This morning started badly. So did yesterday morning. I’m never at my best prior to midday, and certainly not before I’ve had my daily dose of morning ‘Britishness’, in the form of thirty minutes of sanity delivered via the BBC World News from London.
Unfortunately, it’s something of a hit and miss affair. Our local PBS station, ‘WILL’, is run from Mister Millikin’s university. Sadly, Mister Millikin has been dead for God knows how many years and it seems whatever he bequeathed to the university wasn’t sufficient to cover the cost of operating a modern TV station. As a result, it’s always a gamble whether they manage to capture the BBC signal as the satellite whizzes overhead. Rumor has it, a little man with a safety helmet climbs the university flagpole every morning at 4.55, waving a long metal aerial until someone on the ground shouts, “That’s it! Hold it there!”
Yesterday morning I awoke as usual, made my tea and toast, then settled back to immerse myself in the delicate and genteel tones of the BBC news anchor. What I got was thirty minutes of a kid’s cartoon, consisting of half a dozen belligerent little brats and a dragon, all yelling at each other.
Obviously, there was no-one available to climb the flagpole that morning.
Today, history repeated itself. Once again, I was forced to suffer the agony of brats yelling and shrieking in the name of kindergarten entertainment. A caption revealed this “educational program” was paid for by a grant from the federal government.
If I was content to watch the American news media, CNN or FNC, it really wouldn’t matter. In fact, it’s unlikely CNN or Fox News viewers would notice any difference if their programming was suddenly replaced by a cartoon featuring screaming brats. All would appear normal. But, frankly, I’m not prepared to suffer the in-your-face, “we-have-ways-of-giving-you-an-instant-headache,” US media at five in the morning, and when I have to, due to ‘WILL’ not functioning as it should, it’s guaranteed to leave me in a very bad mood for the rest of the day.
It wouldn’t be so bad if they’d just inform the viewer as to what’s happening. A simple banner floating across the screen: “Sorry, no BBC News. Our man fell off the flagpole” would suffice. But, no. I’m left wondering if it’s going to start late, eventually, or not at all. Consequently, one keeps enduring the screaming brats in the vain hope they’ll eventually disappear and be replaced with Michael Buerk, Fiona Bruce, or anyone who speaks English English, and doesn’t scream.
And that’s why, despite their monthly pleas for pledges and contributions, I refuse to dig in my pocket and support the channel financially. It’s not because they couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery, let alone a TV station, it’s because they don’t have the common decency and good manners to inform their viewers when a program is unable to be broadcast.
I’m sorry, but at five o’clock in the morning, that’s definitely not British.
Filed under: Dashed poor show