The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whatcha watchin'?

I watch a lot of TV, maybe too much. I'm a baby boomer, TV came of age as I was growing up. While it wasn't my baby sitter, I spent a lot of my younger years in front of it. We humans seem drawn to images and sounds. I suppose it is in our genetic makeup.

Few dogs or cats pay any attention to the TV. Do they know something we don't? Or do they quickly realize the noises coming from that thing are not real and the images are flat, without dimension, and cannot be real? Maybe it's because there are no scents from the things in the pictures so they know it is unimportant to their world.

Not humans, though, we perceive the world mostly with our eyes and ears. Even when we hunt, that most basic skill of animals, we use our eyes and ears more than any other biological sensor. We are limited that way but it certainly hasn't held us back.

One of the things I have been watching of late is reruns of Gunsmoke on Encore's Westerns channel. 7 PM EST 5 days a week. I record them while I channel surf through the History, Discovery, Science, and other channels. I surf those channels mostly for things about WWII. I am fascinated by that period of time; the decade leading up to it as well as the first few years after it. The Korean War doesn't interest me as much, nor does the war I was involved in (Vietnam). Neither does WWI, which many say caused WWII. I suppose that's true, the results of one war often create the reasons for the next. Who knows what might have happened if the victors in WWI had rebuilt Germany instead of punishing it.

I like Gunsmoke for very different reasons. It depicts a society we could not understand today. Marshall Dillon is not a smart big city detective. He's not a cop like you find on any of the Law and Order series. But his cases aren't all that complicated either. The outdoor scenes appear to be shot in Southern California. I don't believe the terrain around Dodge City, Kansas looks much like what you see on that show.

But the really interesting thing about Gunsmoke is the characters and the relationships between them. You cannot see that sexual tension that should lie beneath the surface of the friendship of Dillon and Miss Kitty. I also like the glossing over the of the job Miss Kitty has. She's a madam, after all. She owns the saloon, she hires girls to work there. You don't really think those girls are there just to sit and drink with the cowboys, do you?

You want more realism? Then you need to watch Deadwood, the HBO series. That was definitely more in line with what went on in the Old West. And, yeah, I watched that too... twice, actually, all the way through the series. Faye thought it was because of the gratuitous sex and nudity. Same reason she thinks I watch Spartacus on Starz. It's not entirely true. I watch all of these because I am interested in the human condition.

And I wonder if I could have survived any of the eras which interest me.

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