All entries for Monday 19 February 2007

February 19, 2007

Put the brakes on Top Gear's prejudice…

I’m not complaining about the money that they spend on ridiculous stunts (quite good telly sometimes). I don’t even mind that the footage of one of the presenters nearly killing himself was watched by millions. My beef is that Top Gear reinforces our prejudices and stereotypes.

During tonight’s installment, criticism of Kia cars was based on the notion that

The Koreans eat dogs.

There’s also ill-informed nationalism

We are Britain; we are the inventors of everything.

And I don’t think either of these came from the worst culprit, Jeremy Clarkson. I’m sure I could find countless examples of blatant sexism and there were hundreds of complaints about the presenters’ mocking of post-recovery Richard Hammond.

I enjoy the sarcastic banter. I thought the idea of trying to send a Robin Reliant into space was brilliant. I just don’t think it’s a good message for the BBC to be putting out. Clearly, these aren’t the worst things anyone’s ever said and perhaps for tolerant Warwick students it’s all just a bit of misguided fun. My worry is that the audience is a lot wider than that and unquestioning young people can’t help but see this way of speaking as acceptable and maybe even intelligent.

I don’t want to see the programme end. I’m sure the presenters are bright enough to keep producing such otherwise quality output, without resorting to such narrow-mindedness.


I'm a big fan of the BBC but…

Now, I’m a big fan of the BBC. It’s one of roughly three things about which I feel a slight tinge of national pride.
But I’ve just found a feature of bbc.co.uk that is the most ridiculous waste of time and probably money.

Live text commentary during football matches is superb, a great alternative when the game’s not on the radio or TV. But I’ve just discovered the BBC is now offering pathetic animated footballers enacting the latest text update. It doesn’t tell you any more about the action than the text does and the pictures are worse than a game of World Soccer on a SEGA Master System. Please, somebody tell me they have found some use for it.

I’m slightly concerned that the BBC’s next article on the government’s latest anti-crime policy might be accompanied by a cartoon of Tony Blair making ever so reassuring hand gestures.

Animated Football

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