Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Schedule, Old Rubbish

Hot on the heels of recent televisual calamities such as Charity Lord of the Rings - RTE has released its 2009/2010 new season schedule. Let's examine how RTE will squander our licence fee over the coming year:

News, Current Affairs & Factual.
RTE will kick an already depressed nation in the nuts with an assortment of digital downers such as:
  • Addicted To Money - Presented by David McWilliams
    "David McWilliams surveys the wreckage of the global economy and points to the worrying, but potentially transformative challenges ahead"
    Sweet Jesus - that's all we need. Another exercise in smugness and misery brought to us by the Harry Potter of Irish economics. How many different ways can McWilliams say "I told you so". We know the place is wrecked - the last thing we need is to do is send him all over the world to point out the bloody obvious.

  • The Frontline - Presented by Pat Kenny
    "...will instigate lively debate on the most important news stories of the week between selected guests and a studio audience."
    Surely associating the word "lively" with Pat Kenny is a bit ambitious. This "new" current affairs program will undoubtedly follow the same nauseating format as its predecessors: The usual connected politicians and journos will answer preselected "questions" from an audience of party hacks and toadies. Allowing Kenny to present this pantomime is akin to feeding sleeping pill sandwiches to a pilot before a transatlantic flight.

  • Elsewhere in this category most of the old reliables such as Nationwide, Ear to the Ground and Crimecall return to bore us into submission. There are a few potentially interesting programmes unveiled in this category. The 90 minute special If Lynch Had Invaded examines how Jack Lynch handled the crisis in 1969 and explores what would have happened if he had ordered Irish troops to cross the border in protection of the nationalists being victimised in Derry. And there's a three part documentary about Charlie "Dirt" Bird's year in America. I wonder if this will involve a thorough analysis of his expense account?
If ever a programming category was misnamed it was this one.

"..some of Ireland's top comedians are let loose on RTE Two and are amongst the talent in nine brand new and nine returning entertainment shows."
Fan-bleedin-tastic! We get to have our intelligence insulted by overpaid muppets like the Ryan sisters (Gerry and Tubridy). We pay for Maeve Higgins to give her a sister a job in another RTE nepotism special: Fancy Vittles. A new "10 O'Clock Show" promises "audience participation, new comedy inserts......and a lot of messing about." Odds on that this will involve the usual suspects like Neil Delamere, Ed Byrne et al. laughing at their own feeble attempts at humorous commentary on weekly events. RTE will also continue to broadcast cringefests such as The All Ireland Talent Show and Up For the Match - leprechaun TV at its best.

RTE's "Lifestyle" offerings are predictably gag inducing:

The king of sanctimonious tree hugging, Duncan Stewart, returns for a 10th season of the fantasy building programme About The House. Off The Rails continues to lecture our women folk about outrageously expensive and unattainable fashion and beauty solutions. RTE give Baz Ashmawy yet another opportunity to humiliate himself at considerable expense to the licence payer in Baz's Culture Clash. Meanwhile human thunderbird Dr. Mark Hamilton hits the streets with a mobile clinic in Health of the Nation. And we'll be needing to avail of Dr. Thunderbird's services after RTE have offended our eyes and ears into submission through programmes presented by Richard Corrigan, Shane McGowan and Neville Knot. Thanks be to jaysus that Lucy Kennedy is on maternity leave so we don't have to put up with her crimes against consciousness for a few months!

Nothing noteworthy here. As long as they keep employing Eamo and Gilesie we'll be guaranteed some entertainment from the Sports Department! In fact RTE should consider replacing their stock "comedians" with sports department personnel. Some of George Hamilton and Jimmy Magee's one liners belong on a sketch show rather than a sports commentary!

This is the category which allows RTE to spend bags of cash on successful American TV series. RTE will be showing proven hits such as Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and The Mentalist. New series such as Flash Forward, The Good Wife and Nurse Jackie will also be aired in 2009/2010. It's a certainty that RTE will also continue to broadcast a large proportion of these "acquisitions" at times when most of its target audience will be in bed. Entourage, 24 and Brothers and Sisters all suffered this fate last year. But should we expect any better from an organisation that doesn't have to give a damn about customer satisfaction due to its protected and pampered standing and the undeserved licence fee it receives.

