Posts Tagged ‘Television’

The Real O’Neals

May 18, 2015

Here is another petition that I probably won’t be signing.

If you didn’t know who Dan Savage is until today, it’s probably a good thing. But right now we need you to familiarize yourselves with one of the cruelest, most vile political activists in America.

Why? ABC plans to release a pilot sitcom based on the life of radical activist Dan Savage. Dan Savage is a hateful anti-Christian bigot.

This is a complete disgrace.

We are asking for ABC and its parent company Disney to IMMEDIATELY cancel their pilot sitcom based on the life of radical activist Dan Savage.

Don’t get me wrong. I do know who Dan Savage is. He is a nasty, bigoted piece of work who seems to believe that because some Christians have been less than Christ-like in their treatment of homosexuals, he as a homosexual activist has the right to bully Christians. Why ABC has decided to loosely base a sitcom on his life is beyond my comprehension. Here is a description of this charming project.

Well, anything remotely having to do with sex columnist and pro-gay bully Dan Savage would have to be bad, and the just-released trailer for The Real O’Neals confirms it. “The O’Neals are your typical Irish Catholic family,” the voiceover begins. Which of course means the daughter pockets what she collects for church charities, Mom and Dad are divorcing, the family priest’s vow of poverty doesn’t apply to his Lexus, and the main character, a teenage son, is gay and struggling to come out of the closet. Supposedly based on Savage’s early life, The Real O’Neals is all pretty standard religious-people-are-hypocrites lefty stuff. There are shots at Catholic theology and iconography (“I can’t come out. Have you ever met my mom? She put a statue of the Virgin Mary over the toilet so we’d remember to put the seat down.”) and lots of talk about vaginas and condoms. And it appears the whole plot comes to a very public boil at the parish bingo night. Frankly, there’s nothing new and it doesn’t look very funny, so ABC’s determination to go ahead with developing the show in the face of protest from the MRC and a host of religious groups and leaders looks like a cultural thumb in the eye.

Did I mention that Dan Savage is a nasty bigot?

Savage is a hateful anti-Christian bigot who publishes filth under the guise of “sex advice.”  Some of his greatest hits: In March Savage invited Dr. Ben Carson to “Suck my dick.” Last January, he suggested the Christian parents whose transgender teen committed suicide be charged with murder, tweeting “an example needs 2 be made.” He’s hoped Sarah Palin gets cancer, and marked the retirement of Pope Benedict’s retirement by headlining his column: “That Motherfucking Power-Hungry, Self-Aggrandized Bigot In the Stupid Fucking Hat Announces His Retirement.” Most infamously, because Savage didn’t like something Sen. Rick Santorum said about homosexuality back in 2003, he “Google-Bombed” the senator’s name in the vilest possible way.

All the same I will not support this effort to get ABC to cancel the upcoming show. If I were the sort of person who wanted to tell television networks what shows they should run, I would be a liberal. As it is, as far as I am concerned, they can run whatever garbage they please. It is unlikely I’ll be watching.

The other reason that I do not support this petition is that it will do no good. It is obvious that the executives from ABC and the other networks do not care what conservatives or Christians think or whether they are offended. In fact, from their perspective, protests from conservatives are the best possible reason to go ahead with the program. No doubt the executives at ABC are patting themselves on the back, praising their courage for standing up to the “religious right”. Also, it must have occurred to more than one person in production and promotion of the The Real O’Neals that this show isn’t really very good and will likely be cancelled before the season is over. They have probably decided that the only way to get people to watch the the show is to invoke the “banned in Boston” effect by playing up the show as a controversial program that the Christians want to censor, hoping that the progressive and the dull witted (but I repeat myself) can be encouraged to keep watching just to show those anti-gay conservatives. I would rather not play into their hands.

The best way to protest an obnoxious and offensive show like this is simply to not watch it and not give it the attention it does not deserve.

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Kill Your Television

April 13, 2015

That is a radical cure for the nation’s ills proposed by Ace of Spades.

