People who know my writings are well aware that I am not a fan of IDIOT television. Please understand I am NOT anti-television. I am NOT a snob who only watches PBS and the BBC. I am not an arrogant intellectual who only watches C-SPAN and the National Geographic Channel.
I find value in SOME reality television. Not the kind that locks 10 people in a house and watches from hidden cameras to see who is the most disrespectful, which “contestant” has the least principles, who lacks the most manners or who has no values or moral code. I am a fan of reality television that inspires, or demonstrates the ability to succeed against all odds and lift up the human condition.
I am fundamentally opposed to sitcoms and other types of programming with foolish, idiotic, senseless, inane and salacious story lines. I am opposed to television that re-enforces the concept that John and Jane Average are: Absent-Minded, Absurd, Brainless, Brash, Careless, Carnal, Crazy, Delirious, Demented, Dense, Desperate, Disconnected, Dull, Empty-Headed, Flaky, Flighty, Foolish, Forgetful, Hasty, Hopeless, Imbecilic, Impetuous, Inattentive, Inconsiderate, Inconsistent, Insignificant, Irrational, Irresponsible, Loose, Mindless, Moronic, Negligent, Oblivious, Pointless, Preposterous, Rash, Reckless, Ridiculous, Scatterbrained, Senseless, Shortsighted, Sloppy, Stupid, Thoughtless, Trivial, Uncaring, Unconcerned, Unintelligent, Unobservant, Unreasonable, Unstable, Unwise, or Violent.
I attribute the NUMBING DOWN of America to the mindless, value-impaired, consumption-driven TV programming that America’s media giants are bringing into our lives and those of our children. This is done simply to get more and more advertising dollars no matter what the cost to the basic human fabric of our society. We are seduced into a trance-like state by subliminal manipulation. Commercial messages tell us that if we use “Spackle Brand” toothpaste we will lose weight, instantly become more confident and popular, we will become the perfect Mom or Dad and using “Spackle” to brush our teeth will drive men and women wild with sexual desire.
This mind numbing blight of “lowest common denominator” drivel is an atrocity and morally it is just plain WRONG! It is a travesty of the human spirit when business sells our souls to the highest bidder.
Right now I’ll bet you are asking yourself “I wonder how he really feels about it?”
Having defined my position on what is wrong with television today let me tell you there is hope! There are programs being produced today that allow you to become mentally and emotionally involved in a healthy, productive way. They take you on a thrilling introspective journey in the same way a great book draws you in. Weekly dramas and mini-series that portray real life experience
These shows let you sit at the sidelines of life and become a “Monday Morning Quarterback” calling game winning plays with uncanny accuracy. They allow you a sky box view of real world challenges. This is television at its best. Television that for a brief moment allows you to live vicariously. You can experience life’s lowest lows as well as life’s highest highs from the safety of your armchair.
Television provides a safety net not available in the real world. You remain detached enough to not be permanently scarred when you make a wrong choice, and you WILL make wrong choices. We know with our knower it is a make-believe world yet we work through the twists and turns of the plot and experience it as if it were real. Sometimes, most of the time, it effects us in ways we find hard to admit even to ourselves.
A moment in time takes place where possibility meets choice. Where opportunity meets responsibility. A life juncture when a path is followed or denied. Divine inspiration is given – the opportunity to change lives presented. A script writer can choose to respond to the gift being given to him at that moment. A director stands at the precipice of choice, deciding how to present the story. The result of these choices will either be more mediocre television or a story that ignites man’s spirit and guides him to his destiny. Every once in a while that writer, that director, chooses to follow the guidance of an unseen hand. In doing so they take you on a journey that will change you forever.
In that one moment something magical happens…
“Change. We don’t like it. We fear it, but we can’t stop it from coming. We either adapt to change or we get left behind. It hurts to grow, anybody who tells you it doesn’t is lying, but here’s the truth… Sometimes the more things change the more they stay the same. And sometimes, oh, sometimes change is good. Sometimes change is everything.”
- Dr. Meredith Grey “Grey’s Anatomy”
EPISODE: A Change Is Gonna Come (2007 – Season 4, Episode 1)