Junk Food … The New Smoking?

28 11 2008

I came across this while going through some online news articles.

It’s a news article that is talking about the activists in Australia who are pushing to extend the ban on when junk food companies can advertise on TV to children.

The ban is currently 4pm – 5pm but they want it extended to cover the 6pm – 9pm slot, which they argue has thousands more children watching and thus is more effective.

It should also be noted that junk food doesn’t include McDonalds, KFC, Hungry Jacks and other fast food outlets.

All I have to say is…

What … the … heck!

I have to say now that I have always had a soft spot for chocolate and chips … even some biscuits or cookies …

But what the heck is with banning the advertising of these products on TV?

Apart from the obvious arguments about Freedom of choice …

When did Junk Food become the new smoking?

Isn’t this how it started with smoking?

First they weren’t allowed to advertise on TV.

Then they weren’t allowed to show people smoking in TV shows or movies anymore?

Then they put whopping great big pictures and skull and cross-bones on the packs …

And fun little tidbits like “Smoking Causes Lung Cancer”

Now they have doctors carving up a heart full of cigarette tar on national TV …

An ad I personally detest, especially because I am NOT a smoker.

Finally, with the banning of smoking cigarettes in many public places.

Is this how it’s going to be with Junk Food?

Is this the slippery slope so to speak?

Am I going to be eventually paying three times as much for my block of cadbury’s chocolate while reading labels on the front that say “Eating Chocolate causes Diabetes”

What … the … heck???

At some point, when enjoying a nice meal with my friends, am I going to have to sneak outside to get my chocolate fix because people aren’t allowed to see people eating Junk Food in case it gives them ideas???

Look I have to say that it was all okay when smoking was the evil villain …

But Junk Food?

Has anyone even considered the other things that can lead to obesity just as much as a simple chocolate bar …

The TV remote control … in fact everything remote controlled so you never have to leave your couch …

In fact, really comfy couches that you never want to leave …

How about … desk jobs!

Yeah, that’s right … I said it!

Why not make those poor bastards go for a walk for an hour a day and pay them for it rather than taking their Junk Food away!

And here’s the kicker …

What about Motor Vehicles of any kind …

Allowing us to sit on our big fat behinds, while eating our chocolate bars and slamming down a few fries, while only turning the steering wheel because the car has cruise control and alarms that tell you if you will run into something.

What about Television!

Ha … try to take away my advertisements …

Well I’m taking away your Television – no need to advertise anything now!!

Ha!

Look, back in the eighties when they got worried about obesity levels, they launched an advertising campaign!

Remember, “Life be in it”

Hell we all do ..

It was an annoying campaign …

But at least they didn’t try and take away our Junk Food or our rights to decide for ourselves if we want to eat it!

Try and take my chocolate away Australia …

Just try!

This!

Means …

WAR!!!!

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Frustrated with Australia’s Olympic Coverage

14 08 2008

Okay this has been bothering me for a few days now and I feel I have to voice it, maybe there are people out there as frustrated as I am. Then again maybe there aren’t and those that read this will have to put up with another one of my rants. I’ll leave it up to the readers to be the judge.

I should preface my comments here by saying two things. Firstly, that due to my bung leg at the moment I planned to sit back and watch as much Olympics as possible. Secondly, I think the advent of such fantastic technology in the world has made me spoiled. I realise that I am one of the generation with a terribly low attention span who expects everything to arrive at my doorstep immediately. I also think that fantastic technology means that I am used to having more control.

What I want is more control over my olympic coverage. That’s right I want Olympics on Demand! I mean think about it, wouldn’t it be nice instead of watching the endless repeats of the one gold medal Australia managed to win for that day to go through a list of options and decide what else you might like to view.  Wouldn’t it be great to tap into the coverage at the source and watch which events you want to watch at that point in time. Also wouldn’t it be fantastic to pause, fast forward, rewind and add your own slow motion replay, and before you ask this IS NOT a Tivo advertisement I’m writing here as I believe that Tivo relies on what the Australian channels broadcast. I’m talking more about the coverage of events that aren’t shown at all or in their entirety, including things that Australia is competing in but we aren’t a hope for a medal so they don’t show it all like the men’s archery the other day. They may have shown it the one time but there have been no repeats and no copies of it on the Yahoo 7 website … I guess I should check out the SBS website it was probably on their channel.

