I love quiz shows. There's no better way to spend unemployment than lying on the sofa, eating till your ears bleed and watching endless reruns of quiz shows on some obscure satellite channel. Your enjoyment only punctured later by the double anxiety of having eaten too much and having gotten that question about Charles Dickens wrong. But at least you acknowledge it. At least you're prepared to take on board your mother's despairing shake of the head as you get question after question wrong. Knowledge is power and you need to power up. The sad fact is that there is a group in society who do not acknowledge their short comings. Instead they deflect all responsibility by blaming it on their of time of birth. In quiz shows this means contestants answering questions with the line - " Well this was before my time". Considering you're on a quiz show where potentially as many as 90% of the questions will be relevant to matters prior to 1980, this is bullshit of the highest order. I can't wait for the day when the host of the quiz turns to the contestants and says - "You're kidding, really? Really? For all the world I would have thought you'd lived through the Napoleonic Wars 1793 -1815. I don't suppose I could ask to see your birth certificate? Could I? ".
It's become so common place now that if it doesn't happen you feel cheated. Now, maybe I'm doing them a disservice, after all the Napoleonic Wars isn't something which is commonly taught in schools and unless you have a particular fondness for European warfare these events may have passed you by. But it gets worse than that. "When was the death of Princess Diana? Again this was before my time." What? You have to be 18 years old to go on a TV game show. Diana passed in August 1997, if you were born the month after you'd only be eligible to go on television next month. At the very least you'd have been several days or hours old when Lady Di fell off the twig. Or maybe your own birth was before your time.
Whilst the ire is up, I'll throw another one into the mix; films that use tag lines that have at best extremely tenuous links to the actual movie they're promoting - "Its' Gladiator meets Mary Poppins". Ok how have you arrived at Gladiator? Well it' set in Ancient Rome. Fair enough. And Mary Poppins? There's a woman in it. Excuse me? Not because it's about a nanny or a heart-warming children's fantasy?
I'd barely even give it a second glance if the tag line was the final act of an exhausted movie director who is on his or her last legs after writing, producing, directing, traveling the globe trying to finance the project, having paid the caterer and the Best Boy and is now being harassed by the distributors for a throwaway line to promote the movie. The problem is that it stinks of some advertising company. The type of organisation where people wear suits without socks and drink wine through choice rather than it being the only drink they've got in the house. But the real creme de la creme is when they market a movie from a celebrated director by using a well-known movie they once made that has absolutely no relevance to the current picture - "From the director of Alien and Prometheus comes Penny Farthing- the history of bicycle riding through the ages". In the words of Bill Hicks - "go suck a tail pipe".