Speech Packages: Unit 40 – Outcome 2

When we were briefed on outcome four for this unit – making our own speech package – an idea sprang to my mind; ‘Bovine on the Grapevine’. The idea is to have an entirely satirical radio show dedicated to the nature of cattle; feed, bedding, breed and every other nook and cranny of animal welfare. The show would capture the hilariously awkward nature of the Cumbrian hill-farmer when put on camera, or in this case – in front of a microphone. Words will not be of much use when trying to analyse the humour behind the idea, as the subtleties behind a satirical piece are so great (and so decisive when commanding the effect of the idea when put into practice) that they can’t be summed up briefly and if they were summed up in life it would sap the humour from the piece in question entirely.

I wanted to make this three years ago when I worked on a farm because it’s almost too plausible of a Cumbrian radio station to go at the idea with serious intention, like the desperately uneventful local ‘lambing live’ shows, they provide so little food for thought and make such a spectacle out of the farmer themselves that you end up seeking humour regardless. The only drawback that I can see is the difficulty of pulling off comedy, it takes a genius to make a wide audience laugh, however this wont be heard by a wide audience, it would be to amuse me, my friends and those that find it funny.

My second idea was a book review show called ‘Rough Binding’, where I talk about recent books that I’ve read, boil them down to the key philosophies, ideas and teachings that I took away from them and put them into a language that will help people overcome issues in their own life, by taking a look at a situation from another person’s angle and normalising problems that people feel are unique to them. I would like to make this a radio show for those that don’t read, more than those that do. Books contain thousands of years worth of the most valuable knowledge and are available so cheaply, yet constant reading is becoming a rarity in young people due to the nature of this age. I want to be able to make all of the things that helped me available to everyone, in five minute radio clips. I thought about the idea of conveying the way each book made me feel through sound effects and music beds, for example, if a book influenced my head-space positively and shone with optimism, or a relaxed nature towards life – an ‘everything will work out as it should’ gist – this would be mimicked by the music, such as soft, mellow jazz. I want the listeners to be able to smell coffee and mahogany and see the colours of the books on the shelves depending on what I’m covering. There are so many routes to go down with this, and I’ve even thought about making a YouTube channel dedicated to it, though I felt as if it would be truer to the medium of a book if everything was felt through spoken word.

My third and most undeveloped idea is entirely influenced by Russell Brand’s ‘The Trews’. I don’t feel that his approach to butchering politics, the upper class and capitalism in general is productive or healthy. Brand’s show takes only evidence of capitalism going wrong, and politics going wrong, ignoring the good that has come of it. There’s an element of hypocrisy in preaching ‘true news’ and encouraging blue-sky thinking whilst only ever telling one side of the story. I share a lot of his views which would come across in my own show, but in order to allow people to think for themselves and minimise the risk of sweeping statements and canned thinking I would offer both sides to the story, the benefit to western ideals – even if I disagree that it is the healthiest way of life. We need a more grounded, less sensationalised/extreme view of the world which would come from this approach. Russell shows up at protests and tries to talk violent demonstrators out of their frenzies after using a blood-red Che Guevara inspired logo to promote an internet non-revolution. Nothing extreme about that.

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