Saturday, 1 December 2007

Cable TV

We've just got cable t.v. Never had it before, because I think it's best to limit the amount of rubbish you allow in your house. I mean, people wouldn't invite more junk mail through their letter boxes, so why would you want more crap beamed to you through the television? Five channels of trash is quite enough, thank you. Sometimes, watching t.v. is no better than watching a poo revolving on a plinth. Everyone knows this, of course; but they believe that watching poo-on-a-plinth t.v. is mesmerically relaxing after a hard day's work.

Oddly enough, it seems to me that most t.v. channels also know that they're just pedalling poo on plinths. Even on the part of the t.v. channels themselves, there's little or no pretence any more that what they do isn't anything but crap. You can see this by the utter contempt with which they treat their own programmes and films: they talk over the titles, "tempting" you with what's coming next; they have running banners on top of the programmes, again telling you what's coming next Wednesday week; they start a serial and then forget about it after a few weeks and substitute something else; they cut scenes in the middle, slicing speeches in half, with commercial breaks; they don't even bother to differentiate commercial break from programme with a title screen; and commercials go on and on and on. There's no pretence on the part of most t.v. channels that the programmes are there first priority. They are absolutely up-front that it's the adverts which matter to them: after all, they might slice film scences awkwardly in half, but they'd never do that with the adverts themselves. Oh no, we can't annoy the sponsors, can we?

None of this should surprise or even annoy us. None of this should even bother us. It's our own fault for swallowing the lie that watching the t.v. is easier than listening to music or reading books or (God forbid) going outside. And again, we don't swallow the lie unconsciously - we're all totally aware that it's a lie at the same time as swallowing it whole. So it's our own fault that we're condemned to a hell of watching crap revolving on plinths for ever and ever and ever.

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