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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Does God hate SBS?

SBS’s Tuesday night Cutting Edge documentary slot, (which screens hard hitting social issue documentaries, which almost always means an Anti-Bush doco), seems to have been a little too cutting for the man upstairs. The broadcast was of a French documentary (co-produced with SBS) called On God’s Right, examining the Christian right in America and their influence in politics, especially with the Bush regime. It was very interesting if a little disturbing at times (is it just me or do those worshipers with closed eyes and outstretched arms look like zombies?) but 30 minutes into the program disaster struck: SBS went off-air! What could it have been? A technical error? Or was God responsible? Indeed, maybe the guy is getting cranky as he grows older and just decided to lash out at a program that dare mock his followers.

This comes after SBS mysteriously mixed up an episode of the US gay drama Queer as Folk and screened it out of order. Or was it an act of God, trying to piss off the thousands of gay Australians? Hmmm… that is something to ponder.

The question must be asked: was this a technical slip-up or an act of God? I’ve included pictures so you can make up your own mind.

The timeline of horror:

8:30pm Documentary begins.
9:00pm Broadcast stops, goes to test pattern then black screen.
9:01pm A still image of the program, where it was cut off, comes up.
9:05pm Returns to black screen.
9:09pm A different still image from the program appears.
9:09pm Goes to test pattern then that lovely black screen reappears.
9:11pm The program returns. Yay! But it is in Pan and Scan, so the subtitles get cut off. Boo!
9:14pm Broadcast returns to wide screen.
9:20pm Black screen returns.
9:30pm World News Tonight should be coming on now. Instead viewers are greeted with that black screen.
9:44pm After 24 minutes of a black screen, World News Tonight finally comes on, though halfway through a story. But wait, that’s not Anton! It’s Mary! Yes, SBS is repeating the 6:30pm World News bulletin.

10:06pm The Tuesday night “Hot Doc” begins, only six minutes late. Phew!

SBS will repeat On God's Right today at 11:30am.

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