Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Idiot TV

Back before "the man" took gangsta rap and played it on the MTV, rappers had good things to say. In fairness there still are rappers who write about more than bling, hos and 40's, but it's unlikely that you're going to hear lyrics like these on top 40 radio:

Sugar sweet sitcoms
that leave us with a bad actor taste while
pop stars metamorphosize into soda pop stars
You saw the video
You heard the soundtrack
Well now go buy the soft drink
Well, the only cola that I support
would be a union C.O.L.A. (Cost of Living Allowance)
On Television.

Television, the drug of the Nation
Breeding ignorance and feeding radiation

The song comes from a group called Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy. I don't agree with all that they have to say, as is the case with most of the music I listen to, but the chorus is dead on and at least they're thinking. Music, is, or is supposed to be an artform. It influences and entertains.

I know that a lot of my posts are just me complaining about how bad things are, and I don't mean to come across as a vapid discontent, but what has happened to television? I sat down to watch some TV tonight for some reason. Stupid I know.

Every time I sit down in the effort to forget thinking for a bit, to clear my mind and just relax. Invariably I end up disgusted that there are:
a 150 channels 24 hours a day
you can flip through all of them
and still there's nothing worth watching

It has become utterly unbelievable. It's always been that way I suppose, at least in my lifetime, but you'd think the citizens of this fair land would get disgusted at some point. Apparently drowning in mediocrity is the national status quo.

Maybe, just maybe, if we all started to stop watching the tube and started reading a book once in awhile--and no, romance novels don't count--our culture wouldn't aggravate me to the point that I end up complaining about it almost constantly.

In fairness, too, this is what captialism and democracy has wrought. Perhaps the founding fathers were right to loathe and distrust the people, God knows I find myself doing the same.

Still, I'm not ready to sign up for socialism. If people prefer to sit in front of the television all day, chasing happiness in the form of pretty pictures and luxurious material possessions, who am I to tell them that they're misguided? Assurdely they are, but it is not just to revoke freedom just because people misuse it.

So here I am again, vitriol spewed, taking the role of the pseudo-intellectual by separating myself from the masses, offering no real solution. It's becoming a tired tradition.

The fiftieth anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451 has an interview with Ray Bradbury. He says, "The main problem is the idiot TV". I couldn't have said it better myself.

Turn the idiot off and pick up a book; Fahrenheit 451 is a great place to start.

1 comment:

Becks said...

Wiser- Nicely said.
We may not agree on much but here is something we can agree on. I've been reading your blog since you made an appearance at Cranky's site. I appreciate your thoughtful, intelligent approach to subject matter. Keep on keepin on!