Tag Archives: television

Watching TV

Surfing TV
I see
Selling products that neither you nor I
Have ever thought to buy.

Flicking channels I see
Another vapid she
Pretty as the picture on a new TV.

I can not decide
Whether to turn over to the other side
Where boys say “mom” in identikit
American voices.

So many “choices”
To sit
And see
On my TV …

No Big brother watching me
Through my TV
Just advertisers selling me things that I
Have no need to buy.

Should I look
At a book
Or go to bed
And dream of Hollywood where all are free
To watch the same crap TV?

Commercial Break

If we stripped away the advertising hoardings
And quelled the glitzy TV commercials,
Those recordings
Of sexy girls telling you and I
What we ought to buy,
Would we cease going around in ever decreasing circles
And gaze awestruck at the great sky?

Perhaps it would be as above
And love
Of higher things would reign,
But then again
There is the stain
Which caused God to expel
Lucifer to hell

Reality TV

The Romans threw
Christians to the lions.
This we no longer do,
For modern man is civilised.
Yet, it is no surprise
That there is now reality TV
Where we
Watch with glee
As the inadequate, Sad
Or quite frankly bad
Are flayed alive.

We viewers pretend not to derive
Any satisfaction
From the interaction
Of a host who weeps crocodile tears
As the audience in turn sneers
And jeers.
So we self righteously shake our head
At the living dead.

Today society is humane
For the gladiators now remain
To be pointed at in the street,
For they are no lions to eat
Them whole.
Merely their soul
Is by the entertainment industry taken,
Leaving them forsaken.
But some do tell,
There is no soul to sell


The birds
Say more than my words
About this sterile
World which the virile
Rain is making wet.
We forget
That we are part of the whole
And lose our soul
In the daily grind.

Sometimes we find
Rain drops falling,
To a mind
Which can perhaps reach beyond the pap
Of the photogenic TV personality, who has nothing to say.
But she does our will to live sap
In such a pretty way


Walking through the tube on my way home.
In this crowd.
That I could
Be a cloud
Up above.
Yet we are all clouds
Blown hither and thither by crowds,
Trying to keep our identity in the throng
Whose song
Is “Work then home
Perhaps a few drinks with the boys or girls
(the social whirl)
Or collapse in front of mindless television
(watching overpaid hosts
On reality TV interviewing ghosts
Who inspire derision, Not fear).
Sometimes we see it clear
But rather than confront the truth (which is difficult to do),
Instead flick through
Channels where you can shop till you drop
For the latest crop
Of gadgets (not needed before,
But once you saw
You just had to buy)
For one must be a “with it” guy.

Going to bed
Your head
Is clear for a while.
There can be no denial
That you may think
(unless your mind be muddled with drink)
Ere sleep “wraps up the ravelled sleeve of care”,
But beware
For you may dream
And all that does seem
Will be revealed for what it is, a soon forgotten soap opera in which you play
A barely noticed role then fade away.

Repair Man

My grandfather used to do this self-same job. Who would have thought that the occupation would still be going strong after all these years. He would be amazed to see how the job has changed. I’m sure he wouldn’t believe what we repairers do these days and, if he did then chances are he wouldn’t like it.

Progress is a funny thing. You can’t stand in the way of progress. I mean society’s so much more stable now, crimes practically vanished. I’m proud that in a small way I’m contributing to a safe society one in which my girlfriend can walk the streets free from the fear of molestation and where our kids can play out without my partner and I constantly worrying about them.

The technology has improved so much. When I was a boy you had big bulky box-like objects standing on legs or in cabinets in the corner. There are still a few of the old tellies around. I wish I haden’t given grandfather’s away. You see the old sets from the 70’s and 80’s going for mega bucks on the web. Those from the 50’s and 60’s go for even more. Of course the old sets don’t work with digital, people just like to have something retro in the corner to look at. It’s a talking point when visitors come around.

The new sets break down fairly regularly. It’s a scandal that they need fixing as often as they do, especially as they cost so much to produce. But then you can’t put a price on security can you?

It tends to be the older generation who are resistant to new technology. Some of them have even been known to obstruct the television or even break them. Why break a perfectly good TV? It beats me.

Of course its not compulsory to have a TV but you get looked at askance if you don’t have one. Anyway there are so many incentives to have a TV that practically no one is without one. Because of advertising most of the channels are free and you get a reduction in your taxes if you have a set. It isn’t a big tax cut but it’s worth having. The girlfriend and I used the money we saved following the installation of our all singing, all dancing set to take the kids abroad.

