Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life according to (US) TV

I've been watching quite a lot of news and current affairs chat shows on US telly over the last few days: Fox, ABC, CNN, MSNBC. It is weird - everyone is really orange (I've checked different TV's - it is the make-up, not the TV), and the news is both breathless, gushy and over-dramatic, and fascinated by weird and not very important stuff at the same time. I know that is what everyone says, but its good once in while to check it out yourself. The reoccurring news since my arrival has been that the most powerful military in world history can unsurprisingly shoot some teenage pirates, ugly Scottish singers, vaguely homophobic beauty queens and the shocking news that middle class white boys with computers can also be violent killers. The only political news I've heard was whether Obama has been hanging out with leftist Latinos too much, and the European walk-out from the Ahmadinejad speech in Geneva.

People can argue to their hearts content as to whether the American 'MSM' is too liberal, too rightwing or too whatever. After watching it, it strikes me that the much bigger problem is that it is too facile. On the up side, the L.A. Times seems to be a good paper, particularly considering the big financial problems its owners have been going through.

For the time being, the adverts are also an endless source of interest. I know that the US and, I think it is, New Zealand are the only places where advertising to consumers of perscription drugs takes place, but it is still fun to watch the actual adverts and listen to the dire warnings that come with them: "Seek immediate medical attention for an erection that lasts more than four hours".

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