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Sleepless in Fulham: Rambling and gambling by David Young
Monday, 8 January 2007
Come friendly bombs ...
Topic: Television

Recently Peter Birks mentioned a game called 'humiliation' on his blog. The idea is that a group of people tell each other what films they haven't seen. You get a point for every person who's seen a film that you haven't. So if you've never seen 'The Godfather' or 'The Great Escape' you should score well. I wouldn't do well at the game, as I've seen most of the classics. I might pick up some points for not having seen 'The Lion King' or 'Shrek', but that's about it.

I might do better if there were a television version. I'm proud to say that last year I didn't watch a full minute of 'The X Factor', 'Strictly Come Dancing' or 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here'. The latter did interest me as a betting medium a few years ago, but I can't be bothered to put the hours in any more. I wish all these reality shows and elimination contests would go away. I can't believe that people aren't already sick of them. I did watch the new intake of so-called celebrities into the Big Brother household last week, but that was by chance. Having caught it while scanning the channels, I stayed on to see whether there were any figures I would find interesting from the world of politics or current affairs. I was stunned when they got George Galloway last year and part of me hoped that Tony Benn might have walked down the red carpet this year, but it was not to be. The selection they've got this time is dismal in the extreme. The subsequent arrival of Jade Goody suggests that the format has been stretched to the absolute limit. Thank heavens for ABC1. I don't think I could have survived last year without regular viewings of 'Scrubs' and 'Less than Perfect'. I seen most of them now but I would still rather watch an episode I've seen before than any of the current 'reality' shows.

The emptiness of so much contemporary TV does bring me down. I don't mind it being explicit or suggestive. I'm not Mary Whitehouse. It's the 'look at me' narcissism of people who do absolutely nothing and haven't a thought in their head that bothers me. I often used to wonder what some of Britain's religious minority communities thought of the culture of the majority population when they see Big Brother contestants, most of whom are barely even cretins, unable to hold conversations about anything other than themselves. I got the chance to find out last year while talking to some young veiled and headscarved muslim women I met at the university where I'm taking night classes (a subject for another time). Contrary to what you might think, they were very articulate. They clearly found being muslim very exciting and so I tried to see things from their point of view and asked a leading question:

'I guess then when you look at things like Big Brother, you must think that western society is pretty empty'.

I've never seen someone nod so hard. So with that in mind, what would they make of this programme description? It's something I copied down from the info page on Freeview:

 'The Ashlee Simpson Show'

Jessica Simpson's younger sister Ashlee sets out to become a pop star. Ashlee's friends surprise her with a cake on her 20th birthday. She also decides on a haircut.

Betjeman's take on Slough springs to mind. I don't want you to think that these ladies support violence. They don't. But others from religious backgrounds do and it's not always foreign policy that motivates them. The human soul does from time to time feel the need for something to inspire it. The emptiness of much of modern culture instead leaves a void for extremists to fill.


_ DY at 1:04 AM GMT
Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007 1:11 AM GMT
Post Comment | View Comments (8) | Permalink

Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 2:47 AM GMT

Name: "Little Hood"

Unlike Shakespeare's time when religious violence was nil.

 

It's great to see you wittering away at Gutshot again. It's a shame Baby Jane has rekindled your interest, indeed, it was she who posted threads about IACGMOFH. Whatever, both of you are value. 

 

I just wonder why you post at the free speech page?

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, 9 January 2007 - 3:47 AM GMT

Name: "David Young"

I am certainly not advocating a return to religion! I'm firmly atheist. I'm tired, so I won't go any deeper on this for now.

To answer your other questions, I look at the GS forum, despite the evident decline in the quality of posts in order to check for anything libellous about me or Allan Engel. Someone once insinuated things about Allan's departure from Gutshot (accusations of stealing). Derek was great about it and set the record straight soon afterwards, but he can't be expected to read everything and might not have seen it.

I felt bad for 'Flanks' when someone wrote that he was Baby Jane. Flanks is an OK bloke from what I've seen of him. So it's not nice to suggest that he's a sad and bitter loser like BJ. I wanted to defend him. 

As for the other site, something similar applies. I got involved when I saw some ignorant twit link to a thread about P4C and title it 'bent fuckers' or something (can't be bothered to check). The thread did not however point uniquely to the conclusion that P4C is corrupt, though something clearly isn't right. The response I got to that was some bizarre non-sequitur, but you already know that.

