The Age of Reason – Not in My Book

I’m beginning to wonder whether a 21st century society is defined more by its choice of Soap operas than by any sense of national identity or history?

Take New Year’s Eve on television as an example. The choice of viewing is limited to East Enders and Holby City on the BBC or Emmerdale and The Bill on ITV. As an alternative though, you might prefer a festive Brookside but I ask you, is this the best ‘entertainment’ that the broadcasters can offer us? Even worse, does this drivel actually reflect what the population wants to watch on the last evening of 2002?

And then one drives home in the early hours of the New Year and sees that the new neighbours, the ones with the white van in their drive, are having a party, which spills on to the street as a drunken brawl, complete with a noisy dialogue worthy of any of the best soaps.

Am I wrong or is this society, faced by the collapse of any moral imperative, increasingly taking its behavioural cues from the dysfunctional characters in East Enders or Brookside? These episodes feed their audience with an unrelenting diet of poverty, misery, incest, violence and despair and offer little or nothing to make them feel good about life or themselves’. No hope, no aspiration and to quote from a classic ’Blackadder’ line:

“For you Baldric, the Renaissance was something that happened to other people”.

I suspect an element of social engineering at work here, particularly from the BBC, an organisation with its own political agenda and one generously funded by our license fees, whether we like it or not.

Listening to the BBC’s head of political programming speaking at the eSummit on its plans to encourage greater population involvement in politics, I was horrified by the ‘Aunty knows best’ arrogance, which appears to give any broadcaster the right to encourage or influence any part of the political agenda.

But then reality is no longer a function of the world we live in. Reality for many of us lives inside a television set and is populated by 'celebrities', those minor deities who determine what we wear, what we eat and frequently what we think. Simply watch East Enders and one doesn't have to think much further, if at all.

By the way, for more thrilling news on East Enders and Grant Mitchell's 'Secret Love Child' click here.


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