Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, November 25, 2004

  Turkey day

In watching TV at my brother's place in NJ I'm struck by a couple things.

The daily show is GOOD. I laughed my tush off at the recent show on the competition between "South Jersey Magazine", "South Jersey Magazine", and "SJ" - three publications all trying to capitalize on the "events" in this staid, quiet area of vacation homes, casinos, and wet weather.

Tivo makes modern television almost bearable. Where I used to treat the 3 minute break every 15 minutes as time for smoking or going to bathroom, my bro's hands just twitch towards Tivo's fast forward button, and boom, those 3 minutes are wiped out by a 3 second blur of commercials, and then back to the show.

Still, the reality shows of people trying to lose weight, the forensic shows trying to figure out who horribly murdered a character introduced in the teaser with a serving fork, and comedy shows about the 70s, all leave me cold, and uninvolved, and wanting to make a trip to the nearest library for something that doesn't make me twitch towards the fast forward button.


One of the things that draws me away from being a journalist, and more of a columnist, is the essential sameness of the journalist templates for so many things.

This morning I woke up to TV news doing the classic live interview of "soldier at war talks to wife at home with kid"

"I love you so very much", she says, while the baby suckles, and the soldier says something like "I love and miss you too", and she says "I can't wait til you come home again", and she and the baby start bawling...

... cut to commercials

I wondered what the soldier's reaction was? "You just keep on taking care of that baby, I've got insurgents to shoot and people to protect here, I'll be home in time to teach the kid baseball."

I'm grateful for one thing this turkey day. Can you imagine the Islamic reaction to this holiday if the pilgrims had celebrated thanksgiving by eating ham? Or commercials, like "Pork: The other white meat" got run on the Voice of America?

Everything should have a fast forward button.

the other journalistic template that got under my skin these past month was:

"New asteriod NOT GOING TO HIT EARTH." Even when done well, as in the Economist's recent story on Toutatis, it gets under my skin. However... Someday, some reporter is going to notice that all the things we are developing under the auspices of "fear of asteroids", could one day be used to benefit from them, by, for example, building space elevators.

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