Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Get off the air

The grey skies present when I look out the window in the morning point squarely to one thing: Summer is gone; Autumn is here. Autumn has also brought along some other As with it. 1) Another series of The Apprentice 2) Another chance for Britain to collectively embarrass itself fawning over an old man behaving like a curmudgeonly wank-shot.

Firstly, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that Lord Sugar has done a commendable amount of charity work over the years, and his determination to rise above his humble beginnings is admirable. This article is by no means meant to be a character assassination of Alan Sugar, but nevertheless, it is hard to sit back and accept the national obsession with The Apprentice which rolls around every year. The format basically involves Lord Sugar and two sycophants of his choosing setting a task each week for the contestants (15 initially, one is eliminated each week until the final) to perform to the best of their ability, then abusively criticise and humiliate the contestants when they return to explain how they got on. The fact that the contestants are usually such an obnoxious bunch of morons that it is tempting to say this is the least they deserve is still not quite enough to justify the hard-nosed-businessman- pornography that follows.

Each week Lord Sugar displays aggression, bullying, extreme competitiveness, lack of human empathy and just plain rudeness. You know, all of the kinds of unattractive human traits which parents and schools generally discourage. Obviously when a rich man on the television behaves appallingly, the moral implications are swept aside by the giddy thrill of entertainment we all crave.

Consider how you would feel if the boss of your workplace treated you the way Lord Sugar does the contestants on The Apprentice? You would, almost certainly, be angry, upset, or both. And with good reason. Behaviour like Sugar’s on the apprentice should be unacceptable in any civilised society, not held up for adulation by entertainment journalists blushing like schoolgirls at the thought of our straight-talking hero in a sharp suit. Movies and video games (especially video games) are constantly criticised for being too violent, too sexualised, too exciting…etc etc. The defence that they are all fantasy, and strictly censored so as not to fall into the hands of children young enough to be damaged by them, never holds much weight with Britain’s self-appointed mortal arbiters. It is a curious irony then, that a reality tv show can go out at prime time and set a terrible example of how to behave in real life as long as there ain’t a bare nipple or bullet in sight.


  1. You'd make a terrible apprentice!

  2. God article, Cherry Ghost. I'd like to go undercover in his office and then have him prosecuted for bullying and intimidation.

    "It is a curious irony then, that a reality tv show can go out at prime time and set a terrible example of how to behave in real life as long as there ain’t a bare nipple or bullet in sight."

    I think Sir Alan Crap Computers once chaired a meeting on the show stripped to the waist... But, you're right, the humiliations so common on reality TV are much worse than violence or nudity in films and games because it's presented as part of real life.

    Did I tell how I was bullied in Ye Olde Mitre in Hatton Garden by business god Sir Terry Leahy, who was amusingly blocking my way to the loo while youngish suits not unlike the exceptional individuals on The Apprentice toadishly guffawed?

    If, I didn't, I just did.

    The thing I don't get about The Apprentice is that, okay, there's some car crash amusement, but so what? I mean, it just gets boring after five minutes.

    "an old man behaving like a curmudgeonly wank-shot"

    Does this mean his cumface, or is he the object of the wank-shot? If so, I'm not surprised he's curmugeonly!

    My cumface is like the expression people have when they've dashed onto the platform only to see the train pulling out of the station.

    Am I allowed to say cumface?


  3. By "God article". I meant good or great article. Because, as we know, God is Great!

    (I wonder if that phrase will alert the spooks?)