Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I'm afraid that I've now reached the nerdy stage where, when watching the news, no matter how tragic or awful or harrowing the issue being talked about is, much of my attention is filled instead by the abysmal state of the picture-quality.

Channel 4 News recently showed us Barack Obama addressing an audience apparently made-up of people who were very fat. Yep, all their audience-shots had been filmed in a different aspect-ratio to the President, and had been stretched to fill-up the same frame. The following day a friend remarked to me how Obama had, comparatively, appeared to be "a short guy".

You've spotted this sort of digital-stretching going on yourself, don't pretend.

This afternoon I went to church to enjoy the singing of a choir of visiting Ugandan orphans. This was live, so hopefully they should all be the right shape.

The singing itself was absolutely beautiful, and the show was very well-rehearsed. These kids were nothing short of brilliant.

However the accompanying music was cranked-up so loud that it rather drowned-out their beautiful vocals. Overproduction? Or am I the one being cranky here?

Their songs were intersperced with the charity's video-clips of the kids' home life in Uganda, which had been edited so funkily as to be unwatchable. Despite having presumably started out as a crisp full-colour digital file, some kind soul had removed the colour, obscured the picture with fake film-dirt, made the edges fuzzy, added computer-generated flickering... please, just show us the footage.

I did enjoy the show, but at the end of the day, I would really have liked to have simply heard the kids who were singing in front of me, and seen the footage of Africa they had shot. Like Channel 4 News, this charity had once had some good material to present, but someone had set about subtracting from it.

They asked for donations to their work, but it's difficult to donate to something you just don't feel clear on.

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