Greybeard Note:
Not For Prophet
1 October 2018

¶ The other night at dinner, a woman in her thirties, a successful, self-employed professional, undertook to persuade me that there are some very good shows on the premium networks these days. My heart began to sink, and it kept on sinking long after the evening was over. In a way, my heart simply drowned. I can no longer undertake to persuade such intelligent people that, no matter how many excellent qualities a given show might exhibit, it is still passive visual entertainment that mirrors its audiences’ interests and provides everyone who watches it at the appointed time with something to talk about at work the next day, and that it is therefore a waste of time. If two or three thoughtful people can’t quickly reach their own interesting topic of conversation within five minutes, one that involves neither sports nor traffic-and-weather nor what happened on the latest episode of Game of Shows, then you end up with a reality TV star in the White House. 

Game of Thrones is proof that the frogs has been loitering in the hot water too long. Everything that I hear about this execrable show* leaves me amazed that anyone would admit to watching it, but people are positively enthusiastic about watching Game of Thrones. Kathleen’s colleagues spend five or ten minutes on the morning after catching up on the plot twists. 

I’m too old to take up the mantle of a Biblical prophet — repent, O Israel! Besides, the damage is done. It’s up to future generations, born amidst the wreckage wrought by television, to do what must be done. If there is still a world to fix. 

I read in the Times that President Trump said that Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was “compelling” — and that he said the same of his Supreme Court nominee’s. Good TV all round, wouldn’t you say?

So I’m taking a break from the other blog. Who knows for how long.

*On the depravity of the books behind the show, see Peter Hitchens at First Things.  

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