Monday, 16 June 2008

Daytime television

This is Barney. Look at his sorrowful brown eyes and his hopeful wagging tail. Barney has spent all of his life living in the dark under a few wooden boards. Just £2 a month can give Barney the hope of seeing the sun and running through the grass. Give Barney a better life. Now, you mean cold-hearted b*stards.

Daytime television is populated by adverts that are either trying to convince you to buy a new form of bathroom cleaner or trying to make you feel guilty as hell on behalf of various charities. There are no beautiful people adverts during the day with sexy men and women smelling of expensive perfume, driving swish cars or drinking in super clubs. Oh no – these people are out, with busy lives doing busy things. People inside watching daytime television obviously are in need of a clean, and should give their benefit money to charity – and oh, was that a diet advert? Yeah, thanks for that, I get the message.

Television is a weird world nowadays. Back in the day, when it was just four channels, everything followed a loose sort of pattern. Films were either gentle golden-oldies in the afternoon for the elderly, or more explosive action films in the evening. Children’s programmes were shown at lunchtime, or after school. If you wanted the news you would tune in at specific times – especially at 10pm, and you knew when it was time to go to bed, as everything would go all dark…

Yet today, thanks to all the channels, everything is on all the time all over the place, and repeats shore up all the listings. With one click I am in 1975, the next click 1984, the next 1997, and so on. Rarely, it seems, am I in 2008. Days and nights can blend together in TV land, and you’ll emerge, blinking, at some point next week. It’s a mind control device I reckon, a way to keep you quiet and unremarkable. See – Why Don’t You was so ahead of its time…

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