The Vast Wasteland

That was the term coined by FCC Chairman Newton Minow back in 1961 regarding the state of TV.
I was born in 1961. Coincidence or conspiracy, you be the judge.

A Vast Wasteland?!? 1960’s TV?!?! Compared to today, it was the age of GODS!
Gilligan was lost on an island with a millionaire and his wife, a movie star, the skipper, and the rest (not til season two did the professor and mary ann get billing in the theme song)
And no babies were born during that time. . . on the island, that is. Go figure.  Holy Woolen Socks Batman! Adam West was (and is) the best Caped Crusader, with THE BEST bunch of villains ever!   Get Smart! Probably one of the smartest comedies ever on tv. Dick Van Dyke Show, Green Acres, Laugh-In, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, The Fugitive, etc, etc. You want Talent? Watch Ed Sullivan. Amature talent, Arthur Godfry. And if you wanted to learn something, National Geographic specials. And we all looked forward to seeing “The Wizard of Oz”, “The Ten Commandments” and “Heidi” every year. ONCE a year.

No, the real wasteland is ESPN right about now . . . .
Do we REALLY need to watch Collegiate Intramural Bags Tournaments? Bags should only be played with alcohol present. That’s gotta be a law somewhere.
Spikeball? Basically Hacky Sack for clumsy people or those too lazy to use their feet. Alcohol probably (almost assuredly) played a large part in the creation of this “sport”. And/or wacky tobacky. (“hey dude, what if we took the hacky sack and hit it off a trampoline, man!)
And the biggest offender .. . . WORLD SERIES OF POKER?!?!?
Poker is NOT a sport! Mama said it was a vice. There should be a law prohibiting anyone labeling something a “sport” when sunglasses are worn indoors. A sport should require a modicom of athleticism. Flipping a chip into the kitty does not count. Same with spelling Bees. Kudos to the kids who memorize the dictionary, but sorry, its not a sport and should be banned from ESPN, unless you show the little geeks running for their lives, trying not to get a swirly from the jocks who they eliminated from the BEE.
Why don’t they put American Ninja on ESPN?!?! THAT is athleticism. Heck, even WIPEOUT was more of a sport than some of those things they show now.
At least in the 60’s you had professional wrasslin’ (PLEASE don’t confuse this pure sport with the fake WWE/WWF/BFD stuff of today), bowling for dollars, and the Battle of the Network stars (ok that was the 70’s but i’m allowed a little literary license, here) Baseball was the game of the week on saturday afternoon, nfl football was sundays ONLY!, only the major golf tournaments were shown, the kentucky derby, indy 500, and Wimbledon were the only other sports people cared enough about to watch.
And only the best sports highlights were shown during the 3 minute sports segment during the 6pm local news.

Cable channels? Is it REALLY necessary to run the same movie back to back on the same night? or the same movie again and again and again and again .. . etc? I really don’t thnk “the Goonies” needs to be seen that many times. Once was probably more than enough. Harry Potter movies? yeah, the occasional showing is good. But now its all about binge watching. If binge eating isn’t good for you, why do we think binge watching is? And what are not doing now, that we did then, to allow that commitment of time to the tube?


When did we last sit around the dinner table and talk about our day? Take a walk, or a drive in the country. Play tetherball in the back yard. Read a book.
I’m not pointing a finger at anyone (cause three more are pointing back at me) but as I look back on my childhood (and it keeps getting further away each year for some reason) I remember being soooooooo mad at Mom for turning off the TV (actually it was more like never turning it on. maybe she did, but it took FOREVER to warm up) and making me go outside.

Given the state of affairs nowadays, and the angst and anger we seem to feel all the time, maybe its time to step outside . . .

and leave the vast wasteland behind.