John Walker's Electronic House

Rum Doings Episode 90: Overzealous Italian Waiters

by on Nov.25, 2011, under Rum Doings, The Rest

John would love to tell you more about what happens in Episode 90 of Rum Doings, but he has to leave. No, really – he’s got a meeting in Guildford, and if he doesn’t get ready to go now he’ll be late. Nick is furious with John for not being better prepared and writing a fuller description of this week’s episode, but really Nick should just be thankful John got it uploaded at all, and with Nick’s expectations of John set so low, you’d think he’d be pleasantly surprised more often.

John can tell you that we talk about the Occupy protests and the police response, as well as other topics in quick succession in a manner to which listeners will likely be accustomed. And it’s all tremendously good. And it’s definitely not episode 91, no matter what those two idiots say.

As ever, please consider writing a review on iTunes. It’s a really good way of raising our profile. Thank you to everyone who has – we’ve some lovely reviews. The more that appear, the more likely iTunes is to take us more seriously. And keep on tweeting and so forth. Please – it’s the only thing we ask of you.

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24 Comments for this entry

  • sinister agent

    Banoffee cheesecake, like chocolate flapjack, is a case of two rights making a wrong.

  • Mister k

    See my rule is that chocolate is better, so a chocolate tart wins every time. I think you are a little unfair to the police. they are people given unusual ower and people abuse power. I would not condemn all politicians either. I would hold them in suspicion however, which people generally do not do.

  • Xercies

    I think a lot of times Police are in a difficult situation especially about protests and stuff like that. But there is times where the police are quite malicious sometimes to even the most nicer protesters.

    I have to say Big Bang theory is the worst comedy I think I have ever seen, the characters are some of the worst nerd stereotypes imaginable and the jokes are just as bad. Though that isn’t surprising since it comes from the same creator as two and a Half Men which is a black hole in comedy terms.

  • Alex

    Big Bang Theory is basically Two and a Half Men with nerds jokes instead of aging manwhore jokes. It’s the type of thing that won’t offend anyone if it’s on, but it’s *lazy*.

    Back when Star Trek was on the air, its writers would type “[tech]” into their scripts and wait until later to fill in the technobabble at a later date. BBT feels the same way with its nerd jokes.

  • Jambe

    I don’t like the “I was sat” vernacular but it doesn’t particularly bother me. It would be endearing if it didn’t sound unpleasant; it seems aesthetically annoying.

    Fat police are perfectly, ironically indicative of the character of America as a whole, aren’t they? Overweight, intellectually slow, control-obsessed, childlike in their reactionary tendencies, etc. And yet I still like living here! Around here (southern Indiana) the bike police are incredibly fit and very nice and approachable and helpful, but the cruiser police are nearly universally useless and almost seem sedated.

    wrt Bush: we Americans also didn’t care when Clinton et al repealed Glass-Steagall and allowed the union of commercial and investment banks. We did nothing when politicians from both parties rallied behind the idea that “all working Americans should own a house regardless of their credit history”. We did nothing about the proliferation of adjustable-rate mortgages, predatory lending and credit card firms, manipulative accounting and market-instrument creation, etc — in fact, in most cases, we were completely complacent during this period and that only encouraged such nonsense.

    Bush wasn’t a great president, but neither was his predecessor (and his successor ftm). Most people seem to fail to grasp that neither major party is appreciably different when it comes to the major activities responsible for our current woes. It’s also questionable how much influence a president has over such affairs; Congress is full of samey, vanilla mouthpieces from districts that have been fixed and gerrymandered for generations, and they produce our legislation. But clearly the Democratic reps are better, because hey, at least they’re liberal!

    I’d agree that Bush’s wars were misguided and hugely wasteful, but Congress authorized it, and many Democrats in both the House and the Senate voted in favor of it, and continued to do so for years. Each party has their fingers in that nasty business. The Republicans more so, certainly, but neither party is scot-free. fwiw, I’m a fairly-liberal independent voter and I loathe both major parties.

    It was good to hear another episode!

  • Alex B

    Curling is a masterful sport, and you two should be ASHAMED.

    I am never listening to Rum Doings again. This is the last straw.

  • Hidden_7

    I’m with Nick’s brother on the Big Bang Theory. I’ll admit, part of it is my being a tad snobbish about shows with an audience. They feel stagey and overacted, and I just prefer the aesthetics of a show being naturalistic. I’d rather the humour come from an amusing thing happening, or a character tic, than from a character basically just delivering a joke, and while the laugh-tracked ilk are not exclusively the latter at the cost of the former, I find the ratio does err toward “someone is telling a joke, now.”

