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Preaching Diversity in our Entertainment...

by Steve Mona on Wed, Dec 5 2012 11:26 AM

First off, a warning. If you are ignorant of all the charitable work I do, especially with regards to our military, don't read this post. I say that not to brag but simply because if you don't know what I do this post is only going to piss you off needlessly.

For those of you still with me, read on...

Growing up in the 60's and 70's, no matter where in this country, your television choices were pretty much the same 7 VHF broadcasts stations. Three of these were the "big 3" networks, (CBS, ABC, NBC); one public broadcast network, (PBS where we got Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers) and three local stations (in NYC these were WNEW, WOR and WPIX). Programing was essentially the same:

Off air sometime after midnight. Back on about 5 or 6am with the National Anthem. Days on the networks were filled with game shows and soap operas. Around the time we came home from school we got cartoons from around 3 till 6; local news at 6; national/world news at 6:30; sitcoms at 7 till about 9, dramas till 11. Rehash of the local news at 11; late night talk shows; test pattern. (If you don't know what a test pattern is ask your parents.) On the local channels we had reruns of the same sitcoms we enjoyed on the networks a few years prior, old movies and the local sports games believe it or not. PBS was the aforementioned Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as well as a few other educational shows and some high brow stuff that I've only learned to appreciate in my latter years. At this point you might be wondering what the hell I'm talking about. Or you might not give a crap but hey, you're still reading.

The Point-

With the advent of cable we now have over 200+ channels to entertain us. But they don't entertain all of us. Some channel programing will be enjoyed by certain people and not by others. Some people will understand the entertainment value of some programing and not others; much like some people will like one type of movie but not another. What really has begun to bother me, and I've been guilty of it myself, is the sanctimonious crap spewed out by people who don't particularly like one type of show over another. And it's always the same bullshit, "We have troops dying in Afghanistan and people care about (fill in the blank)" or "our country is about to plunge off the fiscal cliff and people are watching (fill in the blank)." Guess what folks. People can care about our brave troops in harms way and be concerned about the direction of our nation and still take the time to enjoy a little escapism.

I'll use my fiance as an example. Elaine was not born in the US but became a citizen several years ago. She loves the US more than many and says she wouldn't have had the opportunities she's had here back home. She's a smart woman in a high powered executive position whose work days are overfilled from stem to stern. When she gets home she likes to unwind watching Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. She's also been known to watch the train wreck known as, "Keeping Up With The Kardashians." Does she do so because she doesn't care about our troops or our countries ills? You'd have a hard time convincing anyone that knows her of that. Her present job, hell her last four jobs, were significantly effected by the economy and direction of the country. At her old company she started a program that trained wounded soldiers and provided them with work stations at home so they could have productive lives with good paying jobs. So if you think she doesn't care because she likes to see who wore what on the red carpet you're barking up the wrong tree. I get it now. People can care about a million things and just want to sit and be entertained for a little bit as a way of unwinding. Just because you don't agree with their choice of entertainment doesn't cede you the moral high ground. It just shows how sanctimonious you really are.

So what got me on this rant today is the immense amount of bullshit I'm reading online from friends and associates because the entertainment media, let's re-read that folks- "entertainment media" is currently focused on Prince William and his wife Catherine's recent announcement that she's expecting. Firstly, if you don't know someone who grew up in England it's difficult to understand the fascination with the Royal Family. I get it now, but it took me a while. That said I read post after post with the usual comments. "Our troops are dying in Afghanistan and people care about Kate being pregnant?" "Our country is about to implode and the news has the Royal Family on?" Guess what? Yes, they do. We have over 4800 hours of programing a day. That's not a typo, "over 4800 hours a day." If you want to watch 24 hours of important news we have dozens upon dozens of hard news channels you can pore over. We have a Military Channel, which I watch often, as well as another few dozen documentary and historical channels. Stop condemning people who want a little "entertainment" to go along with their news.

What I find most hypocritical is that many of the people I know that were posting their anti-Royal screeds were the same ones texting me a weekend ago when my Packers were getting their butts kicked by the Giants. Were our troops suddenly out of harms way during the game? Did our countries deficit suddenly evaporate while Eli was throwing another damn touchdown pass? Not hardly. But you were being entertained for a few hours and it got your mind off the serious stuff. Don't condemn everyone else because their choices are different than yours.

And babe? I still think the Kardashians are shite...

by Wile E. on Fri, Dec 7 2012 8:58 AM
Great post. Nails it.

What I find most disturbing though, is you are a Packer fan.

L/R Wile E.
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Steve (NK Slider) Mona

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