Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Potty-mouthed Amstell turning kids into foul-mouthed rudesters

Why are kids today so bloody rude? You might think of putting the blame on the people who are paid money to teach them, but teachers have decided that they don't fancy carrying the can for this one. Instead, they put the blame on, erm, Never Mind The Buzzcocks:

Pupils are increasingly using sexist and offensive language, making comments about classmates' sizes or the perceived sexuality of a teacher, Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, told the union's annual conference in Manchester yesterday.

He said that quiz shows such as Never Mind the Buzzcocks and They Think It's All Over fuelled the casual use of bad language. "Programme makers and celebrities need to reflect on what's taking place," he said. "Too much cruel behaviour can be seen on television programmes."

Well, perhaps.

Although singling out Buzzcocks rather than, say, Heat magazine or the Daily Mail seems a little strange.

Although you might wonder if - since Buzzcocks sits on the watershed-side of the schedule - the problem is less about what is happening on television programmes aimed at adults, and more at why parents are allowing their kids to watch such programmes. And if older children are watching the shows, then surely by then they should be able to understand the rules whereby 'real life' isn't like 'a game show presented by Simon Amstell' - and if they can't... well, that would be back to the people who should be teaching them the skills to tell the difference, wouldn't it?


5 comments:

Codepope said...

What gets me is the selection of "They Think It's All Over", a show which finished it's run in 2006. Finger on the pulse these teachers.

Mikey said...

"Although you might wonder if - since Buzzcocks sits on the watershed-side of the schedule - the problem is less about what is happening on television programmes aimed at adults, and more at why parents are allowing their kids to watch such programmes. And if older children are watching the shows, then surely by then they should be able to understand the rules whereby 'real life' isn't like 'a game show presented by Simon Amstell' - and if they can't... well, that would be back to the people who should be teaching them the skills to tell the difference, wouldn't it?"

Entirely correct. I would have liked to have posted something along these lines under this story but your last paragraph sums up my views more elegantly & succinctly than I ever could.

James said...

Having watched Buzzcocks on and off for several years, I can't help but think they're late with this statement. Their description of the show as a basic insult-fest might have fitted four years ago when Lamarr was host, bellowing his autocued death-threats at Geri Halliwell each week, but Amstell's style is far more subtle. His put-downs are inspired off-the-cuff remarks in response to something someone's said (Fiona Phillips: "This doesn't happen on GMTV!" Simon: "Nothing happens on GMTV!"). And I can't think of a time when he's been reduced to making a joke about someone's "size or the perceived sexuality". He's waaay better than that.

Crumbs, this is the biggest sign yet that Big Brother is in trouble; It comes to something when it can't even be blamed for corrupting the nation's youth any more.

Hang on, isn't the average Shakespeare play laden with insults (so much so that people have written whole minature point-of-sale £3.99 books full of them)? Will the NUT be calling on them to be toned down too?

Anonymous said...

They repeated an episode of NMTB the other day on Dave (yes) with Mark Lamarr presenting and Simon Amstell as a guest. Bloody weird it was.

Amstell proved just how wonderfully charismatic and witty he can be without a script: clearly bored, uncomfortable and near-silent throughout.

Ben.H said...

That's right anonymous, because the panellists never, ever have written responses prepared for them in advance on these comedy quiz shows, just the hosts.

If I found myself sitting near Lamarr I'd be bored, uncomfortable and near-silent too.

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