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i never dreamed that i'd spend my days staring at some tube emitting cathode rays

by mg at 10:46 AM on May 07, 2003

Since the war in Iraq ended, I’ve been in a bit of a funk. After 24 hours a day of tense news coverage of exploding bombs, firefights, and midnights rescues, I’ve come to realize exactly how bad most of what else gets broadcast over the airwaves really is.

TV is just so bad that it’s gotten to the point I’m only watching three hours a day, instead of my usual five. I’ve almost been compelled to actually pick up a book and read. Almost, but not quite yet. I can think of few fates worse that text, and a Sunday afternoon lineup of Lost World, Beast Master, and Mutant X isn’t one of them. Its close, but I’ll sit through it if it means I don't have to do anything else.

But, despite the fact I’ll still sit through 3 hours of awful television, I’d much rather sit through 4 hours of good television. Which is why I really miss the war. It was the best of all worlds – a little reality TV, a little action, a little suspense, and whenever Baghdad Bob came on the screen, well, that was pure comedy.

It’s even May sweeps at the moment, when TV usually struts out the best of the best. But I really couldn’t care less. And once sweeps are over, we are left with repeats and cast-offs for months. I heard that there are 30 reality TV shows set to premiere over the summer. I don't care if television invented reality, I still say no one puts on a better show that the U.S. military. What the networks need to do is convince the Pentagon to throw another war. So, I thought I’d help and throw out some ideas for countries we could invade that wouldd make for great TV.

The skirmish in Iraq pulled down some great ratings, so another war in the Gulf region would seem like a sure thing. But, even though CBS can get solid ratings with a full night of comedies about schlubish guys living in Queens, I don’t think another war in the Middle East would draw nearly the same numbers. Remember that summer when two volcano movies came out? Just like then, Americans can deal with one Gulf War, but two in the same year is just stretching things too much.

North Korea would be another option. A war in NK would be a sequel, but that war was decades ago, and Americans have short memories. Another war in Korea would be nostalgia at this point. The networks could run 24 hours of news, and throw in an episode of Mash every couple hours to break up the monotony. But, they should only the early episodes before they started letting Alan Alda direct. That war was so much more fun before they gave him creative control.

I think any other country in Asia wouldn't work. They’ve still got the SARS thing going on, and we don’t want to send soldiers over there. They might get killed. I’d suggest somewhere in Africa, but they don’t have anything we want. Australians speak English, so that war would be totally out of the question. And if you thought the lefties were making Hitler comparisons before, just imagine how bad it’d get if the U.S. military invaded any nation in Europe, even one of the ones no one cared about like Belarus or Luxembourg.

So, even though it would be safer to fight a war across some ocean, far, far away from American soil, that really only leaves South America. The U.S. might want to invade Venezuela or Argentina, since they have oil, but I’d say the number one option would be Brazil. Just think, not only would we get a war, but we’d also get nudity, which was the one thing missing from Iraq. Those Brazilian chicks just love to get down and take their tops off, and I’d have to imagine that’d continue, even if they were being shot at.

Another obvious choice would be Cuba. Fidel Castro already has that James Bond villain thing going on for him and we could claim the war was really about freeing people or whatever. And the best baseball players come from Cuba, so since baseball is America’s pastime, it’d be nice if at least some of the game's best players were actually from this country. When the war was over we could make Cuba the 51st state, and then the players would be American. Plus, we haven’t added a new state in 40 years, and those Puerto Ricans haven'tt seemed too keen on joining the Union.

One of the benefits of having a war closer to our homeland is that if we wanted to visit the setting of the conflict after the show was over, it’d be much easier. Umm Qasr is like a 46 hour flight, with 13 connections, including ones in Sydney, Frankfurt, and, inexplicably, Pittsburgh. When they throw the next war, it should definitely take place somewhere a little easier to visit. I remember a couple years ago when I was contemplating a trip to the Pacific Northwest for the sole reason of visiting the town where the exterior shots for Twin Peaks were filmed. The next war should be someplace you can fly to with, at most, one layover. Better yet, the next war should be someplace you can drive to, thus making it an affordable vacation alternative for young families.

If we are looking at it that way, Mexico would be number one on the list, since it’s tropical weather would allow tourism all year round. But if we are already invading Brazil, Cuba and the Dominican Republic (the 52nd state, since they have great ballplayers too), people might start to think we don’t like the ‘spics. That leaves only Canada, which is hardly an optimal solution, but at least they pretty much speak English.

Wherever the next war is, though, let’s make it quick. My remote control hand is starting to hurt from all the clicking around looking for something good to watch.

comments (15)

And I thought I was the only one. When the scuffle in Afghanistan was on, I was riveted. I'd even eat lunch @ this horrible deli because they had war coverage on. Same thing with Iraq, only then we had the added bonus of embedded reporters and live action. War may be hell, but it's great for we spectators.

by Anna at May 7, 2003 6:16 PM

"A war in NK would be a sequel, but that war was decades ago, and Americans have short memories."

