Announcement

Collapse

Welcome to Moorcock's Miscellany

Dear reader,

Many people have given their valuable time to create a website for the pleasure of posing questions to Michael Moorcock, meeting people from around the world, and mining the site for information. Please follow one of the links above to learn more about the site.

Thank you,
Reinart der Fuchs
See more
See less

Open Letter To India

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Open Letter To India

    Well, not exactly, but... I came back to the forum hoping that someone would have started a thread about 'Celebrity Big Brother' that I could throw my two euros into... but apparently not! So, I'll do it myself.

    First, some might argue that it's not a "political" issue, just a reality TV show... but when questions are asked in parliament, then it becomes an issue, whether you agree that it should be or not. For those who don't know, here's the sitch:

    Its ratings may have soared, and the programme may once again have been at the centre of a national debate. But if executives at Channel 4 thought they had contained the racism crisis surrounding Celebrity Big Brother on Wednesday night, they were in for a rude awakening come yesterday morning... The outrage felt by viewers continued yesterday, as complaints poured into any outlet open to them. Broadcasting regulator Ofcom reported a record 33,000 complaints, while Channel 4 admitted it had received "thousands". Directory inquiry service 118 118 reported an unprecedented 1,058 angry callers on Wednesday night, most of them after 9.30pm, when Shilpa Shetty said she thought the abuse directed against her was racist.
    http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/sto...994090,00.html

    I've been watching a lot of the reaction to this programme and there seems to be a common thread of media pundits saying "This doesn't reflect British society as a whole... it's a pressurized situation, and actually we're one of the most tolerant countries in the world." Which may be true on the whole, and no doubt it's true for the fancy, big city circles they move in, but I'm stuck down here in the "Deep South" of England, where there's a below average level of... well, everything... certainly cultural and racial integration and awareness. I've heard far more racist talk, than we've heard from the BB house, just walking down the street eavesdropping. And even if Britain is "tolerant" as a whole, I'm not sure tolerance is enough... I know I'm dreaming, but I'd like to see a genuine curiosity and respect for other people and cultures, not simply a begrudging apathy towards them.

    Again, it's easy to say "this is just a storm in a teacup, caused by some silly girls", but viewed within the wider context of the Channel 4 programming I think it becomes more alarming... I've seen several documentaries about scary radical Muslims, where the presenter claimed that mosques were hotbeds of racial intolerance... but this is never put in the wider context of the country as a whole. You could level exactly the same accusation at a number of pubs in this area. Maybe it's just my skewed view, but Desi-phobia seems to be in vogue at the moment.

    But Channel 4 are trying to fade the issue out, and soften the housemate's images, implying that it's really a "Class" thing. Which may be true on the surface, but there's no way of knowing for sure what lurks in the heart of any housemate (only The Shadow knows!). Personally I'm hoping this will bring about the death of television altogether, along with Heat! magazine and Z-list celebrities and usher in a new era of universal love and understanding...

    But until that time, I would like to apologise to the entire sub-continent for any offence caused... people may say "It's not really like that in Britain"... but in some parts of the country it really is. Sorry.
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

  • #2
    Sorry but as not viewing the English TV programs ( French one no more ) i cannot give an opinion on the programm

    what' s true is that racism is a flail .... and that this disease is present in France ..... in every social class, in every religious communauty !

    I ma afraid !

    And one of the two main candidates at the next presidential election is blowing on the fire of communautarism .

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
      I've been watching a lot of the reaction to this programme and there seems to be a common thread of media pundits saying "This doesn't reflect British society as a whole... it's a pressurized situation, and actually we're one of the most tolerant countries in the world." Which may be true on the whole, and no doubt it's true for the fancy, big city circles they move in, but I'm stuck down here in the "Deep South" of England, where there's a below average level of... well, everything... certainly cultural and racial integration and awareness. I've heard far more racist talk, than we've heard from the BB house, just walking down the street eavesdropping. And even if Britain is "tolerant" as a whole, I'm not sure tolerance is enough... I know I'm dreaming, but I'd like to see a genuine curiosity and respect for other people and cultures, not simply a begrudging apathy towards them.
      Hear hear DeeCrowSeer! 100% with you on that. Oop north, where I am, there's a lot more awareness, but tolerance is still in short supply.

      Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
      Personally I'm hoping this will bring about the death of television altogether, along with Heat! magazine and Z-list celebrities and usher in a new era of universal love and understanding...
      I don't know about television, but if you were to change that to 'Reality TV' I'd also be with you 100%. 200% on the issue of the 'celebrities' - Z list right back to A list imo.

      Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
      But until that time, I would like to apologise to the entire sub-continent for any offence caused... people may say "It's not really like that in Britain"... but in some parts of the country it really is. Sorry.
      That sentiment is seconded by this Brit as well, but I'd like to expand it by apologising, as a Brit, to the entire human race for the phenomenon known as 'Big Brother'!
      I personally think that it is reducing the mental and moral levels of the country to sludge. Channel 4 have been absolutely irresponsible in allowing the programme to be broadcast after so many complaints - 36,000 at last count. It is a cynical abuse of the reasonable morality of the majority of British people for the purposes of gaining ratings and profit, imo.
      The broadcasting authorites should have stepped in and pulled the plug as soon as this started to be a news item.
      Plaudits to Carphone Warehouse for withdrawing their sponsorship from this appalling crap!
      He's well smoked

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Morgan Kane
        What' s true is that racism is a flail .... and that this disease is present in France ..... in every social class, in every religious communauty !
        Indeed.

        We're being told by our media that this story is now an "international" one, and that it could (possibly) effect global trade negotiations. Not sure how true that is, but it does shine a rather bright spotlight on some rather unpleasant aspects of British culture. But as you say, there are plenty of people in every country who are willing to pick up the "flail" and use it on others. Just a shame this story happened to crop up when one of our major politicans happened to be In India trying to shake hands.
        "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kipper
          I don't know about television, but if you were to change that to 'Reality TV' !
          Well, that comment was also partly driven by the rise of new technologies... if everyone's watching their news and entertainment on the internet, and pirating TV shows direct to their computers, will we still need that box in the living room telling us what we can and can't watch? Or will we be able to decide for ourselves... I write that as someone who doesn't have Broadband, and can't get digital TV/Radio. As I say, we're a bit backwards down here in T' South!

          Originally posted by Kipper
          That sentiment is seconded by this Brit as well, but I'd like to expand it by apologising, as a Brit, to the entire human race for the phenomenon known as 'Big Brother'!
          In fairness I think it was a Dutch creation, but (as a nation) we've certainly embraced the show, and fed the beast. Not me, personally... but my family have watched every version of it (and 'Love Island' and 'I'm A Celebrity' and 'Pop Idol', etcetera) since the beginning. Eep!

          Originally posted by Kipper
          Channel 4 have been absolutely irresponsible in allowing the programme to be broadcast after so many complaints - 36,000 at last count. It is a cynical abuse of the reasonable morality of the majority of British people for the purposes of gaining ratings and profit, imo.
          I note that they're giving their profits from the eviction phonelines to "charity", in an attempt to regain some credibility... but, they had to really. I'm a great believer in good coming from bad though, and, while I agree that CH4 are shameless ratings-grabbers, perhaps once this issue has filtered through our collective consciousness, we'll all be a little wiser for it.

