Saturday, June 29, 2013

Science Fiction? I Think Not!

Mr. Driftglass, Sir, has a nice post up on David Brooks today:

I keep getting calls from our fine local PBS affiliate, WUNC, asking for me and the missus to contribute. I've given it up, which isn't easy and doesn't make me feel good. Some of the local folks who work at WUNC are friends, and have done us some really good turns, including playing our CDs over the years on the "folk music" shows that UNC airs all through the weekend. Moreover, Libby and I were invited last year to participate in a great concert series sponsored by WUNC--a very first class outdoor venue over in Durham, where the new WUNC studios are located in the American Tobacco Campus, with first class sound and first class remuneration. That alone really ought to spur me to give back. And I do indeed give money now and then to the WUNC-radio division, which was the sponsor of that concert series.

But the TV side. In spite of the plain fact that they do indeed have some very good shows on--really educational, supporting decent humanistic values and a common sense view of the world, I've been saying no. The reason is David Brooks. Because I think that Mr. Driftglass, Sir is absolutely correct that Mr. David Brooks' overarching life task is to mislead the American public, day in and day out, and not only on the details of the moment, but structurally, systematically, on the very nature of reality. And it is really tragic, as well as galling, that PBS abets Mr. Brooks in his life's work, which is obviously succeeding. It's not like Mr. Brooks has no voice. The New York Times also abets his project, so he's absolutely "out there." Perhaps the truth is, the fact that PBS supports Mr. Brooks is itself an indicator and symptom of Brooks' horrific success. Why blame the messenger? As the government has turned Right, PBS--dependent on the government for much of its lifesblood, has turned right with it. Over the decades there have been appointments, structural decisions, political choices. Maybe, as I've suggested here, it was the inclusion of William Buckley that marked the awful slow pivot. At any rate, it comes down to this for me: I'm not going to put up a cent of my money in support of David Brooks. I don't give any money to Oral Roberts University, or Liberty University, or Bob Jones University either.

It's sad to see PBS in the same light as Fox. But one could say, in defense of Fox (the conglomerate), that they have great sports coverage, the best overall in the land, and good entertainment television, including of course The Simpsons, which is realistic and even in many ways liberal, not to mention funny. So what's the problem, one could say. So what if there's the hard-edged propaganda spew of Fox "News," which had the advertising science genius to even pick as its slogan the bald-faced lie "fair and balanced," which must have come straight out of chapter 4 of Goebbels's curricula at Berlin University, 1934, Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures 101. And yes, you have a point. All I can say is, I ain't giving Fox a minute of my time, except when NASCAR is on, and I'm glad that at least Fox has left the NASCAR building for this year. It is, moreover, appropriate that Fox covers NASCAR. NASCAR fined a driver some $60,000 for saying, earlier this year, that the new racer they're running was harder to drive than last years model. And that's sorta how things got in Berlin after Professer Goebbels gave up teaching for gubment work.

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