Monday, August 22, 2011


Back in the old days when men wore bowler hats and I were a nipper no more than knee-high to a Curly-Wurly TV channels had proper names. Names that gave one the mental image of a bristling moustache and nipple high trouser waistbands staunchly supported by bright red braces.

The BBC: The British Broadcasting Corporation.

ITV: Trotter Independent Trading. No, hang on - Inspeccion Tecnica de Vehicles? No. How about: Independent TeleVision? Yes. That’s it.

Proper names. Acronyms that jolly well stood for something proper and upright. And British.

But standards have slipped. The former moral rectitude of this country has descended into street speak and gutter utterances.

It has come to my recent attention (possibly a couple of years behind the times) that we have a TV channel called Really. Or possibly Really?


Yes. Really. I mean, as if Dave wasn’t bad enough we now have a TV channel whose name indicates sheer disbelief.

This is the thin end of the wedge, people. It is the start of the slippery slope down into titular depravity.

What are we going to have next? TV channels called WTF? Are You Serious? and I Can’t Believe You’re Actually Paying For This?

Why not go the whole hog and just call them Sicko-Pervert, Nutter and You Deserve Everything You Get You Dumbass?

If a broadcasting corporation has a stupid name then it will inevitably broadcast stupidity. Naming things is very important. A name has magical properties that directly affects the person or thing named. I mean, would anybody have taken Hitler seriously if he’d been named Betty Swollocks? Just think... a slight slip of the pen at the registry office could have saved the world years of bloodshed.

And on the other side of the fence would we have followed Churchill if he’d been named something ridiculously silly like Winnie? As in The Pooh?

Erm. OK. So that doesn’t work. But you get my drift.

People, we need to make a stand. We need to stop standards slipping any further. Which is why I would like you all to sign up and join my new online campaign: Bloggers Against Stupid Titles And Ridiculous Designatory Standards.

Or BASTARDS for short.

Just leave a comment to say whether you’re in or not and I shall forward all names of my fellow BASTARDS to our beloved Prime Minister, David Cameron. I have no doubt that we shall thenceforth occupy a very special place in his heart.

My friends, I thank you.



Nota Bene said...

I am indeed a BASTARD and proud of it...many people have told me

Expat mum said...

I must admit, when I first heard about the Dave channel I thought it was brilliant. Hey - at least you're not stuck with the Oprah Channel.

Owen said...

Am just getting back from some time off from everything, including blogging, and I see you are up to your usually high standards of titillating and scintillating writing... Yes, I agree, titular depravity should be monitored closely, although in some circumstances, with circumspection, a little titular depravity is maybe not such a bad thing, as long as it does not involve giving TV stations ridiculous names.

So, here's to the start of another fine season on the blogwaves at Bloggertropolis, hoping this finds your good self, the missus, and the little 'uns all in good health and fine feather...

Owen said...

Oh, and PS, yes, of course, you can count me in for the BASTARDS, be us glorious or inglorious

Steve said...

Nota Bene: yes, I seem to be making a name for myself as one of those too... is there a clubhouse where we all meet?

Expat mum: there is an Oprah Channel? Nothing but wall to wall Oprah? Oh My God I think I've just died and woken up in hell.

Owen: inglorious, don't you think? All the best bloggers are. ;-)

Thanks for your well wishes too - they are returned many-fold.

KeyReed said...

Oh do count me in.

Between Me and You said...

I'll be a B.A.S.T.A.R.D and I can also give you the names of a few others if you so wish!
How was your first day back?

Anonymous said...

I look through the list of channels on Freeview these days and find myself longing for the days when we only had 3 to choose from, at least there was something worth watching then. These days I look, I weep, I turn the effing thing off.

Oh yes, and count me in too.

Keith said...

I'm always in for anything that stirs it up.

And there's always YESTERDAY, for your viewing pleasure. Because YESTERDAY will be back tomorrow.

WTF ! Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow will still be YESTERDAY ?

Steve said...

Alienne: fantastic. Our ranks are swelling so much I may need to go onto a second sheet of paper for our names. I miss the days of 3 channels too. Less choice concentrated the good stuff. Now it's either too diluted or on endless repeat.

Keith: what gets me is all +1 channels. So you can now watch the same channel you've just watched but with a time delay like it was being beamed by satellite from Moscow. Talk about lazy programming.

Gorilla Bananas said...

I think you should be the anchorman of a new TV station called "Whine with Beardie".

