Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Post #8 Hire a Hall/Nothing (Lost ...the plot and Community Stand-hards)

1. Yeah, I hate to admit it; I've been a fan. Last season, however, I encountered something that tested my suspension of disbelief beyond reasonable limits. Charlie and Desmond are heading out to the underwater station on a possible suicide mission to shut down the radio jammer. They use as a guideline to the station...the power cable that supplies the station. "Why not just cut it?", I thought. Then Charlie commits a needless suicide by shutting himself into the flooding compartment after the mad Russian detonates the grenade. He could just as easily have closed the hatch from the outside. I laughed at them then, not with them.

This season they've got a plot device where an entire aircraft identical to Oceanic 815 is in an trench off Bali - complete with 324 bodies aboard. Apparently Ben Linus has fixed this to cover what's really happened to 815. Well, a bogus flight recorder and some metal panels might pass. An entire aircraft? From where would it be obtained? After all, every one of those large jets is accounted for to the tiniest part: how could the fake possibly work? It couldn't. Yes, Lost has jumped that Dharma-logoed shark.

I'll keep watching it if I'm around a TV when it's on, but the bubble has burst for me.

2. Also on things televisual; I've been becoming increasingly weary of the late-night groaning, gasping, self-stroking, lip-licking, lingerie-gnawing, general-purpose pseudo-masturbatrices who infest the commercial breaks on free-to-air TV. They appear in order to sell what I call the "loser-lines". They exhort the viewer to text a number which will obtain for one "pictures of hot sexy babes on your mobile". If you're a loyal customer they'll send you some "moan tones". I shudder to think. Then there are the "6 sexy Russian babes" who want to infiltrate my mobile, the "girls gone wild", the (excruciatingly badly acting) bimbos who will fake an orgasm over the phone. There are also strippers (admittedly not as trashy as most of the others) who do their schtick around a dance-pole. There are also dating services which imply that the young and beautiful are waiting in droves for the viewer to call and proposition them.

But, worst of all, there are two male characters selling a nasally-administered impotence treatment who go by the names "Sniff and Stiff". They appear on a stage to play a grand piano; standing up, concealed behind the keyboard and, purportedly, striking the keys with their erect penises. As they take the ovation, an elderly man in the audience asks a "compere" if he can learn to play like "Sniff and Stiff". Don't get me wrong: I like a wank or a fuck as much as any heterosexual male worth his testosterone. But there is a time and a place. There's also a question of dignity. These two cretins don't even respect the midnight threshold which usually keeps the bimbos at bay. I've seen these bastards on as early as 9:00 pm.

It's part of a pattern. I've also seen an ad in prime time, for a retailer, in which the expression "No wuckers" was used. For those who don't know it, this is a bit of slang in the classic Australian style. You form it by starting with "No worries". This becomes the more emphatic, "No fucking worries". The next step is deliberate Spoonerism: "No wucking forries" (with the "u" and "o" rhyming). Finally, it's compressed to "No wuckers".

Why not complain to the authorities? Because they've farmed out complaints to industry bodies for the private operators and to a bureaucratic overview group for the two government networks. If you complain to them they rebuff you by saying that "community standards" have altered to the point where this stuff is now tolerable.

I once read an article about television in a very old bound volume of Meanjin, a venerable magazine which many Australians will know of. The edition was from the early 1950's and the article dealt with the issue of whether television should be allowed to be established as a service in Australia. I was amazed at the time of reading that anybody could have thought of stopping it. I now wonder what would have happened if a transmission of the typical fare of today could have been sent back to 1950 for the edification of the citizens. The cynical, unashamed stuff that really is broadcast. Not the placatory promises about the cultural and educational benefits of the service which accompanied its introduction; the real everynight thing. I am sure they would have been utterly repulsed and would have damned the thing to Hell. Even though I still watch some of it, I wouldn't mind if it didn't exist. The cost/benefit analysis is in. Television is a net loss.

No comments: