torstar news service file photo
LORD OF THE FLIES: One of the great things about reality TV is that you can spend an hour at a bar with friends coming up with outlandish, cruel-sounding premises for shows, only to discover while surfing the web a week later that one or two of the things are in production, alongside others that would have sounded far too unlikely even after the fourth pitcher of draft.
Fat Kids Can’t Hunt is the title of a show being produced by the BBC, which will ship 10 chubby youngsters off to Australia to live with Aborigines and hunt for their keep. “If the children want to eat,” according to a story in the Australian Daily Telegraph they must follow the strict rules of the Aborigines, eating plants, grasses and fruits as well as trapping, killing and cooking any animals or insects they find.”
“Britain has the fattest teenagers in Europe with one in three overweight or obese,” said producer Bridget Sneyd. “Doctors warn that if we don’t tackle this problem, generations of kids face a drastic reduction in the quality and longevity of their lives ... This experiment gives our teenagers a unique opportunity to address their dysfunctional relationship with food once and for all before they reach adulthood.”
Which might be both true and laudable, but you’d think there were better ways of dealing with obesity, though one can’t deny the likely appeal of the show, or its potential successors – Fat Kids Can’t Survive Marine Boot Camp, Fatso Loses His Toes In The Arctic, and Throw Lard-ass Down The Well.
TIMED OUT: Reader Tim Aysan wrote in to point out that my article yesterday on the Vision TV story about Telus and the controversy it stirred up when it started offering a porn download service in January was missing a crucial fact – Telus actually dropped the service in late February, in response to customer complaints.
Offering adult content through cell phones “is not a business our customers want us to be in,” Telus director of media relations Jim Johannsson told the Vancouver Sun when the company discontinued the service almost two months ago. He added that customers should be aware of the easy availability of porn on cell web browsers, adult content that Telus has no responsibility for: “"Parents should take the same precautions about letting children use cell phones as they do with their home computers that are connected to the Internet.”
As a mea culpa, I should have done a quick bit of research before meeting my (very extended) deadline for the column, but to be fair, the Vision story didn’t mention Telus’ abandonment of the service, even though their story ran for the first time last week. In this light, it looks like Vision was so excited with their “gotcha” scoop – lewd behaviour by Telus employees and executives at a corporate retreat and elsewhere – that they somehow ignored a very relevant fact. In a nutshell: we both suck. Thank you very much.