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The Agitator

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Over on the Integrity Channel..... [Mar. 11th, 2010|12:04 pm]
The Agitator



“I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.” Not my words alas, but those of Groucho Marx. I endorse almost every syllable, though would have to insert “in”, “4 hour” and “bath” at the end to be completely happy.

I and others in the Instigate project have long argued for a mainstream cultural revolution of sorts - yes including TV; generated by a floating conglomerate of credible, popular individuals who might make palatable interventions on issues that matter, rather than perpetuating clichés on the plug circuit to flog next book/film/fashion line.

Often the media outlet is the problem if one wishes to present a perspective on a vital issue. In mainstream terms, I can only think of Jonathan Ross who gave over 10 minutes to Dame Vivienne Westwood; not to crudely plug but to delicately bug viewers into opening their eyes about the realities of climate change and turbo-consumption.

I am delighted to see Dame Vivienne is at it again, but this time, potentially, in a more cogent, entertaining and strategic manner.

Dame Vivienne is planning a new television show, the pilot of which is called “Get a Life” and focuses on the work of the environmental organisation Cool Earth (http://www.coolearth.org/). The broader concept it seems is to consolidate art, culture and environmental issues together in a fresh, engaging but non-hectoring format.

Other channels have attempted this up to a point; the Community Channel dabbles and of course Current TV consistently broadcasts varied, interesting, educational and often ethically based content.

But the “Get a Life” idea could be different in that individuals like Westwood will always magnetise other artistic or creative people; that is to say a greater number of credible artistic faces could be stimulated into participation. A form of participation that can travel far further than signing a petition or endorsing a campaign is long overdue.

Lamentably, TV programmers cannot seem to fathom that entertainment and education/issue based content are not mutually exclusive. They patronise viewers by diluting content and compartmentalising and making esoteric things that really matter. They have missed a commercial trick. The horse has bolted. Viewers from all demographic groups are more than ready; in fact many are famished for new, stylish, dynamic but informative televisual nourishment.

In the meantime, back to my Groucho bath.