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Thursday, May 5, 2016

No learning on 'The Learning Channel'

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The latest example that a segment of society is rampant with cretins and dolts comes to us through a mindless television program entitled, "Honey Boo Boo."

It is an exploitation of a chunky 6-year-old rural Georgia girl, Honey Boo Boo, who enters beauty contests.

The program also features her antics with a pig who likes to defecate on a table. Honey Boo Boo and her dysfunctional family consisting of morbidly obese mother June, father "Sugar Bear," and sisters "Pumpkin," "Chubbs" and "Chickadee" give a convincing portrayal that Armageddon is fast approaching.

By the way, 17-year-old Chickadee is pregnant which probably comes as no surprise since this family is not only lacking in intelligence but somehow have also escaped any vestiges of moral standards.

And this is what we have to look forward to from the so-called Learning Channel. Better it be called, "The Channel For Functional Illiterates."

The program "Honey Boo Boo" is the latest example of how television programming has been reduced to appealing to the lowest segment of society -- people who have abandoned any need for thought-provoking programming and have opted instead for mind numbing so-called entertainment.

Consider for a moment the number of reality shows on television which obviously have some following from those who are captivated by the antics of people who have no talent and whose goal is to shock us or provide us with an insight to the lives of bizarre, peculiar folks. If that is what you are seeking, you have many choices. Here are just a few: "16 & Pregnant;" "Wipeout;" "Toddlers & Tiaras;" "Beauty & The Geek;" "Farmer Wants a Wife;" "Gene Simmons Family Jewels;" "Hillbilly Handfishin;'"and, of course, any program featuring the talentless Kardashians.

Imagine for a moment what goes on in the offices of television programming executives. Few in management want to audition and hire expensive actors for thought provoking shows so those present quickly search for topics that cost little to produce and feature non actors who work for scant wages. Thus we end up with programs where truck drivers travel to Alaska on ice roads, where men chop down trees, where toothless men wrestle alligators, where high school dropouts rid homeowners of bats in the attic. Sure sounds like spellbinding television, doesn't it.

Is there an answer to all this madness? Evidently not. The only answer might be to write the sponsors of this drivel and protest their support of a certain program by threatening a boycott of their products.

Other than that, we can always change the channel which seems to be the easiest solution.

But keep in mind there has never been a void of tedious, tiresome shows on television. My generation had to deal with "Mister Ed," the talking horse, and of course, "Alf," and the antics of a furry alien wise guy. Now that's exciting programming.

Yeah, right!

Editor's Note: Bill Kalmar of Lake Orion, Mich., retired from Comerica Bank in 1993 and was then director of the Michigan Quality Council from 1993-2003. The Fort Scott native now writes on a freelance basis.