Posts Tagged ‘videos’
In this fragile and depressed economy, I wouldn’t want to wish bad on any business. But there are times when it’s pretty obvious that a business is a serious blight to the community. Sometimes you aren’t aware of just how major a blight it’s been…
…until it’s gone.
I refer to the recent (and what appears to be major) fire at a popular nightclub on the local High Street: on the surface an unfortunate event, in reality a blessing – at least to us poor bastards who live within drunken shrieking distance of it. It happened early Sunday evening before it was due to open. I’d just arrived home from a Mitzi TV video shoot in Kensington (an arduous task, since there was engineering work on the rail line, necessitating a replacement bus service which increased my travel time by a good hour each way). I was attempting to chill out when I smelled a very nasty burning. And no, I wasn’t cooking!
My initial thought was, had Burning Man suddenly been relocated from the Nevada desert to a town located on the edge of London?
When I went to look out the window for any signs of new-age “radicals” singing “Koom-By-Ya”, I saw that the air was thick with smoke (slightly worrisome what toxins might have been IN that smoke), and it sounded as if every fire engine from every fire brigade in southeast England was heading my way. I was ready to grab Teddy and my laptop, and get the hell out.
Fortunately, such measures proved unnecessary; the smoke appeared to be slowly thinning. Just to make sure all was well and neither Burning Man nor Armageddon was taking place in the hood, I decided to find out for myself what was happening. However, no sooner did I reach the sidewalk when a neighbour called down to me from his balcony (Romeo, oh Romeo!), informing me that the entire High Street was closed off and the famous infamous nightclub had been charred. Satisfied with this explanation (he was cute, surely he wouldn’t lie to me?), I returned to the warmth and safety of my flat, where Teddy and I kicked back with some Swiss chocolate.
Well, that night was the first night in two years I heard nothing but blissful silence. No shouting, no yelling, no shrieking, no sirens – nothing but a gentle breeze and the occasional chirping of a bird (along with Ted’s occasional snore). Coincidence? When the same thing happened on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights, I had to conclude that no, it was not a coincidence, but a direct result of the fire. Clearly, the vast majority of anti-social behaviourial problems and criminal activity taking place in my town stemmed from one main source: the nightclub.
No more nightclub, no more problems.
I can’t begin to tell you what a pleasure it’s been not to hear drunken sluts shouting and shrieking till all hours, along with their chavvy male equivalents who seem to think that being a “man” means to be so inebriated they can’t even walk. Oh, and of course swapping STDs with their drunken female counterparts in a toilet or alleyway.
In the immortal words of Alf the Cockney Devil from my short story “Hell is Where the Heart is” (Getting Even: Revenge Stories): “Put the spoiled little shits in the army, that’ll make men of ‘em.” (And women, too, no doubt.) I should add that Alf’s idea of a real army was the Israeli version. Wish I could say these booze-soaked blights to modern civilisation were an anomaly. Alas, they’re more the rule than the exception in the cities and towns of Britain.
All I know is, I don’t want things to go back to how they were. In fact, I’m tempted to run for political office, if I thought I could keep this menace of a nightclub from re-opening and re-attracting the scummier residents from the less salubrious towns within commuting distance to mine. Just think what I could do if I was on the local council. We could have a Mitzi TV video featuring quirky councillors engaging in a singalong at their local pub!
Oh, yeah, I did that one already.
Okay, how about an egg and spoon race?
…It’s Mitzi TV!
And just what did you think it was, a man with three buttocks?
In case you didn’t already know (like where you been, mate?), Mitzi TV is the new web TV channel to head to for all things quirky and eccentric in London. We’ve gone from crazy pub singalongs, eating jellied eel, and chatting about classic cars with such luminaries as Formula 1 racecar driver/BBC TV presenter Tiff Needell, couture shoe designer Jimmy Choo and Batman – to Morris dancing with software geeks. And no, this wasn’t in the same episode!
Of course, I couldn’t create all this madness and mayhem without the talents of cameraman extraordinaire/stand-up diamond geezah Steve Beer and cutie-pie theme musicman extraordinaire Andrew Shatnyy (Facebook/MySpace). And let’s not forget the talents of my handsome (albeit furry) production assistant extraordinaire Teddy Tedaloo, who also provides onscreen talent.
As for those buttocks I mentioned, how do you deal with a governmental body that has all the common sense of not even one buttock?
