Saturday, April 22, 2006

What Television Is Supposed To Do.

At its worst television is no better than, as Harlan Ellison called it, a "glass teat". It allows us to suckle on it and drift off into zero brain cells effected or used sleep. Now I do have my own personal suckles, the new Battlestar Galactica and My Name Is Earl. I can't help it! One constantly questions the state and beliefs of the human race, the other just makes me laugh.

When TV is at its best it is WorldLink TV. It is quite simply the most informative and educational stops on the dial. Whether its is Linda Goodman's "Democracy Now", Mosaic: News From The Middle East, or Deutsche Welle: Journal, you are guaranteed a broad perspective on national and world events.
Their documentaries are some of the best I have seen. Take for example the one from the other night, World Weddings: Gypsy Child Brides. The show just blew me away. Take a look a t the synopsis:
Gypsy Child Brides - Fourteen-year-old Regina has just married according to the custom of traditional Roma, the nomadic culture commonly referred to as Gypsies. She was sold by her father for $3,000. The film reveals some of the ancient customs of Romania's Roma clans, which are coming under increasing fire from the European Union. Having endured over 1,000 years of persecution since their origin in India, the Roma are not easily giving up their traditions. To them, the latest round of criticism is little different than the prejudice they have suffered for a millennia.
Encapsulated in this thirty minute BBC documentary is a microcosm of tradition vs modernity. I found myself conflicted between the right of this culture to practice its traditions and being repulsed by, what I still feel is, a tradition that should simply not exist in the modern world.

These young girls, one as young as
12, are bartered and sold into a life no better than slavery. Their virginity stands as coin of the realm, and when lost on the marriage night, the bloody sheet is literally paraded for all to see.

This show will air three times this coming week:
Broadcast Times
Sunday, April 237:00 PM
Monday, April 241:00 AM
Monday, April 248:30 AM
The times above are EST so grab your TiVO remote, you are going to watch this more than once.

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