Wednesday, November 18

I want my MTV

I was wandering through cable TV today looking for something to watch with a hundred plus channels and was dismayed at the changes in my old favorite networks. I remember CNN when it was just news. No news crawl at the bottom and multiple screens with moving graphics. Just the news with a talking head and some video and let’s move on. Now it looks like a noisy game show. I remember when MTV showed just music videos occasionally interrupted by a stoned ‘vee jay “ who could barely read the prompter. Now I’m lucky if I can find a music video amid the shallow pseudo celebrities in sex rehab. Eww.

I remember Bravo and A&E (which used to stand for Arts and Entertainment) when they showed foreign movies, ballets and plays. I though the Biography Series was cool when it featured historical figures. Now, thanks to it’s purchase by NBC and Disney respectively, it’s reruns of Law and Order and a couple of queer guys proving how dorky straight guys are. Like I didn’t know that already.

I want cable channels to be more than endless reality shows. There’s nothing real about them. I liked Discovery and TLC when they showed documentaries about nature and real operations on people (not for the squeamish). Not some dysfunctional guys making outrageously expensive motorcycles every bleeping week. If I want to watch a family scream obscenities at each other I can get together with my own, thank you.

I want my news to be informative and impartial not a bunch of people spouting sound bites. I hate the term sound bite.

I want TV I can watch for more than ten minutes without getting impatient or a headache. There has to be something better than a shrill Bill O’Reilly or a bald Howie Mandel torturing some poor slob with a suitcase of money. How about a Zen network where quiet, log shot images of gentle rivers, trees swaying in the wind and animals grazing in the fields. Please.

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