Sunday, 3 January 2010

The complete collapse of all journalistic integrity in broadcasting even before it's been officially approved part 34621

ITV News on Saturday night began with fast-cuts of David Cameron appearing to repeat the word "change".

And there are in this country people who think party political broadcasts no longer exist other than at election time.

I note also that the latest Presley wankfest - an ever more desperate reminder that, for our rulers, what were in fact the British state's greatest missed opportunities in the last 100 years were in fact great and wonderful things because their long-term legacy allowed our current rulers to shape and define themselves and the whole neoliberal agenda - is all over BBC Four, as well as everywhere else. I don't recall it being so five years ago this month, when amid terrible, unbearable desperation we at least had the best Dennis Potter season ever. Never forget: "choice" is a chimera. I know how much DVD has boomed and how much Blu-Ray will, but in many ways they merely give the elite the excuse for greater control of everybody else.

Just one other thing: I know downloads of individual tracks are the dominant force now, but the top two British acts on the first album chart published in 2010 are both Scottish (I've no love for either - Nutini is in many ways far more aesthetically offensive than Boyle - but still). The top three English acts all come from either private schools or the West Country, until the shakedown of the last decade just about the two most un-pop environments in England. I think that might give some idea over who will in all likelihood come out best from the decade to come. And, of course, who will come out worst.


  1. Interesting developments with English geography and pop-culture (and inoticed a few months ago Sheffield's greatest rocker came pretty close to endorsing Cameron).

    Incidentally, I noticed both The Guardian and The Telegraph listed Borat as one of the decade’s best films; which I think shows a weird convergence in their neo-liberal outlooks. Ok, I have to admit I did laugh out loud throughout it, but I acknowledge that’s because I have a childish sense of humour. It was really very lowest-common-denominator film-making at its best (an Oxbridge graduate acting a stupid stereotype foreigner and fooling less educated people), whilst a lot of it was obviously staged (when he meets the students) and some was profoundly unfunny (the pubic hair jokes).

    There were some intelligent flashes. The scene at the stadium was widely misreported in the American media. No-one booed him for saying he wanted George W Bush to drink the blood of every Iraqi man woman and child, but they did when he sang that Khazakstan was the greatest country on earth. But most of it was just silly.

    Anyway, as I’ve said before, I think part of the joke is on us Brits. Cohen used an American comedy stereotype: the wide-eyed foreigner who loves outdated American pop culture, without seeing that’s what Britain has become. The Emo thing looks stupid enough on the Jonas Brothers, never mind on some of the flabby middle aged blokes in Britain who seem to think it’s ‘them’.

  2. Indeed.

    And let us not forget that he made his name with a fairly clear implication that people from supposedly "naff", "goofy" British provincial backgrounds who *do* like what's actually happening *now* in that part of US pop culture dominated by the country's historically marginalised racial group as inherently risible and hilarious. I knew, even back then, that his agenda was fundamentally right-wing - laughing at people who don't know their racial and cultural place.

    By that time I had already lost faith in white pop, and it was only the stuff I wasn't "supposed" to like - which I actually understood beneath its distancing mass-media caricature - that spoke to me and told me anything about the world I was in. A decade on, I know better than ever that saying to people "have you heard the new Sharky Major freestyle?" - and still getting excited about such things - is a sure sign that I'll never be a reactionary. If I ever *stop* getting excited about such things then you can happily shoot me, and no jury *should* convict you, because then I *would* be a reactionary. Baron Cohen was a reactionary from day one. He still is. He wouldn't understand one word of this post.

  3. ITN - another example of the uncritical media, all 'chirpy entertainment', no public service (regardless of remit, or Ofcom or whatever). No awareness seemingly of "Time Trumpet"'s Cameron-Blair 'Changes' skit of a few years back; a brilliantly funny/scary sequence getting to the heart of what is rotten in this country's politics.