Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My annual rant, and I'll have another if I want.

OK so you don't like Big Brother which is about real people and how they really behave, but you do like reading books about imaginary people and all the imaginary stuff that happens to them. I don't get that. So and so famous author really manages to give you the feeling of the character in his novel, and isn't it marvellous how he captures the atmosphere of the time, so he's really great and you all get really excited about it. But when you can actually watch the real unimagined true character of a real human being who actually exists and is not just in someones imagination then you're not impressed. It's a bit like going all swoony over a painting of a sunset when you can step out of your house and watch one for real.

I just get really pissed off with all the pseudo intellectual snobbery that surrounds reality TV. You know what I think it is in the end - it's because you can't sit around at your dinner parties and score points by discussing the finer points of how jolly clever some pretentious writer is blah blah blah. Sorry guys but real people interest me and figments of other peoples imagination don't. And I fucking hate books anyway.

And what about the new housemates who arrived last night - the scottish tranny and the blonde eye candy from London. Yes!


  1. Good rant, Tom. And well said. Apart from the bit about hating books, of course - you really should give a couple of them a try...

    It's the same every year. I spend the first two weeks of BB resisting it at every turn, then find myself with nothing else to do and idly watch an episode or two. Then I'm hooked. the only thing that'll keep me away this time will be the World Cup.

    I don't know why. It's part voyeurism, part horror film, part soap opera. I'd rather they didn't use the phrase 'reality TV' to describe it, because nothing on TV is real, but it is engaging. Give me another week and I'll have picked a couple of favourites, plus a couple I loathe (Grace is a hot favourite for that slot already), and I'll be as disappointed/elated by their progress as the next teenager.

    The thing I've noticed about Big Brother is that the people who are quickest to criticise are usually the ones who haven't watched it. It's a bit like modern conceptual art: everybody thinks they know about it because they saw a piece in the Daily Express. Don't talk to me about the Turner Prize until you've actually been to a couple of exhibitions; and don't pan Big Brother until you've taken the time to find out how it works.

    Here's my big objection, though: I AM tired of it all being kids. I'd like nothing better than to see a houseful of opinionated stick-in-the-mud fifty-somethings slugging it out in there. They might have to censor some of the bodily functions more carefully, but the arguments would get really meaty.

    Plus, of course, the sex would be of a higher quality, albeit less frequent.

  2. Anonymous30/5/06 05:29

    Agree with all!
    Tom, we will assimilate you one day. You will become a bibliophile - resistance is futile.

  3. Markie,

    Why should the bodily functions of us fifty-somethings have to be censored any more than those of young, cute, whippersnappers? Ok, we don't look that good in our underdrawers (is that what you Brits call 'em?) but hey, those bodily functions are gross no matter how young or buff the functionER.

    But I agree with you totally that it would be interesting to have fifty-somethings with not even the hint of a six-pack (what Yanks call a toned, muscled abdominal region)and minimal amounts of estrogen/testosterone slug it out on a "really real" reality show.

    xjdnlo - What they call Jennifer Lopez in Albania.

  4. Tom, reading your prose, it is quite clear that your style is drawn from Thomas Hardy and F Scott Fitzgerald. I suspect that you have secretly been reading the classics and do not even own a TV set. In fact I know that the 'blah blah blah' line was lifted straight from Turgenev.

  5. High quality ranting, Tom, that'll keep me on my game. I'm with Mark on this. That's why each year I try and resist it ever more determinedly.

    Tell us how you cope with the Davina-factor?

    Carmentzta - you're not into copro-porn, then?

    Great stuff.

    Meant to ask, have you got your retail park yet?

    spkklcmm - what the housemates do in the spa-bath.

  6. A very convincing argument, Tom. I've watched it in the past but have absolutely no interest in the current cohort.

    I like Mark's idea - there's be loads of oral sex. Lots of talking about but no actual doing it unless they allowed Viagra tablets on the shopping lists.

  7. So....because I dislike reality shows I don't stand a chance with you now do I?


    Oh well. And you have those wonderfully hairy ears and everything.

  8. Mark - phew, thanks for that. I was beginning to think I'd took a wrong turn there. And I'm not totally against books - I just used them as an example of something everyone just assumes is good.
    As for the old peoples BB, bring it on, although if I'm truly honest I would miss the eye candy feature. Middle-aged sex - I agree about the higher qualiy, but I'm not so sure about it as a viewing experience.
    CherryR - I'll fight all the way. I have read quite a few books in my life - it's mainly lack of time now really, what with watching BB and all that.
    Carmy - Actually the best bits of BB aren't the sex, it's more about the interaction of the characters. I guess the viewers would turn off in droves if a couple of 50 year olds started going at it.
    Vicus - my old friend - I know you are a book enthusiast. Books can't be all bad; where else did you get your vast knowledge and wisdom from.
    Krusty - I look forward to your BB observations
    Cherrypie - are we drifting apart - I suppose it's inevitable after all this time.
    Pamela - don't try the old advance and retreat on me baby - I'm wised up to that one.

  9. What you said about Big Brother being about real people and how they really behave ... isn't it people behaving in an exaggerated way, playing a game to win popularity, edited down to an hour's entertainment in the evening?

    Not that it's a criticism, but the expression "reality tv" is a bit off the mark. Programmes such as the X Factor for instance are just modern pantomime.

    As for Mark's suggestion of introducing more fifty-something Big Brother inmates, I can't see many people of that age wanting to appear on there, because older people tend not to have the desperate desire for fame and attention at any cost that a lot of younger people do.

    Davina McCall ... ugh. Time she retired to the country to bring up all those babies she keeps churning out.

