Dancing Or Baking Or Snogging

More random musings from Fat Roland. On his mind this month (as far as we can tell) is ‘Big Brother’

AI Image: Art directed by mark hall

“Big Brother”. For us cultured types, this is a term from the book ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Michael. 

It’s set in Room 101, which is in Club Tropicana. “Big Brother” is always listening because Careless Whispers cost lives… something like that. I’ve never read a book.

For uncultured idiots unlike what I am, ‘Big Brother’ is a reality TV show that’s inexplicably screening a 20th series. It streams for a million hours and consists mostly of people farting in bed. I feel I’m sullying the pages of Electronic Sound by writing about it. But statistically, there must be some people reading this page who watch ‘Big Brother’. You know who you are. Yes you, Wilbur, who only ever reads the Front section and the reviews. I’m talking about you.

I’m not usually a fan of reality television. Why would I watch real people dancing or baking or snogging on the telly? I can break into any of my neighbours’ houses and see that in real life. Bertrand at number 17 can do the splits while tossing a paella. Margarine at number 30 has a troupe of dancing wasps that will only jive to Huey Lewis. I’d much rather stalk, er, be entertained by folks in my hood than watch vajazzled himbos arguing over a jacuzzi on the small screen.

There’s also an excruciating level of… what’s the word? Homosexuality? Holograms? Homogeneity! Yes, that’s the word. Cultural homogeneity. Let me explain. My personal world is rich with sonic oddities. I went to a concert once in which a geek blew out candles, then sampled the resulting crackles and flickers until they looped into an imperceptible soundscape of obtuse ambience. It was probably terrible. But it was my kind of terrible. 

At least it’s not Bruno-flipping-Mars or George-chuffing-Ezra. Mass-market mainstream entertainment mollifies everything into one bland Blu Tack ball of blandness. Candle samplers and waveform botherers are always going to lose out in the reality TV popularity stakes. But I’d rather see something obscure and inspiring than watch a bunch of celebrity jungle lurkers mass-murdering insects to win a potato.

Maybe an electronic music version of ‘Big Brother’ would work. Like Fact Magazine’s ‘Against The Clock’ series, but instead of making a tune within 10 minutes, you must compose an acid house album while wrestling a bear. Or you solve riddles posed by Brian Eno to stop a bulldozer crushing your collection of Ninja Tune rarities into vinyl dust. 

Or you could have 20 people in robot helmets, and they have to work out which ones are the real members of Daft Punk. The loser has to listen to ‘Get Lucky’ every hour for the rest of their lives. Stick that on yer tellybox and be done with it.

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