I much prefer the days of scripted television (although some would argue that “reality TV” is scripted to a major extent), where ideas were generated by talented writers, who engaged our imaginations and gave us something to think about. Back in those good ‘ol days of responsible and artistic television, writers, producers, directors, and other production staff actually contributed something to the political and social discourse (e.g. “All In The Family” & “Good Times” from the 1970s) of the country. After the mid-90’s, television, the artistic aspect of broadcast television as well as our collective mental capacities plummeted; not coincidentally at the same time. Since then, we are spoon-fed opinions and ideologically bound (e.g., Melissa Harris-Perry--too liberal--and such pundits on the left, and Rush Limbaugh and his crowd--too stupid--on the right).
Enter: HBO’s new scripted series, the Newsroom. Although I haven’t watched this series, if it is anything as intellectually compelling as the first 3-or so minutes of the series first airing, I may have gained a small bit of hope with regard to engaging, thought-provoking television. I’m not going to bother with a set-up for this first scene. I will just that you watch it and open your mind to the overall message of actor Jeff Daniel’s character.
Adding to the video's message, we live in a politically (and socially) polarized society where solutions—any solutions—and /or proposed policies tend to be either interpreted or characterized as “bad” or even “job killing” if they go against someone’s ideological bent. We are no longer the nation of venturing pioneers, whether in the realm of the geographical or the intellectual.
Those of us with a particular belief system rarely expand our minds wide enough to allow our beliefs to be challenged by additions to our understanding of the way the universe (or even our country) works. We spout party lines just because—much like religion—we heard someone else say it, and/or it validates a preconceived mindset that we bring to the table, instead of bringing the empty plate of an open mind to the table and asking to be served.
Just a little food for thought this early AM.