The Genetic Factor

Is anyone else a bit fed up of TV presenters telling us that the future of
their contestants depends on us? Whether it is singing wannabees or
celebrity dancers it seems that they just cannot manage without us.

This appears somewhat ironic given the fact that they present us with a
panel of experts all vying to give us their opinions.

‘If you don’t want your favourite to leave then pick up the phone now’ the
presenter informs the audience presuming that a) We have a favourite and b)
that we care enough to spend our money in order to secure their future.

Perhaps if they had a ‘none of the above’ option I might be more tempted
to take up the responsibility that they so freely offer me.

I expressed this thought to Mrs M and she suggested that I was looking at
the whole thing a little too negatively. She even intimated that I might
feel more at home watching Grumpy Old Men.

Perhaps she has a point but I can’t help feeling that these programmes
bring out the worst in me.

I wonder how long it will be before newscasters start asking us to vote on
which headlines they cover. Or when weather reporters start running a
phone-in competition so that we can decide the kind of weather we should

This all sits well with the media obsession of getting the public’s
opinion on virtual every subject you can name. They start by asking a few
well-educated professionals to start the debate rolling. Then before you
know it they are on the streets to ask Doris from Bolton what she thinks
about genetic modification.

Not that people christened Doris, nor indeed the residents of Bolton,
have the right to speak; it’s just that I am not sure whether either label
qualifies you to have a useful viewpoint on multi cellular organisms.

Perhaps the future of genetic engineering is more important than the X
Factor (although you wouldn’t know that from the viewing figures) but I
don’t really care what Doris thinks about either and I am quite sure that
my thoughts are equally useless in such things.

I expressed this opinion to Mrs M and she replied ‘You are making the huge
assumption that Doris doesn’t have a PHD in such matters or that she
doesn’t work as a record producer.’

I detected that she was offering a little too much sarcasm so I explained
to her why she was missing the point but she was too busy listening to
Simon Cowell destroy another young hopefuls dreams.

If you want my unqualified opinion, if it wasn’t for genetics the X Factor
wouldn’t be nearly as popular as it is.