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I'm more than happy for you to pass that recommendation onto the director of the BBC. I'm not at all proud.

Bish Bosh Bash said...

Yup, okay then, I'm up for that. Bish Bosh Bastard it is then. Might as well have a B.A.S.T.A.R.D. channel on TV too while we're at it. The name alone will drive a pile of global advertising revenue to our cause overnight. Sounds like a good plan. Then maybe next year we'll be in a position to make a successful hostile bid for B-Sky-B. Wouldn't that make us the biggest bunch of complete and utter filthy rich BASTARDS you ever saw. See you outside No10 then ya bastard!

Löst Jimmy said...

Does it contain scenes of an adult nature?
Dave was called something else previously, but for the life of me I can't recall what...probably Davina

the fly in the web said...

Yes, Alois Shicklgruber doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

Count me in among the bastards...but don't tell mother...

Being Me said...

Aside from anything else, more channels with stupid names completely diminishes the sight gag in European Vacation (there was so one) where Rusty asks Audrey if she wants to watch cheese (the cheese-making channel) or snow (white fuzz).

BASTARDS unite! Put me on the petition.

Wanderlust said...

Can I join if I'm already a member of Bloggers (for) Inane Television Channel Handles?

TimeWarden said...

Broadcasting standards have already slipped way beyond Really and Dave, as in Lister!

On Freeview 192, there is a channel called ADULT Filth. If you don't believe me, or just want to investigate further (!), you'll need to stay up fairly late.

What surprises me is that TV hasn't been better regulated by politicians of any party, considering children undoubtedly have easy access to this and several other channels also on Freeview.

I was thinking of setting up the Bristol Broadcasting Corporation!

Steve said...

Bish Bosh Bash: good idea - we and Murdoch could all be big bastards together and take over the media world! Mwah ha ha! Read all about it! Read all about it!

Löst Jimmy: I think it used to be one of those domestic ladies interest channels but I might be wrong.

The fly in the web: mothers aren't allowed. Or one's parents in general. Ones parents and bastards don't mix.

Being Me: glad to count you among us, sister. And actually a channel called Cheese would actually cover most of my viewing choices these days anyway.

Wanderlust: sure. Be a bitch and a bastard. Go the whole hog!

TimeWarden: ADULT Filth?!? I assume we're not talking about back to back How Clean Is Your House?

TimeWarden said...

The 'ladies' fronting ADULT Filth don't have enough material to scrub all the surfaces that need polishing... so I'm led to believe!

Steve said...

Marginalia: is that one of the Government's new official statistical denominations?

TimeWarden: not enough material? Sounds a bit like Jim Davidson on a bad night. Or a good one.

The bike shed said...

Yes I'm up for being a BASTARD.

I have often thought how long it will be before we have a channel called CRAP - trouble is, it will be a huge success.

Stick to radio

Steve said...

Mark: I think you're right. I think CRAP would be a very successful brand name for just about everything. Except maybe the dice game of the same name.

Fran Hill said...

Oh, old Cammo. Don't think much of his PMing, to be honest.

What really annoys me with all this informalisation is people ringing me up and saying, 'Hi, Fran, having a nice day?' when all they want is to sell me some cable TV or double glazing. Makes me want to spit.

The Sagittarian said...

Yep, best count me in too...already a member of Wanderlust's group so I'm told on the odd occasion by experts!

Anonymous said...

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

Steve said...

Fran: I know what you mean. The day my bank manager greets me with "hello mate" is the day I withdraw all my money.

Amanda: fancy a role on the board of directors then? ;-)

Anonymous: you don't fool me, Mr Cameron.

Rol said...

Can I play pedant? Can I? Can I?

Strictly speaking, BBC and ITV aren't acronyms since they don't create a new word when spoken (like, say, NASA), they're just abbreviations. BASTARDS, though, BASTARDS is an acronym.

I know, I'm a right bastard (no capitals needed), aren't I?

Steve said...

Rol: you're good at this. You can be the BASTARDS marketing man if you like. Or script writer. Or pretty much anything you like really.


The Poet Laura-eate said...

I couldn't agree more.

And have you seen how our TV licence has been reduced from a multi-coloured and foiled item of import and splendor akin to a passport, to a pathetic bit of green paper that could easily be thrown away on the assumption of being junk mail?

I miss the days where life was taken seriously.

Steve said...

Laura: given the quality of most TV channels these days "junk mail" is a perfect analogy!