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.