Monday, January 22, 2007

TV trends

“What is considered worth watching has varied widely over time, from gladiatorial bouts to public hangings to ‘Leave It to Beaver.’

“Observers have noted a definite trend over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st: Content has become more gritty, realistic and shocking, regardless of whether that content appears in movies, comics, television or video games. …

“A large proportion of the indecency complaints recently fielded by the FCC involved ‘CSI,’ one of the most popular shows on television.

“The lobby for government controls on content seems to focus all its attention on counting curse words and scenes involving nudity. …

“Broadcasters compete with cable, and television competes with the Internet, and everything competes with DVDs and rentals. More and more networks compete with one another. The fact is that the new trend in programming isn’t bad. Very few people would trade today’s cornucopia for the days of ‘Three’s Company’ and ‘Mork & Mindy.’ And those who would prefer that option can drop their cable subscriptions and rent videos or DVDs instead. But by and large, this is not what consumers want.”

— Solveig Singleton, from “No Responsibility Without Freedom,” a special report by the Independent Women’s Forum

Are you crazy?

“You may have heard the news by now. People who hold conservative political opinions are suffering from a syndrome in need of a cure. How do we know this? Because a professor of psychology has demonstrated it to be so. …

“It seems as though the authors [of ‘Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition’] weren’t interested in studying conservatives as much as they were interested in studying the opinions that liberals hold in regard to conservatives. Many of the theories included in the meta-analysis stem from the work of Theodor Adorno. …

“Adorno was not a researcher. As a member of the Frankfurt School, he was a Marxist ideologue, a vehement anti-capitalist and a supporter of communism. … Adorno’s beliefs are the ideological thread that connect many of the theories the authors chose to include in their meta-analysis.”

— psychologist Shawn Smith, writing on “A Methodology Critique in Defense of Those Wascally Wepublicans,” Jan. 16 at

Dumbed down

“Mike Judge’s film ‘Idiocracy’ … depicts a dystopian future where language has degenerated into a medley of ghetto/hillbilly/valley girl-speak and grunts. The film’s conceit is simple: The smart and affluent people have ceased procreating — whether because of their busy careers or plain selfishness — leaving the field open for the ultra-fertile knuckledraggers, who tend to produce an overabundance of offspring with an endless string of partners, until there is no one left with an IQ over 80. …

“This is indeed our future. Successful, college-educated women do have far fewer children than their less-educated counterparts. A Phillip Longman study of a group of college-educated women reported a fertility rate of only 0.37 children per woman, which would mean … a decline of 99 percent within a human lifetime. A continued increase in the percentage of women going to college or graduate school may well push this rate down further, Longman warns.”

— Christopher Orlet, writing on “Our Inarticulate Future,” Thursday in the American Spectator Online at

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