There’s a problem with the wireless in my house. It’s useless acting all disconnected actually because I know what the problem is and I caused it myself. I tried to hook my new PS3 to my wireless system (managed by an Airport) and following a couple of failed attempts I chose to follow the instructions that I had found on an internet forum. Sure enough after modifying the IP settings of the Airport the whole thing went AWOL so now I have limited internet access in my house.
Limited in the sense that without the wireless I am obliged to crouch with my laptop next to the front door to wire it directly to the modem that sits at the entrance. Tough shit. But still my house is sans wireless.
For a long time in our grandad’s and dad’s times the wireless had nothing to do with the internet and much to do with what they would later call radio (a concept we would share with them until sometime now when digital radio slowly slips in its place – Digital Radio killed the AM/FM star!). My dad remembers a time (which apparently was until Mintoff kicked the Brits out) when we had a radio in Malta called BFBS which did not stand for something related to large obese circum tauri (work that one out eh) but rather stood for British Forces Broadcasting Service.
The mother of all wireless broadcasting services across the world must be the BBC. Or should I say the Auntie as she is affectionately known? In any case some little ads on the BBC World (TV) service promoting what the BBC news is all about got me thinking. The first few were imperatives – like “stay connected” or “remain up to date” – the more I saw them the less did they sound like an invitation and they sounded more and more like an order.
Little clips asked the viewer whether he ever wondered about what happened to the expatriated Bosnians following the Radovan purge. Why did none of them come back after the war? Another clip seemed to imply that I should be ashamed if I do not want to stay in touch with every step of the Presidential race in America. Someone at the BBC must have had an attack of conscience at that point because they let loose a long clip of reporting in difficult circumstances where the mob/reported person invariably turned on the camera and tried to stop the reported doing his duty.
Shots of French strikers yelling “degage” at the bbc cameramen or what seemed like Palestinians (they were throwing stones -oops politically incorrect) turning towards the cameramen in the familiar gesture of one hand covering the lense were interspersed. The slogan at the end said something in the terms of “no matter how difficult, no matter how hard, we will keep doing our work… so long as you keep asking questions“.
So there it was. The cat was out of the bag. It is not your duty to stay in touch. You are not really obliged to care 24/7 about whether the DAX index is going down and why an Arab sheik’s petulant prices for oil are affecting Shell’s ReUrbanisation Project in Luanda. But if you do… and if you keep asking questions about everything… you might only just justify the BBC’s expenses bill.
Meanwhile for those who really care the UN is assessing why the fight against poverty is failing so Bush has given his swan song speech urging the UN not to let down its guard against terror.
Then someone starts to wonder why we stop caring at some point.
This has been j’accuse… caring… so you don’t have to.