Reality bites?

Got home tonight, poured myself a glass of the delightful Fendant wine I brought back from Switzerland earlier this year (you can’t buy it here, it’s a travesty), and settled down for an indulgent flick through the TV channels before dinner. Whilst hopping I passed what looked like the final of ‘Big Brother’ on Channel 4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that this is the last series. So this would maker tonight’s programme, what, the last episode ever, right?

Let me be clear. I loathe reality shows. I can’t even tell you why, because I never watch them. So I may be missing something shatteringly important. But of course I’m not. What I think I’m missing, unless something has radically changed, is the endless parade of vacuous, talentless scroungers trying to grab their moment of fame. What could possibly be entertaining about such an embarrassment? And ‘Big Brother’ pioneered this tripe.

Normally I wouldn’t care less, simply ignoring the show. But if it is really is the final episode (and I’m not sure it is), then this represents something of a coup for the suffering silent minority, the traditionalists of television, the people who want their intelligent documentaries and the mantra to ‘educate, entertain and inform’ written in stone above their TV sets. I would not yet dare to dream that it is the beginning of the end for reality TV. But it is a glimmer of hope, a start, a little acorn in the battle back to moral decency and self-respect.


Sunday satisfaction

It might sound like a cliche, but there genuinely are some days when one is glad to be alive. Today feels like one of them.

I’m high in the Chiltern Hills, a mug of tea by my side and a paper in my lap. If I look up from it I can see the hills rolling away to Henley and beyond, framed by a deep, bright blue sky and the welcome re-emergence of butterflies seizing an unexpectedly warm breeze. The dog doesn’t much like the heat but she looks as relaxed as I feel, spread out on the shady lawn. Earlier I spent half an hour walking the fields, and another half casually photographing birds opportunistically feasting on grain from the terrace. It’s a sleepy kind of a day, and it’s rather wonderful.

IBMazing illustrations

A colleague of mine came across this campaign for IBM. I love this illustrative technique to convey the campaign idea of collaborative solutions; it’s clever enough to impress, simple enough to entertain, and impactful enough to understand.

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