Stephen Volk Interviewed
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Author:  Andy [ Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Stephen Volk Interviewed

Andy Hedgecock talks to writer (and Black Static columnist) Steve Volk:

Hidden in the Marble

As you know, both Steve and Andy frequent this forum, so please feel free to continue the conversation here.

Author:  AndyHedge [ Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Volk i/v - comments from Ian Currie

Steve's comments on certain aspects of the media - celebrity in particular - led to an interesting response from my old mate Ian Currie (see next message). Ian is based on the Lancashire coast, his background is in psychology and he is particularly interested in ideas of well-being, positivity and challenging the human tendency to become "psychologically frozen in the glad ice" (as Tom Robbins puts it).

Anyway, here's what Ian had to say about what Steve had to say...

Author:  AndyHedge [ Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ian J Currie said:

"A very interesting read... agree completely with sentiments about frustration with media obsession of celebrity. What I find just as infuriating is the whole notion of 'celebrity' and the aspiration of so many people to become one - not because of some discernable talent or ability, but simply through being in the media. Something that feeds this situation I suspect is the inability of the media to be completely comfortable in its own skin(s)... ie what is the purpose/role/function of TV - is it a platform for entertainment, culture, news, art or as I'm sure it would argue, all of the above. So given this multiplicity of roles and functions, the boundaries between entertainment, education and information sharing become blurred (edutainment, entercation, edumation, infotainment...) Art becomes factual reportage, entertainment becomes life changing docutainment, news becomes voyeuristic wallpaper...

"....the possibilities are endless... and in this arena, the outlets (and inlets) for celeb potential are manifold - we can be foolish on stage (Britain's got Talent), we can be outrageous on camera (Big Brother, X Factor), we can shag someone famous and sell the story, we can shoot two members of the public and a policeman and hide out in a Northumbrian Village... whatever we do as long as the media shows an interest can give us an opportunity to become a celeb. If any of this adds up to a hill of beans, we must also look at why the media provide these opportunities... 24-7 airtime to fill on 100s of channels, cheap to make TV, lack of imagination, and an unfortunate public appetite for all of these things. TV that is a slave to ratings will by necessity only gravitate towards the lowest common denominator over time. People only know what they know, the familiar breeds familiarity...

"... there is comfort in familiarity (opiate of the masses?), I've said it before but a public service broadcaster I believe has a duty to offer challenge and minority interest material - not exclusively, but in part... this is the only way we are going to increase the menu of opportunity for writers and contributors and expand the smorgasbord of delights for the consumer... I'll get a tablet and go for a lie down now!"

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