My first memory of a television programme was Andy Pandy. I remember sitting in awe as the marionette, the rag doll and the teddy performed inside our tiny black and white television as I innocently took on the more literal tone of Watching with Mother. I used to love the Flower Pot Men, Camberwick Green, Chigley, Trumpton, Clangers, Magic Roundabout, Dr Who (John Pertwee and the maggots that squirted the Green Death), Blue Peter, Benny Hill, Captain “Suffering seagulls” Pugwash. Halcyon days growing up with the UK’s most definitive children’s entertainment service from the good old Beeb.
In later years I watched Only Fools and Horses with my family in the evening, Tenko, The Young Ones, Blake’s 7, Fawlty Towers, Not the Nine O’clock News, Secret Army, To the Manor Born, Butterflies, Tomorrow’s World (quite fancied Judith Hann), Vision On, When the Boat Comes In, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Bergerac, University Challenge (only getting the odd Science question right)
As time moved quietly on, I found myself watching fewer programmes in the evening and spending more time with work and an increasingly busy social life. Maybe it was spending so much time in front of a computer screen all day that put me off staring at another screen in solitary. Maybe it was my love of another form of entertainment that had replaced old Auntie – online computer games. Eventually I was down to one television programme a week and rather than being a slave to their live scheduling, I was free to watch the programme when it was convenient to me, thanks to the growth of the new catch-up services. I also found I could watch programmes on my laptop whilst on the train, making use of time that was normally spent staring out of the window or contriving plans of fantasy that involved silencing irritating commuters.
“The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.” – Morpheus, The Matrix
It took one small incident to completely change my whole view of the reality created by the authoritative MSM.
I was working for an oil company in the UK on a new bitumen fuel – we had a slight plant upset sending a cloud of particulates into the air. Nothing major, it was a small scale power plant. That day I watched the local news and was horrified at the sheer extent of the lies and disinformation from the presenter. Here I was working at the plant itself and knew all the facts and here was the broadcaster of virtue disseminating absolute lies to the nation. The local newspaper was no different, the exact same lies were printed.
As time went on I became aware of how much of a disconnect there was between reality and the MSM constructed artificial reality and it became obvious it was all deliberately engineered that way.
I remember running my own business and being appalled at seeing Gordon Brown giving one of his speeches on supporting small businesses, while looking at my accounts at the same time, seething at the increased tax bill I had just received.
Having spent almost twenty years flying recreationally on twin engine aircraft, I was constantly mortified as the MSM time and time again poured out their falsehoods when it came to any newsworthy account of aviation news.
I used to think, like many people, that by having a television in your house meant you had to have a TV Licence. I remember reading on a blog where someone had said this wasn’t true, and you only need a TV Licence if you watch live broadcast. I went to the TV Licensing website and there it was:
“When don’t I need a TV Licence?
If you never watch or record live TV, you don’t need a TV Licence.”
Well, here was my chance. I had become angry at the obvious politically biased output from the MSM, especially the truly insidious BBC – it’s more propaganda than actual news – and I rarely watched live broadcast. I also spent more time watching streamed content on devices other than my SmartTV and the whole house was networked so I could view any content in any room.
One phone call to TV Licensing to cancel my direct debit later and suddenly I was £145.50 a year better off. No questions asked either.
However, that’s when the fun began.