Sunday, 25 January 2009

People who complain

Rubbish, aren't they?

I'm being flippant, of course - the amount of complaining I've been doing on this blog is something I'm acutely aware of. Well, not complaining as such, more moaning. I'm pretty certain I haven't blamed anybody or anything but circumstance and my own decrepitude for the little problems I'm experiencing in my training. I could have, and should have, done a lot more over the years to keep myself in shape, and I'm paying for it now. It's not anybody else's doing.

The people who complain that I'm talking about, the rubbish ones, are that particular section of the public who throw up their arms in disgust and pious intolerance at what seems like the drop of a hat about things that either barely concern them or that they have no understanding of, but that they see as some kind of final straw, laid on the back of their particular put-upon donkey. Especially the ones who complain about other peoples' apparent undeserved good fortune.

The most obvious recent example of this foundless, jealousy-borne outrage is the pathetic hounding of Jonathan Ross, of course. (It turns out the word 'foundless' doesn't seem to exist. But I reckon it should. So.) Thousands of Daily Mail readers finding the most lazy outlet possible for their grievances - the mobile phone text or internet messageboard they are invited to contribute to in expression of their revulsion on a particular suggested hot topic - even without having heard/seen/read the transgression in question.

After the Andrew Sachs affair, and Ross's 3 month wage-free penance, there must have been (as Ross himself suggested) thousands of meretritious misery-magpies with pencils in one hand and the rewind button in the other, aurally squinting at every word out of the poor bloke's mouth, convinced he would very soon utter something unforgivable and then... Then they'd do what they knew they had to do, what they have been directed to do, and report him to Sir with much alacrity.

On his radio show he made a massively innocuous joke in response to his producer plainly extemporising on his experiences in his villa garden in Spain, to do with being 'grabbed' by an 80 year old woman in a frisky manner. Ross said this ""Eighty, oh God! I think you should, just for charity. Give her one last night, will you? One last night before the grave. Would it kill you?" 

Amazingly, no-one complained. They hadn't been told to yet, of course. The News of the World naturally is setting about righting this. It won't be long. And most of the complaints will focus on the license fee and how 'they' are being forced to pay an outrageous salary to this talentless, puerile, salacious oik, and isn't that disgusting? Down with the BBC! Sack Ross! And then burn his house down! He's a murderer! He is public enemy number one!

Only he's not. There's millions of people who love him, and they're not just teenage boys. More people watch him and listen to him than watch and listen to 50% of all the other shows on the BBC put together. He's perhaps the most popular man on TV today. This may explain the revulsion. 30,000 people complained, simply by texting '666' or something to a number which hogged the front page of the Mail for a few days, knocking the oncoming recession and the troubles in the Middle East and all the other really shitty stuff onto those pages of a newspaper that you can't see unless you buy it and open it and look at it. It's a shame no other paper came up with an opposite campaign along the lines of "If you read this transcript of 2 grown men being silly and childish and think to yourself 'well, I never heard it in the first place and really it's not my business anyway and also I couldn't give a toss' please text SO WHAT? to blah blah". I'm thinking they'd have got a lot more than 30,000 responses - as long as people could be bothered over something so trivial.

Anyway, I've wound myself up now, and I've been typing for ages.

I went for a 3 mile run Friday and it nearly killed me. It didn't though. Things are looking up.

(I've got new running shoes, by the way. And they're brilliant. Very shiny, too. I hope it doesn't rain too much over the next few months, I'd hate to get them dirty.)