Monday, August 22, 2005

Friday night is fascist night on four.

What's happened to Channel 4? Once the Channel for minorities, which showed worthy programmes like Countdown (word quiz for agoraphobic geeks), Brookside (essentially a party political broadcast on behalf of Arthur Scargill) and OUT on Tuesday (pre-commericalised gay tv featuring politicised gay people who did not look like they'd just fallen out of Chi-Chi La Rue's jacuzzi). It did a very good job at pissing off right-wingers.

But gradually, Channel 4 has forgotten that it was the PC Channel for minorities and has instead become Channel Fascist. It's decided that instead of being PC it's going to be as un-PC as it can. In a decade, it has gone from being incredibly left-wing, to incredibly right-wing - to the point of fascism - glorifying violence, cruelty and humiliation.

I blame the bad influence of its slutty younger sister E4 (where every night is Friday night - and the blipverts feature a teddy bear with its arm falling off and a thickset cartoon bully "hilariously" thumping a little guy, pushing him out of the way and putting him a "affectionate" necklock - he'll be slapping him next and recording it on his mobile). Since the 1990s, Friday nights on channel 4 have always been a bit sick - The Word was car-crash tv writ large. But at least it was occasionally entertaining and embarrassing or gross rather than cruel. But now cruelty reigns on Friday nights on Channel 4. If you thought the Big Brother eviction night (essentially a weekly public lynching) was bad enough, then you ain't seen nothing yet. The new Friday line-up contains a vile cartoon about teenage girls (bullying features heavily), a hidden camera show called Balls of Steel (which features "hilarious" gags such as putting dog shit on pelican crossing control buttons) and a new Asian comedy called Meet the Magoons which had about a dozen homophobic jokes in the first episode. I guess it's supposed to be OK when one minority group are offensive towards another group. You can complain to Ofcom here.

What is happening here (and it's been a trend in the UK for about 5 years now) is that cruelty and hatred are becoming acceptable as long as they're packaged as humour. The "joke" is a very powerful weapon in the arsenal of hatred. Complain about it and you're told "can't you take a joke?", "you have no sense of humour?", "we're just 'avin' a laff!" or even "we're laughing with you not at you". To quote from a line from the film Happiness - I'm not laughing. Fucking fascists.

(Channel 4, incidentally would LOVE this post - with a decreasing market share, any attention is better than no attention, which is of course, why they're doing it - they're so jaded that they probably employ people to complain to Ofcom themselves, hoping it'll generate headlines.)

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