Absence has not made the heart grow fonder.

There’s going to be a number of things in this article that some people will take offense at. I’ll no doubt be variously judged to be a racist, misogynist, elitist, nationalist or whatever, but it’s only because I occasionally feel I have to speak my mind, and I’m not one of those bores who goes around being just plain pig-ignorant and rude to people under cover of speaking my mind. I’ve had enough life experience to know that while I might see some fashionable ideas as the tawdry impostors they truly are, as opposed to how some people would really really like them to be, I know when to hold my tongue.

If you’re fond of your sacred cows, the bad news is it’s sizzling steaks night at Pointy’s, so get out now while you still can.

Like a lot of people, I stopped watching television years ago. It was a reluctant and gradual leave-taking, because I used to enjoy it as a means of relaxation. First to go were the thriller/mystery dramas. With a very few honourable exceptions, they’d become unimaginative, predictable, formulaic to the point of insulting the viewers’ intelligence and had plot holes you could drive a coach and four through.

When the last popular science program I watched started covering things like astrology on as even a footing as astronomy, it got the bullet. On the leisure front, the light history documentary was the last man standing until I got fed up of history being presented as one vast conspiracy by the Rosicrucians, the Illuminati or the Elders of Zion, all dedicated to keeping down the workers of the world or something.

The end of the pier on that genre was a whole show advancing the proposition that Albert Einstein was actually a dullard and it was his wife working bravely behind the scenes who actually came up with all those racy theories. It followed the by now familiar formula; make up some eye-catching theory, massage the voice-over dialog from; “There’s a theory, which if it’s true, and many respectable scholars think it might very well be, will totally revolutionise the history of science” via “there’s no documentary proof as such, but there are certain indications” to finish up at “we think it quite likely that Einstein can’t take all the credit, or perhaps even any, for his wife’s work.” It was all complete bollocks of course, but if you want a taste for what damage such blatant disregard for the truth can do, look at what gets thrown at you after searching for the Wikipedia page on Einstein.

It used to be said, and with a lot of truth, that history is written by the winners, but in recent times it should be restated as history is rewritten to accord with the views of the first generation ever to have discovered a perfect, absolute and timeless moral code. As you read this, they are the new Vandals busy at work in the Great Library of Alexandria, and by the time they’ve finished their corrections, burning it down might be for the best after all.

The last to go was the evening news. In the end, I realised that well-worn phrase about putting your boot through the screen was perfectly descriptive of the effect watching it was having on me. Some smug oily prat or brainless bint prattling on about what was nothing more than salacious tidbits of gossip presented as so-called news. Items like some minor member of the royal family being caught with her ballroom frock up around her ears, with the member of a royal equerry, whatever job that is, up her. At the same time, there’d be a 300 lb gorilla in the room which wouldn’t get a mention, like the revolution currently happening every weekend in the streets of France which the state news station here hasn’t said a word about for coming up to four months.

My reintroduction to watching TV came at Christmas when my son and his wife with their two toddlers stayed over for the holiday. It’s great fun having children around the house again. It’s only when you watch their parents looking after them from the relative calm of being grandparents, you recall how labour intensive looking after a three and a one year old can be. There are no days off. Because of that, we go out of our way to give them a lot of evenings out while we do the babysitting and after a good play, getting them to bed or into a cot, as the case may be. I’d sit with them in the evening after their bath and we’d watch a program or two. I scanned the list of what’s on and discovered a comedy about teachers, about twenty minutes long (perfect length to calm them down before sleep).

It lived up to my modest expectations; no big stars in it, some funny jokes and physical comedy, a good ensemble cast of men and women sparking off each other; getting the acting best out of a good script and decent episode storyline where they were all by turn, witty, silly and generally acting like naughty children, which the older one loved. A few evenings later and again sitting on the couch with them, I scanned the list and found another comedy about teachers and again, another twenty-minute effort. I flicked it on and within five minutes the f-bomb had been dropped for no good reason and to no great comedic effect.

