Tuesday, October 17, 2006

3 Anti-Television videos

That's the best title I could come up for this little grouping. I am sort of thinking this is a media-related counterargument to all the gushing I've been doing as of late about television, a bit of penance. Whether it helps me avoid television hell remains to be seen.

TV Party by Black Flag, a group fronted by the electric Henry Rollins. While at first blush, this doesn't really seem to be slamming television, by the time you get to the line "Don't even bother to use my brain anymore / There's nothing left in it!", I think there is little doubt left that the band doesn't have a high opinion of early 1980's television. Looking at the comments for the video at Youtube, there was an interesting question being posed... if someone redid this song for today, what shows would be part of the chorus now.

I remember a few months back I was looking for the video for 57 Channels by Bruce Springsteen to give one of my BlogExplosion tenants a fine send-off, but alas, at the time, I couldn't find it then. However, time has remedied that. Now the first thing the present-day version of me would say is: who has only 57 channels on their cable system now... seriously. That being said, it does paint a rather grim picture of the medium as a whole, doesn't it, because after all, it ends up with their being nothing on, though it still has a little bit of lightness about the subject, after all, it ends with an Elvis-like moment, so it is a little more satirical than sorrowful.

But that is not the case for TV, Drug Of The Nation by the Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy and this was probably the closest thing they had to a hit, though even then, that is overstating the popularity of the tune. The song and video are bitterly cynical, and that is a good thing with this group. As interesting as the song/video is, the verse that didn't make the video cut also paints quite a picture in this American election year.

T.V. is
the stomping ground for political candidates
Where bears in the woods
are chased by Grecian Formula'd
bald eagles
T.V. is mechanized politics
remote control over the masses
co-sponsored by environmentally safe gases
watch for the PBS special

It's the perpetuation of the two party system
where image takes precedence over wisdom
Where sound bite politics are served to
the fastfood culture
Where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it

That is some Howard Beale-type truth there, though it is almost sad that someone wrote those words around 1991-92. Have things not changed that much since 1991?

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