Saturday, July 13, 2013

What They Lack in Experience, They Make Up for in Inexperience

I have been very patient, okay, patient for me. I have taped, even though there is NO tape and no recorder so I guess I should type I have DVR'ed, every episode of Alan Sorkin's The Newsroom from the moment it started on HBO in the weeks following the receding of the flood waters all those centuries ago. 

Had you all the way to the end, didn't I? Yeah, sure. Actually I do have all the episodes from the first (ONLY) season because so much else on TV is awful with a cheerful relentless consistency that makes me wonder if I've had a lobotomy or if everyone ELSE had one. 

And because of that I knew there would be times I'd end up watching the episodes over and over. To include The 2012 Presidental Debate Night, Three. Awkward

Actually, the awkwardness is all mine as my wife and my daughter badger me about "what's the deal with these 'The Newsroom' episodes? Are you gonna watch 'em or what? Oh, you did...and ...what? Still?" 

And then there follows silence. Long and painful silence. Eventually I get up and leave the room. I have no idea what the other other person does but so far no one has deleted my stockpile of episodes. And that's good because The Newsroom returns to HBO for its second season tomorrow night at ten. 

That means I have today (and, technically tomorrow as well) to have a film festival of ALL the episodes leading up to the new season so that I'm ready. 

Except, I was born ready and will always have this, from the very first moments of the first season when I realized as I held my breath that this was going to be quite a ride. And it has been. 

"You, sorority girl. Just in case you accidentally wander into a voting booth one day, there's some things you should know, and one of them is, there's absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we're the greatest country in the world. 

"We're 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, number 4 in labor force, and number 4 in exports. 

"We lead the world in only 3 categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined. 25 of whom are allies. Now, none of this is the fault of a 20 year old college student. 

"But you, nonetheless, are without a doubt a member of the worst, period, generation, period, ever, period. So when you ask, "what makes us the greatest country in the world?' I don't know what the f*ck you're talking about. Yosemite? [Pause] 

"We sure used to be. We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We passed laws, struck down laws for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not poor people. We sacrificed, we cared about our neighbors. 

"We put our money where our mouths were. And we never beat our chest. We built great big things, made ungodly technological advances, explored the universe, cured diseases, and we cultivated the world's greatest artists and the world's greatest economy. 

"We reached for the stars, acted like men. We aspired to intelligence, we didn't belittle it, it didn't make us feel inferior. We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in our last election. And we didn't...we didn't scare so easy

"We were able to be all these things, and to do all these things, because we were informed. By great men, men who were revered. First step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world anymore. "

[Pause] Enough?

Nope, not for me. Not by a long shot. You're thinking of James Tiberius Kirk. Tomorrow night at ten HBO. Bring it. 
-bill kenny 

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