          Originally posted by Kipper
          Plaudits to Carphone Warehouse for withdrawing their sponsorship from this appalling crap!
          Indeed. It would rather have undermined their whole "get the star treatment" campaign to be associated with the show, since Shetty is a genuine Bollywood star and she was treated appallingly by her housemates.
          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

          Comment


          • #6
            My feeling - not having watch CBB and just hearing/reading about this cause celebre through the media - is that this is primarily about bullying and the racism card only comes into play because Shilpa Shetty happens to be Indian. It does seem to be the case that Jade Goody (and her obnoxious mother) are the ringleaders with the other two girls (Daniella Lloyd & Jo O'Meera) tagging along in the 'bitchy' way that only girls can. My most sincere hope is that this will see the end of the media and public's obsession with Jade and she'll be quickly relegated from our front pages. (There is an irony that BB made Jade and CBB may (hopefully) break her.)

            What I think hasn't been made more of throughout this is the (apparent - because I haven't seen CBB) complicity in the bullying on the part of the other housemates to fail to intervene. If it is racist then the fact that, for instance, Jermaine Jackson hasn't stood up about it is quite telling. When we see bullying and/or racism we ought to deal with it, but all too often it seems we prefer not to make a fuss. (Mike has spoken about this from a personal stance as being a key moment in his coming to write the Between the Wars quartet.)

            Jade may be (rightly) lambasted for her behaviour, but the others aren't exactly exempt from blame either, yet they'll probably 'get away' with their non-behaviour.

            As for Channel 4, well, this whole furore must be a media executive's wet dream. The money donated to charity shouldn't be allowed to excuse their complicity on what they broadcast. Sad to think that when it started C4 was a brave, daring and experimental channel and now has become little better than ITV.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by David Mosley
              My feeling - not having watch CBB and just hearing/reading about this cause celebre through the media - is that this is primarily about bullying and the racism card only comes into play because Shilpa Shetty happens to be Indian.
              It's true there are a number of factors at work... a lot of people have pointed to the class difference and age difference (not to mention the beauty gap) but those things only explain the motivation behind the bullying, they don't excuse the racist or xenophobic nature of the bullying, imho. As I wrote though, I've heard far more racist language in the street than I have coming from the BB house.

              Originally posted by David Mosley
              What I think hasn't been made more of throughout this is the (apparent - because I haven't seen CBB) complicity in the bullying on the part of the other housemates to fail to intervene.
              Exactly... the viewers have objected in their thousands, but then we have the "luxury" of seeing it all neatly edited together in a bundle. The housemates only have bits of conversations and instinct to go on. But no one's denied that there is tension in the house, and everyone except Jade's clique seem pretty clear on who's responsible... everyone just seems to be too afraid of Jade to say anything. Which is silly from our POV, because we know that tonight she's leaving the house, f'sure.
              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                Exactly... the viewers have objected in their thousands...
                But the viewers are also complicit in the matter by continuing to tune in. This is one of the things I object most to about BB. The original BB was as much a social experiment/endurance test of whether 10 strangers could survive cut-off from the outside world for 10 weeks. That gave it some credibility. Successive series have upped the 'nasty' factor, partly by putting incompatitable housemates into the BB house, partly by the makers introducing artificially created division within the house (ie Rich House/Poor House) into to create conflict between the housemates. And the audiences have lapped it all up, thus encouraging the makers to greater and greater extremes.

                Nigel Kneale's The Year of the Sex Olympics has never been more prescient.
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  remember Bug Jack Baron !

                  Spinrad predicted TV reality more than 35 years ago if not BB !

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by David Mosley
                    But the viewers are also complicit in the matter by continuing to tune in.
                    To be fair to... er... myself, and other viewers, when a TV programme is accused (correctly or otherwise) of being a threat to national trade relations, it's understandable that people would be curious. Also, there must have been a lot of journalists and columnists tuning in!

                    But really my concern is that it's easy to switch the programme off, and say "that should never have been broadcast", but it doesn't change the fact that this behaviour is an actual part of people's lives. Turning the television off won't make my home town, or anyone else's home town, a more civilised and pleasant place to live. Neither will exploiting such conflict for ratings and newspaper sales, of course.