I hit the kill switch and after we’d got them to bed, put it on again to see why the difference in basically the same situation comedies. It was an all female cast, all somewhere on the higher end of thirty, unmarried as far as I could tell and between effing and blinding, just bitching on about men most of the time. There was one man floating about the place, a supply teacher (can’t allow a man character to have the status of being permanent) whose spear-carrying role was to play an eternally baffled idiot and occasionally come out with some inane comment causing lots of exasperated eye-rolling amongst the “girls” to the accompaniment of canned laughter.

Quite frankly, a consistently terrible attitude to the opposite sex. A gender switch on the Blonde Bimbo. Objectifying and stereotyping somebody automatically because of their gender has a more modern name. The episode was all about one of them moaning about not having as good a sex life as men. I wonder why. She decides to go to a bar every night, just walk up to any man she fancies and just ask him straight out if he wants to fuck her. She gets lots of rough trade and the next we hear of her she’s screaming from the ladies’ loo. “It’s like pissing fire!” she tells the gang. Relax, you’ve just got a urinary infection, go to the doctor she’s told. She does. He tells her she’s got a venereal disease.

Lots of tasteless japes ensue, the most telling being her ringing around the people she’s had sex with and giving up on a subtle way of telling them to go to the doctor and get a check up, just screams at them “You gave me a dose of the clap.”

I could see some big television boss telling some producer flunky that comedy about teachers the other company made is getting good numbers, open up a can of writers and we’ll do one as well. I’m just taking a wild guess here, but I’ve a feeling that the team of writers were all women, and like their bunch of wonderful characters they created approaching the outer edge of the marriageability envelope, with similar attitudes to men. Produce any sort of entertainment and you should have some firm idea of who your target audience is and then maximise it to guarantee success. The only audience I could see for that effort would be women like themselves and with the same “all men are the enemy” attitude.

Thinking it over, it reminded me of a rather surprising conversation I’d had with a policeman at a leaving doo who worked in vice. That must be interesting, I remarked making conversation. Not really, it’s very quiet. Why’s that? Well, porn is nearly all legal nowadays, and anyway, nobody can make a penny out of it nowadays.

I thought sex always sold?

Not when everybody can watch it for free on the internet. It’s prostitution that’s really booming.

But if everyone’s getting their jollies off on the internet, why’s prostitution booming?

Well, there’s always an appetite for the real thing and everybody has their own pet theory to account for it.

And yours is?

What you’ve got to understand is the whole business has changed beyond all recognition with the internet. It’s not like the old days where there’s a certain area in town the prostitutes all hang out waiting for a punter to come along in a car and they’ve all got a pimp. You can still find that, but the new type of punter would never touch a girl like that because they’re afraid of AIDS and other diseases.

What’s the new punter?

On average they’re in the 25-40 range, professional, unmarried and got a few bob, because there’s no wife and kids. They find a mobile number on the dark web for a high-class call girl, meet her once a week discreetly at her apartment or a hotel room and their needs are satisfied with no complications. They sometimes even do dinner and a show in fancy restaurants beforehand.

You mean they don’t date?

Mostly no, it’s too aggravating and sometimes too dangerous to date women in their age range. Right or wrong, the thinking is women you meet in work you have to be ultra careful with these days or with an accusation of sexual misconduct, you’re out of a job, out of a career and out of a shed load of money. Outside work, too many women don’t know what they want or have such outrageous expectations that they’re impossible to have any sort of relationship with. They can’t be bothered with all that hassle.

I told him he might be on to something there, meaning I had my doubts, but thinking back on that conversation and after watching a few other shows, there was in many cases an understood toxic atmosphere being projected about dating in general and the state of relationships between men and women. In reality, I don’t think it can be that combative, or I hope it isn’t, but I know if people watch a steady stream of lies, they’ll begin not to just accept them as true, but to act accordingly.

There’s a multi billion dollar industry called advertising who know the truth of that, as do its clients who pay good money to get their sales increased.

You do have to ask yourself why such crud masquerading as entertainment is produced and the only answer seems to be that the people producing visual entertainment are so clever, chic, inward looking and disconnected from their low-brow audience, that they simply don’t realise how unpleasant and sometimes how deeply offensive their creative endeavours can be. There’s an air of desperation in trying to outdo each other in being vulgar and tasteless to grab an audience’s attention.

