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Wednesday, October 17
Really funny and revelatory incident on Charlie Booker's Screenwipe on BBC4 last night.
Booker is known as "the most vicious pen in TV criticism", firstly for his Guardian columns and now for his TV show. I love him.
Last week he lanced 24hr TV News — eliciting the explanation from an idiot BBC News Editor that the reason that they hired a helicopter to follow the McCanns back from Portugal was because the paper's were covering it (hence, 'public interest').
This week he went for 'youth television', picking on a vile 'America's Top Model' episode where a bunch of fatuous ugly queens + Twiggy got the teens posing as murder victims (I don't jest - 'I love the way that leg looks ... broken').
He then showed a bunch of teenagers TV supposedly aimed at them, especially the mind numbingly bad 'Whatever' from Channel Four. He got them to hold up 'bored' cards when they were and almost immediately most of them were saying 'bored'. (They did like Four's Skins, however).
So Booker tried something left-field. he showed them Adam Curtis' documentary The Power of Nightmares, about Neoconservatism and Islamism.
One of the teenagers, after a while has passed, held up the 'bored' card. The rest sat intently watching. All of them said afterwards, basically, we're learning about the world, why wouldn't this interest us? They felt patronised in the extreme by TV. And they're right.
Yay! Someone's posted the whole thing on YouTube. Godbless Web 2.0.
'Model' is in part 2, 'Nightmares' in part 3.
And here's the three parts of The Power Of Nightmares, courtesy of archive.org
- I love that they offer multiple downloads and a host of other resources like this cute animated thumbnails around the video, plus a lengthy reviews section.