China, careful what you wish for….

Warning Chinese lovers of toot tv, your State Administration of Radio Film and Television is trying to shut you daaaaaan! Last week the state- governed body declared war on anything it saw as “overly entertaining”.

The plan is to limit any show that has a slight whiff of democracy, which basically means voting. Or fun. This comes a couple of weeks after talent show “Happy Girl” (flip me, those Communists know how to rock a snappy title) was cancelled after an extremely successful run, amassing hundreds of millions of fans around the country. Apparently it was a bit racy. And there was unscripted ’emotional outbursts’. And the winner looked like a boy.

Anyway, the plan instead is to focus on local, more wholesome broadcasting, with some areas planning a more hardcore approach to “the great development and great prosperity of socialist culture”. Fair enough, the likes of The X Factor can tarnish the soul of even the most open minded culture vulture, but the Chinese would do well to heed the warnings and sad repercussions of funding local broadcasting, such as that which has happened here in Norn Iron.

I have a couple of words for the SARFT- School Around The Corner. For those readers unaware of this shining beacon of broadcasting, it consists of a man, Frank Mitchell (not even his real name) sitting chatting to schoolchildren on a sofa. I’m not saying it’s a paedos buffet, but it’s a paedos buffet. And then there is the total vacuum of time and space which is Ultimate Ulster (another Mitchell masterpiece). In this mighty body of work, areas of our beautiful country are rearranged every week to form a top ten. Top place to get married – the  Mournes. Top place for a day out – The Mournes. Top place for a weekend away – The Mournes.

Although it does have its place, local broadcasting does have its dangers. It can give sad old bints who have outgrown their usefulness on the makeup counter at Boots (see Pamela Ballentine and Lynda Bryans) access to your home, and make stars of the most pointless of rough aspirational grannies (see Olivia Nash). Once these ‘ladies’ have been on tv, the world is their oyster, and now they are taking to the stage.

In the upcoming events for the new year in the Waterfront we have The Vagina Monologues. Will we have Oscar winning actresses and celebrities sharing feminist thought and personal, emotional stories as has been the case in other cities? No, we get Ballentine, Bryans and Nash pretending to be earnest about their lady-gardens. Sweet Jesus. Give me X-Factor anyday.

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