Saturday, June 02, 2007 

10 weeks of absolute fucking hell.

Living on the edge of a city in a village surrounded by farms, you still never get used to the smell that often emanates from the surrounding fields after a healthy dose of spraying. You know it's going to happen, that there's going to be a smell which permeates almost everything, and will slowly but surely drive you crazy, but there's nothing you can do about it, save turning arsonist and burning down the shit-loving masochist's living quarters.

Much of which could be said about Big Brother. It's the stinking putrescence of vanity, greed and idiocy that blares at you from the television, occupies the front pages of those excrement purveyors, the tabloids, and tries to infiltrate its way inside your skull, infecting your brain and turning it inexorably to a maggot-ridden decaying reeking orb, being eaten away as the very oxygen you breathe itself seems to have become stale as a result of the demoralising, blanketing vacuity of it all. It's the nose-wrinkling decomposition of all that terrestrial television once stood for, laid bare, eviscerated for all to see, completely inescapable unless you decided to board up your windows, smash the goggle-box, throw the radio out the window and stay in bed living on tinned food for the best part of 3 months.

Yep, It's back. Despite being forced to issue 3 groveling apologies over its handling of the racism row in the celebrity version, the seeming opiate of the young masses has returned, as if its return had ever been in doubt. When it comes down to it, it's all about cash: Channel 4 probably simply can't afford not to keep Big Brother going, as according to MediaGrauniad it makes £50 million a year.

Both Endemol and Channel 4 have of course learned nothing from the controversy surrounding Shilpa and Jade, or rather, they have learned everything. Why else would they have purposefully chosen a house entirely populated by women otherwise? The biggest ructions of the last two series' have all surrounded the female housemates and their ability to bitch about and loathe each other, so why not go the whole way and centre the whole pointless exercise around just that? The other factor informing such a decision has to be pure cynicism: nearly all the young women featured in the show of late have sold both their souls and their bodies to the teenage wank mags, whether they originally intended to or not. This depressing development was almost certainly taken with such a prior knowledge that this series will doubtless turn out much the same. The Scum has already acknowledged this in a nasty, misogynistic tone: calling the younger housemates beauties while those older or not as good looking are "beasts". The MurdochSpace/Facebook profiles have all been inevitably raided, with the photographs splashed across the front pages.

It could all be so different. Channel 4 can still produce fantastic programmes when it wants to, as Peep Show could not more exemplify, the 4th series recently coming to an end with the writing as fresh, inventive, reflective and hilarious as it was during the first. It occupied the 10:30 slot on a Friday, which Big Brother will now miserably fill. While that show bases itself around the thoughts of its two main characters, Big Brother only viscerally identifies the emptiness going on inside the brains of both the contestants, producers and commissioners. It worships at the throne of all that is wrong in the world, combining naivety with exploitation, emphasising that you too can become rich and famous, at least for 15 minutes, as long as you debase yourself enough in front of millions of people. It's masturbation for the mind without the fleeting moment of pleasure, the self-hatred and misery which swiftly follow instead becoming the enduring feeling and emotion.

The one relief is that at least it's 3 weeks shorter than last year's effort, as even its most ardent fans admitted that fatigue set in long before the end. As for the tabloids' obsession, for reasons known only to myself the Big Brother paper-watch will again be operating, with likely ever diminishing returns. It might take a death before it finally gets pulled, although it'll be too late for the girl who committed suicide because she wasn't allowed to watch.

Related posts:
13 weeks of absolute fucking hell.
Stockholm syndrome.

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