Todd Talks Back to the Idiot Box
As a former editor at a local TV station, I take responsibility for two of the pieces mentioned in Robert Andrew Powell's "Sweeps Unchained" (December 18). After nearly five years, I recently quit over what I considered to be insensitive and often offensive content. I laughed so hard at Mr. Powell's article that I almost turned on my TV for some extra amusement.
As a viewer, I know it isn't enough merely not to watch local news. If it offends you, let the news director and special projects producers know specifically why you refuse to watch their broadcasts. More effective still, let the companies who advertise during those broadcasts know you will not patronize a business that chooses such an irresponsible medium to promote its product. With a little effort, we can make sweeps month safe again for all who used to enjoy watching local news.
Local TV News -- Barfable All Year Long
Robert Andrew Powell's "Sweeps Unchained" was excellent as far as it went. But why analyze only the sweeps period? Local TV news can make you barf any time of the year.
The half-hour news show presents only about twenty minutes of real news. The rest of the time is taken up with commercials, inane banter among newsreaders, and "teasers" enticing us to stay tuned, followed by a condescending promise: "We'll explain when we come back."
Some of the content is just plain stupid. Marv Albert is not news, nor is a minor traffic accident, except as part of the traffic report. TV news reaches barf level when it repeats stories ad nauseum about Diana and JonBenet Ramsey. And now they're making a big deal out of a sinking houseboat, described by one station as "the world's most famous houseboat." Sure it is. And they promise to stay on top of this story and report further developments. I'll bet viewers in Pahokee can't wait.
In short, local TV news stinks. But we must expect little from programs that are delivered by "journalists" whose qualifications would not land them a job on a small-town rag, and "news" that ends with credits for who does hair and provides costumes.
The Jeffrey Oxymoron: South Florida Music Scene
Tom Bowker's letter (December 18) is correct in its assertions that he and a few others promote most of the all-ages punk shows in the South Florida area, not Kal Robles and Carl Hensley. But it is the shows themselves I take issue with.
Bowker and the rest do the best they can with what they have to work with. The problem is that here in South Florida, that's not much. Imagine a carpenter who has only bent, rusty nails and rotted wood with which to build a house. He builds the house, and when the neighbors see it, they say how great it is. They want to believe it's a great house because it's in their neighborhood. This is what the music scene in South Florida is like.
There is a multitude of derivative, lifeless bands being chased around by promoters, writers, and music lovers who desperately want to believe there is a "South Florida music scene." Well, there isn't one. There is no "sound" here. There is no originality here. What is here are fake rock stars, asshole club owners, long distances between shows and where the people who go to shows live, radio stations that seem to think most of their listeners are in Fort Lauderdale, people whining about no local music on the stations (why do you suppose that is?), and, most of all, people who desperately want to believe.
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I can't blame people for wanting to believe. But I can blame bands like Cavity for providing the garbage that desperate fans wallow in. I have had the misfortune of seeing Cavity play a few times, including the show at the Slammies (yes, I wanted to believe too), and the band is one thing and one thing only: boring. It's not shocking, it's not disturbing, nor is it any good musically. It's simply boring.
Tom Bowker was wrong when he said the band is a "well-crafted blending of doom rock and mid-Eighties hardcore punk." All he got right was "blend." Anybody who has ever put a bunch of stuff in a blender knows what comes out. Cavity in no way deserves an entire article devoted to it. Any group of morons with guitars can make music that good. It is "default" music, the kind you get when someone learns how to play a little, then "composes" songs by putting a few power chords together simply because they learned how to play them. Oh yeah, throw in some feedback, but don't try to use it musically à la Jimi; just let the stupid obnoxious monotonal white noise feedback screech while some jackass screams.
Last time I leaned my guitar on my amp while it was turned on I got that sound. Anybody wanna form a band?