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Entries in TV (2)

Tuesday
Aug172010

Worstness.

This is one of the worst things that has ever happened on American television. Now, I say that partly to shock you. Although only partly. Hear me out.

Why is this kid allowed on national television to review movies and by extension - discuss the art of cinema? Who is he? Is he some sort of wunderkind that possesses an amazingly diverse knowledge of film? Or is he just some child that has been allowed to morph into this hideous caricature of what a movie critic ought to be? 

Let me be absolutely clear - I don't harbour any ill will toward this pre-teen boy. At least not any more than the average level of hatred I feel for all young people. I completely blame his appearance on my computer screen (and American television sets) on his parents and the producers of this particular show. Someone should call child protective services.

So why is he here? Is he here to discuss the craft of movie making? The art of telling stories and evoking emotions through a visual medium? Has he perhaps thought of some fresh, new, borderline revolutionary approach to interpreting the foggy old motion pictures? Of course not. His sole purpose on the show is as a curiosity. Some sort of freakish man-boy who acts and talks like someone thrice his age. A middle aged, no talent, complete and utter douche bag. Is this what we are reduced to? Watching someone who has yet to reach puberty spout his unfounded opinions on movies, and critiquing what amounts to the culmination of other people's professional careers? Seriously?

I am not even implying that this kid doesn't have the right to his opinions, tastes and musings. If indeed they are his own. What I am saying however is that they have no place on a major media outlet. They should be restricted to his YouTube account or blog or Twitter. Or what ever the hell it is that young folk use these days.

Sure, most people probably do not mind at all. They aren't in the least bit troubled that he has taken the place of someone who might actually have a God damn idea of what they're saying. I however do mind. I do not think that intelligent discussion on art should take a back seat to some ratings grabbing oddity with red hair. Who clearly has only really learned the tropes of a public speaker and not the actual mental prowess of a debater or critic. But maybe that's good enough for most people. As long as he appears to know what he's talking about - it'll do. After all, that's almost the same thing as actual arguments, right?

I'm going to wildly speculate here and propose that this is a symptom of a modern misguided belief that "Everyone's opinions matter equally as much.". This idea that no matter who you are or what the subject matter - your opinion has an equal value to that of everyone else's. Well, it bloody well does not. A neurologists opinion on what to do in case of a stroke should (and thankfully does) matter a whole hell of a lot more than what I might be able pull out of my ass from having watched all episodes of House M.D.

In ordinary society this becomes a problem of course, as we have a problem of gauging someone's intelligence, level of knowledge and aptitude towards the issue at hand. This forces us to hear everyone out in order to know which people we can ignore. We simply cannot immediately determine how reliable they are as a source of information from appearances and background alone. Unless they look like an outright homicidal loon and the topic of discussion isn't: "How to get bloodstains out of the carpet in the trunk of my car.". In essence, we have no quantifiable way of measuring these things, to keep track. Like, say: a number. 

Only in this case we do. It's called his age. It's eleven.* And it doesn't add up to being anywhere near enough. Certainly not to allow him onto broadcast television and discussing anything more advanced than what he ate for dinner today. Randomly tripping over some truth is not the same thing as being knowledgeable. What's next? Babies reviewing classical music?

 ‎"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

*How was he even allowed into a PG-13 movie to begin with?

Thursday
Oct302008

Back to you in the studio.

Dear television humanoids, please stop showing me weather reports all the time. For the love of all that is holy please stop! Neither I nor anyone else living in the 21st century has any use for them. Also, I have no idea what those little  arrows and lines on the map really mean. Is that the direction the weather is moving in? Isn't weather all around us all the time? Sort of like the Unitarian definition of God?

Weather used to play a huge part in the lives of everyday people. It dictated what you could do, and when you could do it. With little chance of escaping it. Man was subject to patterns of nature he couldn't quite understand. Over time we have tried to develop new ways of understanding weather systems and their causes. Doppler radar and incredibly complex computer models have given us small advances in our knowledge of these phenomena. But a modern person has no use for this information.

What the hell does any of this mean?

We live in houses, drive cars, wear proper clothing and work in climate controlled office buildings. A normal person does not spend hours a day outside exposed to the elements. That only happens if something has gone awry. Besides, chances are they won't remember what the weather man said this morning anyway. They were too busy trying to wash the vomits stains out of their dress socks. Big promotion coming up!

Unless it's a huge hurricane of shit heading my way it won't affect my life in any real way. And I think such an event would warrant a small segment of its own. Somewhere between the feel-good story of a kitten being rescued from a well and the sports results. I don't need to know the possible weather four days from now. For most of us simply looking out the window before deciding for or against wearing a jacket should suffice.

What's the weather going to be like tomorrow? More or less like yesterday. The earth won't suddenly start spinning backwards on its own axis. It's not going to start raining upwards. Hot won't be cold. And November is not going to be a pleasantly sunny month. Meteorology is mostly just guesswork in front of a green screen. Suit up and let's roll.