If a grass-roots organization has its way, all political shows would be banned from TV. “They’re all annoying and depressing,” says W. Thorndike Greene, president of the “Keep Stupidity Off TV” organization, a collection of apolitical zealots from across the country and people with no lives. “There’s very limited factual content to political television shows, but a lot of bloviating. You might as well just call them all: ‘Am Not! Are too!’”
Greene, who for years was a TV repairman (“I’m all about the tubes.”), says that TV news shows only cause drug addiction, alcoholism, spontaneous bursts of anger, high-blood pressure, despair, suicidal thoughts and rashes in ‘icky’ places.
“Unfortunately,” sighs Greene, “people don’t tune into these shows for information. They go there to have their own beliefs acknowledged. On the other hand, many people tune in to vent their anger caused by their own social insecurity. They want to strike out! And these news shows have the ability to send both these camps into frenzy.
“People are grasping at everything in order to cope, from tranquilizers to hammers. Millions of TV screens have been shattered which, a few decades ago, would’ve made me quite the pretty penny. They don’t realize it, of course, but they’re being used as puppets in a Pavlovian way to make advertisers millions. They have corporate America up their asses, sometimes literally, depending on what products they wind up purchasing.”
Greene’s group has a novel idea. “Just toss all the opinion shows. Mandate that the only news shows allowed on TV be factual. Period. Let the viewers figure out what impacts them or not.”
Asked what he would replace the current deluge of opinion shows with, Greene grinned. “Popeye cartoons.”
“WE HAVE SURVEYS”
Greene’s group has conducted nearly one hundred surveys across the country, using test audiences and audio/visual presentations to gauge what could possibly substitute as replacement shows for, let’s say, “The Hannity Report” or “Meet the Press.”
“We had no idea how the audiences would respond,” says Greene, “and were surprised by how unified the reactions were. Without a doubt, the audiences voted ‘Popeye’ number one. Not the newer cartoons but the older ones from the black and white era, the ones where Popeye and Bluto beat the crap out of each other for the entire cartoon. Audiences nationwide cheered when Popeye finally opened that final can of Spinach to pulverize Bluto.
“I mean: what’s not to like? You have two intellectually-impaired characters, who only speak in mutterings and grunts while bouncing up and down to a syncopated beat, pushing each other around before blowing up. If that doesn’t described political talk-shows, I don’t know what does.”
Greene fully realizes that there aren’t enough Popeye cartoons to fill the void. “Vintage gangster movies were another favorite, with the Jimmy Cagney ones in the lead. He could bitch-slap any and everyone with a grace and style that was almost balletic. A lot of the gangster films of the 1930s are perfect, hot guns, hot lead and not a lot of thought.”
Greene also revealed that The Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello films were big crowd-pleasers. “Slaps in the face, pokes to the eye, verbal debasement; that spells ‘politics’ to me.”
With the findings now in, the “Keep Stupidity Off TV” group have to figure out how to introduce “replacement TV” incrementally, so as not to throw the entire country into shock.
Says Greene, “Ideally, we could start in a few smaller markets and just financially take over several local stations. If all goes well, we’ll try nationwide.”
To that end, the group has set-up a fund me account. “Our initial estimates calls for at least $13 million to take over three stations in Utah.”
When asked how much has been raised so far, Greene replies, “1,769.24, but it’s only been a year.”
When asked if he ever really expect to reach his targeted goal, he declares the interview over, punches this reporter in the groin and storms out, yelling “That’s all I can stands ‘cause I can’t stands no more!”