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Monday, April 23, 2007

"That's all we've got time for"

The to-do about GMTV's competition winners keeps coming back and the air is thick with high dudgeon. But this doesn't appear to have been motivated by the desire to fleece the public so much as TV's all-consuming need to control everything. They can't have just anyone coming on their air because, well, there might be all kinds of lunatics out there. Nothing in the real world ever quite comes up to TV's expectations, which is why it fiddles everything. It can't simply cover a subject without taking it over and trying to bend it for its own convenience. Most of TV's transgressions are committed in the name of smoothness and polish. I have been trying to find a clip of that ancient Comic Strip film about the Miners Strike. The director and art director stand in the middle of the main street of a genuine mining town. The latter casts a jaundiced eye over the video store and the Chinese takeaway, sighs and says "Well, it doesn't say 'mining town' to me." That's TV.