November 1998
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THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE

#6 TELEVISION

Settle down at the back

 

Welcome class. Sit down and shut it, you know-nothing, waffle-eating spunk-monkeys. And do me the good grace of listening damn it, as we let the culture commence.

Baird invents TV - 1925

Televisions are everywhere. Look, there’s one now. See what I mean? You can’t get away from the bleeders. But it wasn't always like this. Oh, no. In fact, we were a quarter of the way through the century before the tragic lantern was fully realised. Yes my chickens, John Yogi Baird invented TV in 1925, after a struggle longer than the combined hair of Motley Crue. Finally he and his loveable assistant Booboo cracked it.

Och, aye.’ Said John, ‘Ay’ve faynally doon it. Ay’ve invented the TV. Now we can sit around and waste our lives every evening.’

‘Hooray, ‘ said Booboo. ‘What’s on?’

Sod all, ’ Said John, fiddling with the tuner. ‘as per bloody usual.

 

Dismayed with the lack of quality programmes, John and Booboo were to set the agenda for what constitutes today’s primetime fodder. So let's take a look at a script from this quaint little programme and marvel at how far we've come:

THE 'TONIGHT SHOW' OCTOBER 14TH 1925

BOOBOO

(out of vision):

Hello and welcome to the Tonight Show. Please ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the one and only John Yogi Baird.

 

(frenzied applause)

JOHN

(bounds onto stage)

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Whooo. Thank you. I just flew in from the States. Boy, are my arms tired. But seriously folks, welcome to tonight's show. And what a show. A little later on, I’ve got Booboo. Yes. That’s Booboo. Alright!

After that, I’ll be talking to, er, Booboo

BOOBOO

(plays a few notes on the bass guitar)

 

(more frenzied applause)

JOHN

(sits behind desk)

Whoooooo! I feeeel hot tonight. Let’s do the top ten.

BOOBOO

(plays a few notes on the bass guitar)

 

(some of the audience actually wet their pants)

JOHN

(reading from script)

Alright! Tonights top ten: Ten Alibi's for O.J. Simpson. Number 10 - 'I didn't do it, I'm not even born yet.'

BOOBOO

(plays a few notes on the bass guitar)

 

(some of the audience laugh themselves to death)

 

 

 

Not long after this, Booboo, jealous of all the attention, set up his own TV station and began broadcasting 'The Late Night Show with Booboo.' It was the beginning of a bitter rivalry that would worsen over the coming years culminating in John Yogi Baird raping, butchering and finally eating his ex-companion live on television. This incident forced him to change his identity. So he changed his surname to Carson.

 

THE BEE BEE SEA

Then, as luck would have it, an English crazy-man called Lord Reith invented the BBC. It took him a matter of minutes. With little more than a bag of gold from the King and a mad building at Alexandra Palace (in London's salubrious Haringey) he set up the greatest public sector broadcaster in the world. Not bad for a chinless aristo with a name that rhymes with Bored Keith.

These things take careful planning and preparation though; he didn't just put up an aerial and start filming fresh air sonny-me-lad. No; he planned everything with the diligence of a cyclist with dysentery riding over cobblestones. After literally minutes of careful frowning he stood up and boldly shouted out his four point plan: 'to educate, to inform and to entertain; and a medium on which to show programmes about heroic dogs.'

It is the first three points that are oft quoted, but the fourth is generally cast into the filthy dustbin of yesteryear. Ironically it is the fourth that was to be the most rigidly upheld. THINK ABOUT IT. The list is more endless than a rubber band: Scooby Doo; Rin Tin Tin; Lassie; Goober and the Ghost Chasers; Dogtanian; Rebel out of Champion the Wonder Horse; etc etc etc. But the finest of all these dogs, and perhaps the most entertaining, educational and informative programme in history was to come from Canada in the early 1980's.

 

THE LITTLEST HOBO -

REITH'S VISION FINALLY REALISED

The Littlest Hobo followed the surprising adventures of an implausibly intelligent Alsation named the Littlest Hobo, who wandered the country, befriending people with pick-up trucks and helping them. He then systematically declined their offer to adopt him as a pet and left to continue his hobo life. Causing the truck owner to utter the following immortal edict: '…and it's all thanks to…….now where in tarnation has he gotten to?'

Among the names given to him by his human friends were Blue, Blue, Blue, Blue, Blue, and Blue. Among the names given to him by the criminals he catches are Beany, Arse-piece, Log-sniffer, Wet-knickers and Fiendish Cur.

This fantastic programme was to meet an untimely end when a smaller hobo was found, thereby making our hobo's claim fraudulent. In 1984 he was destroyed for being nothing more than a stray, worm-ridden vagrant dog.

 

THE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION IS OVER AND THERE'S NOTHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO BUT DEATH

 

But life goes on. Well for us it does. And so does television, but rather than being under the control of some mad English toff, it's now in the hands of far-sighted unit cost accountants and Business Affairs Lawyers, whose people will indubitably talk to your people. Yea, verily, TV is big business; and it's being run (and some say into the ground) by THE SUITS. The SUITS are a new concept: compare and contrast:

   

The 1980's

The 1990's

Big bosses take whole company to Disneyworld 'on a whim' for St Edna's day feast.

Big bosses provide reduced cost sandwiches in canteen for Christmas dinner; attendance compulsory - except for big bosses who are snorting cocaine from gazelle's bum-cracks in the Serengetti.

US $ 5480 squillion revenue for TV companies in advertising invested in top quality films and drama.

US $ 5480 squillion revenue for TV companies in advertising invested in snorting cocaine from gazelle's bum-cracks in the Serengetti.

Average day for junior employee: roll in around lunchtime; do some coke in the bogs; have sex with someone in the lift; staple something; go down the pub: PAY: £100 per day

Average day for junior employee: get in at 8 am; turn on bosses computer; read bosses email; print them out for her; turn on own computer; enter profit data for fifteen hours; go home again: PAY: £100 per month

In Britain there are 4 channels and 27 TV companies

In Britain there are 523 channels and 4 TV companies

 

WHAT HAVE WE LEARNT?

  • HARINGEY IS THE GREATEST OF ALL LONDON BOROUGHS.
  • TELEVISION IS MORE RUBBISH NOW THAN IT USED TO BE AND IT USED TO BE TOTALLY RUBBISH.
  • THE LITTLEST HOBO WAS NEITHER PARTICULARLY LITTLE NOR MUCH OF A HOBO.
  • NEVER TRUST BOOBOO.




Until next time

Dzien Dobri

Uncle Summy

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