Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lost TV: The Final Chapter

This week gave us the final episodes of Lost and some other show I have never seen and don't care about. I waste enough time watching the Cubs wallow in mediocrity via my DVR to more than compensate for all the other television programming I consider myself fortunate to miss.

I also don't watch David Letterman, Jay Leno, or any of the other talk show wanks. I've seen a few minutes of Dancing With The Stars, although their definition of star and mine seem to differ. I don't idolize anyone who appears on American Idol and don't sympathize with anyone who wants anything to do with Donald Trump or is three hundred pounds overweight. Along with Campbell Brown, I've given up on CNN. It was getting too painful watching Wolf Blitzer pretend to be a journalist when all he has become is a tabloid TV host. The History Channel seems determined to repeat history as well as the same episode about Hitler ad infinitum. On and on, through a seemingly infinite number of channels the large media corporations that control the public airwaves have managed to take an amazing medium and reduce it to so much pond scum.

I remember when cable TV was on the horizon and it was billed as revolutionary in the sense that since it was "pay for view" there would be no commercials. How did that work out? For my roughly seventy dollars a month I get Vince the Sham Wow guy and the Progressive Insurance bitch. They can't even let Billy Mays RIP; he's still screaming at me about some goofy device or product nightly.

Television like most innovations (with the possible exception of the shopping cart) has never come close to reaching it's potential. Television could educate, inform and oversee. If used wisely television could put an end to corrupt government and public education could be accessible to every household, regardless of SES. Real public debate could be had over crucial issues that effect us all and we could finally become a true democracy. Instead we get garbage faux reality shows, Jerry Springer chastising boyfriends for cheating on their girlfriends with transsexuals and Maury Povich outing baby daddies.

Welcome to America. We are truly Lost in this country. We could demand so much more, but settle for so much less. The mediocrity in this country is palpable. Instead of striving to be the best and the brightest, we have become the fattest,most illiterate and uninformed. Television could provide us with so much more. Instead of Jillian Michaels screaming at fat people, there could actually be intelligent programing on how the average person can lose weight and get fit. CNN could actually hire investigative reporters and expose the hypocrisy that goes on in Congress and start holding the politicians feet to the fire. How about assigning one reporter to "embed" with each legislator and follow them daily? Educators could appear twenty four hours a day conducting classes for all levels from kindergarten to graduate school.

Contrary to popular belief competition does not breed excellence it breeds mediocrity. and mediocrity is the byproduct of greed. Unlike Jonas Salk, most of those with the answers are in it for the profit. As a society we have all bought into this Gordon Gekko mentality that greed is good. Just look at sports as an example. Instead of striving to be the best, athletes look for ways to cheat to gain an advantage. Greed and cheating has made a joke out of the baseball record book. When the proverbial national pastime is exposed as a sham, what does that tell you? Enjoy your notoriety and wealth Lance Armstrong, you have revealed yourself. Pretty soon Tiger can have all the barmaids, strippers and porn stars one man can handle. But, what he will never have is a clean reputation and a wife who truly loves him and supports him.

Television not only reflects this trend in society it feeds it. The bar comes down lower every day and no one seems to care. Good values and strong morals are for suckers. So it follows that television is for suckers too. I've about had my fill....just as soon as baseball season is over. There is no bigger sucker than a Cubs fan.

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