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signs of the times - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-12-20 01:58
Subject: signs of the times
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:calmcalm
Music:news 24
Over at the Times, Janice Turner launches into a jeremiad against vulgarity on television. It's not the first that I've seen, but what makes this one interesting is the way she links a supposed lowering of public tolerance to vulgarity with the credit crunch.
Which is bollocks. Her first two pars read:

Just as the failure of Lehman Brothers was the tipping point towards recession, so the Jonathan Ross-Russell Brand debacle appears to have marked a monumental shift in the cultural weather. The two are intrinsically linked. As our working lives are riven with uncertainty, our savings destroyed and even our lists to Santa downsized, who needs the added annoyance of being told to eff off by your own telly?
The announcements by both Ross and the chef Jamie Oliver this week that they will swear less on their shows were a shrewd reading of the zeitgeist. The age of brashness is over.


This strikes me as dangerously wrongheaded. Ross is still under suspension and has had some relatively strict guidelines imposed on him by the BBC - what he's done is agree to them, not unilaterally announce that he's decided to swear less. As for Jamie, he's a bright lad and he's scented the wind and he's realised that after the various BBC, ITV and Channel 4 debacles of recent months broadcasters are now less likely to step in and protect their talent if they overstep the mark. And anyway, let's be honest, when did the spectacle of Jamie Oliver saying `fuck' ever threaten civilisation?
I don't see a connection here with the economic downturn. All I see is another article beating television with a big stick.
And there's a totally unforgiveable slur on `intellectuals' who allegedly talk down David Tennant's performance as Hamlet because he's a `lightweight tv actor.' Janice Turner needs to get some new friends, because the ones she has don't know what they're talking about.
This kind of fluffy, badly thought-out piece just makes me angry. Turner may have a point that television will be moving away from vulgarity, but it has nothing to do with the state of the economy and everything to do with the fact that audiences and protest groups have discovered that the broadcasters have been shamed to such an extent that they will roll over and play dead at the least complaint from the public, and the talent knows it.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2008-12-20 09:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Someone linked our tolerance for vulgarity with the size of our wallets? But that's....that's balderdash!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-20 22:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Utter tosh.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-12-20 17:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
While that is definitely a poorly written article, her premise is not completely without merit. The connection lies in the societal willingness of these first few years of the 21st century to accept any behavior if it's making enough money for someone whom is admired by that same media-manipulated society. Her two examples are just manifestations of the same sort of thing. She asserts that the wake-up call of the worldwide economic collapse we are currently experiencing has also nudged awake certain groups of people regarding vulgarity and the coarsening of the entertainment industry, that much of society has chosen for their moral touchstone. That is what I gleaned from her article, although it sure took a fair amount of work to do so.

My apologies on dissenting especially so close to your birthday.
Happy belated 48th!

- the other jean-marie
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-20 22:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I see where you're coming from, but I'm afraid I can't agree. There have always been groups of people protesting about content on television - the most recent I can think of is the Christian protestors against the screening of Jerry Springer: The Opera on Channel 4, and that was during what looks now to have been an economic boom time.
I don't think there's an economic background to this at all. I think the protest groups sense that the broadcasters are now so sensitive to criticism that they'll act on any complaint.
For example, there was a voting screwup on last week's Strictly Come Dancing (US title: Dancing With The Stars {I think}) which led to three couples going through to tonight's final. I'm not a Strictly fan so I can't pretend to understand what happened, but from what I can gather it was an honest error. It may have been a slow news-week, but the story was splashed all over the media. A couple of years ago, it would hardly have rated a mention, but because of the other voting `scandals,'because of Ross and Brand and so on, it was big news.
What I think has happened is that the viewers have realised they have real power, that the channels now have to pay attention to them. It started before the banking collapses.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2008-12-20 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You're still talking about cause and effect. If that had been the thrust of her article, it would be wholly fallacious. However, that was not her premise. What I'm saying is that the waking up process that is taking place in the world started years ago and it is manifesting in many aspects of life. The banking collapse is simply the crisis that just might function as the tipping point.

-the ojm


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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-21 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hm. I think she really is talking about cause and effect, you know. You're talking about the New World Order, and as I understand it they're two completely different things. I agree the banking collapse could be seen as a tipping point, but I suspect it will only function philosophically. Once the banking system rights itself (if it rights itself) I have a feeling that it will need to return to business as usual as soon as possible. The tipping point you refer to may be something else, something we can't yet predict.
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mylefteye
User: mylefteye
Date: 2008-12-21 01:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I read many years ago -- I think it was in Desmond Morris's Human Zoo -- that society's permissiveness swings constantly from one extreme to the other. We have decades of (let's call it) prim society, which brings about rebellion. Eventually, the rebels get the society they want and permissiveness is the norm. But just as a prim society is an unnatural state for the human animal, so is an overly permissive one, and so the pendulum must gradually be pulled back. But never finding an equilibrium sadly.

I've probably explained that very badly. It's 1.30 am.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-21 01:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
No, I get it. I heard something similar years ago about immigration: the first generation assimilates, the second revolts, the third finds a synthesis, the fourth revolts. And so on.
This is going to go on and on. I actually think we now have a broadcasting system which treats us like modern adults. I find it rather insulting that some people think the BBC should behave as if we were still living in the 1950s.
What are you still doing up at half past one?
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