When is information actually information

Posted: August 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

OK, I’ll admit it. I have a secret guilty little pleasure that I sometimes get to indulge. I enjoy Judge Judy. OK, there – I’ve admitted it. Now I rarely get an opportunity to watch the old girl given that it was on at 3pm on the relevant network here.

Note the use of past tense – WAS on at 3pm. Some weeks ago, I noticed on one of my rare opportunities to actually be home and indulge, that Her Honour had been cut in half for a so-called ‘encore’s screening of the latest ‘reality’ program on that network. Followed by an ‘infomercial. But today I realised that Her Honour has been given the boot entirely, replaced by a 30 minute-or-so ‘informercial’. Of a fat guy selling cookware.

Rather annoyed, I did something I have never done before. I telephoned the television network in question to complain about their programming choices. The invidual concerned with programming for that particular channel was not available however I spoke to someone else. While that person could not discuss my specific programming concern, I took the opportunity to have a good old whinge about the proliferation of these bloody ‘informercials’.

‘Whyy not be honest and just call them what they are – half-hour advertisments,” I said.

“Oh I don’t think that would be accepted very well,” was the reply.

Now come on, commercial television networks. Do you really think we are all so simple and feeble-minded that we haven’t realised that these ‘informercials’ are nothing more than extended commercial advertisments? Is it really necessary to talk down to us like that, treating us like small children?

For that matter, an encore is something that occurs in response to an enthusiastic audience response, calling for me. Now just how many people have been standing up, crying ‘Author! Author! We want it repeated at 3pm in the afternoon!”

I think at the end of the day, it has been a case of dump the program they have to pay for in favour of (a) a solid half-hour block of pretend advertisment of a fat guy selling knives and cooking appliances, and (b) a repeat of something local we have already paid for.

While I’m on the subject of ‘infomercials’, do the producers of a certain anti-acne preparation think we’re all equally as dumb as the commercial televsion stations all think we are? We’re supposed to accept a barely pubescent boy who has most likely only just started getting his big boy hairs, and one look at his baby-soft skin makes it quite apparent he has never had anything remotely like an acne problem, is suddenly supposed to be a believable spokesperson for getting rid of pimples? Oh please! But of course, he is a celebrity and therefore we are assumed to automatically think ‘oh – he is a best-selling recording artist to the bubblegum tenny boppers – obviously he MUST be an expert – I better start getting the stuff in by the pallet!’

How thoroughly demeaning and insulting to our collective intelligence. And I still think Her Honour, Judge Judy was a vast improvement!

Here endeth the rant

Interested in what I had to rant about? Feel free to lodge a comment or tell someone else.

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