Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's Happening To Television?

EDITORIAL - One Bloggers Opinion

Recently we had the Emmys and I didn't watch it - neither did millions of others as they have lost their glow and interest. I checked the paper the next day and not ONE of the shows or the actors/actresses of those shows had I seen! This is a big departure from TV shows of the 50s, 60s, and even the 70s.

I can remember watching live shows in the 50s that were very entertaining and you didn't want to miss one week of those shows. We didn't have videotape or TIVO/DVR then so if you were out and missed it, you'd have to wait until the summer for the rerun. Did you know that shows had 39 new programs a year? Did you know that they were sponsored by ONE company which you related the product to the show/star? Remember Dinah Shore and "See the USA in your Chevrolet"? TV breaks didn't have 10-12 commercials each time which made it difficult to attach the product to the program or stars.

Another thing I noticed is that TV GUIDE pushes the shows that I don't watch or care anything about. It is becoming a Celebrity magazine with TV listings. I don't watch 90 percent of the shows they feature each week. That is why I am not renewing my subscription that I've had with them since the 1960s. I will write a letter to them returning their renewal form stating the reasons why we are parting company.

It seems to me that the writers of the shows now have to "push the envelope" on every moral issue trying to influence the general public to their way of thinking. Mostly in the gutter. Sex scenes are common place now. This is with anybody on the show - definitely not with a spouse. Nudity is being common place now. They are trying desperately to include foul language and make it acceptable as the normal talking that the average citizens do with each other. I guess I'm not average.

Every show now must have the token homosexual or lesbian and make it appear as "normal". Once I see that, I turn the channel and never look at that show again. This is why the shows that are popular today are not on my viewing list.

What do I watch? Golf and pro Lakers basketball. Some A&E channel shows like "The First 48 Hours" and "Dog, The Bounty Hunter". Some History channel shows like "Shockwave" and shows involving World War II stories. I love "Monk" and "Psych" on the USA channel. We watch "Little People, Big World" on the TLC channel. We enjoy "Dateline" and "48 Hours". I watch "The Unit" which is an exciting show. We enjoy "So You Think You Can Dance", "Dancing With the Stars", "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent". The only family type show we watch is "Everybody Hates Chris". I hope it stays as good as it is now but it is written by Chris Rock who is not known for this type of humor.

Television will not get better and you will have to be selective on what you watch on the main Network Channels like CBS, NBC, and ABC. A media watchdog called Parents Television Council is trying their best to improve quality of "Prime Time" shows but it is an uphill battle. We have been supporting them since they began soliciting support by a comedian named Steve Allen. Steve knew how to put humor in TV that was actually funny. He was disgusted with what was happening to his media and wanted to help make it better again.

I will be posting a story about my recollections of the early days of TV soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nice Topping Of The Day

We used to attend a church called Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim right next to Disneyland. At the time, it was a large church with perhaps 3,000 regular attendees on the weekend. Ann and I were in the choir of 120 voices.

We were able to take a number of trips with this choir and this story is about one of those. The choir went to New York City and to Washington, D.C. in 1976, two weeks after the 200th anniversary of our country. We had opportunities to sing on the Capitol steps, at the Pentagon, and visit the White House lawn for a reception of the German Chancellor given by the then president, Gerald Ford.

But one thing stands out in my mind -- a thoughtful act on the part of a taxi driver on a rainy evening. We had some down time to do whatever we wanted and some of us went to the Smithsonian Institute. We visited the Centennial Building which housed the gifts to the USA from countries around the world on our 100th birthday - 1876. Fascinating place to see what was "new" in 1876.

Smithsonian Institute Centennial Building shown new in 1876.

It was raining when we came out of the building and we needed a cab to get us back to our sleeping quarters. There was a cab sitting right outside the building and I asked if he was for hire. He was. We had five of us and we asked him to give us a quick look at the capitol city as we didn't have much time there and wanted to see things -- like the Lincoln Memorial. He started the meter running and we went around the town seeing the sights from the cab as it was still raining.

Then he asked, "do you like ice cream? I know this great place in Georgetown that has the best ice cream!" I could just see the bill going higher but didn't notice that he had turned off the meter. So we went to an ice cream store and all of us including the driver enjoyed some great ice cream.

The driver engaged us in conversation all through the tour and enjoyed himself with us having some great ice cream. One of the gang. When he stopped where we were staying, I asked him what the charge was -- NOTHING! He said he had a great time sharing his city with us and we were the last fare of the evening for him.

Were we visited by an angel?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11 Thoughts & Remembrances

It has been seven years since 9-11-01 and the attack on America in New York City. I don't believe the people involved thought the Twin Towers would come down - just cause a panic and some loss of life and damage to buildings. I think they were surprised at what a group of 19 could do with hijacked airplanes by giving up their lives for 72 virgins each! Why punish the virgins too?

