Britain’s Got Inertia.

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Britain's Got Talent - Shitefest

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In Defence of Britains Got Talent. ( Well not really.)

The cultural phenomenon that is “Britain’s Got Talent”  has been back with us for a few weeks,  sucking out our brains like some sort of televisual zombie, feasting on our inertia, wallowing in our apathy and as is the way with a  Simon Cowell  ‘format’  it never makes the mistake of under estimating the great British public’s insatiable appetite for mind numbing shite.

My dislike for ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and all it stands for is based purely and simply on my pervious, soul shrivelling experiences of all things Cowellian. Robson And Jerome,  Zig And Zag, Sinitta, that little prick Louis Walsh, Cheryl Cole . . . need I go on ?  His crimes against popular culture are numerous, heinous and unrelenting.  Yet incredibly, having studiously avoided “ BGT” for a number of  years my view and possibly my brain had started to soften, maybe  I’d been a little harsh – after all, it’s just ‘a bit of fun ‘isn’t it ?  Maybe it’s improved immeasurably since I was harrowed to the very core of my being by the likes of  Susan Boyle and the ‘side splitting’ antics of Stavros Flatley.  And so I decided in order to have a valid contemporary opinion I should at least give the show another viewing. To this  end I have just spent the last hour on youtube and ITV.com observing people who have at the very  least, an inflated  sense of their own ability and at worst are seriously mentally ill, but enough about the judges . Of the contestants you can’t help but wish their parents had said ‘ No little Jenny, you do NOT have the voice of Maria Callas, but serving happy meals might be something you’d like to consider as a career option.’ There is certainly a lot to be said for tough love The so called expert judges including for this series, Britain’s unfunniest  (but possibly most annoying man,) Michael McIntyre,  perform their scripted roles with the deftness of a charging elephant and effect spontaneity with all the confidence of Jean Claude Van Damme playing Hamlet . But of course that’s not the issue here, this is after all , as people keep telling me ‘just a bit of fun’.

Watching the ‘highlights’  has been a spirit crushing experience and has  left me feeling tainted, depressed and lobotomised by the sheer stupidity of this lamentable charade.  The on screen ring masters, two gurning vertically challenged, stage school, millionaire Geordie luvvies,  giggle, guffaw and simulate conspiratorial ironic exasperation in order to connect with the TV audience at home,  a skill which has rather  bafflingly seen them regaled as national treasures.

And ‘connect’ is the crucial word here, because for all its faults, it’s unremitting shitness and it’s spirit crushing crassness, ‘Britain’s Got Talent ‘does one  thing extremely well. It understands it’s audience and fills the emptiness in their life. Simply put it fills a void with a void.  Cowell may not understand what makes a great song, he may not understand the avant garde,  he may be terrified of the artist who wants to push boundaries  and challenge the status quo, but he understands implicitly how to make money from defending the status quo. Cowell’s skill is turd polishing and presentation, essentially he appropriates various elements  from redundant TV  formats, the variety show, the talent show, the pantomime and like Dr. Victor Frankenstein re-assembles these parts to  create a monster.   Not unlike Cheryl Cole, initially it  appears to be beautifully constructed, stylish and represent ….. and there’s the rub , and represent what exactly???. Because the truth is “BGT”  is  the antithesis of talent, it is a  vapid , empty sexless piece of contrived propaganda,  which assumes the public is a bovine herd  made up of fatuous indolent idiots.

It was once said that people knew exactly what they were doing when  Martin LutherKing was assassinated or when JFK lost  an ill advised game of head tennis with a bullet.  They remember the shock when Lennon was murdered and were stopped in their tracks when news that Elvis had ‘left the building’ -permanently.  Yet nowadays ‘BGT’ is fawned over by the media and presented as having the same  cultural significance as the aforementioned events.  And of course we  all know exactly where we were , sitting on the fucking couch, gorging on kettle chips, complicit and acquiescent  in the dumbing down of  ‘event TV.’  You see  Cowells leathery withered gonads have ‘tea-bagged’  popular culture and his only contribution to it is to create a generation of couch potatoes who talk with misty  eyed reverence about the first time they saw and heard their hairy angel spirit guide, Susan Boyle.   And that’s what ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ gives us, something that we all crave as social animals,   the collective experience,  it’s just a shame it’s such a  fucking shit one, the televisual equivalent of holding your lighter aloft  at a Chris De Burgh concert whilst shitting into an empty polystyrene fish and chip tray. It’s a  parallel universe  were bad is good, wrong is right  a world were the mundane  is GOD,  where innovation is crushed, talent is feared  and where the banal ultimately triumphs, it IS the lowest common denominator made flesh. To quote Bill Hicks ” They’re so good, and so clean-cut, and they’re such a good image for the children.” Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children listening to people who fucking rocked!

