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My Eyes are Bleeding: No need for the six o’clock news… and how Mel Gibson made me smile

Zuke Casablo

Opinion

7/08/2006





The Dominion caressed new lows this week. Wednesday’s Dom was the most racist newspaper I’d seen in a long time, providing irrefutable evidence to the widely held idea that the only murder that is really news is when a brown person offs a white person. But this week is my supposed TV news rant. So I didn’t have to read that shit. I could just smile, laugh and gently tickle my Tim Pankhurst voodoo range. Not this week, Tim, not this week.
This week I was going to take down TV news, but I found myself a little too apathetic to it after tuning in. I’ve got some beef with it, but it’s just too inoffensive to really rub me up the wrong way. This is largely because of the way everything is framed. Every negative story has to be diffused by the end. It works on a process of breaking normality at six pm, and restoring it by seven. We get the conflict, and the blood, at the start. So we’re shocked, stunned and engrossed in it for twenty or so minutes. But then they must restore our faith in the world. Heaven forbid we get so depressed that we don’t stay tuned for The Simpsons or Shortland Street or whatever the kids are watching these days when they’re not sniffing glue or freebasing cocaine (sigh, I loved my childhood!). So that hard-hitting global warming story or Israel-Palestine expose loses all its impact when you’ve sat through sports news, some jerk pointing at a weather map and human interest crap like the kid with cancer that got to be a policeman for a day. It’s geared so that at the end we feel all warm and brain dead and just good enough for an evening of badly plotted product placements sandwiched in between ideologically loaded advertisements.
And then there is the way the news is loaded. It’s framed in such a way as to tell you what to think a lot more than a newspaper, because it’s so much more persuasive to hear than to see. And it’s so much easier to watch than to read. So the television news can get away with such ridiculous statements as, “authorities do not yet know why the knife-wielding assailant entered the store”. If the authorities do not yet know, why is he a knife-wielding assailant? If he was a knife-wielding assailant wouldn’t he have entered the store to knife-wield and assail? So they’ve already leant towards guilt until proven innocent. My other favourite was back in the Clint Rickard’s hey day (when Louise Nicholas wasn’t far from anyone’s tips) when a newsreader declared on 3 News: “good news here as Rickards is found not guilty.” I’m sorry, but what? And special loser points must go to the insipid architecture, colour scheme and banter between readers. Simon Dallow has about as much personality as erectile dysfunction. That’s about all I have to say about the news. Content wise it’s just like the newspaper, there’s just as much turd in the mix. I won’t get more stuck in though. Maybe I’ve been shooting fish in a barrel for so long that I’ve lost my heart for it.
But I guess I couldn’t really stay away from one story in the Dom. Mel Gibson clocked doubling a speed limit and drunk and belligerent as hell. His anti-semitic rant would have made Hitler smile. Because if Jews started World War II, that would kind of let the Nazis off the hook right? I just really love it when A-list celebrities go mouldy and stale. In public. Some Jewish guy (apparently one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, I can’t remember his name, but it’s probably like Ari ‘Something’- stein or something) has called for a boycott of Gibson. Apparently he always had a suspicion that Gibson was a big raving foreskin loving, bacon eater – but this confirmed it for him. The guy sunk millions into his own version of the crucifixion where Jews were portrayed as murderers. It seemed kind of obvious. Alcohol makes me smile. It’s funny watching people nut out and try beat other people up. Timeless even.
DOMINION POST STORY THAT’S NOT REALLY A STORY OF THE WEEK
I actually had the misfortune of watching NZ Idol mark three this week. As you can well imagine, I am quite probably in a small minority of people who have seen it this time around. I can only inform you it is more painful than watching a dead relative get sodomised by Carrot Top, but let’s say a little less painful than having an under fed bush pig chew your arm off while watching the Queen and Prince Phillip have sex. But after a litany of bad decisions in the franchise (I hate you Frankie Stevens) the producers actually made a good decision in throwing that girl off for being pregnant (a pretty good cover excuse for the fact that she had prior convictions if you ask me). Who wants to watch a girl waddle around the stage with swollen breasts, in revealing clothing, doing karaoke? But more importantly with precisely no-one watching the show, how did this become frontpage news?