Monday, January 21, 2008

It's Not TV, It's Crap

One of the few reasons there is left for me to watch HBO now is "Real Time with Bill Maher." I love that show. I love Bill Maher's "Take No Shit From ANYONE" attitude. There was one episode last season in which some jackass in the audience started yammering about some 9/11 conspiracy, and Bill Maher shouted back to the jackass something to the effect of "Can I get some fucking security in here, or do I have to throw you out myself?" Bill leapt into the audience and along with security, he gave a hearty "va fangu" to the morons. This shut up even a loudmouth like Chris Matthews (who was, of course, in the wingnut seat). One of the best parts of "Real Time with Bill Maher" is his "New Rules" coda segement in which he skewers particularly egregious assholes with a short, yet stinging rule.

Right about now, "Real Time with Bill Maher" is trying to get momentum going for its new season in the midst of the Writers Guild Association strike against The Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers. This has cripppled television, killed shows, and has affected the development of films from script to grossly overpriced tickets. The strike has continued since July 16th, 2007, and while the Directors Guild Association has recently tried to intervene to resolve this conflict, I strongly feel that things are gonna get worse. Bill Maher was able to get some kind of waiver to go on with his show minus the opening monologue, comedic interludes, and unfortunately, "New Rules."

In other words, "Real Time with Bill Maher" has been partially neutered. As a Bill Maher fan, it pains me to say this, but it sucks. The show still has its merits, but imagine if you've driven an Aston Martin DB-5 for years...and someone tells you that you have to ride a Big Wheel until they tell you you can have your DB-5 back. Some shows have actually bought the farm, and it's really tragic that shows like "Scrubs" won't be able to end in the way they dserve because of a bunch of greedy bastards.

Right before July 16th, 2007, there was an insane rush to get scripts approved and put into production at movie studios. They knew the shit was gonna hit the fan for a long time, and they wanted to get their biggest projects taken care of. There will still be big movies, and reality shows have flourished, because for the better part, they're unscripted. That giant sucking wound is not the usual lack of creativity in mass media culture - but the pronounced lack of even rancid shit dressed up to look respectable.

So, while there hasn't been much of anything to watch on TV recently outside of stuff we've seen endless times before and documentaries, I have one question. Why has there been no massive rush to libraries and bookstores? What does it say about us that we'd rather watch recycled old crap than read a book?

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