WORLD CUP: Cloud & Rain United 7, Murdoch Dishes 0

The editor uses ironic sarcasm to have a go at Murdoch on a serious subject: the man’s counter-productive power.

There comes a point where the calm appeal to commonsense must overwhelm any and all self-styled experts, pointy-heads, hydron colliding folk and people called Rupert. And I have reached this point. When I tell you that the things spoiling my enjoyment consisted of a few grey clouds and some wimpy French drizzle, you may well sympathise. And when I add that the programme I failed to view through the medium of Digger Satellites & Ptrs was a soccer game involving Brazil, you may well be on the verge of incandescent anger…or wishing me a life.

I repeat the press release extract I offered from the French Government almost exactly a year ago:

‘The Government has no plans at all to dispense with analogue broadcasting’

Before you burst into guffaws of ill-considered laughter about Gallic technology, hold hard: for the French have a hotline to God, and they’re never wrong. Think ‘nuclear-generated electricity’.

Consider: analogue television would carry on broadcasting live coverage of World War 3 until either the shock wave or a sun-surface temperature vapourised your aerial. A satellite dish focus panel can be disabled by a small insect. Or (of course) a darkish cloud and a minor downpour.

Now the left side of my cerebral cortex would conclude (without too much effort) that the UK policy of switching entirely and irreversibly to digital broadcasting was madness. But to do that at breakneck speed – and at enormous direct and indirect cost to the taxpayer – was an act located in a place where madness ends and very extra mad especially 200% insane madness begins.

It was Rupert Murdoch that brought us this anti-miracle of perverted science. It is part of the man’s extremely odd desire to enforce his dark view of humanity on the rest of us that he pushed, bribed, conned and kicked his way into persuading a whole nation of people into sticking ugly things on their houses in order to watch bloody cricket.

But as an earlier Slog post today had to accept (albeit with great regret) Murdoch continues to do this with the sort of terrifying determination common to those who are off their trolleys. And to revert now to a more serious tone, we saw an appalling example this evening on Sky News of why Old Roop’s galvanised-steel will is more than simply tragi-comic. It is damned dangerous.

Discussing Murdoch’s bid for what remains of BSkyB, Jeff Randall – normally a vicious scion of all things idiotic – lavished praise on the Great Antipodean, and then cut to an interview with a Newscorp apparatchik, who damned criticism of the bid with the words “all he wants to do is buy the rest of the company he already controls”.

This was prime Sloggian bollocks, as Rupert owns only 39% – but let’s not be picky. Cut again now to a Randall interview with former Murdoch hack Andrew Neill, who also proceeded to extol the unalloyed virtues of the Newscorp deity. There followed a three-minute spell during which the two of them performed an act of mutual onanism on air about Australia’s greatest living American, and his trailblazing belief in the infinity of digital’s potential for low-brow dross.

The spectacle was disgusting, disappointing, distressing and a great many other words prefixed by dis that I could not possibly use on a family website.

There is a happy ending to this amorality tale. I switched over to analogue France Deux, and watched the Brazil v Korea game in full – minus only the irritating airhead comments of that ghastly twerp on ITV….the one who is usually brought to our living room by kind permission of He Who Must Control the Switchgear.

On the understated size of television we have here, the difference between analogue, digital, HD and 3-D is undetectable. Brazil scored a goal of rare quality from an unbelievably acute angle, and then another of superb defence-splitting simplicity: but my enjoyment of the spectacle was enhanced a hundred-fold by the certainty that a man who has contributed more to the pauperisation of the human intellect than the whole of Switzerland had absolutely nothing to do with it.