I think the reason this appeals to me so much is that the Australian media coverage of the Olympics is frustrating me so much this year. I don’t know if they have always covered the Olympics in this manner every other year and I just never noticed or whether they are worse this year, either option is possible.

Here’s a list of things that are getting to me about the Olympic Coverage this year. 

  • Commercial breaks being inserted in the most frustrating situations; especially when a game is being broadcast live and then suddenly you’ve missed the other team scoring three points … I mean three points!
  • Many of the rowing events seem to be broadcast well after they have started, so you just come into the event and you have the last 250 metres or something short at the end of the race and by the time I worked out where Australia was on the screen all the teams had crossed the line.
  • Replays that have big sections cut out because someone else decided it wouldn’t affect the outcome. One such glaring omission was in a highlight I was viewing on the yahoo 7 website of the Womens 400m Individual Swimming Medley where one second you are viewing the breast stroke and they are halfway down the pool facing one direction and suddenly BAM they are doing freestyle, facing the opposite direction and about to hit the wall.  
  • Annoying close ups when you don’t want them! Gah! Especially when you want to see the wider shot to see, oh I don’t know, where the teams are positioned in a race (shock horror)
  • How about settling in to watch the Olympics in the afternoon of Day 1 to fnd out that there are no Olympics being broadcast but only the AFL football. At least SBS was showing the Men’s road race, which Australia was competing in and we had a chance at a medal.
  • Not enough signage for dumb people like me. I’m terrible at listening to what I’m watching and I have often forgotten whether or not I’m watching a heat, semi-final or final.
  • Has anyone noticed that Channel 7 refuses to put up a medal tally most of the time so as to force you to look at the one on their website. I’m sure I remember previous Olympics where they used to update the medal tally after EVERY win and you’d see it on TV every hour at least.
  • Switching from a live game, where the score is in contention (the last two women’s basketball games come to mind) to see a REPEAT (yes a repeat) of a swimming final that has already been replayed three times in that day.
  • Only being able to view Australia compete and one or two of the competitors (K-1 and C-1 Slalom stuff) and then seeing the leaderboard and not being able to see the rest of the competition. There’s no build-up, no excitement.
  • Not seeing the Leaderboard shown enough for dumb people like me that can’t remember where the teams are up to after a new team competes. For example the Mens synchronised spring board diving I didn’t see the leaderboard come up between each round at all. Typically Australia wasn’t doing well but I had no idea what position they were in, it was so frustrating.
  • Having teams not show up for swimming heats, or last night New Zealand were disqualified for an event and the commentators didn’t even notice a whole lane with no swimmers in it, let alone give a reason for the disqualification. They didn’t even comment that anyone was missing!

The Olympics is the only real sporting event that I watch at all, let alone this closely. I would imagine these are issues that probably annoy audiences world wide about any sport. Also, come to think of it this is probably the same whinge that many people have about the Olympics coverage every four years. But perhaps this Olympics is worse than normal or is it just that because I am not working I have more viewing time to notice the things the networks always do every Olympics?

Before I have to print any kind of apology to either Channel 7 or SBS, I’d like to say that I understand where the channels are coming from. They are here to make money and if they have to truncate some stuff to be able to fit in the advertisements of their sponsors due to contractual obligations then all power to them. Why they insist on showing these little getting to know you segments about China when there are other more interesting events that could be broadcast I don’t know. In fact, why they felt the need to waste valuabe event airing time by airing Today Tonight I will never understand but hey, maybe the hosts needed a dinner break? Or even the Olympians have a dinner break then? Okay it is just my particular dislike and disrespect of that program.

