Sunday, April 27, 2008

History of hokum.

When did the History Channel turn into an endless glurge-a-thon of "documentaries" about Sasquatch and UFOs and the Knights Templar guarding Jesus' grandkids? Since when did this crap become "history" outside of the history of building an entire economy on fricken' tulip bulbs? How can people so amazingly and astoundingly credulous afford cable TeeVee after paying for their homeopathy bills and their annual subscription to the National Enquirer?

22 comments:

Brian J. said...

About the time schools started teaching narratives instead of historical facts?

OA said...

Oh come on, you know the government's covering up the Knights Templar's amateur cattle proctology activity. In fact, if you deny it, you must be a plant.

Rabbit said...

I'm fed up with lumberjacks and toothless truckdrivers on ice, myself.

At least on the Discovery channel I get an opportunity to shreik "CRAB!" while flipping past that channel.

I don't much care for the History of Gangs/Gangland thing, either. I already know how to identify them as gang members- I don't need to know minutiae much beyond genus and species. Kinda the same as snakes- poisonous/non-poisonous, you still avoid them and kill it if it comes into your territory.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Ben said...

Well, at least it's nice to see Arthur Kent, aka the Scud Stud, is having a stellar career since NBC canned him some years back for refusing any more dangerous assignments.

LabRat said...

I used to leave the History Channel on just as background noise nearly all day, just because there was pretty often something neat that would come on that I could split my attention with whatever boring-but-necessary chore was being done.

Yeah. Not anymore. I think it started gaining momentum about five years ago and snowballed from there.

I'm also with rabbit- I've about had enough of dirty jobs, dangerous jobs, and I'm waiting for them to come straight out with "JOBS SO DANGEROUSLY DIRTY YOU'LL WONDER WHY ANYONE WITH AN IQ BIGGER THAN HIS SHOE SIZE DOES THEM! AS IT TURNS OUT, NONE DO!"

Anonymous said...

There have always been UFOs on the History Channel. Those were on ten years ago; I always had to wade through them until Modern Marvels aired. They've gotta fill all that dead programming space with something.

Plus, now that everyone and their dog can have a cable channel, the History Channel's proper content is split among 32 different advertising providers*.

*I needn't call them "stations".

Nathan Brindle said...

I have a bachelor's in History, but somehow I've never cared much for the History Channel (or as we used to call it, the Hitler Channel).

dr mac said...

I liked the show on "flying rods".

They kind of looked like the word verification your now using.

Johnny said...

They're just doing their bit to keep the public distracted from The Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse (TIZA)... the doomed attempt to keep society on the rails.

GeorgeH said...

The same garbage is on the National Geographic Channel.

Tam said...

Yes, but on the Nasty Geographic Channel it's all about how Sasquatch and UFOs are threatened by global warming.

Earl said...

When you have a blog you don't have time for the History, Discovery nor National Geographic channel - back to bloggin.

HTRN said...

Tam, did they ever do a show on the Tulip bulb in relation to Hollands economy, and why it was the source of the worlds first stock market collapse? I think that would have been a pretty good show.

The problem is, that while there's literaly thousands of possibly good and interesting shows(imagine a series devoted to the infrastructure of the ancient world!), it doesn't appeal to 99% of the Teevee watchers. The enquireseque shows are cheaper to put on, and get a larger chunk of viewership.

Gregg said...

htrn,
Sadly, I must agree with you and I realize that with revenue from advertisers being very important the people in charge want to increase their viewership as the niche market is too small and not easily marketed to. However, being close to Tam's age, I also remember when cable was marketed as having no commercial interruptions, just channels of interesting programming. In fact the lack of advertsing was a major reason to pay out your hard earned sheckels each month. Somehow, just like temporary taxes, the advertising crept back in and the monthly charge never diminished or disappeared.


Personally I think they should get back to quality programming on the niche channels (history, scifi, etc...) and regain their niche markets. Thus allowing for some decent niche marketing. Admittedly that will never happen since it only makes sense if one looks at the long term and not the short term.

Nyx said...

I have to admit I watch shows like those when I get the chance. The thing is, I don't just swallow it all as rock solid truth. It's usually a springboard for me to go look into the topics more, decide what parts I do and don't agree with... and, okay, so maybe a channel called The History Channel isn't the best place for it. (And I still call it "The Hitler Channel".) But, really, just because someone finds the shows interesting doesn't make them a loon. That's a matter of how willing you are to believe it's true just 'cause they wouldn't say it on TV if it ain't.

I was bothered when SciFi Channel started showing wrestling. I figured that was a sign that they needed to update their slogan to "SciFi Channel: When no one else will have you, but you're too proud for Public Access."

Breda said...

hmm...history...isn't that what books are for?

Tam said...

Someone (who shall remain nameless, but it rhymes with "RobertaX") has been known to turn the TeeWee on when it's not playing a DVD or a Braves game.

kbarrett said...

I dunno ... pro wrasslin' probably fits right into the fantasy category just fine.

Not sure if Sasquatch 24/7 is a good replacement for All Hitler, All the Time.

Oh well, there is always the All Stalin Channel ( History International ).

Holly said...

Well, they need something to run in between Secrets of Hitler and The Story of Hitler (but before The Hitler Hitler Hitler Show).

munchkinwrangler said...

What bothers me is that they're branching out now to reach the pre-school population as well. That "Little Hitler" cartoon is a bit out there.

Did you see the episode last week where Little Hitler, Little Goering, and Little Goebbels were once again plotting to take over the daycare?

Alan said...

I see a trend:

There's very little history on the History Channel.

There's very little Science Fiction on the SciFi channel.

There's very little news on the news channels.

I think they flail around, buy the cheapest shows they can and pray the cable companies never implement a la carte service.

deadcenter said...

History Channel seems to run in spurts or "marathons" these days. Used to be you'd get an hour of ancient Rome followed by an hour of the Roaring 20s or WWII, or the founding fathers. Nowadays, it seems more like "The 50 states in 50 hours or less!" or "The Presidents we like for at least an hour followed by the Presidents we don't really like for 20 minutes".

The "reality" shows nauseate me, no matter what channel they're on. However, I do enjoy Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters. Mike Rowe gets filthy, has a tremendous wit, and never fails to treat his "employers" with dignity and respect. Mybusters, often wrong on multiple levels, but I find them entertaining (in a background white noise sort of way).

I'd much prefer they bring back Wings or some of the other programming that got me hooked back in the 90s.