Friday, 19 January 2007

Variety show

I detest David Letterman. For me, he embodies all that is wrong with the USA and tipifies what non-Americans percieve Americans as being. Arrogant, self-centred, egotistical, shallow and just not funny. (Big generalisation there I know and no offence intended the good, honest folk who live in the USA - but really, your country's public image is letting you down bigtime. If you don't believe me, go ask a non-American who lives outside of the States what they really think of the USA.) Fortunately, I have been able to live in blissful ignorance of Letterman for the past few years as his show was relegated to a late-night timeslot well after I had gone to bed. But not tonight....

Most of the western world knows that a great man named Steve Irwin died last year in an ironically suitable accident. Steve left behind his pleasant wife and 2 children - Bindi and Bob. Unlike the respectful privacy that the media showed to Willy and Harry after the death of Dianna, the Irwins have been constantly in the spotlight since Steve's death. And Bindi has been the main focus. The media has been having a field day, helped greatly by the fact the Bindi has an overwhelming desire to take on her father's cause (noble) and keep both it and the family in the public eye. Problem is, Bindi is all of 8 years old and no 8 year old should get everything they want. Kudos to Terri for keeping it together and encouraging her child to persue her dreams - but for fuck's sake, she's just a kid. At the moment, the media is lapping it up while Steve's death is still fresh in the public's mind but sooner or later (and probably sooner), the media will find something else to pull at the public heartstrings and the crowds will start to thin at Australia Zoo. And where will that leave little Bindi? Thank God she has a family who loves her and will support her once the media has milked her for all she's worth.

So what does this have to do with Letterman? Tonight Channel 10 chose to screen Letterman during prime time purely because Terri and Bindi were appearing on his show. To maximise the heart-string pull and hype, 10 ran a heavy commercial campaign promoting the special event. As I mentioned earlier, Letterman is usually on at a late timeslot so most family types don't, or rarely, see his show. A lot of Australian families and kiddies would have tuned into 10 tonight to see Terri and Bindi and were subjected to 40+ minutes of mindless, humourless Letterman drivel as the Irwins were the last interviewees to appear on the show. I think a lot of families would have given up by the 20 minute mark, sent the kids to bed and switched over to the tennis.

If you break this saga down to a basic synopsis it would read as follows: Man dies, daughter has her heart set on continuing her father's legacy, mother allows daughter to do this, media seeks ratings so capitalise on the child's desire, public has an interest in the deceased's family so watch a 1 hour television show that has no more than 10 minutes of content they are actually interested in. Is there no depth too low that the media will stoop to in order to get ratings? Appears not.

RIP Steve.



Songs played while writing this entry:
"Breakfast at Sweathearts" Cold Chisel
"Nightmare" Brainbug
"Indifference" Pearl Jam
"Glorified G" Pearl Jam
"My Michelle" Guns N Roses
"Der Klang Der Familie" 3 Phase feat. Dr Motte
"Boss Dub" Shamen
"Ugly" Violent Femmes
"Immortality" Pearl Jam
"Under the Bridge" Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Have a Drink on Me" AC/DC
"Single" Everything But The Girl

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