Monday, September 14, 2009

How Dare You!

During a time where good television has arguably surpassed film in terms of artistic merit and cultural resonance, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco has quickly become one of my favorite television critics. I enjoyed his weekly takes at the end of Lost last Spring and I'm really digging his in-depth coverage of Mad Men this summer. And thanks to this last post in his blog- Why I Hate People, Volume 287- my respect for Goodman has increased exponentially. Here's the good part:

I love this country. I just have to remember that you get all kinds. One of my favorite sayings is that "there's no one more intolerant than a liberal in San Francisco." In college I did an internship at Mother Jones magazine and the experience moved me from the far, far left to middle of the road, where I've remained ever since. And those people who know me well enough know that I steer clear of politics now. People talk politics, I walk. You're entitled to your opinion. I'm entitled not to be remotely interested in hearing it. I wrote a column on Wednesday about "Glee" and noted that Fox, which had scheduled the new fall series well ahead of President Obama's speech that night, wasn't going to reschedule the series. Here's the first paragraph:

Much could be made about Fox's decision to skip President Obama's address to Congress tonight in favor of kicking off its fall season, but unless he's going to announce a war or cut taxes by 50 percent, then the country could probably benefit more by watching "Glee." (If you want to watch "So You Think You Can Dance," that's your decision.)

The humor-challenged among us (and there are a lot more than I thought), were outraged that I wouldn't order everyone to sit in front of the TV, rigidly and quietly, soaking up the president's words. That I suggested people might seek a little enjoyment in a wonderfully nuanced and tonally-ambitious series had people thinking I was - gasp - Republican. Or even anti-American (conveniently forgetting the "freedom of choice" ideals, apparently). These people know nothing about DVR usage or even VCR usage. They couldn't fathom that some people might watch the news later to catch important parts of the speech or read a newspaper. Nope. They almost demanded that we all sit and watch. Anything else was unpatriotic. (Again, they missed the irony there.) A lot of people in these messages identified themselves as being from Berkeley. (I'm using a database search engine now to see if they sent me similar messages when George W. Bush was president and addressing the country.) These people thought I couldn't be from the Bay Area. (Or, have free will, one would assume.) They said they wouldn't read my reviews again or that future reviews would be adversely colored by this notion I set forth about "Glee" vs. Obama. I tried to respond to them politely instead of saying, "Whatever. Good riddance."


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