Plastic Promises & Hollywood Happiness

It may or may not surprise you to hear that I’m considered somewhat pessimistic by my friends.

You may think that with a bleak personality such as mine I would crave the colourful delights of Disney films. You would be mistaken. Instead I find them subversive and seditious.

You may think that with an isolated existence such as mine I would crave the aspirational gloss of teen dramas like The O.C. You would be incorrect. Instead I find them offensive projections of an unrealistic ambition.

You may think that with a life like mine I would watch films simply to escape myself, to feel a fleeting fantastical happiness at the hands of a fictional circumstance. You would be wrong. I revel in the sadistic side of cinema. I want it grim. I want all the grim you’ve got.

Recently I learned through a fellow blogger that the theatrical ending of Danny Boyle’s post-apocalyptic zombie flick 28 Days Later is not the original ending. 

[Spoilers inbound]

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Why We Need Spoiler Alerts

Ever since entertainment began; since William Shakespeare penned Henry IV in 1589, since Thespis of Icaria was decorated for tragedy in 534 BC, and since Neanderthal Man began retelling epic escapades of pre-chivalrous sexist torment the likes of which Andy Gray and Richard Keys would be proud of, there have been spoilers.

Where there are spoilers there must be, for the sake of all sanity:

!!! SPOILER ALERTS !!!

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Nonsensical Desensitisation Sensationalism

Penetration – thrust at us from all directions.

We cannot bypass this piercing perforation.

Be it savage evisceration or venereal infiltration.

We cannot escape this cultural condemnation.

It makes you sick doesn’t it? Not my inadvertent verse, but the poison plague that coats our culture. The sex! The violence! It’s in the games we play. It’s in the music we hear. It’s in the TV we watch. It’s the reason this country’s gone to the proverbial pooches.

Sex and violence – makes you sick doesn’t it?

Actually no. No it doesn’t. Perhaps it should. But it doesn’t. Permeating our TV listing, consoles and radio-waves until we’re at saturation point, we absorb so much violence we don’t even know it’s there. A man could be strangled, seared, smothered and smouldered on my OLEDHD3D1080p screen and I’d barely process his passing. Why? Because we’ve been desensitised.

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Advertising: The Good, The Bad and The Pointless

56% of people claim that advertising has no effect on them. Actually I made that up because I couldn’t find any relevant statistical evidence. Anyway, today I saw an example of advertising that disproves my own fabricated claims. Today I saw advertising perform at its most fundamental level.

Projecting from the endless sea of citizens suffering in silence, was a sign. Wooden, it stood tall like a ship’s mast. It hung in the air. BoldBright. Offering a glimmer of saturated colour in a desolate wasteland of grey, corporate lunchtimes. Orange erupted above the conflux, exhibiting a clear message:

£1.49 Sandwich and Filling!

I watched as a man approached. He was of relatively small demeanour. Worn, dishevelled, he look as if he was in need of a sandwich but it was clear that the idea of investing in one had not entered his mind. Until that is, he saw the board.

He stopped. I watched his eyes narrow and his pupils flicker from

left                                                                 to                                                              right

as he carefully absorbed the erudition. Upon consummation of this propaganda I saw his eyebrows flutter toward the sky and his lips arch upward as he nodded, in both acknowledgement and agreement. Conveyed through a myriad of facial contortion, I witnessed that instantaneous moment of decisiveness.

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Death by Pants Off Dance Off

Imagine if television broadcast nothing but top quality shows. Explosive action, emotive drama, cutting comedy. Hour after hour after hour. Nothing but the best. For you. For me. For everyone. Just take a second to process that thought. Your only trouble would be finding the time to watch everything, because everything is must-see TV. You couldn’t get a DVR with a big enough hard-drive!

There is literally nothing on that doesn’t appeal to you. Every one of the hundreds of channels is packed with incredible shows. Your every televisual whim is catered for. Imagine what great cultural taste we’d have as a race. Imagine what we’d learn, see and enjoy. TV Heaven on Earth.

Crucially, there is one problem with this theory – what would the stupid watch? They need something. We can’t just lock them away and allow their genes to wither and die because apparently that’s ‘wrong’. That’s why for every – The Sopranos, for every The Wire and for every Mad Men there is unfortunately – Pants Off Dance Off.


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