I got one of those inevitable mass-mailings on Facebook a few weeks ago, just as most folks do, who are on Facebook for very long. A Facebook “friend” (yeah, one of those friends that you have never actually met) asked what we all thought of the possibility of a No-Fly Zone being imposed on Libya.
I think I may have been the only one who actually answered his question, along with some further remarks about the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.
Most folks just sort of ignored the fellow’s request. The few that responded seemed quite huffy, some going so far as to express their opinions that Facebook was no place for such discussions.
My first, uncharitable thought, was that they must all just spend their Facebook time playing Farmville. They obviously hang out with different Facebook friends than I do. Rare is the day that I log onto Facebook when I don’t see much of the page devoted to political questions and opinions.
I wonder how many of the folks who were upset de-friended the poor guy over his foolishness? Imagine, discussing politics on Facebook!
Next they’ll want to talk about religion, or poetry or the “music” of Leonard Nimoy or any of a thousand other topics too sensitive for the proud citizens of the Nation of The Bland.
Yeah, well, lots of whiners out there in TV Land, too
I was thinking about these poor folks the other day, though, when I reflected on those who complain bitterly about programs like Boston Legal or Battlestar Galactica, programs that deal with modern-day, real-life issues in an entertainment format.
Irate viewers often write letters to TV Guide (yes, some of its readers are still literate, though the numbers are dwindling), organize advertiser boycotts and even attempt to put pressure on networks to have programs taken off the air.
Those poor souls would have nervous breakdowns if had watched TV during the 1960s and early 1970s. Oh, and the late 50s, too.
Sure, there was heavy network censorship and advertiser pressure, but many shows still found a way to address topical issues.
The Defenders? The real Defenders, with E.G. Marshal and Robert Reed, not the Jim Belushi/Jerry O’Connell whatever that is on now.
Marcus Welby, M.D.
The Twilight Zone
The Name of the Game
The Bold Ones
The Mod Squad
All in the Family
Dragnet - hell, just about every cop and lawyer show!
Hell, even westerns.
If you didn’t like the sort of message - Star Trek ( Liberal) Dragnet (Conservative) - you could overlook it, or just not watch the damn thing.
As always, Sturgeon’s Law operated (90 per cent of everything is crap) but when that ten percent shone through, it was often gripping drama.
Today, except for a few brave producers. TV is bland. Where edgy once meant intellectually challenging, today it means an intern and a chief of surgery having sex in the morgue.
Where television once used to deal with racism, poverty, class discrimination; today we see - well, you know what we see, and what we don’t see.
Okay, you’ve got Glee.
Quote of the Day
For every complex, intriguing, engaging, well-scripted, brilliantly acted drama on television, there are 63 cheaply made reality shows killing time and watched by viewers who don't so much want to invest in TV as have it wash over them. - Michael Storey, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (January 13, 2009)