I’m not interested in what the public thinks. Nobody is—not even the public. So enough of their inane feedback on radio and televisionby Edward Docx / August 27, 2009 / Leave a comment
Imagine this. You are driving along following a reasonably successful holiday—or at least a not-wholly-disastrous change of scene. To your unfolding amazement, the road is clear: no road “works” and no congestion. You have put aside your macro anxieties—war, climate change, Katie Price; and you are likewise enjoying rare psychological respite from those of a more personal nature—hair, weight, the staggering tedium of your life thus far. You are not required to make any decisions, there are no strangers in view whom you find attractive and there is nothing to spend your money on or to remind you that you haven’t got any. In other words, you are happy.
Thus, foolishly buoyed, you reach for the radio hoping for a programme worth a sentient adult’s time and the very first thing you hear is the presenter’s voice saying: “With regard to the global economy, Andy from Cheadle has emailed the programme to say he thinks that…” Blocking the irritation you switch stations. Another presenter with a different accent seems to be finishing a discussion about Israel and Palestine but, just as you settle back, she says: “Lindsey from Wrexham has texted in to say…”
Now the fury surges. Recklessly, you dial through as many stations as there are frequencies but it’s always the same: “Sandy on the M11 has got in touch to say that everyone knows Afghanistan is really all about…”; “Alison from Woodbridge has tweeted that she is in favour of vaccinations but that her own doctor is on holiday so…”; “Nigel in Hyde is listening while he gets dressed and wonders why, when it comes to the polar ice caps, there can’t there be more people like Jeremy Clarkson since…”
And so the rage takes full flame and your brief happiness is destroyed. As the traffic comes to a halt, you realise (once again) that you must either endure the misery of 61m atrociously ill-informed opinions; or sit in a solitary silence that is filled only with a feverish internalised loathing for your fellow citizens. At home it is the same. All genres of television programme now contain an abysmal segment during which the presenter reads out a series of inane views from variously mad people with an inexplicable surplus of time and self-regard. And then reminds you that you can find more of the same at the commensurate website, on which you are urged to “join…