WHY TELEVISION SUCKSJanuary 31, 2011
OK....if you're like me and you occassionally tune in to those panel shows on the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, or "SyFy," you've probably been struck by the same thing I have, and that is, the endless repitition of the same themes, with the same names and faces, and "the same old thing." It's as if the TV media does not realize that there are other people in the huge alternative research community besides Eric von Daeniken and (insert your favorite "same old name" here) that might actually make for a fresh new approach on such series, and actually boost ratings. And what in the name of sense does wrestling or hunting ghosts or watching people make other people up have to do with science fiction except in the broadest sense that would only make sense to a Burbank producer?
I have to confess, I'm at a loss to explain it. Television, which could be such an informative medium for alternative research, seems lost in a rut, promoting a kind of "alternative orthodoxy" with its own magisterium of "the old names"and catastrophist paradigms that are simply not the only things going. There is a whole new chronology being developed by scholars and researchers in ancient chronology, but we never see them on these shows; there are new and exciting approaches being developed within the alternative research community concerning the relationship of ancient cultures such as Egypt and Sumer and the biblical stories we grew up on (and no, I'm not talking about Zechariah Sitchin), there is a new approach even being developed in ufology, yet we never hear from these people. (When, for example, was the las time you saw a show about Roswell on one of these channels without the same old UFO-ET proponents on the one hand, pushing the same old you-know-what, and the same old skeptics on the other, pushing the same old balloon you-know-what?) Endlessly, it's the same revolving door of names repeating the same old themes.
And the attempts to break into new territory are half-assed and leave a great deal to be desired. Case in point: some time ago I started to receive a flood of emails from people asking me if I had seen a certain episode of a certain show about the Nazi Bell project, wondering if in fact it had been based on my research. I bought the episode in question and sure enough, it did seem to be so. Well, the hidden part of this story is that I did volunteer about 30 hours of my time talking to a producer "out there." The trouble was, neither his name, nor my name, appeared in any of the credits, s0 I simply cannot say whether or not this episode was the result of that contact or not, but it did raise my suspicion meter into the red zone! But the most distressing part of the whole show was that there was no attempt in the episode to identify any sources for the audience to do further research. In short, what passes for referencing in the media is almost non-existent. Were producers subject to academic standards they'd fail miserably, and rightly so. An air of "unethicality" hovers over what little experience I've had with people in the visual media, and it has been uniformly negative.
It seems to me that it's high time for television to take a fresh approach to presenting alternative research... rather than lagging ten or twenty years behind the published material, it needs to be out front and on the cusp of research, seeking out the new names and faces and viewpoints, rather than parading the old ones as if they were the last word in the field. And it also needs to develop a style of referencing source material that is explicit. And it also needs to credit people for their help and advice. We do not need any more of the same old faces, the same old themes, the same old shoddy research and sound bite methodology.
If you're as fed up with them as I am, it's time to let them know. Enough is enough already.