    Glad you're pleased TeH.

    And, yes Ms Assassin, I know what you mean about about Facebook. It's surely a flash in the pan. Like Friends Reunited but more irritating.