Due to the wonders of modern technology there is no excuse for ignorance about current affairs, politics, the weather forecast, who is doing what to whom in the Big Brother House [is it on at the moment?…I make no excuse for my ignorance except for lack of interest], a shock football result or what Kate and William had for breakfast. The news is available 24 hours a day, every day. It comes around and around, the same stories, the same clips, the same correspondent in Delhi or Jo’berg or Kabul telling us the same things they told us fifteen minutes ago.
Occasionally we get a reprieve with a piece of ‘breaking’ news. ‘Oscar Pistorius has been charged with a murder’. We gasp, or tut, or shake our heads. Then the story starts to revolve in the loop. There is Oscar running on the track. There is Oscar strapping on his famous blades. There is his house. We see the images. We see them again next time. Oscar’s tragic, or sordid, or ghastly drama is re-enacted ad infinitum along with all the other news stories.
How do the presenters do it? How do they manage to present the same items of ‘news’ so many times over? I imagine I would want to run screaming from the building after about ten renditions of ‘over to our South Africa correspondent…’ but they sit there calmly adjusting their expressions to suit the stories, consummate professionals all.
The scandal of the imposter horse meat was never riveting to begin with, and now we are all up to the top of our trash cans with it. Of course it is very naughty of the suppliers or whoever slipped it into the chain to try and make a few extra bucks from any cheap carcass they happen to have on hand, and they shouldn’t be calling horse meat beef. Shame on them! But perhaps those who’ve unwittingly bought the products and now feel betrayed, ill, shocked, sick, terrified, horrified or any other Daily Mail type adjective have themselves to blame. Because how hard is it to put together a cottage pie or a lasagne anyway? And no one dies, or even gets ill from eating horse. I’ve eaten it myself in France, having mistakenly bought it in supermarkets [and yes, it was labelled correctly!]. It is inexpensive, and though it takes longer to cook is a reasonable substitute for beef.
But now I’m tired, even of the jokes about it all. ‘Next!’ I want to say to the television news. ‘Enough of the horse meat’, ‘enough of Oscar’, ‘enough of Kate’s bikini pictures’, ‘enough of the recession’, ‘enough about Chris Huhne’s speeding points’, ‘the Eastleigh by-election’ and ‘dipping retail sales’. Enough!