Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Hit And Run

Several Commercial Appeal items, none worth a separate post.

First, seems the residents of the Winchester/Shelby Drive/Hacks Cross area are upset that a cellular tree tower is going up in their backyard. They say it's "visually obtrusive." In this area, they're worried about appearances? Yeesh.... If I was to complain about the highways and over-widened roads here in Midtown, all to support the masses who chose to move way the hell out into the county, would they be sympathetic? So why should I? Crybabies.

Second, new Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi Thomas writes:
I write to you on behalf of the students of the Memphis City Schools.
Someone writing on behalf of a group they don't belong to bothers me. It's presumptive, with a touch of arrogance. Who is she to speak for them? She was once a City Schools student? Well, I was once a student, can I speak for them too? Or is that one remove too many? Why? What's the distinction?

Do you see where I'm going here? Speak for yourself, or for your position. Let others speak for themselves. The City schools do turn out some fine, literate writers. Why not let them speak for themselves?

And lastly, Commercial Appeal television critic Tom Walters, responding to one of the CA's new reader/reviewers about some new sitcom, It's All Relative. First, the reader:
I think the show is not for anyone, especially young children. Homosexuals are perverted and not needed as examples for young minds. God intended for a man and a woman to be married, not two men.

Here's Walter's response:
Man oh man, this is the one show I've gone back and forth on, and not because of the two dads. That is a funny dramatic conceit, and to say gay people shouldn't be on TV is like saying TV shouldn't show murderers in dramas because murder is a sin.
Interesting equation there, Tom. Gays and murderers? GLAAD should be on the other line any moment now.

The problem, at least for the viewer above, is that homosexuality is the new chic taboo for television. That is, the tweak to Middle America that's fashionable in Hollywood. Every few seasons, they change. For a while, it was fallen or radical priests. This is just Hollywood writers, directors and producers rattling the cage of the people they look down on. It's safe, because everyone's doing it and supporting it, but will still get media buzz for their show from people in the great, unwashed middle of the country.

A gay marriage is still not accepted by the vast majority. The problem is that the reader above sees homosexuality as sinful, as do overwhelming numbers of Americans. What's being shown is sin without consequence and with celebration.

And that's where Walters falls down. Murderers are nearly always brought to justice and punished. It's the unusual show that allows murderers to go scot-free. Viewers see murder as sinful, the worst of all sins. To allow it to go without consequences is unacceptable to a very grave degree. So it rarely happens.

For many Americans to see something they view as nearly as sinful as murder treated differently is troubling.

Not that Hollywood cares, because most folks will keep watching the networks anyway. When viewers begin to vote by turning off their sets on a regular basis, and not shopping with those advertisers to a noticeable degree, then we might see change. But it's not coming soon.

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