Monthly Archives: February 2014

Adverts are shit. Ditch ’em.

I’m not a fan of drama on any commercial channel. In fact, I’ll go as far as to say that, if I see drama billed on a commercial channel, I’ll like as not just ignore it no matter what the subject, no matter who it stars. The bugbear is the adverts. It’s not a new criticism, I admit, but has enough thought been given to an alternative? Bear with me. At this juncture, let me say that, fortunately, they usually make shit like Downton Abbey, so the problem solves itself. But now and again a Broadchurch comes along and you have to ask yourself, dare I chance my soul and tune in?
Now techno geeks will say, if you don’t want to watch it with the ads, watch it having edited/fast forwarded/online etc.. The thing is though, it’s the TV companies that are messing with me. It’s THEY that want me to watch their programmes. So why should I make the adjustment? They should be trying their utmost to accommodate me. But the very thing they need to make their programmes is the very thing I, and no doubt every other TV viewer in the world, DOESN’T WANT TO SEE!
So let’s see if we can get round this. Product placement is clearly the answer.
It’s become blindingly apparent of late in many Scandi dramas and even Netflix’ House of Cards, that Apple have a finger in most pies (‘scuse the implicit pun). Not an episode goes by where a laptop isn’t opened to display the familiar logo. So why not pursue this?
Can’t Lord Grantham chat about his upcoming Grand Tour, mentioning that Mr Cook, Thomas that is, will be accompanying him this year? Or Midsomer Murders could concern a poisoning fiendishly orchestrated over Sunday lunch simply because Cook had not observed that the gravy (cut to box of Bisto) had not been that normally used. Why, even in Mr Selfridge…..hang on. Just why are there ads in that?



The floods are bad for many people. Many have suffered fear and loss arbitrarily and, to anyone in that position, I hope you’re okay again as soon as possible. That’s a given. What bothers me more is our reaction to the floods as a country, and, when I say country, I really mean a random rag-bag collection of media outlets.
I won’t mention the difference in the degree of coverage afforded to the current flooding down south and that of a few years ago in the north. I won’t mention it because that attitude is what lies precisely at the heart of the problem. Check out the media reports and, objectively, try to work out what appears to have happened here based upon the volume 11 hype and hysterical rants and compare that to what has actually happened.
I watched the BBC this morning after yesterday’s storm. There’s currently a reporter in just about every town that lay within the footprint of the wind’s progress. I heard reports, live to camera, saying such things as,
“I don’t know if you can see behind me but there are tiles missing from the station’s roof,” and, at a different location,
“You can’t see from here but a section of roof was ripped off and hit power lines.”
Behind him life continued quite normally.
What I’m saying is, are you surprised we’ve become Little Britain? Does anyone really think we are a nation still to be reckoned with in this world? Why do we persist with this inflated view of ourselves internationally? We are an insignificant backwater served by media that is inordinately lazy and, wherever possible opts for the parochial low ground (no pun intended). Whenever, WHENEVER, anything happens in Little Britain, all else disappears from the airwaves and the right wing, reactionary phone-ins like those on 5 Live are cranked into gear.
200 odd folk may die daily in Syria but we’ll not know ‘cos the roof’s blown off some MP’s chicken coop in Bishop Stortford. I’ve checked the New York Times this morning. Guess what? The weather in Britain gets no mention. Check the Mail. If they could print on blotting paper they would.
We are a tiny country because we have that tiny mentality now. It’s the mentality that turns tits like Nigel Farage into national figures. It’s the mentality that decrees that killing deer and boars (provided you crack on to be a conservationist and have blue blood) is fine. It’s the mentality that let the BNP thrive in the wake of the National Front following the demise of the Mosleyites.
We’re a tiny nation of self-important navel-gazers who won’t, not don’t, realise that life here, all in all, is cushy and it’s shit everywhere else. So, if you’re not knee deep in poisonous water at the moment, stop moaning. And if you work for the media, look up. There’s important stuff happening. It’s still possible to stand tall even when Britain’s little.
Thank you and good day.