Monday, November 12, 2007

Writers' Strike Could Save the World

The writers' strike could do far more towards saving civilization than vain and incredibly expensive attempts to stop natural climate change. (It's reported CBS News writers may strike. How will you know the difference?)

In fact, the writers’ strike is a wonderful thing that I wish would never end. For over fifty years I have watched television destroy social life, family life, and education of the poorest and most vulnerable, while cheapening our culture and values.

I was one of the hooked, often sitting in front of a television set passively watching while life, often the lives of my family and loved ones, became an almost ignored background to the flickering figures on the screen. I watched a transition in what was prized and respected in our culture. Parents on television shows went from being strong and thoughtful, even wise, to being slow-witted out-of-touch boobs, the butt of jokes played and voiced by their quicker witted, much more socially aware children.

Business owners and managers soon became the bane of civilization, and then the police profession and its activities which touch the lives of such a small percentage of our population grew to become the pervasive dramas on television. Along the way court room dramas created a fiction about judicial procedures most people soon though represented reality.

Ubiquitous celebrities with loud mouths and little education command headlines with their pronouncements on every issue, unfailingly dealing with things they scarcely understand.

Television news has reduced commentary and analyses of issues into sound bites, and in-depth analyses by true experts is ignored because it doesn’t fit TVs time constraints and isn't presented by attention grabbing celebrities. In turn, the time constraints of television are reflected in the brief attention spans of its devoted watchers.

Television producers learned years ago that the mind numbing entertainment they dished up had become more important to their audience than the events of the day. Nothing was guaranteed to cause more distress and anxiety amongst television watchers than an interruption of a favorite show to bring an urgent news report.

So count me in as a one hundred percent supporter of the writers’ strike. I only regret that some shows, like the game shows and “reality” programs may be able to go on without writers. For that I say, for shame any television performer or worker who crosses the writers’ picket lines.

In fact, television workers of the world, show your solidarity with each and every downtrodden and exploited worker of the world, and honor all their picket lines no matter what or where or why they’re striking.

It’s the greatest gift you could give your world.

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