Posted by: zephaniah317 | January 11, 2008

Media Rant

What have we become?  What will we continue to become?  Where’s all this going?

I’ve become increasingly aware of the lack of love and God in our society lately.  In my last post, I spoke of males and females and how they/we portray each other, what we’re “required” to be:  “cool”, “sexy”, “popular”.  In our media, I’m increasingly aware of the importance of money and status in our society.  A friend of mine bought “Little House on the Prairie” on DVD a while back, mainly because it’s a wholesome show that his kids can watch, and to his and their credit, they love it.  Average time of each episode:  51 minutes.  He also owns “Prison Break” on DVD.  Average time of each episode:  42 minutes.  So, in the last 20 years or so, commercial time has increased 100%.  Let that sink in for a minute.  We’re watching more TV than ever in our country’s history (I’m assuming, I don’t know that for a fact), but we’re actually seeing less of what we’re watching TV for.

I was watching a game show this evening on TV.  At 15 before the hour, right when the host had stated that they were going to determine if the contestant had given the right answer or not, right after the break (which all prime time game shows do now, much to my fury), I turned off the TV and went downstairs to check email and a couple of other things, came back at least 5 minutes later, and the show was just getting around to the answer.  Glad I stepped away for a few.

Don’t even get me started about sports, which is about all I watch anymore on TV.  I think it all started several years back when some TV executive said, “hey, ya know, we could throw in another commercial right after each change of possession, like a kickoff or something.”  No lie, I once watched a Jets game on Sunday afternoon, and here was the sequence:  The Jets scored at the end of a quarter.  Commercial.  The Jets kicked the extra point.  Commercial.  The Jets kicked off.  Commercial.  Then the game resumed.  Drove me nuts.  It’s the same in the college football games, too.  This is very hard for a boy who grew up in Alabama loving college football.  I almost can’t watch this stuff anymore.  The bowl games this year were a JOKE.  Anyone actually timed a football game lately?  I’d like to see how much actual football there is in the 3 1/2 to 4 hour period I’m in front of the TV.

For another example:  The TV networks lie to us every week.  They do!  “Seahawks vs. Redskins, this afternoon at 4:00 pm on NBC!”  Nope.  What that means is at 4:00 pm, the pundits in the studio in New York will begin their assault on our brains with 30 minutes of opinion about the game – oops, sorry, with commercials, probably only 21 minutes – and maybe a heartwarming personal interest story thrown in for good measure.  Then, at 4:30, the game will start.  The most annoying thing about it is, this last Saturday, for example, the two announcers, when they were finally given the camera at 4:30, succintly and very efficiently paraphrased and summarized the entire preceding 21 minutes of opinion and story in approximately 2 minutes.  I felt like I wanted a 1/2 hour of my life back.

Is it any wonder I only get (want!) 12 channels, and I actually have TBS and a couple of others de-programmed from my remote?  One more thought…During the Titans-Chargers game on Sunday evening, Vince Young went down on a pretty vicious sack by a Chargers linebacker.  As he lay there writhing in pain, he rolled over on the referee’s foot, at which point the referee…uh, hello?…was waving his arms in the air and signalling fourth down or something.  Meanwhile, the Chargers players were jumping around, as if they’d just won the Super Bowl, and Tennessee’s trainers were way late getting on the field, while the San Diego fans were also in full throat.  I felt like saying, “hey, I didn’t know this game was being played at the Roman Colosseum!  Where are the lions and tigers?  Which are the Romans, and which are the Christians?!?!”

Everyone’s looking for something.  America is, believe me.  And we continue to look in the wrong places.  The next big game show, the next “reality” show, the hype surrounding every football game or sporting event now, the next big leap in technology, what is the hottest toy for Christmas.  And, we’re repeating ourselves:  Bionic Woman, American Gladiators (are ya kidding me?), Knight Rider, Transformers, et. al.  We’re running out of ideas (latest sign of the apocalypse:  The Moment of Truth, a new game show coming out soon where people answer questions for money like “have you ever been paid for sex?” while hooked up to a lie detector, while their significant other watches from nearby).  Heck, even the nightly news is more about the “hot story” and the “spin” on it than actual news.  I believe I’ve heard more than once that MTV and VH1 by and large don’t even show music videos anymore?  Hello?

Haven’t we seen this type of behavior before?  Babylon?  Rome?  Ring a bell?  Pick a “great empire” or “great society”.  Any one.  Remember what happened to them?  Are they still around?

Life is getting very complicated and lustful.  More than I’ve ever seen it in my 38 years.  I know, you’re probably saying at this point, “Well, Zeph, if you don’t like it, just turn the thing off!”  I hear ya.  I do.  I have.  I will.  Doesn’t make it go away, though.  I guess I’m just saddened and worried by the lack of humble, captivating women and honorable, just, men of integrity in the world.  Especially with guys, I see “the light going on” – you know, the point in a man’s life where he puts away the childish attitude and gets serious about life, even if it isn’t about God or coming to Christ – later and later.  With me, it took 38 years, and I’m still in a tug of war between maturity and immaturity most days – I feel like a mess inside.

Anyway, that’s my rant.  I’ve given up on TV.  My heart just wants to be able to relax again someday.  Just doesn’t feel like I can.  I even start flying through a book I’m reading if the action gets intense, skipping words and such (if it’s a fiction novel – I’m not that far gone yet).  Like it’s impossible or we weren’t meant to relax and be quiet anymore or something.  God, please remind me, take me to a quiet place where I can hear You.  I know it’s there.  Help me unplug.  Please.

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Responses

  1. Hi…great post..I agree….t.v. is just rough these days….I watched a brief part of an old favorite of mine and that was The Brady Bunch….shows like that and Little House On The Prarie tought us some good stuff….now I just read..read read….play games with the family..etc….Enjoyed your singing today at church…take care..!

  2. Wow! That was a rant. I agree about the television commerical issue and, actually, a lot of other people do too. That’s why TiVo and the digital video recorder and TV on DVD are so hot right now. I don’t have hard stats but have done some reading on the subject and the television commercial industry is at a crossroads…that doesn’t mean they’re figuring out how to stop being obnoxious, but they’re looking for new ways to be obnoxious! Check out the increase in product placement, etc. Or for that matter, why so many events are named after products now (the San Diego County Federal Credit Union Pointsettia Bowl, anyone?) Anyway, I’m not defending the television industry, but I do feel that there is some validity to the artform of television. And I do believe there is validity to the desire to “relax in front of the TV”…just like anything else that’s an impulse that can control us, which is an issue with us not the form itself. My bigger beef is with pop culture which implies that we are part of the problem since we live in the culture. If we begin to deepen our education about what makes excellent media — stretch our understanding of the artform of film and story — we’ll begin to consume higher quality stuff which will place the demand on the industry to excel. Anyway…I could go on longer, but that’s my two-and-a-half cents worth.

  3. I was looking at the top of your main page and just wanted to say You are a warrior!

  4. Aye Captain! Commercials are out “o” control! But I must say there are some shows that I just love! I don’t need em’…but I do think there are some good quality programming. 24 anyone? lol.

  5. Thanks for everyone’s comments. Let us pray for BurningAlive…in the hopes that he will see good acting on television in his lifetime…

    LP, I agree, God is glorified in a lot of what we see, I guess my point is it’s getting very hard to find! 🙂 Thanks again.

  6. You haven’t even watched 24!


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