Britain doesn’t have talent after all

One of things that happens whenever I visit the ‘rents in the countryside: I see just how bad British TV really is.

I don’t watch much TV; for me the TV is merely a delivery channel for DVDs. (Living in the shadow of Canary Wharf famously interferes with TV reception anyway.)

But last night in my parents’ living room I was subjected to an obscenely over-emoting hour of unadulterated awfulness called ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. (Which I’d treat as a breach of the Trade Descriptions Act.)

And the low point was some little girl (whose Mrs Worthington mother looked the essence of pushy parenting) doing some screechily unthrilling trilling, and… fluffing her lines. Several times. And bursting into tears.

Well, fair enough. She didn’t get her song out. That’s showbiz, sweetheart: you got your big chance and you blew it. Take it like – well, not a man, presumably, but at least like a performer. You’re going to get a lot of knocks in that business, and you’d better know how to handle them.

Instead – unbelievably – she got the chance to start over. What the FUCK?

Just what message is this sending to Britain’s youth?

That if you screw up, all you’ve got to do is bawl and scream for a few minutes and you’ll get the chance to go again?

I mean, what if this happened in the boardroom? Someone doesn’t make their budget and is facing the sack, but they just sob for a few moments until the CEO gives them another four quarters to get it right? Or on the battlefield? A soldier takes out half his unit with a badly-thrown grenade and then turns on the waterworks until the drill sergeant pats him on the head and gives him another go?

I mean, I’ve been in a situation where the above actually happened – a stressed-out sales chief starting sobbing after missing an easy sale – and no mercy was shown; with a dozen hungry people itching for her job that sales head was expected to take her sacking with a bit of stoicism. The waterworks just made an unpleasant situation even worse. (I admit I didn’t help much, commenting that “Well, that lowered the glass ceiling about a metre.”)

“Britain’s Got Talent” is pure Labour Party television: celebrating the mediocre and the workshy by constantly pretending that everybody’s brilliant and there are no losers, only winners. (BULLSHIT.) “Britain’s Got Talent” is doing British people a real disservice, and the excruciating emotional diarhoea is truly sickening. Sheesh, give me strength.

What is that white stuff?

It happened again. With a simple hand gesture, a woman at Camden Food Co in St Pancras Station got a cup of that strange white substance that only women eat. What is that stuff? I’m mystified.

You may know what I’m talking about. It’s a glutinous white mass, served hot, that only women of a certain age ever seem to eat. Ladled out of an urn into a styrofoam cup, or made at home from a sort of packet of dried white stuff they mix with milk or water or something, it looks utterly bland and anonymous, yet millions of women seem to eat it regularly. Office women often keep it in office kitchens when preparing office lunches. Charlotte Rampling ate it in ‘Swimming Pool’. (Which sounds soggier that it was.)

Also intriguing is the way women acquire said white stuff. They never seem to ask for it by name, just wave towards the steaming pot and a (female) staff member nods knowingly and swings her ladle. There is never any overt order; the need is tacitly understood by women on both sides of the counter.

Now, the simplest thing would be to ask just what the hell is that white stuff. But my natural game gets in the way and I can’t put myself in the ‘uninformed’ position of not knowing what that fucking white stuff is; instead, I usually go for something mildly cheesy like “Aren’t you a bit young to be eating that stuff?” OK, St Pancras at 7am isn’t really the place, but I love the way women melt at receiving an unexpected compliment from a stranger, in addition to enjoying the audacity of saying it.

It’s an area of cuisine that seems totally off-limits to men: the giant urn containing the mysterious food-like substance isn’t even labelled.

What the hell is the big secret here? Does it induce orgasms or something and there’s some worldwide conspiracy to keep men from learning its true purpose?

Are the spas and gyms of London, offlimits to males, actually not full of aromatherapies and seaweed wraps at all, but in fact they’re gigantic subterreanean factories churning out millions of gallons of steaming white stuff?

Just what is that fucking white stuff?

I think we should be told.