Entertainment scripts are formulaic: plenty of murders, bad language, sex, explosions and gallons of blood and gore. Even when they’re not “re-runs,” the plots are mostly re-runs. So is the news. On broadcast TV, Bush is evil, the Iraq war is wrong, higher taxes and bigger government are good, Democrats are righteous and Republicans are sinners. On cable — depending on the channel — Republicans are good and Democrats are bad, or the reverse. Guests scream at each other and question the other’s patriotism. There are stories about missing women, murdered women, missing children, and various lowlifes who, were it not for TV, would be wallowing in deserved obscurity.
Television was once viewed as a welcome guest in the home. Programmers were to behave as any guest, not soiling the carpet or breaking furniture, controlling their children and demonstrating sensibilities that would not offend their hosts. No more. Today’s television programs behave like uninvited guests who stay too long, eat all the food, drink too much and throw up on the new rug.
Most people could live without TV if they tried. The Writers Guild strike gives them that chance. Take a walk with your daughter. Have a conversation with your wife, your husband. Eat dinner together as a family without the distraction of the television set. Read a book and immerse yourself in fictional characters or real history. Instead of being spoon-fed irrelevancies and meaningless chatter, exercise your mind. You will quickly form new, more pleasant habits that will leave you with better feelings than does TV’s corrupt fare from which more of us should flee.
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