I just caught a bit of an awful Channel 4 plastic surgery gone wrong show. They’ve presented it as a human interest story which is a joke in itself. It used to be if you got operated on the cheap in the some third world hell like Congo or Pakistan or France and they put your tits on your back cause the Doctor was really a vet, that you could still make a living on the freak show circuit or as a carnival side show attraction “roll up roll up see Glenda the girl with 3 tits on her back, so awful you’ll hurl your lunch! Take a look folks, a fiver a glance”
At some point some however the malevolent powers that be have decided that this is insensitive, and now we have this slew of awful programs where you stare at people who have suffered tragedy. Of course instead of “Sky’s Televised Freak Show Pay Per View Extravaganza” they make out it some sort of struggle against adversity “next on 4 the scummy kid with no skin” The victim is exploited exactly the same way as with the freak show, only this time Channel 4 or whoever’s freak scouts found the story (I think they call them researchers now?) gets the money he would have been paid, and they edit this into an hour long 12 year old’s attempt at a documentary and they play sad music or a bit of eminem’s lose yourself over the top and they cake some normal person in makeup and send them off to see what it’s like to going shopping for scarves when you have no skin and they blither on about how this is a struggle against adversity and how it’s an inspiration and we all feel better that we’re not a 14 year old kid living in constant agony and doomed to die young cause our body is incapable of manufacturing skin.
And you know what it’s not inspirational, it’s not anything good or a comment on the ability of people to triumph in the face of adversity because it’s not going to change what anyone does. People might talk about it the next day at the water cooler, “hey did you see that girl with tits on her back? Hell yeah, she’d still get it” but that’s it. Nobody is watching it and then thinking “well fuck me, I’m inspired, I’ll go out and invent a cure for cancer” This shit, this fucking slow drip of culture poison is the fucking cancer! And if you watch these things you need to shoot yourself.
(Halfway through ranting this I realised this rant is inspired by Doug Stanhope’s Oprah is PT Barnham piece for Newswipe )