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Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Shotgun Fame

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The week in news has been a barrel of events, what with swine flu, people double dipping into stimuli and the Chaser conducting their own investigation into the group sex scandal. But the top event, according to news.com.au has been the girl who has been lovingly labelled “Clare the Bogan”.

So, when news came up that she might be being woo-ed to join the ranks of television personalities, there were the usual question marks.

why

Unbelievable indeed.

WIth the advent of reality television, the media has immediately jumped aboard to cash in on everybody else’s 15 minutes of fame. Sure, Andy Warhol might have incredibly right, however he did not disclose whom should benefit from the fame. The immediate assumption that people make is that when they become famous, they will be the beneficiaries. However, what has happened is that the media has quickly managed pluck unsuspecting wannabes from the tree of obscurity and juicing their 15 minutes out before discarding the husk into the bin.

So, the media is responsible, surely? Nope, they know what people like to see.

The problem is you. And it’s me. We are collectively responsible for the rise of the vapid non-personality that everyone else likes to see fall from grace. We click on their stories, we tune into their appearances and we comment on their “lack of talent” as though we’re the fucking experts. And when we see them waving what appears to be $100, could it be because we actually want to be in their shoes?

news $100

Photo from news.com.au

Yes. I want money for thirty seconds of “work”. All it costs is a little dignity and everlasting ridicule.

Whilst I can hate this kind of placing Josie Everybody on the pedestal for all to survey, I mostly hate that by even outlining my distaste for it, writing a blog post about it, providing links to it, and splattering my post tags with her name, label and catchphrase, I am in fact – even if somewhat ironically – cultivating and nurturing the phenomena, like everybody else.

I should be ashamed of ourselves.

Written by Andy

May 30, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Who isn’t a battler?

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Reality TV has dredged up all sorts of things. That is not to be yet another random bash at all things that promote mediocrity and grant fledgling flash in pans their 15 minutes of fame before vomiting them back out onto the footpath of obscurity. But in future decades, we will look upon with this era with curiosity as we struggle to comprehend how this whole thing could possibly have been called a “social experiment”, when it was just plain voyeurism. Reality TV was and is a cultural phenomenon which revolutionised television and turned legions of people to the internet in disgust.

Many people actually benefitted from Reality TV, going on to forge careers. Shannon Noll and Ryan Fitzgerald spring immediately to mind. Also the six-foot-tall-eight-year-old James Matheson who decided to quit hosting Australian Idol to play in his band… which he plugged briefly before the door hit his arse.

But the greatest of them all would have to have been from the UK Big Brother. Jade Goody is quite possibly the champagne example out of all contestants, having never really disappeared from the spotlight like most Big Brother participants. It was all getting quite gratuitous up until her diagnosis of Cervical Cancer and her subsequent death. The media, who had constantly demonised her after she made some alleged racist remarks on “Celebrity” Big Brother, suddenly turned quicker than milk in front of a space heater.

Her passing was noted in the Australian media, but it wasn’t until our friendly overseas grandfather Michael Parkinson remarked that she wasn’t all that tops, and that she was “all that’s paltry and wretched about Britain”.

Curious about the context in which he was speaking, I looked elsewhere for the piece, and all I found was this. Meh. Nothing special, I don’t think.

However, in the comments I found this little nugget.

goody

It appears that Australians are crossing the globe to spout their opinions… and their fucking colloquialisms. “Battler”. If I start hearing British politicians start using this term, I will begin to weep as that will mean that our vote-buying technique would have infected another part of the world. I take some solace, though, in knowing that British politicians are slimier than anything we can create and have far better ways of appealing to Joe Ballot.

But I take issue with the term “battler”. Even lowly old wikipedia notes that self-inflicted hardship can even be cause for being termed a “battler”.

Who, in this world, cannot be called a battler? Even if we not use John Howard’s broad and all-encompassing, almost fetishist definition:

… the battler is somebody who finds in life that they have to work hard for everything they get… normally you then look at it in terms of somebody who’s not earning a huge income but somebody who is trying to better themselves, and I’ve always been attracted to people who try to better themselves.

Ooh baby, better yourself… ooh yeah.

Alright, I can understand the hard working people who live off the land, pushing Australia’s trademark industry of cattle and sheep are battlers. I can also understand that there are even some white-collar roles which have middle-manager Steve returning home after an 18 hour shift to play with his 2 year old daughter, Purdie, before passing out in bed, his final thought of the day deducing exactly how he’s going to simply keep the lights on in his two bed unit.

How is Jade Goody a “battler”? Struggle against cervical cancer? Okay, sure. That puts her in the same league as Delta Goodrem who had her own gig with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cancer, Hodgkins lymphoma. The only difference is… well… the survival rate. And other medical stuff.

Is Delta a battler now? Or does death, a battler make? Or is it because Goody has a family?

I’m of the impression that having sprog does not make you a battler. In fact, the more I see the word “battler”, the more I hate it further. It is a word used automatically to define someone’s plight in the world as just. Does the young sales rep who bought a four bedroom house and popped a BMW M3 in the garage and has suddenly found himself to be living from pay day to pay day a “battler”? Fuck no. How about the property developer who bought up vast chunks of land to build hollow quality shacks (in order to house people – thereby providing a “public service”), only to find that the faeces-filled property water balloon burst in his face?

