The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

If you’ve been affected by…

Birds of a b*****d feather….


I absolutely hate Birds of a Feather.  It’s ****.  Full Stop!


It was **** back in the Eighties and it’s equally **** now!


I was really gutted when they announced that they were bringing it back on account of the fact that it was really popular back then and that they’ve run out of ideas as how to entertain us now.


Anyhow there was nito on the TV last night so when Mrs Angry settled down to watch the box all that was on was (you’ve guessed it) Birds of A Feather.


Mrs Angry was watching it for exactly the same reason that we all watched it back in the Eighties, basically because there was **** all else on.  


Now it was hugely popular back then because basically people are lazy and there was only three (yes three) TV channels. Possibly four or five to the latter part of the eighties before Sky TV came along.  


Meaning that people only watched it back then because there was no other choice, not that it was any good.


It’s predictable, boring and not even funny and full of stereotypes.  


Yes, you’ve got the straight man/woman, the older promiscuous woman next door (mutton dressed as lamb) and of course the fat one that gets all of the best lines on account of the fact that she’s fat.


It’s a show that does ****all for women as it does’nt even show women in a good or truthful light.


We all know that fat people can’t be good looking, intelligent or creative and they are definitely not sexually attractive so what else can they be but funny right…   


If only…


It was gay best friends in sit coms that had to be funny and wildly dressed back in the eighties otherwise we wouldn’t like them.  


It worked though, no one cares if anyone is gay anymore!  Unless you’re an Archbishop in which case it’s an essential qualification!


Perhaps we should do this for suicide bombers.  I mean that would be awesome if they started showing up as wildly dressed, excitable, life loving, big characters in TV sitcoms as best friends to the main protagonist.


Can you imagine that.  


It’s Achmed and his lovable pink backpack..


‘Achmed,’ they all shout in the ‘Cheers’ like bar.


‘Hey Achmed, are you ever going to detonate that thing?’ says Sam the bar owner.


‘You will all die, infidels,’ replies Achmed hotly.


‘Come on now Achmed,  you’ve been saying that every week for five years and you’ve never had the guts to pull the string,’ says Woody the bartender.


‘Yeah,’ says Sam, “I’m beginning to think that you don’t really want all of them virgins..’


‘Perhaps he’s gay!’ says Norm one of two regular bar flies…


‘Yeah,’ says Earl (the other regular bar fly), ‘ I always wondered why that backpack was pink.  Did Carla give it to you when you tried to have sex with her?’


‘I heard that you cried all of the way through it,’ says Sam.


‘Sobbing like a nine year old girl,’ says Diane (Bar owners on and off girlfriend).


‘I’ll shove this stick of dynamite up your ****’, shouts Achmed.


‘Relax,’ says Woody, ‘I can sort you out a bloody rectum if you want one.’  (Tia Maria/Vodka/Grenadine).


‘You know it’s your favorite…’ drawls Woody.


‘You guys…’ says Achmed with a smile.  ‘You can all live another week…’


‘That’s the spirit,’ says Sam, ‘are you still going to watch the fashion show this weekend?’


Anyhow as I keep on saying I didn’t laugh once even though I wasn’t watching it and could only hear the insipid and lame dialogue from the next room where I was looking at cats faces on my computer, but what really got me wound up was this phrase at the end…


‘If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this program…’


One of the characters had been tested for cancer so of course everyone was acting worried in the most insincere way possible.  I mean that if you had friends like that in real life, they’d be ex-friends after their second cup of tea.


Anyhow at the end of the program some deep voiced announcer actually said ‘If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this program…’


That’s what gets me.


It’s supposed to be a comedy, not a social awareness program or an in depth study of the actual tragedy of cancer.


No one gives a ****, or should be moved if an imaginary character gets cancer in a tedious and unfunny so called comedy program.


But it’s that phrase…  


‘If you’ve been affected,’


It’s full of arrogance and only serves to stroke the programme maker’s ego.  It suggests that through the power of dialogue, scripting, acting and camera work that they somehow or other have a claim to your mind space.  Your mental domain!  


That somehow or other they can affect you and in doing so that they are superior to you and that you must therefore be their subordinate.  Know your place slave, because they can make you think anything they like.


When they can’t.


You can choose to let them in or choose to reject them and you should be really angry at their astounding arrogance.


Back in the eighties when Birds of a Feather first came out, the announcer would simply say at the end of some topical episode ‘If you’d like to know more about the issues raised in this program…’  


It’s a much better thing to say, but suddenly in the Nineties or thereabouts they started changing it to ‘If you’ve been affected’ instead.


It’s not true, where it is true is in movies like Philadelphia, not Birds of a ******* Feather…  


To be fair the script was epic in Philadelphia, the camera work and cinematography was epic too as indeed were the performances, Tom Hanks was incredible, not to mention the musical score (Bruce Springsteen).  That’s the type of truly epic production that does suck you in and make you want to know more.  


Yet at the end of the movie in the cinema, no announcer ever said, ‘If you’ve been affected by…’


There was no need to, you’d just witnessed art.


I know my own mind and dribble, diatribe and ham acting won’t make me give a rats arse about Cancer or cancer sufferers.


Now before you all get ticked off with me I donate money by direct debit every single month to Cancer Research.  Mrs Angry had cancer and survived it.  My old dog had cancer and didn’t.


It’s a killer.


And it’s a better reason to support Cancer research than Birds of a Feather.


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