Saturday, 11 July 2015

Bemused stare


We often take Granddaughter to a play centre if the weather isn’t fine enough for zooming around the garden. At least these places gives her a chance to run and climb and use up some energy whatever the weather. Mrs H and I take turns in following her around because there is always a spot of hands and knees work to be done.

At one point there is even a short stretch of commando-type wriggling on the belly using elbows as motive power which certainly takes its toll on oldies who never were commandos. When it is Mrs H’s turn to chase around I buy a coffee and sometimes watch the pop videos on the big TV screen. The sound is turned down low so hardly anyone else watches.

You may be more familiar with them than I am, but modern pop videos are a weird mix of the crudest sexual display with a strange kind of dysfunctional romance in the distant background. Strutting adolescence mingles with disjointed images of cool and the sentiment button-pushing advertisers know so well.

Crude as it is, a dying glimmer of lost romance does seem to shake its shroud in the background. No doubt the glimmer is partly intentional, a touch of the rose-tinted however tawdry and out of place it may be.

Superficially slick, the videos do not come across as well done to my inexpert eye. How much they cost to make I don’t know, but one is left with the entirely obvious impression that these are disposable images not to be taken seriously except by the gullible hormones of adolescence.

The female performers can be quite pretty in a somewhat flaky and excessively blatant way. The males pout, flutter their eyelashes and try to do masculine, apparently without ever having been taught how.

Quite why this depraved yet curiously sad spectacle is deemed suitable for young children I don’t know because none of them pay it the slightest attention. Neither do their phone-struck parents. All I’ve ever seen are a few bemused stares from grandparents.


Sam Vega said...

"Quite why this depraved yet curiously sad spectacle is deemed suitable for young children I don’t know because none of them pay it the slightest attention. Neither do their phone-struck parents."

My guess is that phone companies make these videos and give them away for free to assorted venues. They know that anyone with a phone will soon start fiddling with it and generating revenue.

Scrobs. said...

There are quite a few programmes like that on CBeebies too!

I often watch Bing and a few others with the grandchildren, but when the 'adults' come on, it's a squeamish display of a rather sad way to entertain young children. They just don't get it and neither do the 'adults'...

Demetrius said...

The relatively rarified group of makers of all these belong to a self selected body who copy each others work for effect and self satisfaction. The trouble is this kind of visual idiocy then becomes common in adverts, a pain to watch, and too often imported by gung ho producers into other things. When, for example there was a bad rash of this in BBC filming of concerts I did the count of how many seconds per take, it was a lunatic few seconds of flashing about all over the place. The result is that you switch off either literally or visually. One good wheeze is to have a concert on stereo radio but something soothing to the eyes on screen. Golf serves well, all that lovely scenery.

A K Haart said...

Sam - you may be right, although many parents seem to find their kids less interesting than their mobiles.

Michael - yes, I watch CBeebies with Granddaughter and the adults are a waste of space, but the BBC seems set on using the channel to nurture new celebrities.

Demetrius - out of interest I used to time the length of each scene in TV drama and was surprised how short they tend to be - often a few seconds only. I don't think viewers notice how rapid the changes are yet it must affect them.

Macheath said...

The technique Demetrius describes has recently started creeping into serious documentaries; it's quite nauseating - literally - to watch an interview with an historian or economist in which the camera is swung about in dizzying arcs or circles the speaker like a hungry shark.

This is presumably the work of young directors who have the attention span of a fruit fly and believe the audience has the same. What it will be like when we are gone and the bulk of audience has been reared on MTV's offerings I shudder to think. I suppose serious documentaries will by then be a thing of the past.

We've seen a few of those pop videos when the offspring are home. A visiting grandparent - discovered sitting on the sofa with that same bemused expression - when asked what was on, replied "I don't know what it is, dear, but it seems to be an advertisement for bottoms."

A K Haart said...

Mac - we once saw a Jamie Oliver show where the erratic camera work made the thing impossible watch. No great loss, but as you say the problem seems to be increasingly common.

Maybe we are discovering that TV was never very serious and never could be because the moving image never can resist a desire to impress.