Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sigiriya or Dambulla?

I was hanging around on Sunday night, comtemplating going to a gig, comtemplating life in general and feeling quite pleased with myself for a few things.

The first was the new drum fill I had just written, my New Year's resolution continues to work and my musical vocabulary continues to grow, with some hiccups but a general upwards trend. For the musical amongst you the fill sounds like this:

da ga da da da sss da ga da do go do blap.

The "blap" falls on the four of a four beat fill and, well the rest is pretty obvious really.

But, after writing it down in proper musical notation, which helps me learn and remember these things, I settled down to a spot of dinner and perused the 387 TV channels I have access to for something vaguely interesting to watch. Of course this vast array of channels doesn't broadcast anything that I find interesting, just stuff that other people find interesting, people who have never, ever watched TV before and therefore don't realise that everything is a repeat.

I finally, only because it was the least crap thing I could find, settled on a programme called "Britain's Favourite View". I thought the title was promising and, before I pressed the information button to find out more, had expected to see that it would be a beautifully filmed programme showing some of the stunning landscapes and scenery that we have here in Blighty.

It so nearly was, yet it was also the epitome of chav TV.

It was a programme, which turned out to be the "final", in which members of the public had to ring in and vote for the view that they considered as their favourite. There were about 5 such views in this final and it became obvious to me that in this, as in the previous "rounds" various celebrities had presented their favourite view. They had each made a short film about their chosen view, they had presented the film and talked about the view and been interviewed by Trevor Mcdonald about it. Some views had been eliminated in previous rounds, I'm unsure if they had to sing a song or perhaps the other views had to vote in a clincher of some sort.

I can't remember the exact locations but there were ones like a specific place in the Lake District, a part of Northern Ireland incorporating the Mountains of Mourne, a castle somewhere on the North East coast of England and so on.

Each place was filmed beautifully, each was incredibly picturesque and it looked as if each celebrity was passionate about their place, as if celebrities really had chosen their view, not been allocated it, although I can't be sure.

But I hate this whole reality TV business, I really do. This was, for me, just a fundamentally inappropriate way to portray the intense beauty and often unappreciated splendour of the UK. It's bad enough when poor quality people vote for the person that's going to be number one in the charts for the next five years, but at least there's a full circle kind of thing going on there in that they're the idiots who are going to buy the crap music anyway.

For me, landscapes and scenery are not the things that should be voted for, or against. I have a great dislike for the way that we so often send out a message that everything has to be a competition, with winners and losers. Why can't people appreciate many scenes and views without having to decide on a winner or a loser? Why can't we teach our kids to think abundantly, not scarcely?

Then again, the result of this programme would surely have been that more people would have visited all the featured attractions, which I assume is good and wanted. More members of the public would have become aware of their existence, as was the case with me. One of the many things I'd like to do is to have a much better knowledge of the UK, to see some more of the country and landscape I live in, and programmes like this do inspire me to do more and see more and so broaden my knowledge. I just don't want to vote on it.

What do you think, Sigiriya or Dambulla? The Lake District or The River Thames?

Do you have to choose?


Java Jones said...

da-ga-da da da da sss blap
da-ga-da daa daa sss blap blap
da da da da sss blap blap blap
da-ga-da da-ga-da sss-ga-da
blap blap blap

I'll pick Flowerbook

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Java - That's a particularly Kandyan sounding fill you've come up with, I like it.