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Has Television gone to the dogs?

Many people believe in the existence of extraterrestrial visitors or “space aliens.” I do not for at least one good reason. Any civilization advanced enough to be capable of interstellar transport would have to be thousands of years ahead of us scientifically. No doubt they would be able to monitor our radio and television communications. If they were to judge us by our television programs, the inescapable conclusion would be that there is no intelligent life on Earth; at least, none worth communicating with.

The most egregious example of mindless TV is the so-called reality shows. Forget the fact that these “unscripted” revulsions are in fact staged and fake, but they also manage to feature the most insipid exhibitionists in this society. The pathetic souls that vie to appear on such programs must have one requirement: the ability to make an idiot out of yourself on national TV. I avoid such programming with the same level of zeal that I apply to avoiding those with known communicable diseases. I made one exception recently, however. I was intrigued with the title of a new show called The Greatest American Dog, because I am what is known as an “animal lover,” not in the sense of bestiality, but in the sense of having affection for animals. I generally view all animals, from dogs to great white sharks, as being infinitely superior to most human beings in terms of honesty and integrity. While I may be accused of anthropomorphizing my animal friends, it’s also true that I’ve never been stabbed in the back by any dog or even shark for that matter. The same can’t be said for many homo sapiens that I’ve had the displeasure of encountering over the years. Animals are clear in letting you know how they feel about you, humans are considerably more evasive in this respect.

In any case, I temporarily released my usual skepticism about TV to view the Greatest American Dog. I should have known better. While the title would indicate that the show centers on its canine participants, in fact, the focus is entirely on the neurotic and frankly boring dog owners or should I say “companions.” As is the usual case with reality shows, these people think they are much more entertaining and interesting than they are, and that is the true reality of such shows. As the show went on, I found myself cringing, as I watched such drivel as “doggie disco.” I got the feeling that the dogs on the show wanted a way out; their discomfort was palpable. At one point, one of the human contestants was admonished that this “isn’t about you, it’s about your dog.” But the truth is, this show is all about humans and has little or nothing to do with dogs, who are merely four-legged props on this abomination of a TV show. Where is the Humane Society when you need them, or better yet, the ASPCA? Surely something must be done to relieve the innocent animals on this show of the psychic pain being inflicted by their “companions” and the sadistic producers of this execrable  waste of time.  After one viewing, I felt like reaching for a giant doggie bag and tossing this crap in the nearest garbage can, which it so eminently deserves. I guess the best way to sum it all up is to paraphrase Triumph, the insult dog from the David Letterman show, who likely would describe the Greatest American Dog as “A great show–TO POOP ON!


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