Quality TV takes a shit and dies and Leonard Cohen almost does the same

TV really is a pile of fucking shite.

But Saturday Night TV takes piles of fucking shite to a whole different league.

Yes, it’s X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing time.

I loathe ‘reality TV’ from Big Brother to whatever they’re trying to foist on us as the latest thing – Celebrity Enema Challenge or some such cunting garbage.

And now the self-serving moronic cluster fuck that is Saturday night TV is in the news.

Simon Cowell has said the prime time TV clash between The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing is “crazy” and he hopes to persuade ITV to move The X Factor.

Writing in the Sun, Cowell said it was unfair to force licence fee payers to choose between the two popular shows.

Cowell goes on to say that he was:

…surprised that the BBC, which does not need to attract advertising, had prompted the clash and said licence-payers wanted quality TV, not a ratings war.

Well, sorry Si, but what and where is this ‘quality TV’ of which you speak?

I’ve combed the program schedules but quality TV seems to have taken a shit and died.

Blu-Ray HD DVD – that’s the way to go.

More expensive, but at least I can choose to watch something other than the lowbrow pap that the people I’m paying – either from my TV licence or through advertising – seem to think I want.

Crank 2 tonight – lots of mindless violence, gore and swearing.

Lovely stuff.

In further entertainment news I read that

Singer Leonard Cohen is recovering after collapsing on stage in Spain, a spokesman for his music company has said.

The 74-year-old became ill during a concert in Valencia and was taken to hospital as a precaution.

He has now been discharged and is said to have had food poisoning.

Food poisoning, my fucking hairy arse.

He bored himself into a comatose state and it was a cunting miracle anyone else was awake enough to even fucking notice he’d fallen over.

Having said that, he is responsible for one of the best lyrics – if possibly the bleakest – ever written:

Everybody Knows

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that youve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows youve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it’s now or never
Everybody knows that it’s me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the plague is coming
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it’s coming apart
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

And here’s Len performing it.

Phew…

…I thought I might have inadvertently been like a bit Scrooge-like in my last post.

I had this sudden thought that the ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ phone vote charges went to the charity ‘Children in Need’ so I was going to suggest here that people donate their quid to it directly if they got the chance, instead of voting. Then you’d not be using part of the money to pay for any administrative costs.

However, it now turns out that the BBC no longer does this:

Since January 2008, the BBC no longer gives money raised by phone votes to charity. The money raised by Strictly Come Dancing phone votes pays for running the phone vote system itself. No money goes to Children in Need. Rules were changed after last year’s phone votes scandals.

So, now even less excuse to vote for some prat with two left feet and a failing career –  in case you thought that you were also helping a worthy cause.

However, I suggest you still stick your quid in a charity tin this Christmas instead of subsidising the BBC even more.

What you’re doing with that pound is paying for their phone voting system – so why not spend it on something better instead?

Another nod to irony though – phone votes are still inciting ire in the Great Viewing Public after steps have been taken to avoid any further problems.

Incidentally, the BBC ‘Have Your Say‘ on this controversial judges decision is amusing at times.

it’s a disgrace. How can the BBC retrospectively decide what had already been agreed beforehand. Tom was simply not good enough on the evening. I would like my money back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Karl, London

If you’re foolish enough to think that TV producers give a flying one about what viewers think, and choose to waste your money voting in these shows, then you deserve to lose it.
Alison, London

If you’re foolish enough to waste a pound on something that 1) doesn’t matter 2) will have no effect on anything what-so-ever and finally 3) doesn’t matter that you’re choice and your problem when shockingly you find out your £1 made no difference. Did you think your vote was going to change something or make things better or something?
UK Public you’ve become far far to easy to con – Learn your lesson for once!
AP, PR

BBC is increasingly being shown as having no moral compass. from the debacle with Ross and Brand to the growing contempt that is shown to viewers. Now the final is corrupted because the vote can no longer be on the performance on the night.
BBC – Big Bad Corrupt
Pete, Tamworth.

Spot the Daily Mail reader…

Oh, and Karl – your keyboard needs cleaning – you’re ! key seems to be sticking.

Must be all that frothing at the mouth you’re doing.

Am I the only one…

…who’s heartly sick of all this?

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ doesn’t interest me in the slightest – along with all the other tired, trivial and frankly moronic reality TV shows, soaps and property guides – so I don’t watch it. However I do read and watch the news and it’s all the attendant hype there that really pisses me off.

You can’t escape it unless you’re a deaf and blind hermit with a broken TV living in a cave in the wilderness miles away from a newsagent’s on a remote earthlike planet in an alternate universe.

So, people want their money back because they see their ‘vote’ as wasted?

What about the waste of money in the first place when you picked up the phone to vote thinking you were doing something worthwhile with your money?

It cost a pound – £1 sterling – to vote, apparently.

(That could be worth about 10 minutes of your life if you’re on minimum wage.)

So, credit crunch?

If people can afford to throw their money away like that – what credit crunch?

Not to mention the wasted time that could have been better spent gouging your eyeballs out with a wooden spoon or tattooing ‘I’m a sad person who watches pathetic hyped-up trivia because I have nothing better to do‘ on your buttocks with a rusty nail and an Oxo cube.*

With elections here being decided by less than 50% of those entitled to vote it’s a crying shame that much of electorate of this country doesn’t seem to take that as seriously as voting on some poxy reality TV show for some clubfooted Z List celebrity has-been media whore you’d never heard of in the first place.

In all seriousness, programmes like ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ are the 21st century’s equivalent of the Roman Circus or Games.

Nearly 2 000 years ago Juvenal – a Latin poet – wrote:

… iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli
uendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim
imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
panem et circenses. …
… Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man,
the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time
handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now
restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things:
bread and circuses

In other words, give the people full bellies and entertainment and they won’t care about much else.

We have the cheap food – subsidised for years – and now we have the circuses in 42″ HD TV and surround sound – hell, you don’t even have to leave the house.

*Yes, I’m ranting – but only because the arsewater we get on our TVs is not necessarily what people want to watch, but what the programme makers think they want to watch.

BIG BIG difference.

Feed people crap and if that’s all they get they’ll never want anything else because they’ve never known anything else that was better.

One more pet hate whilst I’m at it…

Heaven knows the soaps are bad enough – cliched and hackneyed stories of so-called everyday folk basically being cunts (no other word seems quite suitable enough) towards each other and passed off as ‘famerly’ entertainment – but when you get whole bloody magazines devoted to them then I just find it alarming that people are so involved with them that they have to read stuff like:

Actor John Altman (Nick) talks us through his Albert Square comeback…”We see Nick’s turned over a new leaf and he has his own business,” he says. “You see a mellower Nick. He does have some love for Dot, although he probably wouldn’t admit it.”

He’s talking about the characters as if they’re real people FFS!

They’re not!

Are we so divorced from reality that we need this crap?

When you’re sitting back after Xmas dinner, bloated, with a glass of booze in your hand with the old discarded wrapping paper at knee height do you really want to know that Sharon from Eastenders is really Mr Tibbles the pub cat’s bastard offspring and that the friendly old lollipop lady Doris is really just using her job as a front to sell crystal meth to the school kids?

FFS – I’d rather watch the Queen’s Speech – at least that has some basis in reality…

Mandy lifeboats!

Is this as humorous as Mandelson gets?

I rather think it is…

OK, it might all be a bit of fun…

…but when I see stuff like this then I start to wonder whether we’re all living on the same planet.

Why, only a few weeks ago we had our beloved PM decrying Brand and Ross.

So, what’s the chance of a government minister saying something about the Baby P case?

Fuck all chance, I’d say.