Axver (axver) wrote,

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MSN Today surprisingly has taste

Proof that MSN Today actually DOES have some taste: when MSN Today appeared upon signing into MSN a short while ago, my eye was instantly drawn to Bono to be hung in a gallery.

Bono to be hung in a gallery

Rock star Bono is to have his portrait hung in the stately surroundings of the Irish National gallery, in the singer's home city of Dublin.

The front man for the world famous U2 rock band - and a beaten contender for this year's Nobel Peace Prize - is the latest Irish public figure to feature in a portrait series sponsored by the Irish Life and Permanent financial institution.

The star's likeness - the work of top Irish artist Louis le Brocquy, and titled Image of Bono - will be unveiled at the gallery on Monday.

German results;
Writing and Listening: A+
Reading: A
Speaking: My teacher was SUPPOSED to give this back to us today, but she managed to misplace them and they may now be in the rubbish bin in her daughter's bedroom. Thus, we won't be getting them until tomorrow, although she told me that I did well.

I'll also get to find out my Henry V exam result tomorrow, hopefully.

I've finished my speech for the speech competition, and I've practiced it - with one paragraph and some extended sentences, it runs about forty seconds over the eight minute time limit, without it, it runs twenty seconds under. I'll practice it again with and without it, and whichever gets me closest to the eight minutes, I'll go with. Running more than thirty seconds over or under is to be avoided, and preferably I should make the eight. I'll post the final copy soon (I need to type up the end of the conclusion).

All going according to plan, I shall have a scanner tomorrow. As in a brand new printer/copier/scanner. If so, expect photos.

Also, do not expect me to be online as much over the next few days as I usually am. School is getting busy and I need to get things done. I'm also moving in three weeks (or it might be less; I'm going to have moved by November 7 in any case, and I've lost all track of time at the moment), so I'll be packing stuff.