I feel so hopeless about the political situation I’ve begun looking for Hail Mary solutions.

When a problem seems impossible so solve, Donald Rumsfeld said,expand it.

We all know what the expanded version of the problem is: The problem is that we live in, as Andrew Breitbart called it, a “Matrix” of leftist assumptions and propaganda, all being delivered to us 24/7 by a wireless intravenous drip system called television.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I’ve been thinking it’s time to actually do something.

Just an idea, but I would like to start thinking seriously about delivering a truly grievous wound to the Political-Entertainment Complex.

I’m thinking about, firstly, stopping watching almost TV entirely and shedding cable stations. (Some cut the cable entirely.)

I guess that I have already taken the first step since I do not currently have cable and haven’t for some years. It has never seemed to be worth the expense since we never watched most of the channels that the cable companies bundled together. Cable or satellite television might have been more tempting if we had been able to choose and pay for just the channels we a truly wanted to watch, but somehow that was never an option.

I watched a lot of television when I was growing up. I must have spent three or four hours watching whatever came on in the afternoon after I got home from school. There was also Saturday morning cartoons, (do they still have that?), and  the prime time evening shows. I would also watch movies late into the night. When we got our first VCR, (I actually lived in the primitive times before television shows could be recorded.), I would watch movies and record favorite episodes of shows. All through high school and college, I was a TV addict. I did do other things. I have always liked to read. A lot of time television was the background noise while I was engaging in other activities.

I do not watch much television anymore. I do not like watching television and I detest even the use of TV as background noise. There are one or two shows I like to watch and I don’t mind watching something on DVD, but even then I tend to begrudge the time I could be spending doing something else, like reading. What is the cause of this change in lifestyle? Ace of Spades has the answer

One problem — for me; maybe your own mileage varies — is that TV makes it very easy to waste your life. It’s a kind of death-before-death. We dream seven hours a night; do we have to also sit before a dreaming box and watch other people’s dreams another three hours a day?

The other problem, of course, is that the Media is, as Andrew Breitbart always says, the Matrix, poisoning our minds with stupid, lazy, obese thinking, and they do so via the most effective means of transmitting stupidity, venality, and moral emptiness: The television.

And we will live in the Matrix until we destroy the Matrix.

So my idea is to start, as a movement, boycotting tv almost entirely, picking up, get this, new skills and hobbies and interests to fill the time we would otherwise be spending in front of the Radioactive Drug of the television screen.

It is not just that so much of what is on television is pernicious. There are a lot of shows that are just plain awful. I do not object to the excess of sex and violence so much as how mindless and stupid so many of them far, not to mention that the vast majority of writers, producers, and actor see life through a left wing lens and so the shows they make cannot help but reflect their biases. It is relatively easy to detect factual and logical errors and bias in written words. It is far more difficult to do so with a brain anesthetized by flicking images on a screen and a vapid story. But, the real problem that I have with television is that it is a passive activity. You do not have to contribute anything. You just have to sit and take it all in.

What made me decide to curtail my watching of television was that one evening I realized that I had spent the last three hours watching television and could not remember the details of a single program I had watched. I had a vision of myself sitting slack jawed and immobile for hours on end and decided that I was wasting my life. I did not simply stop watching television. In fact, I came to no such conscious decision. I just gradually began to develop a distaste for the experience of watching television. The fact that the programs have been steadily declining in quality has helped to increase this distaste. It is rather sad to watch older shows from the golden age of TV and realize how far this form of entertainment has declined.

Actually killing your television is extreme and it might seem to go to far to cut out television altogether, yet I am sure that everyone of us, except the Amish, could do with cutting back an hour or two. Just watch the shows you really, really want to watch and turn it off all the rest of the time. At the very least, don’t pay for it. You wouldn’t pay someone for the privilege of pumping toxic waste directly into your living room, why pay for cable or satellite TV?

