In the Red: Bay-watch, Samsung’s telly and why I don’t comment on news


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The Independent Online

Unless you’re a stranger round these paaaaarts, you’ll be aware that I don’t normally make any sort of comment on what you might describe as being actual news stories.

This happens (or doesn’t) for two reasons. Firstly, my knowledge of the ins and outs of the financial world is tiny enough to be carried in a sparkly clutch bag to a swanky evening do by a glamorous ant. Thirdly, I can’t count. Actually, I do myself a disservice. My mental arithmetic is rather good, but the fact remains that I have demonstrably little interest in developing a financial portfolio. More fool me, I hear you say. Well, fair enough.

Given that I normally tend to stay away from the aforementioned actual news or savvy investment tips, there is lots of room for me to deal with subjects closer to my heart, such as… well, everything apart from actual news or investment tips.

But now and then I see a story which demands a prod. This week Transformers director Michael Bay was in Las Vegas for an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show. Mr Bay, who is responsible for some of the finest, and quite frankly some of the quietest, motion pictures ever produced… wait a minute, no, that should read “biggest piles of lion jobby ever committed to film”. Sorry for the confusion… Mr Bay was supposed to allow his lengthy, Nordic visage to be temporarily imprinted with the Samsung logo in order to promote the South Korean behemoth’s new big telly. Sadly, just as Mr Bay began his scripted shilling, the damn autocue broke down, leaving the Bad Boys auteur a little stuck. He initially tried to soldier on, telling the large audience that he would try to “wing it”. However, after umming and ahhing for a moment or two, he performed an obsequious bow and exited, with a flourish, stage right. The MC then urged the crowd to show its appreciation for him, which they did, although rather quietly and certainly not in such a manner that you would expect would please the smartypants millionaires attending the next Samsung board meeting.

I have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever whether the Armageddon director was paid any money for his appearance and (planned) public endorsement of the Samsung TV. But I would doubt he did it out of the kindness of his heart. In any case, would the South Koreans have been happy with their investment in his abilities? Hmmm. Of course, had nothing gone wrong with the autocue, Mr Bay’s speech would not have been touched by the mainstream media.

But it broke down and everyone reported it and I saw the story and re-reported it and mentioned Samsung and... wait a minute... I’ve been manipulated! You see? THIS is why I never write about actual events. The system is prone to such awful abuse...

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