The Decline of the American Media

There must be something in the spring air. The lunatics, the delusional and the kooks seem to be descending upon us from far and wide: Gaddafi, Charlie Sheen, Julian Assange, and Glenn Beck to name a few. They come at us in all shapes, sizes and ethnicity over the media and political airwaves. Just tune into the television, cable, radio, social networks and even in the halls of Congress. As many have lamented this past week, it’s almost impossible to decipher the recent ramblings of Moammar Gaddafi from Charlie Sheen because it all sounds the same. Scary stuff huh when folks like Sheen take to primetime and Twitter for a public meltdown, and a profitable windfall that may have sacrificed his children. You know listening to him was like listening to ranting of the crazy uncle who spent a bit too much time alone in the attic drinking lighter fluid, and diddling himself. Yet, the real embarrassment is that the American media’s executive producers have not shut down this crass profiteering. We’ve always known that: Gaddafi was stark raving mad; Sheen was spiraling out of control with drugs and drink to the embarrassment of his father; Assange had fantasies of grandeur; Beck was another foul mouthed profiteer picking at the underbelly of America’s prejudices; and the new members of Congress were grandstanding while smiling for the television cameras. Alas, we may have finally reached a dangerous level of toxicity from the blitzkrieg of ratings driven dribble passing as American news coverage.

Tea Party Delivers Their Messaging on Reality TV. Is this How Propaganda Starts?

The Bristol Palin story is like that of a modern day Cinderella as she debuts before millions of viewers on prime time television. Her mother, former Governor Sarah Palin and her advisors are completely brilliant. Thank you very much Frank and Company. This is a media doctor’s wet dream. Using Bristol as Cinderella, they have successfully reached into the hearts and minds of everyday folks across the country. Think about it. Is there a better way to seep into the mainstream than reality television? This move is one of the most brilliant tactics of twentieth century political messaging. Sarah Palin becomes the archetype of everyone’s mom, and paradoxically her daughter is the modern day rags to riches and success story. Here was a chubby, single mom lifted out of the obscurity of her receptionist job in a strip mall in godforsaken Alaska. It does not get better!
Consider that after the debacle of former Republican leader Tom Delay on the same show, these spin masters were smart. They knew it probably would not have worked out to use Sarah herself. But who could resist her kid? She’s likeable, and works very hard for herself and her adorable child. Bristol is the single mom personified. They even show the footage of the storefront from which she was plucked. Oh my, this is every girl’s cherished dream sans the out-of-wedlock pregnancy. And momma Palin can just stand back, and watch it unfold. Who could accuse her of manipulation? She was just the proud momma. What better image could there be? Not much and it is working. No wonder her daughter has been voted back each and every week by viewer support – not the judges until one of the final evenings when she showed real talent.
There is something going on here, and we didn’t even see it coming. Oh woe is me; I think we have been duped yet again. Somehow, the American public perceives that the Democrats are unfeeling, out of touch with Middle America, and arrogant. How did this happen? We are Middle America! Yet somehow, Sister Palin has her thumb on the pulse. We need to look carefully at the subliminal messaging that is going on, and wonder how and why we could have missed it. Call it what you may, but Sarah Palin and her movement – the Tea Party and their advisors are running circles around us. We are losing the game of public opinion. So it is not proposed that we put the Vice President’s son, Beau Biden on Survivor; but rather that we look hard and long at the messaging and how it is being delivered. Further, we need to embrace what it will take for us to reach back out and connect. This is the teachable moment. May we reach out and own it.
Note, this article appeared earlier in the Huffington Post, “Bristol Goes Dancing and Has a Tea Party.”

New TV Shows

My wife and I watched some of the new TV shows. We had set up the TiVo to record them, so we were able to catch them at our leisure. Is there another writer’s strike going on, or is it just bad writing?
Blue Blood. Right away the police are torturing someone, drowning him in a toilet after smashing his face on the porcelain several times. I guess it’s supposed to be OK because he then tells them where a kidnapped child is located. (On TV torture is always a positive because very very bad people are tortured and they always give up important information that immediately saves innocent lives in the nick of time.) This show is off our list and we will not give it a second chance, no matter what, after being made to watch the violent torture scene. I think in the future viewers should be warned if the people involved in making this show are involved with any others. Too bad because we love Tom Selleck in the Jesse Stone series.
Lone Star. Terrible, offensive, insulting, we watched about ten minutes and told the TiVo never to record another one. Who thought this would be interesting? It’s not like Dexter which has some depth and is well-written.
Detroit 1-8-7. Formula, but we were able to watch it to the end without getting sick. So maybe we’ll give it a chance.
Chase. Copy of In Plain Sight? We won’t know because we couldn’t stand watching it for long enough to find out what it is about. Formula. People running, chasing bad guys, running, chasing, running chasing. Turned it off really fast. Not interested.
Outsourced. Not as well done as the movie (rent it, it’s a great, great movie), but we did watch till the end, enjoyed the characters. It is a very bad time for this show, because of the anger it has to bring up in people who have lost jobs, but they do portray the Indian people as interesting, likable and actual individual human beings. Maybe the show will survive.

Posted in TV

Moving Boxes

When a man walks into a room, he brings his whole life with him.
He has a million reasons for being anywhere.
Just ask him. If you listen, he’ll tell you how he got there. How he forgot where he was going.
And then he woke up.
If you listen he’ll tell you about the time he thought he was an angel and dreamt of being perfect, and then he’ll smile with wisdom, content that he realized the world isn’t perfect.
We’re flawed because we want so much more; we’re ruined, because we get these things, and wish for what we had.
– Mad Men. I found an interesting post about it here.

Posted in TV