For example, we keep a track of what the kids currently like. Dinosaurs are of course number one from the time they’re toddlers, but the latest craze is pirates, so I kept an eye out for toys and stuff of a piratical nature. The ship photographed above I found in a junk shop and after some cleaning and a bit of amateur shipwright work, got it back to shipshape and Bristol fashion. As luck would have it, I spotted a cartoon DVD movie called Capt’n Sharky about kids and pirates. That’ll hold them over the long Christmas break.

I was feeding a bottle to the little one on my lap while the other one cuddled up to watch the movie, which he was enjoying. At some point, everyone burst into song, a simple childish one but then I caught the words “shake your booty and your boobies.” WTF is this? Fortunately, he didn’t pick up on it and I didn’t fancy explaining to his parents how grandad had explained to him what his booty and what boobies were. I’ve no problem with words drawn from an adult vocabulary, just as long as they stay in that context.

Not an extreme example, but there are worse ones out there. A friend of mine, who’s in no way a prude or easily offended, went to the cinema with her young children to catch the latest Disney animation. They’d settled in to watching the story of a police dog infiltrating a dog show to catch some miscreant or another. Not the most original of plot lines; Miss Conviviality meets the Lady and the Tramp. At one point, the roughty toughty police dog had to have it carefully explained to him by the other dogs that it was perfectly normal for the big grown up judges to fondle the balls and penis of a little dog. Cut to my friend explosively spitting out a mouthful of popcorn before dragging her two kids out of the cinema.

Tell me in God’s name how a full length Disney animation could have gone through concept, scripting, storyboard, animation, editing, music score, post-production, advertising and so many other stages without somebody noticing they’d just produced a multi-million dollar movie with a scene in it that could only be described as normalising the grooming of children. They cut the scenes out with a left-handed excuse that inferred it was just to humour a prim and proper element of the viewing public.

What bloody planet are these people living on?

The one thing for sure is that Disney will never again get her and her kiddies into a cinema to watch another one of their movies. She tells me there are “talent” shows on TV that mainly involve slabbing on a lot of garish makeup onto kids in the single digits of their lives, big hairdos, dressing them in colourful, sequined outfits and believe me Pointy, the whole thing is subtly gender free.

I’m in the habit of getting up early, almost with the dawn, and am usually joined by the older one who seems to have inherited the same gene. I feed him a snack and we settle down to watch children’s programs. Watching them with him it soon became apparent that the programs were pushing some dubious ideas under the guise of entertaining young children. Too much of it was propaganda for liberal viewpoints aimed at young formative minds, which is highly effective – just ask any member of the Hitler Youth.

Most of it was concerned with speciously normalising a racial and religious population distribution of the country which simply doesn’t exist in reality. Given any scene with four or more kids in it, one would be black, another Asian, the third one Chinese or something until you got to the token white kid, who all too often was the stupid and ignorant one of the group who had to be regularly lectured on how to get along with other members in a multi-racial society.

I’ve no problems with anyone’s colour, creed or race and take the attitude it doesn’t take much effort to get along so we can all go along, and as long as whoever or whatever they are have the same attitude, things usually work out for everybody. The reality of this country I live in, is that over ninety-five percent of the population is white and from some sort of Christian background, which surprisingly a lot of people still practice, despite an almost systemic sneer aimed solely at Christianity by the entertainment industry, with all other religions being above any criticism.

By blatantly misrepresenting reality in pursuit of some higher social justice cause, nobody is doing those children any favours, but instead a disservice.

It’s subtle as a brick in the face, but local culture never gets anything more than a brief mention; it’s always the religious and cultural traditions of other countries or heroes or heroines you’ve never heard of before. Referencing it would come dangerously close to nationalism, which everybody knows is code speak for National Socialism.

Once you get outside the major cities, nearly everyone falls into that ninety-five percent white Christian demographic. Any minority kid brainwashed into thinking he belongs to a quarter of the population will one day have to come to terms with being the only black-faced kid in the class or when older, perhaps the sole Asian in his work place.

