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Daily Political Coverage Is A La Brea Tar Pit From Which Time Spent Never Escapes

Update 2/23/09–Please click here for an update of the recent big discovery of fossils at the La Brea Tar Pit.

I was flipping channels tonight and came across CNN.

The listing at the bottom of my screen said CNN would be broadcasting Mississippi primary coverage for two hours.

I wondered what they could possibly say about the Mississippi primary for two hours.

Barack Obama was near-certain to win, it was the only primary today and Mississippi is a small state. 

Of course, I knew they had nothing of any note to say.

I watched for 15 minutes. Those are 15 minutes I won’t get back.

Flash–Obama wins as expected and Governor Spitzer likes hookers.

Coverage of any House or Senate races? Maybe a Governor’s race? Coverage of relevant issues?


I can’t imagine it is six weeks to the Pennsylvania primary.

What will the cable news networks talk about for six weeks?  

Daily political coverage is like the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. 

Here are facts about the La Brea Tar Pits. 

Sometimes the ice-age beasts would just fall in and sink away.

That was me just flipping channels tonight.

Other times a vicious predator would see a creature that had fallen in and pounce in expectation of a meal.

That’s when you think you’ll find something interesting, but its the same old long-winded junk. 

I’m not a reflexive media-basher.

But this coverage, especially on the cable news networks, is endless and a waste of your time.

Even for the newspapers, which for the most part do try to do a good job and do try to be fair, something new in the Obama–Clinton–McCain triangle does not happen every day.  

If you don’t already, read the international pages of the paper!

At bottom is a picture of the political coverage bubbling up from below and trying to lure you in.

Resist it with a book or by talking to people you care about.

Don’t fall in—at least not every day.

March 12, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama Ads During That ’70’s Show Reruns Further Cement My Support


There were maybe seven or eight Obama for President ads for the Texas primary during the That 70’s Show reruns I watched last night.

This was between 11 PM and midnight.

No Hillary ads.

Mrs. Clinton had no interest in subsidizing my entertainment by buying an ad during one of my favorite programs.

It seems clear who wants my vote and who does not care.

I have a right to be entertained.

What did the Obama ads say?

I don’t know. I don’t pay much attention to commercials.

I just know they were on and that they were for a candidate I like during a show I like. 

Think about this stuff all the time and you’ll lose your mind.   

Please click this link for the Obama campaign.

Here is the link for That ’70’s Show. 

February 28, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Texas Primary '08, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Care Bears Cartoon Had Commerical Every Six Or Seven Minutes


This morning I watched the Care Bears cartoon on CBS. I watched it while in a very nice room at the Stephen F. Austin Hotel in Austin, Texas. 

There was a commercial every six or seven minutes during the Care Bears. Don’t we have any standards for the amount of advertising in kids programming?

I bet we don’t.

This morning, Funshine Bear was cleaning up pollution in a place called Rainshine Hollow. I think that’s what the place was called.

While Funshine worked at picking up trash and cleaning streams, the other Care Bears just kept playing their games. Only when they saw how discouraged Funshine had become from the enormity of his task did the other Care Bears assist him. 

I’m glad they came to his aid. Though I’m not certain how bears so practiced in helping others would have allowed Funshine to go without help at any point. I found that to be a hole in the story.   

The given reason for the pollution in Rainshine Hollow was a “storm.” Maybe a kind of Care Bear Katrina had occurred.

I did note that the Care Bears talked in complete sentences and did not talk down to the audience. Adults could learn something from the Care Bears in that respect. I always speak to children in an adult tone to convey that I don’t think they are dolts. 

The Care Bears logo is owned by the American Greetings Corporation. The folks at American Greetings should realize that any good messages the Care Bears have are drowned out when you have an advertisement every seven minutes.  

November 4, 2007 Posted by | Politics, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About, Ways We Hate Children | , , , , | 8 Comments

If Oprah Winfrey Were Really a “New Age Witch”, Life Would Be Much Better


 I recently came across a blog post that described Oprah Winfrey as a “New Age Witch.”  

I’m not an Oprah-basher.  Many of the books she suggests are quite good.  (Damn right–I am linking to Oprah’s Book Club. Hell, she had people reading Leo Tolstoy. ) And she is out front with her support of Senator Obama for 2008.

In fact, if Oprah were truly a “new age witch”, she might well wave a wand and make Senator Obama President. If Oprah had witch powers, I think people would read more often and be kinder to each other. 

I support the idea of Oprah as a new age witch. It would be a welcome short cut from bothering with the endless 2008 election and also an escape from tedious reminders from teachers for students to read.

Look at those Wicca people above. They don’t seem to be causing any trouble.

Here is a credit for that picture.

October 2, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About, Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments

Do Local TV Stations Make Hurricanes In Secret Weather Labs?



Houston has been hit with a lot of rain today. The rain comes from former Tropical Storm Erin. Erin is no longer a named storm.

Our local TV stations have broken into regular programming to show flooded areas. They might tell you it is a public service. I’m less certain of the motives.

I wonder sometimes if local TV stations create tropical weather systems in secret labs and then dump them into the atmosphere.

These stations sure do get hyped-up over bad weather. They have super-double, triple-action, four-squared Doppler Radar systems to tell us what is on the way.

With Hurricane Dean likely to enter the Gulf of Mexico next week, our local affiliates in Houston will be in full hype mode.     

