Day #130 - Unfinished Sympathy

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Friday, 8 January 2010 at 16:11

Yesterday, it was widely announced by every media outlet under the sun that Jonathon Ross, or Wossy as he is known affectionately on Twitter, has finally reached the end of his time with the BBC, with the Director General apparently refusing to sign him back up. A bit of a silly decision, if you ask me.

It's obviously a good move for Mr Ross, who can go on and expand his career and live his life beyond the confines of BBC Radio Two, Film 20_ , and Friday Night With... , all of which have brought him considerable fame in the years he's been doing them. His slip-up with Russell Brand may have cost him dearly.

Admittedly, at first I thought he was a bit of a dick for the phonecalls, but, then it suddenly became apparent that it was just a little something that got out of hand. Ross and Brand aren't exactly known for being straight as arrows; Brand is an edgy comedian, and Ross is a...well...he's Jonathon Ross. It's sort-of tarnished his career, but only because the BBC chose to rein him in and make such a big deal out of it. (I suppose insulting a 'legendary actor' like Andrew Sachs is a bit of a big deal, but it's nothing an apology couldn't have ironed out).

This all made me wonder: Are we going backwards? We had that age of liberation, of freedom, in the 70s and 80s. There are always the idealised views of those decades. Every show that involves 'alternative' comedians and the 'alternative' scene always shows us that boundaries were being pushed and sensibilities were being tested. And we lived through it, and people shot to stardom because of it.

Nowadays, we're all too scared to speak our minds because it might not be P.C. to say something; it might offend someone else; it might be a pejorative or a put-down; it might be something absolutely hilarious, but a little taboo. All in all, we're basically erasing that boundary-pushing few years, and going back to an era where one dare not speak out of turn. It's times like this, I actually dread to think where we'll end up in the future.

Musically, we're declining back into the realms of soft-pop, content in the knowledge that there's nothing edgy out there to offend our sensibilities. Politically, we're content with centrists. Visually, we're happy with our inoffensive news readers and talk shows. Where's the buzz? Where's the pizzazz; the oomph; the shock value!? Honestly, if life keeps putting restraints on what is and isn't right, I think we're in for a pretty boring rest-of-our-lives.

Long live Jonathon Ross! Long live the moments where he was entertaining, and allowed to be so! Long live living on the edge; long live freedom of speech!


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