The downsides of such outrageous positive discrimination are numerous and in some cases positively dangerous. The first time a kid from a minority bumps into a first-class, bigoted bastard, they’ll quickly learn what effect lecturing them patiently to correct their attitude will have. The most simple of the contra-productive effects will be that white kids will get terminally fed up of constantly being corrected and lectured, seemingly just because they’re white, and when they see a minority person get a promotion, there’ll always be the lingering suspicion if it was just because of them being a minority.

Going back to the real lessons of history, every country to some extent or other has at times had waves of immigrants. They get absorbed by integrating or some sort of pogrom, fast or slow, happens. That pattern, and why multiculturalism failed,  is one of history’s oldest and cruelest lessons, and it won’t be stopped by treating incoming minorities as if they were handicapped pets.

Programs aimed at the grownups suffer from the same problems of propaganda, racial imbalance, consistently negative gender stereotyping and the automatic stigmatising of white people as bigots of one form or another. To check out a suspicion, I asked a friend who watches a helluva lot of television, how many of the baddies in the programs she watched were black? The answer was none, which confirmed the suspicion.

The grownup programs give you the second fusillade of bricks in the face. If it’s an action thingy, the hero is actually a heroine disdaining the help of the useless men gathered around her in sheer admiration of her female emancipation (girl power is frowned upon these days, too much fun and not grim enough), but she doesn’t need them because she can still do 100 metres in less than 10 seconds in high heels without her boobies flying in all directions, thanks to the wonders of modern sports bra technology.

If by some chance the hero is actually male, there is this homo-erotic subtext (never consummated in shot) with the baddie he never can quite acknowledge. It’s a two Hollywood leading men in spandex who know their glove sizes thing. Rock Hudson etc. Everyone knows. Catch up, for God’s sake.

A businessman named Lew Grade once famously described television as a license to print money, but that was some time ago and the viewing numbers have been in a downward death spiral for many years. The film industry is suffering similar problems of audiences drifting away – they can’t even get decent viewer numbers for the Oscars. Sure, there are other newer attractions like the internet that have a part in the audience drift, but the problems I touched upon here have had just as big, if not a bigger impact.

When you just can’t bring your kids to a Disney movie without reservations, when you begin to see television as just a rather obvious mechanism to do some hit them over the head with a mallet social engineering on your children or you can’t sit down to watch a DVD with the kids without screening it first, there’s not only a content problem, but a loss of trust in the people producing it.

Too often, the everyman perception is that they’re either political zealots or sexual degenerates, neither of which they can see for themselves as being a problem to all correctly thinking people.

©Pointman

Comments
17 Responses to “Absence has not made the heart grow fonder.”
  1. JohnTyler says:

    The folks that produce TV shows live in LA, NY and other large uber-liberal progressive cities. They live in an cloistered, relatively small (in terms of the number people) echo chamber in which real diversity of views and ideology is totally non-existent.
    And it is no secret that many (most?) men in that industry (as well as in the theater community) are homosexuals.
    They live in close proximity to each other, work together, party together, vacation together (Hamptons anyone?) , hang out together, etc. In this regard they are no different than organized clubs or organizations composed of identical-thinking robots (e.g., the KKK, the American Nazi party, CPUSA, etc).
    Not to say TV writers/producers are Nazis, but their ideological views are developed within circles of complete ideological and social homogeneity; they live in their own fantasy world removed from the real world.

    The shows they produce, to them, are totally normal or certainly not abnormal.

    The lousy ratings of many TV shows and esp. network TV “news” programs apparently is meaningless. Money is produced from somewhere to keep the ships afloat, thus illustrating that the liberal progressive/leftist TV/Movie industry is willing to forsake profit today to achieve a longer term goal; a fundamental re-structuring of the moral, civic and religious value systems the produced Western Civilization.