Fuck no.

But they are battlers, at least according to some media outlets. Hell, even former Prime Minister John Howard was labelled a “battler” by George W Bush. For some reason…

It’s a throwaway term, designed to appeal to the hearts of people who cannot see the intent behind the words. Politicians don’t care about your plight, and you didn’t care for Goody’s. Only in death and cancer do you empathise with her. Before that, you wouldn’t have given a shit. Stop pretending otherwise.

Written by Andy

April 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Let’s fly, Magda

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Today, I’ve decided to pick out the highest ranked story on news.com.au and peruse through the general consensus of what could possibly be one of the most banal of topics. Usually in the number one ranking spot is a story referring to breasts, Ralph or FHM magazine spreads, Stephanie Rice or possibly a combination of all three of those topics. Surprise me sideways, but if the hottest topic (at the time) was a piece on how television personality and one-time round Jetstar girl Magda Szubanski has revealed how she plans on reducing her size.

Considering how she carved out her own little niche as the resident fatty, fatty boom-bah in a number of television shows, I think it takes a lot of guts (ahem) to stand up and announce to the world that you’re planning on reducing what has been your meal ticket for a number of years.

I am often heartened, if a little bemused, that whenever someone decides to seize life by the horns, that those who have trodden the path before them tend to stand up and beat their chest in support. It tends to shit me no end when they look at something like this and say, “yeah, I know how it feels. I’ve been there before”. Number one offender this past year would’ve been local breakfast radio announcer and dentist drill Amber Petty whose life experience has known queues of abusive boyfriends (which made her an expert on domestic violence), as well as a relative dying of cancer (which vomitously made her an expert on consoling a lady who was actually dying of cancer).

But in this case, it’s the formerly obese running to champion Magda.

jennycraig2

It’s remarkable that we get so poetic and philosophical about our own achievements, but most quick to spout our opinion on the crapness of the latest Australian Idol winner.

jennycraig1

Yes. There’s no point in putting the cart before horse, is there? Never mind the little victories that probably come from losing weight. First victory (i’d imagine) would be to admit that your health is severely suffering and that you’ve got to proactively look at controlling your weight, before you leave your children motherless and without anyone to fetch McDonalds. But bugger that, eh?

jennycraig

Oh, how frightfully insightful and witty. But have you seen those Jetstar adverts?

jetstar-magda jetstar-gen

The secret to losing weight, as I’m sure most people will tell you, is a daily dose of exercise. This can include walking, running, skipping rope, getting a root, or even… star jumps – something that both Magda and this girl are performing in these ads.

And you want to her to stop making those ads? Whose side are you on?

Written by Andy

December 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Television

Rowe, Rowe, Rowe you’re boned…

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I had always been curious about where the media term “boning” came from. It turns out it came from Eddie McGuire, if you believe today’s report on how TV presenter Jessica Rowe hasn’t been fired, but “made Freelance”. So, she’s basically done all the network rounds, like the town handle she is.

From the story:

Rowe was humiliated in 2006 when her then Channel 9 boss Eddie McGuire was indiscreet about plans to “bone” her.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who looks at this remark, and remembers from a few years ago that to “Bone” something was to have intercourse with it. So the image that particular statement conjures will probably haunt me for a few nights, causing me to wake up in a cold sweat, screaming.

Comments:

rowe

This week’s “not reading the story” award goes to this jumble of words. I’ve read and re-read this story a couple times, and found that at no point does it discuss Rowe’s severance package. I even looked elsewhere for other discussions of this event, and still found no mention of money.

rowe2

I guess Matt of Brissie has never pursued greener pastures. He’s probably been holed up in his current job as filing boy for a small time staple company and has absolutely no desire to move on for more money. He’s so hardcore loyal that not even half a million dollars can woo him away from his beloved filing cabinets. Good for you, Matt of Brissie, you indifferent space-filler.

Heaven forbid the woman do something, you know, beneficial to her career.

But a lot of comments seem to go down this path.

rowe3

I’ve spoken before about how the movie Ratatouille mentions how critics enjoy a certain, enjoyable position. They risk very little, but can still have a definite sway in how things work. However, when it comes to discussing something as subjective as the merits of a television personality, I think critics can bugger right off.

Seriously, Nicole Jane of Sydney. If you’re such an expert on these things, why is it that we don’t see your mug up on the screen, beaming an enormous fake smile to us in the morning over our cup of coffee? Would you risk putting your visage and name out there for everyone to criticise, honing in on every single tiny nuance and needling it until your bosses finally walk up to you and told you to go get “intercoursed”?

However, we do live in an era where celebrities have the longevity of a singular piece of Kleenex toilet paper and they are treated with about as much affection. Gone are the days where the giant fake smiles we see shining at us were coached into the people over lengthy periods of time, instead being replaced by face-du-jour and the latest reality show dropout.

“Boning” seems far preferable compared to what current television is doing to audiences Australia wide.

Oh, and I never saw Jessica Rowe on television. Ever.

rowepic

Network harlot goes on the prowl for new “freelance work”

Written by Andy

December 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Television

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