June 17, 2005

Another Thorny Question

Another Thorny Question

We don’t like to admit it, dear reader, but we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been taking in a fair amount of television of late. Between the Michael Jackson verdict and the blithering incompetence of Aruba’s detectives, there is much that has kept us virtually glued like rubes to the boob tube.

All of this mindless gawking—which, we hasten to add, was primarily undertaken for research purposes—has compelled us to think long and hard about the merits of American television. Indeed, as far as we’re concerned, nothing makes you think quite like forty mind-numbing hours in front of the old idiot box.

But just what, you may be asking yourself, has the crack young staff pondered so intently? A darn good question, that.

Our ruminations, dear reader, have focused on one particularly nettlesome query: MTV, E! Entertainment Television, or VH-1—which makes a more effective recruitment tool for al Qaeda? A really vexing brainteaser, is it not?

Perhaps, dear reader, you are fortunate enough to be blissfully unaware of these three pernicious television networks. In fact, if you ask us, copious amounts of their programming almost suffices to make any law-abiding member of society question the glories of Western civilization.

This does not mean, of course, that we think VH-1 is responsible for al Qaeda. We’re not about to join the Harold Pinter/Susan Sontag/Tariq Ali/Noam Chomsky crowd and opine that the United States “deserves” its terrorist attacks. Nor, dear reader, do we believe that horrific American television demonstrates the inferiority of Western culture.

We mean, come on: Have you ever seen the TV in Afghanistan? All of the game shows are so dull. Who the heck wants to win a used burqua, anyway? And don’t even get us started about China’s programming: Pretty much all of the actors look exactly alike, if you ask us.

Still, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” humbly submit that MTV, E! Entertainment Television, and VH-1 are not simply intellectually void and aesthetically nugatory. They are galactically wretched.

Take, for example, VH-1, a network we have excoriated in the past. In the last few years, this old fart’s MTV has become even more irksome. Its entire arsenal of programs, when not dedicated to male stripping, pertains to D-List pseudo-celebrities enjoying a few good chuckles at the expense of pathetic C-Listers. Could this get any more awful?

Or how about MTV? This is the network that brought us Pauly Shore. Enough said.

And then there’s the quizzically named E! Entertainment Television. If you ask us, its producers have earned a special place in hell for their trumpeting of such inscrutably untalented gossip-mongers as Ted Casablanca and that creepy guy from the Village Voice.

Any network whose nightly IQ increases thanks to Howard Stern is textbook atrocious in our collective book.

Posted at June 17, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack