We’ve watched a little bit of TV since we’ve been in Mexico, and a fair bit of it is American in origin. Which brings up two questions:
1. I wasn’t a big Headline News (HLN) watcher before we moved to Germany, but I though that it was news that gave you the headlines. Instead, it appears to be very angry, aggressive women and their angry guests shouting about really lurid, horrifying crimes and the court cases that result from them. Is that about right? So what does HLN stand for now? Harassing Lurid Nasties? Horrid Ladies Network?
2. Beastmaster is a truly dreadful movie that is very funny because of its colossal badness. Marc Singer, his body oil, John Amos and Rip Freakin’ Torn. With leather diapers and weasels. It’s like it was designed for a drinking game.
Sarah and I were just watching Barack Obama’s speech. Nice work — not Earth-shatteringly good (didn’t move me out of my chair), but pretty good.
I am a little perturbed at the German TV commentator’s reactions to it. One dude said (and I’m paraphrasing here…no TiVo in my brain…yet):
We were expecting something like a rock concert, sure didn’t get that…
May I ask why? I know they were remarking upon the relative youth of the crowd gathered to hear him speak (one guy guessed an average age of about 25). Do you think that was the reason they thought they were going to get something other than what Obama delivered? Were the German commentators expecting a rock concert atmosphere by virtue of the attendees? Should the attendees feel offended? I think I’d be (am?) miffed that the TV commentators thought a youngish crowd to hear a politician speak would bring a rock-n-roll atmosphere with them. I mean, they attended to listen to Obama — they knew what they were in for. Why were the German newsfolk suprised?
This kind of reminds me of the taste left in my mouth after reading about a potentially really offensive headline over at PapaScott.de a while back. It’s not so much that it’s outright offensive — just oddly wrong and out-of-place, like they’re using words they don’t quite understand or just told a joke they don’t really get.
Tim Russert died recently. He hosted a news/politics show on an American TV network, a show that I’ve admittedly never watched, and he apparently died rather unexpectedly. Sounds sad, like it would be for anyone with a personal connection to him. But I have some honest questions: why have there been three segments on Larry King Live about this? How is it relevant to CNN International’s web or television viewing audience? I don’t get it.
I don’t watch a lot of German TV. In fact, I don’t watch a lot of any TV*, which is included in our cable package as part of our rent (and we pay into the GEZ just like we’re supposed to). But I can’t shake the impression that other cultures wouldn’t flood television or other information sources talking about the death of a person with a similar role.
I mean, do Germans even know the names of their nightly newscasters if you stop them on the street and ask? Maybe they do (but I sure don’t). But I really wonder if this is a particularly American phenomenon. Maybe I’m losing touch with my own roots the longer we live over here, or maybe the limited TV exposure (thanks Mom and Dad) at home growing up didn’t foster a perceived personal connection to the voices and faces in the glowing box. Is this perceived personal connection, or the implication of its existence, a symptom of something very unsettling in modern popular American culture?
I guess what I’m asking is:
Have kids grown up with so much television exposure that there is a personal connection to media personalities? Of course it’s a one-way street, so how sick is that? I’m guessing television watching hasn’t decreased at all since the time my skull was still soft, so what are the implications for today’s kids?
Is it important for Pfizer, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKlineBeechWellcome and the like that you are fully aware of the Tim Russert tragedy so that you can ask your doctor* about their exciting new product lines designed to keep you — and your other TV-family members — safe from circulatory system problems?
Now that I’m complaining about the media coverage on the media coverage, it feels like I’m part of the problem, and I’m getting a little woozy from looking into that infinite series of mirrors.