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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.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
V. nice (I see the dark matter universe happening more)
Nov. 4th, 2004 08:15 am (UTC)
"It doesn't have to be like this.
All we need to do is to keep talking."
- Prof. Stephen Hawking
Nov. 4th, 2004 11:34 am (UTC)
Moderates on both sides need to talk
There's two scenarios. Either Bush becomes more moderate over the next four years because he knows he can't get re-elected and he let's himself mellow because he doesn't need to try to get the Right on his side anymore. Or, he goes full tilt Conservativo on the whole of the nation, world and government. In the both cases, I see the moderates being
strengthened by either the excesses of the Right or the aid coming from the Right.

But the Left better watch out, because they could easily tick people off too.

In either case, I suspect 2008 will be more about the Moderates and the center of the road than this election was.

(No, this wasn't entirely my own idea, it was a mutual musing at work.)
Nov. 4th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
You had me until you decided to go for the Holocaust dig. Bad form.
Nov. 4th, 2004 02:06 pm (UTC)
Hey, what can I say, I was emotional when I wrote it.

Still am, even.
Nov. 4th, 2004 02:08 pm (UTC)
On rethinking it, though, better would probably be

"The other involves big men in white coats who have mandatory 'cures.'"
Nov. 4th, 2004 01:45 pm (UTC)
You bring up an interesting point re: two countries. My colleague (a staunch republican) has brought up a map on his desktop showing the counties either red or blue showing how they voted in the election. Its interesting to see that even largely blue states are only blue in the cities...

Nov. 4th, 2004 02:24 pm (UTC)
Sure, but those pictures skew, because next to no one lives in most of those places. I believe population density in the (presumably) red county of upstate NY that my partner's parents are from is something like 13/sq mile. If Manhattan had the same population density, there'd be 1000 people living on it.

It might be interesting to know what population density is in red counties...

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )