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Pop Goes America

April 5, 2011 by  

Pop Goes America

Regular visitors to the Personal Liberty Digest™ have likely noted my tendency to reference popular culture. Although I feel like the day was wasted if I missed an opportunity to use “J-Woww” or “Snooki” in a sentence, many of my fellow Bob Livingstonians waver between head-scratching confusion and outright disgust that such pathetic personas garner even mocking attention.

The truth is: I agree wholeheartedly with those of you who find the mere mention of such soft-underbelly-of-society types as those fine ladies demeaning to Mr. Livingston’s august endeavor; if not absolutely nauseating. Nonetheless, personalities created from whole cloth by MTV (or MSNBC, which carries slightly less prestige) not only exist, they’re enormously popular despite lacking talent, intellect or—in the case of the cast of “The Jersey Shore”—a vocabulary of more than about 50 words.

There’s a lesson in the meteoric rise of such marginal individuals; and it’s a lesson which Americans have failed to grasp despite more than a century of instruction: We like to watch stupid people behaving stupidly, strange people behaving strangely and awful people behaving awfully. The only difference between “The Situation” and P.T. Barnum’s sideshow freaks—as an exemplar—is the immediacy of their availability to us.

Hundreds of channels, thousands of websites and an endless number of media outlets great and small saturate our consciousness with images of the obscene, the horrific… and Rachel Maddow. Against that parade of grotesqueries, real knowledge, real information and issues of real import fade into the background; obfuscated by the sound and fury—none of which signifies much. And I, being of sound mind and body, wholeheartedly encourage the transmission and availability of every last bit of it.

Late last week, the Parents Television Council announced an effort to lay siege to Comcast over NBCUniversal’s production of a pilot entitled “The Playboy Club.” Evidently, this latest shlock includes contractual obligations that the actors included therein agree to appear in even less clothing than one of the fine ladies of “The Jersey Shore.” Although “The Playboy Club” is merely a pilot, and may never be seen outside some studio screening room, the PTC is concerned that should it make to the small screen, it will further damage the intellectual progression of the nation.

It may well do precisely that. But I would posit that “The Playboy Club,” like “The Jersey Shore” before it, the “Jerry Springer Show” before that and their progenitors like Mr. Barnum’s gathering of the gauche are merely as impactful as we allow them to be.

I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of limiting the production of even repulsive forms of entertainment in the name of protecting the fragile minds of our fragile children. My discomfort stems not from some misplaced allegiance to lowbrow entertainment, nor the cheap thrills evinced by watching scantily-clad morons do things people used to have pay to see. While I certainly object to most of the programming described herein, I object more stringently to the idea of anyone elevating themselves to the position of cultural policemen.

As much as I agree with the PTC that “The Playboy Club” is undoubtedly offal, I prefer the idea of allowing those who seek a path of righteous intelligence to find it amidst the endless cacophony of crap which is most of what passes for culture.

An old professor of mine used to wax rhapsodic about the “limitless availability of the accumulated wisdom of the tribe.” It’s out there, hiding in plain sight amongst the sitcoms, the webcast-rantings of Charlie Sheen and the mendacious babble of Ed Schultz. Should people allow their children to watch “The Playboy Club,” or Lawrence O’Donnell, then they deserve no better than the ultimate product of their folly. I have no interest in listening to the complaints of people who employ television as an ersatz nanny, and are subsequently appalled by the upbringing television (or music or film) provides.

Sixty years ago, many Americans shuddered at the thought of Elvis Presley swivel-hipping his way into their homes. The nation survived, as it can now. Consider this: As the bulk of our population sinks into the swamp of stupidity, the cream will rise to the top. For every episode of “The Playboy Club”, every fakeumentary vomited up by Michael Moore, every op-ed spewed by The New York Times, there are inspired and intelligent ideas from Mr. Livingston, Chip Wood, Robert Ringer, John Myers and Dr. Mark Wiley, among others.

Despite rumors to contrary, the revolution will NOT be televised.

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • karolyn

    For once I pretty much agree with Ben. However, I must confess to peaking at Jerry Springer on occasion just to be aware of how the other half lives. Jerry was on a game show on NPR over the weekend, and it was very interesting hearing him talk about his show. As far as Jersey Shore and Jerseylicious goes, I am just hoping that the general public does not think that those people are representative of the populace of NJ. I do not like reality TV except for things like “Secret Millionaire” and other programs that do have the benefit of social welfare in mind. However, I am no better than the person who watches Jerry Springer every day. It’s just really hard to understand the mindset of those people. Different strokes for different folks.

    • lkar

      And we wonder why the rest of the world thinks Al-Jazeer is an accredited news source. Look at the crap we put on our networks and cable! The muslim world looks at our debauchery and can only conclude that the US is the great Satan (note I believe they are wrong).
      If there is alien life out there, they probably ignore our planet as “backwoods hicks” and not worth visiting based on the what we air as “reality shows”.

      • Eddie47d

        Ikar; I’ve thought the same thing over the years. Does the rest of the world see a dying society by what they see on American TV.I lost all respect for Jerry Springer 20 years ago with his pre-arranged fist fights between women and other assorted fools. Too much fake “reality”.

        • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

          Eddie:

          I think the depravity on cable TV is our Roman Coliseum.

          And it will beget the same results.

          • karolyn

            Old Henry – You have a good point there. People have always been fascinated by the bizarre or out-of-the-ordinary. Look at how people slow down to look at accidents. It’s part of human nature, and I think there are a lot more people who, if they were honest, would say that they have peeked.

          • Vigilant

            Karolyn, I think it’s a lot more than fascination with the “bizarre or out-of-the-ordinary.” If it were just that, it would be simply a statement of human nature.

            I watched one full episode of Jerry Springer many years ago, in order to make a judgment about it. What I gathered from it was this: it was sending the message that it’s not only OK to hurt someone you’ve known (and who has trusted you) for years, it’s OK to revel and celebrate the fact that you’ve hurt someone. That message is completely unacceptable and it caters to the very lowest of human emotions.

          • karolyn

            The fact is, though, Vigilant, there really are people like that. If we didn’t see it on TV, we wouldn’t know they exist. Actually, though, in my travels I have been exposed to a wide cross-section of Americans of all socio-economic levels. And, actually, Jerry Springer always ends his show with good words. We can’t all be intellectuals, pseudo-intellectuals or even high school or college educated. That’s just the way it is.

          • Bruce D.

            There are a lot of people like that and I blame Progressivism, the drug culture, and the lack of education and parental upbringing of these people. Ultimately they are personally responsible but it is all they know.

          • Vigilant

            Karolyn,

            I don’t believe that intelligence has a thing to do with it. Values are imparted to people when they are young, regardless of their IQ or level of education.

            At the time I watched that episode, Springer was not doing any afterwords on what happened; it was just a low grade slugfest and insult session.

          • karolyn

            Oh, please, Bruce, the blame lays where it lays – with the families. We have different cultures in this country, and that is how it should be. We are not all the same, thank God. Either people don’t moveup out of their socio-economic level or they stay; it’s up to them. It would be an awfully boring world if we were all the same. Remember that movie with Sylvester Stallone where there was no crime and people would receive a demerit card from a machine any time they said a cuss word? That’s a world where everybody is the same.

    • EddieW

      I think this stuff just takes us off track! A real problem cropping up in our towns and cities, called “sustainable development” moving our towns and city’s into Socialism/Communism!! A back door approach since we rejected it after WWII! Please see this video, and pass it on as far as you can, we have little time to stop this…It just came to the city where I live!! (You Have to fix the (dot)!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51iAilbjy8o&feature=player_embedded

  • Warrior

    The “fruits” of the “Great Society” are still ripening today.

    • Joey Biden

      The fruits of American society are “rotting”.

    • Bruce D.

      I agree with you Warrior. We are seeing the fruits of the great society starting with Roosevelt, solidifying under Johnson, continuing with Bush under Medicaid, and whatever from Obama.

  • Charles

    The only time and place I encounter the various people/shows you mentioned is when I read about them in one of your articles. Otherwise, I am not even aware of their existence. I have no interest in the television shows they appear in, the television shows that offer “news” about them, the television shows that praise them; obviously, there is very little on television that is worth paying attention to. FOX News, yes. A John Wayne movie when I’m tired of reading, yes. Andy Griffith, yes. Not much else.

    • Jennifer

      I second that Charles.

      As a mother of a 5 year old, I have determined…leave a child to himself, he will always pick the way of least resistance. The cream of the crop has only risen when they have been taught there is something bigger than themselves. This so called reality, not so.

    • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

      Charles:

      YES! YES! YES!

      They will take my John Wayne movies when they pry them from y cold dead hands…

      You must be one of the few productive / working people in this country as opposed to the brain-dead welfare bums who actually believe what they watch.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Old henry,
        My best friend, a man I served with in Viet Nam had the complete collection of every movie John Wayne made. He died a few years ago of congestive heart failure and when I went to his funeral, his wife came to me with a good sized box and said that her husband had told her that he wanted me to have them. Yeah, I’d say the same thing about my John Wayne movies, as well!!!

        • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

          John Scab Wayne wayne:

          from here

          The interview is reprinted in The Playboy Intervew (Wideview Books, c1981).
          Here is the text of one answer about the Indians:
          “I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them, if that’s what you’re asking. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.” -p.269
          posted by yeoz at 6:13 AM on September 4, 2005

          • http://! Angel Wannabe

            coal miner, boy oh boy_ can’t we “all” find something less than appealing that someone else says?_Even the greatest folks of our time, were Less Than Perfect in any given area__and you?

          • Bruce D.

            There is nothing stopping you from going back to Europe Coal Minor and donating your property to the Indians. If you do not want to do that than maybe you should think about your hypocrisy.

          • JeffH

            Born on a mountain
            raised in a cave
            digging up trash
            is all he craves

    • independant thinker

      Other than local news and some sports 95% of my TV watching is on the following.

      History channel
      Discovery channes
      DIY channel
      RFDTV

      I occasionly watch a program on PBS (Antiques roadshow and a woodworking show come to mind).

      • karolyn

        C’mon! You don’t watch ANY cop shows?

        • JeffH

          karolyn, there have been “cop” shows on 3 of those channels mentioned. The one exception, DIY.

          • karolyn

            I’m talkin’ about cop shows like CSI or NCIS or Criminal Minds. They are addictive.

