TV & Radio

Nov 2, 2017

Razer: the ABC is bloated with intellectually unambitious, moralising Gen X-ers

The ABC's new TV review show, Screen Time is, like a lot of stuff produced by the ABC, absolutely informed by the Gen X morality.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

Ours, apparently, is a secular West. But, darn, if we don’t retain some awful Christian quirks. The nobler customs, such as loving one’s neighbour uncritically, disappeared along with the Tridentine Mass. But, more dreadful Christian traditions persist -- even, and especially, among avowed atheists.

Penitence is so hot right now. Someone is always adopting a Jesus Christ pose. We can barely read a publication of the present where someone is not dying a little for our sins: She apologises on behalf of all white women; He apologises on behalf of all men. Here, a bloke writing at News Corp is personally sorry for the dispossession, theft and massacre white Australians enacted on Aboriginal peoples, but argues simultaneously for no address to this past. Feeling guilty is enough. Sorry seems to be the easiest word; say it like a prayer, then return to everyday, non-neighbour-loving behaviour.

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69 thoughts on “Razer: the ABC is bloated with intellectually unambitious, moralising Gen X-ers

  1. Alexandra Penfold

    I agree with Helen Razer, they are a self centered bunch of extreme left-of-centre navel gazing critics. And yep it’s all about them.
    Fortunately there are still some great ABC programs…at the moment…what will a new Leigh Sales or Tony Jones be like in a few years?

    1. Rosemour or Less

      Extreme left of centre?
      Really? Do you know what that signifies?
      They strike me mostly as card carrying smug young conservatives.

  2. [email protected]

    No, you must be right…they should talk about films within the Razor-proclaimed boundaries, else the critics shall be criticised for not being critical in the right way.
    (I know I shouldn’t comment at all…it’s just a throw-away piece ‘penned’ quickly, with some bait to incite comments (like mine)…but I’m weak. Plus I was born between 1960 and 1980…so I am a twit, and everything I say should be discounted. In fact, we should stop listening to all the rantings of the twits born between these years…oh, wait…)

    1. [email protected]

      RazEr…ah me, now I can’t take myself seriously…

  3. craig

    Nailed it, Helen. This is very, very good.
    It’s scary, isn’t it? Talking about actual ways to materially and legitimately improve our society.
    On the other hand, now I have more awareness (oh god, there’s that word…), of this creeping and pervasive Gen X thought.

  4. Roger Clifton

    The renewables movement is a search for forgiveness. Those are prayer wheels waving so prominently on our skyline. Forgiveness our emissions, they seem to say. The windmills make no actual reduction because their backup of gas turbines use as much gas revving up and down as would their equivalent in gas powered steam in providing the lot. But that doesn’t seem to bother the believers, as long as they have acted virtuously. Forgive us this day so that we can emit again tomorrow.

    1. Zeke

      Please Mr Clifton, stick to the topic ie Gen X obsession with representation/presentation over substance. Your unsupported obsession against reality is reaching the heights of crankdom.

    2. AR

      Dodger must be on really, rilly heavy medication as he managed to suppress his nukes Tourettes when crowbarring this gaseous rant into a po-mo, po-reality, po-quotidian mind rinse.

    3. Bob the builder

      No they’re not, they’re actual practical steps to reduce emissions.

      You’ve managed to completely miss the point. Recycling is what you should have referenced, but are too block-headed to see the bleeding obvious.

  5. paddy

    I actually didn’t mind the show that much, but as a replacement for David and Margaret…It sucks.
    I wouldn’t mind it quite so much, if it was merely a generalist addition to the sort of focus that D&M and programs like ” The Games Show” brought to the table.
    Instead, it seems that so much of the quality specialist programing on the ABC has been lost and replaced with this mindless pap.
    Bloody sad to see the potential of all those impressive faces being totally wasted.

  6. lykurgus

    I don’t recall the last time I watched TV (unless you count the Fetch thing I get through my ISP – they don’t bleep South Park).
    But I do recall thinking, “You know what would make this truly great? Another f*cking panel show”. Because the only thing that could be more cathartic than watching TV and shouting at it, is watching people on TV talk about TV and shouting at THEM for talking about TV instead of giving me some f*cking TV to watch.

    1. Zeke

      There are some good talk shows out there, such as Gruen. It exposes the tricks advertising agencies use to mould our opinion, in a funny way.

      1. lykurgus

        Yes, the ones we already knew about

  7. Damien

    Whereas Helen makes IMPORTANT contributions, like stinging critiques of the standing-desk late-capitalist conspiracy and yet another article about “why calling out won’t fix “.

    None of which actually specifies how she would actually go about fixing “” herself other than vague allusions to Marxism without any acknowledgement of its historical record of collapsing in utter failure.

    1. Helen Razer

      I wrote a book about it, Damien. I find proposing solutions to complex problems requires more than a single article.
      I also think that diagnosis of where we are in our thinking is important. Actually, my last book was more about tools for diagnosis than a solution itself. But this is the work, right? Recognising the shape of things so we can reform them?
      Also. Marxism is not a prescription. It is a critique and description of capitalism. SO, it cannot be “tried”, given that it contains very few recommendations.
      It’s fine to disagree with me. Plenty of folks do. But just calling me a thicko and saying that my allusions are vague is cheap. And actually untrue.
      Finally, I am hardly the only person alive to be saying that capitalism is currently undergoing a difficult spell. It has “failed” just as surely as the (non-Marxist) Soviet experiment. I have written plenty here in Crikey about ways others have devised to save capitalism. UBI. Finance regulation. Forgiving debt.
      Argue, sure. Just don’t be a dick about it.

      1. Syd Thomas

        “Anyone who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without feminine upheaval. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex, the ugly ones included.” Karl Marx
        You are right, Helen. It’s all Karl’s fault.

        1. Helen Razer

          This article does not assign any blame to Marx, nor does it mention anything to do with the feminine. I am unsure why you reproduced a c part of a correspondence. Was it to remind me I’m a woman? If so, thanks. I’d quite forgotten.

          1. Syd Thomas

            Marx was mentioned in the article and also by a few commenters to the article. By quoting him, I just could n’t resist an opportunity to remind people that extreme feminism was always a main thrust of the original communist manifesto. Keep up the good work, Helen, your articles are always interesting.

          2. Syd Thomas

            Correction. Marx may not have been mentioned in the article.

    2. archibald

      Soft of like “exercise has been tried and it failed” cos Jim Fixx died of a heart attack?

  8. zut alors

    The 29 minute show feels more like an hour. Enuff said.

    1. MAC TEZ

      Lucky it’s not on 7,9 or 10. We’d get a real hour with 19 minutes of ads and 12 minutes of station promo’s .

  9. Mike Smith

    Reality TV morphs into Reality Current Affairs, with a smidgen of sanctimony.

  10. Desmond Graham

    You are too critical – what with university degrees giving IN-DEPTH history courses in modern history – 1st year from Persia to Roman era. 2nd year Roman era to Middle Ages. 3 rd year middle ages to Korean war – the universities impart great analytical thought . Even specialist degrees in Golf course management[but must have minimum handicap, Surfing management degree. No need to worry about stupid subjects like philosophy.

    With the Twitface generation all knowledge is accessible – no need to interpret it.

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