S U C K

"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 19 August 1997. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
 
 
 

He's Lying

 

['Kill your television' cartoon.]

There's no way on earth

that any Experts watch TV.

According to Experts, TV,

after all, makes you



dumb (California Department of Education); sexist and racist (University of Pennsylvania); unimaginative (Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry); violent (University of Michigan); lethargic (Memphis State); obese (Brigham Young); immune to the indications of amounts of "irregular driving" - squealing brakes, speeding, screeching tires, and the like (Journal of Communication); plus TV is, of course, "directly or indirectly responsible for half of North America's murders and rapes" (University of Washington);

 

[Cartoon of 'new' content handed out of a T.V. set unto a man's face.]

Quite a rap sheet for an

appliance, no? (The microwave

must be developing quite an

inferiority complex - all it

does is beam carcinogenic rays

into our ramen.) Thank heaven

for our public officials, who

are creating all sorts of

techniques to empower vigilant

parents with the tools -

V-chips, TV ratings - to filter

out the bad, so our children

don't end up stupid, sexist,

fat, blood-thirsty, and

screeching the family Volvo's

tires til all hours of the

morning.

 

[Colorized (by me) photograph of a man wearing a plaid robe, carrying a T.V. set.]

In the midst of all this

tube-bashing, here comes ABC-TV,

cool as the Fonz, announcing its

new ad campaign mockingly

reassuring us "Don't Worry,

You've Got Billions of Brain

Cells." ABC's new "TV is Good

For You" campaign, dreamed up by

its new ad team at TBWA

Chiat/Day, is popping up on

billboards, magazines, and on

the idiot box itself. "The Couch

is Your Friend," screams one

black-on-carefully-

chosen-hue-of-yellow billboard.

 

Didn't take long for the

tut-tutters of the world (Times

op-ed columnists, for example)

to sound the alarm that they

don't get the joke. On the flip

side of the Zeitgeist coin,

various Irony preservationists

can be heard in coffee houses

running the all the way from

East 45th Street to East 56th,

bitching about ABC's cooptively

self conscious attempt to be

hip.

 

[Photo of an ad honcho.]

Now it maybe true that ABC-TV,

as a fully fledged, dues-paying

Man, has no right to irony - but

that's just it, they're not.

"All we ask is eight hours a

day," an ad explains, where's

the irony in that? What part of

it don't they mean? At the July

21 press conference, the TV and

ad honchos explained that the

campaign "celebrates the love of

television in a way that we

don't think has really been

embraced before." If there's a

hint of duplicitousness to the

message, it's that their

new-found straightforwardness

gives lie to all the messages

they've attempted to pawn off on

us before.

 

[Photo of a scratch piece of scotch-taped paper that says, 'Green Swoosh Campaign.']

The truth of the matter is

advertising works (what brand

sneakers are you wearing right

now? And are those Dockers?),

and television is entertaining,

and these two media are

effective because these bozos

actually know what they're

doing.

 

Social scientists would have the

television as a living room

Manson, while the rest of us are

Creepy-Crawlies. But the fact,

Jack, is that students are

failing because the students

aren't learning. Men are getting

obese because they're eating too

many corn-nuts. And rapes and

murders are taking place because

there are some evil

motherfuckers in this world.

Stop blaming it all on that poor

B.J. and the Bear.

 

[Photo of our friend, Dan Aykroyd, apparently promoting a new T.V. show he must be doing.]

So yes, watch TV. TV is good. Not

all of it, of course, and

certainly not all of the ABC

fall lineup. (ABC's lineup does

suck, it seems, and it's a point

that all of the ads seem to

tacitly concede - the only

reason to promote a whole medium

is if your percentage is what's

giving it a bad name.)

 

Of course, you should always feel

free to cast your lot with the

Tube-Totalers like those of the

sect "Aggressive Christianity"

of Berino, New Mexico: "THROW

YOUR TELEVISION OUT THE

DOOR, KICK IT DOWN THE

STAIRS, THEN ASK GOD TO

CLEANSE YOUR HEART AND

YOUR MIND OF IT'S [sic]

FILTH BEFORE IT IS TOO

LATE. DO IT TODAY!"

 

Whatever. If you need us, we're

going to punch up A&E and then

go wilding.



courtesy of James Bong
 
 
 

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