The more I look and listen to ‘the media’, the more I think that broadcasters, producers, journalists, in fact anyone involved with sending out visual, oral or read content publicly are completely out of touch. They are missing a huge chunk of the audience who choose not to watch everything open mouthed and believe what is being thrown at them. And to compound this lack of audience, the broadcasters in particular treat the remaining viewers and listeners to the most banal, simplistic and low-brow output to I would think hopefully, to engage them in their intelligent mutterings.
Let me explain about some of the things that really set my teeth on edge when watching TV. Why oh why is music used as a weapon? Whatever channel is watched, the idiotically upbeat swelling music is increased in volume so that whilst you are trying to hear what the newscaster is saying, the production staff think it more important to drown out their words with ‘dramatic’ music. This is rubbish and all the channels are guilty of it, we don’t repeat don’t want or need it. I sometimes think that the TV channels consider anyone not involved in the ‘industry’ are complete morons and and stare like mouth breathers at all their output. There may be some people for whom the various banal utterings and loud unnecessary music coming at them is the best thing since sliced bread, but the rest of us are more circumspect about it. One of my hobby horses is the blurring of images supposedly in the belief that programme makers are protecting vulnerable people including children from ‘abuse’. When I wrote to the BBC about various instances of this unnecessary ‘editing’ of output, I received the usual platitudes about ‘protecting the vulnerable’, which I agree with, and not exposing people to unsuitable images, again agreed. What I couldn’t understand that during a news item about for example the health service, they cut to an out of focus shot of some nurses writing something at a nurses station, or in an article about older people, they show a ground level shoot of shuffling feet in slippers pushing zimmer frames. And the point is? I said in several emails to the BBC; aren’t the news presenters (for example on breakfast TV) capable of doing a piece to camera without a meaningless cutaway which neither enhances or illustrates the item?
They didn’t actually answer that question and the same is true of ITV, C4, Sky et al. One of the most recent cases of TV being an insult to the intelligence was Red Nose Day. I applaud the sentiment, even though I’m unsure how much of the £75 million actually ends up doing good, and not lining the pockets of those in-country who may divert the money raised to their own vainglorious ends. Coupled with the ‘appeal’ which was shoved down your throat every five minutes, was the appallingly bad ‘comedy’, which was anything but, in fact it was totally unfunny, even accounting for the ‘pre watershed’ slip ups which were given wide publicity and did nothing to enhance the whole experience. The trouble is this sort off programme is all too prevalent whether it’s ‘I’m a celebrity…..’, Big Brother, The Big Drop, Deal or no Deal, in fact a myriad of programmes designed to appeal to the lowest common thickness of the audience. If this is all this countries TV output has to offer, god help us. However, to counterbalance this view there are some excellent understated programmes that don’t insult intelligence, and offer good entertainment and information: anything by David Attenborough, Brian Cox, etc and some of the current affairs programmes which don’t demean or insult. Please let’s have some sensible output, not raucous, loud rubbish.
It’s been nearly two months now since our youngest went to Australia to live. The first couple of weeks affected us more than them emotionally, but now at least I’m coming to terms with it a bit more. They have now settled in their permanent home, and are awaiting the arrival of their shipped household which is somewhere in the Indian ocean. Good luck to them, I’m sure they’re doing the right thing