Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TV - Where all rational thought goes to die.

I have been home ill with pneumonia since Saturday evening. I cannot sleep because of the coughing. I have watched enough television now that my brains have taken on a gooey consistency and occasionally there is leakage from one orifice or the other.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy's chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Newton Minow, referred to television as a "Vast Wasteland."
Keep in mind there were only three channels. Color televisions were not in every home. Stations "signed off" at night and back on in the early a.m. Even PBS - the Public Broadcasting System, didn't come on board until 1969.
Now we literally have 100s of "cable" channels. We have news and opinion viewed from a right wing viewpoint (FOX), we have news and opinion viewed from a left wing viewpoint (MSNBC). I can watch fly fishermen work a stream in Alaska, soccer from Argentina, a guy who travels, eats and consumes mass quantities of alcohol, a guy who eats bugs, people of every ethnic stripe showing us how to make food that is probably bad for us, comedies, and a constant slaughter - at any given moment you can find someone getting shot, knifed, blown up, etc, on some channel or the other.
In more than 40 years, literally nothing has changed other than the length, breadth and depth of the wasteland.

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