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CMU Beef Of The Week #292: Tidal v Universal

By | Published on Friday 5 February 2016


Time-keeping’s a funny thing, isn’t it? I like to think that I am okay at it. At least, professionally speaking, I think it’s important to arrive on time for things. Though I also have a tendency to get lost and misjudge how long it takes to travel to places. It is for this reason that I have missed more than one plane in my life. Okay, three. It’s three. I’ve missed three planes. Shut up.

Anyway, it really makes me feel guilty when I’m late for meetings, so I really try hard to always be on time. And I think I roughly do a good job of it. Still, if the other person is late I always act like I only just arrived too. Because maybe that person is feeling bad like I would, and there’s no reason to start a meeting off with nit-picking over how long I had to stand on the street. I have a smartphone, I’ll always be fine.

Conversely, in my personal life, my wife and I have a bit of a reputation for always being late for things. To the point that our friends on the whole just don’t bother turning up on time to meet us for stuff, because they can be pretty sure we won’t be there. I don’t know what it is, but something about the two of us together really messes up both of our time-keeping skills.

If we both concentrate really hard on it then we can get to places on time – sometimes even early – but mostly we’re just swanning about with all the time in the world one minute, then the next moment we’re in a mad panic, rushing around with three minutes to make it somewhere that’ll take us at least 30 to get to, if we’re lucky.

No one’s going to stop being friends with us because we’re a little bit late though, are they? I mean, there are plenty of other reasons people might want to stop being friends with me, but slightly shoddy time-keeping isn’t one. Especially if you’ve just cultivated that fact into something like an underwritten character trait in a mildly amusing sitcom.

Not sure why I chose to say “mildly amusing” there. I was thinking of ‘Friends’, which I never really found funny at all. But then I remembered that a lot of people do like it and I said “mildly amusing” out of a fear of social conflict. I didn’t name the sitcom though, so there really wasn’t any need. Not sure what that was all about.

‘Friends’, though. Come on, if you really think about it, it was a pretty terrible show. Maybe not as bad as ‘Big Bang Theory’, which is fucking dreadful, but it definitely wasn’t very funny. That’s the problem with sitcoms. They’re prone to become more sit than com. And ‘Friends’ really had that problem from the start. If anything it became more of a soap opera. Is character development the enemy of comedy? No, probably not, but in some cases it can override comedy in a way that is detrimental to it.

I guess Alan Partridge has developed as a character over time, and he’s stayed funny. Though I suppose the development has been quite gradual, and really he hasn’t changed that much since the days of ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’. Perhaps the film developed him a bit too much. Though I’d say the problem with that was more that the whole thing descended a bit too much into farce once the story left the radio studio, and they sort of lost control of the story. But I enjoyed it other than that.

I mean, if you really want a comedy film that loses control of its story, the ‘League Of Gentlemen’ one’s it. What the hell happened there? The second half of that was really awful.

It was on TV one Christmas and my family all wanted to watch it, because they hadn’t seen it before. I saw it in the cinema and told them not to bother, that they’d regret it. But they insisted. So I started watching it with them, because I assumed they’d give up and we could watch something else quite quickly. But then it starts pretty well. It’s quite funny and engaging. They all told me they couldn’t understand why I was so down on it. And to be honest, I couldn’t understand it either.

Then I got a phonecall and left the room for 20 minutes. When I came back into the living room my family were all sat there with faces like they’d been through some terrible ordeal. The change is quite sudden with that film, and once it’s happened, it doesn’t come back from it. Though the line, “they put me in a box with my coat on” is quite good in context. It’s not enough though. Really, not enough. Never watch that film, if you haven’t already. Your life will be better for it.

Anyway, I was talking about time-keeping. As well as being late, a pretty bad thing in professional settings is being early. Don’t turn up dead early for things when people have allotted a time in their busy day to speak to you. Maybe they will be able to drop everything at a moment’s notice, but you also run the risk of messing up their whole schedule, and that doesn’t create a good impression. Not at all.

Last week Rihanna’s new album appeared on Tidal slightly earlier than intended. Then it was taken down again. And then reappeared as scheduled. Tidal blamed Universal for the error. Universal said it was Tidal’s fault. It was quite the squabble. Definitely the beef of the week. Though that’s more to do with the week than the beef.