Television used to be something wonderful. As a kid it was a mesmerizing force which was clearly more intelligent than every adult I encountered. It was my babysitter, my teacher, my entertainer and my best friend. And then something horrible happened. I got old.
One of the most difficult things a middle-aged man ever has to come to terms with is that he will never ever be in the A-Team. Or he will never be James Bond. Or a professional football player. Or any other of the lives which seem infinitely more interesting than ours which are blasted out from the googlebox week in week out. Eventually a man can come to terms with it, until he experiences a moment of revelation.
In my lifetime television has inexplicably given birth to reality tv shows. Gone are the days of sexy television shows in magnificent places. Now they are replaced by a stream of fake tanned, fake haired genetically modified metro sexual ponces who are just as poor as we are, doing things which are less interesting than we do whilst desperately courting the attention of anyone who is interested. People have become famous for going on television and being themselves. And that Ladies and Gentleman is sick.
Now my middle-aged disappointment has been replaced with repulsion. I am repulsed by the fact that somehow our society has enough money to pay people to be themselves. As a consequence it is a factor in the death of escapism. In the years long past people would read a book, or rent a dvd or go to the cinema. Now they watch people on television in their living rooms, being people, watching television, in their living rooms. Somewhere along the lines people have lost their imagination and never got around to looking for it once again. My Grandfather used to say ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’ Maybe I should write a book about a guy who is writing a book about a guy who is writing a book? Surely that would be a bestseller. If that fails I could record myself performing a self-lobotomy and upload it to YouTube. Now I am certain that would be a hit.