Tuesday 1 February 2022

Crossing Channels

This is another one about me, me, me. (And Andrew Neil)

If you’ve noticed that I haven’t been especially prolific lately  - and if not, well, Craig more than makes up for any deficiency on my part - it’s not only that I’m all but blogged out, but it’s also the hopelessness. Who needs to listen to online people reiterating the same points endlessly. I know, no one forced me.

The upside of this self-reflection is that it strengthens my theory that we all have an indelibly ingrained agenda of our own. Perhaps it stems from our childhood, from our DNA, or from some other inherent happenstance. Our opinions are firmly embedded by the time we start opining on the blogosphere, in the media, or down the Lamb and Flag.

Consequently, we accept everything that supports our worldview and reject or ignore anything that undermines it. That’s my hypothesis and if you don’t like it I have others. Meanwhile, that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it. 


Having noisily quit the Beeb to set up a revolutionary new TV channel and abruptly flouncing off because the new channel didn’t turn out to be quite to his liking, the artist formerly known as Brillo declared that creating GBNews was the biggest mistake of his life.

Hence Andrew Neil’s debut documentary on Channel 4, a televisual journey through Boris’s cake-eating escapades 'while the rest of the country was forced, by law, to religiously follow the lockdown rules and regs that he himself had imposed'. We were shown an assortment of the Prime Minister’s colleagues and former colleagues attempting to get rid of him, when I felt a particular deja vu happening all over again. 

I showcased another Channel Four documentary in a long-winded blog post, back in the days when I was less pessimistic about everything. With a spare hour and some fortitude, click on the link to see why Brillo’s documentary reminded me of a certain other Channel Four polemic that promised much but yielded little. 

This type of manipulative cinematography seems to be that particular Channel’s specialty. Let’s face it. Andrew Neil is not the most telegenic of big-ego polemicists. The hairstyle, which earned him his nickname, has become ever-more peculiar and patchy during his domicile across the (English) Channel; it manages to look both thick and thin at once with tortoiseshell hues, black, auburn, and grey; and he is heftier these days.

However,  the Channel Four film crew’s lighting wizards love posing people, and they have the knack of creating images to order.  Flatteringly lit, and carefully framed, the hero’s features shine brightly, while the secondary subject, the victim, is diminished by dim lighting and cameras angled to give him a distanced, shrunken appearance. What fun they must have had during the edit. What a laugh. Michael Gove looked dejected, wan, and diminutive while our hero was transformed into a televisual Ozymandias that colossal wreck, boundless and bare.

Meanwhile, let's let Nana cheer us up.

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