04 What’s on the Opium Channel tonight?

04 video-tv copyAs you know, it’s not enough to just watch TV these days. You have to pick up the phone and vote vote vote about it too. Who’s the greatest celebrity eater of jungle grubs? Who’s your Best of British Character from History? Someone, allegedly, wants to know how you feel about these things.

“Call us, text us, tell us what you think!” Makes you feel good to know your view is valued?

Of course, you know your view isn’t valued. It’s simply counted like a bean in a pot. While someone coincidentally creams off the cost of your call. And then you get to hear how many other people are beans just like you.

Some media quack on Radio 4 last week called this the democratisation of communication. No it isn’t. Not unless democracy now means a lardy super-sized tub of vox populi where everyone’s view of nothing important is suddenly vital to the health of nations.

Call me a killjoy. Tell me all this all-voting all-interactive junk TV is the latterday equivalent of gathering round the village pump. Except that people actually talked to each other then, if they weren’t too knackered after the competitive morris dancing. Now we pick up a phone and dial into a computerised black hole for a sense of connection.

Oh come on, what’s wrong with a bit of harmless fun?
Are you saying morris dancing is harmless?

The thing about TV voting.
The thing about TV programmes vigorously soliciting our reactions to trivial subjects (apart from being a scandalous money-spinning scam worthy of any MP) is that it smacks of what Marx said about opium and the masses. Perhaps encouraging the masses to express themselves about trivia is a good way of shutting them up about stuff that actually matters.

And how this relates to business is…?
We’ve all been in the meeting where, to everyone’s dismay, everyone is dutifully asked to ventilate their views on a subject – before the chair imposes their own pre-made decision. There’s no better way of ignoring people than pretending to listen to them. On the other hand, you could be known as someone who listens properly. I’d vote for that!

Nielsen Dinwoodie
business messages people remember



4 Responses to “04 What’s on the Opium Channel tonight?”

  1. Dear Nielsen

    I enjoyed reading “04 What’s on the Opium Channel tonight?”, in the spirit of which I will restrain my natural inclination to hurrah and not toss my tuppence worth in!



  2. Of course the conspiracy theorists might postulate that even the trite trivia that the populace rush to vote on could be the crude carrots of market research…..how many vote, who they vote for, what time of day attracts the most voters, what type of shows attract the most voters, etc……

    love and kisses

  3. Dear Conspiracy Theorist, you may be right. Is not voting why I never receive the Freemans catalogue?

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