Your Own Personal Reality
The paradox is that with the whole world as one's oyster, with more options, more opportunities, and thus more security to be open-minded, we mostly choose to live within a world that is sheltered from opposing viewpoints. We choose to ensure that we're very comfortable in how we socialize, comfortable with the news we consume, comfortable with the people--and thus opinions--we expose ourselves to. We choose a cozy myopia. We've become the United Cliques of America. The problem with this (besides falsely leading us to assume we're well informed) is that on the occassions we're thrust out of our comfort zone by forces beyond our control, we're ill-equipped to find common ground or often even a common vocabulary.
And it's a trend that only seems to be getting worse. The parody Tina Fey offered recently of a Sarah Palin television network...
is actually coming soon to a TV near you if conservative actor Kelsey Grammer has his way. In case, as the Daily News puts it, the Fox Network is "too liberal for you":
Actor Kelsey Grammer is one of the names behind The RightNetwork, a new operation that is being targeted at "Americans who are looking for content that reflects and reinforces their perspective and world-view."
The network is expected to launch this summer and is hoping to be available to on-demand cable offerings, online and mobile phones.
"There's wrong, and there's right, right network, all that's right with the world," Grammer says in a video clip on the network's Web site.
Likewise, the network's promotional materials say it will focus on entertainment with "pro-America," "pro-business, pro-military sensibilities" that will ultimately invite conversation and influence "the national conversation."
Because the RightNetwork is being pitched as an on-demand offering it means it wouldn't initially have the same reach - or draw - as traditional cable networks that are on all the time on a cable system. Subscribers would physically have to click through to get the service.
"We're creating a welcome place for millions and millions of Americans who've been looking for an entertainment network and media channel that reflects their point-of-view," Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, said in a statement on the site. "RightNetwork will be the perfect platform to entertain, inform and Connect with the American majority about what's right in the world."
Oh goody. A channel that reflects your own point of view...as in one that never challenges you to consider whether you're mistaken, that reinforces any prejudices you may carry. One that facilitates even more the ability to live within your own personal reality and pass that along to your children.
Of course, one does have to wonder how Grammer's own network will discuss his current performance as the flamboyant gay nightclub owner, George, in Broadway's La Cage aux Folles. Will his own personal reality network be forced to ignore Kelsey's own professional reality? It would seem to be another paradox. Unless, that is, living within my own personal reality I never noticed that the "pro-America... pro-business, pro-military sensibilities" contingent has embraced gay love stories, bawdy drag queens, and men who kiss each other tenderly.
If so, well, then, carry on with your bad-ass own-personal-reality selves...