A whine: the defin­ing sound of the noughties

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

AS the decade ends without re­ally find­ing a proper name (no one says ‘noughties’ out­side of TV com­mis­sion­ing meet­ings), what bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to sit down and watch a bunch of self-styled co­me­di­ans take a mirthless look back at the cul­tural high­lights of the decade. This week’s of­fer­ings were par­tic­u­larly de­press­ing, start­ing with Chan­nel 4’s Great­est Songs of the Noughties, per­haps the most fraud­u­lently-named broad­cast since Bobby Davro’s Rock With Laugh­ter. Th­ese ‘great’ songs were com­piled not from record sales but from a poll among view­ers, the in­tro­duc­tion re­as­sured us. The pro­duc­ers were so pleased with this con­ceit that they showed some of the hi­lar­i­ously naff songs which sold by the truck­load, like Un­chained Melody by Gareth Gates, be­fore kick­ing off their own cut­ting edge count­down with a song by, er, Will Young. Yeah, that’ll stick it to those re­al­ity TV tyrants. The rest was largely a pro­ces­sion of turgid in­die an­thems from the likes of Cold­play and Snow Pa­trol, which could only lead us to con­clude that the defin­ing sound of the decade was a long, de­press­ing whine. Equally chal­leng­ing was The Most An­noy­ing Peo­ple of 2009 on BBC Three, a chan­nel which seems to cater purely for peo­ple who can only com­mu­ni­cate in mis­spelt text lan­guage. Stunned by the lowly plac­ing for Hazel Blears, I car­ried on watch­ing to see if they had re­ally man­aged to find 20-odd peo­ple who were more an­noy­ing (they hadn’t). The pro­gramme was also a moral mine­field, with some of the en­trants go­ing be­yond the realms of mere ir­ri­ta­tion. For in­stance, the Ir­ish twins known as ‘Jed­ward’ (by the sort of peo­ple who also say ‘noughties’) made it to the lofty heights of num­ber three for the crime of singing out of tune on the X Fac­tor, while R&B artist Chris Brown could only man­age num­ber 24 for his wellpub­li­cised at­tack on for­mer girl­friend Ri­hanna. The moral of the story: do­mes­tic vi­o­lence is bad but flat top­notes are even worse.

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