Summit Up 09-05-10: Where television is hated
September 4, 2010
Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column bored with television. What’s wrong with us? The programming is intended to deliver what the audience most craves. But we find ourselves madly flipping through channels through nothing but garbage. Animal Planet, for example, was running nothing but “Pit Boss” from Saturday afternoon until the wee hours of Sunday morning. “Former actor, entertainment guru and pit bull rescuer Shorty Rossi has lofty ideals, a tough attitude and an entertainment industry Rolodex to help his cause,” according to the “Pit Boss” site at animal.discovery.com.Well there’s a dog, but otherwise it’s just a lousy excuse for another of the umpteen reality shows we’re subjected to on a bought-and-paid-for cable channels that’s supposed to offer a specialty. Animal Planet should have nothing but animals in their natural habitat filmed with as little human interference as possible. We want whales spraying, playing and mating. Show us the microscopic image of a spider devouring its prey in high definition. Heck, they could save money. Just set up a camera on a tripod near a beaver dam and leave it running. These reality shows are worthless trash. The other cable channels are just as bad. How much interest do you suspect a history enthusiast has in seeing a bunch of blue-collar drivers pull semi truck loads across ice? Give us a break. And what, friends, do you think was playing Saturday on “The Learning Channel”?Perhaps something about the latest advancement in space or health technology? Maybe an interesting feature on the lives of some now-extinct Native American tribe? Fat chance. How about “Toddlers & Tiaras.”What do you suppose that’s about? (A tiara is “a jeweled, ornamental band worn on a woman’s hair,” according to Oxford American Dictionaries.)Here’s the Comcast website’s synopsis we pulled from a Saturday afternoon episode of that one:”Profiling contestants at the Miss Darling Diva Pageant in Brooklyn, N.Y. including a 6-year-old who steals the show with a Tina Turner number.”And how many episodes do you suppose they aired? Six. From 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. it was the only programming on TLC. It was followed by a “Dateline: Real Life Mysteries” about a couple of murderous grifters. People continue to scratch their heads wondering how they’re ever going to get an education in this country competitive with the rest of the world. Well when your kids’ options include from dumb reality shows and dumber childhood beauty pageants on the only channels titled to indicate education, how would you expect them to develop a passion for gaining hard knowledge? Show ’em the news? Not the cable news! All they show anymore is a bunch of screaming heads in different directions interrupted by over-sensationalized rubbish. Alas, C-SPAN turns into Book TV from time to time. This is one of our favorite programs, mostly featuring intellectual (a word that surprisingly has developed a negative connotation in certain political circles) authors of nonfiction speaking at events and taking uncensored questions from the audience. It ain’t polished. Some of the people stutter or have lisps. And most of them aren’t particularly beautiful. The other day a couple of people on there were discussing the effects Internet technology have on human emotion. Fascinating. Recently a woman discussed the balance of our solar system and how it relates to the universe at large. We also dig the late-night local access program showing wild animals of Colorado – in the wild.It’s Sunday; we outside.