That was in the eighties. MTV was run by people who appreciated music, not ones who paraded every form of low common denominator in front of the screen, the point-and-laugh-at-the-irredeemible menagerie.
That goes double for TLC, which used to be the Learning Channel and has become "learn that all the drek we produce is for ratings."
One reporter has a great idea, but I have an even better one.
It's time to forcibly reclaim MTV as Music Television and TLC as The Learning Channel by cancelling every single show that does not involve music nor involves learning.
That also goes for A&E (Arts and Entertainment), the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and any other channel - flush anything not related to the subject of the channel.
That means cancelling the Duggans, Honey Boo Boo, auctioneers, skeletal teenage mopers, attention-seeking nobodies, and anyone else whose only purpose is to be tabloid fodder. Their fifteen minutes of fame is three hours too late.
MTV can dedicate 100% of its time to actual music. MTV Jazz, MTV Metal, MTV Classical, MTV Country...give the hits to VH1 and split those up by genre also. The Learning Channel can be a welcome alternative for college classes, with programs presented by colleges and universities across the nation...all for college credit. And for thrills, the presentation and defense of a doctoral dissertation, rather than a group of wealthy, screaming, overdramatic women slapping each other for the cameras. A&E can return from slogging storage wars to presenting national concerts, plays, and other forms of entertainment.
By restoring the actual intent of these networks, serving the public rather than serving a few board members looking to squeeze every penny of profit into their coffers, MTV and TLC and other networks who have lost their way can become respectable again by providing quality programming - not the watercooler tripe that is forgotten when returning to one's desk.
Over the past several months, I've watched classic TV shows that were well-written and entertained the public without shocking them into silence. With very few exceptions, the programs today range from lukewarm to unwatchable. I want my real MTV back, and that's what everyone should be demanding.
It goes something like this: Class...CLASS...SHADDAP!!! Thank you.
In this story, however, the owner of a diner had her Sister Mary Elephant moment after 40 straight minutes of a young girl's crying.
I have three nieces and one nephew. They are for the most part well-behaved, and their parents discipline them appropriately. My own parents were firmly on the side of "you behave or else I'll take you outside and give you something to cry for," which shut us up almost instantly because we sure as hell didn't want to find out what the end result was.
These parents seem to be the ones who consider children to be small adults, and are very easy pushovers. Two years old or not, it is disruptive to other customers to have non-responsive, passive-aggressive, milquetoast parents allow their kids to run the place. (It's equally disruptive to have parents screaming at their children every five seconds because the children can't behave themselves.)
Perhaps it is the beginning of a movement, where people who have been restrained by political correctness all these years decide that if civility or politeness won't correct behavior, perhaps shock treatment will. Perhaps not in the Parris Island sense, but with enough volume and propelled by furor to get the eyes snapping and the ears opening that what they're allowing to do is impolite, inconsiderate, selfish, and wrong.
Marcy's Diner will carry on with or without people too busy clucking their tongues until their their palate wears out. For every whiny child, there are 999 others who will be perfectly behaved, polite, and appreciative they're getting a treat. For every overprotective parent, there are 999 others who mete out discipline appropriately when it's warranted.
The owner is unapologetic, as she should be. I sincerely applaud her for her tenacity and I'll certainly come up to the diner when I'm in Portland (of course, judging entirely on their menu!)
The hardest thing to do is to make an exception to a rule. It's even harder to say, "If I let one person do it, I have to let everyone do it."
That's what makes this story so hard. as it involved children who couldn't pay being isolated from the carnival, which included bouncy houses, popcorn, and loud music. The ones who were denied that pleasure were herded into an auditorium with only a Disney movie.
Thinking more about it, however, the principal was showing the children - young as they were - what denial is. Even though the teachers who felt bad for these children tried to make them feel better, the principal was attempting to teach everyone that giving everyone a trophy or medal distorts what real success and hard work means - and if you do not have those tools to succeed, you will be denied at every turn. It's easier to learn that maxim now than later and in that instance, the principal was correct to insist on paying, even though it was harsh to deny those who didn't from participating..
Denial or rejection, when warranted and principled, is something these children will have to learn. In high school, if they fail their classes, they'll be denied prom privileges, their cap and gown, the ability to attend their graduation ceremony, and their diploma. If they slack off during their last term, their first choice for college, including all scholarships, will be revoked. In the workplace, if they do the minimum of work, they'll be denied promotions - or even be terminated.
Yes, there are poor people who can't afford to pay $10 - either through happenstance or through a strict budget. Parents likely told their children, "I have to account for every dollar. $10 means less for food, electricity, and such, and I'll have to cut back elsewhere." Then, the difference between sitting in an auditorium with no fun versus no dinner and no electricity becomes a sacrifice, rather than a punishment. They may not get to have fun with their friends, but at least they come home to a decent dinner and a roof over their heads.
Indirectly, the principal did these kids a huge favor - showing them that denial now may yield something bigger and better later, if they work hard enough to succeed and are patient enough to wait. Moreover, you will be bitterly disappointed if you feel everything must be handed to you, above the fairness of others.
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