January 9th, 2008

Every century but this and every country but his own

The system works... I was just (in the bath) thinking that I vaguely wish we had emigrated at the point it would have been sensible (just after my Dad died), and what should appear as the one line ad at the top of my GMail box but an ad for an NZ government website (newzealandnow.info or something like that).

Listeners like you (or 'every country but his own' - number 2 in a continuing series)

My feeling is that the BBC coverage of the US presidential election is ludicrously bad. They are very far from grokking the fullness. To them the U.S. is Washington insider speaking to Washington insider or Louis Theroux grotesque territory. If you want radio coverage I recommend NPR. Whilst NPR is liberal intelligentsia radio it is a damn site more in tune with the country than the BBC. Hardly surprising, I know, since it is its country.
Actually, since Radio Bloke has gone so far down hill and Radio 4 remains smug, complacent and unlistenable to to me, I find Morning Edition and All Things Considered considerably better than the BBCs counterparts, both the ABC1 and C2DE editions.

Obviously we could never have something like NPR in this country, there is no tradition of giving money for that sort of thing. The American way is that you become rich by exploiting people, then give the money away, the British way is to climb up the greatandgoodocracy and get into a position where you can give away other people's money to your favourite causes and/or friends, preferably both obviously.

There are some annoying ticks with NPR, like the wibbly music played at random moments so the member stations can do weather / travel / local headlines, but I would rather live with this than Nicky Sodding Campbell etc.

In fact, I have come round to the view that the BBC I grew up with and supported is essentially dead, and now is the time to divvy the cash (taken from the general tax fund rather than the hypothecated regressive tax we know and love, and probably about half of the current amount) out to multiple organisations. Clearly there would be waste, backscratching and ludicrous boondoggles but I think that would be a lesser evil.