Slow drip drip of syrup

"Your number's on my girlfriend's phone mate.. (sic) ..leave her alone or you're gonna get murdered" click, off goes the call.

I really don't like wackyness. Most people really don't know what I'm talking about when I say this. What's wacky? Well if you're looking for a good dictionary style definition it's:

"Wacky" - descriptive slang meaning someone or something which is eccentric or irrational, crazy and a bit silly: a wacky person, a wacky situation, a wacky organisation or idea.

It's not the eccentric part I have a problem with, or even the crazy bit or the silly element. I have no fundemental problem with any of these characteristics. In fact they're all qualities which I have on occasion both admired and enjoyed. It's the irrational bit. That's the bit that really galls me. There's a lack of logic and intelligence inherent in all 'wacky' behaviour which makes it a total anathama to me.

There's a lot of people who think it's funny to be intentionally wacky. They operate in the media and in real life. You will have bumped into one at some point. You might even have to sit next to one of them at work. The reason I'm so qualified to attack them is because I used to be amongst their number. I cringe at the thought of my 'wacky antics' these days. It's a substitute for genuine creativity which is easy to fall into if you're required as part of your job to do something entertaining.

When I started off in radio (all those years ago) I had no idea what I was doing. Hence I instigated 'wacky' events and features on my radio show which I thought would amuse the audience. This was back in the days of playing 30 minutes of music non-stop so the damage to listening figures wasn't as harsh as it would be these days. Nontheless I was 'wacky'. I admit that now. You see, wackyness is always born of desperation. It's the mind's reaction to a total lack of inspiration.

Jackass is 'wacky': "Tee hee, lets hit each other with bottles". The question "why" is answered with a shrug and laugh. How dull and un-wacky of me to ask that. How boring and un-cool to actually put some effort and meaning into what you do.

Most reality TV thrives on being a bit quirky and wacky. Big Brother is a good example of how wackyness evolves in the media. When it started there was supposed to be a purpose and meaning to it. How will strangers react to such an environment? The answer was - one of them will try and cheat, but other than that they'll all basically get on and behave normally.

Once this purpose had been answered the producers were left with a problem. How could they replicate their success without the now predictable results? The answer is do it again but add a bit of wackyness.

It's not just the producers of TV programmes though, it's the public as well. "Lets vote in a fat heffer as our Popstar!" - how wacky, it'll never work! Oh, it didn't. Lets vote for a stuttering weed - how wacky, it'll never work! Oh, again, it didn't.

My problem with wacky is that there's a cruel amoral streak to it. Ask any Reality TV victim. Ask anyone who has ever been 'happy slapped' - something which is a direct descendant of Jackass and a product of the 'Jackass generation'.

Or indeed ask anyone who has ever recieved the phone call I've posted at the top of this message. If you've not heard it, what happens is you get a call from a bloke with a southern accent who says something along the lines of "Your number's on my girlfriend's phone mate". You might hear a very faint clicking noise at the end of each of his sentences but it's unlikely you'd notice it as you're busy responding. It has a few stock sentences in there about cutting off kneecaps and then ends the call by telling you to "watch out or you're going to get murdered".

It's a "wind-up" call and somewhere on the end of the line there's a little 'wacky funster' listening to your terrified responses. We had it on the show once and a listener rang in to explain they'd had exactly the same call. A bit of investigation led us to a couple of 'wacky' characters who didn't enjoy the consequences of their actions as much as they had expected.

I recently heard of someone who was so terrified by this 'wind-up' call they were considering suicide!

If I've learned anything in life over the past few years it's that if you're going to do something do it well and do it for a reason. I'm trying to avoid being 'wacky' these days. I'm trying to do things for a reason. The only exception is this weblog. I hope to god it never ends up becoming 'wacky'.

NM

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