Ed Driscoll

Cause and Effect

At the Lifestyle blog, Dr. Helen writes:

I was watching the show House Hunters last night on HGTV and noticed that even with such a neutral show, in the space of ten minutes, I saw two commercials that were abusive to men. In one commercial, a woman was angry at a man at work and dumped a cup of coffee on him. In another, a man was in the grocery store aisle anxiously trying to decide whether his wife (or girlfriend) wanted the sweetener Stevia or real sugar. He was terrified that if he bought her sugar, she would be angry as she was off sugar that week but he was also afraid that she would get mad if he bought her artificial sugar as she would think he thought she was fat.

Another commercial showed a woman powerfully riding around on a lawn mower. I wish I could just peacefully watch a show without the constant message that says men are wimps, perverts, idiots,  or must live in constant fear of women and the simultaneous message that women are powerful. They climb big rocks while their boyfriend looks at them with admiration. Have you seen that Citi commercial?   These commercials may seem cute to some but they are destructive when they treat men as accessories to women rather than as human beings. Why not treat both sexes as worthy of some dignity?

Do you have a least favorite of these “males are idiots, predators, or wimps” commercials? If so, drop it in the comments as I am working on a section for my upcoming book on why men are on strike in the US and could use some tips.

In an unrelated — yet totally related — post at Big Hollywood, Christian Toto writes, “Cutting the Cord: Former TV Addict Goes All In for Streaming:”

Movies on cable required sitting through endless commercials. The few television shows I considered Must See TV weren’t on when I wanted them to be on. And even my cable system’s on-demand archive seemed limited. And then I had to stare at that ghastly cable bill, the one that seemed to loom larger with every passing month.

I decided to buy a new, Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray player a few months ago just to ponder what kind of entertainment choices I might have via streaming services. Turns out Netflix had all the shows my sons adore, from “Dinosaur Train” to “Curious George.”

My tag-team partner at Big Hollywood, John Nolte, reminded me that by supporting cable I indirectly kept channels I had little use for afloat. That inched me closer to my final decision.

Finally, I made the jump. No more cable.

So, what options do I have when I turn on my television now? I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu Plus for less than $20 a month for a bonanza of movie and TV content. I bought a subscription to MLB.tv to watch the Yankees and Rockies this summer. And I invested in a digital antenna for $50 – I probably could have shopped around for a cheaper model – to make sure I received the standard broadcast channels.

The Roku box awaits…

Also at the Lifestyle blog, before I forget, I have a lengthy post Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad’s A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live finally coming to the Kindle, and the moment where the culture on TV began to change for the worse:

Once SNL took off though, the tone of network television would never be the same. If Bill Maher can call Sarah Palin a c*** with impunity, if Cee Lo Green can cheerfully sing a song titled “F*** You” at a Democratic Party fund raiser, well, the tone of the liberal overculture had to first be lowered from Leonard Bernstein on CBS’s Omnibus, Bob Hope hosting the Oscars, the swankiness of the Kennedy-era Rat Pack, and the Carson-era Tonight Show to get to that point. The original SNL was, in retrospect, one of the most powerful of the early battering rams in the New Left’s war on culture.

It was also, at its best, extremely funny during its first five years (though much more so than Monty Python, one of its immediate predecessors, there were plenty of valleys in-between the peaks), and those episodes are available in streaming form and DVD at Amazon and Netflix, yet another reason to cut the cord.