Open mindedness – the challenges

Jeremy Kyle got a mention in my last post, and he pops up again after reading a Improving Slowly’s blog about open mindedness. But the urgency to really consider the pros and cons of keeping an open mind on matters came when listening to the astrologer on Steve Wright’s show this afternoon. First though – Jez.

Jeremy Kyle is a guilty pleasure – well his show is. It was on at work recently (September 5th) and I had to stop for a few moments to watch, in response to the monstrous racket cannoning out of the room. I thought that it must be an extra special edition and it turned out to be a Best (Worst) of compilation, with Jezza linking his own performances. And what a performer he is. “Just shuddup!!”, “Right I’m going to say this – NOBODY SPEAK!!!”, and best of all “Right I’ve had enough. Geddoudda my building!”. I’m thinking “It can’t be YOUR OWN building Jezza. It just can’t be.” I suppose it could be but, in any case the man defies reason. He’s uncaricaturable, (and I like to think I’ve just invented that word).

So who’s he shouting at? Two young women who are raging, absolutely raging at two older women, one of whom appears to be the mother of one or both of the younger women, and the situation isn’t wryly amusing at all. It’s utterly tragic. The older women are saying nothing, just taking it and taking it again. In amongst this is a man a bit older than the younger women, but it transpires is with  – you know ‘with’ – one of the older ones. He’s doing a bit of shouting, and then a bit later, another young woman wanders on who doesn’t get to do any shouting but does chuck a bit of abuse at the other younger women, as she’s on the side of the older women. Keep up! In amongst this are the heavies, who are having to be heavy with the young women and the bloke. The shrink is there too, being patient with his roomful of patients, and still the relentless screaming and Jez-bellowing go on. It’s an absolute Jez-fest for fans and detractors alike, and it’s easy to think “Oh this is so drossy. What fun”.

The older women though are devastated, and one is sobbing, as it seems she is not allowed to see her grandchildren. Jez points out in the link that not everything can be resolved on the Kyle Show, as months later, the two parties have not been in contact and he opines that sometimes, maybe this is the only solution. As with the women’s misery-porn mags, the genuine human tragedies are obscured by the sensationalism, and people’s worth is not simply inversely proportional to the size of the gaps between remaining teeth.

By contrast, it is extremely important to keep a firmly closed mind when listening to a radio astrologer, and to smile constantly throughout, even allowing yourself to laugh loudly when the occasion demands. Steve Wright’s astrologer is on every third or fourth Monday, and talk quality effluent for a few minutes, with the presenter and his cohort making pseudo-sincere noises, skilfully treating the subject lightly whilst retaining it as an important feature of the programme. The signs are breezed through and all bases are covered so that nothing can be proven and everything interpreted as probably true. Best of all is when callers are invited to call for advice. Enjoy from time to time, but remember when listening that the mind must remain firmly sealed and the key and password lost. It is nothing but tosh, even if the sun does shine on Uranus.

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