It seems that when RTE needs to justify the salaries of a couple of complete wastes of space it creates a few religion programmes for them to present. Enter Joe Duffy and Marian Finucane. Joe and Marian have turned radio into a thought free zone during their trashy radio programmes. Now they get to do the same on the telly through their religion programmes on RTE. Joe will be presenting his Spirit Level religious magazine programme. Let's hope that the show doesn't require any intelligent input or sincerity from its host! Marion will be presenting a four part series entitled Does God Hate... Well Marion, you can bet your life that if God was a licence payer he would truly hate RTE!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Meet The Slobs

I'm sure most people remember the classic Harry Enfield characters Wayne and Waynetta slob. This pair of chavs were thick as planks yet sly as foxes. They hadn't got two brain cells to rub together yet they lived comfortably despite never working a day in their lives.

Enter Ireland's answer to Wayne and Waynetta Slob. This poster family for scrounging and laziness typify the attitude of many of this state's citizens. They sit on their fat arses demanding free this and subsidised that while ordinary working families struggle to make ends meet. They extract thousands of euro from state coffers every month and continue to demand more. They pop out kid after kid and expect to be rewarded for it by working people who can't afford to start their own families.

The unfortunate truth is that we all know plenty of people similar to Wayne and Waynetta. The inconvenient truth is that we only have ourselves to blame for the easy life these parasites are allowed to live. For too long we have tolerated their shameful playing of the system. There seems to be something inherently Irish about giving someone kudos for making a living out of laziness or downright fraud. We all know people who are on "the sick" - claiming disability allowance because their doctor will provide them with endless sick certs without any real proof that they can't work. We all know people who are popping every pill they can get a prescription for because both their unnecessary doctor's visit and their expensive drugs are paid for by the state. And we all know people who view alcohol and cigarettes as a basic human right even though they are supposedly unemployed and impoverished!

Yet the Wayne and Waynettas of Ireland expect us to treat them with respect. And us poor pixie Irish have thus far been stupid enough to do exactly that. We have turned a blind eye to welfare fraud seeing it as getting one over on "The State". People who do their best to avoid work while raking in thousands in benefits are seen to be doing no harm as "The State" is picking up the tab. Well we are the bloody state! And just as the bankers and property developers have robbed (and will continue to rob) us of billions through bank bailouts and NAMA, these serial spongers will do the same. It's about time we started treating them like the wastes of space they are:
  • The welfare system needs to be reformed to discriminate between A)people who are proven to have worked and are actively seeking work and B)people who are making a lifestyle choice in being "unemployed".

    It is time we saw two queues at the dole office: one for people in category A and one for the wasters in category B. The unmotivated public servants will be encouraged to provide the wasters with the usual level of obstruction and ignorance while the job seeker will be afforded some respect and assistance.

  • The billing records of service providers like Sky and NTL should be examined to identify customers who are also availing of state benefits designed to alleviate poverty. These people should made to repay the money they have squandered on luxuries like subscription satellite TV or broadband.

  • Let's see some publicity campaigns launched which will stigmatise people who treat the welfare state like a cash cow. People should feel outraged and offended that the Wayne and Waynettas of this world treat the state and it's citizens with such disrespect as that displayed by the Slobs.

  • We should not be afraid to object to the preaching of sanctimonious politicians and supposed do-gooder organisations like CORI. Check out this piece of vomit inducing hypocrisy taken from CORI's "Thought of the Day" page for Tuesday 18th August:

    “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food they call me a communist.”

    Well CORI - when you sexually abuse a child we call you a paedophile. Go and atone for your considerable crimes against generations of unfortunate children before you climb into your ivory towers and start preaching about charity and goodwill.

    And don't even get me started on hypocrite politicians like Eamon Gilmore Girl who claim to represent the poor and marginalised. Gilmore and his ilk can go and drink a steaming hot cup of shut the fuck up. This article illustrates Gilmore Girl's complete reluctance to even countenance reform of the welfare system. What's the bets that Wayne and Waynetta are Labour voters?

  • Most importantly we all need to cop on. We should be openly questioning friends and family who are ripping the piss out of the social welfare system. Why should we feel like monsters for questioning anyone who we believe is taking advantage of the tax payer? Yes, there are people who are genuinely down on their luck. They have lost their jobs and deserve help and sympathy. But how can anyone justify a monthly net income of €3,064 for being so openly idle and greedy as the Slobs appear to be?

    People like this would make even Wayne and Waynetta Slob blush with embarrassment!