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:


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The Most Offensive Show on Earth

Mary Whitehouse, a devout Catholic and righteous campaigner of broadcast media is an important figure in British history. She thought the BBC was at the centre of a “conspiracy to remove the myth of God from the minds of men”. Her ‘Clean Up TV Campaign’ manifesto claimed that the BBC diffused “the propaganda of disbelief, doubt and dirt… promiscuity, infidelity and drinking”. The CUTV Campaign instead argued that the BBC should “encourage and sustain faith in God and bring Him back to the hearts of our family and national life”.

CUTV campaigned against a variety of shows. Many of which were not what one would immediately interpret as offensive.

Doctor Who was described as “teatime brutality for tots”. A catchy title I think you’ll agree. But a bit much. Doctor Who is somewhat sinister perhaps. But brutal? Brutal?! The Rape of Nanking was brutal. Stagnant cyborgs and ring-modulated voices are not.

But that was then, and this is now. Different people ageing in different times. What offended us 40 years ago is unlikely to offend us now. Opinions and attitudes change change with the times.

This generation. My generation. What does it take to offend us? Are we even capable of being genuinely offended by media? Exactly what on-screen atrocities would we have to witness in order for us to take umbrage and write an angry email to Ofcom?

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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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ITV’s The Cube: An Abundance of Acrylic

What do you get when a terrestrial television channel has an empty prime-time slot, a mysterious gymnast, and acrylic plastic surplus to requirement?

ITV‘s prime-time, acryli-fest gameshow – The Cube. That’s what.

Back for a second series The Cube fulfils the part of ITV‘s remit that clearly states the must utilise the abundance of Poly[methyl methacrylate] stored within the warehouse since Simon Cowell’s Plastic Death Dungeon of Doom was officially decommissioned in late 1997. Oh, you didn’t see that one?

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