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Friday, 5 September 2014

The weirding of the BBC

During our recent WiFi-less holiday I watched some TV, an increasingly rare occupation for us but not yet defunct. As usual I found it annoying that I couldn’t check anything or follow up an idea via the internet.

After the internet, TV seems much too slick and glossy even for someone who grew up with it. It comes across as a rather trashy magazine where you have to buy a special viewer called a television. We Brits even have to pay a yearly licence for the viewer. Amazing because we can easily end up paying more for the licence than the viewer. Surely there is no way such an absurd situation can survive?

Maybe I’m exactly the kind of person who should ditch the TV, yet the programmes could be far better and far more competitive even within its technical limitations. That’s a rapidly ageing phrase though isn’t it? TV programme.

I think it’s because TV is very much like a person. The BBC used to be called Auntie and one can still see why. It’s a comfortable and well-connected middle class person, although not necessarily female. Still, we may as well stick with Auntie as the name has a long tradition.

Auntie is a faux progressive who only sees one side of any question. Steely conviction underlies her sentimental, middle-brow kindliness. She needs to seem progressive without the slightest risk of ever changing her habits or way of life.

Auntie is a well-meaning person to whom one may listen, but she never listens herself because she doesn’t feel the need. She already knows as much as she ever intends to know, as much as it is wise and decent to know. In any event she has her trusted sources and you and I are not on the list. 

So as her declining years slip by, Auntie will seem increasingly weird to those who were never taught to respect her social standing. It should be fun to watch though. Potentially one of her better comedies.

4 comments:

Sackerson said...

Funny. And when should we put her in a home?

Demetrius said...

Fat slags, as in Viz, some to mind.

The Stigler said...

I have a license because of the family, but personally, I rarely watch "TV". I might watch a movie that's on TV, but in terms of "TV programmes" and especially BBC TV programmes, it's stuff nearly always feels trite and idiotic to me. Very little of it feels entertaining, enlightening, moving or uplifting.

Frankly, in the average week I see as much brilliant stuff on YouTube as the BBC.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - can we afford to put her in a home though? Would she expect too much?

Demetrius - ha ha!

Stigler - we're in a similar situation with the grandchildren and were comparing TV with YouTube yesterday.