We were chatting, the lovely Jenny and I, about the strange things that are appearing on the nation's television sets; There's a programme coming up that's based on the marvellous idea of getting someone at work to walk about naked. Oh, the drama! LOL. Oh, the pathos! OMG. Oh, for Pete's sake. GOS.*
Reality TV, when it first struck the airwaves, was an awful dive into voyeurism, and I wondered whether it could possibly get any worse. I thought, at the time, that it would never descend to - say - live autopsies (on air now), nor nakedness at (insert location here). I'm waiting for the Naked Flying Nuns. Seriously. They'll be young, beautiful, with pert, upright breasts, and twins. OMG. Experimenting with holy water and oil. LOL.
*GOS - Grumpy Old Shit.
This descent into soft porn (and you'll have some idea of my opinion re porn - see http://aoteawriters.blogspot.com/2010/09/promiscuitypornography-and-pootling.html ) is inevitable, pernicious, and nasty. I can't help but think, LOL, that reality TV is related, in many ways, to the social networking sites on the internet. I use Facebook purely for lettiong people know that I've just scribbled a new Blog, or to have a quick look to see if any of my friends (ahem) are doing anything interesting. There does seem to me to be a lot of one-line shrieks, usually accompanied by LOL and OMG (but hardly ever GOS). I'm curiously amused by the fact that LOL gets tossed in where it seems grossly inappropriate: "Ur pregnint?!?!! LOL!!!!!". Or "I woke next to a complete stranger this morning LOL!!!"
But the thing with the social networks and the bubblebums on reality TV is this: they are a form of validation for the individuals who use them. I Facebook / Twitter /Mysppace, therefore I am. Scuzzy people are on the tele, and they're like me, so it's like I'm on the tele LOL OMG, it's me, it's me.
Meanwhile, Michael Hooper, the Commonwealth Games honcho, has been living in Delhi for the past three years, with the games Federation paying up to $NZ36,000 a month rental for the small farm he's been living on. Fair enough, that's what was agreed. He also has six staff at his home, who are being paid, allup, $NZ1100 a month. Yep, less than $NZ200 each. Nothing to LOL about there. But I was tempted to say OMG, and fuck. Yes, it's probably the going rate. It's also immoral that he should be looked after to the tune of $36,000 a month rent, plus his salary, plus car, etc - and pay his staff an amount that would be regarded as criminal at home. The man is a disgrace to this country.
Reading: Still on the same book: been busy.
Listening to: Julian Lloyd Weber, "Unexpected Songs". LO - oh, fuck it.
More "Paper Heroes":
Hadn’t he taken them from the barbarity of their own time, and shown them what mankind had achieved in the past few hundred years?
Crayne slapped the table, stood, and went to the window, looking at the city that sat so smugly under the sunshine, and in the benign shadow of twenty dormant volcanoes. His frustration was palpable – and then it went away. And a part of him knew that he should be angry about that, too, but he just couldn’t be. He turned, and said “But we have no anger, Charles. You people have completely misunderstood the emotions that once motivated us, once drove us. We need anger. We need fear. We need all those so-called negative emotions to function. We need to be cruel, Charles. We can contemplate the thought of violence, but we are at one step removed from it. Violence is to us exactly what it is to you, Charles: a theory, rather than a reality. I – we – don’t know that we can be motivated to bring real harm to another. The embots you have given us have crippled us, and we need to be set free. We can’t fight coldly. Have these embots re-programmed.”
“Better yet,” growled Blunt, “remove them. The marvel of your nanobots is good: but the ones that censor my thoughts must go. Remove them, man. Otherwise we are as much use to you as one of your so-called normal citizens.”
“In bringing us back to life with this handicap,” said Crayne, “you’ve effectively crippled us. You might just as well have held a gun to our heads and blown our brains out.”