for August 6, 2003
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for today's rant...
[Inscrutable Links: John Peel Says "Hi". FM106.3 Staff List. FM106.3's 1988 playlist.]
Dishing the Tube
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
If youíre a Cablevision subscriber, youíve noticed the
channels recently reorganized and a few things went
missing. Okay, thatís life, right? You may also have
noticed that the wavy black screen that says "Future
Home of Public Access" is still there, and still
doesnít resemble actual programming. A friend has the
dish and the additional two hundred channels, some of
which are really interesting. BBC America looks like
great fun. You can see the shows U. S. networks are
planning to steal next, but thatís not really the
point. Essentially, a whole bunch of channels on both
cable and satellite TV are simply recycling old stuff,
and itís a bore. Nobody asked, but there sure are more
entertaining possibilities, arenít there?
Unless Grandpa worked in the diamond district, yours
is the first generation to find itself on surveillance
cameras for five hours a day. It makes perfect sense
that one day, some genius in a programming department
will put up cameras and simply broadcast people
standing in bus and train stations, so you can turn to
channel 278, and see at a glance if your hubbyís
really stuck at the depot or playing horsy at a riding
academy on Route 1. Did your wife make that important
bank deposit? Check todayís highlights on the bank
channel. We can already see the Turnpike in front of
Ikea on Metro Traffic and Weather. We can see Times
Square on any number of news shows. Why not a whole
channel of What People Are Really Wearing broadcast
from outside the Woodbridge Mall for fashion designers
to ponder? Itís fun, educational and your Iím With
Stupid t-shirt makes you a star.
While thatís the cheapest programming imaginable, itís
also possible local and PBS stations -- hard-hit by
federal budget cuts -- could simply draft us for
programming duty. Selective Service might finally be
good for something ... so long as everybodyís in it.
What viewing area are you in? Perhaps your local
station could call you up and demand you be
entertaining for an hour a day for a month, then itís
someone elseís turn. Donít kid yourself. Television is
not for the weak. If you think your third grade
teacher had it in for you, wait until you hear the
howl of your neighbors on your lawn, insisting you
finish that story about Uncle Mort, and itíd better be
Pitchforks and laser cannon aside, reporting for local
access duty might be a really good thing for
television viewers and television, not to mention your
popularity. For one thing, involvement in the making
of TV shows might educate viewers in the difficulties
of making a really good series. For another thing,
programmers might find out that almost anyone can do
it, and that little bit of knowledge might be a very
©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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