(NOTE TO MODS: PLEASE FEEL FREE TO EDIT, DELETE, MOVE, ERADICATE, CENSOR AS NECESSARY - I'M NOT GOOD WITH BOUNDARIES!)
Sex god radio disc jockey, burlesque "Satanic Slut" (name of burlesque dance troupe), £18m motor mouth chat show host, prime minister forced to comment, BBC director general rushes back from holiday ...
This is the Mk II version of my attempt to connect with the younger - under 30! members of PiP to see what their views are about a row which has now dominated the British news for several days.
My first post was removed from the Alley following protests from Balladeer and Nan because I included links to:
A verbatim recording of the BBC Radio 2 programme with Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross.
The Times - with an article including a transcript of the programme.
The Mail - with articles commenting on the controversy.
These articles and the recording obviously contained the profanity and the disgraceful behaviour that led to this becoming the debacle it has. What didn't occur to me, and perhaps should have done, is that by linking to articles in two of the largest newspapers in the UK and a direct recording of a radio programme on one of the largest radio stations, I might breach the g-rated status of the forum. Which just goes to illustrate the depths our biggest newspapers and radio stations have sunk to I guess.
Balladeer and Nan clearly feel, as I do, that this behaviour was not acceptable on a radio programme broadcast mainly for the teen to 40's age group, or maybe in fact any age group at all. The issue in my view wasn't so much what was said, as who it was said to (private answer machine), and who it was said about (loved grand-daughter). This is the point that I can only think must have escaped some (mainly younger) listeners, for them to have reacted so callously.
Balladeer mentioned in his reply to my original thread that I could have got my point across without the links. I suppose this is true, in that I could have simply suggested that people who wanted to consider the points I was making might research the issue for themselves by searching on the names of the main protagonists: Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Andrew Sachs (Manuel the waiter in Fawlty Towers) and Georgina Baillie (the satanic slut!).
The fact is though that, distasteful as the episode is, it is necessary to have some idea of what happened in order to join the debate.
Balladeer also said that 4000 complains were made to the BBC; the number is now up to 35,000! So, yes, clearly people are offended, but interestingly the overwhelming majority of much younger (teen/20's) listeners apparently found the show "funny".
This article demonstrates the situation:
"Shock and ordinary
by Mark Easton 29 Oct 08, 01:24 PM GMT
Reactions to the Russ-Ross affair reveal a generational divide. On last night's BBC News at Ten, my colleague David Sillito demonstrated it beautifully when asking the views of people queuing for the Alan Titchmarsh TV show and others lining up to see 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks'.
The former were outraged by the antics of the Radio 2 presenters. The latter, broadly, felt we should all get a life. "I think it's quite funny - I think everyone should lighten up", said one young woman.
Analysis of the texts and emails sent to Radio 1Xtra echoes the point. Four out of five responses were in support of the pair [a young audience]. A more general sample of the audience online saw the findings reversed.
Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand. We should not be surprised, but I wonder if this generation gap is exposed because we are increasingly witness to people trying to close it.
The young have always taken to shocking their elders. It is an arc within the circle of life - the bit where one finds green hair, loud music and loose morals.
The occupants of this territory imagine they are the first settlers, that their behaviour is more outrageous than any that has gone before.
Little do they realise that their "challenge to the very fabric of society" is but a phase - they will almost all conform eventually. They will grow out of it, as my mum used to say.
We need young people to behave like this, to stir things up. Society could calcify and seize up without a little agitation.
But what happens if the maturation process stops? Imagine legions of callow youths still determinedly trying to shock as they enter middle age. It would be an offence to nature.
The youth market is necessarily mercurial. People who once understood it intimately wake up one day to realise they are baffled.
And yet in our media and in business 30, 40 and sometimes even 50-somethings are expected to appeal to this generation.
The answer often is to reach, metaphorically, for the green hair dye, whether that is chefs who swear, jocks who shock or simply men, (and women) behaving badly."
The latest is this, a senior BBC Executive falling on her sword:
But, as I said before, the issue I wanted to raise, isn't the actual matter of the obscenity or even the illegality of leaving such messages on someone's private phone line, but the incredible fact that a fairly high proportion of people under the age of 30 think that such behaviour is perfectly acceptable, and indeed very funny.
This is worrying imo.
Sure, the young, have always, as the in-phrase goes, "pushed the boundaries", but this reflects in my view, a growing trend in young, and mainly ill-educated people, to confuse reality and fantasy. They view behaviour such as this in the vacuum of a tv game show or a computer simulation game or, more pertinently, a tv reality show, where the edges of real life and not real life blur.
This raises the question of whether, morally, behaviour in unreal life should have a lesser standard than in real life - or whether in fact the two should be separated at all (consider the rules here at PiP).
But assuming, as most people seem to, that it is perfectly acceptable to saw off someone's head with a chainsaw in a computer game, or swear at a game show host, or jump into bed with your best friend's fiancee in a reality show, there is then the risk of young people, growing up with this alternative unreality flung at them all the time, applying the "rules" of that unreality to their everyday living.
Ergo, an obscene phone call becomes part of a perfectly normal "game" called life.
[This message has been edited by moonbeam (10-31-2008 05:33 PM).]