Saturday, May 4, 2013

Skidmark TV - The New Genre

You can't get away from TV. It is everywhere. The hog is in the tunnel.
Hunter S. Thompson, Generation Of Swine, p. 44

The Oracle of Ottawa is old enough to remember when television sets came in fine wood cabinets, with retractable curtains. There were only the possible twelve channels. Channel two to thirteen. All programming ended before midnight, leaving the viewer to either go to bed, or to ponder the image of a very folksy Native American until programming resumed at a decent hour sometime tomorrow. TV back then seemed to have a higher purpose for the greater common good. The first stations of course, in Canada anyway, were opened and run by governments. If memory serves correctly, it took quite a while before the corporate whore greed heads got tuned in to the possibilities. 

RCA Indian Head Test Pattern - when TV was awesome...

Back then of course, it was all a different world. TV was the medium of the greater common good. Programing was either pure entertainment, and / or educational and uplifting. It was all so civilized and respectful. The unspoken mantra was to treat the audience and the medium with respect. This pattern continued for many years. It all really started to take off in the 1970's with the introduction of channels like TV Ontario. There were no corporate charities, no in screen marketing. The purpose was high and clear, as a matter of fact it was never even questioned. TV was a medium for mass education and the uplifting of the masses, regardless of social or economic standing. It seemed that society was wide open back then, things would always continue to get even better, the sky was the limit. Money was way down on the list.

Then along came cable television and color televisions! The Just Society was under construction. The Liberal Party of Canada ruled and would continue to rule forever. It was simply the natural course of things. The people of the Laurentian consensus were simply doing their ordained duty to God and Country. Then in the 1980's and the 1990's came the first "specialty channels" in the awesome one hundred channel universe. There was a great effort by the first pioneers to continue with the algorithm that had always worked for so many years, so well and profitably.  

Canada -  Minister of Heritage
 Then something snapped at the end of the twentieth century and continued with a vengeance into the dawn of the twenty first century, to the time of this writing. We experienced the digital revolution, and the advent of 1080HD, you would have thought that all that would have started a another golden age. But somehow much to the amazement of the Oracle of Ottawa something ugly started to emerge. Like a different life form that hatched from an egg, and then began a predatory life cycle of never ending strangeness, TV started to get uglier and even more uglier, containing a thousand slimy and crawling things.

The old paradigm of the greater common good and the unquestioned mission of uplifting the masses turned in on it self. Now television is predatory, with a very strong element of degradation and humiliation. The premise is now of profiting off the misfortune of others seems to have been deemed a growth industry. Maybe this what the corporate whores, greed heads, spin doctors and fart catchers decided, but the Oracle of Ottawa put down the remote, save and except for television of the old paradigm. The Oracle of Ottawa is watching less and less now a days.

In Canada we are under the temporary sway of a nasty right wing fascist conservative government. They constantly preach to us that capitalism in raw tooth and claw is the best thing for everyone. But as of late there have been noises from the pig of the man that is now the Minister of Canadian Heritage that we simply cannot continue to see the beloved CBC continue in its old role and mission. This is well received and heartily promoted by lowlife western Canadian media outfits, that have all but turned the Oracle of Ottawa from television forever. It has crossed the Oracle of Ottawa's mind to even cancel all the extra packages that he now pays for and never watches.

Perhaps this is the message that the media empires only understand. If the Oracle of Ottawa can order a pay for view sporting event from his remote and digital box, the Oracle of Ottawa simply can't understand why he can't buy just the channels that he actually wants! The corporate whores of the so called media empires better get on with it, before they are broadcasting to themselves... 

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