November 4th, 2004

real me

Red Channel, Blue Channel

The proliferation of cable channels, 100 channels, one for each specialty, has further enabled the schism in American society today.  There are now red channels (Fox News) and blue channels (Bravo, Comedy Central), and never the twain shall meet.

Back when there were the three big networks, NBC, ABC, and CBS, people couldn't avoid seeing each others' lives.  The melting pot had a mixing paddle in it, working at full tilt.  Everyone was watching the same news, so they would get calls and complaints from people if they had skewed coverage.  The watchdog effect was in place, and while entertainment was perhaps a little bland, it was also very much representative.

Now, with the extremely focused channels come extreme shows like The O'Reilly Factor and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.  Shows that make people say "I'll never watch that channel"...  and shows that are real forces for extremism in every aspect of American culture.  Gay people who want full instant acceptance everywhere, in a country that's been homophobic for 200 years, in a culture that's been homophobic for 2000 years.  Conservatives that see their demands as an attack, or as leverage for gaining power with their constituency, or both. 

A whole block of states in the middle of the country, colored red, full of a generation who have never met someone out of the closet...  the nth such generation in a row, really.  It's full of a generation that hasn't seen what public transit is about, who doesn't know what a city really is

(Sidenote: I should think about writing a sitcom that takes place in a real city, not TVNYC, the place where people magically get from place to place, take cabs everywhere, and never see any of the crowding or lines that are inherent in a place like this, except when it's a plot point...)

We need communication, people.  It's the answer to bigotry.  It has to be, because there are only two other answers.  One involves two countries living next to each other, intermingled but never interracting--a dark matter universe.  The other involves concentration camps and little pink triangles sewn into people's sleeves.