The other morning I was running on my treadmill and inadvertently watched portions of a Los Angeles-based morning news show. To say it was embarrassing is an understatement. I am not going to identify the program because I decided to channel surf a bit on other local such shows and found they were all like this one.
The best way to describe it is visual diarrhea. Or public vomiting. That may be better, I guess. But the real tragedy is that people tell me they are very popular. And they may be our best reflection of what we are as a society.
Years ago, a newsman by the name of Edward R. Murrow said something like this (I’m paraphrasing, of course) : If television becomes nothing more than a medium of mindless entertainment, senseless frivolity and/or idiotic banter, we are to blame for the decline of this once great society. For television for the sake of television is the worst of all possible worlds. It is, my friends, the end. And we are to blame.
I don’t mean to sound pessimistic about our future, but if these “morning news shows” are our future. Then we have no future. We have only momentary, hedonistic pleasure, which is fine, I suppose, but there must be something more. And that something more must be discussions and debates regarding topics from education, public policy, sexual behaviors, genetic discoveries; I could increase the list ad infinitum, as they say.
We can’t have that because it’s just to damn dull. Life is too difficult. Jobs are hard to come by, as is the accompanied paycheck. Bills must be paid. Kids must be raised. Insurance must be met. Health care must be obliged. The trouble with daily living is that it’s to damn daily. No question about that.
Still, there has to be a way to realize that this box, this television screen is much more than a collection of digital impulses. It is a tool to instruct, guide and show us the way out of the darkness, not deeper into the darkness.
Also, I was sad, watching this collection of well-paid goofs, yaddering about people’s butts, celebrity break-ups and whatever else was on their menu of dog waste. Such a shame.
But what do I know? It’s taking me all these years to finally see one of these deals. And that was by accident. Just sad. Real sad. Maybe, I won’t run in the morning anymore. Doesn’t solve anything, but it does make for a better run.