Thursday, 11 June 2009

NOT PJ: A New Species of Nonsense

This week Bernard Darnton shows you how to stay healthy and save the planet by sitting on your arse and eating ice cream.

_BernardDarnton A new species of TV has been born. This is good because I was sick of all my TVs interbreeding and leaving their bizarre mongrel offspring all over the place. Speciation will at least keep the living room a bit tidier.

This puffery is promoting the new LED televisions from Samsung, which are apparently vastly better than LCD televisions by virtue of, umm, having an E instead of a C. There may be more to it than that but it’s probably enough to get you a job on the shop floor at the sort of place that allegedly specialises in these things.

Digging deeper, the number one selling point of these new wonder-televisions is that they use less power than their now-commonplace LCD cousins. (Cousins of a different species that is. Best not to ask grandma about that one.)

So how much money are you going to save on your power bill? The LCD TV uses about 180 watts of power; the new shiny one uses 107. Even at the scandalous rates I get charged that’s a saving of one-and-three-quarter cents an hour.

But it’s not about the money; it’s about the planet isn’t it? You’re still not saving much. Even with economies of scale and using third-world slave labour you can kill bugger all polar bears for one-and-three-quarter cents.

The kicker is that, at $6499, the new 46-inch TV costs $2800 more than its technologically ever-so-slightly-challenged sibling. (Sibling of a different species of course but don’t you dare talk about its mother like that.)

So, averaging four hours of television per day – I can’t imagine why you’d watch four hours of television per day but apparently that’s the average and, hey, whatever lights your candle – watching four hours of television per day your new TV will pay for itself in power savings in 109 years. I believe the technical term for this kind of advertising is “greenwash.”

While you’re watching your new bloody great big shiny planet-saving TV you should tuck into some nice healthy ice cream and lollies. Marshmallows and those jelly snake things are 99% fat free, sugar not being fat, you see. Ice cream is calcium made fun – health food in fact.

Advertisements for chocolate biscuits now give some unlikely-sounding explanation of how chocolate contains iron and that iron is essential for children’s brain growth. And if you think that’s a good reason to eat chocolate biscuits you could probably use some brain growth.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to nag you about your food. I’m certainly not going to deny myself. When some smug little tosser in a coffee shop says that all their coffees are made with trim milk unless otherwise requested, I yell back, “Milk is just fat dissolved in water you arrogant, malnourished twat. If you take out the fat it’s just bloody water isn’t it, so what’s the point?”

Manufacturers of products that bring pleasure to people should be proud of that fact. Don’t tell us to buy chocolate because it contains however many milligrams of manganese. Tell us that it tastes good, that it feels good when it melts in your mouth, that it’s a little foil-covered nugget of joy.

Likewise, a sharper, blacker, slimmer television is a celebration of technology, a portal into humanity’s finest artistic, sporting, and scientific endeavours (and Shortland Street, but there’s no accounting for taste).

The people who make these things should be proud of their ability to improve our lives. You shouldn’t have to hide that.

* * Read Bernard Darnton’s column every Thursday here at NOT PC * *


  1. It fair warms the cockles of my heart to see someone else railing against the stupidity of 'skinny milk'... it's just proper milk that's been watered down with a bit of ground up old cow bone added so they can claim it's got extra calcium.

  2. A latte to go with FAT mild please!


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