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Friday, 04 December, 2020

Television — Public Enemy Number 1

Date: 01 March, 2006

By: Chief

Imageretty cool name — television. A pretty cool technology as well. Watch and hear stuff in real time. That, when you think about it, is quite a trick. The bummer about television is that for all the good stuff that it used to do and is capable of still doing it no longer does. Television has become a vile instrument, just like the cell phone.

The idiot box

That is what television, or 'TV' for short, has become. A device for the masses who no longer desire or who have never been able to think. Instead most people who watch the 'tube' want to be spoon fed. Whoever the current talking head is on whatever channel tell the masses:

Of course there is entertainment on the idiot box or boob tube or whatever you desire to call it. Loads of entertainment. Tons of entertainment. But only if you are a Neanderthal. Brutality, stupidity and bloodthirstiness. Everything that a Neanderthal could ever possibly hope for.

Modern television has become quite similar to the Roman Coliseum in the days of yore where it was a spectator sport to watch gladiators fight to the death or watch people be fed to the lions. Brutal, stupid and bloodthirsty.

But guess what? That is apparently what the masses want to see on the idiot box. Oh and sex. I cannot forget that one (very nearly did though). Brutal, stupid and bloodthirsty shows for some real perverse reason have the highest ratings and, as such, keep getting renewed. The same holds naturally with sex on the tube. With sex I can firmly understand. Get real, who does not like sex? As Tater Salad says:

"When you have seen one woman naked — you want to see them all naked."

What I fully fail to comprehend is the other three. The brutal, stupid and bloodthirsty shows. What makes them a hit? I would have thought that brutality, stupidity and bloodthirstiness would be a huge turn off to viewers. Obviously I was wrong. The masses, the Neanderthals, love that stuff.

As a tribute to the masses, the Neanderthals of the world, advertisers pay a premium price to get their "spots" aired on the popular TV shows. Quite literally billions of dollars are spent every year by the marketing departments of various large companies to get their products, their brands known to all Neanderthals. The whole point and purpose of this exercise is to get Joe Neanderthal to spend his hard earned dollars on some product that 'X' company has billed, on the boob tube of course, as the latest and greatest — whatever. More times than not old Joe Neanderthal bites and spends his money on some worthless piece of garbage product. 'But the TV said ...'. Ah Joe old boy, could I have a word with you, please? In case you are unaware of this TV's do not talk. Now you can go back and play with your club.

I just thought I would clear the air, eliminate any confusion and categorically state that televisions, no matter how slick they may appear, are still inanimate objects and, as such, do not talk.

There are some purportedly decent channels or shows on the tube. The History Channel is supposedly one of them. I was invited over to a neighbor's house a few months back to watch a show about scientists discovering some ancient ruins in China. The show was, for lack of a better word, disgusting. Most of the show was commercials and the actual show itself — the language had been dumbed down to about the sixth grade level. It was revolting. So much for the History Channel.

I do, believe it or not, own a television. It is hooked up to a DVD player and a VHS player. It is not in any way hooked up to cable TV, or satellite TV or an antenna for broadcast TV. No, the only thing our TV is used for is every so often, around once a month, we watch a movie. That is all.

As for the evening news, what a joke. The days of real reporters have come and long since gone. There are no Edward R. Murrows, no Howard K. Smiths, no Huntleys and Brinkleys, no Walter Cronkites and no Eric Severeids anymore. They were the last of a dying breed — reporters. They were not 'journalists' like the fools who read off the news to the masses now. They were reporters. They reported what transpired in the world without their opinions getting in the way. It was good. It was news. It was not opinionated tripe. As Edward R. Murrow said during World War II:

"It was not the purpose of radio to take the story to the listener, but to bring the listener to the story."

Television does a part of that. It does bring the viewer (listener) to the story. However that is where the similarities end. Murrow and company reported facts. Modern television news reports what will make their particular ratings climb. The higher the rating, the higher the cost for advertising spots.

Cartoons. I love 'em. Too bad there are no decent cartoons on TV anymore. Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, Popeye, the Roadrunner, Yosemite Sam, and all the other Warner Brothers cartoon characters have been dead and buried for between 20 - 30 years. My generation grew up to love classical music because of the Warner Brothers cartoons. Sadly they have been replaced by the imbecilic South Park and other similar works of crap. I saw one episode of South Park. I have never seen another and I never will. I also forbade my kids to watch that piece of trash, though I know they did — at their friend's house.

Prime time television is extinct. Though the networks will tell you otherwise. The only part of prime time that remains is the high cost, once again, of advertising spots. Anything useful, educational or just plain fun has been eradicated by the Neanderthals of the world, of which there are plenty. Thus, we who can think are left with three alternatives:

I, for one, refuse the top two choices. Hence, many years ago I opted for the last choice. Turn the infernal thing off and leave it off. Further our TV, as I stated earlier, is in no way connected to any network media.

What about the news? I read at least six online newspapers per day. Plus, as I am literate I read a lot. In our home we have approximately 1,100 books at last count. And we continue to purchase more. Books and imagination — a wonderful combination. Those two simple items can transport a person anywhere in the universe in the blink of an eye and to places never contemplated as well. Besides, who in their right mind needs a television if you have a book and any kind of imagination? Answer: the Neanderthals of the world.

As Edward R. Murrow once said about television:

"This instrument can teach, it can illuminate; yes, and it can even inspire, but it can do so only to the extent that humans are determined to use it to those ends. Otherwise it is merely wires and lights in a box."

Finally, if y'all don't believe me about the world becoming overrun with Neanderthals just watch how the masses — watch — TV. Bleary eyed and their mouths hanging open drawing flies.

Oh, beware of the club.

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