Thursday, 5 February 2009
Corporate owned youth culture
Being young used to be about rebellion. About challenging and changing the status quo. Now corporations seem to “own” youth culture. Rather than company’s following what young people like the opposite seems to be true. Company’s are telling young people what to like and worryingly people seem to be following along like good little slaves. Everything from bland, homogenised manufactured pop to whole TV channels are aimed towards young people and unfortunately they seem to be lapping it up. Truly this is the commercial, materialistic age. Channel 4 have their own youth programming block called T4 made up of squeaky clean presenters, loads of sponsors, Hollywood stars plugging their latest mainstream movies and manufactured bands miming to music. Surely if there is going to be a block of programming aimed at young people, showing things such as music it should include no holes barred music videos such as hard rock music and provocative, subversive programmes. But T4 shows manufactured boy bands such as take that and boyzone. Your never going to see Marilyn Manson on T4. Or E4, or any other Mainstream media outlet aimed at teenagers. A slot of programming for young people should be completely unapologetic and risqué but everything about T.V. programmes for young people scream out “we don’t want to offend” everything about youth culture is a plastic, commercial, populist joke. Like a kids show, T4 is on early on a Sunday morning, the very time teenagers are least likely to be up watching T.V. (after a night spent on a street corner drinking buckfast) It's timeslot and the fact T4 is produced by Andy Peters is representative of the fact T4 seems to be aimed at children-not teenagers. In fact channel fours youth programming seems to be aimed at everybody but teenagers-it’s so safe it seems to be aimed at kids and old people. Hollyoaks is very popular among the elderly. In fact I think that’s where most of its audience lies! T4 presenters are just as vacuous and annoying as the show itself. Channel 4 doesn’t have one discussion show to discuss the big issues in life yet when big brother is on they devote an hour of air time every day to discussing it. I’m not saying programming with adult content should be on during the day, I’m saying provocative programmes should be on at night for people to discover for themselves when they have a natural want for something subversive. And I don’t think things like T4 should be on at all. Why should kids and teenagers be forced to endure such rampant commercialism? When a person is a child and a teenager their brain is just developing, who knows what harm trash such as “Temptation Island” is doing?! The idea that teenagers have become complacent slaves to neatly packaged products specifically targeted towards them is an extremely depressing one. Are teenagers really content to sit and watch T4? I sincerely hope not.