I mean wouldn’t it be great if we could choose to pay a certain amount to be able to get Olympics on demand and choose what we want to watch. I mean they could place advertisements into it (TV channels would never go for it if I took away their money making power), either at the beginning or if things were recorded ads could be inserted without the need to miss important parts of the coverage. I am sure that everyone is interested in different events and maybe there are more people than just me that are interested in watching other countries compete and seeing what the competition has to offer rather than simply seeing the final eight contestants for anything?

Essentially, wouldn’t it be great to be your own TV station? I’d pay for the privilege of course and Channel 7 could still have their free to air coverage, but I could go through a list of events that the Chinese are taping and pick and choose what I want to see and what I want to tape for later. Wouldn’t that be a great way for the TV networks to cater to everyones preferences and would stop us all whinging because we are tired of others taking control and still not showing us even a fraction of what we want to see. No doubt this solution would probably show me why the TV channels have it so tough in trying to get all of the coverage onto our screens.

Surely, the technology is available to achieve this by the next Olympics?





My Weekly Rant: The American Invasion

22 07 2008

This morning while I had the TV on in the background I saw the advertisement for the new McAmerican Bagel at McDonalds. I should also add that I don’t usually watch TV but I am still waiting for my internet to get connected … so the idiot box was looking pretty good … for a moment.

All I have to say to this is what the heck? I mean which marketing genius thought this up? Who in their right mind would order anything with American in the title? Fair enough if you lived in America you might want the good old American Bagel, but wait a minute I live in Australia! Are there actually any Aussies out there that would actually buy that Bagel? Why didn’t they re-name it or something? Why is it that they think that all Australians are dying to be just like the yanks and want to eat whatever they eat?

American Idol (just pass me the earplugs)

This leads me to the amount of American TV programs that barrage us through the idiot box. I mean when on earth did Australia have so much American television that it is nearly just another state of America? Now, just so we’re clear I’m not talking about American sitcoms so much but more the endless parade of American reality TV programs with American people competing for god knows what. Why in our right minds would we be dying to tune in, to see a bunch of loud Americans whinging, bitching and complaining on so-called reality TV programs? I mean most of the Americans that I have met have such a different outlook on life due to their culture being different to mine in many regards that I fail to see the amusement of seeing them on reality TV. I don’t feel an affinity or kinship with these people, why is their plight to have their fifteen minutes of fame going to interest me?

Which generation of Australian idiots even watches this clap-trap? (author pauses hoping to god it isn’t her generation). Obviously there must be people watching it or they wouldn’t put it on TV … or maybe we ran out of Australian idiots to perform on our own Australian versions of the same reality TV shows?

Survivor (if only the wouldn't!)

Surely, there must be other Aussies out there that feel the same way … surely I’m not alone in feeling that Australia is losing some of it’s identity to this American invasion (so to speak)???

Somehow I have digressed into what must seem an Anti-America rant. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate America I even have some American friends and for their sake I want to make it clear that I don’t hate their country or anything. My objection is about Australia through TV being slowly sucked up into their culture entirely so that I feel Australia is losing it’s identity.

Gosh, sometimes I just want to go around to the youth of this country and shake them and scream at them to “Wake up to themselves” and for god’s sake “stop watching this reality TV crap so that they might put something more interesting on the box. And finally “is your own life so boring and without merit that you have to watch people making idiots of themselves on national and international TV to feel like you are living??”

When reality TV first started in Australia, about the year 2000 with Big Brother, I thought it was just a phase. I figured it would grow boring eventually and we could return to more interesting things on TV. Then, slowly but surely the American reality TV shows started showing on TV and I figured that surely no Aussies would really be bothered watching it and it would disappear eventually. Now it’s 2008 and I have to say to my country … What the heck is going on here? How can this re-cycled stuff still be amusing the masses?

Thankfully, Big Brother has finally been cancelled. I hope that this signals the beginning of the end, but I also read that channel ten is planning to resurrect it after about three years off air. Of course. I’m praying that it doesn’t happen.

This is my call to Aussies that feel the same way as myself to not only NEVER purchase a McAmerican Bagel but stop watching American reality TV … for the love of god … force the TV networks to put something else on … it’s been eight years people, it’s time to move on!!!