... but I stopped. Now I'm a dad, and may blog again...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Block Chop 81: Unfocused ramble about this and that

Oh my god; cutting it so fine it hurts, I got my BBC job application in twenty-five minutes before the midnight deadline.  I obviously a complete bell-end who should have completed it weeks ago, but that was all discussed and milked yesterday.  Now I can bask temporarily in the glory of receiving that thank you for your application email, until inevitably I hit the funk of the ...but unfortunately on this occasion your application was unsuccessful email.  How’s that for positive thinking?

The application included answering a great many (well four) difficult concise essay questions, which meant excising rolling mounds of fat in order dip below the word count.  I should have started this blog post with the word omg, but after the hideous fiasco of some bloke, named after an Edgar Allen Poe story, on X-Factor I’m sure I will never use that ridiculous abbreviation, but judging by this long and rambling sentence which has long strayed from any coherent point, I am no longer concerned with exceeding word counts and even if I was I am too tired and gazing lazily into the inviting infinite whiteness of the page below these words, and in a final flurry towards the end of the sentence I refer you back to the Poe allusion before and confirm to you that, yes, I was talking about The Fall of the House of Usher, a thematic masterpiece of interlocking detail, metaphor and consistency.

One question involved watching a twenty-six minute long clip of an old episode of the Ten O’Clock News from the day of the big Raoul Moat versus the police stand-off, in fact almost entirely about this prick and the non-story that was the last few moments of his pathetic despicable life, and then deigning to mention almost in passing, the greatest spy-swap since the Cold War, and the impending World Cup final, which being between Spain and Netherlands was excitingly going to yield first time champions.  I wasn’t aware of the content of the news episode before I started watching, and was worried that I would struggle to find meat to bite onto, but as the episode unfurled I became increasingly disgusted with the manner in which it was covered, and launched into a long and angry rant against the danger of glorifying psychos, creating a pornography of hysteria, the dumbing-down of the news with repetition ad infinitum.  I toned down the rant, aiming for ‘review’ (as the question requested) but possibly not arriving, and worked hard to bring it under 300 words.  For good measure, and other stuff, here is what I wrote:

Too much time is spent on the Moat story.  Despite the fact it is happening live there is very little newsworthy content.  There is a large amount of speculation, repetition, rephrasing of the same information, and unnecessary detail.

The story is promoted as entertainment, and almost seems as though it is intentionally trying to create hysteria.  The section where inconsequential still photographs are shown on screen and speculated about is not interesting, and has obviously just been included to drag out the coverage, and perhaps televise a violent end.

It is my understanding that the BBC has a remit to provide a public service, but I strongly feel this kind of presentation has a detrimental effect on society by promoting homicidal sociopaths as exciting rebel antiheroes.  Stories like this should be covered in the news, but to a minimal degree and not as a dramatic narrative.
There is not enough information to warrant such a long story.  Moat’s mental state and the factors leading up to his crimes are interesting; however no insight is provided. 

The story about the US/Russia spy exchange has many complex political aspects, and deserved a much more in depth coverage.  It will have repercussions lasting for years, compared to the Moat story and I think the BBC has made an error in judgement with regard to balance, information and public service.

The spy story focuses on planes landing and very little else.  No real attempt is made to explain the background to this story or the political and diplomatic ramifications.  Why is the swap happening?  There is no hint.

I enjoyed the World Cup coverage; the focus on Spain, and the detail about the hopeful young fans (potential future footballers, perhaps?) was positive.

I hope it doesn’t go down too badly.  I love the BBC but it is undeniably going through an extremely shitty period: poor quality comedy, crap adult drama (fuck Dr. Who; that doesn’t count), and idiotic rehashes of weird Japanese shows (what stupid cunt used license payers money to bring Hole in a Wall over here); and the last thing they need is yes men.  I can slag it off as much as I like, because I used the get out clause of mentioning I love it.  And I do.  I am also happy to pay my license fee, and don’t think any other broadcasters should get a share of it.  But I don’t think the BBC should be unaccountable for what it spends.  Only a bare minimum of its license income should go to entertainment (game shows, ‘documentaries’ that aren’t documentaries, buying foreign imports, etc), and the rest should be spent on developing proper world class comedy, drama, and documentaries... like the good old days.  There is nothing – NOTHING – on BBC3 which license payer’s money should be spent on.

And one last thing BBC, before I fall asleep hoping you will employ me: your sycophantic rimming of that evil old man Ratzinger, on his hello Britain, I’m a Pope holiday was despicable.  Fine, put it in the news, but he does not deserve hours and hours of pointless coverage on your two main channels for day after day.  Would you do the same for visiting heads of other weird microstates; or other obscenely wealthy homophobic, misogynistic, theocratic perpetuators of ignorance and misery?

So what have we learned today?  Not much, other than today’s sentences have been particularly long, with a slight flavour of rant, and a pinch of lack of focus.  That’s about it, and now my cheek is twitching uncontrollably due to exhaustion.  Night night, Blog.  “Night night, Kevin,” it replied.

P.S.  If you have read this blog post, you have read it once more than me.

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