Feb 25 2011

PBS

Published by at 10:49 pm under Politics,Rants,TV

I’ve been watching this pretty good documentary on Auschwitz.

I’ve become, in my more recent years, more and more of a history buff. It started as an obsession with cults and religious groups and serial killers. And then someone might have told me I was “worse than Hitler,” which would have been funny if it was a reference to The Simpsons line from Lindsay Nagle, “you’re a worse version of Hitler.” But anyway, I thought to myself, what do I really know about Hitler? And so I started reading and watching and looking.

I like this documentary – it’s British, done in 2005. They’ve rendered images based on what data says stuff would look like but they also incorporate actual documents, speeches, and first-person accounts from all sorts of people. A variety of prisoners, SS guards, townspeople. It’s very thorough and very in-depth and I’m finding myself understanding it and also coming away from it both thoughtful and moved.

This documentary was done by PBS. PBS broadcasts it throughout the US. There’s an active website – on PBS. org.

Why do I mention that? Because the budget the House has drawn up removes federal funding for PBS and NPR (among others).

Here’s why I’m pissed – PBS puts out remarkable programming – for kids, for adults, for fans of British comedies.  But this Auschwitz program cannot have been cheap to make. I imagine it was expensive and challenging. And I think it’s important and informative.

And the same assholes who would cut that programming (important, informative) listen to these other assholes on TV EVERY GODDAMN DAY talking about Hitler to push viewer’s buttons and get them to vote the way they want. Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Beck – fucking cry-babies, screaming Hitler all goddamn day.  These are the fucktards in this country who want to KILL the outlets for intelligent and thought-provoking media… like PBS.

The neo-conservatives and religious-right in this country are really fucking fantastic at making themselves out to be victims. They’re not victims. They’re proving to be victimizers. I firmly believe that all those assholes have the right to say whatever the fuck they want. I don’t have cable, I don’t have to watch them except when they have televisions on in the break room at the office. I think they’re a reflection of the level of discourse in this country. Lindsay Nagle’s line used to be funny – it emphasized how ridiculous it was that she was feeling victimized by utter bullshit.

But the majority in this country have that attitude now. And if they realized what it looked like from “outside the norm” – they would understand why the rest of us are restless and irritated. When the religious-right finally has the theocracy they want – my ass will be against the wall. And when you watch a special like the one I’m watching now – you realize how scary those trends in power can be. How easily someone can throw out  a remark that may seem unimportant but ends up becoming, “the final solution.”

I know I sound paranoid. I hate sounding paranoid.

I’m reminded of Persepolis, a graphic novel I really feel like everyone should read. After the revolution in Iran overthrows the Shah and the political prisoners are freed, Marjane (Satrapi) meets her uncle. He reassures her – as Iran turns towards to theocracy – that the people will eventually come to democracy. He is later jailed and executed as a political prisoner – this time under the theocracy.

My father used to tell me this, too. I don’t believe it, yet. I think most people watch out for number one – or for the people who act like them, think like them, look like them. I think this documentary is proof of that. But I just watched a woman recount her time in the Lodz ghetto as a young girl – being molested by the leader of the Jewish group there. And she said something to the effect of – life is life. I saw the best and worst in people there.

so maybe life is life. But I’d be a fucking dick if I didn’t tell you all to write to your representatives to save PBS. Do not go gentle into that shitty static.

One response so far

One Response to “PBS”

  1. Melissa says:

    Great post. It feels scary out there, and it’s hard to remain hopeful when institutions of public good (PBS, others recently) are attacked.

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