The Power of the Remote

It was a beautiful day to visit the seven continents, mow our spring lawn, rest in the shade of the oak tree that graciously spreads its boughs shading a spot to read, ending with a fun movie.
I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for about a month. Trying to decide if I had enough to say. My limited broadcast world, free of cable, satellite, and direct TV brought me plenty of inspiration. Starting at the end, the real reason why I am writing this in the first place. Legally Blond was on the CW, I never made the commitment to Lost, so I settled in for a relaxing, fun evening of entertainment before ending my busy day. I noticed that every questionable word you might not want your child to repeat in front of your mother-in-law was scrubbed and polished to shiny acceptability. I loved the movie, but for the first time since the sacrifice, I really missed my non-broadcast options. I would have gladly replaced the commercials with anything from HGTV, DIY, Food Network, or even the Animal Channel.
The offending commercial was asking for our help to stamp out animal cruelty. To make it perfectly clear what we were fighting, graphic pictures told the story, and I went surfing. To be completely fair, I have to admit that I am very sensitive. I am prone to nightmares and obsessing over the evils in the world. I agree the medium of TV is a great tool for good if used responsibly. I just have to ask if I am the only person who finds it odd that the same network that scrubs the language of Legally Blond, considers it responsible to allow anyone with the cash to show images of maimed and abused animals along side.
I am a mature woman, who has nightmares and obsesses over the evils of the world. How much more could a sensitive teen be. A girl who would really enjoy the romance and achievement of Elle Woods breaking out of her imposed mold of a dumb blond. All the good values of the movie, making your own choices, living up to your highest potential, and using your personal power to achieve real change for good in the world, could be over-shadowed by the graphic, tragic images of maimed, starved, used up and clubbed innocent animals.
As fast as I was with the clicker, these images still haunt me. To combat these images I focus on the animals within my care (some selected from animal shelters), one recovering from surgery on a bad knee. I remember the birds and bugs flying across my yard, and singing in the trees above me as I rest in the shade, enjoying the smell of the freshly mowed spring lawn. And I think about the fascinating animals around the world. I think about the animals I saw earlier in the day, the elephant and her baby, the primates, monkeys, bears, cats big and small, the bats and snakes, including those that could be found in our own backyard.
As you may have guessed we visited the animals of the seven continents at the zoo, the Columbus Zoo. One of the most fascinating habitats to me was the Flamingo’s. These birds were so comfortable in their habitat that they were building mud nests, one of which had to be nearly three feet tall, completely ignoring the crowds of people watching.
Zoos have come a long way. They are not just cages of pacing animals lined up while people look at the strange beasts from far away. Animal behavior and habitat has been studied and the knowledge used to develop environments that are stimulating, and simulate their natural environments. The displays teach us about the tragedies of habitat destruction, over hunting, and war on wildlife without the gory images such activities can bring to mind.
The displays also show us what we can do every day to improve life for animals and all of us. We can lower our energy use, sometimes in ways that don’t alter our way of life. We can reduce, reuse and recycle. We can examine our consumption with an eye to preserving the incredible animals throughout the world. Like Elle Woods, we can use our power for good.
We should all demand better from the media we allow into our home. I agree with humane treatment of animals, but anyone using the graphic images of the worst people can do embedded within on otherwise acceptable program will not receive a dime of my money. In fact, these images may influence which programs I give my attention to. After all, I do enjoy reading a good book.

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2 thoughts on “The Power of the Remote

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  1. Great food for thought 🙂 I enjoyed reading your post while drinking my morning coffee and your insights remind me of several conversations I’ve had in the past week. Public broadcasters (and certainly the FCC and various censors around the world) are so concerned about the sex and language portrayed in media and yet, seemingly, they pay no mind to the near-limitless violence and disturbing graphic imagery.

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