Stavros Noelbarn

People have called me a snob, of being a killjoy, of trying to spoil their fun with some sort of elitist agenda, but the reality is that surely there is nothing more elitist  than sitting on your expensive couch with your nice middle class friends sneering and sniggering  from your  perceived position of superiority as people’s dreams are dismantled by the very rich in the name of cheap nasty entertainment.  These ‘tastemakers’ contribute nothing of worth to popular culture, they debase it,  using  it as a vehicle to promote their own empty ‘brand.’  They take and give NOTHING back. ‘BGT’ is Jerry Springer/Jeremy Kyle style bear baiting with a karaoke machine, jugglers and synchronised dancing.

In essence I was right to despise the crass manipulative nastiness of  Britain’s Got Talent, but now after revisiting it ,  I not only loathe the show , I also pity the  eleven million plus who regularly lap up this drivel.   ‘Britain’s Got Talent’  is a void inside a vacuum, a hateful hat ful  of hollow and  Oscar Wilde’s epigram ‘Public opinion exists  only where there are no ideas’  could well be the shows tag-line.  It is  a show made by manipulative lazy cunts to be enjoyed by lazy complicit acquiescent cunts When  popular culture finally draws it’s last breath and all we have left are ‘Syco’ approved  power ballads and REO Speedwagon tribute bands  what will your excuse be ? .. “I couldn’t be arsed??”  –     We really do deserve better.

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If the suggestion  that Simon Cowell wants to enter politics with an X-Factor style political show doesn’t fill your heart with dread then you probably deserve him.

“Ant, Dec? What do the public think ? Should we pull the troops out. Let’s get the public to decide!.

[ Cue gratuitous close-up of grieving Army mum  looking tearfully at a photo of her son and set to a heart rending  Leona Lewis song.  Cut to  close up of a concerned looking Simon] …..

Simon: “Afghanistan ? EVEN  I don’t understand what’s going on there the public deserves the truth which can only be discovered by a premium line phone vote” (Story here .)

But before you rush off and vote for Simon or imagine Clarkeson as Minister For Transport , “Dr” Gillian McKeith as Health Minister , Ant & Dec as  Cultural Ambassadors or  Vernon Kaye as Minister For Vacuous  Twattery,  before you embrace that particular cultural and political  Armageddon , lets examine how Cowell manipulates the (willing )public on say, mind rotting shite like  The X-Factor, let’s do the maths.

“Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?”

Oblong Headed Oligarch of Pop : “Every single person who fills in an application form does so because they want to prove to the judges that they have what it takes, that “X” that “It” that “Pow!” which will propel them from the humdrum inadequacy of their current existence towards that mythical nirvana called the “celebrity life-style”. They all think they have a chance. That once they get in front of those three famous judges they have a genuine chance, no matter how small, of all their dreams coming true.

But they’re not going to get in front of us are they? At least not about ninety four thousand of them. The chances of them getting to perform for the judges are tiny!”

So it’s all a lie??

Oblong Headed Oligarch of Pop: “Of course it isn’t a lie!!! It’s show business. It’s entertainment. We don’t deceive anybody. The information is already there for people if they want to see it, they only have to do the maths. Ninety Five thousand contestants, three judges. How could we possibly consider even a fraction of that number? Say we did ten an hour, that’s nine thousand five hundred hours. Assuming we worked a ten hour day that would be nine hundred and fifty days!! That’s nearly three years we would have to be sitting there behind a trestle table saying “I think you need to find another dream” to an endless stream of idiots and that’s if we worked flat out without a break !

People can work it out if they want to. The only have to do the maths. But they don’t want to do the Maths. Why should they? Any more than they would watch a film that reminded them that it was only actors reciting a script.”*

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*Ben Elton “Chart Throb”