Boy, Planet Green sure does run some crap programming | Street Jazz

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boy, Planet Green sure does run some crap programming

Posted By on Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Every so often Tracy and I watch the offerings on the Planet Green network, which can be pretty interesting, since so many of the shows deal with environmental problems that the planet faces. Then again, some of its programming runs to the downright bizarre.

Like almost all networks now, it offers documentaries and the dreaded “reality shows” (there is an ever-growing number in this country who seem to believe that these shows are actually reality, and are never re-shot, or have scenes planned out in advance) to its hapless viewers, along with the required daily amount of UFO/ghost hunting shows that we all need in our diet.

In truth, since most networks seem to offer the same programming, why do we even bother to give them names? Why not just number them?

But back to the folks at Planet Green, who walk the fine line between offering programming for the folks who might actually have an interest in things of a "green" nature, and the ones who think Bigfoot is siphoning gas out of their riding mower, and lay traps for him in the backyard.

Today we have Nuclear High Tide - Japan in Crisis. That’s a good show. Then we have the Discovery series, which focuses on various countries and American states. Then we move on to a show called Extreme Loggers.

What the hell is extreme logging? Are they drunk? On meth? Naked?

More to the point, wouldn't "extreme logging" be one of the problems our planet is facing? Why celebrate them?

Extreme is the new catch phrase in our language. A few weeks ago I saw a report on the news about about a fatal car crash and the inane reporter described it as an “extreme” accident.

One of these days I’ll do some “Extreme Blogging” and scare the hell out of all my neighbors, I think.

Ah, and then we have the UFOs. And the Bermuda Triangle. And UFOs and Nazis. And alien abductions.

Conviction Kitchen, where guys out of prison have a chance to open a restaurant, and are verbally abused by the little jerk who runs the place.

Ghost shows.

Possessed Possessions, which is about haunted objects. I don’t intend to watch this, but I like the concept, as it sort of reminds me of the Friday the 13th TV series, which I liked a lot.

BBQ Pitmasters. Because life isn’t complete without really gross people slathering sauce on God’s creatures and yelling at each other in the process. Okay, I’m not a snob, and I like this food on occasion, and I can imagine maybe a documentary - but a series?

Who watches this stuff? Is it available on DVD? Do people buy it for their friends and relatives for Christmas?

The only thing missing from Planet Green is the Duggar family, but I’m sure they will show up eventually.

It seems to be the rule now that networks must offer such nonsense, that along with Stephen Hawking we have to see American history through the eyes of Larry the Cable Guy.

No, really, he has a show on the History Channel.

This stuff isn’t funny anymore.

Then again, My dogs like to run around the yard and bark at things they can’t see because we have a high fence. Maybe I can call one of the cable channels and present a series based on the concept of dogs running around, barking at nothing in particular.

I’ll call it Dogged Determination.

******

TV Guide has finally fallen all the way down, and will never be able to get back up again

Back in what we like to refer to as the Olden Days, picking up TV Guide at the local supermarket didn’t mark you as someone beyond total intellectual redemption. It used to feature movie reviews by Judith Crist, television reviews by Cleveland Amory, and even a political affairs column by Patrick Buchanan (a man I loathe, but still, one can’t imagine the modern-day TV Guide going anywhere near politics). It also had a lot of interesting articles, along with the usual fluff.

Today, well, if US Weekly makes you feel stupid, then TV Guide is the magazine for you. It’s all fluff and nonsense.

Then why do I keep buying it? Okay, because I want to know what’s on TV next week, okay? Now get off my back.

But sometimes, against my better judgment, I read the articles. The latest issue, with the Fall Preview inside, has a bit on a show called Hart of Dixie, described as a “rom-com.”

A what? A rom-com? I looked at the page, and there was plenty of white space; the writer could easily have spelled out the words “romantic comedy.”

I guess I’m just not used to the new “extreme writing” that has taken hold in publications today.

*****

If you can find a copy of this, it is well worth your while

The art of political cartooning is surely as old as newspapers themselves. Over the years we have all had our favorites, and those who are very definitely not our favorites. Some cartoonists, while good artists, never seem to have a good grasp of “the issues,” and there are others who only seem to have a vague notion of what actually constitutes a good cartoon.

And some seem to be sharing an inside joke with a handful of others, and neglect to let others in on the secret.

And all too many have no discernible sense of humor. Former Ozark Gazette cartoonist Martin Newman, I’m glad to report, suffers from none of the above mentioned faults.

In fact, I consider Newman to be one the best political cartoonist in Arkansas. One OG reader compared him favorably to the legendary Herblock, which is high praise indeed. Newman, who had previously done only comic (non political) cartoons, came to the OG in 1998, and hit the ground running.

From the very first, his work had been right on target, and some years ago Newman collected the first several years of his work in a volume - Opinions are Like . . . Editorial Cartoons 1998-1999 (Blackberry Art Publishing).

Looking through these pages is like re-living some of the most tumultuous years of life in Northwest Arkansas. Though Newman has often drawn cartoons lampooning events on the national and international scene, my personal favorites are those which skewer the happenings in our own area.

From the battle over the Human Dignity Resolution to the Bakery Feeds uproar to the City of Character fiasco, and the increasing gentrification of Dickson Street, Newman had his eye on them all.

In the beginning, his cartoons were in a format known as “The History of . . .” and giving a sort of comic historic overview of certain subjects. After a time, he found this format to be too constricting, so he ended it in favor the more standard editorial cartoon, which have run ever since.

Opinions are Like . . . can be great fun, as many of the cartoons still have the power to make us laugh out loud, as well as provoke some serious thought.

And with the passage of time, some of his work seems absolutely prophetic. Martin Newman (who is also a talented artist) has a piercing gaze which has helped to make matters clearer for many of his fans. You could do a lot worse than getting your hands on this little book.

****

Quote of the Day

The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state. - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776)

rsdrake@cox.net

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