...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:50 AM [+]
I'm down in Southern California collaborating with and training at City of Hope's Cancer Immunotherapeutics & Tumor Immunology group. While here I am staying at a hotel and this affords me the rare opportunity to watch commercial television. I'm not sure how long it's been, but at least two years I'd say, and apparently since that time things have taken a significant turn for the more stupid. I'm sure it's not happened overnight and it's certainly not like stuff on TV wasn't comparatively stupid when I had it piped into my house, but having done some channel surfing this week, I have to say: wow.
I can remember when A&E actually had some programs on it that could be considered "art" in any sense or by anyone's definition. Now the channel is dominated by shows detailing the lives of folks like Gene Simmons' family, a group of people who apparently make a career of bidding on abandoned storage units in the hopes of making a profit, people suffering from a serious malady that has the rest of us feeling good about the messes in our house, and then there is some show called "Parking Wars" which I can only assume is about people trying to argue their way out of parking tickets. Astonishing.
And then there is the station that was a favorite of mine: the History Channel. I was pleased to turn it on one evening and watch a couple of good programs about the civil war. But then these were followed (as we hit prime time) by a show called "Swamp People" which is another of those reality shows that in this case follows the day to day life of people who live or make their living in...yes you guessed it...swamps. It looked to me like it was porn for people who want to maintain all their perceptions and stereotypes of rednecks. Then came "Ice Road Truckers" and "Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy." Sigh. Well at least they have SOME history still left on the "History" Channel.
The take home lesson this week so far with regards to television: I'm not missing much.