As I started writing about RTÉ and Pat Kenny early this morning, I thought I just carry on doing it. Just joking. But I am actually listening to his radio show right now while I write this (as I do quite often in the morning). And two things I heard made me start this post.
On a day when Pat talked a lot about urban renewal and, right now, also about torture, there were suddenly two unusual musical intermezzos, promoting an evening with "Music from the Movies" at the National Concert Hall in Dublin tomorrow night. Alright, it is the RTÉ Concert Orchestra that is playing there, and RTÉ is always very good at blowing its own trumpet. No problem. So have the promotional message and one piece of music. But two? Within the same hour? They must be very worried about audience numbers at the NCH, otherwise such a heavy promotion would not happen. If the show were sold out (like the one with the Soweto Gospel Choir next Monday), you would hear not a word from Pat or anyone else on air.
So, please, RTÉ, give us a break from ad breaks and heavy promotions! There is already more than enough commercial advertisement on Irish radio and TV channels. Too much, actually, for my taste. That's why I don't listen as often to RTÉ as I would like to and otherwise would do. But after a few hours I am just so annoyed by the constant ad breaks - even in the main news programmes - that I switch over to the BBC. There the license fee that people in the UK pay for the service guarantees the transmission of ad-free programmes, on all their radio and TV channels.
Here in Ireland we are forced to pay a license fee, and on top of it we are also force-fed a heavy diet of commercials by RTÉ, whose on-air advertisement is one of the densest in Europe. Not to mention the additional money the ladies and gentlemen in Donnybrook receive from sponsorship deals, as almost every TV programme is now "in association with" one big company or sponsored by another. And some of the radio programmes - like Weekend Sport, for example - are going down the same slippery road. Please, once again, press the button and give us a pause from such heavy bombardment with ads!
But when I say pause I mean just simply that, and not a menopause. The first reason for sitting down in front of my computer and writing this post was another ad during Pat Kenny's radio show this morning, promoting - wait for it - "Menopause - The Musical", starring Twink and Linda Martin. This show has apparently been "very successful in Dublin" and is now sent on tour around the country, so that we - the hicks in the sticks - can get a little glimpse at the capital's glamour, too.
Well, as far as I am concerned, you can keep your musicals in Dublin, and especially one like this. How tacky can you get? And how low must someone be sinking before being associated with this kind of rubbish?
Since I had never heard of it, I did a little research and found out that this "musical" originally comes (like most sub-cultural nonsense) from the USA and was written by one Jenny Linder (never heard that name before either). And yes, it apparently was shown for some time at the Tivoli Theatre in Dublin, which charged € 30 for a ticket!
According to its own promotional text, "Menopause - The Musical has been entertaining and inspiring women around the world since 2001, poking fun at hot flashes, memory loss, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and eating binges. Set in a department store, it tells the story of four women with nothing in common but a black lace bra and a roller-coaster of hormones".
There must be something wrong with the mindset of people who would pay € 30 to see that!
You could give me a free ticket and I would not go, as I have better and more important things to do with my time.
I am disgusted that RTÉ promotes things like this on air. It is bad enough that it takes place at all, and if female performers of a certain age - like Adele King (known as "Twink") and Linda Martin - can no longer find any other work, it might well be time for them to retire gracefully.
The Emerald Islander