Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Modern Technology

I used to wonder why people had it so bad in the days without Modern Technology. You know, like the people who founded Houston did it without Air Conditioning, and people couldn't travel more than maybe 20 or 30 miles in a day, because of the limitations of horse and road, etc. But I realize also, that we have some problems today, that are the direct result of Modern Technology.

I walked into the break room a few minutes ago, and saw "Divorce Court" on TV. What in the world would possess a couple going through a painful thing like divorce, to hang out their dirty laundry on national television? For that matter, why is there an audience for that kind of thing. I don't need or want to know about anyone's sex life or personal maturity crises or 4th wife, and that includes "Oprah", "Maury", "PrimeTime", or any of these shows which fixate on the bizarre and the depraved. I do not need to know about Paris Hilton's sex life, or whether Britney Spears thinks Ashley Simpson is a good singer. The fact is, easily 90% of TV's programs are useless, serving no purpose for the common good, and in a number of cases, quite the opposite.

"60 Minutes" tried to trash President Bush with forged papers. Numerous "news" reporters scurried around all year to keep us infomed on the latest Swift Boat or National Guard rumor, but precious few checked into the details of either candidate's plans for Immigration Reform or revisions to the Tax Code. Modern television and the movies are getting to be like letting your kid choose the menu; anything healthy gets rejected early on.

Ironically, the Internet is proving to be a refuge for information. But the Old Media is hard at work there, as well. Did you think it was a coincidence, that so many sites with information and details now expect you to register with them to read the articles? They want to know who's leaving, and why. And the bigger news sites are learning how to play "Pravda" with their mistakes and data they want to go away. For instance, Larry Bord made a few statements defending the unexcusable thuggery of Ron Artest, and sites started to note them. When Mr. Bird expressed his displeasure, these records were wiped clean; you can still find the reference in "Google", but when you click the link, it's been erased. 'All the news, except for the stuff we don't want you to see', seems to be the new motto. Fortunately, many bloggers (though sadly, not me) are savvy enough to snapshot such screens before the incriminating data goes bye-bye.

I also learned that Modern Technology, like Car Salesmen, promises far more than it delivers. Consider, for example. The site would have you believe that it has revolutionized job and employee searching, and to a degree, it's good. But neither of the last 2 jobs I found, had anything to do with Monster. In fact, Monster never got me a single interview, and the resume format they use, frankly, is garbage, both from the job-hunter and employer point of view. I've been both, so I know. In the end, networking with people you know at church and from school remains the best way to find the interview and job offer.

Since I've touched on money and politics, the next logical step is sex. What is it with the media? Sure, I like sex, but c'mon! Nicollette Sheridan shows up on Monday Night Football in just a towel. Why? I go to MFN for football, OK, not to have the wife think I'm looking for smut. And speaking of smut, is there one single positive quality to 'Desperate Housewives'? For crying out loud, somebody please insert a plot, some dialogue, maybe just a hint of intelligence? Oh yes, I forgot, this is ABC TV, the guys who thought 'NYPD Blue' wasn't 'blue' enough, so we had to see Dennis Franz' naked butt. Just because someone hypothesized that an infinite number of monkeys would eventually write all the great works, doesn't mean that anything that comes out of a chimpanzee's typewriter should get a show. But I'm being mean; most TV 'celebrities' couldn't survive in the Real World.

Which brings up 'Reality TV'. As if. My idea of 'Reality TV', would be making some of these network execs try to make it as retail managers with direct contact by the public, or some college professors forced to work in a corporation, and learn first-hand that a false story from even a local TV station can and will hurt a company, and cost real people their jobs. I'd like to see Dan Rather have to prove his claims and show his work, at a station where they check the facts before they go on the air. I'd like to see 'models' who have same shape and condition as ordinary people, and never again be leactured on TV by a single actress with no kids, how she thinks I should raise my children. I'd like to see shows where normal people aren't ridiculed, where people who go to church are the good guys, where people who don't use foul language and don't disrepect other groups are the 'cool' crowd, and where community, courtesy, and self-discipline are recognized as not only worthy of praise, but essential.

Use technology then, but don't trust it.

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