The Jerry Springer Opera

What an incredible hue and cry! Wow. I heard about this from my Mum, who forwarded me on an email saying I should complain about it to the BBC. After having reading through some comments about it, here’s my take on the situation.

I’m not sure whether complaining about it is a great idea… I mean, I can see why the BBC are still showing it: a whole bunch of people who have never seen it write and complain… that’s not jumping on the bandwagon at all, is it? If you haven’t seen it, then if you complain you haven’t really got a leg to stand on. You’re just going by what other people have said, even if what other people have said is accurate it’s still not as convincing as complaining about something which you saw with your own eyes.

On the other side of the coin… I defend the right to free speech absolutely. But I think the people who say “Oh, it’s just the religious people trying to impinge on our freedoms”, or “you can always turn it off”, or something like that – I’m not convinced by that argument. Society always tends to place the burden of responsibility on the individual for things.

So, does that mean we should legalise everything, and let people be responsible for their own behaviour? No, because past experience has shown us that people cannot be trusted if they’re left to their own devices!

All those people screaming “I’m going to watch it! You’re denying my right to choice!”… etc. etc — they just remind me of infants who’ve been told that they have to have a bath, or have to leave the toy store, or … um… anything else which would cause an infant to have a tantrum. I think the burden of responsibility is on the provider of content (whatever form that may take) to provide content that is good for us. And I don’t think that the Jerry Springer is good for us.

This is because I think the more filth and junk we watch, the more desensitised to it we become. Yes, of course we are adults, and of course we are able to decide what is real and what is fiction. But I think there are things that go on without us consciously deciding to. For example, I think the news has desensitised us to world suffering — we just don’t care about it any more because we see so much of it. Surely, then, everything that we see or hear has an effect on us, whether we mean it to or not.

Ok, so perhaps everyone who chooses to watch tomorrow will think it won’t affect them… but just how much rubbish can we watch before it starts to affect us? If we were always watching good and wholesome things (man, I sound like I’m coming straight out of the fifties or something… just shows how sad it is if talking about “good” and “wholesome” things has become a bit of a joke) how much better would society be? If we had positive role models to look up to, if we were always striving to love our neighbour, to forgive each other, to make the world a better place?

Ok, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Just in case you were wondering — I don’t know the answers to the questions I’ve posed. It’s just something to think about, something to ponder before you switch on tomorrow.


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