Those who have only ever known 24hr TV & radio on tons of channels may not have thought of this but, the programmers have to fill every one of those hours. Compare this to a newspaper or magazine which can print more pages when there is more to say, and fewer when there is little.
As long as there is a need to fill every hour, and a need to produce a programme to fill its alloted daily slot, the producers have to find “stuff” with which to fill it.
This why – in general – good newspapers and magazines have thin issues sometimes and why TV programmes are so often ‘celebrity’ focused – to the incestuous extent that they end up interviewing each other.
It is also why tabloid newpapers are so fixated on celebrity and fads and their pet hobbyhorses … immigration, cancer, sexual peccadilloes of sports/tv/political people – they distract the buyer from the fact that they don’t “do” real news.
I’m fed up hearing about people whose sexual morals are those of the alleycat, the fiscal and/or sexual morals of politicians, and the rollercoaster careers of singers/bands/tv presenters. I don’t care. I doubt I ever cared enough to buy a paper purely because of its latest exposé.
It’s all a distraction.
It’s a modern-day equivalent of Juvenal’s ‘panem et circensis’ – the Roman elite’s political survival strategy.
Marx wrote: Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. Well old Karl has been superceded – pop culture is the opium of the people now.
I’m not claiming some global-media conspiracy, it’s just that it’s in nobody’s interests to change things.
The masses in the west are bellyaching about their political handling of their economies, and their handling of ‘security’ issues and any number of other issues of importance – but they’re doing feck all about it. They won’t join political parties and fight for change. They won’t support protest movements in meaningful numbers. They don’t even write angry letters to the media.
Where are the angry hordes, where are the civil disobedience demonstrations, where – they can’t be arsed, they’d rather watch X-Brother and I’m a Cook, come change my home!
The USA’s Tea Party started out well, but it became just an anti-Obama thing. It’s not him… it’s not him, nor Bush, nor was it Clinton, nor Cameron/Brown nor Chirac/Sarkozy nor SchroderMerkel, nor … whoever… When was the last time changing a political leader brought real change to a country’s fortunes? And I’m not asking you to bellyache about the one you have now but didn’t — you may not have voted for them, but did you campaign actively for their opponent.
IT – the thing that’s wrong, that really needs changing is not the ruler-de-jour, it’s the system. The capitalist system led to the corrupt banking practices which led to the sub-prime mortgages, and they led to economic ruin for many. But there will be no change to that system as long as pension funds are the major players in the economic markets – seeking, having to seek, higher returns year after year from their gambling – sorry, investments.
The world needs to sort out what to do with those who are no longer economically active. As more and more people look to a life of 100+ years, they cannot be funded from a pension built up over a working life of 40 years at best. Well, not if the consumer society expects us to buy our white goods as often as we buy our shirts, and in similar quantities.
A society which is not politically active, motivated by a genuine desire to change its lot, will only get mediocre politicians. They used to say “If you didn’t vote, you can’t complain!”, well, I’d change that to “If you didn’t campaign, then you can’t complain!”
Switch off the TV, Get off your asses and get ont0 the streets!