Thursday, October 05, 2006

The problems with TV

Watching the ten o'clock news.

- Angry about the setback in the decision of whose jurisdiction gay marriage falls under (legislative or judicial). Neither of the state branches says that it is responsible for resolving the issue. I still think that this issue should be split into two parts: secular and religious. Let it be legal. Churches and mosques and temples can refuse to acknowledge the unions. If you think homosexuality is a sin, why can't you just let the damned perverts live their blasphemous lifestyle and burn in hell? I, personally, think that homosexuality is a natural phenomenon; it has been documented throughout human history and found in many, many other species.

- Confused and disgusted by the prevalence of child pornography. Why is it so popular? Is it getting even more popular? What the hell is the appeal?

- Police should be cracking down more on meth production and distribution, not marijuana. Pot makes the news much more often than meth, yet it doesn't have nearly the impact on communities and families and individual's lives.

- Illegal immigration to the US will not be decrease to a manageable level until the countries south of our border get their shit together. Mexico and South America are sucky places to live. Corruption among political officials is a huge problem; one that I do not trust most international organizations (*ahem* IMF, World Bank, I'm talking about you) to try to solve.

And, unrelated to the news, I am tired of the sexual subplots in virtually every prime time TV show. Grey's Anatomy is more about who is sleeping with whom than about the lives of medical interns. Desperate Housewives is, near as I can tell, *only* about sex and not about love. At least Jericho's tiny subplot of sexual tension is eclipsed by the more important problem of nuclear war.

Why can't we have more shows which don't revolve around promiscuity? How about a show featuring the struggles of a main character with a disability trying to live a normal life? I can't think of any long-running show that has had a starring disabled character since Life Goes On (remember Corky?). C'mon! It'd be cute, quirky, and heartwarming. No offensive or condescending attitudes that aren't changed by the end of the show.

Or what about a show addressing the hardships of minority groups? Without the pretense of an "unscripted" reality show. Let's move on from the sex and violence people; there is much more to life and entertainment. Dare to branch out and try something new, despite the uncertainty of sponsoring and profit. More people than just me may want something different to watch.

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3 Comments:

At 4:58 PM, Anonymous Cerebral Cortex said...

Interesting comments. A few responses:

- Homosexuality is indeed something that has been documented throughout history. There's actually been some recent research that confirms what some of us believe (i.e., people who are gay aren't making a choice, they're really just born that way). They've shown that there are correlations between pre-birth hormones and the sexual orientation of people. Specifically, the researchers found that male children who were exposed to larger doses of female hormones during development tended to be more likely to be gay, and that female children who were exposed to larger doses of male hormones during development tended to be more likely to be lesbian. Pretty compelling evidence that it's nature, not nurture, at play. As for why religion won't leave gays alone, I imagine it's the same reason they won't leave me alone: I'm not doing their thing, so I've gotta be "saved." I'm not gay, just agnostic, and that's not okay with them, because they wield The Truth, and if you're not with The Truth, you're going down the Dark Path. Organized religion sucks.
- Since I'm not a pedophile, I've never been exposed to child pornography. It's "popular" (i.e., some people enjoy it) because they're mentally unhealthy; the same reason some people think they've been abducted by UFOs and probed, or that they can hear animals talk. However, I seriously doubt that it's getting more popular, or that it's even very popular at all. The disgusting politicians in office tend to use "think of the children" and "keep away terrorists" as their fail-safe methods of passing legislation that strips us of our constitutional rights. I've talked about this more on my blog if you want more (look in the "politics" and "privacy" categories, for example).

- You seem to be sadly mistaken about what television is all about. Contrary to popular belief, television is not about spreading information, or even providing something that you want to watch. Television is about commercials, and they put some shows in between commercials to get you watch them. Not commercials between shows, shows between commercials. That's the primary purpose for television -- making money by getting you to watch ads. Now, I happen to be okay with sex-driven plots (although if they truly are in everything, that seems excessive), but I think your ideas for shows would be interesting, as well. However, they wouldn't get many viewers, sadly, and without viewers, there's no one there to buy the latest vacuum cleaner or sports utility van. No viewers, no commercials; no commercials, no money; no money, no television.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Marie said...

Organized religions with vast numbers of indoctrinated, dogmatic people suck. There are several large religions (in terms of membership and affiliation) that are pretty cool. Buddhism, for one.

Yeah, I know TV's all about consumerism. I just get disgustingly optimistic sometimes, thinking that perhaps some people with influence in the Industry actually give a damn about using TV as something other than a money-making medium. I know I should resign myself to the fact that very few people with integrity get enough money, prestige, and power to do something good just for goodness' sake or the benefit of humanity.

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Cerebral Cortex said...

I'll generalize your point even further: any sufficiently organized group of persons who hold dogmatic beliefs suck. Fascists, communists, extreme liberals, extreme conservatives, radical Islamics, Christian fundamentalists, radical feminists, extreme environmentalists, fundamentalist Jews, militant Libertarians, ... they all suck. Fundamentalism, dogmatism, exclusionaryism (to coin a new term), over-generalizations, and bigotry bug the shit out of me.

Why get optimistic when you can get GREES-B-GON? Haha, but seriously, I know what you mean. The sad fact is that most people who have the means to obtain vast sums of money, by the sheer nature of the qualities that allowed them to get to their place of wealth are not interested in helping others. Personally, I'd like to obtain a large amount of money and use it in part to enact large-scale social changes (for example, for all of the business issues with Bill Gates, the Gates Foundation has done a lot of good), but it remains to be seen if I'll ever be in a position to wield significant amounts of money and power to make the world a better place. Right now, the most I can do as a relatively poor student is contribute to a couple of good charities and write long, deep-sounding blog posts where I lament the current state of affairs.

 

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