Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I dreamed a dream in time gone by...

The inventor of television, along with the creators of contact lenses, answering machines, cell phones, tivo and cheddar fries, should get the Nobel Prize. While Newton Minow might think television is a vast wasteland I say it's more like an oasis. Besides, how many "Newts" can you name to take seriously? (Isaac Newton doesn't count who by the way was deemed "idle" and "inattentive" at school only later to create calculus before age 25 when sitting home due to his university being closed due to bubonic plague.) Some dream of mathematical discoveries I dreamed of controlling television. And my dream came true.

A few years ago a non-descript man pulled up in my driveway and said he was from A.C. Nielsen and would I like to be a "Nielsen family?" After I snapped out of my momentary euphoria I think a drooled a "yes" and my dream had come true. A couple of black boxes later and I controlled television. I represented 30,000 people and with a click of my remote that is more like a sixth finger on my right hand I could make or break Emeril or Supernanny. Who do you think did in Aaron Brown? I had power beyond reason. You get nothing Fox. A little for you Ted Koppel. A bit for you House Detective. A visit for you Iron Chef.

But alas, the dream did not last. A couple of years after being given The One Ring of statistical participation it was taken away. I cried in bed for a month. I am back to being mortal. My power is gone. This came to mind recently when I realized I no longer watch a lot of shows. The Jon Stewart philosophy sunk in. Cable "talk" shows are hurting America. Hardball, Crossfire (RIP), Scarborough Country, The Situation with Tucker Carlson - not to be confused with The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer - an equally worthless waste of time are all not worth the videotape they are printed on. Six minute segments to let two "opposing" views scream at each other. It's pro wrestling for people who consider themselves educated. It's an intellectual diet of soda and candy. It rots your brain. Want to hear what a real debate sounds like one that rips to shreds a Bush administration apologist on the issue of spying and wiretaps and the Patriot Act? Go here and listen to this.

Take the time. Listen to it. Want to hear an informed law professor debunk the urban legends and explain in simple and straightforward ways how clearly illegal an act it is to order domestic spying on Americans without a warrant? The take the time and listen. Did you know that the FISA Act only allows a maximum 15 days of warrantless wiretaps even if a war if formerly declared? You really think if war isn't formerly declared FISA allows unlimited warrantless wiretaps? You think "use of appropriate force" to go after Al Qaeda is a stronger declaration than a formal passage of Articles of War? Like I said, it's longer than 6 minutes and worth the listen.

So I'm off the screaming matches. Meet the Press is also on the chopping block. It's just MTV-like talking videos of entertainment. It's a wasteland. I'm going back to watch the end of Wife Swap. Cheers.


Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

No one person invented any of those things, not even Ike Newton, but the Fig Newton should be taken very seriously.

11:28 AM  
Blogger phinky said...

Unfortunately, the spin has begun. The rules and regulations governing intelligence collection are long and complicated. Especially when it comes to collecting on US persons. Many people do not understand how a US person is defined.

9:07 PM  

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