On Satellite TV:
We now have 185 channels to watch and a couple dozen new radio stations to listen to.
I have become a remote control button pushing junkie. I hit the numbers for the Food Network and find a show (Emeril Live) that looks good. I think, “I’ll come back to that in a minute. I’ll just go see what’s on RFD.” On RFD, I see a show on a woman who is studying the Alaska Wilderness and wildlife. “Okay, maybe I’ll watch this instead. Let’s just see who is preaching on the Church Channel first.” It’s Adrian Rogers. “Well, I can’t just go off and not listen to Adrian Rogers! I’ll come back here right after I see who is being featured on the CMTV.” It’s Martina McBride and she’s doing Anyway! Now what?
This goes on for a long time and then I decide that I can’t decide, so I turn it off and go back to my radio - the regular one that's tuned to my favorite station already.
And now on a realted subject. In a previous posting, I asked if life imitates art or if art imitates life. My sister said, “It’s all admen.” Looking at the way our culture absorbs “catch phrases” I have to agree. Except for one thing – advertising isn’t art – usually. Certainly, the creativity of some of it attains a certain level of respectability, but most of it couldn’t be classified as art. An advertising jingle is not on the same level as a full length composition, but it can have equal influence.
But that does raise another observation – we are SO susceptible to the influences of the media, both electronic and paper. Ads are proof that if you tell a lie often enough and loud enough, eventually it will be accepted as truth.
Proof: I have always bought whole wheat bread. Jack & Emily never had a piece of toast or a sandwich at home on anything other than whole wheat in all their preschool and grade school years. It never crossed their minds to ask for anything else or to complain about it in any way, shape, or form. Then along comes Wonder Bread with a commercial showing children turning up their noses, scowling, saying “Yuck!” and offering other such negative opinions on whole wheat bread. All of a sudden, Jack and Emily decided they didn’t like whole wheat bread and they wanted white bread and only white bread. At that point, I almost threw the TV out the window. I didn’t switch from whole wheat to white bread, but I began to see other ways ads and children’s programming were “selling” not only products, but ideas to children. Not all of it is bad, but not all of it is good, either. Very little of it is in line with the core values that we want our family to hold.
I might have to go and have my head examined for inviting – not just inviting, but paying for - 185 channels of it into my living room. WHAT was I thinking!?