Please pass this on to everyone you know or will ever know.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Fall of Television

In honor of Andy Griffith (June 1, 1926 - July 3, 2012), please enjoy this oldie, but a goodie.

As I sit down and get ready to veg out and watch a bit of television (or more likely, a couple shows on Hulu), I am frequently appalled by the things I see and hear; commercials for adult merchandise, women who are nearly naked, and language that my mother would smack me for using. Television is falling faster and faster into the abyss of explicitness, however there are still educational and wholesome programs available for everyone.

For someone who is trying to keep smut out of their mind and home, it can be difficult. Even during the simple act of watching the news, one is bombarded with ads for wiener cream and other sex devices. During prime time television, the sexual content is so racy that you might as well turn on a pornographic video, because at least then you'd get less bad language! Television is steadily heading downhill with rough language, risqué content, and strong sexual back beats promoting teenage promiscuity and glamorizing the gays.


The laws that govern television have become much more relaxed over the past few years. There are shows about housewives, desperately sneaking around to have affairs with teenagers and cracked out hobos (I actually have never seen the show, but they seem like Teri Hatcher's type), and even cartoons that glamorize farts and other violent behavior. There are even plans to make the F-word and full frontal nudity legal on network television, probably. I get this enough in my own internal dialogue, I do not need it from television, America!

Our TV's are our last mind numbing frontier for our children. As responsible adults, it is our moral obligation to protect our children from corruption, while forcing them to watch The Wiggles whenever possible, in order to keep the incessant chatter down. Of course, this can backfire when a commercial for a male enhancement drugs comes on. How would you like to explain that to little Jimmy? I know I wouldn’t. Trust me, I know from failed experience.

Where did the old family-friendly sitcoms of yesteryear go? When did Bart and Lisa Simpson replace Wally and The Beav? I contest that The Andy Griffith Show is infinitely better for our children's minds than Family Guy. Andy Griffith had a moral in every episode. 

Don’t steal. Don’t say bad words. Be respectful to women. Go fishing with Pa. 

Never once was a curse work or a sexual reference used, and is was one of the more successful shows of its day. Today, a certain reality star named Kim can’t keep her marriage together for more than 72 days, and is flaunting her fights all over the super-market tabloids and television “news” stories. I wish we all had a better example of a solid, committed marriage relationship to look at in the mainstream media. It seems like Brad and Angelina might have a good relationship, I mean, with all those kids, but they aren’t even married, so they are officially out as candidates.

Next, professional sports are a long standing American tradition, and I wholly expect them to be wholesome and child friendly. Maybe we change the channel during the hyper sexualized beer commercials once in a long while, but overall, they should be a family friendly experience. 

The Super Bowl is an example of a hit and miss sporting adventure. The game is usually uneventful, the commercials are usually really funny and clever, and the halftime performance is usually something like U2 or Prince, some old, harmless guys playing some old classics as an homage to the older generation in attendance. During the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake royally messed with the Super Bowl and CBS’s credibility with a "wardrobe malfunction." Jackson’s right breast was briefly exposed on live television, and for those of us who were lucky enough to catch it, it was possibly a once in a lifetime chance to see that on network television, except for the 2012 Superbowl, when Cee Lo Green dressed to look like Janet's boob.

I recommend that, instead of subjecting ourselves to this garbage, we fill our minds with healthier, better material. Networks like The Science Channel, The Discovery Channel, PBS and many others show programming that teaches real facts and principles, rather than merely entertain. The 10 o’clock news is an acceptable example of wholesome programming, where the worst thing they talk about is, like, a dead hooker or something, but they do it in a tasteful way, so it’s okay. Besides, by 10:00pm, the children should be in bed anyway, so it’s probably not that big if deal anyway. 

Instead of vegging out, mindlessly flipping channels back and forth between a reality show about old ladies who are addicted to plastic surgery or shopping or sex with teenagers, and a show where a bunch of 25-year-old jackass's jump off of things and hurt each other in other various ways, you might want to watch a documentary about how toilet paper is made, a biography of some famous dead guy, or a show about River Monsters. There are a lot of wholesome educational programs that all you have to do is stumble upon. That’s how I discovered The History Channel.

In conclusion, television is falling faster and faster into the abyss of explicitness, but there are still educational and wholesome programs available for everyone. The next time you are mindlessly flipping through the channels, remember that there are always better things to stuff into your brain, with the exception of Lost. I hate that show. Don't watch it.

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