Many years ago the media was atwitter about a strike of TV writers. I remember joking that it’s like the neighbor’s dog formally announcing it will henceforth no longer crap on your doorstep without a cost of living increase. Or maybe it’s like the tagger who spray painted your car demanding better work hours? How could a strike actually work? TV producers could presumably scrape up whatever trust funders they found lying on the floor of an average college English department, shake them out until they found a few that were at least literate, and keep taping.
After all, this was the media with a business model based more on Gilligan’s Island than Masterpiece Theater. At the time of the “terrible strike” TV was already out of ideas. My rabbit ears antennae reported that the entire industry was based on 68 iterations of cop and lawyer shows; all of which were terrible. An already worn out Simpsons was the only hint that writers occasionally crafted a product instead of hammering keyboards; and that was a damn cartoon.
I found the whole thing amusing. TV had been called “a vast wasteland” decades ago and it had steadily declined. I was supposed to worry about “creative talent”? How much worse could it get?
Well I was wrong. It got worse. Scripts slowly went from insipid to non-existent. Who knew I’d look back on Home Improvement and marvel that it had actors, plots, and lines? Who knew I’d someday watch repeats of guys catching shellfish?
The suck continues. Without steady exposure the change is more disconcerting. I’m shocked when I quarterly turn the thing on and see that it’s dived beneath the lowest bar I’d imagined.
This is a problem because I’ve been working extra hard lately. When the work day has been a shit sandwich even a Curmudgeon might decide to fall into the warm sedative of television. The problem… and this is key… is that TV now so bad that I can no longer stomach it. I had a beer and an hour to kill. How could they fail so deplorably? Taki’s Magazine summed up my experience in today’s quote of the day:
“I want to enjoy TV, but every time I open my mind, a TV executive in LA takes a dump in it.”
Indeed. I have no problem with video as a media. I just dislike being treated as less intellectually capable than… say… livestock.
Then the article delivers the kill shot:
“Remember in Idiocracy when Mike Judge predicts that Ow! My Balls! will be the top show in 500 years? Well, about 495 years early, the ‘nut mutilation guy’ has emerged as one of America’s Got Talent’s most popular guests.”
It can’t be! Idiocracy was supposed to be in the future. Many generations of stupid removed from the place where I live and work. Howard Stern and Sharon Osborne clapping with joy watching a guy taking a ball peen hammer in the shorts? NO! This is NOT true because it can’t be. I live on this planet… there’s nowhere else to go.
Ugh… guys catching shellfish really was the “deep stuff” wasn’t it?