Friday, September 01, 2006



Apparently some new BBC program is going to be a faux-documentay which takes place in the not-so-far future, detailing the (obviously) fictional 2007 assasination of President Bush and the aftermath.

Read here.

The CNN anchors put on their somber faces this morning when reporting about the program, reassuring the audience that it was a British film-maker and not an American who would dare have the audacity to even think of a world in which someone might touch a hair upon Fearless Leader's head.

Apparently, only a monster could imagine the president being assassinated. How many movies do we watch which use the assassination (or attempt at the assassination) of the president as the plot? Yes, yes... those presidents are fictional, but it IS still the President, is it not? One of the top rated shows on TV is 24 which regularly depicts conniving and murderous members of government and routine presidential assasination attempts. The BBC program happens to use Photoshopped images of Bush instead of Dennis Haysbert.

Never mind the other 10's of thousands of other murders depicted on television (not to mention movies) people are now supposed to see before they turn 18. Or the hundreds of thousands of acts of violence on television.

We don't really care about this.

I'm irritated that CNN (a Time/Warner subsidiary, and thus responsible for creating and broadcasting much of that programming) is playing this up as if the filmmaker has somehow performed a voodoo ritual which is dooming the President. The concerned, knitted eyebrows appeal to our dumbest jingoistic nature. Is the President no longer a mortal American citizen (of whom we don't think about twice as they're blown up nightly on television), but our own duly elected Sun God we can somehow murder with a TV show?

I don't want the President dead. Neither do you. Well, yes, you in the back in the army surplus coat with the scraggly beard and crazy eyes... but you also think your house cat is trying to take over your mind.

Of course it took a person in the UK to create the show. Since the 1960's it's been illegal to even think about killing the actual President in the US. A passing comment to a co-worker could be enough to have the Secret Service putting you in the cooler for a few weeks while they dug through all of your personal laundry. In a way, it's not worth the personal and financial risk.


So apparently the MTV Video Music Awards sucked because they weren't "shocking enough" and the artists were boring.

Let's see if we can't run this down

1) MTV quit showing videos in 1993, choosing only five videos which it will show in repetition for months at a time between detailing teenager's cars and throwing them extravagant birthday parties
2) record sales are off by millions of copies not as much due to filesharing as because nobody seems to care enough about pop music to actually pay for it anymore
3) the FCC is suing CBS and its affiliates for millions after the Janet Jackson fiasco which was supposed to be "shocking". Really, CBS should have sued the pants off of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson for actually executing that little stunt(not to mention MTV, who produced the infamous half-time show)
4) Your headliner was Justin Timberlake. I still have never met a human being who liked the guy's music
5) Basic cable and reality TV have so far blurred the lines about what's shocking and par for the course as to what appears on TV that you'd pretty much have to turn the show into a public execution in order to raise an eyebrow
6) Putting a microphone in front of most entertainers and asking them to speak in complete sentences is no longer possible
7) Xtina and a few other performers apparently had a moment of clarity and realized that being thought of us the town tramp for the entire country is no way to maintain a sustainable career
8) I'm only 31 and I have no idea who 80% of the people on the show were
9) And I'm going to get crucifed for saying this, but maybe Jack Black's rocker-schtick has run its course

The problem isn't the VMA's. The problem is the state of the assembly-line music industry and MTV's belief that the people they promote are actually interesting enough to warrant the reputations they foist upon their viewership.

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