Saturday, 8 June 2013

Why The Today Programme Shouldn't Talk About Things I Like

Dear The Today Programme,
                                            You know that I love you. You know that only your dulcet, mumbling tones can welcome me into the day in a nice, easy manner. You keep me up-to-date on current events, and are normally the people to inform me if anyone interesting has died or been arrested. But sometimes you really piss me off, and today is a case in point.

Allow me to set the scene. Yesterday I was feeling as though my horrible virus had finally gone. I went for a walk in the park, played with the kittens and watched the rest of Season 5 of Breaking Bad (so good, so very, very good). However, I awoke at 2am, ran to the bathroom and re-enacted a few scenes from The Exorcist (only the puking ones, no crucifixes were involved). Anyway, this morning I was feeling a little sorry for myself and trying to get up the energy to get up and feed Jago, Fitz and Romero.

Then it happened... The Today Programme ended with an article about zombies! Although I do generally think that if a cultural phenomenon has made it onto Radio Four it probably means it's over, I was genuinely pleased... until the article actually started. First (name and shame) Naomi Alderman said that zombies didn't exist before 1968. Bollocks. Not just bollocks because of folk-lore and Haitian tradition, but also bollocks in movie history. There's 1932's White Zombie, to name but one, and not even the earliest zombie film.

However, she's obviously referring to the flesh munching wonders that The Great George Romero so kindly gave to the world in Night of the Living Dead, so I'll let her off. Also, everything else she said was really interesting and spot on. The other guest was Rick Lewis, editor of Philosophy Now Magazine. They talked about the fact that zombies become more popular during times of economic crisis and of the use of zombies in thought experiments. All the while the John Humphries was floundering, getting his facts wrong (Nosferatu is a vampire) and being rude and dismissive about the whole thing. He seemed surprised that people considered zombies as anything more than just a gross comedy turn. I mean, fair enough if you're not a fan, but why have a whole four minutes of air time dedicated to a discussion that you're not going to take seriously? Why bother talking about the fact that zombies are having their moment in the sun if you clearly don't give a shit? The world is a big place with lots of things happening in it, either report on something properly, or talk about something else, maybe the elections in Iran, or the flooding in central Europe.

Anyway, it annoyed me, and now I'm even more annoyed because I've turned into one of those people who rant about people misrepresenting zombies like some kind of nutty fanboy.

Now, I've got kittens demanding  my attention and cuddles, so at least we're ending on a high.

yours sincerely,

M. Maureen

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