Random Play by Graham Reid

55

The Age of Reason

So, who is the 14-year old at TV One who has been writing Simon Dallow’s scripts lately? In the past few weeks on the 6pm news there has been a breathlessness coming through more befitting the E! Channel. It is a bit alarming.

But I'm starting to think that's the point.

Last night for example in a hyperventilating item about Ballu Khan being arrested in Fiji and “allegedly beaten” (as the proper terminology should be), we were told that he was “bashed” and was being held “in captivity” in hospital.

While I don’t doubt for a second the gravity of Mr Khan’s plight or his current situation, such highly emotive words and phrases -- and the often downright inflammatory -- are becoming all too common in what we might have expected to be rather more dispassionate news reports.

(That is when the news isn’t being some public service announcement, as for example the young reporter last night who cautioned us to be careful when using fireworks. Thanks for that.)

Still, we live in a small country which likes to talk big. The glee exhibited by television news when the “terrorists” were rumbled showed just how desperate newsrooms can be for a real story sometimes.

But wasn’t Millie Holmes a godsend, now we have our own Britney or Amy Winehouse just like the big, grown-up countries. (Although if it is true she has hitched up with someone in rehab it’s worse than we can have imagined, she is perhaps more correctly our Liz Taylor.)

So yes, we do like to overstate for effect, even if the assertion doesn‘t stand serious scrutiny.

Like the lawyer for one of the “alleged terrorists” who was being detained. He drew an analogy between Mt Eden Prison and Guantanamo Bay.

Then we have had the PM saying that around her way on Saturday night the noise of the fireworks was like being in downtown Kandahar.

Well, I live about two blocks away from the PM‘s residence (in the rather less salubrious street) and if that is what Kandahar is like then the Afghan Tourism Authority shouldn’t have much trouble attracting visitors.

Yes, there were explosions every now and again -- some really loud -- and a few skyrockets whizzed overhead. But nothing like a decade ago, lest we forget.

However it was the Saturday night before Guy Fawkes and that would be pretty much what you’d expect -- even in the nice suburbs. And it wasn’t a war-zone either, it was just people having fun making a lot of noise. Personally I don’t have a problem with that for a few days a year. I like people having fun.

I know others will want to have their say here about Guy Fawkes and that’s fine. Go for your life.

But I love Guy Fawkes with all the noise and skyrockets and I still think it was sad day when we -- “they” actually -- banned bonfires.

And who were “they”?

Well, without overstating matters like the 14-year old at TV One, “they” were the safety nazis bastards. The shits.

PS. Chris Knox informs me that the correct title of his Labour song is Way Better. Which does sound way better. It is at Elsewhere with lots of other new music.

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