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Switching Channels
2.11.2003 by Dan, every Monday.

I have learned a few things over the past week.

This is notable not because I tend not to learn things, but due more to my policy of not learning them from my TV, which it has apparently learned to circumvent by saturating its pop-culture brainwashing onto other forms of media.

My first example is the 20/20 interview with Michael Jackson. First, for the record, let me state that I do not care about Michael Jackson. I go entire weeks without even thinking about that table-gnawing lunatic. So it is in light of that fact that the revelation that I did not even know of this interview until after it had already aired should come as no real surprise. What should come as a surprise was that I learned of it at all.

The day after the interview, I heard two radio morning shows (more on THOSE plagues on civilization in a later column), saw three newspaper articles, forty-two thousand web pages, eight telegrams, six blimps flying overhead, two messages transmitted directly into my brain, and one talking moray eel that swam out of my toilet, all going on about that stupid interview.

“WHY does anyone CARE??” I shrieked, as is my custom, into the uncaring sky. I mean, if your neighbor started bleaching his skin, replaced his nose with what appears to be a toggle switch, talked like a prepubescent girl and created a peer group of ten-year-old boys, you'd take his kids away and throw him into jail where he will get the vicious sodomy he obviously wants so desperately. Why not with Michael Jackson? Just be done with it already. Are we afraid he might not release shitty CDs if he rooms with Rosco?

My second example is Joe Millionaire. The FOX Network has built its audience around such quality shows as “When (random noun) Attacks!” and “The World's Wildest Policewomen Gone Wild Part XVII,” both of which make you long for the days of of their pre-Simpsons desperation programming. “Joe Millionaire,” for those of you not in the know, and if that is defined as “living in Canada” I'll be packing my bags tonight, is about all these women fighting over who gets to marry this millionaire. The twist is that the guy is not a millionaire- it's all an act. And while I personally like the idea of all these shallow greedy women fighting for fake money, I don't think it's worth lowering the bar on taste yet again. Reality TV has already dropped it further in just three years than it's come down since TV was invented.

I have cable now for only two reasons: 1: Cable modem internet access, and 2: Cartoon Network. As long as I get my “Time Squad,” “Gundam” and “Inu Yasha,” I can forestall the inevitable outcome of my moving to a shack in Montana and mailing explosives to reality TV producers.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to look up some wiring diagrams.

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