1. People who don’t read
I’ve never understood how anyone cannot enjoy reading a good book. Dale has read two books that I know of the entire time we’ve been together and it’s been just over ten years. Conversely, he can’t understand how I can bury my nose in a novel and disappear between the pages for hours at a time. It’s different if you can’t read or have a difficulty with reading – I just can’t understand those who can but feel no desire to do so – it boggles my mind.
2. Reality TV
What is it with the reality TV overload? The so-called “talent” shows like X-Factor and the never-ending search for stars for musicals like Any Dream Will Do, which drive me nuts. What’s wrong with holding auditions the normal way? Then there’s Big Brother (what’s interesting about watching a bunch of people scratching themselves on a sofa and talking about nothing at all whilst trying to get into each other’s pants?) – thank the Gods they’ve finally pulled the plug on that!
And then there are the “fame” versions where z-list celebrities battle it out and pretend to be “normal people” when they’re clearly both desperate and off their rockers for agreeing to do it in the first place. If I had my way, I’d pile all the contestants who have ever been on a reality show and put them into a new show called I’m a Reality TV Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here, the premise of which would be to have them all kill each other off, Battle Royale-style. The winner would then be painlessly euthanized and we’d be done with them. Now there’s a show I’d watch!
3. Video clip shows
From You’ve Been Framed to You’ve Been Maimed, I can’t see the point. It’s just a load of idiots showing themselves up and acting in outrageously dangerous ways. I’m surprised more of them aren’t dead! And much as I tend to dislike children in general, the amount of clips that show babies, toddlers and very young kids falling down, hurting themselves or getting a major fright is startling. What amazes me more is that people think it’s funny. The same goes for the poor animals that fall off things and look like they’ve just missed snapping their spines.
4. Chav culture
I know it’s not all head-to-toe Burberry and Elizabeth Duke jewellery, but the whole chav culture makes me sick. The very fact that these people seem to revel in their own ignorance and ill-education makes me seethe with anger; their pride in the fact that they live off government handouts and “stick it to the man” at every chance makes my blood boil. Now, I’m not talking about those who are on disability allowance or have a genuine reason why they don’t work and need government help; I’m talking about the scummy gits who make it their life’s work to get as much from the system as they can without lifting a finger – usually by popping out a dozen kids to get a nice, big house. Perhaps another Battle Royale-esque game show (I’m a Chav, Get Me Out of Here) would be an idea…
5. Shameless and The Royle Family
This follows on from the Chav thing, really. I’d love to shoot the lot of them. I feel physically sick just looking at the male leads of both shows and have to change the channel the moment their mugs fill my screen. Is it any wonder I don’t watch much TV?
6. Commercial breaks right after the opening credits
I’ve just sat down, the prologue to Desperate Housewives has just finished, the opening credit sequence has ended and… we cut to four minutes of commercials! WHY? The programme hasn’t even started properly yet – we’ve had a total of three minutes of entertainment and my attention span is slightly longer than that – ooh, look at that butterfly… Ahem! And then once we’ve had the programme of our choice back on the screen for another seven minutes, it’s time for… more adverts! It drives me nuts!
7. The news in the middle of a film
Why schedule a movie to start at 9pm, knowing full well it’s more than two hours long and knowing full well that you’re going to have to have the news bulletin on for half an hour at 10pm? It makes no sense at all! And yet it’s happening more and more often. It’s bad enough that there are commercials on every five minutes without having a 30-minute break in the middle, just as the villain is running off with the booty and the hero is in a dilemma over how he’ll rescue the girl! Don’t do that to me! Now I’m going to be too tired to stay up and watch the whole bloody film and I have no way of recording it. Do you realise I’m now going to have to fork out for the DVD now, either as a rental (I‘m no longer a member of any rental clubs, so that’s out) or actually buying it to find out how it ends? Not only that, but I’ll probably only be disappointed by an obvious ending and so will have wasted my money. Why do I bother with TV at all? Where does my license fee go?
8. The TV license
Overpriced and pointless. We pay a huge wodge of cash just so I can watch Eurovision and a couple of movies a year – honestly, that amounts to my entire BBC repertoire. I could spend less buying them all on DVD, but then I’d not be able to watch them because if I didn’t pay the license I’d be breaking the law if I watched my TV at all – all because of the bloody BBC! Give up the ghost, guys. Just take on some tasteful (well, as far as that’s possible) advertising and position it wisely so as not to wreck the few decent programmes you have and stop making us pay through the nose. There was a country that had their TV license abolished because enough people refused to pay it any more. I think it was Australia or some other place Down Under. Good for them, I say. Now if the UK could follow suit I’d be a happy bunny (and slightly better off too).
9. Talk Shows
No, not the kind that interview celebrity guests, although I don’t really tend to bother with them either, I’m talking about the ones that get “Joe Bloggs” off the street to come in and rant about their family – you know the ones; Jerry Springer, Trisha and their ilk. The only one for whom I have ever had a modicum of respect is Montel Williams as he usually represents the voice of reason, and not encouraging the ensuing rampage. And the people who go on those shows – where on earth do they find them? There must be a factory somewhere churning them out. I mean, occasionally you’ll get a perfectly nice person on just looking for their missing Dad or trying to find their birth mother, but the majority are screeching harridans, chavs and monsters.
10. Pagans on chat shows
Now this one might get the back up of a few of my fellow Pagans, but being a Pagan myself I think it’s important to stand up and say that most of the Pagans that actually go on these shows do absolutely nothing to further the cause of anyone following an earth-based religion. I’ll admit I wear a lot of black and on occasion will wear a bit of heavy eyeliner (I was a Goth in my teens, but that’s something I kind of grew out of), but our representatives on the likes of the, thankfully now no more, Kilroy show made us all look insane. If you go by what they say, we’re all a bunch of loopy weirdos who run around naked in woods, drinking blood and taking drugs whilst sacrificing cats to Satan.
Why, for once, can they not get some normal folks on who just happen to be Pagan and who can show the world that we’re not all scary nut-jobs? Why is it always the Grand High Poo-bah and his Grand High Lady Majestic Priestess that get the airtime? I know, I know, it makes for great gawking TV, but it’s not real! We’re not like that, honest! And we don’t all talk out our arses either. Just for once I’d like to see a down-to-earth Pagan on one of these shows, making sure we don’t all look like imbeciles. And no, I’m not volunteering myself – I don’t think they’d put me on as I’m sure they’d not think much of what I think of the presenters (who know nothing about the subject except for what the scaremongerers give out) and I’d probably get lynched by a bunch of black lace-clad Wicca-wannabes on the way out!
This is just a small handful of the things that make me throw back my head and inwardly scream “Why? Why? WHY?” You’ll have noticed many of them are TV-related which goes a long way towards explaining why I don’t watch much of it.
Is there anything that you just don’t get? I’d love to hear about them.