Saturday, 16 May 2009


You’ve been there. The traffic is deaaaaad slow. Your car has barely moved for an hour. Then as you budge forward you see the blue flashing lights. When you eventually get to the scene of the accident it has actually been cleared off the road and there is no real reason for the traffic to be moving quite so slowly. Except we all need to see what is going on. Look at the state of that car! Jeez, I hope nobody died...and as your car passes by you slow down even further to take it all in. You know it is horrible, but some sick fascination takes over and you can’t help yourself.

Never has a popular metaphor been more apt than when the above scenario was applied to the guff that is on our TV screens night after night. Car crash TV indeed.
The thing is we deserve it. We get the TV programming (and news media for that matter) that we are worthy of. These things are all decided on by figures. The more people tune in; the more people who buy the newspaper...the more we’ll get served up with the brain-death nonsense that passes for entertainment and news in this country.
Let me give you an example. Yesterday, the leading article in the Scottish news and front page on our most popular tabloids was the news that Kirk Broadfoot, an average footballer who plays for Rangers, had cooked an egg in a microwave. It exploded in his face. He was rushed to hospital. Now I know it can’t have been pleasant, but surely to fuck there are more pressing issues in this country than some football player quite literally getting egg on his face.
As for TV, I’m a flicker. There are few programmes I’ll watch right through, instead I sit with remote in hand and flick through the channels. It’s a time thing. If I find a programme I really enjoy then I’ll have to commit time to watching on a regular basis. That particular time slot will demand my attention for the next thirteen weeks or so...and I’m uncomfortable with that, so I flick.
Last week I flicked on to a programme on channel 4 called Extreme Male Beauty presented by some scruffy guy with a penchant for getting his genitals out on national telly while calling it his “winkle”. Come on, man, you’re a grown up. Is the word penis so bad? According to Scruffy Guy all of us males are becoming image conscious demanding firmer pecs and abs and bigger “winkles” and we’re going to get it the easy/ lazy way by surgery. Yeah right, whatever. Have a walk down any high street in the country and test that one out. You’ll find a nation with the motto, Amorphous Blobs R Us.
Then there’s that programme fronted by John Barrowman. This is so bad my only response to the BEEB is –what the fuck were you thinking? I also flicked on to a programme where some punter off the street is tested against a celebrity. Question. Why? Oh ran out of money and if a programme features a c’leb, people are bound to watch it
And then there’s the phenomena that is Katie and Peter. Let’s imagine you are trying to explain this to a visitor to our shores, say from Ulan Bator. She’s a stick insect who became famous for getting her breasts surgically enhanced and then putting them on display at every given opportunity. He thinks he’s Australia’s answer to Michael Jackson (check the falsetto and the dance moves and tell me I’m wrong) who had a couple of pop hits in the nineties. And don’t give me the blah about Katie being a successful business woman and author. That’s an attempt at respectability by the spin-doctor to the stars, Max Clifford. C’mon people there must be a better role model for our daughters than someone who gets her tits out. She satisfies our lowest instincts and the books are ghost-written. She’s admitted that the only books she has ever read are her own.
Sorry, dear visitor from Ulan Bator I got sidetracked...Katie and Peter’s story continued when they met on a TV programme where people who are famous for being famous (yeah, that one is lost on me too) are put through trials where they get to eat kangaroo testicles and crocodile penis. Yeah, I know, yum. Anyhow, these two fell in love and cos it happened on telly we, the great British public feel they belong to us and we are hungry for every issue in their life. So guess what, the TV companies oblige and we get to follow their every move. Ad nauseum. A teaser for the programme was shown last night where inter alia the big-boobed one lifted her leg and farted.
Now they’re splitting up and this is where it gets we continue rubbernecking or do we give them the space and time to go through what is one of the most stressful times of someone’s life? Will Katie and Peter allow public access to their grief, and at the same time earn a few more bucks? Will they face a loss more worrying than the loss of their marriage – that of eventual public indifference? Guess what? I for one don’t give a flying foxglove. Jeez, I only meant to mention K n’ P for a few seconds and I go into one.
One programme caught my attention when I was rubbernecking last night. BBC Scotland has commissioned a series of programmes where in each episode two people in different areas of the arts are brought together for the day to, basically have a blether. Last night it was the turn of novelist, Denise Mina and comedy actress, Karen Dunbar. I know, how amazing is that? Two people were on a reality TV type programme and wonder of wonders they actually have a talent for something other than attention-grabbing. If you haven’t read her work I would argue that Denise Mina is on a par with, if not better than Ian Rankin. And Karen Dunbar is the wummin from Ayr with the rubber face and a strong sense of comic timing. There was one clip from her series that was shown last night where she was playing a rude old lady. Said rude old lady was sitting on a seat in a shopping mall. Beside her was a man of generous girth. Rude old lady (Karen in a gray wig) shouted at him, ‘Huv ye never seen a pie ye didnae like?’ Cruel but funny.
The two women wandered about Glasgow shopping and drinking coffee while talking about their work. It was hardly earth-shattering stuff but both women are one hundred times more plausible as role models for the nation’s young girls. They also displayed a warmth and wit that grabbed my attention and made them worthy of this jaded TV viewer’s attention.
So what are we to do? Do we go on giving the providers of meaningless, worthless “entertainment” our money and time or do we actually give our old brain cells a shunt and turn our attention to work that is worthy of the name? Sadly, I suspect I know the answer to that one.
If you cannae beat them join them. Wonder who did Katie’s boob job? Can you see me as the page seven fella with the extra long schlong? From there I could be photographed falling out of nightclubs half-pissed and full-cocked. Then I’d have a turn on I’m A Celebrity, Give Me All Your Money, where I’d meet a fading pop-star famous for her unfeasibly large nipples and a series of love rats. The media would be delighted she’d eventually met a good guy – me, and the nation would fall in love with us. We’d get married and sell the photographic rights to “Howzitgaun” and “Warmer” for ten million pounds and a lifetime supply of Gingko Biloba – my penis would be so long I would need to find some way to compensate for the blood loss to my brain. An after affect that would have the tabloids in endless debate, with headlines like – Malone Faints On the Job and Celeb Burns His Todger in the “Microwave” While Stirring Her Eggs.
Bet the publishers would be falling over themselves to give me a book deal then. And they wouldn’t even need a ghost-writer.


  1. you are truly a hoot and a half!

  2. pleased you got a wee laugh, Thea

  3. Welcome to bloggyworld M. Glad the writing seems so successful. Happy blogging :-)

  4. Cheers, R. Wanna give me a clue what R stands for?

  5. It stands for Remember. :-)

  6. ...and yet I can't. Any more clues, mysterious one?

  7. Nope ! But feel free to enjoy the blog, as I'm enjoying yours! Except the gross bits about squeezing and plucking at the same time....throwup yikes :-)