Thursday, 14 March 2013

It Must Be Thursday: Oh The Humanity

The ongoing saga of a weekly That-Was-The-Week-That-Was posting.
Commenting on things that caught my attention for better or for worse and left me shaking my fist at the sky and shouting "Whyyyy!!!" 
After all: until science brings us a better use for Thursdays - what else is there to do?

You may not remember this, but a few years ago a Certain Confectionery Company (who shall not be named, but handily seem to have invested in sponsoring a nearby planet) released a Fun Size version of their most well known chocolate bar: and, as it turns out, Fun isn't as big as you thought it was

Nor is the pair of red deely-boppers purched precariously on the head of the woman at the local superstore as fun as she thinks.  They do not make her look fun, wacky, amusing or any of the other things that the company is presumably trying to evoke from their customers when they could be more profitably spending their time, oh I don't know, actually serving people.

In short they make her look like someone who desperately regrets the career choices that brought them to an institution that tries to make a few extra sales on the back of supporting a major charity.  She looks like someone who will happily produce an axe from under her checkout and have at your neck with gusto if you make any comment about said deely-boppers having already heard every possible joke at least five hundred times in the last hour alone.

Yes: it's Comic Relief week and all over the country people are taking baths in baked beans, going to work dressed as SuperHeroes, hopping all day, wearing nothing but pink.  Some of them are even being sponsored for charity to do this (apart presumably from the baked bean bath people - hard to imagine anyone who would want to give you money if you said you were going to do it)

Comic Relief started as an offshoot from Live Aid with a live concert in London of all the comedians who were famous at the time (including Billy Connolly doing a routine about pubic hairs that I clearly remember my Grandfather laughing his head off about)

Since when its become an annual slog of a Telethon with comedian/presenters-of-the-day sitting in a studio and mainly linking to one of the following:
* A very old clip of a classic sit-com
* An infomercial on behalf of the charity (usually involving a celeb being flown off to witness it in person)
* An update from Ass-end, Nowheresville where a bunch of Bank Tellers are presenting a giant cheque to the local Mayor who has presumably spotted a good opportunity to get a few extra votes come re-election time (and just out of interest: who produces these giant cheques and how do you go about cashing them?)
* Studio audience cheering like one of the things on offer in the Green Room before the interminably dull thing started was some free LSD
* News Presenters doing a dance routine (usually in silly costumes)
* Link from a has-been comedian who would otherwise be out of work if said event was ever cancelled and is "giving up their time for free" in hope of some paid work somewhere down the line
* Duran Duran muttering vaguely that they are "really behind the cause here today" and not, despite all appearances to the contrary, just there to help the sales of their back catalogue (it may at first seem unfair to single out Duran Duran - but check out the interview of them at Live 8 where they managed to sound entirely unsure exactly what it was they were there to support)
* Pop band of the day performing their latest/most well known single (unless they are performing the Comic Relief single of the year)

Not that I'm against charity events - far from it.  It's vital that we keep the public eye on needy causes and continue to raise money from them: what I have a problem with is the whole culture of having to subscribe to someones corporate idea of Fun and Wackiness

Fun, comedy, and indeed wackiness should be spontaneous and not diluted down and distilled into a corporate smorgasbord of painfully bad television.  Just because its for charity doesn't mean it should be terrible - it should still be well done and meaningful.  The sight, a few years ago, of the News At Ten Team dressed in drag and performing songs from the Rocky Horror Show is one that has left me unable to watch a Bulletin since.

And yet companies all around the country are encouraging their employees to dress up, dress down and get wacky - all in the name of a good cause that almost by accident can cause some of its goodness to be reflected back upon themselves.

And its not as if I have anything against Fun - if it really is as small as the Chocolate Coporation would have me believe it would be pretty hard to find something that would fit to have against Fun - and I have no objection to people doing things that are a bit mad or daft for a good cause in principle - its just a) the whole atmosphere of corporate sponsored fun - the attitude that if you work for Company A then it is more or less obligatory that you take park and b) there's no actual need to put all the so called "best" bits into an interminably dull television show.

So if you do want to go and get sponsored tomorrow for turning up to work dressed as a gorrilla, an alien, a member of the opposite gender - feel free and I wish you luck in raising lots of money.  Just don't be surprised when I reach for the remote control and turn the channel over to something a little less "wacky"

Because of course I would never do any of the above myself.  Nope.  Not ever.

Well...maybe the once...

Still - on another, unrelated topic, here's the original (and only funny) Comic Relief Charity Single...


Lydia said...

"Fun, comedy, and indeed wackiness should be spontaneous and not diluted down and distilled into a corporate smorgasbord of painfully bad television. Just because its for charity doesn't mean it should be terrible - it should still be well done and meaningful." There. You boiled it down to exactly how I would feel if this were thrust at us over here. I was forced to dress for Halloween in one office job and, where I may have enjoyed going in costume later that night out on my own with my own kind of peeps, I was really offended being told to do so. It stands out as one of my more miserable days at work.
The only upside to this is that it is for charity, but still......

Argent said...

I agree about the endless tele-thons and pretty much never watch them any more. These large charity drives do generate a lot of money for good causes, though. And I do seem to m remember a woman strolling about our workplace a few years back who looked a lot like you - and I KNOW you haven't got a twin sister.

I'm trying to support local charities where possible these days.

The Bug said...

Well right now I'm very annoyed at the fact that you won't ever post a picture of yourself on here - I feel slighted that I won't get to see you dressed as a woman - ha!

We dress for Halloween at work, but it's entirely voluntary & just for fun. Sometimes I join in, but not as much since I changed jobs & don't see as many people during the day (hallelujah!).

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i think the problem can be that the serious issue of the charity gets diluted down and people tend to go "oh its just that again"

sadly cameras break when pointed at me

Friko said...

You mean it was red nose day?
I missed it.

But then I am a cantankerous old biddy against jolly good fun.

So it wasn’t jolly good fun after all?

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Friko - i studiously avoided the whole thing. Apparently it was terrible

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