    Of course, this is no different than the goals of your old time Marxist-Leninist.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Christopher G Laidlaw-Bell says:

    Correct. As an example of PC re-writing, consider the evolution of plot lines in Homeland. Still an excellent drama, but the external threat is no longer tenable- it has become from within ( Corporations, corrupted Intel agencies etcetera. No more jihadi stuff ; that would be Islamophobia.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Margaret Smith says:

    Nothing to disagree with in this essay.

    Observation: women have been subject to denigration and being written out of history for anything positive throughout all history and still are in much of the world. While the current situation in USA and Europe is silly and dangerous, it’s hard not to think “Well, how do you men like it, then? But…these foolish and naive women & girls are being manipulated along with Hollywood airheads, and just when real women were making genuine headway.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. David Clemo says:

    Our tv watching consists of reruns of Poirot and New Tricks, quiz shows and live sport. News and current affairs and so called comedy have me reaching for the off button. Good article.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Annie says:

    Good article Pointman.

    Like

  6. babygrandparents says:

    I kept looking for and waiting for the section where I could judge you to be a racist, misogynist, elitist, nationalist or whatever. Didn’t find it. Nothing to argue with. There were so many shows on tv that have become predictable. Not worth the time, effort or brain cells.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Steve C says:

    As ever, a fine essay, Pointman. I very much agree with you about television, having effectively given it up thirty-odd years ago because it no longer informed, educated or entertained but rather misinformed, misled and degraded. A quick check six or seven years ago via the BBC iplayer (when that was still legal for the unlicensed 😉 showed that nothing had improved, with perhaps five or ten minutes’ content tops per hour’s programming, so I’m not worried. Not for myself, at anyrate, though I worry about everybody else.

    I’m not saying that all programmes are junk, mind. IIRC it was the Christmas before last that a friend brought round a copy of a thing he’d watched, “Peter Pan Goes Wrong”, which was hilarious, in all the right ways. Pan flies in on a rope … and crashes straight into the scenery. A character hangs a coat on a hook … the hook falls off the door. Repeatedly. Joyful stuff, but I’m not paying £150 a year in the hope that something that good might turn up.

    Over the last half-century, overt, often “non-standard”, sex has been levered into almost every aspect of life. It’s not an improvement. As for all the racial and other “Right Thinking” SJW issues, don’t get me started …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    It wasn’t the multiculti/gender stereotype storylines that finished TV in my house; it wasn’t even the inane drivel of game shows or the incessant puerile blasts of advertising, or the spiteful competitive nature of so-called ‘reality television’ that did it for me. I could always dismiss that and find something more interesting to do.

    It was the blurring of the line between reality and fantasy. To turn on the TV is to invite someone or something into our homes, so … would I invite a sadistic murderer into my livingroom so I could watch severed limbs and pumping arteries splashing blood and gore all about?; invite a medical examiner to perform an autopsy and delve into the innards of a corpse on my dining table?; a smart-arsed foul-mouthed ‘comedian’ devoid of wit to speak that way around my family? A brain-dead talking-head TV pundit pontificating about what I should think and say? No.

    Remember an old TV series called Quincy MD? The most we’d see of a body in the morgue was a sheet-covered form and maybe a bare toe with a name tag on it – the rest was left to our imaginations. Remember in Hitchcock’s black-and-white Phsycho when the mere sight of a flashing blade and dark liquid circling the drain was enough to give people nightmares?

    Playing movie CDs or online streaming is one thing; we get to choose when we play them and who the audience will be – but the graphic material, violence and sex scenes shown on free-to-air television, when so many modern children have TVs in their own rooms (and a set of earphones), was a bridge too far for me.

    I wondered what kind of sick bastard TV producers would think such graphic violence passes for ‘entertainment’. I realised the ‘sick bastard’ was me – a complete idiot for sitting there and watching any of it. So I stopped, a long time ago.

    The social engineering message in our children’s programs and reinforced in their school curriculum is certainly a cause of concern but I think there’s a much wider danger for them over the not-so-distant horizon. Modern TV isn’t just about social engineering; I suspect it’s about de-sensitising ordinary people to violence and bloodshed, and it’s not the only platform for doing so. None of the young adults in my orbit today watches much television … they are all about computer Gaming.