    However, the main reason I dislike BBT isn’t because of its format, because I believe such a format can easily be overcome, and I am a fan of more classic sit-coms, but because I think it generally isn’t very good very often. The only aspect of the show that ever draws a laugh from me is Sheldon, who is a character that works in the format, and is well acted, and even sometimes well written. The rest of the show, however, I find groan-inducing, and the character of Howard is just a black hole of comedy misery.

    I also find the show can be quite mean-spirited at times, with its confusion over whether the main characters are our sympathetic hero-protagonists, or irredeemable social failures, acting as basically point and laugh circus freaks. Basically, do you count yourself as the same sort as the cast, and you are laughing at a joke that is making reference to obscure geek trivia, or do you look down on them and people like them, and you are laughing at a joke that basically just points out that nerds are nerdy. The show doesn’t seem to make up its mind, and that’s the thing that bothers me most about it.

    That might just be a personal hang-up I’m reading into it, however.

    Unlike Nick’s brother, however, I don’t use John’s liking of The Big Bang Theory to disregard all his recommendations. That would be silly. He likes Community, after all, which is a good test for sensible people. I find I usually agree with John on the things he likes, and his analysis of said things is often well-reasoned and insightful. I just chalk the things I disagree with him on up to the fact that different humans are different.

  • Hidden_7

    Addendum: Absolutely shameless link to a blog post I have previously written on the subject of my perception of the Big Bang Theory’s mean-spirit. In case anyone inexplicably would like me to further elaborate on that point.

  • Gassalasca

    I’ve just pressed stop to come here and confirm my complaint regarding John’s frequent use of “I was sat”.
    I shall go back to the episode now.

  • Xercies


    Thats exactly how I find it as well, I have no idea whether I should be laughing with the characters or at the characters and it can never make up its mind.

  • Alex B

    I’m in two minds as to the direction of BBT.

    On the one hand, it’s essentially Nerd Blackface; massively stereotyping in order to get laughs, and thus perpetuate the assumption that all nerds must be like this.

    On the other hand, Neil DeGrasse Tyson raised a good point by pointing out that previously, the only time you would see scientists would be if they were evil, trying to destroy the world. Now, they’re funny and lovable.

  • Simon T

    That barrage of insults at curlers and death metal had me laughing out loud in a busy london street. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

  • Aeneas

    I long for a return to the heady days of episode 40

  • mister k

    Theres no doubts that BBT is a flawed show, but I think its kinda ok- it is really well researched, and it does actually have some reasonable humour in it. I can’t really disagree with the critisisms, but I think the show works enough for me to enjoy it in spite of them.

  • mister k

    I propose the preceding link as a more cogent defence of the series.

  • Xercies

    Umm well i didnt lsugh, what was meant to be funny about it and clearly the audience was laughing at them. Yeah i think i will stick with community

  • IcyBee

    What did the caterpillar say when he went to the moon?

    “How did I get here?”
    “Well… I was sat listening to Rum Doings episode 90, and I heard John Walker accuse someone else of being a Comedy Snob.”
    “I snorted so loudly, I propelled myself all the way here”.


    You’re right about John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme (sketch show) – it was absolutely brilliant.

    He also did a really funny piece about the News of the World, just before they were forced to shut it down… on The Now Show – so you will have probably missed it.

    Please have him on again if you can.

  • Alex

    If you’re going to pull out BBT youtube clips as a defence of the show, prepare for a counter-tube:

  • Fiyenyaa

    @ Alex
    My god, the canned laughter in that clip is the very worst. Apparently the words “my computer came with Windows 7” are worthy of a laugh.

    In fairness, I’ve never seen the show before, so perhaps there is some bewildering context that makes it funny – but still.

  • Nick Mailer

    I think we can all agree here that John, despite being a lovely chap, urbane and witty, can have horrific lapses in taste. Margarine, and The Big Bang Theory are just two examples.

  • Alex B

    He makes up for it with his love for Community, however.

  • Gassalasca

    Margarine is far more egregious than BBT, it must be said.

  • Getoo

    Which was the defence of BBT and which was the counter-tube? Both were unfunny.

  • Blissett

    Modern Family > Community > Most other things > Big Bang Theory