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May 05, 2008

Why showering every day is worth the money.

Pbs_2 Have you seen this article from Parade Magazine asking for people to vote for their support for PBS programming?  I for one do not want public television or radio to go under and I am very willing to pay $1.31 cents per year to make sure PBS stays afloat.  Not only am I willing to fork over that money because I enjoy PBS and have done work for them, I am willing to pay up because I do not support the argument that PBS programming can be replaced by Cable Television programming.  Pardon me while I rant for a moment...

It is out-fucking-rageous that anyone would be so out of touch to not know that there are families who cannot afford Cable Television! Yes, there are actually people who cannot afford to have cable television.  And you know what else? There are people who do not want cable television. Yes, they walk among us!  I have even been in their homes on more than one occasion, and you know what? Not all of them are dope head crack dealers who neglect their kids.  These are families who either don't have the cash or believe that having hundreds of channels doesn't meet their need.   


Do I sound like a lunatic?  The very idea that cable television programming could replace an American Icon makes me lose my shit.

Now is the time when I modify a quote from Sprockets in order to express myself:
This disturbs me to the point of insanity. There. I am insane now
Obviously I have cable. I believe Cable is a privilege, not a right. PBS, to me, is a right. And I want us to fight for our right to have it.
But I didn't get this passionate about PBS overnight. This has been years in the making.  My parents were/are PBS Junkies. In fact my mother's ring-tone when she calls me is the theme from MasterPiece Theatre (my mama has drama, ya'll!).  As I kid, Mister Rogers had my back. As a mom, I probably need to take Calliou to dinner and celebrate 5 years of personal hygiene I probably never would have experienced had his show not been on PBS Kids. I know I hear an "AMEN!"  or two. Possibly more.

Did you vote "Yes" yet? Maybe this true story from my own childhood will bring up some memories and bring in your "Yes" vote.

The scene is 1976. A living room in Brooklyn Heights.

Twas the days before television remote controls, the days when getting up off the sofa was required for changing a channel and I was doing just that.  As I started to turn the knob on our Zenith to another station my mother instructed "Leave it be please, PBS has a show on we need to watch together."  I shrugged my shoulders as if to say "Okay fine." and then asked "What show?"  My mother answers, "The Underground Movement." I consult the TV Schedule and tell my mother, "NOVA is coming on next so it's probably some kind of show about moles."  My mother gets fired up and proceeds to lecture me about how I am incorrect. That this show is about the Underground Resistance Movement.  She insists it is my obligation "to learn about the struggle of the Jewish people" and informs me "You must watch this show as we are Jews! It is our history!"  To which I reply "Are we descendants of Jewish moles? Because I'm pretty sure that if NOVA is having a show about 'The Underground' it's gonna be about animals living under the earth"  To which my mother snaps, "NO! It is about the Jewish underground resistance movement and you are going to sit right here with me and watch it so you will understand how much our ancestors had to struggle against oppression! This is my history, your history and the history you will one day share with your own children!"
So I sit down. I am sulking. I am glaring. This is what 9 year olds do when they think they are right and their parent is undeniably wrong.
The promo for NOVA begins and goes something like "Tonight on NOVA we explore life underground, from foxes and badgers, moles..."  I triumphantly turn to my mother and demand "Tell me, which one of those mammals is our ancestor who fought oppression?   Maybe we have a cousin who fought an opossum.  Oh wait, you did say oppression, right?"
Silence.  Had my mother been capable of shooting lasers from her eyes, I believe she would have done it.  It also would have helped if the New York Times television guide had published this description of the show:
I bet it's worth at least $1.31.

Original post to DC Metro Moms Blog. Devra can be found at Parentopia speaking her mind with Aviva and dreaming about the day when PBS won't have to fight for funding every year!


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