    Remember the first games that we played on our old Commodores 30 years ago? Huge pixels and little square figures we could direct around obstacles on the screen. But look at the realistic graphics and violence in today’s online gaming world and what you have is outright killing simulation. And it’s generally battles in an urban setting – homes, buildings, streets – and the weapons are many and varied.

    If a pilot can learn his complex craft on a flight simulator, and the military can hone their skills on computerised simulations, what are the simulated killing fields of Gaming doing to the brains of our young people?

    Younger and younger children are in the grip of a real-life horror film – an 11 year old shoots his father for confiscating his games, a 13 year old bashes his mother senseless for restricting his access, parents are hand-feeding their children who refuse to leave their screens to eat, and some teens are actually wearing diapers so they don’t need toilet breaks. The degree of obsession varies across a broad range, but the impact on children’s perception and cognitive skills shouldn’t be downplayed.

    Films, television and school might warp our children’s social construct, but it’s exposure to electronic devices, EMR and 5G, and computer Gaming that’s actually re-wiring and warping their brains. We really need to re-think our family lifestyles from the cradle if we’re to change a seemingly inevitable course to chaos and regret.

    They are snatching our children’s minds and bodies from under our very noses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blackswan says:

      By the way, check out the recent TV offering from Australia’s $1.5 Billion a year taxpayer funded national broadcaster, the ABC. An all-female ‘star line-up’ in a little gem called “Get Krackin’”…. (think about it).

      This “hilarious, side-splitting comedy” segment is called “Kunts for Klicks”. Seriously.

      Obviously all children under the age of 18 are safely tucked up in their beds asleep by the 9pm viewing time.

      Yeah, right!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael 2 says:

    American television is just plain stupid most of the time. We usually watch international mysteries; Don Matteo (Italy), or Beck (Sweden); things like that. In the realm of British comedy we like Last of the Summer Wine (provided it has Compo), Keeping Up Appearances, and “As Time Goes By” with Judi Dench. Some of these have become our vocabulary at home such as “give us a kiss!”

    The epic movies of a past generation are mostly not repeated. “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben Hur”. Having an angry petulant child for God in the remake was enough to dissuade me.

    Like

  10. NB says:

    TV has always been awful, and movies little better. They have, however, managed to become execrable, for all the reasons to which Pointy points.
    I have long had a loose personal ban on violent movies, especially involving killing or the firing of guns. Now I have extended that ban to TV and movies in which cultural Marxism rules. You can tell in a flash.
    Long live a healthy, diverse, and interesting internet.

    Like

  11. Doonhamer says:

    Compare and contrast :- Fictional medical dramas and documentaries of doctors surgeries and hospitals.
    On UK tv, just about the only programme without some political/social/ecological message is Sky At Night.
    I now distrust broadcasters so much . I always wonder “Why are they telling me this?” and ” What are they not telling me. “

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Another Ian says:

    This strikes a chord

    “Until this moment I have been forced to listen while media and politicians alike have told me “what Canadians think”. In all that time they never once asked.

    This is just the voice of an ordinary Canadian yelling back at the radio – “You don’t speak for me.” ”

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  13. vieras says:

    I’ve been re-watching Grey’s anatomy. At some point I noticed that every black patient and family were overwhelmingly decent. They were smiling, caring, loving and understanding. Every single one of them during at least 7 seasons. Not a single one who was behaving badly, demanding, angry or frustrated. They are like Stepford robots. All the patients showing human emotions are white. All the bad guys are white men, the violent ones, the killers. What an amazing coincidence, huh?

    Like

  14. Santa's little helper says:

    Watched ‘The Cruel Sea’ made in about 1954 ‘ish last night. The tension and drama they achieved on such a minuscule budget was brilliant. It was a time when people new what reality was and how hard life could be.
    Modern films, especially those showing a 100 lb female beating up a 200 lb male and throwing him about like a rag doll, are just fantasies. They teach that females can hold their own against males in physical combat. They put unrealities into young women’s minds and some suffer or even die because of it.

    Like

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