Finally, someone who actually gets it.
It was a great pleasure a few weeks ago to view The Open Channel: Public Access Television and the People Next Door, Niketa Reed’s impressive Master’s thesis project for the University of Arkansas. As might be evident from the title, it is an examination of public access television. Specifically, public access in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
It seems fitting, that in 30 year annivasary of access in the Northwest Arkansas community, such an exccellent docemetary would come along.
Just how excellent is, you may ask, Cranky Reader?
Well, Ms. Reed assigned herself the monumental task of looking over hundreds of hours of videotape, and conducting many exhaustive interviews with those involved with public access over the past three decades - from the very beginnings of Fayetteville Open Channel to the early days of Access 4 Fayetteville, to the present Community Access Television.
Throughout, the passion and vision of those involved with public access shines through. This is a documentary that even someone who has little to no understanding of public access can watch and come away from with a deep appreciation of the medium.
This documentary should be required viewing for anyone in local media who reports on public access (God knows, we’ve seen enough ignorant reporting over the years - all the way up the ladder from reporters to columnists to editors), the Telecomm Board, the City Council and members of the city administration.
At only 26 minutes, it’s not like it would be taking a lot away out of anyone’s day - and they’d be coming away with a chance to finally understand why people feel so passionately about public access, and turn out in droves when they feel it is threatened.
Speaking of bad reporting
On the documentary is a classic example of a reporter who didn’t even do the basic research on how public access worked before she filed her own scare-mongering story.
Well, it’s only public access. Who cares if you actually know what you are talking about when you report on it?
Quote of the Day
A man’s soul can be judged by the way he treats his dog. - Charles Doran
Fast-food hash browns: well, the damn things are unnatural
I was out-and-about this morning and decided to drop into a fast-food place for a bit of breakfast.
“Would you like some hash browns with that,” the young man behind the counter asked, meaning one of those wallet-sized chunks of potato products that are fitted into a little bag with your meal.
Without thinking about it, I blurted out what has been my feeling your years,”No, they’re unnatural.”
Other than looking at me like I had just gotten off the bus from Jupiter, he proceeded to ring up my total.
Now, I love hash browns - especially mixed in with fried egg yoke and ketchup - but perhaps your culkinary tastes aren’t mine. At any rate, this whole notion of smashing them together into a dried up little “Splat!” shape and desperately convincing lost souls that they are somehow still hash browns is like trying to convince me that Eggos are waffles.