Monday, October 03, 2005

HOT NEWS! (Maybe)

It is a hot news day. Apart from the Bali Bombing and its aftermath, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has settled its labour dispute and we will shortly return to mediocre programs, many involving the comely, giggly and ever fawning Shelagh Rogers or the dreadfully creepy and vaguely obnoxious Tetsuro Shigematsu. As for CBC TV, who cares.

Public broadcasting is in the process of reinvention. The BBC in the UK is placing all of its TV content on the internet, both in real time and archive. It already makes all radio programming available in real time, and many programs are archived.

The BBC is also a co-investor in manyspecialtyy commercial channels using its BBC Enterprises (and independent, for profit arm of the BBC) as the route to this. The BBC has thus become, as a part owner, the largest single route for ad placement on British television.

It is still the case that individuals who watch TV in the UK must purchase a television license - $23 a month for a colour license ($275 a year). It is still possible, by the way, to buy a black and white TV license, though I am not sure where on earth you would find a TV set that did not have colour. The black and white TV license fee is $95. Blind people get a 50% discount, but only if they buy the colour license (go figure!). Those over 75 years of age get their TV viewing for free. What this does is provide a direct connection between the viewing family and the provider of their public broadcasting service, since the BBC is the only recipient of license fee revenue.

Some people will go to great lengths to avoid paying this fee. My Auntie Nellie (now no longer with us, sadly) used yo hide her TV set in the oven (using the grill as an ariel) and sit by the kitchen door to watch TV. If anyone knocked on the door, she'd kick the oven door shut before answering. When she was inspected for a TV, they could hear one but couldnt find it. She simply told them that the walls were very thin due to age (they were around 16 inches thick in fact). Anyway, she never paid.

But the big news headline was in a Le Mesa (California) newspaper. Get this: CONCEALED WEAPON CHARGES AGAINST NUDE DANCER. Tough job being a cop in California.

Also, a court report had this exchange:

Lawyer: What is your brother in law's first name?

Witness: I can't remember.

Lawyer: He has been your brother in law for over fifteen years and you can't remember his first name?

Witness: No, I am too excited (gets up from chair and points to brother in law) Natahan! For God's sake, tell them your first name!!

Ah, the mystery of real people's interactions.

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