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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The problem is not that the BBC is on the wrong wavelength, it is that it is on any wavelength at all. That in this day and age a supposedly first world country has a tax funded state broadcast institution is simply absurd.

Perry de Havilland

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Au contraire, since “who pays the piper calls the tune,” it may be sinister but it certainly isn’t “absurd.”

  • Hmm

    The BBC has the means to be the something wonderful which it continually declares itself to be… but with each and every day its spastic narcissistic cohorts choose to increase the ignorance and crookedness with which it pursues its pathetic ends.

    It’s probably just as well that I cannot think of language worthy of the task of detailing the depth of contempt I have for the BBC.

    That said – I honestly wish it could be the wonderful nexus of information that it pretends to be – or if it can’t do that – as it currently stinks to high heaven, could it please crawl off somewhere and drop its massive parasitic zombie hulk into the deepest available pit – asap.

  • RRS

    As an outsider, it may be cheeky to observe that there probably is not the commercial (or social) force in the services area (broadcast range) of the BBC to support the broadspread activities of the BBC as an element in a market economy.

    Some of its activities (if divorced or devolved from government) might be supported for a time by subscriptions – similar to PBS or religious stations in the U S.; with some relief from commercial costs and taxation.

    The Archival functions could remain with the government.

    Overseas activities would be drastically curtailed if required to justify commercial support. That is, is there a need or market?

    Domestically, activities and “programming” would shrink considerably; and with it ???

  • Alsadius

    Which is funny, because I think that literally every single one does.

    (Of course, the BBC is a lot more obnoxious than, say, PBS.)

  • bobby b

    “That in this day and age a supposedly first world country has a tax funded state broadcast institution is simply absurd.”

    Umm . . . in which “day and age” do you think you’re in?

    The day and age that I find myself in right now is likely going to be called the Elite Socialism Era in future textbooks, since this was the era in which it became fashionable to admit that the quest of the rich and powerful for the rule of world socialism was driven, not by concern for the common man, but by their perception that money alone can’t buy complete power, but needs to be accompanied by a professed Cause that makes your quest for power appear less venal.

    Thus, the governments take much of our money and give us bad PBS and BBC, it gives us multibillionaire solar power executives, it gives us a new set of royalty throughout Europe, it allows actors to drive energy policy, it transforms rock singers into international priests . . . benefits that money alone cannot buy.

  • but it certainly isn’t “absurd.”

    In the age of the satellite and cable TV and of course the internet, yes, the notion that the state is needed to provide TV services is nothing less than absurd.

  • Umm . . . in which “day and age” do you think you’re in?

    The umm… “day and age” of satellite, cable TV and the internet rather than the age of rationed broadcast bandwidth.

  • Paul Marks

    Absurd and EVIL.

    Never forget to mention the latter point Perry.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    In the age of the satellite and cable TV and of course the internet, yes, the notion that the state is needed to provide TV services is nothing less than absurd.

    Posted by Perry de Havilland at May 15, 2012 04:11 AM

    The need is the state’s, not the citizens’, and is “absurd” only if the BBC’s market share approaches zero. How many Brits get much of their news from other than BBC-TV?

  • The need is the state’s, not the citizens

    No! Really? I never figured that out! Next you will tell me that most of what states do is for the benefit of the state rather than its subjects! Who knew?

    And I really do think the term ‘subject’ is far more accurate and certainly more evocative than ‘citizen’.

  • NickM

    I’m 100% with Perry here on the absurd angle. Paul, the BBC is too enormous to be a monolith so it isn’t (can’t) all be evil. They make some good shows. What really narks me though is the “due to the unique way they are funded” schtick and then they make “The Voice” which was like BGT for the educationally sub-normal by the educationally even less normal. And herein lies the aiming point for Bard the Bowman’s black arrow. You simply can’t claim to be needed because commercial TV wouldn’t or couldn’t do it if what you make is a poor copy of what the commercial channels do better.

    What is really annoying is the BBC’s complete inability to recognise it’s own good shows. How many episodes of Sherlock did they make? How much clear animus is there contra Dr Who yet the sacred cow of ‘stenders keeps on going. And let’s be honest here whilst I have enjoyed some stuff on BBC4 the Sky Arts channels (yes plural) are excellent and basically stick a finger up to the idea that proper arts TV (Sky Arts shows like full operas from La Scala and stuff) can only be publically funded.

    Meanwhile the BBC claims Reithian high-ground (dodgy high ground) yet makes absolute dross and competes in a ratings race to the bottom with stuff like “Hole in the Wall” and that thing with the animatronic rabbit. I am being unfair to ITV here. Early Saturday night they’re great. Harry Hill, Ant & Dec. Fun entertainment. ITV get how to do it. When the BBC try it’s like dad-dancing at a wedding. They just don’t do light entertainment. But they can be good. Of course they can! Who couldn’t with the money and their position (and hence their talent-scoop) and self-exalted status. But is the Dr Who episode “Blink” worth being forced to pay for Adrian Chiles (who is boring even for Birmingham)* to witter on on the One Show which is utter bilge?

    *I have a cuz who lives there who jams with Robert Plant (occasionally) who has a mighty pile nearby. Les often mentions getting signed stuff for me from “Planty” but rarely sees him. To quote Les. “It’s hard to sit on your arse in West Bromwich with forty million quid in the bank”. How true that must be!

    As to broadcast media anyway… I have shares in