Many years ago, irritated by the constant left wing comments pouring out of the overpaid presenters and pundits on television where personal opinion is presented as fact and news is presented by one presenter talking to another, we gave up, turned it off and now get our news from a variety of sources.
The internet is a wonderful thing, with the caveat that some of the news outlets are just, shall we say, as unreliable as anything else. To paraphrase Churchill, in our times, five minutes reading the outpourings of the average commenter is enough to put you off for life. And so it was for me with social media, not for me the inane comments of celebrities, their followers, the misguided or frankly bizarre comments, or the amateur video presenters who think that their real place in life is on T.V or the movies.
No thanks – we turned it off, we don’t have social media accounts and anything we watch on any broadcast media is done selectively.
For years we had a daily and weekend broadsheet. Around the time of the Major government shambles the quality of reporting started to fall. By the time of the first Blair ‘government’ the pro left journalists were in the ascendancy and we changed papers. Our new choice was bearable for some years and then as happens the editor changed, the established writers either died or retired, the spelling, grammar and accuracy went out of the window and after reading pro-left drivel in what was, and is, supposedly a right of centre newspaper, I cancelled.
I tried two supposedly middle market (God knows what that means) papers. Their views on Cameron and Clegg roughly followed mine but then, by the time of his resignation and the appointment of May, editorial flip flopped all over the place, ownership changed, editors changed and both appeared to me to written for the Friends or Blue Peter generation. Again thanks but ‘no thanks’ – reading a WW2 Spitfire described a ‘jet’ did it for me. Both titles to me are now just full of media gossip and frankly read like ‘comics’.
The odd thing though, although I see the odd usually older person reading a mass circulation newspaper, news outlets have numerous returns each day so circulation must be declining. However none have recently gone out of business, and local newspapers all seem to keep going (although many are owned by large companies) but with falling or low circulation. I wonder how this makes financial sense?
Perhaps as the older readers die off, and as younger more independently-minded people find alternatives they will disappear.
We no longer watch commercial TV which appears to consist mostly of repeats of old programmes or reality programmes, the latter holds no interest for me as the people portrayed are either the types usually seen in a down-market talk show or pretentious types who think themselves important middle class of the sort you would find in a certain middle class emporium having parked the ‘Rangey’ or the BM across two parking bays on the car park.
Not that I have any problems or issues with either. If that’s the way they see themselves, let them get on with it.
More and more people are complaining of BBC and SKY bias but still continue to pay for both and others, despite saying they don’t like the bias of news and documentaries as they see it and dislike the content, although I’ve heard on several occasions now the comment ‘never watch the news, only have them for the sport’.
But having said that, walking my dog before seven most mornings and in the winter, I’m struck by the flickering images in the windows of the houses I walk by. Huge TVs with two talking heads in animated conversation pouring out words like some Orwellian program of the original ‘Big Brother’ but with a difference – we are all apparently watching them!
What I do have problems with though, is how the media plays to these people. Presumably if they have any opinions at all on anything they are entitled to them, so do they need the marketing and advertising people to actually tell them how to live or what to think. It would seem so.
Travelling around (quite a bit) as it happens, and having been in a job where it was necessary to be observant, I watch people and things, it’s an old habit and it dies hard as does listening to the odd snippets of conversation that you hear in queue, lifts and cafe’s. Trust me, in today’s world this could save your life. What I see and hear though bears no relation to what I’m bombarded with by the broadcast media and advertising.
What I see on a daily basis is predominantly an aging population wearing scruffy cheap chain store clothes, all looking much the same. How often these days do you see a man with polished shoes, a woman with smart well-fitting clothes? Not very often I’ll wager.
Yet the stores advertising show smiling slim young women with immaculate hair and makeup and lean tanned ultra-fit men, what I see in reality is a vast majority of overweight dowdy women in dull clothes and ill-fitting tight jeans and in bad weather ill-fitting hoodies or winter coats. Overweight middle-aged men predominate, wearing over their stomachs in many cases cheap T shirts with baggy jeans along with a baseball cap. They have either just finished work on a building site or have popped into down having been working in the garden.
Both sexes – and let’s face it as far as clothing is concerned there is little difference – apart for some inexplicable reason many women young and not so young have taken to wearing tights with nothing else (akin to a male ballet dancer) and men of a certain age have taken to wearing shorts with socks and dirty trainers. Sunglasses are de rigueur even on dark winter days even when driving cars with darkened windows.
Part two of this post will be published here tomorrow.