Thursday, December 05, 2013

Slow TV

A curious phenomenon which is catching on in the western world is that of slow TV. Seemingly as a counterweight to the fast pace of society, viewers in countries led by Norway are turning in unprecedented numbers to pedantic programming. In terms of sports there has been a well established habit of Norwegians to watch hours of skating and cross-country skiing. This has segued into large audiences (a fifth of the country at a time no less) watching the likes of people knitting, fires burning in a hearth, a cruise ship sailing along the coast for days and a train making the seven hour trip from Bergen to Oslo. That latter option I get since I have actually made that trip myself with a Eurail pass. You go through mountains and along fjords and end up in picturesque destinations. OK in North America, how about a camera on board a Great Lakes freighter leaving the Lakehead and making its way to Montreal. Hours and hours of the lake they call Gichigoumi, as Gordon Lightfoot would be first to say. Or on the dashboard of the lead car that has just tucked in behind a tandem of snowplows for forty minutes! Or maybe of a floral clock turning and growing!