Category Archives: radio

The Archers gets it right

As a parent of a child with Down’s Syndrome (we prefer that term to “Down’s Syndrome child/person”) and occasional Archers listener I was impressed how sensitively the writers handled last week’s storyline involving a couple who are told that the child they are expecting will have Down’s Syndrome.

In particular the way the consultant revealed the results of the tests showing the baby had Down’s was almost a textbook example of how it should be done. Too often, doctors in these situations have out of date attitudes and information and end up traumatising the parents. “You can get rid of it, you know” is not as uncommon a phrase as we’d hope.

Almost, because the consultant could have been a bit warmer and reassuring and because her speeches sounded like she was reading from the Down’s Syndrome Association literature! The latter is hardly a complaint though.


Save the Radio Four Theme

I’ve been quiet of late, not because nothing has happened to me but because none of the things that have happened to me have stirred me to put fingers to keyboard. Well, something has happened that has done the requisite stirring.

BBC Radio 4 is planning to stop playing their “UK Theme” at 5.30 am. This is an orchestral arrangement of traditional songs from the four nations of the UK that starts every day’s programming. Much loved by insomniacs and early risers, it has, for many, become a comforting and uplifting soundtrack to pre-dawn preparations for the day: the groping for the alarm clock’s snooze button, the bleary-eyed shambling into the bathroom and fumbled coffee making. Unashamedly old-fashioned, its stirring melodies manage to be both reasssuring and uplifting just when you need some reassurance and uplift – er, -ment.

So incensed is one listener, he has produced a web site with a petition to sign. Sign it and lobby your MP. Raise Hell!

Save the Radio Four Theme

Real meat, Spam and Jung

To continue yesterday’s food theme, I found The Real Meat Company after they got an airing on BBC2 last night. They offer meat which has been reared humanely and is properly hung and probably tastes a lot better. When I’m back in the earning way, I’m tempted to celebrate by ordering something nice from them.

Lycos Europe has launched a screensaver called “Make Love Not Spam” which sends traffic to the websites advertised in the junk email we all get. The idea is that the spammers’ bandwidth bills go up as the websites respond to the fake traffic. Yes, we all want to hit back at the spammers, but is it legal and does it only generate more bandwidth, slowing down the net for everyone?

If you are in a profound mood, Melvyn Bragg’s BBC Radio 4 series on the history of ideas was good this morning. It was about Jung, the famous and influential Swiss psychologist who had a famous spat with Freud. He rocked the psychoanalytical boat by suggesting that sex wasn’t behind absolutely everything and believed that the natural outcome of therapy was a spiritual worldview, contrasting with the Freudian perspective which saw a materialist/rationalist worldview as the ultimate outcome of successful psychotherapy. He also influenced some of the thinking behind the New Age movement and created a branch of psychotherapy, to the extent that if you meet a shrink at a party, your opening gambit can be “Are you a Jungian or a Freudian?” And did you know, he wrote a book on flying saucers? Oh yes.

Anyway, listen to the programme again here or download it in MP3 format and burn it to a CD for your in-car listening pleasure.