This is so disgusting, I can barely believe it...except TV has already made celebrities out of the Dumbers (or whatever their name is), the Palins, and a lot of bimbos whose names I can't remember.
Intelligence and television have a poor intersection set. Certainly there's PBS and the Discovery Channel and the occasional excellent documentaries I see on HBO and elsewhere, but in the main, all television does is "to entertain, amuse and insulate," as Edward R. Murrow once suggested.
Most of commercial television doesn't want a thinking audience anyway. Thinking people question, both content and commercials, and may not buy what an advertiser is hawking simply because it insists they do. If the watcher is sufficiently perceptive, he or she will notice that the content is, with precious few exceptions, fluff and cotton candy, and will either look for something more satisfying on another channel or, horror of horrors, turn the damned thing off.
The hell of it is, too, reality television is the worst offender of the lot, and to add the cherry on top, it's cheap to produce. Win-win for the industry; lose-lose for anyone with brain engaged.
I even stopped watching PBS most of the time when they started adding "almost commercials" in place of "This program was brought to you by the ______ _____Foundation," or something similar some years ago. Of course that was made necessary by congress cutting their funding every year to help kill more civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A friend of mine, who is a veteran (and probably would not be alive today if it weren't for the VA) suggested that if quasi-celebrities want to play war games, send them to Afghanistan and let them play with live ammo while dodging the Taliban.
I already signed a similar petition, thanks.
Signed. Imagine that the TV gave us programs that would teach, inform and widen our horizon... Too good to be true. Every day after the news (full of sports and non-news) I zap through our 30 channels and find next to nothing. You're right Loren, it is "to entertain, amuse and insulate," and they make a good job of it.
Glad to sign. Once again, "reality" TV has lowered the bar for all of us. I'm a big proponent of "if you don't like it, turn it off" (which is what I do), but the pervasive dumbing-down effect of this type of unprincipled programing affects us as a society.
I know what you mean. I want to re-read Steve Allen's book, DUMBTH...I think it was published more than 20 years ago, and the dumbing down began long before that...
Things like dropping requirements for admission to California's "elite" universities is just one example. When I was in high school it was taken for granted that you had to have a B+ average in ALL college prep classes to get into UCLA and UC Santa Cruz, to name just two...and you had to have so many years of math, a science, and a foreign language. I don't know about the math and science now, but they dropped the foreign language requirement around 1980, and over 50% of American-born, Anglo, freshmen had to take "Bonehead English."
Shameful. If a person can't read and write his/her own native language, how the *bleep!* can they think clearly?
And I rarely watch TV anymore. I sometimes pig-out on the Food Network, but even they have added more and more stupid "contests"....mostly ugly-cake decorating.
I sometimes wonder if the plethora of real online petitions does any good, but I was involved in Bjo Trimble's letter-writing effort that convinced NBC to renew "Star Trek" (TOS) for one more season. The shows for that season were dreadful, but it meant that there were enough episodes "in the bank" to make syndication possible. Syndication was what started the whole "Trek" phenomenon.... I'm proud of that little activity.