          • JeffH

            I thought you were talking about “real” cops…reality shows?

        • independant thinker

          Used to watch the original CSI regularly but now only occasionaly in the other 5% of my tv time.

        • Bruce D.

          Normally I find cop shows boring but I have become enamored by the southern charm in Justified. Jersey Shores I was able to make it through ten minutes, no more.

          • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

            The only cop show I watch is Mayberry.

      • Vigilant

        History, Discovery, Turner Classic Movies, Fox News, Old TV re-runs. Not much of anything else out there in the wasteland.

  • TIME

    Oh Ben, Your just Funning us.
    You know we all love to watch total buffoons waste our TIME on mindless dribble that these special class of people have been paid to display for us all and in the comfort of our own homes too!

    Hey I have an idea, lets have few of our posters here have their own “Raciest Hour” show where they dress’s up in their little Klan Tunic and dance around like a happy little hobbit’s singing special songs like Deutchland Uber Allus, Ya! Ya! Ya! I have a guy for the Host, Big E, he be da man.

    They could have special guest like Barry Soetoro and Howie Dean the Special brown shirt guy, and; little dancer Big H Reed in the RED Trunks, v MoMooo Pigosee in the tight Uber Red trunks.

    It could be fun for the whole familty and music by BIG Bubba Rapper LidSAY Da Gramcracker also known as RINO C!
    Who said; “you know free speach is not all its cracked up to be and you really shouldn’t be able to have it!”
    After all we are at war!

    As the DimOmwits all clapped and cheered and the crowd went wild with their romanitc dreams of world CON~quest!

    • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

      TIME:

      You out did yourself this TIME.

      Thanks for the smile as my mood has not improved from yesterday as of yet….

      • TIME

        Henry,
        Glad you got a good chuckle out of it, we all need to do that now and then its really good for you.

  • Former Walmart person

    Throw your TV in the river! I don’t have cable as its nothing but propaganda!

    • karolyn

      Ah, lighten up!

    • Scott

      I cancelled DirecTV a few years ago because of the 300+ channels of crap streamed into my home. The only things worth watching anymore are typically available on Netflix, which we can watch through the Wii. Mind you, Netflix has a lot of crap too (hey, they have to make a living in this society too), but at least you can skip past it without too much trouble. Plus, you can skip having some raunchy image pop up while you’re surfing to the channel you really wanted to watch in the first place.

      • Kinetic1

        Scott,
        I understand you feelings, but giving up Turner Classic Movies just to avoid MTV is wrong headed. Simply program your TV to block those channels you don’t want to even scan through. You may only have 10 or 20 channels left when your through, but some of those old movies are well worth it.

      • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

        Scott:

        Too bad they have to pander to the bottom feeders to make a living.

        I thought a Wi was some kind of game playing thing a ma jig. If they made a REAL small one would it be called a wee wee?

        • http://?? Joe H.

          No, a pee wee!!!!

    • JeffH

      Former Walmart person, ya just gotta see through the propaganda and change the channel. I don’t know what I’d do without my outdoor and sports programming…oh, NCIS and Big Time ‘Rasslin!

  • Polski

    It’s really a matter of balance. For instance, do you think porn should be allowed?

    • DaveH

      As long as they don’t force us to watch it.
      I really don’t know what the fuss is. I’ve been to fully naked bars and it doesn’t take long for the novelty to wear off. I’ve watched Porno movies which also become boring in a short while, especially because they are usually devoid of any kind of halfway intelligent plots.
      I think, in fact, that the main harm in those things is that people will become bored with the concept of sex.
      What people do to their bodies and property should be no concern to anybody else. What we need to be concerned with are the things that people do to other peoples’ bodies and property. I think efforts to control the former, and the resultant Big Government, have led to efforts to ignore the latter which is indeed an issue of importance.
      If we want to get our country back, we are going to need to quit dwelling on other peoples’ choices, and start embracing the concept of Freedom. We need to shrink our Leviathan Governments (local and Federal) before they strangle this country as they have so many other countries.
      There is only one Political Party with the Principles to accomplish that task — Vote Libertarian!

  • Harry Sothern

    Then there’s TV shows like Sex and the City and shows for children that glamorize sexy clothes, and beauty pageants for toddlers.

    This insanity rarely happened when schools began every day with a prayer and the Ten Commandments were displayed in public buildings.

    “A country that’s not under God is a country gone under” – Ronald Reagen

    • Kinetic1

      Harry,
      Trash TV has been around as long as TV has been in our homes. Censorship prevented some of the sexuality, but it couldn’t stop the scandal and titillation. Shows like Divorce Court and the various soaps fed our desire for scandal for many years. What’s even more amazing is the movies that were playing in the 30s and 40s, before censorship really took hold. Plots involving drugs and prostitution, blatant references to women sleeping their way up the company ladder, things you would never have expected to see on film. Religion has it’s place and can be a force for positive morals, but as we’ve seen in Florida it can be a negative force as well. It’s up to parents to reinforce the good so that their kids will reject trash like Jersey Shores and South Park.

      • Bruce D.

        One thing that pastor in Florida did was to expose the fact that there is a Muslim problem. Many do not fear death nor do they appear too concerned about killing others for what they consider a slight.

        • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

          Are you folks talking about that wonderful guy who was going to burn the Koran? I LOVE IT! I thought about doing that in one of our bon fires last Fall, but had no idea where to buy one of those bieces of trash around here.

          We thought about just burning a Mulim, but couldn’t find one of those animals around hee either.

          • karolyn

            Actually, he did have the burn the other day, which sparked 7 killings at a UN office in Afghanistan. Did you know he has no more congregation? All his parishioners got smart.

      • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

        Mae West: “Is that a gun in your pocket? Or are you just glad to se me”?
        Sort of a racey off-color statement for the 30s.

    • JeffH

      Harry Sothern, it always boils down to responsibility. Parental reponsibility where kids are concerned.

  • FreedomFighter

    At least “Cake Boss” is making an honest living, producing something, rare in America these days.

    /respect fo da Cake Boss

    Laus Deo
    Semper Fi

    • Kinetic1

      FF,
      Cake Boss is the sort of dysfunctional family show that I avoid at all costs. Compare it to Ace of Cakes and you see the difference between a staff that enjoys their work and working together and one that is constantly berated for their failures. It’s the reason I stopped watching American Chopper. I enjoy watching creative people doing what they do best, but I don’t find the family squabbles entertaining at all.

    • independant thinker

      There are a few reality type shows I watch on History channel and Discovery channel. They are “Top Shot”, “Sons of Guns”, “Swamp People”, and “American Pickers”.

      • http://?? Joe H.

        Definate YES to sons of guns!!! Love the show!!!

        • JeffH

          Oh yeah! Sons of Guns…haven’t missed ‘em yet.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          JeffH,
          when he fired off that movie prop gun in the shop, I thought the other guys were gonna $hit their pants!!!!

          • JeffH

            I just about fell out of the recliner on that one. That show is so cool. Have you ever checked out their website, Red Jacket Firearms?
            Check it out, so cool.

  • http://com i41

    60 years ago people from the south knew the niggardlization of American was not going to be good. The idea of a professor saying the accumulated wisdom of the tribe, should have got in the real world of street corner dumbazzes. As the drop outs in schools climb, you know the beleif that “minority” culture needs to be kept in lace and taught, that crap only distroys our country. Since the poll of what Americans think is important goes to show what a bunch of whimps everyone has become. Years ago, over close of 50% women want security of a governemnt hand out, and men beleived that they were able to make something by them selves with out government handouts. Now over &5% of women want the government security blank and think a gobermint job is the height of glory, also now 57% of men have the idea of a government security blanket. This is the national average, so again the minorities are conditioned to more big mamee giving at goodies. The finding main goal was to show that people are conditioned to want everything to be a safe bet and everything goes perfect, and no one ever has a failure. All thanks to the pusifaction of America by the likes of the soros socialist democraps and book educated dumb bastards coming out of colleges. Can not do a f–king thing but theorize and think their training makes them the wizards. I know I have several realitives of this mindset b–l s–t thinking who are almost 30 years old and have several degrees and kaven’t any job propercts, so are back at college thinking they are going to improve their chances of getting a job. Just look at the marxist muslim moron jackass that is always on vacation and should stop his chicken walk that he learned in Kenya.

    • Kinetic1

      i41,
      Thanks for submitting your resume.
      DaveH,
      I think we have found the star of your show.

      • DaveH

        You’re showing your ignorance, Kinetic. As usual.

        • Kinetic1

          DaveH,
          I apologize for referencing you. I was referring to TIME’s suggestion for a show.

          • DaveH

            Then I also apologize. I thought that was some kind of backdoor insult via association.

          • Kinetic1

            DaveH,
            When I think about it you must have really felt like that one was way out of left field. Talk about a non-sequitur.

  • DaveH

    No good comes from dictating other peoples’ personal choices. Those limiting efforts have played a large role in growing our Oversized Government. Yet, we still have as many problems as ever (if not more).
    Our country will only move forward again when people start learning to mind their own business, and stop dictating other peoples’ choices, and stop helping themselves to the property of others.
    I’m talking Real Freedom here, not the kind that so many practice where Freedom means as long as things are their way.

    • libertytrain

      DaveH – you are exactly right especially the last two paragraphs.

      • Carlucci

        I had no idea who the Jersey Shore people were until they started appearing on late night talk shows. What a bunch of morons.

        Thank goodness for the remote control and “off” button. Because of all the schlock on t.v., I just watch a few channels. If I’m going to watch t.v., I usually want to learn something from it. I hate mindless shows that glorify hospitals, doctors, lawyers, and cops. The only thing I really like on network is “Shark Tank”.

        That reference to Elvis made me smile. I remember how everyone was so scandalized by the Beatles and their “long hair”. At eight years of age, I thought they were awesome, especially with their “Beatle boots”, beautifully tailored suits, and impeccable grooming. Of course they still had those “British teeth”…

      • JeffH

        libertytrain, I’ll ditto that…thank you DaveH.

