Sunday, December 13, 2009

What's the Real Message? Questions and a Rant

Anybody else notice the product placement, or the political or social agendas in TV shows?

For instance, the Ford vehicles in Fringe, and the way the cell phone feature was highlighted in a recent episode: It was about as subtle as a car commercial, but at least the feature play a small role in the storyline (Agent Dunham calling the neighbors to check on her niece).

What about the "green" solutions or products i.e. an organic insulation for buildings, part of the evidence in a recent case on CSI: NY? Cool stuff, sure, but it has the delicacy of a "Go Green" commercial.

Or the homosexual / lesbian character and/or storyline in almost every show? This has been going on for several years, but now it seems to be more and more prevalent. Now, it's not the token black guy on the show (as during past decades), but the token homosexual. Not only a backhand to people of that persuasion, but also an in-your-face to the viewers who just want to enjoy a good story without a particular social agenda being shoved at them.

In other words, who's the preacher, and what's the sermon?

And what's with all the casual sex -- people hopping into bed with people they don't really know, almost an "I'm a guy, you're a girl, let's have sex" kind of attitude? And they're doing so without many consequences (pregnancy, disease, etcetera). Definitely not the real world.


By the way, I know the difference between soap opera and space opera, and I don't want all that soap in my space. I'm talking Stargate Universe, not personal hygiene.

Speaking of SGU, here's the "SF show checklist" that Lieutenant Bubba mentioned in a recent phone call:

Aliens inhabiting bodies. Check.

Aliens inhabiting ship. Check.

Characters switching bodies but retaining their own consciousness. Check.

Time loop/warp/anomaly. Check.

(Faster than) speed of light travel. Check.

Teleportation or some other kind of Star Trek movement of matter from one place to another. Check.

While that last one is central to the whole Stargate story, the one about sharing bodies is from an earlier SG storyline. However, in this new incarnation of SG, the stones are casually used, overused, and abused, compared to their previous treatment, in which uncertain and ugly consequences could arise from their use.

Conversation for another time: When it comes to time travel (no pun intended), thermal dynamics is the wrench in the works. All other elements of theory--mathematics, physics, and so on--can be reversed, but not that booger, that same thing that tweaks the tail of evolutionary theory, as well (but that, too, is a topic for another time).


And the new global and politically correct religion of "global warming" is bogus. I've been trying to tell people that for a few years now, but have made no converts, only spoken to others who have done their research and remember their basic high school science well enough to know our government and certain "scientists" are trying to feed them a steaming helping of horse dollops.

I encourage everyone to compare facts about climate truth v. climate panic i.e. "global warming". Anybody else remember the cooling hysteria from two or three decades ago, when we were being told that the earth was going to experience another catastrophic ice age? Not until Western Civ back in college did I learn the truth about global climate changes, which are like the seasons of the year -- sometimes cooler, sometimes warmer -- and events in history can be traced to such changes (diseases, currents, population growth or decrease, crop success or decline, and so on). Mankind has little actual impact, and can do nothing to stop the cycle.

So all this current stuff? Truth to tell, we're actually going through another cooling period. But hold on to your global warming stats. In another decade or so, they'll probably be back in style.

This is a brief rant. Feel free to weigh in.


Anonymous said...

Watch any NBC show and they'll inevitably mention Health Care Reform. I didn't believe it when a friend of mine told me to watch for it recently. I mean, I know NBC is wildly left wing, but in every show? Sure enough, the next day I found a reference to it in The Office, and then later in the week on Parks and Rec. I've heard of instances on 30 Rock too. I'm a bit sick of it really. It's like: Hey, you got your political agenda in my funny!

Keanan Brand said...

I'm not against people having opinions, but please!

It's like there was some sort of behind-the-scenes conference: "Okay, kids, this is the agenda of the month. See how many storylines you can generate on the topic."

This is especially annoying to a writer who has been told by some among my writing friends that they will not read my work because they fear (yes, fear) it will be a sermon in fiction. Not quite true, but they won't even give it a chance.

However, many of them are fans of the very entertainment that is aggressively preaching an entirely different kind of sermon.

Anonymous said...

I like this post! I am getting fed up with Terminator Season 2(which I have been catching up on). There's a lot of Scripture quoting and references to God, which is great but you have to wonder exactly where they are going with it--

And then they introduced a minor "token character", as you say. It annoyed me. There was no reason behind that, other than maybe a ratings boost or showing loyalty to the agenda.

It's a formula. I still like the show, am still giving it a chance, but I feel that they're trying to get both the religious and secular audiences. It could wind up a real mess, instead of a message.

Anonymous said...

On Wheel of Fortune last night one of the puzzle answers was Joe Biden and on Jeopardy! an entire category was devoted to and read by Bill Clinton. Neither man is worthy of any acknowledgment let alone acclaim.

On another topic, I read today that Al Gore was forced to admit that his claim that the icecaps would melt completely by 2014 was not based on ANY climate data.


Keanan Brand said...

Adam -- An addendum: I heard on the radio earlier today that an episode of Law & Order:SVU (an NBC show) badmouthed conservative talkshow hosts, and called them by name. Talk about slander! Agenda, anyone?

Suzan -- I just can't stomach some of this stuff. If I wanted propaganda, I'd go dig up some old Nazi / Communist / Obama / whatever posters.

Not being keen on that, I'd rather just have a story well told, not a sermon on the evils of capitalism, conservatism, or fiberglass insulation.

Bubba! -- Did you see? I stole your ideas! Actually, I meant to post a blog about our conversation soon after it happened, but life and stuff kinda diverted my attention.

Yeah, actually, I heard on the radio this morning that Gore "quoted" a scientist who never said anything of the kind, and who called him on it.

Know what else? Hundreds of people waited in FREEZING weather (two or three degrees below normal for this time of year in Copenhagen) in order to see Mr. Gore's slideshow and hear his bogus report on (ahem) "global warming".

Makes me want to get a megaphone and holler, "Hey, people! Just last week, Wisconsin saw several feet of your global warming!"