Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Today Tonight is Stupid Full Stop.

Tonight I had the misfortune of viewing channel 7's Today Tonight. Somewhere I can hear a child in rural Western Australia gasp, but why? Honestly, I have no excuse other than I am sick. So before this post progresses any further, lets make one thing very clear- I would rather have my hands set alight and run over by a series of vehicles deemed heavy weight than endure another episode. The prospect of enduring another episode outside of my sick induced stupidity doesn't really appeal to me. It is defiantly up there with reading Jodi Picoult. 

Over a period of half an hour, I could feel myself loosing multiple braincells.  Today Tonight's just as uneducated twin sister, channel 9's A Current Affair is reportedly the most complained about aired program on Australian Television. Last year my year 11 English studies forced me to analyse how the particular stories aired by both programs breech of the Journalist Code of Ethics. It was such a waste of my time; any educated half wit can see that every single segment aired is either blatant propaganda of the network or breeching the code of ethics.  The kind of stories both programs air contain frequent propaganda, obvious bias and racism. Tonight's Today Tonight provided some hard hitting investigate journalism: a recap of the Voice and other reality television shows as well as a bias investigation into asylum seekers. 

The story Destination Australia literally left my mouth ajar as it allowed personal beliefs to dictate the direction of the story, failed to use fair means to obtain the story and failed to respect personal privacy- but what else did I expect? It did get me wondering whether programs like Today Tonight and A Current Affair only use news values like predictability to develop a leading story like, Destination Australia. 
Today Tonight and A Current Affair are low points in Australian journalism. Vogue held a forum (linked below) titled, Today Tonight is Stupid Full Stop. This basically sums up my sentiments with the program. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: A Review

An admission: I have an addictive personality. I form highly inappropriate addictions which I find hard to give up. Don't stress, I don't plan on becoming a smoker anytime soon. This mainly because I am already a chronic asthmatic. My latest addiction has been my Friday nights with the  ABC's  Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Folks, please, try to contain to jealously you hold towards my outrageous social life.

A fierce flapper detective from 1928 Melbourne has fulfilled my deranged pleasure of watching murder mysteries. Miss Phryne Fisher has seduced her way into my weekly Friday night viewing for the past seven weeks  as the ABC aired Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Based upon Greenwood's novels which were first published in 1989, the series made the leap to television this year. 
I have religiously been following Miss Fisher as she hungered to discover the fate of her kidnapped sister, Janey. Her character is simple and outrageously fun as she breaks hearts and outwits the dumb-ass police force. The most appealing aspect of the series was the sense of fun which prevailed through the hardship Miss Fisher experiences. Miss Fisher and other characters are engaging and regularly have 'fun' moments which  the setting  of the late 1920's permits. This fun vibe and intriguing  storyline made me yearn to spend my past seven Friday nights in the company of Miss Fisher and friends as I wanted to see how underlying storyline unfolded. I will be the first to acknowledge that a couple of episodes (in particular the first couple) became a bit of a drag.  However, the final episode aired last night didn't disappoint as it integrated suspense and drama as viewers discovered the fate of Miss Fisher's younger sister. I highly recommend for any fans of Agatha Christie's or Midsummer Murders. 4.5/5 stars. 
So being a book nerd, I was traumatised to discover that I had viewed the series without reading the books. However, in my defence I legitimately was unaware of their existence. I have however recently acquired the first book in the series and plan to inhale the remaining seventeen books when I my schedule permits. It is my understanding that the episodes are based on the novels and the order of episodes is a reflection of the order of publication. My expectations are high for the novels as the series transferred well onto television. 
With the series sadly over,I refuse to go cold turkey on my addiction. I will tackily finish this post by saying I must leave, I have a novel to get high on....

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Jodi Picoult is My Literary Nemesis

An admission: I hate, hate Jodi Picoult. I just thought I would repeat it and underline it in order to get my point across. Avid readers of Picoult may want to cease reading this post, as the following content will be highly offensive. 

In my highly qualified and usually correct (well at least usually correct) opinion, Picoult's works are pure literary evil. A study of ethics at school forced my reluctant self to read My Sister's Keeper; an entire day which I will never get back. Reading the novel was like weaving barbed wire tightly around my ankles while I slammed my face (at great speed) into a brick wall. Not a very pleasant experience to say the least. I will not ever subject myself to another of her works unless I am lying on my death bed and wish to hasten the experience.  

My open disdain was something that gradually developed as I progressed through the book. Initial hate emerged when I noted the variety of fonts used. Utilising five fonts to highlight the point of view for each character is disjointed and visually tacky. The continual shifts were unnecessary and the flashbacks were always pointless. Everything about this novel (and I assume Picoult's other trash) I found profoundly irritating.

While morally provocative issues like the rights of a child and extraordinary and euthanasia are fascinating, Picoult handles it poorly. The end of the novel is a let down. It was irritating that while Picoult wanted to explore ethical issues and pose ethical questions throughout the novel, she refused to draw any conclusions. A novel regarding the ethics of life should at the very least attempt to steer the moral debate in one direction or another. 

0.1/5 stars.

I tend to ramble, so let me underline it for you: Do humanity (and the world of literature) a favour and leave My Sister's Keeper  on the shelf alongside Picoult's similarly formulated uneducated literature  crap