Archive for June 17th, 2008

EastEnders

June 17, 2008

As if we weren’t bored enough by it in the first place, Mad May returns to the Square to try and nick Dawn’s fucking baby. Again.

Now – this baby used to be nothing but a source of stress for young, crumple-faced Dawn who would attempt to foist it on any willing baby-sitter going so she could go out with unrealistic best mates Shabs and Carlie on the razz. Now that Carlie’s conveniently disappeared and Shabnam appears to have been locked in a basement, the coast is clear for Dawn to act like a responsible mother again – one who actually gives a shit about her baby. And as we all know, this means guaranteed boredom for those of us who watch this crap as May – the Howard’s Way type actress who looks like she’s on the wrong set – turns the lunacy up to eleven and we’re shown a bajillion shots of Dawn running away from something uninteresting. Hoo-fucking-ray. They’re trailing this rubbish as though we’re all excited about it. It’s a fucking disgrace.

It was entirely unrealistic in the first place. May and her husband could easily have adopted from overseas what with them both being rich, young professionals. Why would they want an infant from a working-class gene pool? If they were going to go for a peasant child, it might as well be an ethnic one, like Madonna’s or Jolie’s.

So what involving storylines have we got to keep us going while all this sprog-theft is going on? Since Bradley and Stacey broke up – nothing whatsoever. It’s enough to make you miss Max Branning.

Heather and Minty and Gal and Shirl and Bobby bleeding Davro can get lost. The Slaters are relying on schizophrenic Jean for laughs, which seems a bit off. Bradley’s starring in the most ill-thought out Indecent Proposal thread going – and even if the Millers ever find that lottery ticket after all this time, I’ve lost all patience by now. Phil Mitchell must’ve exploded, as he’s not been huffing and wheezing behind his bar for weeks.

And in other news – where on God’s green earth is Billy? Apparently he turned up for five-a-side training a week ago and he’s been mentioned in conversation as though he’s been about – but clearly Perry Fenwick is on some kind of sabbatical as I’ve seen hide nor hair of his E.T-shaped head for months. He’s even taken Honey and his kids with him, though admittedly that’s actually a massive blessing.

Despite the fact I’ve said this a million times before and never come good on the promise – if things don’t get spicy – and fast – I’m leaving Walford for good.

Liberal Porn

June 17, 2008

No, that’s not the name of a TV show – although, perhaps it should be. Slow motion shots of Iraqi detainees being molested, fiery rants from religious bigots and the detailed financial histories of American politicians all rolled into one orgasmic cum-escape of righteous indignation and moral fortitude.

A study recently revealed that conservatives are more relaxed than liberals; that rightwingers accept inequality is a requirement of society and thus are more at ease with it than lefties – who can’t justify the inherent inbalance in society. Nothing provokes Guardian readers more than injustice from the Western world, and since there is plenty of that around they are always more stressed. Daily Mail readers, meanwhile, simply get on with it.

Liberal porn, to my mind, is programming that stimulates that debate and reminds people that the bad behaviour of human beings is a result of liberal leanings, but at the same time acknowledges that to suppress it would be against all the positive values our society is built on.

It’s a moral quandary, alright, and one that will never be solved but will always provide entertaining television. To whit; my televisual viewing a few Tuesdays ago.

First up – 9pm on BBC2 was Age of Terror: War on the West. Billed as an incisive look at al-Qaida’s tentative first steps into the business of international terrorism, it was actually a mawkish tear-jerker about bomb victims in Kenya. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that this story is not an important one, because it is, and I’m not trying to be sarcastically dismissive of the lives ended and destroyed by this terrible act, because I’m not – I just wish that television documentaries would focus less on the horrifying acts and personal tragedies and more on the machinations and motivations of what is, quite clearly, the defining subject of our lifetime.

If the makers of Age of Terror really wanted to discuss terrorism they’d have concentrated less on the minutiae of the day’s events, less on the grisly recreations, less on the administrative blame and less on the emotional handwringing and more on the subject of motivation and history.

