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Thursday 29th October, 2020

Bizarre Thought for the Week, w/c 17th March 2003
Tony Dobson

Hi all,
I have to speak about what I find to be a truly compelling piece of television this week.

I can't remember exactly when I first heard about it, but I do remember that when I first heard the words "MTV Cribs" I thought about the choice of name, figures it would only be about rappers, and immediately thought, "no, not my kind of thing". Wrong!

As it turns out quite a lot of the time it is rappers who are featured, but there is a nice mix of people showing you around their homes. Most of all though there is the comedy factor, and the reassurance in the knowledge that money cannot buy taste.

You want proof? How about Missy Elliott and her sportscar bed? Simon Cowell and the strange art he has on display in his L.A. house (not to mention the frankly feminine collection of bathroom treatments)? Mel B's glass toilets that face each other? Boy George and well... his whole house?

The show keeps pulling you in. Just the other week I was at home, mulling possible redundancy, up to my elbows in job papers, and yet there I was watching channel 440, and actually admiring Ice T's pool (with retractable roof) and oversized fish tank (let's not mention the vending machines, strange collection of dolls and the broken Grammy award).

Do you ever think about celebrities and what you would do if you had their money? Well I think I would do more than Moby, who has bought himself a pokey little flat in New York and has taken the word "minimalism" to the extreme. Very dull, blank white walls, plain furniture, but at least he has bookcases! Goodness me, even quiet people in Halls of Residence at University had more interesting homes than this.

You could compare that with A.J. McLean of the Backstreet Boys. Doesn't every guy want a games room with gaudy pictures of their heroes in it? Yep, but not Warhol-esque pictures of Frank Sinatra, please! (Can I say the best thing about his house is his girlfriend? Oops, I just did.)

Upon reflection watching MTV Cribs makes the music piracy debate quite interesting. Here are countless artists, organisations and record companies complaining about theft, while all the time they're lining their homes with hot tubs and home cinema systems, as well as filling their drives with flash cars. Do you mind if I fail to sympathise?

Maybe I just have simple tastes (skint for five and a half years and counting!), but I really don't think I'd swap with many of them. About the only one I would definitely swap with would be the boxer Roy Jones, Jr., who takes us through his reasonably tasteful house and then opens up a set of double doors that lead onto his own full-size indoor Basketball court. You think his friends invite him over to their house, or invite themselves over for an impromptu game?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make a new friend in Pensacola, Florida...

Have a good week!

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