Kill Your Television

Smashing TV at Cal 1988

This picture was taken in 1988, twenty years ago, at UC Berkeley, bastion of free speech. Some of America’s smartest and most talented college kids thought this was a practical way to deal with the TV problem.

Alexis and I grew up in Hollywood. Our family has been connected to the entertainment business for more than 60 years. We do not have cable or any other kind of pay television. We do own a 13-inch television set. It picks up a few local stations, but mostly it is a DVD player.

Every year we watch the Oscars and the Super Bowl. Every four years, I watch the World Cup. Last night, we watched an episode of a TV show called “Boston Legal.” Actually, Alexis watched it, and I dropped in for about a quarter of it.

To me, “good TV” is an oxymoron. I’d rather listen to ancient old radio shows instead of watching TV, because the pictures in my imagination are more entertaining to me than anything that might appear on a television set. Plus, I just don’t like sitting around, observing a piece of furniture. That said, “Boston Legal” seemed to be OK. As a lawyer, I can’t say I go for entertainment based on the practice of law. The performers seemed to be having fun in this show. There’s a lot more zooming around and other camera movement than I remember being on TV, back in the day.

officers Protecting TVs

Here we are again, back in Berkeley in 1988. As you can see, the Authorities sent several uniformed officers with guns – to protect the televisions! After all, this was Reagan’s last year in office, and those folks knew how important it is to keep the people watching TV and not thinking about politics. But let’s don’t blame Reagan. That guy was reading a teleprompter on TV and he conducted his cabinet meetings off of cue cards written for him by others. He wasn’t in power; like the current stooge in the White House, he was merely the Acting President.

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