    • Void1972

      Hey Dave,

      I Remember growing up in an America where almost every channel we changed to had a positive moral tone to it! Every Sunday we would visit family and every night we had dinner as a family. Where did these day’s go?
      We are not forced to watch this garbage on our screens, but I can sit for an hour, changing from channel to channel, all 800 of them, and find nothing but garbage and trash.
      Three years ago I discontinued cable TV just for this reason. My wife and children went crazy for a few weeks, but after that actually came to enjoy reading a book, and getting homework done!
      My kids became high honor students and continue to do so, even though I brought back garbage TV to thier lives.
      I can agree with you when you say “What people do to their bodies and property should be no concern to anybody else. What we need to be concerned with are the things that people do to other peoples’ bodies and property” just like sexual freedom to do as one wishes in their bedroom, but when this demented behavior is on every channel we put on, we have a problem!
      I know the Libertarian message to live and let live, with few rules, and agree with most of it, but humans need regulation and laws or we end up screwing each other as we just witnessed with the collapse of our economy.
      Ron Paul has been my favorite candidate for many years now, but I get disgusted how the media demonizes him every election year. He is not one of “them”.
      When you finally realize that the media and Hollywood are not our friends, and are not on the side of Americans, you will understand why our children are so out of touch with reality and how they got there.
      Lets work on getting this anti-American, Communist fraud out of office, bringing all of his czars to justice, and getting Ron Paul elected.
      God Bless America, and those who fight for her!!!!

      • karolyn

        Now Obama is being blamed for what’s on TV?

        • Void1972

          Karolyn,
          I guess you haven’t noticed how black TV is today! It reminds me of Hollywood in the past, how an ethnic group of Communist, and less then 2% of the population had 100% controll of all major studios in Hollywood.
          The American black is the new Communist. The other group has passed the torch and now we have another minority that can get away with murder hiding behind the “racism” card instead of Anti-Semitism.
          Read ” To Eliminate The Opiate” by Marvin Antellman. You will be enlightened!

          • Karolyn

            How black TV is today? What are you watching? Even the black network isn’t all black.

      • DaveH

        Ron Paul is a Libertarian, just like me. If you’re waiting for him to instill your preferences on Hollywood, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

  • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

    What the h*ll is the Jersy Shore Ben mentioned several times?

    When my kids were of that age in the early 90s I had given orders that MTV was not on the allowed to watch list. I caught them watching it, called the cable compny, they came out, climbed the pole and blocked MTV. The kids sqawked and I told them I would have cable completely turned off and then sell the TV. They made the decision to be happy with what they could still watch.

    Having scum like Soetoro and his fellow communists in our government is a direct result of the dumbing-down process of TV. Ben says that the cream will rise to the top, but there is getting to be less and less cream.

    Little Barry Soetoro intends to skim the cram and feed it to the brain-dead bottom feeder scum.

    More brain-dead Jerry Springer / Oprah scum and less cream to skim: eventually the pot will be nothing but rancid scum.

    • Bruce D.

      I would say you are a very wise father. There are people who say we should not interfere in the choices of others but we are all effected by the decay in society.

      • karolyn

        where do you draw the line, Bruce?

    • CurtisS

      OHenry… your method sounds like censorship and the act of a dictator. Why not watch MTV with your kids and explain to them why it was trash? Why not get involved with your kids and teach them and share with them your views about what MTV was airing? Were you too busy to get involved in your kids’ lives? Simply blocking access to MTV at your house is ineffective because your kids could just get their fill of MTV at their friends’ houses.

      • JeffH

        CurtisS says “OHenry… your method sounds like censorship and the act of a dictator. Why not watch MTV with your kids and explain to them why it was trash? Why not get involved with your kids and teach them and share with them your views about what MTV was airing?”

        Your kind of thoughts are a prevailent problem for American families. OH is the parent, he is the mentor and he makes the decisions for his kids…the parents home shouldn’t be a democracy, no majority rules unless it is the parents that are the majority. There has been way to much outside interference in the home by city, county, state and federal government to the point that children can have their parents arrested for spanking their butts. There’s a reason why so many kids are acting the way they do today and it’s not because of people like Old Henry.

        You’ve just assumed that OH doesn’t interact with his kids.

        • CurtisS

          JeffH… a parent’s authoritarian, autocratic and unilateral decision to block MTV, from his or her children is certainly a parental right, but don’t get it confused with any kind of style or type of mentoring.

          Yes, there are many reasons why so many kids are acting the way they do today… the liberal parents who want to be their kids ‘friends’ instead of parents… the parents who are too busy still being kids… and autocratic 50s style parenting is the opposite side of the same coin.

          And yes Jeff, I assumed the Old Henry didn’t interact with his kids… when he said he “ordered” them not to watch MTV, and then threatened to cancel his cable subscription to spite them… yeah… it sounded like a pretty safe assumption.

      • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

        Curtis:

        You touchy-feely liberals are a systemic problem in this country.

        I could also climb up on the top of my 3 story house and jump off to show the kids why that is not a good idea.

        I am the alpha dog in this outfit and my kids knew, and know it. Same as my old man and his before him. That is the way it is done in Realville.

        Both kids turned out great and respect the old man.