August 16, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | Leave a comment

Mary Tyler Moore Theme Has Been Playing In My Head For Over 30 Years

The Mary Tyler Moore theme has been running through my head for over 30 years now. It really never stops playing. 

What it says is true—Love is all around. It might take effort and  imagination to find it. But it’s there.

It’s true even here in kick-the-little-guy-when-he-is-down Texas.

June 21, 2007 Posted by | Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 3 Comments

Hawaii Five-O Episode Leads To Purchase Of Thoreau’s Walden

In college, I was turned-off when studying Henry David Thoreau. While I, like all people, have many conflicting impulses, maybe my strongest impulse is against someone separating himself from the whole.

I feel this way despite a strong wariness of the will of the political majority, however it may be defined at any given moment, and despite the atomistic bent of my solid 1980’s Midwestern hardcore punk rock credentials. 

Last week I watched an episode of Hawaii Five-O for the first time in many years. In this episode, top cop Steve McGarrett was asked to test some sort of telephone snooping device. McGarrett said into the phone, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.”

This spoke to me. I’d heard it before—But for whatever reason it resonated with me very much on this one particular afternoon. I knew the quote was from Thoreau’s Walden.

So I went out a few days ago and bought a copy of Thoreau. We’ll see if he reaches me or if my Andrew Jackson “of the people” impulses exert too strong a pull. 

May 21, 2007 Posted by | Best Posts Jan.-June 2007, Books, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 2 Comments

Shocker!—Sheila Jackson Lee Gets Herself On TV With The King Of Jordan

A few days back, I watched on C-Span a speech given by the King of Jordan before a joint session of Congress. Watching the broadcast, I can’t say I was surprised to see Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee sitting on an aisle seat as King Abdullah entered the House Chamber.

She might’ve been camped out in that seat like something out of Woodstock. I should’ve scanned the television picture for her tent.

The C-Span audience got to see Ms. Jackson Lee whisper something in the King’s ear. Did she tell the King that maybe Jordan should start having more free elections and allow more press freedom? That would‘ve been good.

Ms. Jackson Lee always finds the camera. A few months ago I watched on C-Span the groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King Memorial on the Mall in Washington. Ms. Jackson Lee was right up on the podium.

A few years ago, when I lived in her district, I sent Ms. Jackson Lee a letter opposing any privatization of the United Sates Post Office. I never got a reply. I wish Ms. Jackson Lee would focus more on her duties and focus less on getting her picture taken.

March 9, 2007 Posted by | Houston, Politics, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 1 Comment

Mary Tyler Moore Was Content With 9-Inch Black & White TV In Time Before We Lost All Control Over Ourselves

I recently watched a rerun of Mary Tyler Moore from about 1972. I saw Mary’s TV. It was a battery operated black and white with maybe a nine-inch screen. It was not Texas-sized like everything is today. It was small. 

Lou Grant came over and watched a fight on Mary’s TV. He did not care at all about how big the TV was.

I looked at that small TV and wondered why we have to have such big televisions today. I did not come up with a reason because there is no really plausible explanation.

February 2, 2007 Posted by | Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 1 Comment

Instead Of Watching State Of Union, I’ll Be Asking If God Is Black

Instead of watching the State of the Union speech tonight in my Houston home, I intend to watch a rerun of All In The Family.

I’m going to watch the episode where Archie Bunker argues the question “Is God Black?” with his neighbor Henry Jefferson. Henry was George Jefferson’s brother.

In this discussion Jefferson says black people are better athletes. In response Bunker demands to know, if black folks are so great and if God is black, why are all the astronauts white? Jefferson says it is because the astronauts are picked by “lily-white” Americans who only pick other lily-white Americans.

It sure is a funny exchange. 

Considering what color God might be, or doing anything else at all, is time better spent than listening to Mr. Bush.  

January 23, 2007 Posted by | Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 2 Comments

Wiener Wagon Attacks C-SPAN School Bus

I was watching TV a few days ago and saw an ad for Oscar Mayer wieners. The Wiener Wagon was driving about promoting the brand. I’d like to see the Wiener Wagon someday. Even more than seeing the Wiener Wagon, I’d like to see the C-Span school bus. I love C-SPAN. I love the C-SPAN bus. I’ve wanted to see that bus for years now. Most of all, what I’d like to see is the Wiener Wagon in some type of car fight with the C-SPAN bus. Liberals should not be afraid to admit having an occasional violent impulse. It’s only human.  

August 14, 2006 Posted by | Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 2 Comments

World War III–In Case You Missed It

Newt Gingrich and William Bennett say America is now in the midst of World War III. They say the enemy is militant Islam and America is involved on fronts all across the world. I saw these men say this on TV. 

What I’d like to see, if we are in a so-called Third World War, is a call for mobilization involving real sacrifice. Like a tax increase instead of tax cuts for the rich.

It is hard to pick a most offensive aspect of the conflict in Iraq as conducted by the Bush team. But one thing I could nominate is the failure to ask American citizens for any type of sacrifice. Our troops and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians are dying in a war America started, yet we are not asked to change anything about how we live. This despite the fact so many of us live like pigs. It’s appalling.

July 31, 2006 Posted by | Lousy People, Politics, Things Watching Tv Made Me Think About | 1 Comment