Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Well this is how 'I' think you should run your network.

One of the greatest comedic talents ever was Spike Milligan, he first rose to prominence with a radio show called the Goon Show, broadcast in the fifties.
One of his great innovations was having no punchline, or completely wrong footing the audience by taking the sketch in a whole new direction.
A good example of this was when one of the shows was set in antiquity and he did the Greek urn joke.
This doesn't work so well here in writing as it is based on the homophonous words, urn and earn, but I think you'll get the point.
One character, Moriarty, comes in and says "what's a Greek urn?"
To which Grytpype-Thynn replies, "it's an earthenware pot used by ancient Greeks for containing liquids."
To which Moriarty replies, "that's not the answer I expected."
And Grytpype says, "neither were quite a few of our smart alec listeners."
I mention this banter beacause since I got involved with the campaign to clean alcohol ads from TV I've had mostly answers I fully expected, AKA, "Fuck off", but some that caught me off guard.
Actually, any answer caught me off guard, as I was expecting to be ignored.
Only a hundred people read this blog each week, but I've been able to keep that a secret from the people at the Commercial TV networks and alcohol companies that I am persecuting with my moaning.
Obviously once they find that out they will realize that you and I are small time players on the media stage and go into full-ignore mode.
However, as my friend Antony pointed out when I first mentioned I was going to start, sorry, continue complaining about things that upset me on Commercial TV, "I think you'll find that if you feel like this, you'll discover you're not the only one."
And so we've had our little victories, and even the complaining is having the minor effect of keeping it in the consciousness of the networks.
So this week I have contacted the head of Channel Ten, Russell Howcroft through his personal assistant, Josh Howard, with the email above, telling them how to run the network.
Response: ignored.

And since Channel Ten didn't respond, I thought I better get hold of Nine and see what they've got to say. Nine broadcast the cricket, which I watch during the summer, so I sent this to the unlucky Madelaine Clark in publicity, unlucky because now she has to deal with my perpetual caterwauling.
My email to her was:
"Dear Matty,
Recently there had been a survey done in which 70% of respondents
declared they didn't want alcohol ads in sport broadcasts, is Channel
9 planning to remove alcohol ads from sport broadcasts?"

Nine's response: 
"Hi Lachlan,

Unfortunately, there is no comment at this stage.


AKA: Fuck off. (I put that in, Nine didn't say anything so overt, but the meaning is clear). 
I have responded to that by asking her to keep me informed if and when there is a comment, but she hasn't responded.
If you wish to read the story about the original survey it can be found at: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/sport-and-alcohol-relationship-concerns-most-australians/5034772

So moving on, I'll tackle Seven next blog, but they are kind of out of the picture for now, because all their shows are such unmitigated garbage I don't watch anything on their network, so they are spared my ant-in-the-wetsuit carrying on.
However I would like to know something from Seven, why do their sport broadcasts, the Aussie Rules Grand Final was the most recent, lag behind the radio by thirty seconds?
I believe it is so that those of us who like HG and Roy can't listen to their terminally funny sync broadcast of the game.
Roy(L) and HG: Funnier and more intelligent than the entire
Seven and Nine commentary teams by a cosmic abyss.
To compare times, Ch 9's broadcast of the rugby league has only a ten second delay, which is genuinely so the TV computer can get the images sorted for quality and so forth, and I have a special radio with a sound delay function so I can listen to HG and Roy while the action on the field goes forward in sync.  
So I sent this to Seven's publicity department:
"I was wondering if you could tell me why the your broadcast of the
Aussie rules grand final lagged thirty seconds behind the ABC radio
Channel Nine's broadcast of the rugby league has only a ten second delay.
Thank you."

Response: Ignored.

In the end though, I think the most likely outcome of all this will be that Nine do what Seven do, and put a thirty second delay on their broadcast so that everyone has to listen to the damn ads, alcohol and otherwise.

And just to add a bit of philosophy, responding again (sort of) to Clinton's comment asking "why do you watch it [the TV] if it makes you so angry?"
Well, of all people, John Farnham provided the answer.
I'm not a big fan of anyone who shot to prominence by singing "Sadie the Cleaning Lady", but one lyric he sang was this: "If you wanna break the system, you better build a better one."
Well, I'd like to think that I am part of the process of building a better TV system, in which there are no alcohol or gambling ads before 8.30pm, and HG and Roy are enjoyed, in sync with the sporting action, on all five networks.
Additionally, Sandy Roberts, Dermot Brereton, Jason Dunstall, Ray Warren, Shane Warne and Bill Lawry will have their throats closed surgically so that a) they can't commentate and b) breathe.

What a wonderful world that will be.



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