Vibes And Pressure

If you want to see some grade A brainwashing on terrestrial TV then make sure you turn to ITV1 at 8PM on Tuesdays…

Last Tuesday I was round my Dad’s house and we were sitting after dinner having a chat with the TV on in the background. In the middle of our conversation I was suddenly distracted by loud aggressive noises coming from the TV of a door being broken and police raiding someone house.

What I was witnessing was the weekly instalment of a programme called Cops With Cameras. I haven’t watched TV in a while, so maybe the desensitising effect of watching TV has worn off, because although I’ve seen programmes like this many times before this time I was shocked to see this kind of imagery being shown as entertainment and at prime time on a channel like ITV1.

With fresh eyes the programme struck me as absurd and sinister. Is this really what is considered entertainment these days? What happened to Cilla Black and Bruce Forthsyth? Family Fortunes is entertainment. Not policemen breaking doors in and frightening people out of their wits...

And it’s on for an hour.. every week! Come on man, how can anybody be entertained by this week in week out? (Although saying that 2.31 million people were watching last week!)

Apart from fulfilling a disturbing voyeuristic gratification it seems to me that this kind of ‘entertainment’ has another purpose. The reason why images of police raiding other people’s houses are being beamed into our brains is so that we are acutely aware of what will happen if we break the law. It seems kind of obvious. The outrageous part of it is that they have the audacity to do this under a flimsy guise of entertainment then stick it on at prime time on an established and perhaps respected channel like ITV1 - pre-watershed. And then to keep people interested they use well known media attention holding techniques (i.e. hypnotism) by having quick cuts, fast paced, shaky camera action and dramatic music, better known as Jolts that release pleasurable chemicals in the brain. (Check out the book by Dr Aric Sigman called Remote Controlled for more info about that.)

For me these programmes have taken on an even more sinister edge since I found out that anything written that is judged to be inciting any kind of illegal behaviour (excuse me but what about the freedom of speech) means that as activists the chances of police knocking down our doors could be a real possibility in the future.

I’ve written a strongly worded letter to ITV1 and I’ll let you know what they say…



Comments (1)

On 29 April 2012 at 11:46 , Anonymous said...

spot on, why do you think there have always been so many police/detect/crime shows on tv!