Thursday, September 28, 2006

Reality shows can go suck on a diseased knob

Once upon a time, there was crap TV. The kind of TV we Americans grew up with in the 70's; the kind of TV the UK still has, apparently. There were only a few channels, and if you wanted to watch anything that was not a cop show, a detective show, a sitcom, or some guy that was supposedly a peaceful Chinese monk kicking in the shit of anyone he met, you watched PBS on UHF. That was where your artsy shit was, and your preschool shows, like "Sesame Street." Other than "Wild Kingdom," you were not likely to find anything remotely educational on your regular channels on VHF.

It was a simpler time; a time when TVs had antennas, a time when most TVs had no remote controls. That's why parents had children, back in the day. It was so the kids could be the remote control. My dad never changed a channel or raised the volume on a TV, once he had me and my brother. He told us straight out, that that's what we were there for. Children knew their place back then, and there was none of that touchy-feely spoiled kid shite that goes on today.

Then came cable. Cable changed everything. Now, there was a lot of crap on TV, but a bit more educational stuff. There were cable channels that were simply devoted to certain things. There was A & E, which had arts and entertainment, and TLC, which was the learning channel, and the History channel. You could learn things, and get cultured and shit, just by watching TV. It was brilliant. Also, it was usually a safe bet to let the kiddies watch it. Nothing too graphic, you know.

So, when, as a parent, you got tired of your child's brain turning to mush from watching crappy kid's cartoon shows, and you didn't want to argue with them over how much TV they were allowed to watch, you simply reprogrammed (with that marvelous remote control) the kid's TV to only have educational channels. Then you took the remote away, ha. The kid can't complain, because they're still watching TV. If they did complain, you simply told them that their other choice was (horror of horrors) to turn the TV off. This always got them to shut the fuck up, right quick.

This was an excellent parenting plan, and worked very well for us for quite a few years. We had peace and quiet, and were able to watch our TV shows on our TV, with interruptions from the kid few and far between. Screw that "family time" shit; "Buffy" was on. Then, one day (dum dum DUM!) we noticed a change. The Fledgling Sparrow quit complaining about the educational TV channels that were programmed on her TV. I suppose we should have noticed it faster than we did, but "Firefly" was on. Instead of coming out to bug us, she was quiet in her room. The kind of quiet that she used to be, back when she watched Disney and Nickelodeon. Obviously something very sinister was afoot.

It was far worse than we could ever have imagined. Reality shows had infiltrated all of those educational channels. When we thought the sprog was learning about math, she was actually watching room makeovers. When we thought she was watching ballet performances, she was actually watching wedding planners. When we thought she was learning history, she was actually watching "The Boys From Brazil." Every educational channel had been completely taken over by reality shows and popular hype. It was un-fucking-believable.

Now, you may wonder why we, as parents, were not watching these channels ourselves, and had not noticed this change. First, we are cultured as fuck; second, we are fully educated to boot; third, "Angel" was on; and fourth, fuck off until you have raised kids.

The channel that most disappoints me with their defection is the History channel. "The Boys From Brazil" is no way to learn about boys, or Brazil. Showing Clint Eastwood movies is no way to learn about cowboys or the West. And, the worst fucking thing of all, the History channel now puts on religious crap. Christian religious crap, to be exact.

Now, if Jesus Christ, Noah, or Moses were actual historical figures, you can fuck me up the ass and call me "Spanky." There is absolutely no incontrovertible evidence, by unbiased parties, that anything those fuckers did in the Bible ever actually happened. I don't want to hear of bunch of crap about how the cities in the Bible were actual, historical cities, or anything else along the lines of yada yada yada. The people that use that line of reasoning are so full of shit that their eyes are brown. There are pumpkins mentioned in "Cinderella," and apples mentioned in "Snow White," and pumpkins and apples really exist. Guess what, that doesn't make them any more true than the stuff in the Bible.

I had to completely disabuse my kid on this wacky notion that she had developed; namely, that the Bible was fact, because they showed it on the History channel. If I ever run into those History channel fuckers on the street, I will kick their shite in, especially if my kid grows up to join some kind of Fundamentalist church. Those Fundies really put the "mental" into "fundamental."

It's one thing to have a religion made up from fairy tales. It's entirely another to try to influence people and pass it off as fact. I myself enjoy the benefits (while conveniently ignoring anything I don't like) of two different, conflicting religions, but I wouldn't try to convince anyone else that they both weren't just totally made up, no matter how long ago. I'd just as soon try to convince someone to drill holes in their head, or drop acid in the hopes of permanently fucking up their brain. Actually, I'd probably try to convince people of those last two. It would be a lot more fun than trying to convert them to a religion.

And that brings us to our "Semi-Erect Quote/Thought Of The Day" (trademark coming soon):

"History does not record anywhere at anytime a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it." -- Robert A. Heinlein

If you want a quote having to do with reality shows, tough shit. I can't be arsed. Just go re-read "Fahrenheit 451," and marvel at the fact that it was written in the 1950's, considering that all that technology took over, and is used today. Ray Bradbury is a god.

Fat Sparrow


Kieran said...

It's all true. I thank America for Perry Mason, Ironside, Columbo, Mork and Mindy, Bewitched, the A-Team, Airwolf, TJ Hooker and Dallas. Before them we had terrible programming. Sorry, I mean programing.

PI said...

Hi! Here via lovely Sam. So it isn't a blog about our feathered friends? It's going to be some time before i can get the phrase 'so full of shit his eyes were brown' out of ny head.

Foot Eater said...

Hi, Fat Sparrow, I'm blogging from hospital. After reading your post I jumped off my roof after praying to Ray Bradbury to save me.

You liar.

Andraste said...

Hm...can't remember what brought me here, might have been something in the comments over at FMC's... But I like it here.

Did you just do a rant on religion? I think I might love you.

ill man said...

Ah yes, bible class will now commence in documentary form. Just so y'all know it's fact rather than fiction.

That said, I do like proper archeological docs about biblical times. The backdrop was real, it's just that some of the tales grew in the telling. As all tall tales should.

Fat Sparrow said...

Kieran -- Well, yes, but thankfully now you can be properly appreciative of our cultural superiority.

Pat -- Hi, nice to see you here! Didn't anyone warn you about me, heh heh heh? I guess my warning label must have fallen off.

Footie -- Footie, there are gods, and then there are gods. There are plenty of gods out there that enjoy your pain and suffering. Please note that I did not specify which kind of god Bradbury was. Personal saviors are a different category. So, put down the lawsuit and tell your solicitor to fuck off. I'm sure it was some video game that made you jump off the roof, and not me. Those bastards who made "Grand Theft Auto" have lots of money to give you, whereas I am broke.

Andraste -- Hi, nice to see you here, too! Glad you like it here. I slag off anyone and everything.

"Did you just do a rant on religion?"

If you like rants on religion, you should check out my archives, as there's at least one other in there.

"I think I might love you."

Well, the husband says it's okay, as long as it's girl/girl/boy, so you're in.

Ill Man -- I love archaeology, and anthropology besides, but the Biblical stuff really chaps my thighs, because there's just too many people that take it seriously. I like the Hindu stuff; they know it's all illusion, and whatever we make up and agree upon collectively, and the writing is so much better. Plus, there's nekkid pictures and sex.

Anonymous said...

Enough of this History Channel "end of the world crap".
If Nostrodamis was so great why didnt he write in plan language to let everyone know how smart he was.
My dearly departed mother said people have been proclaiming the end of the world since she was alive. This isnt history . Its bullshit.