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The American Caliban

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box [May. 2nd, 2005|12:34 am]
The American Caliban
I don't watch a lot of TV, mainly because I work inside the TV and I have to do stuff for my job with it, and then I don't want to any more.

But I watch TV in hotels, especially after a day of driving making me something something. So I got all caught up.

All TV is "reality" TV now. I don't just mean that there are lots of those shows on. More than half the things I saw were shot and presented like reality shows. An otherwise interesting program about crab fishermen and their battle with the elements, etc. was edited like Survivor or MTV''s Real World: little profiles of the fishermen, flashbacks in grainy B&W, switching among "contestants". Same cheesy narration, same faux-introspective interviews, the whole thing.

Couldn't watch the "News" for more than 10 seconds at a time. Wow, that was painful.

I finally found an in-depth documentary about a years-long criminal investigation of gambling, corruption, organized crime, and manipulation of information for financial gain. The writing was opinionated but balanced, the story had nuance and detail, and it revealed the seamy underbelly of a popular activity.

It was about fixing boxing matches, and it was on ESPN2.

Right, then, back to not watching TV so much.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: emotionalgoat
2005-05-02 02:23 pm (UTC)
Everything I've seen about TV programming lately (including your thoughts) has been really discouraging. I keep wondering if I should finally break down and get TV reception, but then I run into things like this. Thanks for helping me stay off the stuff.

I'm going to bookmark you... I don't like to add people.
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From: yoscott
2005-05-02 02:33 pm (UTC)
That's the equivalent of walking down the street, running into Carrot Top followed by Pauly Shore and saying that the entire human race should be exterminated. lol
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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2005-05-02 09:58 pm (UTC)

Pauly Shore

It's when I see Paulie Shores and Carrot Tops receding into the distance that I worry.
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[User Picture]From: trinnit
2005-05-02 02:44 pm (UTC)
Well I watch a lot of TV. So I can be the Antagonist to all the people who will post "I don't even OWN a TV".
Not do I only own a TV but I own a Tivo and a DVD Recorder with PVR funtionality to record stuff when TiVO has a conflict. Why?

Because as you've pointed out, there is a lot of crap on; (I'm looking at you reality shows) but there's some good shows too. You basically gotta seperate the Wheat from the Chaff.

And Sunday night is almost the worst night of TV, Fox's new Animation Domination with 2 hours of Simpsons,Family Guy and American Dad is about the only good thing on you'd like I think.
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[User Picture]From: nosrialleon
2005-05-02 03:09 pm (UTC)
I've seen the crab fishing thing - they've got a couple of seasons of it now. I was initially fascinated by it, and still think it's pretty cool, but I won't watch it anymore. It's death-porn; it's clear to me that what the producers REALLY want and will continue sending cameras out on boats until they GET is for someone on the boat they're on to die. This is the only format in all of reality TV where they can actually get away with a participant DYING, and they've totally already calculated their ratings share around it.
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[User Picture]From: torgo_x
2005-05-02 10:01 pm (UTC)

TV is dying right in front of us.

«Where's my TV? I got no TV: Compared to Web surfing on broadband wireless, watching a TV show is like watching ice melt. I tried real hard to sit down and watch a television dramatic episode recently - it felt like watching Vaudeville, with a trained dog act and a guy juggling plates. TV is dying right in front of us. It's become a medium for the brainwashed, the poor, and the semiliterate.»
--Bruce Sterling: "Get Visionary With Me Here"
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