10 Jul

Just A Minute
by Paul Waite
10 Jul 2005

Q. When is a minute not a minute.
A. When there’s a “minutes silence” at a rugby game.

Of course, the TV companies would all clamour to point out my silly-billy error – they now call it “a moments silence” to stop them being sued in court or whatever. Wankers.

Sadly, there is no such thing as “a moments silence” in this context.

When respect for a tragedy is to be observed, it is “a minutes silence”, not some spin-doctor, marketing shithead’s concept for a quicker, more efficient way of paying respect “in keeping with the pace at which you live today”.

I’ve noticed this trend materialize out of thin air over the past few years. Initially the time was brought down to something like 45 seconds, then it was around 30. On saturday we had what seemed like about 20 seconds – enough time to just clear your thoughts and begin remembering the tragedy and thinking of the dead and their poor families, before Radio Dickhead on the PA bursts back into life with a kind of “well that’s about enough of that, thanks..” and on with the show. I know, maybe it was the shortest I can remember on Saturday because “only” 50-odd folks got killed. Hey, it wasn’t a sunami, was it? No, your sunamis, now they get the full 9 yards mate – for those we’re talking a massive 35 seconds. Nah, for 50 deaths we can only go 18-20 secs max I’m afraid. That’s it – it’s all pro-rata.

What I want desperately to know is WHO decided that we should start observing less than a whole 60 seconds for our minutes silences, and what the fuck they thought they were doing, and why they imagined that they had the mandate to take such a decision.

After that I want to know WHY they thought it was best to truncate them. What – do they think the stupid ol’ public couldn’t hack being quiet for that long? Did they worry that we’d get bored and soil our rep by calling out rude jokes, or starting a mexican wave? Or is it that the TV and Advertising Lobby just couldn’t bear so much dead time?

I’ve no idea who decided this was The Thing To Do, or why. All I want is for a minutes silence to last fucking 60 seconds.

It seems the very least thing we can do, given the tragedy back in London, and for any future such sad occasion.

Paul Waite

Paul Waite

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