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Watching Big Brother

Giant TVs win my gold medal for crassness | Griff Rhys Jones - Times Online

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games boasts that huge city-centre television screens will be a “lasting legacy” of the Olympic Games. I have a horrible feeling it may be right.

Nobody can rationally object to a temporary screen and a fleeting festival, but eight permanent mammoth tellies with 40 more to come, for ever, will clearly be a horrendous imposition - useless except as an eyesore for most of their projected life, especially in winter....

Personally, I do not relish watching the Mayor of London engaging in would-be Nuremberg rallies. I don't want to be told by the Lord Coe that I have some sort of public duty to commune with his pet project. But now, as a passer-by, I will be forced to encounter it on a mammoth television. Mind you, as a passer-by I can jeer loudly, toss my Coke can down, stub out my fag and do that - pass by. But if I live near one, and have invested my life in the area, what choice do I have? I can see it all day or listen to it all day. I am doomed to endure the crowd that congregates around it, doomed to have it desecrate my environment for ever. ...

The underlying truth is already flashing glaringly at us. Don't risk personal commitment - just broadcast. Don't expect people to choose, just propagandise. Don't give people the option, just push your “entertainment” on them. A short-term, badly thought-out proposal for a hot summer night is transformed into a permanent flickering hoarding, blaring away during a wet February. What a legacy.

Has the Government learnt nothing from the Dome debacle? They are not entertainment moguls. That any of these screens should become permanent, is a dreadful, wasteful, aesthetically horrible idea. That lottery funding can so casually be sequestered to achieve this is verging on public corruption. Orwell never imagined this cack-handed horror even in his worst nightmares.

Griff, despair ye not, even if they are too big to be nicked then reflect on the sad loss of Weston-super-Mare's Pier and invest in a box of Vestas.....


I'm not so sure that these things are as flammable as a Victorian seafront attraction built largely of wood, but a couple of well bunged half flettons should put paid to the bloody things.

Then again, given the propensity of Britain's youth to emulate their cousins in Harlem, such extensive flat areas will doubtless soon be covered in graffiti and hence rendered useless anyway.

"Mind you, as a passer-by I can jeer loudly, toss my Coke can down, stub out my fag and do that - pass by"
Er, all those actions except the last one will result in a fixed penalty fine or worse. Passing by will be probably made illegal during compulsory Britishness ceremonies or the three minute hate against olympic drugs cheats.

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