--- 8:20 ---

I get the feeling I’ve seen this before. I’ve sat down, picked up the remote, turned on the TV, and found a very familiar scene. The show may be advertised as an entirely new series, but the similarities to others that I have seen cannot be ignored, and the startling amount of them is quite alarming. Wondering whatever happened to originality and new ideas, I decide to go channel surfing, and flick through the channels. With the exception of some strange foreign language show I can’t understand and probably wouldn’t understand even if it was in English, it’s all a much of a muchness. Nothing new here, nothing new there. Just the same basic ideas, advertised as something completely new and different. It’s a common marketing tactic, advertising something old as something completely new, revolutionary, and most certainly different to that something old. And what is it that is being marketed as something new when it’s actually old? What is it that’s filling the airwaves on most channels? What is it that I find incredibly familiar? Reality TV, that’s what.
Ladies and gentlemen, for the last few years, reality TV has exploded onto the airwaves, if not in bursts of popularity but in bursts of publicity. Beginning with the original series of Survivor, it has now swelled to a massive industry, and there are so many reality shows vying for airspace that one could be forgiven for completely losing count of them. From shows such as Backyard Blitz to the one that started it all, Survivor, they are everywhere. Originally creative and exciting, they have turned into a fad, become unoriginal, and are hijacking airwaves at the expense of other arguably more worthy programming. And one question must be asked: is it really reality?
When it first debuted, Survivor captured the imagination of many countries. Following the progress of a group of people stranded on a desert island, with the final remaining contestant winning a monetary prize, the ratings for the show were astonishing, and from there, things snowballed. There have been multiple series’ of Survivor – including one made in Australia – and it led on to the fad that we are now experiencing. Some may remember the Pokemon fad from a few years ago, when every second children’s conversation was about it. It now seems that reality TV is doing a similar thing to television: every second show is of the reality genre. Ideas are being reused at a remarkable rate – one cannot fail to notice striking similarities between shows such as Australian Idol and Popstars – and other shows are producing series after series ad nauseam, with the most notable examples being Survivor and Big Brother. This fad cannot last. Soon, the unoriginality will get the better of the creators. Once highly original, reality TV has become so dull and unoriginal that when a show appears, many comparisons can be made to prior series of the same show or other shows. From my own viewing, the third series of Survivor was boringly similar to the two that went before it, and the three Big Brother series’ have been basically just the same thing with varying faces. Sooner or later, people are going to tire of this, are going to demand something new, and reality TV will collapse under its own weight.
But is it even reality? The simple answer is: no, it isn’t. It is about as real as Seinfeld or The Simpsons. To call it ‘reality TV’ is a misnomer. To be reality TV, it would need to be of reality, that is day-to-day life or of current events. The former is most often boring or, when exciting, hard to capture on television, and the latter is already covered by the news and is not always pleasant viewing. Practically all shows categorised in the reality genre are, in reality – pardon the pun – far from it.
Take Big Brother as an example. This show is supposed to be a look into the day-to-day life of a group of people, but any claims of it being representative of the true reality are dubious at best. Imagine that you have been put in a house with a bunch of people you have never met before. You have limited food supplies, you know full well TV cameras are monitoring your every move, and you can’t go about daily activities like watching TV, heading down to the shops, phoning your friends, or anything like that. Where’s the reality? It’s a completely unrealistic situation that would never happen on anything but a TV programme, and to give it the label of ‘reality TV’ is false advertising.
(Then there’s Survivor. You’re stranded on a desert island or in some other isolated location with little more than the clothes you’re wearing, you’re with a group of people you don’t know at all, you have to perform challenges to earn food and other supplies, and a lot of the show is based around making yourself valuable at the expense of others, and competing for some cash prize. How can this be touted as reality TV? The very name ‘reality TV’ suggests that it is of REALITY – this is plainly obvious – and yet the premise of Survivor bears very few similarities to reality whatsoever.)
Furthermore, in the name of ‘reality’ and ‘entertainment’, reality TV goes way too far. From prying so far into people’s lives that they’ll broadcast footage of contestants having a shower as in Big Brother Uncut to making them eat absolutely revolting meals such as live grubs and crickets and steamed tarantulas on Survivor and bulls’ testicles on Fear Factor, reality TV has completely crossed the line. It is so ridiculous and outrageous one struggles to believe that it was allowed to be shown on TV at ANY timeslot, let alone primetime viewing. This is promoted as ‘quality’ TV, but that’s absolute rubbish – it’s disgusting and sordid and takes television programming to all new levels of low.
It doesn’t stop there, however. There are now primetime shows that arrange marriages, such as The Batchelor and Joe Millionaire. These marriages are not decided on personality or love or anything like that, but on the looks of the various contestants and how rich they are. No wonder there are so many divorces in society! You have nonsense like this trivialising the idea of marriage and making it some made-on-TV fling that doesn’t matter. This isn’t reality: this is going way too far, this is completely ludicrous, and the fact it was even made is testament to how far – or low – programme designers will go to lure viewers.
Now consider if all of these reality shows were truly representative of reality. Imagine that everyday life is exactly as it is portrayed on reality TV. Not only would every aspect of your life be visible to anyone who cared to watch, taking voyeurism to alarming extremes, but it would hardly be a reality at all. You would be forced to perform humiliating and dangerous challenges for no apparent reason or to earn essential goods that you should be able to get with ease; everyone you know, even your friends, are competing against you for their own self-gain; and randomly, just out of the blue, you could be voted out, and often not because of any fault of your own, but because of other people trying to save their own butts. How would you feel if one day, you were walking down the street, only to hear “Andre, it’s time to go. The tribe has spoken”? What a horrid reality that would be! Every day you would be on show to everyone, every day you’d be performing humiliating acts to get what you need, and every day you’d be living in fear of being kicked out. This is what some television shows promote as reality – even a desirable reality!
So not only has reality TV become a fad and unoriginal – even if, in its early days it was highly original and creative – it is also nothing like what it claims to be. It is not a fair representation of reality, because all of the situations that appear on so-called reality shows are far from any situation that would happen in real life – the only place they’d happen in is on TV. It takes false advertising to a radical extreme, it forces contestants to perform thoroughly humiliating acts in the name of entertainment and ratings, it trivialises important occasions such as marriage, and some of the concepts are so utterly ludicrous that it is hard to believe they are given ANY airtime, let alone prime airtime. Sooner or later, viewers will demand something more original, creative, and realistic, and the genre of reality TV will be shown for what it really is: an unrealistic flash in the pan that has gone too far.

Foods that annoy me;
- Corn on the cob, because it gets stuck in my teeth and I hate using floss.
- Gummi snakes, because they're so nice I always want more.
- That strange thing Mum put in the macaroni and cheese. Although the bits of salami more than made up for the strange stuff.
- Tim Tams, because they're smaller than they used to be. Stingy biscuit company.

I'm never going to memorise my speech in time for the competition on Thursday night. Oh well, I guess I'll be relying on palm cards. I'll definitely need to do some practice then ... and what I dislike is how teachers so often think their subject is the only one in existence and set exorbitant amounts of homework. In fact, I HATE the school system. Why? Because it doesn't focus on actually learning anything for LIFE, but just so that you can pass the next exam. So what if you forget it the second you walk out of the exam? It doesn't matter, because you've passed the exam. Is this the kind of school system we WANT? NO! It's crazy: we should actually be taught to RETAIN what we learn, and for LIFE, not just for the next term. I seem to live from exam to exam, and that's not how it should be.

--- 9:09 ---

TrentsDecemberLP at the Soon MB seems to be perfecting the art of being a flaming moron. He's neither funny nor clever, and that spamming spree of his was just STUPID. I hope the administrators do something about it ... bleh, they never seem to do ANYTHING. Some people claim they're there, but you'd never know it.

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