Monday, June 20, 2005

Walk like a man

You will be relieved to know that I am back on two legs again. Hooray for me and all that balderdash.

I won't go on at any length about the gigantic piece of metal they took out of my ankle, you wouldn't thank me for it. The aim here is to spread a little bit of joy and gladness, this isn't an episode of "Casualty" or its vogueish US counterpart "ER".

No, today I wish to discuss the awful dreariness of daytime television. Yes, I realise this isn't a particularly original insight and that this subject has been thoroughly done to death by third-rate stand-up comedians and undergraduate dullards throughout the land, but it's like that and that's the way it is.

There are so many varieties of bad television to suck the marrow from one's bones and sap the will to live. After the morning news shows, aimed at decent folk with jobs to go to, the various channels spit on their hands and get down to the task of thoroughly depressing the housebound, the unemployed and the mentally-enfeebled who spend their days in front of the telly.

The BBC seem to screen nothing but cheap and drearful programmes featuring awful couples in matching knitwear who are keen to have their house tarted up or their old tat flogged off. This can only be done with the help of a fat-arsed female presenter in a business suit or a geezerish chap in overalls. It is poor fare.

The commercial channels give a platform for the dregs of society to air their petty problems in front of the nation. Whether it is the rutting arrangements of some vile scratters and boy-racers or the self-esteem issues of the morbidly obese, no expense is spared in bringing these lowlifes to our screens. If all else fails, the producers can always bring out some freakish transvestite/transexual/weirdo to talk about how their lives have been enriched by swanning around Rotherham dressed as Bet Lynch.

So much for the terrestrial channels, what has the digital age to offer the stay-at-home no-goodnik? In short, a big load of shite. Admittedly, my experience is only of Freeview, the council Sky TV service. On Freeview we have two low quality pop music channels. One of these seems to be constantly screening Jennifer Lopez videos with text messages on-screen informing us of the "love match" potential of Sharon and Darren or Kaz and Baz. The second appears to consist of "documentaries" where lisping sissies bitch about Christina Aguilera's haircut or heavy-set gangsta rappers show us their bedroom furniture.

We have discussed the shopping channels before and the merits of the fair ladies at Price-drop.tv are still unrivalled. However, it can't be denied that these channels do not always purvey the most blue-chip products that are out there. At the time of writing the various channels are knocking out the following objet d'art: Garish purple topaz earrings, dayglo orange self-tanning kits, diamond-style earrings and some stone-effect decorative lions that beggar belief. Clearly the market for earrings among the slack-jawed layabout massive is a substantial one, which makes sense when you consider the dreadful oafish women you see on the streets with about half a dozen pairs of gaudy ear jewellery hanging from every available part of their lugs.

Other than that, there are documentary channels which seem to focus rather a lot on World War II, news channels that chiefly show press conferences and footage of actors walking along red carpets and the king of digital channels, Granada Men and Motors. This channel is a wonderful thing. They have analysed the male psyche and concluded that men are only interested in motorcycling accidents, old episodes of The Professionals and a show with Joanne Guest introducing footage of drunken girls in nightclubs exposing their breasts.

I fear they may be entirely correct.

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