Ah, but consider this: There was a 19-year gap between the first Terminator movie and the new one coming this summer, and look at a) how much special effects have improved, and b) how much people are looking forward to the new movie. So another Korean War (if done properly, with killer robots and kickass effects and eye candy like Claire Danes and whoever's playing the new female Terminator) could do really well.

Of course, there was T2 in 1991 to tide us over and keep the T-800 in our collective consciousness. Hmm. Maybe Carter or Reagan should've started something with NK in the late 70s or early 80s, just to keep it fresh in America's mind.

by Adam at May 8, 2003 12:17 PM

mg, I don't have a relevant comment, but golly it's nice to see you around these parts again.

by Linz at May 8, 2003 12:28 PM

I'm in the midst of finals at the moment, so shush, I'm not reality here.

As for T3, I have a feeling it will tank. How does a 90 year old Arnold compare with X-Men, the Hulk, and the soon to be highest grossing movie of all time, Matrix 2?

Now I must return to try to edit down my 12 page paper to only 7 pages. Stupid me and my stupid words.

by mg at May 8, 2003 1:26 PM

I always wondered who the dorks were that actually EXCEEDED the page limit...

by Linz at May 8, 2003 1:29 PM

Perhaps if you left out all of your Mutant X references and how things like T3 and T2 will end up causing major problems in the card catalog you could finish under the page limit.....

Perhaps you should stick to the good ol' stand-by topic, midget porn, sexy or funny?

Just remember: What would Dewy Decimal Do? (WW3D or WWDDD)

by Jerry Wilson at May 8, 2003 3:47 PM

Perhaps if you left out all of your Mutant X references and how things like T3 and T2 will end up causing major problems in the card catalog you could finish under the page limit.....

Perhaps you should stick to the good ol' stand-by topic, midget porn, sexy or funny?

Just remember: What would Dewy Decimal Do? (WW3D or WWDDD)

by Jerry Wilson at May 8, 2003 3:47 PM

I'll second that Linz. Also MG, you say that African countries don't have any resources we covet. That isn't true. They've got diamonds galore and diamonds are a girl's best friend. And the diamond-rich countries are relative pushovers.

by anna at May 8, 2003 6:39 PM

Mg's posts seem much darker in humor lately. Frustration, mg? got anxiety because of finals, yeah, who doesn't. But is something else going on... Leaving NYC? Failing to make the grade? I certainly have failed. Even BadSemite can't cheer me up these days.

by lockheed at May 8, 2003 8:03 PM

I can uderstand the extra pages. It's easier to cut copy than add it. My problem was I never had enough.

Five hours of TV a day?! That's almost a full-time job. I think I only do about two - three if you count Days during my lunch hour.

by MrBlank at May 8, 2003 10:32 PM

I watch an hour or two a week. I am so cool.

by Linz at May 9, 2003 9:13 AM

I don't tune in to dramas or comedies often enough to understand the story lines or relate to the characters. So I'm stuck with reality TV and that is getting worse by the day. One day I'll check out PBS or the Food Channel and then I'll know it's time to purchase a burial plot.

by anna at May 9, 2003 6:51 PM

African countries, given political stabilization and some industrial infrastructure, could provide us lots of cheap labor.

You know what's really increased my enjoyment of TV? DirecTV and Tivo. It's great. Even if there are 10 hours of TV worth watching in the whole week, out of 400+ channels, spread over all hours and days, you can Tivo them all and watch them whenever you feel like. It's the best. I love Tivo.

But of course most of the stuff that gets broadcast is crap. Why shouldn't it be? Look at all the other forms of media; they're also 95% crap. Books- in a world with Nicholas Sparks and V.C. Andrews? Radio- in a world with Avril Lavigne (who doesn't know who David Bowie is)? Movies- J.Lo, Ashton Kutcher, and Brittany Murphy? Why are they getting roles? Magazines- where Time considers a cover picture with Saddam Hussein X-ed out in blood to be good news coverage? Oooh, I'm going to choke on my own bile in a second! You can't count on anything mainstream to be any good.

by jean at May 11, 2003 7:10 PM

Jean, sometimes it's worse than dirt cheap labor. I've been researching the resurgence of out-and-out slavery over there. It is rampant. And very few people seem to care.

by Anna at May 12, 2003 6:13 PM

That's terrible. And you're right, few people do seem to care. Certainly few are paying attention. All sorts of atrocities are going on in Africa at levels that would be shocking if only people knew. But we're lucky to get a single sentence about any of it on the evening news.

by jean at May 12, 2003 11:48 PM

comments are closed