As the onshore wind started to really huff on us yesterday afternoon – later bringing rain, thunder and lightning, just in time for the walk home from the Modern Collective party around midnight – I climbed back into bed for my first fling with the Asian-Australian TV in my flat (Korean construction, Queensland programming). The ocean was sporting a white chop wig but no real swell, and the prospect of indigenous television held a bit of desperation intrigue so – beeoop – on came Southern Cross Ten. Playing on channel ten – and, less-predictably, on channel four as well – this station is the equivalent of your regional Fox or NBC affiliate that mixes local news with nationally syndicated hit shows, alongside a smattering of indefensible trash. Perfect. In a little under an hour, Aussie TV put up several sips of strange fascination, to wit:
- Matt Damon wearing a Quiksilver shirt whilst doing humanitarian work in Zimbabwe. A solid thirty seconds of logo time featuring Jason Bourne and unimpressed refugees.
- Video of a train smashing into a freight truck which then smashed into a man standing nearby, who survived with minor injuries and declared that life is beautiful.
- CCTV capturing, from four different angles, a pair of biker gang members beating a guy with a metal pipe. They can show you those sorts of videos if the victim lives, but otherwise I guess it’s considered too macabre, even though the images are the same in both cases.
- Promo spots for Australian reality TV, including Bondi Rescue, which is about aspiring lifeguards in Bondi Beach, and Bondi Vet, about…veterenarians, in Bondi Beach.
- An infomercial for the Flavor Wave cooking appliance, starring Mr. T and some woman he only addressed as “dog” (This meat is delicious, dog.) This was the best thing on TV by far.
Woman: We all know how hard it is to get kids to eat their greens, but look Mr. T! With the Flavor Wave, you get perfectly roasted vegetables every time!Mr. T (in his Mr. T voice): That’s right, boys and girls. It’s always good to eat your veggies.Woman: And look at this, Mr. T – with the Flavor Wave you can reheat leftover pizza without getting that soggy crust!Mr. T: There’s NOTHIN’ worse than reheating pizza in the microwave!
This was all mildly engrossing but eventually I looked out the window and saw that D-Bah only had about 40 people out – which is to say, it was absolutely empty – and I was right out there.