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May 18, 2005

John Bolton & The Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel is not a part of the liberal media conspiracy. In fact, the more I watch it, the more I like it.

I've been a fan of Monster Garage from the very beginning. Jesse James is the real man originator of this kind of reality show. The Discovery Channel has been doing a bit of this before, and I've always encouraged my kids to watch the emergency room documentaries. None of us are strangers to blood and guts.

But now there is a whole franchise of mainstream 'reality' programming, very little of which is documenting anything interesting except the perversities of annoying people. The problem is that in the mainstream reality shows, nobody is building anything interesting except for dysfunctional relationships, whereas on the Discovery Channel, they're doing engineering. I've gained a real appreciation for what serious mechanics do, and now this week, today in fact, I'm going to check in once again with 'Deadliest Catch' about the reality of crab fishing.

Unlike many of my professional peers, I have a hacker's respect for the gripping and grunting of handiwork. I've had to look at my own disfigured thumbnail for months as the bloodclot grew out. Working with certain tools can leave marks. Yes I did curse out loud. Sometimes cursing out loud is an integral part of hard work. Sometimes when a part is a piece of shit, that's exactly what you have to call it. I give a lot of respect to the Discovery Channel for airing (though bleeping) the grit. A hard work ethic isn't dainty, and a lot of times it is only the ego of a leader that gets work done. You need carrot and you need stick, and chewing somebody's ass out is a pretty good stick. This is something the editors at the Discovery Channel leave in. That's educational television.

It's been said that the best sign of intelligence is the ability to get to the heart of a problem. It's knowing what to focus on and what to ignore. Even though I haven't followed the Bolton nomination, I think a valid point can be made about the suitability of an abrasive personality. A good leader can be abrasive, and sometimes intransigence demands that. The bottom line is the bottom line.

I just wanted my liberal friends to understand that everyone isn't ideological all the time, unless the Discovery Channel is.

Posted by mbowen at May 18, 2005 07:08 AM

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Mythbusters is also a good program--is it true? Let's devise an experiment to test it.

I think one of the illnesses of the modern era is the contempt for gruntwork -- thinking of maintenance (like auto mechanics) as trivial and unimportant. I have no idea what the root of that mindset is, but it is fatal to a society in the long run.

Posted by: Elizabeth Ditz [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2005 07:56 AM