Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's all the hooplah about?

Every morning we are woken up by some poor soul sliding a newspaper under our hotel room door. I say poor soul, because since I got stuck in the elevator it hasn't really been working, and none of the staff are using it anymore. And I say slide because that's what actually happens because the newspaper has a staggering 12 pages, and that is counting generously from the cover to the back.

On the front page there is always an inspirational note. Today's is by Oprah. She really is universal, and wants you to turn your wounds into wisdom. Is it just me, or does it seem like it actually might have been someone before Oprah, who brought up a similar point? Not challenging Oprah, wouldn't dare, just taking on the written media of Zambia, and raising the point as to whether someone actually researched this. Oh wait, they couldn't have because the internet would have crashed under too many hits, had I not already made it crash repeatedly by trying to comment on blogs. Naughty me.

But the written media is not the only media I feel like taking on today. We subscribe to satellite television, Dstv, and also get that here at the hotel. Without this service the channels on offer, both here and in South Africa although SA boasts a wider selection of channels, are eerily like the ones I used to watch growing up, back when Finland had 2 channels, both of which were government owned. There are quite a few nifty things one can do with the Dstv, but there is something that is impossible to change, and that is 'family language' as the default setting. At home we try to change it, but it always reverts back to the default, and at the hotel we don't even get to try. I think I have almost cracked the criteria of what the Dstv overlords consider as family appropriate. There are gaps on sound where there used to be words like god, jesus, christ, and lord. There is also silence every time someone on television says fuck or shit, or uses any of their derivatives. I learned today, however, that asshole is okay. I fail to see the logic in this, but I'm relieved to know the overlords are not infallible. There is fucking hope yet.

What isn't okay though is attempting to watch Kill Zone with the dialogue cut down to the family appropriate words. There are whole sequences of minutes where the skill of lip reading would be awesome to have mastered. Which I haven't. They can't just be repeating fuck for minutes, can they? I think the overlords are just getting lazy, and starting to work on the principle that if every third word has been deemed a word that will definitely lead a child to either commit mass murder or get pregnant at 14 (this is what hearing fuck does, correct?), the whole sequence can be cut. It is for the common good, hey?

Well, since I'm not able to understand what the H, E, double hockey sticks is going on with the depiction  of a dusty war in Iraq, I can at least immerse myself in the newspaper and its inordinately large Classified section. In the quiet, I can contemplate buying mining equipment, an ice cream machine, a plot in Chilenje, or a popcorn machine with 500 000 kwacha/ week profits guaranteed. I might not understand the television show, but I can get my own excavator.



Ali said...

How incredibly irritation of the TV! Doesn't the hotel know that their guests are not limited to families? JEEZ.

marathoner81 said...

I don't know if I could handle "family friendly" programming, that's just wrong on so many levels.

I have to admit, my eyes light up when I read that you could buy an ice cream maker. I fucking (just trying to fill your non-family friendly word quota) love homemade ice cream.

M.J. said...

So media sucks no matter which country you're in....

julochka said...

i think you should go for the popcorn machine. it'll give you something else to do while the webpages load. :-) and hey, extra cash for cocktails.

My name is Erin. said...

What the overlords are forgetting is that if they left the tv spouting swear words, they'd have something to blame (other than themselves) when their kid tells grandma to fok off.

Innerspace Yoga said...

Have never tweeted, but saw your comment to the right of this post regarding a woman eating a salad from the other table...."tablescore" in Deadhead parlance. But seriously, who the f eats off a stranger's salad with swine flu going around?!?! Again, and again, thanks for the laughs!-kel

Extranjera said...

Ali - I agree. And also, I wouldn't want the television deciding what my kids can or cannot hear. I don't care about a few fucks, they still show people being blown up on Kill Zone.

Marathoner - I have my heart set on that excavator (who wouldn't), but will look into the (industrial) ice cream machine, just for you. (if it's industrial, it the ice cream is no longer home made though?)

M.J. - Pretty much.

julochka - If 500 000 in a week is guaranteed, then that'll get me 5 bottles of wine from the hotel, and many more from the grocery store. Perspective!

Erin - Yup. Now they try and try, but just can't control the swear wave crushing the world.

Kelly - Saw her today at breakfast. She seemed to recognize me and left right away. I'm sure she is the new spittee, and I'm off the hook. Yey!