wednesday, mike sings into the mic

I woke up in a bad mood this morning. Then I thought, it's OK because today is Mike lecture day and he always plays music before the lecture which cheers me up. Well, he outdid himself this morning by playing what sounded like Bluegrass and totally made my morning. I am still in a bad mood but I wasn't for the 2 hours this morning.

Today we watched an episode of the BBC series "IF" which explores different 'what if' situations. This one was "If...TV goes down the tube."

It is set in 2016, where people vote via TV and there is a reality TV show called 'The Cage' which is broadcast on TV via internet so there is no regulations on what happens. One of the girls in the cage  commits suicide which causes all sorts of drama, meanwhile it turns out the government have asked the TV network to create this programme so that young people will be distracted and not vote on a certain bill.

I thought it was a brilliant piece of TV. The drama was intercut with real-life interviews on different issues surrounding the media and politics and predictions about what will happen to TV and its audience. Here and there, when the old men in suits had spoken for long enough it would cut back to the narrative in the drama, which had me hooked. I love political thrillers.

I couldn't find a link to the episode (After all, we watched it off a VHS!) but here is a little bit about it:

Some things to think about

Internet and TV merging - what does that mean? Ofcom regulates radio and TV broadcasting but not the internet. We can watch practically anything on the internet if we want to. So what is regulated and by whom and does it even matter anymore?

Suicide in reality TV shows - I was thinking about this the other day. Well I was actually wondering when there would be a murder on Big Brother. And what's more scary is, would that shut it down? Don't think so

The merging of TV and the internet affecting democracy - being distracted by TV shows stopping us focusing on political votes and issues. I'm not sure it affects young people that much. Young people don't care about anything much anyway

Micropayments for TV instead of the BBC license - would I pay for individual programming? No, I wouldn't. I think if everything turned subscription I would just stop watching TV

Reality Shows becoming too gruesome?

I think they will. I can totally imagine things becoming a lot more disturbing in reality shows. After all, people used to gather to watch public executions didn't they? What in the human condition has changed? Do we think we're more civilised these days? Yeah right. I'm sure one day in the near future, executions will be broadcast publicly on some form of TV


How many of us watch TV while looking at our laptop and phone at the same time? Do we use TV as just filler noise in the background. I found this interesting because my parents are the ones who use TV as background noise. I only like to watch what I'm interested in and then turn the TV off. Actually, I tend to avoid the living room because I don't like the incessant noise of the TV. I would rather sit and talk. Isn't it supposed to be the other way round? Aren't the younger generation supposed to inundate themselves with TV and not have proper conversations anymore?

Can we change the future?

Mike seems to think that we (the future of the media) can change the way content is going. That people don't have to commit suicide on reality shows and good programming can take over again.

He said he believes in us.

That's lovely but I'm afraid on that point I shall have to disagree with Mike Kirkup on the grounds that I counted how many turned up for the lecture today.

The grand total was 35.

He who cannot be bothered to get up out of bed shall never change the future.