Duck Amuck

December 19, 2013

We don’t have cable for the simple reason that we don’t actually watch much television in our family and it doesn’t seem worth it to have to pay for the little we would watch, especially since so many television programs are simply awful. When one of our children asked why we don’t have cable, I replied for the same reason that we don’t pay someone to dump raw sewage into our living room. Because we don’t have cable, there are whole segments of contemporary pop culture that I am unaware of in any but the vaguest fashion. For the most part, I don’t think that is any great loss on my part, but there do seem to be a few shows worth watching that I am missing.

One of these shows has to be A & E’s Duck Dynasty. I was almost completely unaware of this show until  the local Wal Mart put up a huge display in the front of their store featuring the recently released DVDs of the last season of Duck Dynasty and various paraphernalia related to the Robertson family and their business, including a TV running a continuous loop of clips from the show. I have still not seen a single episode of the show, but the Robertsons seem to be a decent and hard working family who deserve their success.

Now, it seems that the patriarch of the family, Phil Robertson, has gotten himself into a considerable amount of trouble by making “controversial” remarks about homosexuals. By controversial, it is meant remarks that the left does not approve of and therefore believe should be censored. As a result of complaints by the perpetually offended , A & E has decided to suspend Phil Robertson from the show. The story is all over, but here is an account from Yahoo News.

The stars of “Duck Dynasty” might be America’s most popular TV family, but that could change very soon — because Phil Robertson has made some seriously divisive anti-gay remarks that have sparked instant backlash.

Speaking with GQ, Robertson lamented that when “everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong … sin becomes fine.” So just what qualifies as sinful in his book?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there — bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he declared.

From what I have read, I don’t think the backlash will be against the Robertson family and Duck Dynasty. I think A & E will be getting the bulk of any backlash, especially if the rest of the family absolutely refuses to do the show without Phil.

I doubt that many will actually read the interview from GQ all the way through, but here is the article by Drew Magary. In general, it is a sympathetic treatment of the Robertson family, though somewhat condescending. The author shows a certain disdain for the red neck family. Here are the remarks that are controversial.

Out here in these woods, without any cameras around, Phil is free to say what he wants. Maybe a little too free. He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out. Like this one:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

Perhaps we’ll be needing that seat belt after all.

And,

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Phil Robertson did not advocated stoning homosexuals, nor did he advocate criminalizing homosexuality or discriminating against homosexuals in any way. He simply expressed a personal distaste for certain activities, a distaste that was considered common sense until very recently, and expressed the view that homosexuality is a sin along with a list of other sin, a view that is and has been a mainstream teaching of Christianity for the last two thousand years. He did not express hatred for anyone.Quite the contrary actually.

As far as Phil is concerned, he was literally born again. Old Phil—the guy with the booze and the pills—died a long time ago, and New Phil sees no need to apologize for him: “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

In response GLAAD stated,

What’s clear is that such hateful anti-gay comments are unacceptable to fans, viewers, and networks alike,” said GLAAD spokesman Wilson Cruz. Robertson’s removal “has sent a strong message that discrimination is neither a Christian nor an American value.”

Again, it is interesting that people who have had, up till now, no use for any religion, least of all Christianity, are now lecturing Christians about the precepts of our own faith, against clear statements in scripture. For the activist bullies, it is no longer enough to simply tolerate the homosexual even though you may disapprove of the act. You must become a cheerleader for the lifestyle, or else. And, if your religion teaches against it, you had best drop the religion in favor of what the world teaches. I doubt if Mr. Robertson is much disturbed by this controversy. If he is, he can take solace in the notion that the people who hate him and what he represents hate the One who is much greater.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. (John 15:8-23)

As for me, I stand with the Robertsons and freedom and against the bullies who preach tolerance and diversity but practice enforced conformity and hatred.

Who are the haters?

Who are the haters?

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

January 17, 2013
Show host Jerry Springer

Show host Jerry Springer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When some future incarnation of Edward Gibbon writes the definitive account of the decline and fall of Western Civilization, I am sure that Jerry Springer will play a prominent role in his narrative. Jerry Springer himself has admitted as much in this story in medialite.com.

