Entertainment

Dear Mr Alstead. Like many other people, I watched your performance (and it was a performance) in front of the UK Public Accounts Select Committee yesterday. Margaret Hodge, who chairs the Committee, has suggested that UK taxpayers should vote with their feet and have their coffee elsewhere. I will be heeding her words and doing the same. Why? A Reuters report last month showed that Starbucks had paid no corporation, or income, tax in the UK in the past three years. Three years. Here’s another jaw-dropping fact: The world's biggest coffee chain, of which you are the financial wizard (or perhaps illusionist might be more accurate) paid only 8.6 million pounds in total UK tax over 13 years during which it recorded sales of 3.1 billion pounds. Your company have also admitted that the...
4,359
Dear BBC I have not been with you from the start. I am sorry about that, but I was only born in 1955, not 1922. But I’ve been with you for most of my life so far. I know there’s a bit of fuss and bother on at the moment. But it seems to me that journalists love writing about themselves and creating big stories from small ones, and crises from big stories. Are the two recent dropped balls in relation to Jimmy Saville and Newsnight damaging? Yes, but only in the short term. You have built up a reputation for top-notch reporting over these 90 years, and have an enviable reputation. You are probably the world’s best broadcasting company (or corporation as it is now) and the trouble with that is, there’s only one way to go. Down. That’s why when the BBC makes a mistake it’s like the Queen...
2,902
Dear Lord Patten. I thought you were a man of integrity, and the right man for the job as Chairman of the BBC Trust, the independent free-of-Parliament organisation that is entrusted with overseeing a British Broadcasting Corporation in terms of value for money and quality. You said yesterday that the BBC needs to "get a grip" and you indicated that more heads will roll following the resignation of the Director-General, George Entwistle. Good so far. But you refuse to condemn the payment of a year’s salary to Mr Entwistle despite the fact that he presided over two months’ worth of ineffectual management of the BBC. In what other organisation would you be rewarded for being weak and failure of leadership? You say that the decision to pay him nearly a quarter of a million pounds of...
3,202
Dear Simon Rhythmix and the X Factor: Part 2 Well, here we are again. To summarise; on 23 September 2011 Simco (a company largely owned by you) tried to take control of the identity Rhythmix for use by some contestants on The X Factor UK using trademark methods available to them in Europe. Simco and X Factor did this in the full knowledge that "Rhythmix" was an existing trademarked name of a music charity that works with vulnerable young people. The use of the name was announced on the X Factor on 1 October, and the Charity wrote to Simco, Talkback Thames, ITV, Syco, X Factor and their legal representatives repeatedly in the subsequent three weeks asking for the name to be changed or for Simco to stop seeking to control the identity. On 26 October at 9am we wrote publicly to you...
5,057
Dear Mr. MacFarlane, Oh where to begin? Not being trans yourself, I don't necessarily expect you to be able to recognize a sympathetic portrayal of a trans character when you see one, and given that, I don't expect you to be able to write one either. Telling us we're stupid because we don't recognize how truly "sympathetic" your characterization of transsexuals is makes about as much sense as me trying to lecture you about the technical aspects of animation. You're an animator, you know about animation. I'm a transsexual, I know what hurts and what doesn't when pop culture decides to talk about me. And trust me, being characterized as a monster so completely disgusting that I could provoke a heterosexual male to vomit hurts. It very likely hurts cisgender women as well because...
3,104
Dear Angus, I know now what Rock really is. Rock is the full sensory experience of AC/DC. Your amplified affection of Blues, graphic show of style, and ringing canon blasts put us in another place, far from our routine. I wonder how AC/DC came to be. What is its origin? What do the symbols mean? What lies at its core? These questions apparently point to you. I look for clues underneath sensations. Anxious individuals stand above all of Phillips Arena’s seats waiting for the show. At the height of our anxiety, a cartoon as tall as the space starts. A loud train carries calm passengers at unreal speeds. The view pans to the train engine. In customary schoolboy attire with shovel in hand, you frantically fuel the nearly out of control train, headed anywhere fast, fighting diversions...
2,842

Pages