June 13, 2007

This subject of television and it's dismal lack of programming, programming worth wasting the electricity on, irks me more and more. Does it really mean that the 'golden days of television' are behind us, left somewhere in the fifties or sixties? I don't want to believe it, but the evidence keeps piling up.

I deride television for it's lack of content, and quality. That's a no-brainer, as we say. Even we non-Harvard, un-elitist, ordinary joes can recognize junk when we see it. As the Supremes (court) described pornography to a country agog with their way with words, paraphrased, we know it when we smell it.

But every now and then, in the vast wasteland (Newton Minnow) something pops up that while you watch and sometimes after the fact, you feel like you have spent some of your discretionary time wisely. That happened to me this morning as I watched BOOK TV on the CSPAN network. The subject was Dan Walker, an Illinois ex-govenor, who has written an extremely candid book, it sounded like to me, of his quest for political office and his mis-deeds and subsequent days in the slammer.

I found Mr. Walker forthcoming and refreshing in his views, and even though politicians are not, usually, found on my short list of heroes, his presentation effected me. More importantly it used the valuable time allocated by CSPAN to hustle a plug (of course) for his book, but also to fill the time with insight and perhaps a little knowledge.

Time well spent. There is still some good stuff out there. You just have to look a little harder, or get lucky and fall into it occasionally.

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