  • Mary Kay Andrews

    we used to have standards for television viewing of over the air channels. It required that foul language and adult content would not be tolerated and could not be aired prior to 8 pm. Then little by little the standards were lowered until there are no standards anymore. Movies and tv shows must have ratings to show a parent the content and whether violence and foul language is included. Cable and now satellite channels are not included in the standards as they are paid channels. Just watch FX sometime to see the kind of filth that is showing any time of the day. We have v-chips in our tvs and can see the ratings of movies. I think it’s about time for parents to start exercising their fingers and turn off the offending program! Old Henry, you are so right. You have control.
    We have sexualized our kids to the point that 9 year olds are wearing hooker clothes! Do you really want that? Do any of you really want a porn shop in your neighborhood? There are certain controls we must exercise as a society and I’m not talking government. Why do all these perverts get away with their sleaze? Somebody is paying them big bucks for what they do. Paris Hilton comes to mind. Her only claim to fame is a sex video that was released on the internet by the guy “doing” her.

    • DaveH

      The only thing that should bother you about those “little hookers” is if you have to pay for their mistakes. That is the disease. You want to treat the symptoms. If we concentrated our efforts on depriving those people from forcing others to pay for their mistakes, they would straighten up or perish.
      The chosen path of forced intervention has just helped to accelerate our society in the direction of Big Government and its inevitable bad economy.

  • Cathy

    I do not watch ANY reality programs. Too many people are mesmerized by these shows while they blatantly ignore their OWN reality. The dumbing down of America continues!

    • Kinetic1

      Cathy,
      Are you being fair? “Reality” shows fall into several categories, some of which can even be educational. I agree that shows like Jersey Shores, Real Housewives of …. and Big Brother are all a mindless waste watched by people who feel the need to see people who they feel are their inferiors, but what about American Pickers? Sure, they throw in a little buddy buddy and some haggling to make it more entertaining, and some of the people they meet are certainly different, but they don’t berate people who have their homes filled with odd “stuff”. They celebrate the differences between us all and in the process they often find the commonalities as well. Add to this the fact that you may very well see something that you might never see anywhere else, and you end up with a lesson in cultural history. You might even learn something about that odd what-ch-ma-call-it that gramps left out in the work shop.

      • Cathy

        I’m just saying that in the movie of life, many people are just extras. I do watch both history channels (regular and international) but would rather see Ancient Aliens, Da Vinci Code, Nostradamus…stuff like that. Saw some of American Pickers and turned it off. Found it to be boring.

        I’d rather watch Jeopardy and Millionaire to maybe learn something. Oh, and BTW, I read quite a bit, the majority of which is nonfiction.

        To each their own. :) I choose what I want to learn.

        • Karolyn

          Only a junker/antiquer/treasure hunter would love American Pickers. That’s my dream job, having been in the antiques business for over 20 years.

        • Kinetic1

          Cathy,
          Yes, reading is great. My kids go nuts every time we walk into a new book store and we’re reluctant to say no to a new book. Our old house had built in bookcases in several places and now I’m going to have to build several for our rental. Come to think of it, I have a book on bookcases around here somewhere. I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of learning new things.

        • Carlucci

          Jeopardy and Millionaire rock. I do well playing both at home. Years ago, I tried out for Jeopardy. It was a brain buster.

      • Bruce D.

        I am a fan of Survivor. Even better Survivorman when it aired years ago.

        • CurtisS

          I loved Survivorman… no crew, just him and his cameras. I also liked that reality show with the guys that went to Alaska to find gold.

    • JeffH

      Cathy, not all “reality shows” are like Springer and Jersey Shore, although most are seemingly very close. I watch some of the outdoor realities like Top Shot but won’t allow myself to get caught up in the little spats and sideshows reality contestants are reqiuired to get into…”be yourself”, if another contestant is annoying don’t hesitate to show it or voice it…it’s all about the ratings. I prefer to shed that crap and watch the competitive parts of the competition and wish I was 30 years younger so I could compete for $100,000 grand and Top Shot honors.

      • independant thinker

        After the first episode of this seasons show Ian, last years winner, said in an article about this years show “remember to take the personalities and interactions between the contestants with a grain of salt because the show is edited for the drama and things overall are not necessarily like what is shown”.

  • Cathy

    Doing his “jaywalking” routine, Jay Leno interviewed people on the street, showing them pictures of politicians, such as Boehner, Pelosi, and Reid. No one knew who they were. But they ALL knew “The Situation.” How embarrassing for these dummies! (I didn’t know this situation guy…)

    “People are idiots and I can prove it.” — Larry Winget

    • Kinetic1

      Isn’t “Jaywalking” a form of reality TV as well? It is embarrassing to see how uninformed many Americans are, but let’s face it, Jay likely met many people who could identify the faces who were not included because they spoiled the routine. Down the line I suspect he will, once agin choose three of the most clueless participants to fill the slots in his “Battle of the Jaywalking All Stars” and viewers will get an even bigger laugh out of just how poorly educated these folks are. Does being a segment on the Tonight Show make this voyeurism any better than Jersey Shores?

      • Cathy

        Actually, I’m amazed at the things people do not know, the stuff that one would think EVERYONE knows. That’s all. I don’t make a practice out of watching, usually in bed way before Leno is on.

      • Bruce D.

        Jaywalking is funny. O’rielly does a version of it now once in a while which is funny. I do not think it has anything to do with what you watch. It is about what you focus on. What you focus on you become.

  • jopa

    I really don’t know much of anything about Snooki or J Woww but MSNBC did create Michelle Bachman into what she is today.Are they three of a kind?

    • karolyn

      jopa, At least Snooki smiles. Every time I see Michelle Bachman she looks like she’s just sucked on a lemon. What a sourpuss!