  10. Betty - they might have to look a bit harder. But they'd find enough to fill the BB house.

    And if they DID allow viagra on the shopping list... Phew.

  11. Mark, let's back off from the viagra on the shopping list - that would just be gross.
    Betty - You're probably right. I was listening to a discussion about this very thing yesterday and they were saying the fact that the housemates applied to go on the programme in the first place was a bit of a clue to their state of mind.
    I'd give the 50 somethings show a go as long as I didn't have to go through a huge longwinded selection process. I'd do it because I reckon I'd be good at it, although I might be a bit scared of the women - they'd be bound to put a couple of HRTs in there.
    Davina, what can you say. I love her because she loves BB but I could do without all the babies.

  12. Tom - but BB IS gross!

    And if HRT is allowable, I think Viagra should be too. Along with blood pressure and heart medication.

  13. Mark, just out of interest have you ever tried viagra?

  14. Krusty, no, not into copro-porn...(ewwww), are you?

    Mark, nose hair clippers should also be allowed on the shopping list, and maybe Depends and Dentu-creme?

    Betty, I disagree with you about 50-somethings not having the desperate desire for fame and attention. You should see the mature 50-something guys/gals I work with that walk around with meat cleavers just so they get the next promotion. A lot of copro-nosing too...

  15. Tom, who said I was retreating?

  16. Don't forget the TenaLady.

    That wasn't our first tiff was it, Tom? Bugger! I'd have gone at it hammer and tongues if I'd realised - the making up would be so much more passionate that way.

    Besides, you can't dump me, I need to see if Mark replies!

  17. I've seen a picture of Tom....I've seen a picture of Tom. Problem is, there were two blokes in the picture and no one will tell me which is which. How am I supposed to be stalking the right man?

  18. I will differ with you on reality television but only on a very narrow point from the one day I stayed awake in physics - they very act of observing reality adds an effect that changes that reality.

    Put a bunch of people in front of a camera and with a financial incentive and they're not going to behave in an otherwise real manner.

    Except maybe for a Scottish tranny . . .

  19. Got to disagree Tom. The BB snobs are the ones who claim to watch it because they think it makes them appear somehow grounded with the hoi palloi. If I want to see real people I'll look out the window, I won't find them on telly.

    I have watched "I'm a celebrity etc" and actually quite enjoy it. Although it's still a manufactured environment it's so far removed from anyone's own one that you do see a side of people you don't expect to.

  20. Cherrypie, you can't just bugger off and leave me every weekend and expect me to be waiting for you when you get back. Especially when there's a desperately hot american bird around who is determined to get her way.
    Thank god this isn't the real world - what would I tell the missus.
    And Mark is deliberately avoiding that question, probably because he has tried it and he doesn't want to tell us about it.

    Pammy - I'm the one with the hairy ears. you need to stalk the other one.

    Fronty - you are correct on the mis-use of the word reality. As an enthusiastic student of vedanta I can back you up on that one.
    The cameras and money are just part of the equation - you can't argue that something becomes unreal if it is subjected to an influence, apart from a scottish tranny, of course.

    Richard - I look forward to sharing views with you during the next IACGMOOH.
    The same thing happened with football didn't it, when all the yuppies moved in on the game - it's the way society changes though isn't it - we all wade in for the wrong reasons and then decide we like it there.

  21. Derrrr....

    Sorry Tom. Wasn't avoiding the subject. I just haven't been back here for a few hours.

    As readers of Bertha the Earthtruck will recall, I have at various times in my life displayed a cavalier attitude to certain recreational drugs. Pick the bones out of that if you will.

  22. Carmentza - i've no idea what a Depend is. Does it increase secual performance?

  23. Scuse the typo. You know what I meant.

  24. Mark, I've been working on my secual technique for years, but sadly all to no avail. Secuality is not everyone's cup of tea I fear.

  25. I've got time. I can stalk you both!

  26. Both? Does she mean thee and me, Tom?

    How exciting.

  27. Oh. No. That'll teach me to read before I comment. I thought I had my first stalker. Or 'My First Stalker', as Hasbro will undoubtedly call their new line of toys just as soon as this brilliant idea wings its way round the internet to their product development department.

  28. Mark, having a stalker is not all fun and games. I woke up in a hot sweat last night worrying about it. Pammy is a very dogged and determined lady and to be honest if you just show her even a little affection she'll be onto you in a flash. Give it a try and take the heat off me for a while.

  29. It's the way she peers over her sunnies in that coquettish manner, isn't it?

  30. Absolutely Mark. She is quite a hot bird - I think you should give it a go for a while. She's good with the one liners too, which is always a turn on.

  31. Seeing as you've run off with Pamela ( you'll be back once you've realised it's me that you really need), I thought I'd better bring some post over that's been left for you at mine.

    Digi-birder, an emminent ornithologist of my acquaintance said:

    Yellow Wagtails are regular summer visitors to UK and breed here. Admittedly, they are not the most common of birds, as for example, the Grey Wagtail which is resident.

    The door's open. I'll be sun-bathing in the back garden. Flowers would be nice x

  32. Anonymous3/6/06 05:21

    So I suppose only Tom and I are thrilled to see the back of Seisure - making an assumption on your behalf Tom!

  33. I hear you're the one with the hairy ears that all the girls are after - is this where we queue?

  34. Carmenzta - no, I think it's shit.

    So the idea of Davina-lettes doesn't appeal then, Tom?

    I look forward to my BB observations. I expect I will have to give in out of sheer bloody curiosity. Damn telly.

  35. Tom- well said about people finding real reality boring, but pretend reality fascinating!
    It's so true, that it makes a person grin.

  36. Tom, the jungle one is actually the only one I can tolerate and rarely miss a day. Odd, isn't it.