Friday, August 29, 2014


I think you could nickname me Mike Teavee and you wouldn't be far from the truth. But recently I have been getting an uneasy feeling about this television addiction I have.

While there is some good stuff on the street there is some really bad stuff being dealt out.  The kind of stuff that can really mess with your mind. It can get deep down in your psyche and do strange stuff to your thinking process.

INFOTAINMENT / Nightly News:  I had all but given that up, all networks really. Too much drama and too few facts.  Well that was until Ferguson, MO became the news hot spot. Ferguson is a city just a few miles from me and I was curious as to what was going on. As the Michael Brown story went from days into weeks, I found myself still glued to CNN, MSNBC and even FOX News as well as our local affiliates.

Until I found myself retching into old airline barf-bags I had laying around the house.  Fact: Michael Brown was an 18 year old, recent high school graduate, bound for Vatterott College. But the media depending on its own particular bias would describe Michael Brown as a teenager or even a child. Rarely referred to as a young man.

He actually was a young man. At eighteen he is old enough to vote, serve in the military and for most things is considered an adult. He was his mother's child, but not a child in the general sense, he was an adult.

The college he was headed to wasn't an Ivy League school or a local university, Vatterott is a trade school, or as they say in their brochures a "career training institute" and that is fine.  I believe in trade schools and I think we need more of them. But the media playing the 'college bound' card was a little off putting if you know of Vatterott College.

These little nuances though shouldn't drive the story away from the truth. A young eighteen year old unarmed black man was shot dead by a local Ferguson police officer. By any stretch of the imagination it was an over reaction by the police and possibly a real crime.

But the media, and shame on them, were more intent in getting viewers and ratings then they were at getting to the truth. And sadly I took the bait that they dangled.  It wasn't until the National Guard was pulled out and the riot brigades took to the side streets and police officers with drawn and pointed weapons ceased to display their weapons so boldly did I finally retreat to other television stations and shows.

SOFT PORN SITES / Almost any television series:  Labeling television series sex as soft porn is really being generous. About the only thing missing is the sight of actually penetration and it doesn't take that active of an imagination to complete the picture.

I am not a prude, far from it, but even I question if we need this so very graphic sex in our family rooms. I know there are parental controls but honestly it is everywhere except for maybe PBS's Children Network and some cooking shows.

These are just a couple of examples of why I think I would be better off if I didn't have television at all. And I especially feel like this on Fridays. Why? Because Friday is the day the book reviews come out in my online Los Angeles Times and New York Times and Washington Post newspapers.

Each week I excitedly scan down the list of new books being reviewed and then return to several to read the in-depth review being presented. And lately more often than not I end up clicking on my Amazon account and ordering a new book.

I think I could retreat into the world of literature and be quite content. I can get my news in print and online and it seems less jaded there. I mean newspapers have more than just the one breaking-news story to sell. And if a writer wants to garner your attention and emotions they seem to attack it on a much higher level then the approach taken by television 'journalists'.

I don't know maybe I really can cut the cord, I'm not sure. But I bet I would be a lot better off if I did.

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