Monday, September 18, 2017

Um ME ME ME

I quit watching Award shows in the same way I quit following sports, it is less about the paying crowd and more about those whom we pay to enjoy.   And to enjoy something means enabling us to suspend disbelief and let go of the baggage, the reality of everyday life. When we don't we watch the News or PBS who for decades through Frontline, their own news and their many many documentaries, currently Vietnam by Ken Burns, that enable us to grow our knowledge about a subject and enable us to find stories outside of our comfort range in which to grow.

I grew up with three commercial stations, two local ones and of course PBS. I have been a lover of TV all my life and frankly may be an addict. But then I love Movies, Theater, Music and Books for all of which are interconnected to each other as they are all based on words (and Notes as in Musical ones) that come from a page, written by a person then brought to life on a medium that enables one to see another vision of that version that came from imagination, from thought, from pain, from pleasure, from whatever brought them there to be written down and documented for all of history.

Writing is a process and as I embark to write I have found it much harder than I could ever imagine as frankly Blogging is my verbal vomit.  I write in utter stream of consciousness over an issue that I find interesting and then later go back to edit and revise later.  So in other words the first draft is one in conventional writing is tossed and I rarely go back to other than go, "What was that?"  It is a process and everyone finds the way that works for them.  But writing and reading go hand in hand.

So TV is much like that and with over 400 shows now made in which to watch there are only so many hours/days to watch even one half of them so you pick and choose and like books you may start it, go back to it later, dump it, finish it immediately, or just read as time permits.  Funny how they say books are dead well without books there are no stories and without stories there is no film. Sorry but many of the works that were lauded on last night's Emmy's came from books or from writers who adapt books, take stories or ideas and craft them into movies, series and specials that fill the endless hours that are available to watch.

And with that you choose what you like.  We have enough choices to find those shows that confirm our beliefs; yes religious programming exists it is however not recognized as Emmy worthy and that is a shame as some of it transcends creativity. Proof in point - watch some Pastor/Evangelical Minister on a Sunday.  There is Univision and it too transcends creativity and all in a singular language for an Audience that shares said language. Asian programming that includes my personal favorite escapism - Bollywood. And of course endless hours of other cable shows, some locally produced, which can provide endless hours of music, knowledge and entertainment.    

So there is well over 400 hours that was cited last night by the host Steve Colbert. Funny I just almost wrote Steve Carrell whom I actually find funnier and more interesting.  Irony that  the two worked together on the Daily Show which at that time was revolutionary for how to make news funny and entertaining in a way SNL did and to some level still does.  Ah for the good old days.  I now only watch with anticipation another alumnus of said show, John Oliver, as his rants remind me of my own only more well crafted but no less snarky.  

So again this reminds  of the adage: To each his own.  You may love or leave any number of shows and we may find that water cooler moment that used to exist when there were so few choices but still very much "must watch TV."  I can recall Twin Peaks being one said show;however, the current series was so out there that I thought, " I don't have the type of top notch pharmaceuticals required to get through this but there is always On Demand when I am that desperate or stoned."

And that is where I am going with this.  Last night I managed an hour before falling asleep. But I was reading the updates on The Guardian UK page as the commentator was assessing the show through eyes that were different than my own but also equally as skeptical as one should be during this type of self-congratulatory bullshit that defines Hollywood. 

Poking Trump is like poking a dog behind a fence.  You can take that stick, wave it, point it at the dog, actually contact the dog and then leave without fear, well until that dog jumps said fence and you find yourself running faster than you ever have.   Trump is that junkyard dog, an angry isolated animal who is ignored, abused and then coddled when you need him to serve your needs and protect your shit.  Then he turns on you and well ever seen the Game of Thrones when Ramsay meets his dog face to face?  So after the arrival of Sean Spicer I thought well we have gone low and at this point we need to go high so I could drink more wine and just pass out.

Then out goes the constant references to diversity while lacking to find Asian actors that cover a huge diaspora (ask the two Actors who left Hawaii Five-O) or  how about the huge amount of Spanish speaking actors who over the years have managed to have bi-lingual programming on both Netflix (Narcos) and FX years ago with a show, The Bridge, that if it aired today would be perfectly timed but  that did not nearly get the viewers it needed to survive. Maybe they should rename it The Wall.  But then The Americans could not be more timely and they too speak multiple languages to go with their multiple look and it too is virtually ignored by viewers and awards. 

And that is the point.  We have many shows in which to choose so giving one award to the BEST is the most absurd bullshit I have come to recognize as something we do to make us feel better about ourselves.  We award ourselves gratification from meaningless statues as a way to say "see you are good enough, special enough" to be selected by your peers the bestest ever.

So with the speeches that thank God, Agents, Producers and of course Families.   I heard a couple of acknowledgements to Margaret Atwood who wrote The Handmaids Tale over 20 years ago and who was there are brought up on the stage but never given a chance to speak about her book and its point.  I heard buzzes about Trump, Domestic Violence and Black people, but no demands that we keep Internet access cheap aka Net Neutrality and easy in which to stream said shows.  Nor about the lack of broadband access throughout the country and to those who are too poor to even get minimal internet access.  Gee ya think that would matter as that is more audience and more money but not a mention.  Diversity is more than color and ethnicity.  

Or why no discussion on why Lobbyists for Cable television go to great lengths to not allow people to buy their own modems and table top boxes to reduce costs or to the Networks that pay exorbitant fees to Sports organizations that lead them to charge cable providers high fees that are passed onto consumers who may not even watch them. Or to the endless consolidation of the industry that provides fewer choices and in turn can produce or control programming (as in the case of Sinclair)  that can be biased and in turn stifle free speech, regardless of said speech,  as yes we have hateful speech but hearing it can mean we have much to learn and much to teach.

There was no rallying cry about preserving the arts for the public as in Public Television that brought us the Muppets or Electric Company or the showVietnam that was running at the same time this shitfest was airing.  Or about and for Women who starred in and produced many of the winning productions who failed to mention that many were at risk of losing their health care, the ability to have excellent public education for said children who watch much of those shows and the idea of equal pay for women.   There was nothing but poking the junk yard dog behind the fence while espousing a higher sanctity for having the audacity to tell tales about Handmaids, Empires and Mad Men.  There is your diversity. 







 




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