All the peace has been written. There are too many things to sob about and fight over, too many burning trucks and people waving flags and children holding Kalashnikovs for us to sit around and waste our time writing about it. It gets done. The terrible parts of human nature need no writers to encourage them, or paint their paintings. They will pillage, rape, and act out against their own species just fine. They have the life. They have what is actually between the lines. And, if someone wants to read about all that, they can seek it out, open the cover, flip the pages.
Television writers did not get this message. TV writers’ responses to all the war and suffering in the world are to make television shows about cops treating people like shit, humiliation, general idiocy. I will kick a hole in my TV if another crime or crime science-related show comes on. The news is either something you already knew, or something you didn’t need to know at all.
When was the last time you turned on a television program to see someone learn a valuable lesson about how to treat another individual? When was the last time you watched a television show that brought out something good in you?
Remember Dr. Huxtable showing Theo how to be a respectable young man? Remember Kurt Loder telling us about music? Remember Picard doing the “right thing”, even though it meant going against the Prime Directive? Remember how in love Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt were? Remember shows centered around people who weren’t complete and utter failures at life and/or the people who arrest, beat and prosecute them?
TV shows with morals used to be for everyone, not just children. According to today’s “standards”, they may have been less entertaining, but that’s because writers left room for narrative based on human condition. Most television in 2011 doesn’t care about storytelling or morality – it cares about keeping heads turned in one direction.
Enter the 90s –
Take a look at these ratings compiled from Nielsen: Number One shows in their respective years.
- 1950-51: Texaco Star Theatre
- 1960-61: Gunsmoke
- 1970-71: Marcus Welby, M.D.
- 1980-81: Dallas
- 1990-91: Cheers
- 2011: American Idol
When stupid is presented to us as the norm, stupid we become. We’ve become. My heart wants to explode when I think of a television “show” like “Jersey Shore.” I want to cry for how sad my country is, that millions of American citizens have nothing better to do than watch ignorant fools make even bigger fools of themselves. I don’t have anger for the cast or creators, I have the sadness a patriot gets when he sees his country being sunk from the inside.
I see the moral degradation of my people and I am ashamed. I want to tear up the skin of the Earth and cover America up with it. I want to wrap myself in Stars and Stripes and cry all the way to the airport.
God, save us from your media outlets. Save us from from our desires. Save us from your glowing box.