      • TIME

        Well Karolyn,

        Lets see Michelle just turned 55, she looks damm good for her age, by the way no special augmentation’s.

        Snokkieeeee, she has so much body filler its just crazy.
        She’s how old again?

        • libertytrain

          not to mention the snokie/snookie person has nothing to handle other than her ridiculous climb to a fame from a goofy reality show. She’s can laugh all the way to the bank.

        • http://?? Joe H.

          Time,
          If I remember who snooki is, she has to use a jackhammer to remove her make up each nite!! Looks like it was put on with a putty knife!!

        • Mary Kay Andrews

          WOW! Michele Bachmann is a duly elected representative from the state of Minnesota. What does she have to do with reality shows that pander to the lowest of the low in our society? Jopa and Karolyn wouldn’t know class if it hit them in the face.

          • DaveH

            I agree. And she’s hot.

        • karolyn

          I could give a crap about Snookie. I was referring to Ms. Bachman’s penchant for looking dour every time I se her in an interview. It was an observation! Much ado about nothing!

      • Kate8

        karolyn – That’s weird. Everytime I’ve seen Ms. Bachmann she’s had a beg smile on her face.

        I think you are confusing her with Michelle O.

        Why do you liberals have such contempt for anyone who believes our Constitution should be honored and upheld?

        • karolyn

          I have no contempt for her. I don’t know about “you liberals.” I simply stated a fact as I saw it. Every time I’ve seen her being interviewed, she looked like she was ready to bite someone. Why do conservatives have such contempt for liberals? I recently wrote a lengthy post stating that I am not stereotypical of a liberal and really resent being put into such a box. I would call myself an independent with left leanings.

          • Kinetic1

            karolyn,
            They don’t seem to accept terms like “independent with left leanings” on this site. Too much gray for a black and white mindset.

          • Vigilant

            Looks like you just put yourself in a box.

          • DaveH

            Anybody who advocates Big Government is a Liberal in my book.

          • Bruce D.

            Karolyn conservatives hold liberals in contempt because of their assault on The U.S. Constitution in favor of collectivism. Collectivism is represented by group rights imposed by a government with power over individual rights. Consider yourself lucky it is only contempt we feel for you. If it came down to a civil war, which I am not advocating, we will be shooting at you.

        • DaveH

          I think, Kate, that Karolyn probably watches her on MSNBC or some such Propaganda station where the Liberal interviewers are asking her inane questions.

        • TIME

          Kate,
          I agree with you I have spoken with her a number of times she is as Sweet and HONEST as they come.

      • DaveH

        I think she’s hot. I also think she’s pretty damn intelligent. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything she says. But she’s a lot easier to watch than her Liberal counterparts mouthing their pure nonsense.

        • Kate8

          DaveH – She’s got a whole lot of impressive experience in her background. I agree with her enough to vote for her but, my question would be, why would she WANT to be POTUS? Anyone who aspires to that job these days would have to be either self-serving and power-hungry, or exceedingly selfless in their desire to bring honor back into the WH. I would imagine her reasoning is the latter.

          Liberals don’t care about experience or intelligence. All they want is a promise of something for nothing. A sugar-daddy.

          • Bruce D.

            Her supporters are pushing her in that direction. When you run for president you have a chance to shape the conversations and debate. Ron Paul has no chance of becoming president but has a positive influence on the debate. Also some have a higher calling to serve. I feel Ronald Reagan was such a man. I also see some of Reagan’s qualities in Cris Cristie, Bobbie Jandal, and possibly Mark Rubio. They just need a little time to develop.

          • DaveH
        • CurtisS

          I kind of agree with you Dave… Michelle Bachmann is hot for a 55 year-old woman… until she speaks. Even IF she is looking into the right camera she has filled websites with her loopy quotes.

    • Kinetic1

      jopa,
      I understand what you’re saying, but given the topic wouldn’t Sarah Palin have been a more appropriate choice? First she was turned into a virtual reality star by FOX, MSNBC and Comedy Central, then she was given her own reality show to make it official.

      • JeffH

        hat;s what I like to see in liberals like the two of you. You actually believe what you say, right, wrong or indifferent.

        • JeffH

          That’s…noy hat;s

          • Kate8

            Hi JeffH!

            Noy hat;s to you, too!

            Don’tcha just love it? Fickle flyin’ fingers.

          • JeffH

            kate8, duh! still chuckling at myself. All the more reason to never arbitrarily call the grammar police on someone.

  • MiHood

    This Libertarian message almost sounds like it’s nonsensical for governments to handle the trash in dumps outside of the city and sewage in ponds outside of the city. In republican government we can covenant together to oppose garbage from permeating every aspect of society. Filth, garbage, sludge and pornography denigrates a society and pollutes minds and understanding. It’s healthy and good for society to regulate and channel polution. Without the EPA maybe we could all drink slude water together.