DY

Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 10:25 AM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

The answer to your problems...

http://www.hvk.org/articles/1103/75.html

Which is better?

Belief in nothing but doing as you please resulting in a non-nation of 60 million individuals with no common purpose.

Or, believing in something, no matter how tenuous, but which creates an homogeneous society full of purpose.

We are all born to die. A purposeful life is a good one. An aimless life is not. The religions of TV, celebrity and money are false prophets.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 12:28 PM GMT

Name: "Coomie Boy"

Hi David

On a semi related topic, have you read Richard Dawkin's new book, "The God Delusion" yet? Top of the Amazon bestseller list for a good few weeks and still in the top ten I beleive. Which is a reassuring situation. If you haven't, then you are missing out. It is utterly fantastic and a lot more accessible than some of his other works.

 Cheers

 CB

Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 1:30 PM GMT

Name: "David Young"

"Coomie Boy" wrote:

Hi David

On a semi related topic, have you read Richard Dawkin's new book, "The God Delusion" yet? Top of the Amazon bestseller list for a good few weeks and still in the top ten I beleive. Which is a reassuring situation. If you haven't, then you are missing out. It is utterly fantastic and a lot more accessible than some of his other works.

 Cheers

 CB


I might get it when it's a paperback (see past entries). Every time I've seen it in a shop and skimmed the pages, I've read a bit and thought 'Hey, I've thought of that already!'.

DY

Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 3:42 PM GMT

Name: "Commie Boy"

Great minds David!!!
Also recommend "The Devil's Chaplain" and if you want some very in depth hard core evolution stuff, "The blind watchmaker." 
 And of course, the work of James Randi should be compulsory for anyone wishing to keep themselves from ingorance and the temptation to want to believe in what makes us comforatble as opposed to the beauty of what we discover when we examine something scientifically and objectively.. Randi is legend. www.randi.org
 Cheers
CB

Wednesday, 10 January 2007 - 7:31 PM GMT

Name: "anonymous"

"to want to believe in what makes us comfortable"

The trouble is that your liberal nirvana has created a world where people feel comfortable watching crappy TV, and projecting their aspirations through semi-literate footballers, coke snorting models, scientology worshipping actors and self-obsessed pop singers.

So what if religion is bunk. At least its moderate adherents are more rounded individuals than the people that worship the above.

Thursday, 11 January 2007 - 11:12 AM GMT

Name: "Commie Boy"

 

"At least its moderate adherents are more rounded individuals than the people that worship the above."

 

And most "moderate adherents" to modern life in this country are perfectly well rounded people. Some may be gullible and believe that celebrities and footballers are wonderful, but personal opinion is fine and we can all have a good debate about it. However, saying your belief in gods, goblins, fairies or orbiting tea pots are fact and then blowing up infidels, abusing homosexuals or trying to get children indoctrinated in schools to believe your "bunk" is indeed in my opinion a million times worse. And believe it or not, I am no supporter of "semi-literate footballers, coke snorting models, scientology worshipping actors and self-obsessed pop singers." I believe those problems to be political and based around money (Scientology combines both...bonkers religion about aliens and the ability to get higher up the pecking order by donating more money than other people. The more you give the higher up the chain you are.....nice work if you can get it...we're saved!!)

 

As for any sort of moral code, I don't think we need religions to tell us how to behave. The reason I don't murder people, is not because it's illegal, it's because my morals mean I don't think it's the right thing to do. I think that probably goes for the vast majority of the population. Unless of course I'm wrong, and if we did legalise it, 30 million people would commit murder the next day!! And let's not pretend too many religions condemn murder. Some do in parts, but then advocate genocide, rape, murder and lots of other funky stuff in other parts. One can not claim that the religion they've "picked" is fact and then just chose the bits they like and pretend the other stuff doesn't exist. The earth does not orbit the sun because I think it does. It is a fact. Because you want to believe it doesn't make it true. I want to be able to fly, but science tells me I can't. Maybe if I "believe" really hard, I'll be able to.

 

Cheers

 

CB

 

 
 
"anonymous" wrote:

"to want to believe in what makes us comfortable"

The trouble is that your liberal nirvana has created a world where people feel comfortable watching crappy TV, and projecting their aspirations through semi-literate footballers, coke snorting models, scientology worshipping actors and self-obsessed pop singers.

So what if religion is bunk. At least its moderate adherents are more rounded individuals than the people that worship the above.


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