In my never-ending quest to bring you the ever-quirky and eccentric (while still managing to stay out of the loony bin), I recently found myself entering into a rather annoying fracas with a governmental body: the Royal Parks people. I knew I should’ve cut through all those buzzing drones and biscuit-eating/tea drinking middle men (and women) and gone straight to the top, specifically HRH. Now Lizzie’s a queen who gets things done!
I am referring to a recent attempt by yours truly to line up permission to shoot a Mitzi TV video at Speaker’s Corner in London’s Hyde Park. Because it’s a “Royal” park, I knew I’d need to obtain an official okay. I mean, it wasn’t like we’d be there with a little digital camera and could subtly blend into the crowd. We run a professional operation with professional equipment. (Plus people have commented on that big-ass mike I use, so “subtle” is not the word that springs to mind when we’re talking a Mitzi TV shoot.) Since Speaker’s Corner necessitates a substantial police presence (some of the speakers and audience members can get pretty wound up apparently), I didn’t fancy being led away by the Old Bill, therefore I decided to follow the proper channels to make the shoot happen. It’s a quirky kind of event, and Mitzi TV is nothing if not quirky, so it didn’t seem likely I’d be given an “on yer bike, missus!”.
When I received an email replying to my query, I thought, hey, this is great – sounds like we’re in! Here follows the exact text that refers directly to the issue about who and what controls the area in question:
Speaker’s Corner is an integral part of Hyde Park, which is one of London’s eight Royal Parks. The Royal Parks are owned by the Crown, but were passed to the Government under the Crown Lands Act 1851 to be managed as public open space. They are now the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, who delegates their day to day management to The Royal Parks. They are funded by the taxpayer.
“Public open space.” “Funded by the taxpayer.” Well, I’m no lawyer, but this sounds like the definition of a public place – and you do not need permission to film in a public place (not yet anyway). That is why it’s called “PUBLIC.” That statement about being funded by the taxpayer put a further stamp of approval on the process, because guess who’s a taxpayer? Yeah, moi. Just to make certain there was no misinterpretation on my part as to what clearly looked to be a clear description of who controls the park, I messaged once more to confirm that I’d be allowed to shoot some video of the speakers, and asked which specific days they were there spouting off.
The reply came back that these Soapbox Annies and Alis are there on Sundays only, and yes, I would need permission to film, but my message was being forwarded to the Appropriate Party. Not wanting to waste time, I shot off an email to this A.P., explaining what I wished to do and that I’d like to take care of the details as quickly as possible. A.P. messaged back, informing me that they do not permit filming at Speaker’s Corner on Sundays, but I could phone them to discuss the matter further.
Umm… did they not just tell me that I couldn’t film there on a Sunday? So what was there to discuss, the weather? Of course we all know how the Brits love to talk about the weather.
So did this mean they’d give me permission to film at Speaker’s Corner on a day that was not a Sunday? Now forgive me if I’m wrong (or extremely stupid), but what’s the point of filming speakers at Speaker’s Corner when there aren’t any speakers there to film? This is the very question I put forth to A.P. in my reply, also mentioning the fact that plenty of people have shot videos there – how could this be possible if they needed to obtain permission? Needless to say, my email did not receive a response.
Now I have nothing against doing a bit of guerrilla filming – I’ve got more cajones than any of the men I’ve known. However, what I do have something against is being harassed (and led away by handcuffs) by the police. There’s a time and place for handcuffs – and this isn’t one of them. Besides which, London coppers aren’t as cute as they used to be. They’re getting a bit wide, if you know what I mean, looking more and more like their doughnut-eating American counterparts. So we’d better forget the handcuffs for now.
As for Mitzi TV, keep an eye out for me at Speaker’s Corner, because I don’t like taking “no” for an answer.
Guess it’s a good thing they abolished beheading in this country…
I’m starting up a fun new Web TV project (entertainment) and am inviting YOU to do the filming. If you like to have a laugh, have your own video equipment, can shoot in 16 x 9, and are located in Greater London (UK), this could be for you!
Prizes: Winners selected will receive film credit and a signed copy of one of my books. But hey, the best part of all is that you’ll get to hang out with me! How good can it possibly get?
For an idea of the kind of random madness I get up to, have a read of my blog posts.
(This contest will run indefinitely.)
To enter the competition, please provide the following in an email to: mitzi@ mitziszereto.com
-your contact details (including email and phone)
-your level of video-making experience
-links to samples of your work online (ie YouTube etc)
-video equipment available