Dumbing Down

Google is ded
Long liv Goolwe …

The maggots have got into the rotating corpse of everyone's favourite search engine again. I sometimes wonder what is to become of us. Google is turning into an internet version of Microsoft.

And talking about alternatives, I joined a couple of writer's groups recently. One of them gave us some homework, a critique of a TV programme any programme of choice. I don't have a TV and this is why:

Dumbing Down.
1. A great British institution.

In the 1920's the BBC was used as a political foil because of the Miner's Strike. Following this propaganda debacle, Lord Reith was installed as head to oversee a bipartisan, liberal regimen. One of the first things he did was to install an educational arm to the service.

Whilst people in the county -even now, a lifetime later, would say he did a good job; it has to be said that the BBC suffered from a lack of competition. What it had a few hours a day, in the early evening was Radio Luxemburg. This tiny, free radio station broadcast "pop" in the English language and was the only viable alternative to Mahler and Elgar for a youth of booming babies.

Then someone kitted out a trawler with a radio transmitter and set up the first of the pirate radio stations outside Britain's 3 mile limit. The nation responded to this threat to its security by moving the boundaries.
But this promoted a league of disc jockies to the rank of loose canons.

The BBC readjusted itself to accomodate them. The three previous stations became four new ones.

Channel 1. Banal pop and getting Stoopid-duh.

Channel 2. Anal pop and getting old-duh.

Channel 3. Old school, unendurable rendering of the more durable.

Channel 4. A repetitive tape of the news, changing daily as depression moves in.

Why, in this day and age, are we served so poorly?

One of the first major steps towards educating us Lord Reith initiated was the staging of a play by Shakespeare.
In the 1920's radio reception was parlous, elctronic engineering was in its infancy and expecting the traditional British family to sit for hours in front of crackling, tenuously connected, valve set was asking a lot -even in those days.

And at the broadcasting end, a play running for several hours posed a challenge. Reith was urged to compromise… and he did.

He cut out a chunk of Hamlet.
To national acclaim.

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2 thoughts on “Dumbing Down

  1. 2. Not knowing what day it is.The Tony Blair regime, in its lust for glory, removed the head of the BBC for allowing a grandstanding display of arrogance by his chief henchman, Alastair Campbell, over the inquiry into the Kelly affair and the weapons of Mass Deception.In a classic piece of treason the door closed on the not all that openess of the BBC and opened the door for Blair to drag us into a second Vietnam War.http://www.richardwebster.net/deathofascientist.htmlAll the foregoing, whilst very interesting, doesn't hit me where I live. Having grown up within the nation, I was well aware of the shortcomings of British Management and had come to the conclusion that the top etchelon of British management was not drawn from the clowns who had been to business school.The British Government is composed of duds who went to Law School instead.What on earth would lead a man who had never succeeded at soliciting to try his hand at leading the country?I don't know why but the bald fact is that in this country, we are ruled by a succession of not much else. How could that happen in a democracy?Simple: The statistics prove Britain is not a democracy.What gets to me now, for all its seeming empathy with the needs of the nation and for all its liberated bipartisan views, we have a machine that can't deliver an eloquent weather forecast.Forced out of office (alledgedy for bullying) Bill Giles was the last of the old time experts in charge of the BBC's Weather Centre. Retirement and indifferent new staff saw off the last of the likely replacements. We have never been told what was really behind the head lopping. But to me it is fairly obvious:Notwithstanding percolating rumours, he is still associated with the BBC (so I've heard.)What we do know for sure is that we now have a crop of tarnished amulettes. Arm-you-lets, that has passed the ultimate test of dissolving in water.Eye candy that won't melt in the rain.They are to be found (often sans umbrellas) early on a week-day morning, out in the Blue Peter Garden, giving a two minute sound-bite, without the aid of a weather chart -not even a Rupert Murdoch "MoronsRus" version.The pinnacle of the idiocy is that they are lulling us with charming inanities, smiling brightly on a dull, wet morning without an ounce of sense to tell them to come in out of the rain.

  2. 3. Go out into the rain, fool!Who on earth would believe a weather forecast from a young woman who obviously doesn't know enough to come in out of the rain?Frequently the BBC will send such idiots around the country to give a series of outside broadcasts in the dark. Nothing changing, not even the script.What is the point of that?What sort of message is being sent to every one parent urban family?Don't go out in the rain without a prophylactic?Is that it?Go to shool bright and early, do your homework with a sugared intent, smile in the face of adversity and one day, maybe you too can have a job you wouldn't give a scarecrow?But that doesn't concern me.What concerns me is the passing of the North Atlantic Chart.Once upon a time, we could look at some sort of graphic that inspired us to believe the forecaster actually knew what he was talking about. Not only were we assured by his confident and uncomplacent approach, he also had enough time to make his case, often writing his own script as the weather changed.Today's dummy reads a script concocted by the Met Office hours earlier and edited by the producer and whoever was in earlier enough that morning to make the coffee. There is no wall-board showing us the Highs and Lows incoming off the Atlantic, with heavy dark lines of ominous approach and the lesser shades telling us "last of the few" where the weather lacks pressure and urgency.We join the miasma of the blue pill popping Matrix lubes and lusers. We no longer know what day it is, never mind when to come in out of the rain.

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