    • DaveH

      First, do you know the difference between regulations created by unelected bureaucrats, and laws passed by elected officials?
      And I don’t know where you get the idea that Libertarians are for pollution. Are you purposely trying to smear us, or are you just ignorant of our Party Platform?
      See section 2.2:
      http://libertarianparty.org/platform

  • Antonio

    Interesting article. Have you ever wondered why they have TV? Think about it a little because there is a reason. While you enjoy your entitlements they feed you with crap like ( judge judy, jerry springer, oprah, tyra show, and about 20 others i can’t think of) your all getting dumber and THEY are building their new world order right under your nose. While you watch some really good movies like “the day after tomorrow” your learning to believe in a really big lie called “global warming”. They feed you with porn, fake movies, stupid talk shows so as to keep the sheeple in their pins. You have to give them some credit though, because its working! All you have to do is put something on TV and the people will follow suit. I remember when all it took was for 1 stupid rapper to suck on a pacifier and then every twat on the street sucked on pacifiers. The feed you with stupidty so as to keep you nice and stupid so you will not interfere with the establishment of their new world order. beware the power of MASS BRAINWASHING.
    “Tell a big lie for a long time, the people will believe it” — ADOLF HITLER

    • Vigilant

      It’s called “bread and circus,” or the last gasp of a once great nation.

    • Kate8

      Antonio – It’s not just coincidence that it’s called “programming”.

  • DaveH

    Speaking of nauseating advertising, I keep running across banner ads like this one:
    “Obama Launches Mortgage Rescue Plan”. Talk about vote buying. Obama is now funding mortgages with his own money? Sure. I would think that even die-hard Liberals would object to such blatant politics.

    • Void1972

      Hey Dave,

      The last true Conservative President was Reagan.
      Both Baby and daddy Bush were Liberals, Clinton and now Obama the Communist. Progression!
      America is having the trouble we are because of over twenty years of Liberal leadership. The damage is irreversible.
      We need to give a term to a Libertarian Like The Pauls and see what “change” they can bring.
      Anything would be better then what we have now, even trump!

      • DaveH

        We need to get some Libertarians in Congress also.

      • bob wire

        “The last true Conservative President was Reagan.”

        yea, and he was a democrat on a riding lawn mower that just got a bit uppidy that came with the money and endorsements of special interest.

        • Bruce D.

          Bob Wire, you have no inner instincts for greatness like most progressives. Your calling is that of a group mind and collectivism.

          • karolyn

            What is “greatness” to you Bruce?

    • Kate8

      DaveH – Obama thinks it’s ALL his money.

  • http://com i41

    DaveH, of all the air time another b–ch from Chitcago, Sarah and Michele Backman can and so smile way more than the UN loving soros socialist blonde haggard ever dreamed of doing. When her and Whorehound first got into the WH there was a picture of her and Vince Foster close together in hall way with chesher cat grins. Either they just hid some records or were stuffing something was checking out a few blue dresses. When liberial progressives worry if EPA was shutdown, who would worry about pollution and sewage, the democraps never have anytroubles trashing and fouling up our country by creating more job killing regulations and taxes.

    • Vigilant

      Speaking of blue dresses, do you know what they found in one of the pockets? A wad of Bill’s.

  • Joey Biden

    Anyone who sits around and watches the sickening aeomebas on the reality shows are probably the same species. Get off your ass and do something for your country. There I said it

    Before you flame me, I’m talking about the snookie and springer type shows.

  • chuckb

    when you stop and think about it, the shows on the tv are representative of the mind set of america, no wonder barry was elected.

  • bob wire

    Sorry, don’t watch a lot of TV, I’ve attempted to, many times.

    I did enjoy the series “Lights Out” but tonight is their last show having been canceled for poor rating. Seems America would rather watch a cartoon character then the human struggle of an aging prize fighter as he trying to please “everyone” in his life.

    There is something out there for everyone and I don’t sweat it much.

    I don’t think there needs to be very many people like myself around really. I bore easily with things many people invest much time in.

    LIFE IS A DOING THING, watching someone else do it or sitting around talk about doing it or seeing it done won’t hold me attention long.

    All Ball sports is much of a bore to watch except for women tennis. I do love to watch them move.

    Cars going round and round, zoom!! But it’s good people like that $hit, it keeps them off my rivers and out of my fields and away from me.

    I enjoy listen to the wind blow and creatures move about. To plant seeds and watch things grow. I enjoy searching for understanding.

    My guess, half of America’s people are experiencing some kind of neurotic disorder or harboring illusions, marginally able to cope with the real world and live inside a bubble of false security and containment.

    I serious question the mental health of 15% Bob Livingston’s posters, they are either over medicated, under medicated or beyond “out patient” care.

    • Bruce D.

      Bob Wire says: Cars going round and round, zoom!! But it’s good people like that $hit, it keeps them off my rivers and out of my fields and away from me.
      Bob I would be interested in knowing one or more reason why anyone would want to be around you.

  • http://GBVieto@hotmail.com George B Vieto

    You know televsion is sinking to a new low when Christians are the butt of jokes from network television and movies. I mean Charlie’s Angels looks like The Rookies by comparison.

    • Kate8

      George – Can you imagine the h*ll that would break loose if they poked fun at Islam? The whole nation would go up in flames in short order.

      That should tell us something.

    • karolyn

      Where have you seen that happen other than on South Park, which makes fun of everybody.

  • jopa

    Enough about this Snookie character I just got caught up on my Fox news recordings and saw for the first time where Sarah Palin called the No Fly Zone action a “squirmish” in Libya.She is so precious.

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