Friday, January 12, 2007

Like Top of the Pops (RIP)

Assab-Obock - thirty-eight, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Thursday evenings used to mean Top of the Pops, which during the 1960's and 1970's and a good part of the 1980's was one's only way to see one's favourite groups and singers on the TV. However, there were 30 songs in the Top 30 and later 40 songs in the Top 40, so in a period of 30 or 35 minutes, not all of them could be seen. This would mean that there were good weeks and bad weeks, based on how many of one's favourite songs were shown.

It is now a similar situation with Question Time, the hour long show where a panel of five politicians and journalists or public figures are asked questions by an audience chosen from the general public. The panel do not know the questions in advance but the BBC does. Just like with Top of the Pops all those years ago, a selection of topic items have to be chosen in advance for discusison by the panel, And like with Top of the Pops there are good weeks and bad weeks, depending on whether topics in which one is interested are discussed or not, and then the way the discussion of such topics actually pans out.

Well, it is like there has been the same number one for the past four years, worse that Wet Wet Wet with Love Is All Around or Bryan Adams with the US-UK War in Iraq being discussed EVERY week. A close number two for the last few months has been the problems of the Home Office, where barely a week goes by without some story of mis-management. And then there is the recurring theme of inappropriate behaviour by a politican or some other public figure (last night an ex-Minister for Education sending her son - albeit one with special needs - to a private school);.

In the meantime, we had the US dropping bombs on Somalia and the EU publishing plans ot reduce consumption of non-renewable energy in Europe by 20% in the next twelve years. All we get is a five minute discussion at the end of Tony Blair's confession that he would not like to give up flying off on foreign holidays. Yet the panel (whichever one it is, and yesterday's was good) always say that climate change is the biggest threat to our security. It is something to say, but discussions of such issues rarely get an airing on the mainstream media.... still.....

Top of the Pops is no more, I believe, having moved to Fridays and then changing its strict format (only risers and no songs two weeks in a row, except the number one song). There is a show going through the BBC vaults showing songs from the past, but just like the original, it is a frustrating process as very rarely do they show songs one actually liked as a child or teenager, being chosen in the main by middle-aged executives, based more on how things look in hindsight than they did at the time.

Whatever they do with Question Time, they should NOT move it away from Thursday evenings.



Blogger Philip said...

Many beautiful photos and good to see news of Somalia and Somaliland somewhere - our papers definition of news seems to now exclude alot of what is happening in the world

....the US strife is another case of US aggression on a defenceless country. They have not tried to negotiate, no UN mandate for this attack was procured. They attacked a 'suspected terrorst cell'. It seems no proof is required - mere suspicion is always enough for the US. Many people are reported to have died.

Aerial bombardment is a brutal form of war, in that it kills the innocent and spreads fear it can be called 'terrorism'. US foreign policy based on violence breeds conflict and injustice, and must be condemned.

17 January, 2007 09:43  

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