I have visited New York City twice in my lifetime and on both occasions have stood on top of one of the Twin Towers. In 1973 they were built. I was on a choir tour ( along with my family including Rick) on the East Coast in 1976 with Melodyland Christian Center choir. We had some down time in NYC and some of us decided to take the subway to the World Trade Center. The observation deck at that time was on the building with the TV tower (first one hit and second one to fall). It was outside on the roof with fence to keep you safe. It was night and we saw the Statue of Liberty lit up in the harbor. Quite a sight!

The second time was at the end of a cruise from Montreal to NYC in 1997. We hired a limo to take us to the various sites of interest including the World Trade Center. This time the observation deck was enclosed and at the top of the second tower hit and the first one to fall. This was during the daytime and we had a beautiful day to view Manhattan and the harbor with the Lady holding the torch. It's a sight that is forever etched in my mind. Picture taken from that position keep the memory alive.

View of the World Trade Center from the city and from observation deck.

On 9-11-01, I was called by my daughter to turn on the TV. The hole in the side of the building with fire and smoke coming out didn't compute in my head. How could a plane just fly into that building? At the time it was thought an accident but soon we found out the truth when the second tower was hit by a passenger jet airplane. We knew there would be loss of life and property damage but never dreamed those buildings would collapse due to the fire and weakening of the superstructure. I cannot imagine what the people felt when they knew they couldn't be rescued from that burning infernal and knowing they would meet their Maker soon. Thoughts of family and friends would have been paramount and not the things of this world that we accumulate. Puts life into perspective.

I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to visit those magnificent buildings before they were demolished. Put your memories of 9-11 in the Comments section.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Do You Want Me To Preach Too?

High School Graduation Picture 1952 Kansas City, MO

I grew up from age 9 to 15 in a small town of Celina, Ohio. My brother, Ben, and I lived with our grandparents and Grandpa was the pastor of the local Church of the Nazarene. In June of 1949, Ben left the home to live with our mother in Indiana. Grandmother's health was failing and in September I moved to Kansas City, Missouri to live with Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore. I graduated from Southeast High School in 1952 and was making plans to attend Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California.

Rev. J. I. and Mattie Moore, my grandparents

My grandmother had passed away two years earlier. I wanted to visit my retired grandfather and my hometown one more time before leaving for California. I had my brother Ben's 1939 Pontiac (he was overseas in the Navy at this time) and I stopped in Muncie, Indiana to visit my mother and my younger brother Bob. I took Bob with me to Celina and up to Elkhart, Indiana to visit our sisters, Faye and Lenna who were living with other relatives.

Celina Ohio Church of the Nazarene 1948

We were able to spend a couple of days with Grandpa and visiting friends in Celina. On Sunday, we visited my former church and the then pastor who I had not met before asked me to sing a solo for the evening service. I was introduced in church as the grandson of Rev. J. I. Moore. The Moores had a reputation for being singers and he thought I was a singer also. I had never sung at that church and had sung solos only for the teen group at the church in Kansas City. I agreed to do it because there probably wouldn't be more than 50 people there that night. Then he asked me to do a duet with Helen Howell who I was talking to and who used to be my brother Ben's girl friend. OK we said. Then he asked me to lead the singing for the service and I asked him if he wanted me to preach also -- he asked "Could you?" I drew the line on that.

But my last visit to the church included participating in the entire music part of the evening service. Something I will never forget.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cornelius Richard Van Mattimore

WHO? Ever hear of that person? I haven't either but I was named after him! Actually he changed his name when he became a movie actor. He is know as Richard Arlen. Born on this day in 1898 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During World War One Richard served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot. He never saw combat. After the war he drifted around and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount Pictures and suffered a broken leg, the studio provided prompt medical attention. Impressed by his good looks, executives also gave him a contract after he recovered. How's that for an entrance?

He started in silent films as an extra. His big break came when William A. Wellman cast him as a pilot in the silent film "Wings" (1927) with Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow. The story of fighter aces would win the Oscar for Best Picture. In "Wings" he had a scene with a young actor named Gary Cooper. In 1929, he again worked with Cooper in the western "The Virginian" only this time Cooper was the star and Arlen was the supporting actor. These two films were the high point of his career. He made many 'B' pictures but nothing worth noting.

Married three times, he spent most of his life with Margaret Kinsella from 1945 to March 28, 1976 when he died of emphysema. He lived in North Hollywood, California.

My mother loved the name 'Richard Arlen'. So I became Richard Arlen Moore.