From The Front Desk To Your Desk...

Friday, October 08, 2004

For the STARS...and Stripes

Politics is in the air. But lately the political climate has been so sketchy I feel more like politics are on the ground, that we are in fact, dodging one pile of crap just in time to watch out foot sink into the next. My words are horrible and crude I'm sure, but they seem to fit the bill when it comes to describing the atmosphere created by the two parties who are fronting candidates. On the left, we have a man who, as it was so aptly put by the Daily Show, is running on the "I'm not Bush Ticket." On the right we have a guy who seems to have a lot of friends that would have us sign over our civil liberties under the "Trust Me Ticket."

I and so many of my peers are concerned over what to do. While the 2000 election was billed by the college set as the Lesser of Two Evils Election, the race of 2004 seems more deserving of that title. Neither candidate has earned my trust, neither candidate speaks to my specific concerns, and most importantly, neither candidate seems the least bit concerned with Space Fleet.

If you're like most Americans you have a general idea of at least one issue that you will use as a litmus test on the candidates for President. The War, Terror, the Economy. For me, those things are all subservient to a larger interest, and interest I know I share with many of you. That interest of course is the United States Space Fleet. Now at first, President Bush made it clear that he was at least interested in the idea, by claiming that we will be spending billions to get a man to mars in the next few years. I of course was Pro bush, and very anti-Kerry, as the Democrat went to great lengths to make the President's Space initiative seem outlandish. But now I lament the fact that even Bush had got the whole mess screwed up, saying that space can wait for a better stronger economy.

I had no idea what to do. My key issue had been relegated to a "Waste of Time."
Then I discovered the party for me, nay, I say it is the party for America. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the only party that can bring us closer to the Heavens The Natural Law Party!

The Natural Law Party is all about using science and logical principals to guide in creating a "Perfect Society." In the Party's own words, they strive to create a New World Order where the United States puts innovative thought and creativity before political back fighting and throwing money at the problem. Space Fleet, and the tenants the guide it's governance would help bring about the NLP's long term goals for foreign Policy, Defense, and Crime. If we are to have a stronger America, an America that is united to combat the threats of global terror, an America that can and will lead the world head held high, then it is important that we not just tame the heavens, we must conquer them. Join me, vote Natural Law, and together we might be able to make the world see how great we really can be.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A New Golden Age...

I work in a town that is big on TV. I live with a few folks who have some pretty solid opinions about what is on each night. I myself have been known to partake of the idiot box every once in a while. It should be no surprise that I am acutely aware that reality television has started to edge out normal dramas and comedies for air time and ratings.

There are several reasons why reality has taken over the airwaves as far as I can tell. First, Reality is cheap as hell. While we are starting to see shows like “The Apprentice” and “The Amazing Race” heap on cost with extravagant prizes and expensive competitions there is no way a Reality show is ever going to cost as much as say, “Friends”, where each of the cast members extorting millions from the network per episode. To produce a Reality Show, all one needs is a camera, a concept and someone to edit it. No need for costumers, and pesky writers, and conventional directors, and actors.

Yet one reason that people do not seem to cite for the rise of reality tv has to do with Quality of Non Reality (NR) TV. I suppose it would be more fitting to say “lack of” quality. Simply put, NR TV was starting to stagnate, how many law or crime or medical dramas and greeting card writing, sports page reading comedies can we have? Contemporary NR TV was,and for the most part, still appears to be mostly formula. The same characters with different actors and professions plugged in, but the same general show time after time. Viewers got bored, people stopped watching, and so the stage was set for something new and different, something that would break the mold; that something was Reality TV.

For the past three to five years the major networks have provided the viewing public with an endless stream of Reality shows from the mundane (Animals Vs. People) to the edifying (Wife Swap). Many pundits would have us believe that Reality TV will soon overtake the Networks, that sitcoms and dramas are going the way of the dinosaur. I do not agree, I think that NR TV will survive and what’s more I think it will be better then it was before the attack of RTV.

Reality TV will dominate line-ups for the foreseeable future because the money is there. They are cheap, and they get the mob interested enough for advertisers to lavish cash on them. This will mean that fewer NR shows will be produced but in my opinion this cut in NR programming will cause the cream to rise to the top. More appropriately speaking, the networks will be forced to cull the heard more then they already do. But instead of picking the best of the “safe” and “normal” TV shows, they will have to go out on a limb more often in order to compete with their own reality programs. This in turn will cause them to pick shows that have better writing, better directing, better acting, and an overall quality that exceeds what was on TV 5 years ago. I predict that we are getting very close to a new golden age in TV, and the instrument for that epoch will be none other then that which has laid NRTC so low, the proliferation of RTV.

Look at ABC, a typical network that was inundated with Reality shows, yet unable to compete with the hits on the other four networks. ABC was forced to make some tough decisions, and instead of delivering a spat on crappy business as usual sitcoms and dramas about families in crisis or professions that have been driven into the ground, they took chances with their NR TV and while it is early in the season, it looks like they might have a few potential hits on their hands. “Desperate Housewives”, and “Lost” with 21.3 million and 18.1 million viewers respectively last week are solid concepts with good acting, great production values, and believe it or not good writing. It is to early to tell if the gambles that ABC took this season will pay off in the long run, but I think that it is a perfect example of the quality of TV that is possible when the Networks throw out the old formats and formulas and dare to make something that is a little more on edge. Even if these shows, or ones like them, fail I am more then willing to tune into a new show that seems to be something unique and different and give it a try then to do the same for the latest Reality spin-off. If reality TV puts the networks into a position where they are doing edgy, smarter, better written stuff, even if it isn’t a homerun all the time, it seems to be a win/win situation for we the people and the Networks at large.