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Tuesday 10th September 2019


Finding myself in this evening on my own, I realised quite late on, that the England match was on terrestrial TV and so I could watch it. All the goals had been scored but I did see an England man miss a penalty, as a non-England man tried to put him off by stepping inside the box. The non-England man was the only one who won anything out of this, and got to be shown a special card by the referee, which I presume had a drawing of a naked woman on it. Otherwise, what is the prize? Just being shown a yellow card? He’s a grown man, not a baby and needs more than a flash of colour to entertain/reward him.
England won the game because of work they had put in in the portion of the match that I did not see. They certainly didn’t seem that bothered about trying hard in this bit. cf the bit where the man missed the penalty.
The TV stayed on for the ITV news and it struck me how little I now watch terrestrial TV. Aside from Cbeebies which I see a lot of, I basically never watch TV live anymore and it’s not just because it’s a fucking palaver involving two remotes and waiting around to get our free-sat channels working. There’s just too much good stuff (and Death in Paradise) elsewhere to make it worth taking a random punt on a selection of TV programmes that someone else has chosen for me and most of which are shit.
What a huge change has been wrought in just a decade or maybe even less, as the justified death of television has happened in front of our eyes. I don’t want to laugh about it and see it as revenge for TV deciding that I could only be on it if I was losing at quiz shows. But I do do that, as I can’t help it. Stupid TV. My podcast gets more of an audience than loads of your rubbish shows. So who is the winner now?
It’s still TV, but it’s close.
Anyway I was amazed to watch the ITV news and see that it is being read and commented on by a man who makes little mildly sarcastic asides as he relays the stories. I don’t know when I last watched ITV news as it wasn’t something I really did when I used to watch TV back in the last millennium, but it was amazing to see how far it had slid. Clearly some people like this style, unless this was the first time he’d attempted it and was promptly sacked at the end of the bulletin, but it just seems another sign of the terrible times we live in. Perhaps we were always as stupid as we seem to be now and no one spoke up about it out of fear of embarrassment. But now being stupid is seen as a positive and being knowledgeable or expert as clearly a negative. You don’t know any more about nuclear physics than me, just cos you’ve spent ten years studying it and I’ve just watched the Simpsons. My view is equal to yours. Obviously you couldn’t do my job though.
Anyway it was a depressing taster of the future we’re hurtling towards, where we all try to ignore the impact of Brexit (sure might turn out to be nothing) and climate change (probably a flash in the pan) and promoting the worst and nastiest people to the highest of positions (the responsibility will probably make them nice).
What will our kids think of us when they look back at all this? Sorry kids. It’s not that we didn’t know what was going to happen, we just decided to try and pretend it wasn’t happening and assumed that everything would just turn out OK, because if you look at history that is what absolutely always has happened.

I popped out for an early evening stone clear tonight. You can hear the resultant podcast here.

Some guest announcements for the tour 
Winchester on 3rd October I will be talking to Ahir Shan and John Kearns  (LAST FEW TICKETS) 
Oxford on 27th October one of my guests will be George Monbiot  

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