I’ve watched three episodes of Channel Four’s ‘Benefits Street’ now and I’m still nonplussed how anyone can feel anything but compassion for these individuals.
Over the years, i’ve watched sit-coms getting crueler and less funny (stand up, Ricky Gervaise) and during the same era, the rise of the poke-fun-umentary. Booze Britain, Britain’s toughest boozers, Arseholes under arrest, Look who’s on the sex offenders’ register, the list is endless. as a culture, we like to relax and watch those with less choices than we have, suffer.
Organised television has turned into the Circus Maximus only without the quick bloody death. Same baying crowds, but now we get to watch the drawn-out struggles of people trying to survive.
I wonder how far we can take this – what about replacing the calm, knowledgable newsreaders of yore with yoof-friendly haircuts to rip the piss out of families undergoing tragedy? We’re almost there. A gloating, smug populace laughing at the misfortunes of others.
This shit makes David Camerons of us all.

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