“John Naughton Certified as Braindead.” Sigh.

Lovely post on Thomas the Tank Engine Blog. It’s headed “John Naughton Certified as Braindead; Few are Surprised” and goes on:

In my first ever attention grabbing, go out on a limb, blog post, I decided to comment on John Naughton including Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends (1984-1991) among his worst 50 TV shows of all time (discussed here).

The inevitable conclusion of his including Thomas and Friends on such a list is that he’s lost his mind. I suppose there might be other conclusions… feel free to post below should you think of any but my list is as follows:

John Naughton is so stupid that he sits on the TV and watches the couch

John Naughton recently sat on an airplane in close proximity to a loud-mouthed Thomas loving 2 year old

John Naughton thought no one would pay any attention to him unless he said something so stupid that it was news worthy (I have no doubt that this is true… whether he realizes it I have no idea)…

Good stuff, eh? It goes on a bit in the same vein.

Sadly, it’s nothing to do with me. There’s another guy with the same name who writes about film and TV for low-rent magazines (and, I think, the Sunday Times). I still get sarcastic flak from my academic colleagues over a review he wrote, many years ago, of a compilation of stag night videos!

Just for the record, I loved Thomas the Tank Engine and often had learned (and interminable) conversations with my kids about Annie and Clarabelle (who — I need hardly remind you — are Thomas’s carriages).

Later… It’s interesting to see what bloggers pick up. When I looked on Google Blog Search, I found that the two things that had been most widely linked to were my piece about ‘websites that changed the world’, and my doppleganger’s Radio Times piece about the worst TV programmes ever. Clearly there is something about lists that piques people’s interest.

The interesting thing about the ‘websites’ piece was that I didn’t choose the sites — that was done by other Observer writers. I was merely asked to write the introduction to the list. But that hasn’t saved me. On Friday I was having lunch in Cambridge University’s West site (where the Computer Lab and the Microsoft Lab are located) when a prominent computer scientist walked in, spotted me, and said severely “I have a bone to pick with you, John Naughton”. She then sat down and berated my for the list which — she opined — was far too oriented towards what she dismissively referred to as “leisure sites”.