Another crock…

I’ve just read this story on the BBC News site:

‘X Factor vote’ for street names

Residents should be allowed to name their streets and parks after their heroes, a think-tank has suggested.

The New Local Government Network says councils should hold X Factor-style contests to find public place names.

The report suggests football hero David Beckham, born in east London, and the Gallagher brothers of Oasis, from Manchester, could be honoured.

It argues that recognising local people will help build community cohesion and civic pride.

The report also called upon London Mayor Boris Johnson to pledge that any British athlete who wins more than two medals at the 2012 Olympic Games will have a London street named after them.

Which is all fine and dandy, but what really pisses me off is that it looks as if we’re to be allowed to choose the names of the streets where we live by voting but when it comes to slightly more important matters of public concern such as whether or not to invade Iraq, join the euro zone, introduce a smoking ban, have ID cards or spend billions on the London Olympics we are denied any choice in the eventual outcome whatsoever.

It all comes down to choice and there’s far too much of it about these days.

That’s not a contradiction  – what I’m advocating is less choice over things that really don’t matter – like street names – but more choice in what’s really significant.

I don’t give a fuck if my street is named Beckham Boulevard but I do care if troops are sent in to invade a sovereign state under false pretences.

It’s just a fucking con – we think we have choice but apart from our chance every so often to vote in General and Local Elections we have very little say in what gets decided about the way we live our lives. Even then it’s often less than 50% of those entitled to vote who exercise that privilege.

I’m not sure how I feel about compulsory voting.

On the upside it would stop all those whinging sods who moan about the results when they’ve preferred to sit at home watching ‘Eastenders’ instead of voting.

On the downside it would be one more prescribed act and we already have too many of those.

Maybe all this is the thin edge of the wedge and all future elections will eventually be held on an X-Factor/Big Brother/I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here basis…you vote candidates off each week after you get Simon Cowell to mentor them and meanwhile they have to eat a bucket of maggots…

I’ll conclude with one small aspect of this that’s been niggling me since I first read the story – what is the New Local Government Network anyway, who decided it was a good idea we should have one and who fucking asked us if we wanted one?

Answers on a crock of shit, please, addressed to G Brown, 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London…

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…