Talk show host Jerry Springer appeared on HuffPost Live yesterday and admitted to viewers that he may have a small part in the dumbing down of society. Alright, not exactly. Springer actually admitted a much bigger role, saying, “I am the father of the destruction of Western civilization.”

Springer said that his show had “no redeeming social value” and called it “stupid.” When pressed, he said that while his show is “fun to do,” it really is “stupid.”

“I enjoy it,” he added. “People obviously like it otherwise they wouldn’t watch it.”

I wouldn’t dream of arguing with him about it. I didn’t actually know his show was still on. I haven’t watched it for years. Somehow I don’t think I am the worse for it.

Spongebob in Trouble

September 12, 2011
SpongeBob SquarePants (character)

Image via Wikipedia

From ABC. According to at least one study, Sprongebob Squarepants makes children dumber.

The cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants is in hot water from a study suggesting that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4-year-olds.

The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch “SpongeBob,” or the slower-paced PBS cartoon “Caillou” or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched “SpongeBob” did measurably worse than the others.

Previous research has linked TV-watching with long-term attention problems in children, but the new study suggests more immediate problems can occur after very little exposure — results that parents of young kids should be alert to, the study authors said.

Kids’ cartoon shows typically feature about 22 minutes of action, so watching a full program “could be more detrimental,” the researchers speculated, But they said more evidence is needed to confirm that.

It is just one study and not a very good one.

The results should be interpreted cautiously because of the study’s small size, but the data seem robust and bolster the idea that media exposure is a public health issue, said Dr. Dimitri Christakis. He is a child development specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital who wrote an editorial accompanying the study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Christakis said parents need to realize that fast-paced programming may not be appropriate for very young children. “What kids watch matters, it’s not just how much they watch,” he said.

This study used a small sample of children with similar background and they were not evaluated before the study.

Most kids were white and from middle-class or wealthy families. They were given common mental function tests after watching cartoons or drawing. The SpongeBob kids scored on average 12 points lower than the other two groups, whose scores were nearly identical.

In another test, measuring self-control and impulsiveness, kids were rated on how long they could wait before eating snacks presented when the researcher left the room. “SpongeBob” kids waited about 2 1/2 minutes on average, versus at least four minutes for the other two groups.

The study has several limitations. For one thing, the kids weren’t tested before they watched TV. But Lillard said none of the children had diagnosed attention problems and all got similar scores on parent evaluations of their behavior.

Well, I don’t care what that study says. I like Spongebob and I have watched the show for years. I don’t think it has affected my mental  functioning at all. O look, shiny object.

Where was I? Seriously though, Spongebob is not educational programming, just a silly show. Parents probably shouldn’t let their young children watch too much of any show on television, but I am sure that an occasional episode of a silly cartoon won’t scar a four year old for life.

Pay TV Industry Loses Subscribers

August 10, 2011

From Yahoo News. Now we know the economy is bad. Record numbers of people are giving up cable and satellite television.

The weak economy is hitting Americans where they spend a lot of their free time: at the TV set.

They’re canceling or forgoing cable and satellite TV subscriptions in record numbers, according to an analysis by The Associated Press of the companies’ quarterly earnings reports.

The U.S. subscription-TV industry first showed a small net loss of subscribers a year ago. This year, that trickle has turned into a stream. The chief cause appears to be persistently high unemployment and a housing market that has many people living with their parents, reducing the need for a separate cable bill.

We gave up cable and satellite years ago. Considering the quality of almost everything that is on television, there seemed little point in paying for it. I wouldn’t pay for the privilege of crawling around in a dumpster, why should I pay for the garbage that’s on TV?

There is another explanation though, the Internet.

But it’s also possible that people are canceling cable, or never signing up in the first place, because they’re watching cheap Internet video. Such a threat has been hanging over the industry. If that’s the case, viewers can expect more restrictions on online video, as TV companies and Hollywood studios try to make sure that they get paid for what they produce.

I hope not, though I suspect that the entertainment industry will have its way in the end.


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