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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for August 6, 2003

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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 good.
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 dangerous thing.

©2003 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter

Friday, June 5, 2020
The Lumineers at BB&T Pavilion, Camden (POSTPONED)
Keb Mo at City Winery (Pier 57) (POSTPONED)
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit and David Crosby at Rooftop At Pier 17 (POSTPONED)
Ace Frehley at Hard Rock, Atlantic City (POSTPONED)
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ALTROK Ordinals

ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...

A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
The Cribs - Cheat On Me
Datarock - True Stories
Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
Miike Snow - Black & Blue

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