This will probably be the strangest post ever found on this blog, because it is a radical departure from every sort of post I've written; in another blog, the post wouldn't seem odd at all, but coming from me some readers will check to see if this is really Tao of D&D. Rest assured, I'll be writing another brief post in about an hour, so try to overlook this one if it is just too weird.
I watch a lot of British Television. This is partly because the British are willing to let people talk about sex openly, partly because people are allowed to swear and act like human beings, but it is MOSTLY because being smart, blatantly smart, on television is something that is celebrated and encouraged. People willfully make fun of stupidity, they denegrate behaviour which Americans and Canadians tolerate, and overall there is an attitude that, on the whole, the people who act badly are not those pointing out that there are people in the world who act badly.
There are a number of shows on you tube that can be watched, which are so different from North American television as to be from another world. These follow a premise that allows the presenters to speak in a non-scripted, witty manner, and to banter among themselves. Shows like Q.I., You Have Been Watching, Eight out of Ten Cats, News Wipe, Would I Lie to You, Was it Something I Said, The Bubble, TV Heaven Telly Hell, and the Graham Norton Show, where Americans turn up on a program where alcoholic drinking is allowed on camera and even encouraged. Watch Bill Murray get drunk on this episode as it progresses - after clearly being drunk at the start. Be warned, however, that Graham Norton is extraordinarily gay and absolutely no one cares. And, too, I'd like to throw in some radio programs, such as Heresy and The Unbelievable Truth.
Now, I like smart people. I am a smart person, and sometimes I feel as though I am the only one that exists. I also like very witty people, and very sarcastic people. And this is why, for reasons that escape me, I find myself following closely the careers of two utterly remarkable people, neither of whom could be who they are outside of Britain ... namely, Victoria Coren and David Mitchell. Who, after appearing on various panel shows after 2007, were married on November 17, 2012.
It would be impossible to explain how deeply vicious both individuals are, or how intelligent. For me, this goes a long way to summing up Mitchell, but it really is only a bit of gathering how fast the man's mind works, which is evident from watching 10 O'clock Live, which features Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne as well.
Coren has to be understood partly through episodes like this from Heresy (where she speaks with Mitchell before they got married), her hosting of Only Connect, rants like this and her obsession with poker.
I am fascinated by these two people, and I particularly enjoy the occasional comment they'll make about each other as they appear on various panel shows, where everyone in British Television knows everyone else, and will occasionally tease either him or her.
The motivation for this post, which has nothing whatsoever to do with D&D, is from this excerpt of David Mitchell's biography, David Mitchell: Back Story:
No one in the North American media would ever, ever, be this genuine. Smart people should only marry smart people.