...He passed the BBC, an institution for which he had once worked and cherished idealistic hopes but which he now hated to an irrational degree. Had it been rational he would have taken steps not to pass the building as often as he did. Under his breath he cursed it feebly — '[expletive],’ he said.
A nursery malediction.
That was exactly what he hated about the BBC: it had infantilised him. ‘Auntie’, the nation called the Corporation, fondly. But aunties are equivocal figures of affection, wicked and unreliable, pretending love only so long as they are short of love themselves, and then off. The BBC, Treslove believed, made addicts of those who listened to it, reducing them to a state of inane dependence. As it did those it employed. Only worse in the case of those it employed — handcuffing them in promotions and conceit, disabling them from any other life. Treslove himself a case in point. Though not promoted, only disabled.
There were cranes up around the building, as high and unsteady as the moon. That would be a shapely fate, he thought: as in my beginning, so in my end — a BBC crane dashing my brains out. The [expletive]. He could hear the tearing of his skull, like the earth’s skin opening in a disaster movie. But then life was a disaster movie...
It's excerpted from Howard Jacobson's new novel, "The Finkler Question".