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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Robert Hodge" <[log in to unmask]>
> Well, with the current state of television programming as it is,
> you could only improve it if you were !  
> 
> The technology improves while the content disintegrates. Except for
> rare occations and on PBS it is a "vast wasteland".
> 
> And how could anyone watch anything worthwhile on a 2 inch or smaller
> screen ? Some do, so I hear.
> 
Well...I shall vehemently disagree/comment here!

Television exists...and has ALWAYS existed...as a medium on which
advertising can be sold at maximum profit! The creators of the
medium enthusiastically forecast all sorts of programming which
would "bring culture to the masses"...ignoring the reality that
"the masses" have absolutely NO desire for "culture!" The all-too
inevitable result was/is that television programming quickly
drifted toward a "lowest common denominator"...which, in turn,
lowered the cultural level of the masses...which then lowered
the cultural/intellectual quality  of TV programming (and life
in general...?!) even further...and on and on in a downward
spiral. Even PBS (and other "serious" programming) inevitably
skews its content toward that "LCD" demographic (since there
wouldn't be much of an audience otherwise...?!).

The applicable question actually is: how much serious thinking
is going on?! I suspect this variable is in constant-decrease
mode, since it doesn't pay very well or lead to fame and/or
fortune! After all, it is much easier to sit mindlessly in
front of one's TV set (or, for students, to regurgitate on
demand a few memorized answers to complete a multiple-choice
examination...!) than it is to actually SERIOUSLY think about
a question more complicated than "For whom should I vote in
the 'American Idol' competition...?"

Steven C. Barr
(With increased vehemence, he expostulates "FEH!!"...)