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Jerry Springer – The Opera

January 9th, 2005 | No Comments | Categories: Uncategorized |

No, that’s not just a clever heading, it’s an actual show. For those of you outside the UK, it’s a stage play that’s been on in London’s West End for about two years, getting rave reviews and packed houses. The basic premise is it’s a satire on the Springer Show, that ends up with Jerry getting shot and going to hell.

The BBC filmed it, and showed in on TV on Saturday night, and what’s noteworthy about that is the volume of complaint from Christians, accusing the show (that 99% of them knew nothing about, and were quoting made-up figures for) of blasphemy and obscenity. One of the marvellously outlandish claims was that the show features ‘8000 swear-words’ – yeah, only if you multiply up each time the chorus sings one by the number of people in the chorus (27)… what bollocks.

So, anyway, the program drew the largest number of complaints ever for a BBC show, and not only did it draw complaints but there were demonstrations outside the BBC buildings around the country, with people burning their TV licences, and waving placards.

…and then people wonder why I’m reticent to talk about matters of faith, when I’m likely to be lumped in with people who do things like that.

What a moronic thing to complain about, what a disgusting waste of campaigning time and effort. What a feeble target. What a huge embarrasment to thinking people of faith the world over.

There are so many huge injustices in the world that christians should be complaining about, from unjust wars to unfair trade laws, third world debt to child prostitution, institutional racism in the police force to potentially rigged elections in so-called democratic countries. And these schmoes pick on a TV show. A marginal TV show, on the BBC’s ‘arts’ channel. A show that none of them had seen. A show about which they felt it neccesary to make up stats to back up their claims of it’s shock-value. Good God.

Why on earth can’t these same self-righteous moralising masses get of their lazy arses and complain about shit that really matters? God, I get so angry at stuff like this. I missed the show – why? cos I was volunteering in a homeless shelter. Does that make me Mr Worthy? Not at all, I do one night every other week for three months of the year, while the people who really deserve us to be supporting their protests are out changing people’s lives with little regard for their own safety and comfort.

I’m not suggesting everyone should like Jerry Springer The Opera, I’m not even saying it’s a bad thing to complain about. But at least watch it first!! And calling for the broadcast to be cancelled is madness. What kind of weird country are we living in?

Once again, the outcry against a marginal bit of art has turned it into a huge hit. The viewing figures for JSTO will almost certainly be over double what they would have been. The BBC news have had a field-day reporting on the complaints, flagging up the broadcast every hour or so on their news reports, making a huge deal out of it. The same thing happened with ‘The Last Temptation Of Christ’, which wasn’t even looking like getting a full cinema release until some overly zealous complainants got their teeth into a campaign and made it a box office smash.

Maybe I need to release an album with really disgusting titles to all my tunes and get organisations like Christian Voice to do my publicity for me? (for some reason this bunch of particularly zealous muppets ended up getting tonnes of airtime over the campaign… even amongst the people who protested, they were particularly odeous. Poor old God – with friends like these, who needs enemies?)

Please, please, please – channel your campaigning energy and righteous anger into things that are going to change the lives of those who have no power to change things for themselves. Support the Make Povery History Campaign, lobby parliment for trade justice, write to your MP about the rights of asylum seekers and the homeless in your borough, push for better recycling, start a soup run, volunteer with a charity overseas, send money to the relief effort in Asia, scream on the street corners about the tragedy of the Tamil communities that have been cut off from the aid that’s going to Sri Lanka. Anything, anything but whinging about TV shows.

So who’s up for joining my new Messianic Taoist group?

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