Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I Thought It Was Supposed to Be The History Channel?

Just a minor complaint about what passes for the History Channel these days. For the last two weeks -- apart from one actual historical documentary, but more on that later -- all that's been on is nothing but Aliens and Prophecy, 24/7. Aliens brought civilization to planet Earth. Aliens are still watching over us. Aliens taught Mankind to roll over and bark. The Anti-Christ is Here, and Nostradamus was God. UFO's abound on the History Channel, and by my calculations, about a quarter of the broadcast day is now devoted to Alien-based programming, prophecy, The End of the World, and the extinction of Man.

It would seem to me that the extinction of Man would, necessarily, mean an end to History (as we know it), and so I can't understand why the History Channel puts this sort of stuff on, except that it pulls in the viewers who might have graduated beyond Jersey Shore, and who can actually read without moving their lips. Then, there's all the Nostradamus shows which try to show that Nostradamus might have been right, or which advocate for the existence of a Bible Code which predicts all the great disasters and Historical Events of Our Time...and always the "proof" is only available after the fact. No one ever comes forward with a prophecy or Bible code that gives any forewarning of anything -- which might actually be useful. It's funny how the "hidden messages" in Scripture and Nostradamus only make sense in retrospect. Then again, if I wrote today that in the future there will be gay, flamenco-dancing hedgehogs who speak Flemish, and circumstance and coincidence, and the passage of 4,000 years, might actually conspire to make it sorta-kinda-true-depending-on-how-future-generations-interpret-it. In the meantime, I'll either be derided as a lunatic for having made such a prediction -- or a misunderstood genius. Either of which is good enough to get me 2 hours a week of programming on the History Channel, after I'm dead and penniless, of course. All prophets somehow manage to die penniless and forgotten, you know.

Then again, with all the brainless clods running around thinking the Mayan Prophecy of a 2012 Apocalypse is probably true, what should we expect? I mean, the History Channel is only doing what any other business in America does, and pandering to the lowest common denominator. Here's what I have to say to all of those who believe in this crap: if the Mayans were so freakin' smart, how come they're not here anymore? You would have thought they would have been able to predict their own demise via Smallpox, Syphilis and Spanish steel, no?

And when it isn't raining Little Green Men, Conspiracy Theory, and the Apocalypse over at the History Channel, it's nothing but "reality" television which is certainly lacking in much, if any, historical angle. In this, I'm referring to shows like Life After People, Ax Men, Tougher in Alaska, Ice Road Truckers and the newest load of garbage, Pawn Stars, in which the owners of a Pawn Shop are followed about by cameras as they try to discern the authenticity of all sorts of things which might have no historical significance whatsoever. The historical connection of anything on the show seems to be an afterthought. It's like Antiques Roadshow -- only "edgier" and with tattoos. A PBS-lite teledrama for those with beer bellies and a taste for tuna salad. The same goes for American Pickers (about two guys who rummage through people's trash and attics, salvaging little bits of Americana), which is utter crap, in my opinion.

It would be nice to get some actual History back on the History Channel. Which brings us to the only morsel of real history shown on the History Channel all month.

America: The Story of Us. If you can manage to hold your dinner down during the (required) squishy, Progressive, multi-culti-pieties portions (thankfully, they're short and scattered about), there's something approaching an honest-to-goodness accurate rendering of American history. If the History Channel did more of this sort of programming, it might not have to resort to Conspiracy Theory, Aliens and Chumlee the Lovable Retard down at the Pawn Shop.

If you haven't seen America yet, then I implore you to do so before it gets replaced with more "reality" shows involving chainsaws, and DaVinci Code knockoffs.

Anyways, it's just me, but I think anything which bills itself as The History Channel should actually show something, you know, historical.


scott said...

i believe in unicorn and fairies

Matthew said...

Then you want to be watching the Logo channel, Scott.