Saving 6 Music

The BBC and I are no longer as close as we once were. First there was that whole homeopathy thing, and now they’re threatening to kill off 6 Music. Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC and all round twat has been steadily decreasing the cultural value of the once-proud institution, and now he is recommending the closure of 6 music and the Asian Network by the end of 2011.

For the last 6 months or so I have been listening to podcasts of some of the finest new music, and classic, iconic songs from people that actually understand music. Radio 1 is at best an infuriating alternative and at worst a festuring turd polished up and sold to you as popular music. You’re not 3008, I won’t poke your face and it’s definately not Bonkaas, it’s shit. FACT.

The report states: “Given the strength of its popular music radio offering from Radio 1 and 2 and the opportunity to increase the distinctiveness of Radio 2, the BBC has concluded that the most effective and efficient way to deliver popular music on radio is to focus investment on these core networks.” I tend to agree more with Eddie Argos; “The record buying public shouldn’t be voting.”

Surely the whole point in championing new, independant, music is precisely that it isn’t yet popular since the record labels hosting the talent can’t afford the publicity and air time for a radio 1 heavy rotation that seems to go hand in hand with chart success. Some songs I’m not going to like despite how many times you play it, ok. I think the RATM thing over Christmas showed that there IS a musical revolution happening, sick of Scowell’s chokehold on our music, and this is  why 6 music is so important.

Luckily the gallows are not on the horizon (metaphorically and musically) for 6 Music just yet and there is plenty we can do to help save it:

  • Listen to it. Pretty obvious really but some estimates already suggest thet the listening audience has already doubled since the news first broke. If you can listen to it through the iPlayer, even better, as this is one of the key measures of the stations success
  • Sign the petition to BBC Chief Sir Michael Lyons.
  • Use 36 Degrees’ template to contact the BBC trust
  • Email your thoughts to :-

  • Change your twitter avatar using the twibbons.
  • Join the Facebook group

And if none of this works?

Turn off your radio…

The best form of Offence…

A story came to my attention this week regarding a TV show and a comedian I rather like. The basics of the item were that Frankie Boyle had been disciplined by the BBC for a joke he made on the panel show Mock the Week. He said that Rebecca Adlington (of Olympic swimming fame) resembled “someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon”. This lead to 75 complaints and precipitated a BBC Trust meeting that decreed the comments may have caused offence to the audience. Boyle has since discontinued his involvement with the show, but the story went on, covering Miss Adlington’s agent recently stating that they thought that he’d not been sufficiently punished and that the BBC had let him off lightly.offense_o_fence_sticker

I reacted in several ways to this article, and they were as follows:

+ I loled, finding the joke reasonably amusing and “it’s funny ‘cause it’s true”.

+ Well that’s a shame, I like that show and he’s the funniest comedian on it.

+ I’m not too keen on her any more. I thought she seemed quite nice, but if she can’t laugh at herself then she’s not as British as I supported her for being (let’s not forget she is from Mansfield after all).

+ What the hell is it coming to when a COMEDIAN can’t make a JOKE on what is quite obviously a COMEDY show.

I can’t believe that anyone could realistically think that regular viewers of Mock the Week don’t realise that some of the content may be a little cutting and would therefore be offended by it. Therefore my conclusion must be that this judgement was made as a horrible knee-jerk reaction to the personal involvement of a well known sporting personality, which is no way to run a public funded television station.

This does obviously raise larger questions about where you draw the lines in comedy and how they should be policed. There are some things we can broadly agree aren’t appropriate for people of certain ages, but that’s not what we’re talking about here, we’re talking about adults in the society we “of-age” inhabit.

Personally I’m a proponent of the Stan Marsh school of thought on this question, “Either everything’s alright or nothing is”.

You can’t start laying down rules, because everything risks offending someone somewhere in someway. Especially when it comes to comedy, as you’re laughing at something and that thing can easily be a person, a group of people or something people feel passionately about.

What exactly is the problem with causing offence anyway? A great number of things offend me. Pumping billions of pounds of tax payer money into the banking system, only to have them immediately start paying out bonuses again. The National Lottery being run by a profit making company, people actually voting for X-Factor contestants, oh, and Miss K Price being at all paid attention to by anyone ever.

However, I’m adult, so I take that offence and channel it into rants like this. I don’t start stamping my feet like a baby and tell them to stop, stop, stop. I simply take note that those people are probably idiots and move on with my life with that in mind.

It is a human right we all have to free speech, the problem I see is that few people realise that it comes with the responsibility to maturely manage any offence you might suffer as a result of someone else exercising that right.