PRIME TIME DEATH
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Our new single “We’re Glad That You Came” is a direct attack on the modern entertainment industry, where the focus is placed on easy-to-digest, cheap, Mc-entertainment and where the entire populace is fed a diet of girls revealing their breasts at football matches, royal penises or nipples, or plastic clones performing unchallenging, sterile muzak judged by a jury of fellow plastic clones. Such trash TV unfortunately has a dangerous habit of producing trashy minds and trashy minds are always far easier to manage and exploit than inquisitive ones. I don’t really buy into the argument that this is simply TV stations meeting consumer demand for such mindless drivel, this is rather TV drugging and dragging us down. I prefer the Paul Weller version that: “the public wants what the public gets”. Create a trend on TV, hype a programme up as the “must watch show of 2012” and you will create conditions where people feel almost compelled to tune in – failure to do so and you will find yourself dismissed as antisocial or at best an outcast.
The accompanying video to “We’re Glad That You Came” is a satirical swipe at such “must watch” TV and the fact that we managed to get Agnieszka Szulim (herself a presenter of some very questionable TV programmes such as Clash of The Choirs) for me is beautifully ironic. She was great to work with, professional as hell and very easy going but I have the distinct impression that she herself is looking for an escape from programmes of such dubious quality. Hopefully her participation in this video will help her on her way. My acting in the video however, won’t win any Oscars, as it’s definitely more “Can’t Festival” than “Cannes”, but the central theme of the video is extremely strong. The intrusiveness of TV and the vague glee of the viewers as they watch a fellow human being suffer is tackled in this Fritz Lang-style video. We borrowed heavily from a prime example of such intrusive television - the American game show “The Moment of Truth”. Here a contestant has an opportunity to win vast amounts of dollars, maybe to escape from their respective ghettos or gutters. All the contestant has to do is answer each question truthfully. Failure to do so and they lose every single dollar earned. Naturally the questions become more personal and more perilous until the contestant finds themselves in a situation where potentially they could lose far more than just money – they could lose those they love, those they are closest to. The audience meanwhile watches on. As the contestants squirm the audience experiences an unhealthy dose of schadenfreude in the process. As the love cheats, junkies and thieves confess their secrets, the holier-than-thou audience expresses it’s collective disgust. In our video we have taken this voyeurism to it’s natural conclusion – live death on TV.
Our imaginary game show goes by the name, “Truth or Death” and places the contestant in a situation where not only will they lose the one they love by offering a false answer, they will lose their life. The audience watches on ecstatic and amused as the condemned man sits with a noose around his neck, facing the prospect of falling through the trap door should he lie, or losing all freedom he has hitherto enjoyed if he tells the truth. This is our vision of TV, where continual intrusion, voyeurism, desensitisation and entertainment are all taken to their natural conclusions and man watches man die and the ratings go up up up. Maybe this will be marketed as the “Must Watch Show of 2013”, and with the way TV is currently going, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.