Thursday, 26 March 2015

How Does One Say 'Fracas'?

Over the past few weeks, this has been one of the main questions that everyone is asking: How do you pronounce 'Fracas'? Essentially, is the 's' silent or not? Well, I've looked into this, and like normal, it depends on whether you speak properly (English), or if you're one of those people (American) from the country which regularly bastardizes the English language. In English, it's silent, and in American, it's said completely wrong.

While we're discussing 'fracas', let's look into what brought this issue to the nation's attention. There was an incident in a workplace, which involved one member of staff verbally and physically attacking another, leading to the suspension of an employee. Only, it wasn't that simple because it involved Jeremy Clarkson; like most incidents seem to these days.

We heard a few weeks back that he had a verbal and physical disagreement with a producer, when he noticed a lack of food after a day filming. Clarkson was suspended, and a lot of news outlets spent too much of their time being obsessed with this. A local Kent newspaper found a local angle for this new story, due to part of the last aired episode being filmed in the county. It then went on to refer to an incident where someone working in a pub was glassed in the face, as a 'fracas'.
Anyway, this then led to over a million people signing a petition to reinstate him; showing that people care a lot more about an over-paid, over-zealous individual, than they do about having a functioning health system. And now, he's sacked.

The news that he was sacked came yesterday afternoon, not long before the news that someone had left One Direction. I was out, and by the time I got home and read the news, all the good jokes had already been used on Twitter. I was distraught.
But were they right to sack him? That's the question a lot of people have been asking since. Firstly, everyone can see that the BBC were never going to come out of this well. They either sacked him, and lost their biggest star (and biggest money maker), and risk losing their most globally-popular franchise. OR, they allow someone, regardless of status, to get away with bullying in the workplace, and allow another celebrity to get away with what they want.
Whether it was the right choice will never be agreed, but one has to admire the BBC for the decision they took. It shows that they have a conscience, and didn't allow commercial interests to blur that. The Tweet Rupert Murdoch made after this news, shows that he would have made the other choice, and therefore is probably agreed to be the wrong one too.

I think, or at least I hope, that no-one is condoning bullying or violence of any kind. Yet, Clarkson was on a final warning, when he then hit someone, and now he is sacked. That sequence of events makes complete sense; he committed a sackable offence. However, a lot of people find this unreasonable. I really like him and the show, but I still agree with this decision; even if I am completely surprised that they actually made this decision.

Twitter is full of people blindly supporting Clarkson, and saying dreadful things about the producer, Oisin Tymon. But remember, Clarkson reported the offence himself. It has been found that Clarkson verbally abused the producer for over 20 minutes, before beginning a 30 second round of physical abuse on him, which only ended after one of the other presenters broke it up. This happened in a hotel, in front of guests, and led to Tymon having to take himself to A&E. And now, he is the latest victim of Twitter trolling.
@m_maclennan Read more on V.Point here.
So what does the future hold? Well, if looking back at the Jonathan Ross fiasco a few years back proves anything, Clarkson will already be receiving offers from ITV, Channel 4, Sky, and probably even Netflix, to go over to them and help produce a car program which will rival Top Gear. After all, look at all the cooking and baking shows that exist of TV... Yet, I can only think of two other motoring programs. I think Top Gear are due some real competition as, after all, a lot of people watch Top Gear for the characters, and not really for the cars.

And what will become of Top Gear? It existed before Clarkson, and it will exist after. They say they will keep Hammond and May, but I think that will be a mistake. They need to completely start from scratch, and distance themselves from the reign of Jeremy. We all know that one of the new presenters will be female, because that is how the BBC fix most things these days. But Chris Evans is the favourite so far. However, my money is on Guy Martin, and I think he would be the best man for the job. From what I've watched of him, his personality and interests are a perfect match; especially if they do keep the other two presenters.

So overall, the decision has been made, and there is no need to dwell on it any longer. Perhaps the BBC could/should have gone about this very differently, and perhaps tried to resolve this internally? Let's just move on and see where the future of motoring programs go. But please, can we stop comparing this to the BBC's handling of Jimmy Saville? It's an ignorant comparison, which trivialises what was atrocious and incomparable situation. Also, can we just let Oisin Tymon try to carry on his life and career in peace? And finally, can we just let Jeremy Clarkson have some warm food next time he asks?

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