GREY MATTER: DANCIN' ON IGNORANCE
[Originally published: Issue #1, circa 1987]
Dancin' On Ignorance
For years now I've been trying to decipher the reason for the incredible popularity of T.V.'s teen dance shows. Is it the music? Is it the latest dance steps? Or is it the viewers' quest for the age-old question of how such mousse and hair-spray a person can possibly wear under hot spot lights without combusting?
Just turn on the TV any weekday at 4:00 and you'll see what I mean - dance shows that make soap operas look like they should be on Channel 12 (PBS). Is this the image that adults have of the youth of
today? Do they think that kids have nothing better to do than race to the TV studios right after school with their pasted-on smiles and latest fashions, ignoring extra-curricular activities, now so vital for acceptance into many colleges?
Even worse than the dancers are the viewers who watch the show daily. It's very difficult to believe that these viewers could be stimulated intellectually by these shows. Case in point: during one of the few times that I viewed this showcase of high-intellectual entertainment, a video-graphic flashed on the screen, right before the show cut to one of its numerous commercial breaks. It stated, "Up next: the answer to the question you've been waiting for - What's new with Wham?" Oh. So THAT'S the question burning in the minds of the American youth. The Cold War? Is that a new Sylvester Stallone movie? Nope, sorry, I never heard of Corazon Acquino. But do you know what's going on with Wham? And THESE people are our future doctors, lawyers, and politicians?
I wish one day the host of one of these shows would peer directly into the camera and say "Listen kids, forget this show. Turn the channel to the news, a talk show, Sesame Street, ANYTHING with some sort of intelligence. Better yet, as crazy as it may sound, why not turn the TV off and try reading a book?"
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