Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" You know what fascinates bored deities? Television! They can't get over it. And they all say that if they'd had it as a praise and worship tool, they wouldn't be bored today.
When I hear this, I turn on some televangelist, or Glenn Beck, or another hater of that ilk, and I ask the bored deity, "Is this who you would want drumming up business for you?"
Some of them are fine with it. Others are dismayed. You're gonna get a mixed bag of answers from deities of multiple pantheons.
Television is definitely a powerful tool for molding peoples' sentiments. (The computer is not far behind it just now and probably will overtake it.) It doesn't matter what political views you hold, chances are you can find some hater on the air who will stoke your inner fire and make you want to drag a sign to some rally.
I'm reflecting on this topic tonight because of Keith Olbermann's abrupt departure from his television show -- a program of left-wing ire that put MSNBC on the map.
Like him or hate him (or his politics), you have to admit that Keith took a page from the Rush Limbaugh playbook and doled out strong opinions with a "progressive" zeal.
As for this "progressive" crap, when did we stop being liberals? The new name feels so 1984-ish somehow, like we were hoodwinked into it by the vilification of our original name.
Anyway, back to Keith. I've been watching his show for at least two years, every night but Friday.
To be perfectly truthful, I've been falling asleep to his show for two years. That would be the amount of time I've been teaching. Before that, I watched him. Not with rose colored glasses, either. "Worst person in the world?" Hater. Funny hater, but a hater all the same.
The reason I supported Keith with my viewing habits was that, to me, he offered a counterbalance to all the hate from the other side of the political spectrum, which I will, from now on, be calling the "regressives." Rush, Glenn, Bill, Sean -- they needed someone to blow Bronx cheers across their bows. Someone similar in temperament and completely opposite in point of view.
New ownership has arrived at MSNBC, and rumors about Mr. Olbermann's big ego and head-butting against management are rampant. So the hater isn't well-liked. I imagine Mr. Beck's not always on the best of terms with his handlers, either.
I'll miss Keith because he was a righteous hater, a counterbalance to the vile fumes across the divide. Now that he's gone, I think I'll read more. Should have been doing that long ago. Oh yeah, and I'll get a laugh out of watching MSNBC fade back into the obscurity it tried so hard to overcome. Sorry, dudes. You fired your matinee idol. Or he quit. Either way, ciao, baby, from someone who didn't much care for Keith but who actually watched MSNBC every night.
Are you reading this, you who buy commercial time on MSNBC? The progressives are progressing elsewhere.
Sheesh. Progressives. When was the last time that was used? Maybe in the era of William Jennings Bryan?