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Cold Reality TV
by Andrew Barbano
Aug 04, 2012 | 2300 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Life is a bitch and the bitch is television.

We’ve all been tortured by the cruel cacophony of TV political ads and the finals haven’t even started. Equally cruel is all the complaining about cluttering up the airwaves with scurrilous negativity.

If the choice is between meaningless repetitive vitriol or the latest gruesome solution to bodily malfunction, gimme dumbass Karl Rove anytime.

Despite all the high-tech hype about Facebook, Twitter, iPhones and slimetones, nothing much in politics has changed since Dwight Eisenhower aired the first political TV spot in 1952.

The TV commercial rules our lives, shapes society by providing common experience, dictates fashion, what’s hot and what’s not.

This year, TV will not only dictate mass behavior at the polls, it has already told us who’s going to win the overall gold medal aka The White House.

Since you will know the result in advance, you can now tune out everything until you check the Tribune on Nov. 7 to get the score and check minor league standings.

Artists often have a better grasp on reality than scientists. Several centuries ago, some painter produced a weird abstract that accurately depicted the structure of the atom.

It’s a far shorter leap to predict the presidential election, especially since the artist in question, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, has already been right once.

Here’s an excerpt from the Barbwire of last Dec. 4.

In 2005, Bush the Lesser had begun his second term and liberals had to content themselves with the virtual reality of The West Wing TV series, then in its final season.

In one of the concluding episodes, the fictional voters elected the first minority president of the United States played by veteran Latino actor Jimmy Smits. After a frustrating search for a secretary of state, he made an astounding choice: the Republican opponent he had just defeated, played by Alan Alda.

Life imitated art in 2008 as Barack Obama, the first minority president, likewise appointed his former nemesis Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Smits’ fictional character won by a razor-thin margin when late returns from the Silver State arrived.

All 2012 projections forecast a close contest with Nevada as a key swing state and Washoe as the critical swing county.

Reno-Sparks could thus decide the presidency next November.

Could life imitate art?

It’s already happened once.

Chilling out global warming

Awhile back, those great defenders of the American corporate, capitalist system, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, actually submitted a brief to the EPA asking that carbon pollution not be regulated.

As Rolling Stone writer Bill McKibben noted in the current edition, “should the world’s scientists turn out to be right and the planet heats up, the Chamber advised ‘populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological and technological adaptations.’

“As radical goes, demanding that we change our physiology is right up there,” McKibben maddeningly understated.

Reminds me of a story from the Showtime update of “The Outer Limits” TV series wherein earthlings in a Bladerunner future had a choice of keeping their skins and living as permanent night creatures or turning reptilian against the sun’s rays in an atmospherically depleted world.

The Chamber in 2009 surpassed the combined spending of both the Republican and Democratic National Committees. Business must be good for these guys in the depths of a depression that only tax cuts for rich people can remedy.

Chilling out in the cooler

A few days ago came a killer Associated Press investigation about the skyrocketing expense of hiring for-profit corporations to imprison illegal aliens. The tab will hit $2 billion this year.

“The total average nightly cost to taxpayers to detain an illegal immigrant, including health care and guards’ salaries, is about $166,” AP reported.

That’s right tea-partiers, you’re paying for security, health care, food and housing for 400,000 non-citizens a year.

Just plain chilling

Eight states now base their need for new prisons on the number of African-American students in the fourth grade. Texas and Arizona actually use fourth-grade reading scores.

Gore vidal hits the big chill

He had a bigger ego than Donald Trump and deservedly so. At least he contributed something to society. The great writer and commentator died last week at 86.

When asked who he deemed the greatest man of the 20th Century, Vidal replied Dr. Pincus, inventor of the birth control pill.

He often advised “never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.”

Alas, time had passed him by. He apparently failed to realize that such activities are no longer mutually exclusive. Today’s multi-taskers can do both simultaneously and even get paid for it via a cheap computer and a web-cam.

Unchilled Koches

The Barbwire investigative journalism staff has spared every expense to

ferret out the latest political scandal and skullduggery.

Our spies report that when the oil baron Koch Brothers recently sent their anti-Obama bus to town, protestors were greeted by refreshments with a sign stating something like “have a Coke on the Kochs.”

Then the plastic bottles exploded in the summer heat, fouling said petroleum-fueled bus.

I’m trying to get pictures.

Support the Nevada Citizen TV Project

Support to re-establish a non-corporate community channel. We are getting close to launch. Donate at ReSurge.TV or contact me. It’s important.

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 43-year Nevadan and editor of Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988. He can be contacted at
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