A few nights ago I watched a programme on television.
It was some drama or film or other and as with most television programmes was instantly forgettable.
What I do remember though was that at some point in the programme the subject of rape cropped up. It was no more than a passing reference and that was that, or so I thought.
At the end of the programme, a message was flashed on the screen and a sombre announcer informed us that “if we had been affected by any of the issues in the programme, we should phone such and such a number”.
What the fuck is that all about? Are they seriously suggesting that someone could be raped and then forget all about it until they watch some drama on television, whereupon they are reminded and can dash for the telephone after?
I have seen this on a few occasions in the past. Some obscure ailment is mentioned in a drama and immediately after they flash a series of number on the screen. It conjures up an image of rooms filled with hundreds of people all with headphones on waiting to chat about their ailment of the day.
This obsession with talking about things seems to extend to other areas in life too. Some schoolkid dies and immediately all his or her classmates have to have “counselling”. What the fuck is that all about? I have seen some pretty weird shit in the course of my life and no one has ever offered me counselling, yet somehow I have survived?
There seems to be an all pervading concern for our mental wellbeing these days. Apart from the helplines and counselling, more and more announcements are warning us that the upcoming programme contains contains “scenes which some viewers may find upsetting”. For fuck’s sake! If you are that easily upset then maybe you should just join a monastery or convent?
I saw an announcement a while ago warning us that the following programme contained “emotional scenes”.
The only emotion I suffered from was sheer boredom.
I wonder if there’s a helpline for that?