We all know, by now, that to be the victim of a terrorist attack is a horrific thing, that the US administration are at best incompetent and at worst despotic and we all know that al-Qaida have some really fucked up ideas – now let’s concentrate on education about the subject so we can best continue from here, and less on how evil the bad guys are and how morally justified we are.

The liberal is now frothing; If another fucking bespectacled pseudo-journalist thinker starts pontificating about global behaviour and then turns his unblinking camera on a blinded OAP talking, in depth, about the day she was nearly blown up and calls it factual news, then I’m going to take up arms myself. The fires were stoked, the indignation was fueled, the emotions engaged, the ego in rage. The world is fucked up! People are suffering! If only they were more liberal and realised that religion was the opiate of the masses, like me.

Next up. 10pm on More4 was True Stories: Taking Liberties.

This is more like it, no stories of deformity or bomb induced blindness – just amusing polemic that merged statistical facts with whimsical personal interest stories. You know the sort of thing – the two grandmothers who were the first people arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act for looking at a US Airbase, Mark Thomas and hoards of Big Chill refugees turning Whitehall into a bureaucratic nightmare with a practical joke protest, a trim-bearded dad wishing his daughter wouldn’t get arrested and investigated by MI5 anymore… it’s like Michael Moore but oh-so-English.

Our host was Chris Atkins – a stoned equivalent of Jon Ronson – and he surrounded himself with the oppressed masses, the grassroots activists and the right-on politicians and slowly he revealed a staggering argument in favour of our Labour government being more oppressive and legally domineering than any that have gone before it. Yes, it was polemic and yes, it was very one sided, but Atkins made a very entertaining and very convincing film that allowed facts to back up his position.

A few glasses of red wine in, the liberal is now simultaneously defiant and hopelessly lost. Those women who looked after the man who was under house arrest for NO FUCKING REASON were heroes and if only we were more like them then the world would be a better place, but the government already has so much control it’s impossible not to feel beaten and submissive.

Pathos is the emotion of the moment – self pride at simply surviving in this Big Brother state takes over – the liberal now begins to view themselves as a rebel, as a revolutionary… the wine is now 2/3rd down, the foreplay is over.

Finally. Third base. Channel 4+1, Jesus Camp. In a previous life this was an Oscar nominated feature, but what with surrounding confines of Amy Winehouse: What Really Happened and a repeat of Dirty Sexy Money it was cut down to an hour and given, bizarrely, an incredibly jarring Manc voiceover – thank heavens for responsible programming.

It’s a documentary about the fundamentalist Christian summer camp Kids on Fire – the sort of place where parents force their kids hands up when asked ‘who believes God can do anything’, where children use dollar bills as bookmarks in their bibles and where praying at the feet of a cardboard cut-out of George Bush is deemed normal behaviour.

Yes, we’re in wacko territory here, folks – where the liberal viewer can be seen rubbing their hands together in glee at the very sight of these evolutionary fucktards proclaiming Jesus as their saviour. If ever there was a sight better designed to outrage the late night Channel 4 viewer than 5 year olds strapping baby foetus’ to their wrists and crying for the lives of the friends they’ll only meet in heaven then I have never seen it. Unfortunately this TV edit robbed the documentary of much of it’s balance as the previously included opposing views were massively trimmed… instead of a reasoned debate on the interpretation of Christianity we were offered more of a shock-doc; a freakshow of dangerous religious nutjobs rather than an inward look at our world.

Despite all this, it’s actually an incredible documentary; a fascinating and challenging story that really makes you consider the idea of a religious upbringing as a form of child abuse, and how the best of intentions can go dangerous off course. It’s also worth it for when the Pastor denounces Harry Potter as the work of the devil. Hilarious.

The liberal now rests deflated on the sofa; a primordial stew on their trousers. Their views have been challenged, their thoughts questioned and they have come out more defiant than before – they are right, the TV has proven it and they shall continue to keep up their moral indignation under the world is a fairer place.

And now to bed, to dream of unicorns.