                    But I'm watching the programme because the depicted behaviour concerns me (in both senses of the word) and I'm trying to understand it, and formulate a response to it.
                    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Morgan Kane
                      Spinrad predicted TV reality more than 35 years ago if not BB !
                      A 'Brave New World' indeed! If you ask me, it sucks.

                      I note that C4 are only donating the profits from tonight's telephone vote, not from the series. Another dose of cynisism from what, as David pointed out, started out as a 'brave new channel' (sorry about the misquote there David )

                      The BBC news just announced that Jaded Jade has been evicted. Shame that wasn't 'eviscerated'!

                      Joy to your screens compadres.
                      He's well smoked

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                        But I'm watching the programme because the depicted behaviour concerns me (in both senses of the word) and I'm trying to understand it, and formulate a response to it.
                        Just to clarify, I'm not pointing fingers at anyone personally for watching it; all I'm saying is that by continuing to watch it and thereby push the ratings up, Endomol and C4 have no incentive to change what they've been doing. If you listen to the deputy-chairman of C4 it's obvious that someone could get serously physically harmed on BB (as has nearly happened in previous series) and it still wouldn't be the channel's fault in any way.

                        There are reports coming out that Jade was tipped off about the contraversy outside the house and even had a 40min chat with her agent on how to defuse the crisis - the same agent she shares with Davina - and then proceeded to tell Jo how she could also salvage her public persona with a comeback record. Apparently, this footage in on YourTube.

                        If true, the whole thing has been desparately stage-managed by C4 in order to save the one 'success' story that BB has ever had.
                        Last edited by David Mosley; 01-19-2007, 01:52 PM.
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          CBB is all about provoking the nasty aspects of human nature in the "contestants", and - racism being one of those nasty aspects - this was bound to happen. The answer is really to condemn C4 and the producers Endemol who profit from marketing this freakshow. But to react like Gordon Brown, and more or less advise people to join in and vote one of the inmates out, is actually to endorse the whole tawdry spectacle. Commentators are arguing that Endemol will profit from this free publicity and may even break into a new market in India as a result.

                          I can't be bothered to join in the chorus against the hapless Ms. Goody. She's nothing, and she knows it. It must be hard to sustain such a bubble, and now it's burst. Ultimately, she's just a puppet.

                          Does anyone really believe that Britain isn't racist, anyway? Just pick up a tabloid some day and read the editorial comment on immigrants and asylum seekers - the very same papers who are now laying into Goody with the same "pack behaviour" that she is supposed to have displayed. They know what sells in this country - as do Channel 4!
                          Last edited by Mikey_C; 01-19-2007, 02:34 PM.
                          \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            don' t genralize please ...

                            there are racists and no racists ... .

                            I know people who don't like black people but who have made much to help one of them having troubles ......

                            And when the french governement took lmesures to expell families with children in school thousand of people mobilised hid them, protected them with much success .... and the protesters were not only leftist liberals !

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Mosley
                              There are reports coming out that Jade was tipped off about the contraversy outside the house and even had a 40min chat with her agent on how to defuse the crisis - the same agent she shares with Davina - and then proceeded to tell Jo how she could also salvage her public persona with a comeback record. Apparently, this footage in on YourTube.

                              If true, the whole thing has been desparately stage-managed by C4 in order to save the one 'success' story that BB has ever had.
                              I don't watch it, won't watch it and hope never to feel the urge! My ex Mrs did watch it though, but not in my house!

                              If, as you say David, Jade was tipped off and tried to pull back from the 'rascist' tag, that makes something of a mockery of the point of the programme doesn't it? Perhaps Shilpa Shetty's reversal of opinion was also the result of a quiet word from C4.

                              I've just seen this evening's news at ten report, which showed Jade's reaction to her eviction. She appeared to be pretty unruffled by it, which gave me to think that she expected it. Forewarned is forearmed, as I've heard said.

                              If the report of the tip-off is correct, it illustrates the cynical approach that C4 have had to this furore perfectly.
                              He's well smoked

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X