Sometimes, when life gets you down, there’s nothing like a good whinge to take the edge off. That’s precisely the premise behind British comedy web series David Mitchell’s SoapBox.
Mitchell is probably best known for his role as hapless office drone Mark in the popular sitcom Peep Show, and has built up a reputation among the British comedy circuit for his sharp wit and well-spoken deliveries. Initially written for the web, SoapBox experienced enough success to see a DVD release, airtime on TV and four series worth of moaning.
Standards of Spelling
If there’s one good topic for debate among English speakers, it’s spelling. The Internet knows this: let your spelling standards drop and nobody takes your comments seriously, while being too heavy handed with your dictionary can earn you the title of “grammar Nazi”. According to David, bad spellers aren’t the problem – it’s the good spellers who can’t be bothered you’ve got to watch out for.
Choice is a Bad Idea
Finally, someone says what I’ve been saying all along: too much choice is a very bad thing. How can you confidently make a decision with so many edge-case factors clouding your judgement? Wouldn’t it be easier to decide in less fortuitous circumstances? David seems to think so, and his argument is especially convincing.
Do you need confirmation of your swelling cognitive abilities, or has nobody yet noticed how smart you are? Well why don’t you consider Mensa, the organisation that’s only for smart people. Surely having your name next to all those Nobel Peace Prize winners and revered world leaders- oh, hang on…
Pine for the days of the “traditional” stag do, when it only took 10 blokes a few hours to drink 100 pints before you were expected to tie the knot? These days it’s all about the adventure holiday or the eastern-European mini-break, and every event needs to be more extravagant than the last. This ties in quite nicely with…
Seeing as the stag night is done: have you been to a wedding recently? Did it drag on to the wee hours of the morning, was it “unique” and like no other celebration you’d ever been to before? Well hold your celebratory horses – not even the sacred bond between two loving partners escapes Mitchell’s judgement.
Naming Your Child
Not sure one of the many tried and tested common names in circulation is quite right for your special and unique ray of sunshine? Think again! In another especially convincing rant David questions the validity behind names that assign preconceptions to the child who has to walk around for the rest of their life saying “hi, my name’s Snowflake”.
Mouse In My House
In a slight break from the normal scheduling, David isn’t so much seen complaining about an unwanted rodent friend but mulling over the moral implications of mouse removal from his home. Watch him decide between killing, half-killing, releasing or sending the mouse on holiday to the country in this short rant.
Ever catch yourself dramatically patting down your pockets when you realise you’ve forgotten something? Do you wince, sigh and exhale defeated when you miss the train? These small “social signals” aren’t for our own benefit – we know the train has gone, and that our keys are still on the kitchen table – and we are merely acting for everyone else. In this final video for the article, David considers this slightly sad state of affairs.
There are four series in total of David Mitchell’s SoapBox, totalling nearly 100 uploads on the official YouTube channel. That’s plenty of ranting to keep you occupied for another week, check back next week for even more Stuff to Watch.
Did you enjoy these videos? Anything similar you’d recommend? Add your thoughts to the comments, below.