OMG!! Did you see Eastenders this week? And that woman on Jeremy Kyle? JAYZUS!!
I have no idea what goes on in these programmes apart from on facebook status updates. I didn’t watch this week, or last week, or for years. I’m just trying to find ways to get your attention, even if it’s just in the adverts.
Television, or at least all things on it that are in serial form, is like heroin, or Pringles if you buy into their advertising campaign (personally they make the corners of my mouth sore after a handful). A few hits and you are hooked.
How fucking DARE you compare me to a junkie I hear you say. Well, you’re not superior to them or anyone dwarlings. You’ve just been led to think you are. And do you really feel inferior to the bloke in the big house just outside of town because he has more windows to clean and a bigger bank balance? Superficially envious maybe, but inferior? I hope not, but if you do I’d be interested to hear why.
Sorry to mention the cunt that is Thatcher again. 85 and still ticking. Maybe they should leave her out in the rain more – iron rusts, right? The ‘classes’ didn’t massively intermingle much before her time, aside from tugging forelocks, in romantic novels and the occasional fumble with the scullery maid. They dished out the orders and we served. Any change we wanted was fought for by a minority who went through hell to get it. The Suffragettes, for example, and then the rest of us happily reaped the benefits. So apathy among the masses isn’t a new thing, but the need to feel superior seems to be, and it’s rife. Never mind keeping up with the Jones’, ‘I’m now a Smith and you can clean my shoeses’. I remember vividly as a kid, when the Thatch introduced the Right to Buy scheme for council tenants, how suddenly I had to take my shoes off to go play in my mate’s houses who had a shiny new front door and a big colour TV (meaning not portable or black and white). The joy of mortgages and the loans that follow. We became council scum to what once were friends, and it wasn’t like we couldn’t buy our house, but my Dad (oddly enough as he was, for want of better words, a right wing fascist in his thinking (though I think this had more to do with him being a Sun reader and avid golfer) ) thought it was morally wrong to do so.
The power of television came into its own back then. Some of you will remember the coverage of the miner’s strikes, the piles of rubbish on the streets from the bin men strikes, showing the masses how these workers fighting for basic bloody rights were affecting their everyday lives, creating discord among communities. But that was just the tip.
The first pile of regular soap gash I remember being subjected to was Take the High Road during school sick days, followed closely by Emmerdale and then Coronation Street as my bedtime got later. My parents were fanatical, only moving during the adverts to make a cup of tea. They zoned right out, but back then it was half an hour Monday to Thursday between the two biggies and 20 minutes a day of Crossroads. Then more and more crept in – Eastenders, Brookside, The Bill, Albion Market, Pobol Y Cwm, and as if this wasn’t enough, we started importing them with such gems as Neighbours and Home and Away. There was even one for kids in the shape of Grange Hill.
I don’t buy it that it’s all in the name of entertainment, nor do I like it. Not only are so many of you zoning out for too much time daily watching pretend lives to feel superior to or aspire to, but you’re reading about these fake folks in your tabloids with your breakfast or on the way to work, or in your lunch break, and then discussing them with your friends and colleagues!
I know I’m not making this up, because, despite spending masses of my adult life without a television, I’ve been there right amongst it at times, so I’m certainly not passing judgement or feeling superior just because my TV only goes on for the kids for an hour a day unless there’s something exceptionally interesting on, but I have control of the off button these days. I am aware that I spend too much time logged onto facebook- networking like a whore and talking shit with my friends as well as ranting about religion, politics and whatever else is making my shit itch at the time (though it generally falls into those categories somewhere), but at least the folks on there are REAL!
Despite this, it doesn’t stop it being yet another tool to instill apathy, although the internet does breed knowledge as well as propaganda, unlike serial television.
I knew what was happening when I got sucked into the soaps, and I should add that it only happened twice as a result of being married to two soapheads, though not at once, obviously, as that would be bigamy (didn’t that occur on Corrie?). But I still got sucked in anyway because they are like drugs – like heroin – and if you still need that morning chase, there’s always Jeremy Kyle right? Leaves you feeling proper superior that one eh? I remember when we first moved to the forest, my ex was flicking through his new Sky package (UGH!) and he shouted me in because our neighbours were on Trisha! Him on a night out with the producers, and her in a hotel room chained to a suitcase called Trevor. I was astounded to say the least, and it didn’t work anyway. She still threw rocks at him and deadlocked the door whenever he went out. And who hasn’t pointed and laughed at Jerry Springer? Blimey! It’s like dogfighting but with people, and you really will the big bouncer dude not to intervene in time.
Anyway, I recovered after realising I wasn’t thinking anymore. I’d lost the ability to form opinions or to give a shit about what was going on out there in the real world, because the TV gave me its own interpretation. It thought for me. Thankfully I’ve always been anti-tabloid so maybe I was more of a cokehead than a smackhead. I wasn’t painting or writing or making music. I had become what annoys me the most in folks, and that’s apathetic and numb.
So, my luvvly TV junkies, it’s no coincidence that my free thinking friends don’t watch this shit. Your brain is melting into a swirling pot of serial hell when, more than ever, your country and fellow men and laydees need you. You’re losing hours of your lives every week zoning out and staring at that picture box (remember Evil Edna?) while your children’s/nieces’/nephews’/grandchildren’s future, and even their now, is massively affected by your zombiesque state. But that’s ok right? Loose Women is on.
Ignorance is bliss you say? Have you seen the price tag lately?