Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Now THAT'S Entertainment!

Have you noticed that when you criticize a television show, even when it is your admittedly favorite one, no one says (or writes) to you, "Why don't you take up acting if you think you can do it better?" or "If you think you can do a better job, why don't you try coming up with a better script?"

Isn't it odd, though, that if you criticize a sport team or player someone will, invariably, tell you that if you think you can do a better job why don't you go and do it? 

No one calls anyone an "armchair director" when they criticize the way a movie is developing, but criticize the way a play was ran and you are scoffed at as a "wannabe coach." 

Some people wonder where the "rash" of "reality tv" has come from, under the delusion that it is a new phenomenon breaking the screen as we crested into the 21st century but the truth is that "reality tv" was just about all that television had to offer beginning back in 1939 with the first televised sporting event, a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton.

According to The Museum of Broadcast Communications:
"Television got off the ground because of sports," reminisced pioneering television sports director Harry Coyle. He coninued, "Today, maybe, sports need television to survive, but it was just the opposite when it first started. When we (NBC) put on the World Series in 1947, heavyweight fights, the Army-Navy football game, the sales of television sets just spurted." With only 190,000 sets in use in 1948, the attraction of sports to the networks in its early period was not advertising dollars. Instead, broadcasters were looking toward the future of the medium, and aired sports as a means of boosting demand for television as a medium. They believed their strategy would eventually pay off in advertising revenues. But because NBC, CBS and DuMont manufactured and sold receiver sets, their more immediate goal was to sell more of them. Sports did indeed draw viewers, and although the stunning acceptance and diffusion of television cannot be attributed solely to sports, the number of sets in use in the U.S. reached ten and a half million by 1950.
 Sports, the first "reality tv" shows have continued to bring us all the drama, excitement, mayhem, murders, mysteries, tears, dreams, glory, underdogs, champions that any "reality" show has done. And, yet, talk to many a sports enthusiast and they are loathe to call sports "entertainment" or athletes "entertainers". 

Nevermind that the athlete would cease to be paid if no one cared to watch their sport. AH-HA, says the sports enthusiast, THAT'S WHAT MAKES AN ATHLETE DIFFERENT, S/HE WOULD STILL CONTINUE IN THE SPORT! And how is that different than the actor in the off Broadway show, or the local town theater? 

Can a college violinist get paid a cadillac, while still at school, if he promises to play in the Portland Symphony instead of going off to Philadelphia without being penalized in some petty manner? Why is college/university sports dictated to by some petty organization that makes babies out of full grown adults? People old enough to die for our country but not old enough to know whether or not someone is taking advantage of them by buying them a car while they are still in school? What the heck kind of rules are those? Really! 

Why have we made gods of our athletes? If Tom Cruise was raising fighting cocks would they take away his actors guild card? Should they? Of course not. If you or I do something illegal we shouldn't have our means of regaining our position in society stripped from us. Why, in the name of sanity, would someone who has paid their debt to society (ie served their time in prison and are now out) have to beg for their license to continue in their occupation?  Especially an occupation like ENTERTAINMENT! If the people want to punish the person they WON'T COME TO WATCH. And whoever hired him/her knows "whoops".  But the licensing organization has no right to keep the card from the person.

It comes back to a whacky society. A society that, on one hand, bemoans the fact that "kids nowadays refuse to take responsibility for their actions" and on the other hand, this same society will say, "Reparations? Why in the hell should I pay for something that happened before I was even born?" Because, dumbass, it wasn't before your country was born and its your country that owes the damn debt! It says so in the damn precious federalist papers and every other founding father paper that the reason they kept slavery is because without it our country would dissolve and be bankrupt! 

Anyhu, this gets back to sports. Its just an entertaining game. There, I said it. And when the entertainers screw up or displease me (whether or not I loved them on some other night) I'm gonna say so. Monday night I didn't see the big "OH", I saw a bunch of little uh-ohs. Yeah, it was nice they got that far. Its just too bad their coaches didn't play in a bowl game last year so they could be prepared for the bowl game this year, like Auburn. OH! Whoops. Erase that, reverse. Auburn didn't play in a bowl game last year, did they? Which team DID play in a bowl game?

Thank goodness we have Beaver Baseball and Jordan Poyer to look forward to.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your writings!!