Every now and then I see someone (hopefully jokingly!) make reference to some problem they’re having, and how they’re going to contact one of the Australian “current affair” TV programmes.
These aren’t current affairs programmes; they’re bogan hysteria generation systems deliberately designed to make people get indignant about either the wrong or the inconsequential things while the real issues, the ones that take more than 30 seconds to explain, are safely ignored.
They belong in a new genre of television – flatutainment; that’s right, they’re about as entertaining as watching someone fart for 30 minutes. Likely less, since there’s a lot of people out there who happen to find fart jokes amusing. Yet they stink far worse than 30 minutes worth of farts.
Ultimately, these shows are just trolling – they spout bigotry rivalled only by radio shock jocks, and they parrot on about minor transgressions as if they’re world-shattering events, spending their time bullying either people who have committed some petty misdemeanour, or worse, the innocent and the helpless who are unable to respond to defend themselves. Why? Because it’s easier to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war when those dogs are going up against people who can’t defend themselves. This is a blood sport, pure and simple.
They have no interest in tackling real issues, because real issues take more time to explain, and if the sorts of people who watch those shows have to spend more than 90 seconds trying to grasp an issue, they change channels, which means advertising revenue is lost. That’s what it’s all about, in the end: advertising revenue. And since those shows are jam packed with ads (when they’re not themselves being a giant ad for a corporate sponsor), they’re optimised for a fevered, indignant, captive audience. Nothing else matters.
Please, people, don’t feed the trolls.