Thursday, April 16, 2020

Self portrait with alternative lunch

Silence: In lock-down (now available with a hyphen) I am, strangely enough enjoying the silence. The crashing silence of a slowed down outside world, a traffic free street, distant voices and clocks ticking, the curious swish of electrons and faint pulses in my own head, I think that's where they come from. The odd message beep to alert me that my phone lurks in a corner and that something might have happened out in the expanse. Nice.

Fairly early on I decided to stop listening to the radio. Most days, pre-Corona I'd tune into Radio Scotland, whilst driving or at home in the kitchen, news, phones ins, debates etc. I seldom agreed with the lines they took, neither critical or political. I guess I liked to argue with myself as they shoved out the broadcast. Now I'm not doing it and I simply don't miss their BBC pish and so called balance, I don't miss the sycophantic reviews and the "every thing is amazing lovey-dovey" arts coverage, the aggressive debates that are factually light while trying to be journalist heavy and still failing miserably. Too many furrowed brows but no direction.

Stupid traffic information blips that fail to inform on locations and detail and patchy weather forecasts. Not challenging the big boys and girls on key issues, skating over depth, towing the line that they deny exists, playing safe. Yes I'm free from the inner voices BBC Scotland forced me to create for myself, ghosts and shadowy creatures. I'm happy in this open and strangely clear state of mind. I do miss the sport, one thing they can actually get right, I'll be back for football banter once football comes back. 

TV is a different animal. I watched the first couple of Corona briefs but they quickly degenerated into, well more pish and denial. News? Can't stand the presenters or the presentation tropes to be honest, the stories are at best patchy and all tricky areas are avoided, best not to upset them upstairs I guess. Queen and country, stiff upper lips and don't talk about the dead etc. "Keep the UK on track, have some balance and end on some touching human report, that's what people need." Channels actually make little difference but C4 is at least self aware in some ways.

Regular programming: I don't watch soaps, cookery or the vacuous comedy shows, only University Challenge is worth a regular view. Funny how adverts have dried up, I quite enjoy that they've shrunk back although it reflects the depression and dip we're in. I pick up the rest via streaming. Overall YouTube is adequate (that's a good score in a crowded field), short and snappy, funny and informative and of course all over the place at the same time. Once in a while a Tiger King or something will emerge, you have to choose wisely, most content is time bandit stuff, ultimately unrewarding.

Elsewhere it's Twitter and a couple of on-line papers and random trusted if factually unreliable blogging sources, find your own path in the maze. The odd bit of music filters through but I'm not really looking for anything new out there. Comfort sounds are better. In the end I know no more or less than anybody else, remaining informed these days is an illusion, all FoMO and not much else. When the end comes (?) we'll know by those four pale riders in the burning sky and a proper, breath held and heavy silence as the screens flicker and die, not by the familiar repeated jingle of a newscast. 

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