Friday, 13 March 2015

bottom gear

I've been watching the situation around that alleged fracas caused by the television presenter who reportedly used extensive vitriolic language and blows with his producer over no steaks in the hotel restaurant at 9.30pm.

Hundreds of thousands seem to be rallying around the presenter, although I disagree.

Like others who get a certain leverage from their position, he is now living on the power he has been gifted on behalf of the rest of us. He enjoys a privileged role as clown entertainer and has used it to make comments that in most organisational settings would be considered inappropriate.

There's plenty of lower level cheap shots too about slowing down to 70 mph on a motorway to pick up a bus wifi signal, of aiming vehicles at cyclists as well as the oft-quoted examples about lorry drivers, Mexicans and other nationalities.

I don't see it as clever, more as bullying. An apparently untouchable and disagreeable dinosaur who happens to be able to drive fast cars around a track and make their tyres smoke.

Apparently he doesn't work directly on the BBC payroll, having his own sage special arrangement which also includes profit sharing of the syndication rights. Nice work if you can get it although I assume he's found an advantage to moving elsewhere in any case.

There's a couple of other presenters in the show who emulate the behaviour in a toned-down sort of manner, so long as they kowtow to their leader. It's all very smug and elitist in a blokey sort of way. "Shall we race the Ferrari against the McLaren and the Porsche?"/"Let's do something stupid with normal cars to show how pathetic they are compared to a Bugatti Veyron". Even the one who makes other television programmes about toys has owned a plane with a cockily personalised registration, so they are all doing okay, thank you very much.

The whole programme is shot in lovely supersaturated colours with cracking soundtracks. The production values make all of it look like a scene from Hollywood, rather than a rainy airstrip. Maybe the bullied producer has something to do with making it look good as well as fetching the sandwiches?

Some people are saying that the lead presenter has made the show what it is. That's a great reason to ask him and perhaps the rest of the presentation team to step aside. Let some different folk take over and reboot what has become a tired and repetitive format.

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