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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

"Is this supposed to be good?" 

Over at Pandagon they're having a discussion about The New Culture War. They seem to be focusing on whether government should censor offensive stuff or not -- a discussion which seems pretty pointless to me, because what governments would censor would be swearing and nudity. This would cancel brilliant and thoughtful shows like The Sopranos, and truncate Desperate Housewives -- when what is truly offensive about TV are the junk cultural values expressed by voyeuristic "reality" shows like Growing Up Gotti and The Bachelor, and shows featuring pop-star Lolita wannabes who dress like hookers -- leading to shows like this -- gag me with a spoon.
As I commented at Pandagon, I remember how annoying it was when I was a teenager and my dad would walk in as we were watching TV, look at it for a minute or so, then say with a sarcastic tone in his voice "Is this supposed to be good?"
And then, of course, I did exactly the same thing to my own kids. Because the value of such a skeptical attitude was that it forced me and my sister and brother to decide whether what we were watching actually was any good or not. And if not, then why were we watching it?
Its the reason, today, that there is a lengthy list of shows my husband and I don't bother watching, and neither do my adult children.
So remember those words -- "Is this supposed to be good?" -- and use them.

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