Radiation by Fiona Rae

Glory in Babble-on

Many thoughtful and considered emails have flooded into Radiation since its inception. Okay - more like a babbling brook, but we love them all in their own special way.

I’ve already excerpted many in blogs, but it’s time to see some in their full, raw, unexpurgated, Rachel-Hunter-naked-in-Playboy and with only minor grammatical corrections glory.

C’mon down Nic Igusa,

What is up with Holmes? I thought it was supposed to be a show about NZers, not some vapid celebrity-worshipping twaddle. I'm not normally in front of the TV at 7pm, but happened to put on Holmes last night to be bombarded with Susan Wood alternating between tripping up on her words and gushing breathlessly about Beckham's biography. I mean, in a country where we see more of Beckham on the Vodafone ads that on a football field, why must the lead segment (all 10 minutes of it) be taken up with an English professor humming and hahing about the whole ‘he said she said’ affair debacle? Who cares?? Is that really the NZ angle that Holmes' producer is always looking for?

I had to turn the TV off when we got to the human interest story. A barely coherent child talking about some adventure that the family's golden retriever played a part in. Hard to distinguish what the story was between giggles and childish muttering.

I was going to watch The Simpsons instead but couldn't stomach all the ads in between ...

That was my rant, this morning!

I was thinking the same thing the other night when both channels screened lengthy news pieces about the marital infidelities, or not, of a football player on the other side of the world. Just how is this relevant again? I suspect it’s more to do with the amount of footage the networks get from Britain than with relative news value.

The violence on TV survey had y’all going. Kyle Matthews writes:

A few years ago -- quite a few even -- I did some research work for the NZ police into violence in the Wellington region. The police were looking for an answer that said ‘less alcohol, bars closing earlier, less licenses’ etc.

One of the questions that I found myself looking at as I did the research was what made people violent. Specifically, why do thousands of people go out and get drunk regularly, and not end up in a violent situation, and why do some people, when drunk, commonly end up either assaulted or assaulting. Clearly there’s nothing inherent to alcohol which causes violence, or everyone that drunk would be violent. I found it difficult to provide the answer that the police wanted, even though most violence is committed under the influence of alcohol.

However we also know that our society can make proven links between those people abused when they were young becoming abusers when they are adults.

One of your writers said that they had watched many violent cartoons as a child and they weren't violent. That's great. And indeed, maybe there is no link between seeing violence as a child and being violent -- either as a child, or later in life.

However we don't make laws for non-violent, caring, sharing people who would never hurt another person. If we only made laws for those people there wouldn’t be laws against rape and murder and those sorts of things. Laws are made for the small proportion of society that do anti-social behaviour.

Maybe there isn’t a link between violent TV (or music, a la Marilyn Manson) and violent behaviour. If there is a link however, which we can prove, then I don't think the argument that ‘I went through that situation and I am fine’ is valid, even if it’s for 90 per cent of people. We make laws for the other 10 per cent, and if we can change our society, particularly the way we raise children to make those 10 per cent turn out better as adults, then that’s something that surely we should look at?

In the paraphrased words of a famous equestrian, it’s a curly one. Can we argue for censorship when a small portion of society who may have been affected by a whole range of events and/or abuses is violent? If there was no violence on TV would there be no societal violence? Should the warnings before violent shows be extended to read “we advise discretion especially if you were abused as a child or are living with violence on a day-to-day basis”?

The lovely Andrew writes,

As a 32-year-old news and current affairs glutton I found Flipside to be a great source of topical info delivered intelligently, irreverently and, I suspect, most importantly for the demographic I assume they were pursuing, honestly.

Comparing the fantastic on-screen presence of Evie and Mike with the bumbling goons on the patronisingly vapid Headliners, and the duo on One’s other late bulletin, makes one wonder why the Flipside team are being shafted. Too successful? I hardly think that their audience is going to return to the lonely Judy Bailey.

Flipside was a valuable source of news, social issues and artistic goings on (bands, theatre and so forth) that is simply not present on our Charter broadcaster. They were even scheduling some one-off docos I believe, made, God forbid, for people who have no desire to watch some of the tepid DNZ ones.

Re the burying of Serial Killers, for goodness sake, 9.45 Friday night?! Who on earth will see it then? Yet another example of the “whoever they ares” failing to support local initiatives. Shame on them. Still comedy is the bugbear for The Network, due I suspect to them insisting on inserting their clumsy little fingers into the comedy making pie. When their fingers curdle said pie they then have the audacity to blame the pie maker.

Great example of this was the fascinating doco about the BBC’s El Dorado on Trouble at the Top, more quality programming (judging from the one ep I happened upon) buried late at night. No problems with that so much as the fact that they could damn well promo stuff so we know it is on. Oh sorry, that would be too easy.

Serial Killers was great too. Made me laugh – especially the journo who had written a bad review of the soap in the morning and was asking for a job in the afternoon. Hee hee. I’m sure that’s happened, hasn’t it? Shortland Street secret squirrels: we await your call. Remember, Flipside isn’t dead yet, you just have to be home at 5pm to see it.

Okay, enough of you, back to me. In the Buffy/Angel fanverse (the rest of you can go away now if you want to), here’s a story from Ain’t It Cool News about Alyson Hannigan’s new sitcom, Americana. The actor formerly known as Willow was also performing on stage in When Harry Met Sally, along with Luke Perry, on the West End. Here’s a Guardian interview.

For us Angel fans, the dream is over (although we’ve got the rest of season four and all of season five to go here). Angel’s been cancelled in the US, despite an incredible fan campaign and website. Buffy/Angel creator Joss Whedon is developing a feature film based on Firefly, his short-lived space Western series. Reportedly, Whedon would like David Boreanaz to appear in the film (wow, Angel in space!).

It’s not all bad though. If you ever wanted a nearly life-sized Spike of your very own, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t, here’s a downloadable 32-page poster to print out (in Adobe Acrobat) and assemble.