Jon Kennedy
Jon Kennedy

Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the Nanty Glo in My Mind

A TV blog


There hasn't been a written blog entry here since late last year (only "video" ones). That year-end one elicited not a single response and all the others for the four months or more before that brought only negative responses or smart-aleck nonresponses . . . efforts to bait me. I never meant to let cheap shots silence me, but with no one reading, why bother getting back up, especially when I've had lots of writing to do on the three books I've been juggling—finishing, rewriting, marketing, having reviewed, tweakedfor the past three years (for example, the second one, "finished" a year and a half ago but not yet contracted to a publisher, had its latest manuscript page added yesterday).

Still, journalism is my game and there probably hasn't been a day in which I haven't at least run some blog ideas through the meat grinder I call my brain. Possibly the one most likely to at least catch the attention of more potential readers than any other I've put in the grinder, is some thoughts about television. I've had a preference for "columns" (that's what they called "blogs" in the old days) with a lot of ideas only thematically (but not "logically" ) related . . . at least since I used to read the three-dot columns of Walter Winchell back in the 1950s. So some random thoughts on TV these days.

Does it seem to you that these days the biggest advertisers on prime time are drug companies hawking some pill, device, or treatment (the word I wanted to put in here was "cure," but come to think of it I can't remember any of them claiming they can cure anything).

And is it just me, or is the second largest bloc of advertisers legal firms soliciting supporters of their lawsuits against the drug companies whose nostrums were among the biggest advertisers a year or two ago but have been found to cause cancer or some other dread side effect the earlier ads failed to mention? You may already be a winner, some of these declare by way of getting you to add your name to their plaintiff list.

Remember the episode of Cheers in which parents of a bride-to-be told one of the main characters in that scene that the bride's family made their money by being "sue-ers," people who sue in court to get compensation for their pain and suffering? A few suggestions about the high cost of medical care these days.

I've been so "anglicized" by all the trips I've made to England and the UK in the past decade or so that probably my favorite TV fare now is anything from Great Britain, which I see, of course, only on one of the four PBS channels the Dish network sporadically provides for my viewing pleasure. I like everything from Larkrise to Candleford, Pierot and Rosemary and Thyme to Inspector Lewis and As Time Goes By; even Life on Mars. Less so Keeping Up Appearances, though it's better than 90 percent of the American sitcoms being made these days....

Of these, Life on Mars is the weirdest, most intriguing, and creative. Each episode begins with a London police officer saying that he was severely injured in an accident that put him in a coma in which he sees himself as also a London police officer, but in the mid-1970's, some three decades earlier than now. There is nothing about the planet Mars in the show, it's just that things in the '70's are as strange to him as they would be if he were on another planet. One of the main themes is how much society has evolved since then, when women and minority populations were at the disposal of the white middle class male overlords of society (you can also catch hints of this in the US cop shows that get into "cold cases," investigating crimes committed when corruption was rife then in contrast to the utopia we know now).

Any favorite shows on your viewing schedule, or ones you consider favorites to hate?

— Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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Today's chuckle

Useful work phrases: I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

Thought for today

A woman means by Unselfishness chiefly taking trouble for others; a man means not giving trouble to others.

C.S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)

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Jon Kennedy's recent book, The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W Publications, is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can be ordered here. It is also available on Amazon.