Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Destroy All Reality TV!

The world has finally taken leave of its senses. Either that, or television news coverage of the media has reached new heights of hyperbole. According to the news broadcast I've just seen (and I must emphasise that this was an ITV news programme), Celebrity Big Brother is now threatening Britain's reputation abroad and putting lucrative trade deals at risk. What?! Are we talking about the same thing? There was me thinking that Celebrity Big Brother was just another heap of mindless shite designed to burn out the remaining brain cells of this country's growing army of drooling morons, but it turns out that it is actually some kind of giant behemoth, trampling nations beneath its feet, as it rampages wildly around the globe. Of course, what this is all about is the treatment of the Bollywood star who has been foolish enough to agree to participate in this year's money-spinning charade for Channel Four. Apparently her legion of fans in India, not to mention a significant proportion of the UK's population, feel that she has been the subject of racist bullying. What the hell did everyone expect when the house was filled with what can only charitably described as trailer trash and no-marks?

As I haven't been demented enough to watch the programme, I really can't comment on whether the treatment this lady has received is actually racist or not. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that it simply the result of the kind of ignorance which seems to be valued by certain sections of British society. It seems to stem from an arrogant belief that we are somehow superior to other cultures ('we used to have an Empire, y'know'), and therefore shouldn't be expected to understand or respect them. Whilst I'm not surprised to find that such ugly attitudes have surfaced in a reality TV programme which thrives on manufacturing conflict between its participants (all in the name of entertainment, of course), I am somewhat dismayed to see it having such a disproportionate impact on the 'real' world. However, there's a very slight chance that some good might come of it all, if people actually begin to realise just how repugnant such attitudes make us appear to the rest of the world. Although I suspect the press will react, as usual, by defensively retreating into stereotyped Britishness and telling these 'bloody foreigners' to fuck off and mind their own business. They will undoubtedly come up with lots of examples of how it is them who are intolerant and racist, not us. In the short term, I fear that the UN will have little choice but to call upon Japan to reactivate Godzilla to try and battle this out of control monster to the death, before it destroys us all!



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