Thursday, February 8, 2007

Stop With The Messages Already!!

There was a time when I used to watch TV to me crazy...entertained. Shows were neutral and, for the most part, a refuge for those of us who were seeking some harmless distraction from a world filled with frightening realities. Oh how things have changed. These days, a show isn't 'cool' unless it sends a political message.

For example. the other night, I turned on one of my favorite TV shows, Boston Legal, and it wasn't long before I felt as if I were in the midst of a political rally. It's a well written program, the cast is terrific and I know that the show has always leaned gently in a certain political direction. But suddenly I wasn't laughing, like I normally do, at the dialog. I found myself angry and feeling as if I'd been deceived. You see, some of my values and moral beliefs weren't simply being challenged, I could have accepted that; they were being assailed, denigrated and ridiculed by the characters on the show or should I say, more accurately, the writers, the producers and ABC. This program wasn't leaning gently, it was listing so hard that it sunk that episode for me. Why did I feel deceived? Because I mistakenly believed that I could trust these people to maintain a certain level of professional neutrality.

I don't want a lecture when I watch an entertainment show. There was a time when you could turn on a show and get away from it all. But with shows like The West Wing, Boston Legal and others there's no escape.

And who died and left them in charge? What makes them think that they have the right answer and it's their obligation to teach us? Most of us are adults. We read, pay attention and have a handle on what's happening in the world. We have opinions and beliefs. Do we really need to have someone who lives in a fairytale world tell us how we should live in the real world?

Contrary to what many in the media would say, it's OK to have your own beliefs. It's arrogant to think that everyone has to be on the same page. It's even more arrogant to think that you have the right to use programming, which is invited into the viewers home, to propagandize, so us uninformed will start thinking straight.

Those are my thoughts. What do you think?

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