It was strange being in that foreign hotel room. We had a telly, I can’t imagine being without one but it was odd. I mean it was just a set for watching programmes. Sure you could go online with it (all modern sets have that capability) but it didn’t do the thing everyone (well the majority of people) are used to and accept in my country.

“You know Rob its kind of nice to be alone. Just you, me and the kids” Jenny said.

“Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear”, I said.

Who needs privacy. We’ve got a good standard of living. Society is stable and secure now. I’m proud that in a very small way, as the installer of sets which both receive and transmit I’m contributing to the happiness and prosperity of my fellow citizens.

A Modern Wasteland

Last night I dreamed of a library. I wandered around unable to locate what I was looking for although, as is frequently the case with dreams it was not at all clear what, exactly I was in search of. Looking back on my dreaming I can not, in point of fact recollect having encountered a single work of literature.

Loud music filled the institution making concentration all but impossible. I approached the librarian asking that the volume be turned down or, preferably silenced completely. She informed me that the people liked it. That this was, in fact the modern way.

Are we living in a culture so devoid of meaning that my dream is fast becoming the reality? I avoid reality TV like the plague however, while in doctors surgeries and other similar venues one can not but help coming across shows such as Jeremy Kyle in which inadequate individuals launder their dirty clothes in public. The audience (both that present in the studio and those viewing remotely) are treated to the unedifying spectacle of supposedly rational human beings frequently screaming abuse at one another.

“You slept with my sister”

A woman yells at her boyfriend – etc, etc.

Doubtless many of those who appear on programmes such as Jeremy Kyle do require help. However the assistance needed is that furnished by relationship counsellors, social workers or other professionals. Such shows are modern manifestations of a dessicated culture. One in which entertainment is substituted for serious thought. In the past the Romans watched gladiators fight to the death or “enjoyed” the spectacle of Christians being thrown to the lions. Today the audience cheers, boos and laughs as those in search of their fleeting moment of fame make fools of themselves on television. T S Eliot’s Wasteland seems so very appropriate for our times (http://www.bartleby.com/201/1.html).

The Remorseful Day

I was reminded of the below poem by A. E. Housman, while watching a dramatisation of “The Remorseful Day”, the last in the Inspector Morse series, in which Morse meets his maker (or perhaps not as Morse is an atheist).

Houseman brilliantly captures the desire of man to mend his ways, to become a better person but, in the final verse all hopes are reduced to dust and, as Housman puts it

“falls the remorseful day”.




“How clear, how lovely bright,

How beautiful to sight

Those beams of morning play;

How heaven laughs out with glee

Where, like a bird set free,

Up from the eastern sea

Soars the delightful day.


To-day I shall be strong,

No more shall yield to wrong,

Shall squander life no more;

Days lost, I know not how,

I shall retrieve them now;

Now I shall keep the vow

I never kept before.


Ensanguining the skies

How heavily it dies

Into the west away;

Past touch and sight and sound

Not further to be found,

How hopeless under ground

Falls the remorseful day.”

The Pleasure Dome

I saw man lost in the lonely crowd. He saw not me but gazed in adoration at a shimmering screen. He prayed, fingers tapping incessantly, attempting to fill the void inside.

I saw family gathered around a flickering screen. Silence reigned for they feared to speak or, perhaps had nothing to say.

I saw Kubla’s stately pleasure dome but, instead of caves of ice, wires ran throughout that place.

I saw man lost in a virtual reality of his own device, and closed my eyes in holy dread,

For he on computer generated worlds had fed, and drunk the milk of paradise

Room 101

Today I was subjected to the worst thing in the world. I attended a meeting, at my place of work in room 101. In point of fact the meeting was an uneventful one. There was no O’brien threatening me with a ravenous rat in a cage which, if released would tear me apart. Nor where there any posters with the slogan

“Big Brother is watching you”.

Yet, for all that it was still room 101. My uneventful meeting got me thinking, not for the first time how words and phrases find their way into common usage, often with those employing them never having read the publications from which they eminate. How many viewers of the television programme, “Big Brother” have actually read George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four? I suspect the answer is that a majority of viewers have not read Orwell’s novel, although most would, I think entertain a vague notion that “Big Brother” and room 101 originated in Orwell’s dystopian novel. It is rather sad that Orwell’s critique of totalitarianism has been reduced to the level of popular entertainment by the TV show, “Big Brother”.