There is no issue on Planet Earth so big that it can’t be trivialised, strangulated, clichéd, obfuscated and exploited
Tonight’s ATEOTD is devoted largely to media silly stuff, but I have to plead not guilty and say most of it was silly long before I got anywhere near it. Today was simply one of those days when the subs were in ‘see, read, write and then think’ mode.
We start with this cracker from the Sarkograph:
It’s a sort of “nonsense meets tautology in oxymoron horror” headline. Back pain doesn’t increase the chance of death, although it might be a symptom; and if you’re elderly, then clearly your death wasn’t early. It might have been on time or even late, but sure as shit it wasn’t early. It’s like having a 10 month pregnancy and then giving birth to a premature baby: it doesn’t compute.
The nature of your death in the end is a matter of opinion. Hitler died at 56, but it wasn’t early enough for me. Also, according to medical sites, there are 47 different causes of back pain, not including that caused by a bus running you over. Obviously, they don’t all come on like the grim reaper foretelling your doom, although the Omnibus collision stands a better than average chance of seeing you off in short order.
All of which brings me to Sky News, and their featured item in Sunrise today, “Is media medical advice confusing?” – to which the answer from the producer should have been, “Yes it is, and no we are not making that today’s feature because it’s a done-to-death cliché”. But the producer went to Harvard Business School and has no imagination, so we the viewers were treated to a debate about it.
It was like watching an episode of Columbo – you only have to watch the first four minutes, after which you know who’s going to jail.
I just went into The Slog’s search engine and discovered I blogged about the subject of media medic bollocks during April 2012. But that is in the nature of the Sky Sunrise featured debate: it’s aimed at people still wondering where David Cameron went, so you have to make them feel it’s the first time anyone thought about the topic. Otherwise they’ll switch to another channel where they feel safer. Something like Warren Report Whitewash.
The name for the Sky featured debate over at my house is Four Twats & a Table, because that describes exactly what you get on The Box. No information or insight is brought to the table: what happens is you get to hear four pieces of human blotting paper expounding views on current events they developed by watching mainstream media coverage of current events: people watching people like us (who have listened to people persuading people like them) telling them what their own personal opinion is, in their opinion, for what it’s worth.
This isn’t so much spinning the narrative as watching someone regurgitate it. Thus do the cardboard Soap characters make their appearances on cue through the doors of the Roving Queen Vic’s Return. There’s Vile Vlad the homoerotic Hacker, Tin Man Trump the pussy-fixated Fascist, Beastly Brexit the Rabid Racist, Jeremy Jam-maker the Tonto Trot, and a host of supporting actors brought in now and then to freshen up the formula.
Every pc more is obeyed, every lazy assumption accepted, every risible hypocrisy ignored, and nobody from Saudi Arabia or Somalia condemned.
It’s just awful Groupthink by Numbers. So think what it’ll be like when Rolling Stones castoff rapist Stewpot Turdoch owns a majority of the shares. Which – trust me – he soon will.
Whoever winds up running the Western World’s media circus, I can guarantee that hurricanes will still be given daft female names. But the latest – Doris – takes the biscuit. To date, Hurricane Doris has caused widespread damage in the UK, given a bloke in Liverpool a blow-job that rendered him horizontal, and gusted at 100 miles per hour to produce giant snowdrifts.
I have never met anyone called Doris who pulled this kind of shit, or indeed anything remotely approaching it. Do you actually know of anybody on either side of the Pond who called a baby Doris in the last forty years? No, and neither do I. But somewhere out there in the murky demi-monde that is meteorology, some twisted pervert has decided Doris it is.
Not content with the silliness involved in this nomenclature, The Telegraph’s website invited us to see how the internet reacted . Here we go again: ‘let’s watch the media watching the weather and then persuade the proles that it’s interesting enough to give them something to say down The Slug & Tsunami tonight’.
“That ‘urricane Doris roit, what is it like?”
“Takin’ the ferkin’ piss or what?”
“We can put a man on the Moon but we can’t stop peopull called Doris from wreakin’ ‘avoc. Ahmeenwassthatabart?”
The mention of Tsunamis reminds me there’s an ecological oceanography Summit under way at the moment. Chucking rubbish into the ocean at the same time as depleting its stocks is one of the Right-on subjects to which I sign up unreservedly. Even here, however, I found Sky’s unfiltered broadcast of the PR hype about rubbish-dumping incorrigibly lazy:
“Every minute of every day, a ten ton truck of rubbish is poured into the oceans of the world”
Do the cubic maths involved here. We could carry on doing that until Hell is converted into a golf course by Trump, and the seabed wouldn’t change by so much as a millimetre. Marine-dumped rubbish isn’t an issue of tons, it’s an issue about life-threatening cruelty to sea creatures….without whose existence we will all one day starve – and serve us bloody-well right.
“I do get that,” says the Producer, “but it’s too dense a thought for the masses, love. Let’s go with the trucks.”
However, the eternal cynic in me would like to point out something about Oceanic ecology Summits.
The depletion of cod stocks in the Channel areas leading up to the North Sea is a crisis that – if it was properly dramatised in Soap terms – would terrify the living crap out of every true-blue Englishman addicted to fish n chips.
So I ask the question: is this Summit taking place in Grimsby? Are the hordes of committed species-balancers flooding into Hull for the weekend? Will the world’s oceanographers gather in the Norewegian fishing port of Alesund, where it’s going to be -7°C tomorrow?
Nope. They’re meeting in Bali.
As the Estate Agents say, “Location, location, location….”