When the television dial was much smaller and cable television was just beginning to branch out into our communities, the water cooler topic was often about last night's episode of M*A*S*H* or some other such sitcom. "Did you see so and so on Saturday Night live? Did you hear on the news that Robert Plant's son Karac died? Did you watch 60 minutes lat night?"
Now, with the variety of television shows to be found through the modern marvel of cable, satellite and whatever, there are only a handful of shows that people discuss at work or while out socializing. There is so much on that it often seems that everyone is watching something different. It seems that only those of the baby boomer generation still watch the news. Sure, there are Soprano watchers (or were) Desperate Housewives, and watchers of Greys' Anatomy and such. But there are also some shows of depth and wisdom to be found on PBS or MSNBC, Discovery and The History Channel, just to name a few.
I couldn't find anyone who watched Ken Burns, "The War" on PBS stations.
I find this very disturbing. While it was so easy to be all Patriotic and frothing at the mouth hateful towards those that were in opposition to our entering Iraq, when it comes to enlightening oneself regarding War and government and the reasons that one might go to war, this well done documentary seemed to receive little notice among the usual nightly t.v. viewers.
At the rate of about 1,000 WWII veterans a day dying, bringing their stories with them, the average US citizen knows more about Grey's Anatomy than the war that affected every American citizen's daily life. At home and abroad; within and without the service.
My father, "full of piss and vinegar" crossed the channel into France in July or August of 1944. By mid December, he was a POW in a German prison camp in Bad Orb, Germany. He was "liberated" in April of 1945 weighing less than 100 Lbs.
I inherited a good deal of my Dad's cynicism regarding War and Government. After the "Gulf War' people became more aware of the service and sacrifice of the generation that Tom Brokaw called, "The Greatest Generation." It became fashionable to give High School diplomas to those that left school for war and never completed their "education." At one point, my father was sent a POW medal from the War Department. A few months later he was invited to Boston to attend an event whereby local politicians would then "present" the medals to the POWs. My fathers didn't want any part of their political smoke and mirror shenanigans. Hell, it was only a few years previous that Dole and Rumsfield were helping Saddam celebrate his birthday. Now he's a madman!
We have people who still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9-11 and that is why we entered Iraq. With the over 3,300 deaths of our servicemen and the 70,000 plus deaths of Iraq civilian's, who looks like the madman now?
But no one seems to notice. There isn't anyone affected except those that have lost someone. There are no news reels of the daily death tolls and no notice of the flag draped coffins when the dead do return. The government won't allow it.
The greatest generation is dying while the latest generation is already dead.


Bert said…
incredible this keeps on going. Now recently, I've read that Gordon Brown is acting as shitty as Blair before him, although many saw in him a different approach. Sad ...

PS: discovered a great new Irish whiskey: Greenore!
Tim said…
I googled Greenore - sounds great. I'll look to see if its available around here.
Yeah..the war. Damned criminal!
Bert said…
hmm, I wanted to say unbelievable instead of incredible. Got a bit mixed up with the French meaning of the word ... :)

Anyhow, here in Be, Greenore costs about € 24,-, but now with the weak dollar etc. I don't know how much it will be in the US.

But it's certainly worth the taste!