Spiritual NHS January 14, 2007Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
Tags: NHS, Radio 4
Darlings, what to do when you hit a spiritual low? When you’ve reached intellectual rock-bottom? When inspiration is lacking and you feel as creative as an accountant? Why, you go to the spiritual, intellectual and inspirational NHS, of course, to stock up on spiritual, intellectual and inspirational drugs, and all at someone else’s expense: the BBC.
And don’t you even think of thinking that I’m one of those nasty BBC-bashers. I’m sure, if I was harangued long enough, I could vaguely begin to understand why some folk find the licence fee and the BBC at least as morally wicked as torturing kittens, and that it and the NHS and Sweden are the true axis of evil, but I’ve never gone in for minding myself. Anyway, I now kindly allow you UK residents to fund the BBC for me while I’m away, which is awfully kind of you. But lest you Brits feel especially singled out, rest assured that here in the Bundesrepublik we also pay for the privilege of owning a TV, though I have no idea where this money goes and if it’s just a straightforward tax or goes to fund some channel or other.
But the BBC. The glorious BBC. Its place in my internal world grows ever more mythic with every new day I spend in exile. It’s like Big Ben, Stonehenge, cricket and spotted dick rolled into one. I don’t have access to its televisual efforts – well, I’ve got that BBC World thing – but the TV has long since been replaced by the wireless as my favourite inanimate and unimbibable source of entertainment. If you are happy, then I presume Radio 4 is already a great part of your life. If you are happy but don’t listen to Radio 4, then listen to it and you might well drop dead of happiness within minutes. If you are miserable, listen to Radio 4 and you will become happy. In a flash. It IS the perfect cure-all. Far from worrying that we have all become too atomised, virtualised and straightforwardly wicked, I think we’re not nearly atomised and virtualised enough. I think people should be housed in single-resident pods with a chute that delivers food and, far more importantly, 24-hour, high-speed internet access. I would advise folk to go to this page, click on Listen Live and then spend ALL DAY, from dawn till dusk, and dusk till dawn, if they can manage it, listening and having all their spiritual, intellectual and inspirational nourishment needs tended to.
So as I bumble and lumber through January as skillessly as usual, Radio 4 keeps me company and keeps me sane. I have seen B. confirm to RFM that Radio 4 is the best thing ever with the latter seconding the advice of posh folk from Vanity Fair that Radio 4 is well worth dropping in on. See? EVEN Californians and New Yorkers recommend it…
But a couple of more targeted links for you. Here’s what’s done it for me in the endless hours of spiritual, intellectual and actual darkness in the last week: first there was this today, an excellent half-hour programme about the closing of The Bow Street Magistrates Court. More characters than in an episode of Little Britain. A perfect range of accents for anyone wanting to do a PhD on social class and how the English speak. And a lifelong criminal of the type I thought existed solely in the minds of Jake Arnott and Eastenders scriptwriters. In a bonkers way, it made me glad to be from London. And glad to be alive. (And wonder – again – what the fuck I’m doing here.) Second, this comedy show, which nicely takes the piss out of us internet types. “A fast-paced new sketch show about modern communication, media noise and contemporary obsessions. It brings you deluded bloggers, home broadcasting, interactive soaps, celebrity kidnaps and e-mail scams,” goes the blurb. Made me titter. And continues a fine tradition of comedy on Radio 4. They rarely seem to get it wrong.
So thank you, licence-fee payers. Surely keeping Brits abroad happy is well worth other people’s money.