|THE PILL BOX|
A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
Attenborough has a place in the nation's heart for the same reason Peel (or even Dr. Who as a character) did. They represented 'Reithian' values that people once 'respected' and now long for; which themselves represented a 'Britishness' - mythical or otherwise - that's pretty much vanished now. The educated/informed patriarch imparting his influence or knowledge for 'the common good' and enlightening 'the great unwashed'. Lest we forget that Attenborough gave us BBC2 (the antithesis of today's crude, bullying commercialism).
I doubt Colin Murray will end up with the almost religious devotion Peel's had since his death (even by people who hated everything he played). Nor will Attenborough's death be subject to the vast amount of schoolyard jokes Steve Irwin had. As much as I can't stand Morrisey, I can see his Larkin/Pinter/Kenneth Williams appeal. He's the arch nostalgist - for a world of rationing, emotional austerity, 'keeping your chin up', a grey Britain where you could at least get milk at school and regard the gas board, post office etc., as 'serving the nation'.
Which brings us back to hauntology - that 'old' Britain has vanished, but's its traces lurk around; trying it's best to age gracefully (unlike 'new' Britain, trying to keeps its wig on and its tits firm on its deathbed).
Personally, I hope Attenborough wins. Even more hauntological is how he represented a world where other species managed to survive in their natural environment without some Australian moron pouncing on them and calling them 'cute little fellers'. Despite the overuse of 'iconic', we do need some sense of national comfort that doesn't require biometric cards...
I'm not for a minute questioning Attenborough's position as a broadcasrer and programme maker of genius ... but is he an ICON? In what way? Even though I'm not a fan, of those three, maybe only Morrissey could properly be called iconic in his position and influence... in the same way that Bowie and Siouxsie Sioux (or Hockney and Hirst) also were/are, yeah? I never liked The Smiths - but Morrissey unDOUBTedly had a huge influence - through his dress and manner, and through the 'iconic' images on record sleeves, in a way that remains really interesting...
maybe nobody voted? maybe it was like the astrology columns in women mags - my sis who worked on one said they used to say 'who wants to do the stars?' five minutes before the deadline
oh leave david attenborough alone. he's done more for british culture and for educating the plebs than any music critic ever has.
gawd help us i'm not HAVING A GO at the sainted david; i'm having a go at a vapid programme on BBC2 which makes a mockery of the hopes and contributions of precisely such broadcasters innovators as he...
(although i remain ever suspicious of that sort of idea - lampooned so brilliantly by victoria wood - that something like attenborough is What TV *Should* Be, and everything else is a force field of mind-melt crud designed to pacify your so-called "plebs" ...
i wonder if powerful people in the upper echelons of TV *have* been reading the Pill Box ...!
Film 4 this week: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (as per a recent PB suggestion);
ITV 3 currently: a Warren Beatty season
ITV 4 next weekend: a Sam Peckinpah Night.
Now all we need is some Fassbinder and it's a cinch ...
'Iconic' is of course overdone to the point of meaninglessness - funny how when our totalitarian celeb culture has devalued 'fame' per se, there is this endless rush to identify 'icons' i.e. a way of identifying those who are famous for ACHIEVING something, however minor.
It's a way of finding a kind of 'earned' fame index in our ever-fickle media landscape... Will Young = 'celeb', Morrisey = 'icon'; Gordon Ramsay = 'celeb', Fanny Craddock = 'icon';
David Walliams = 'celeb', Ronnie Barker = 'icon'; Jude Law = 'celeb', Jack Nicholson ='icon'.
Nothing to do with 'quality' just a way of knowing who's actually 'meaningfully' famous vs. who's just on telly or in 'Heat' a lot.
It's just a new 'noughties' paradigm. Old farts like us just don't get it as much as the 'demographic' most mass media is targeting...
One thing's for sure; the 1983 equivalent of The Culture Show would have run a million miles from Morrissey.
Also note Howard Goodall's How Music Works on C4, hailed as arts programming at its best when actually programmes like this used to be on schools TV as a matter of routine. Words And Pictures is its natural bedfellow, not The Ascent Of Man.
Grumble, grumble ... not like the old days ... we had standards then ... what's today's youth coming to?
Anyway, modern 'arts' programme does seem to be a school TV level. Like all those 'history' shows that seem to be over-stylised pastiches of 'CSI' autopsy shows.
Personally NCIS is my favoured Saturday evening televisual viewing. David McCallum as Magnus Pyke >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Zina Bendybus-Wimoweh
the culture show is irritating twaddle for half-wits who read FHM but feel guilty about objectifying women. and verity sharp is an irritating cunt, with a face like a gremlin eating a wasp. no change that, SHE IS a wasp. i can just imagine her interviewing the winner (lets pretend its kate bush)...
verity: "miss buth cweates wadical moosik made fwum a faiwight thampler and ecwectic infwuences and hath become an endoowing icon faw wimmin in wock and pop"
kate bush: "oh fuck off back to cambwidge"
Hey Verity's just like 99% of other TV presenters - arts or otherwise. 'The Culture Show' just seems like Saturday morning TV, but on later.
Maybe the producers think it's the only way to compete with Ant and Dec! The weird logic of TV probably makes it a priority to compete with 'em
Strange why the BBC thinks it needs to compete with Ant and Dec when the latter have repeatedly been trounced in the ratings by both Dr Who and Robin Hood.
No, Verity's personality, a mixture of nasty upper middle class snootiness and no brain cells is by far the worst on tv.
Now, back to icons: surely it would be immoral for us to not to at least try to stop it being macca by voting for mozza?
Agree with Aguirre to some extent on his comments about icons versus celebs... but how, using those criteria, can HANDBAGS be iconic?
And I absolutely agree with Marcello about arts progs being like old schools programming.... as I'm typing I'm listening to Yentob's absurdly low-level prog about the web... who IS the demographic for BBC1 now? Not children, for sure, who would certainly feel patronised... bewildered pensioners maybe?
Ditto the attempt to make Robin Hood and Doctor Who 'trendy' and 'relevant'. Robin Hood as some kind of cheeky-chappie Mike Skinner (hoodies? oh, do fuck off...)? The Doctor as an eccentric copper (Ecclestone in that CID jacket)? Or David Tennant as the missing member of Franz Ferdinand, and too many episodes looking like they're borrowing the Eastenders set? Or the horrible dialogue given to black characters? Unlike previous doctors neither look, talk or behave like a scientist - more like youth workers.Post a Comment
Programmers don't seem to realise that 15-year old girls aren't particularly interested in adventure shows on Saturday night (or indeed mass appeal TV). I'm sure they have more mature concerns.
Whatever happened to entertainment for 8-year old boys? Why are they always targeted with 'dark' movies? Or 'comedies' about ejaculation, decadent celebrities etc. Every 'reinvention' of some popular character has to be oh-so-dark now (the 'darkness' gives me a headache trying to watch 'em). Or those facistic dog-eat-dog urban hell playstation games?
The prevalence of the above is probably what made 'Harry Potter' such a mega-phenomenon. Maybe young kids don't actually want their faces rubbed in 'the horror, the horror' all the time...
AGUIRRE(:wrath of the concerned parent of little boys...)