Click to Print
. . . .

Random Thoughts: Charter puts porn ahead of citizenship

Robert Downes - October 26th, 2009
Random Thoughts
Robert Downes 10/26/09
Charter Puts Porn Ahead of Citizenship
“Spank that Booty: Sultry ladies with a lot of junk in their trunk.” That was one show airing on Charter Communications‘ “Juicy” Channel 895 last week. Or you could watch Extreme Euro Kink 3 - “Getting freaky with a frisky foreign fox.”
Fair enough, there’s a demand for that kind of programming and who doesn’t like a “frisky foreign fox”?
But many civic-minded citizens in Traverse City are outraged over Charter’s plan to dump four long-standing public access channels into the digital 990s this December. As it happens, this is just on the other side of Charter‘s porn offerings.
Those public access channels include Up North 2, NMC 13, TCAPS 98, and the local government meetings on Government 99.
These channels are indispensable for people who can‘t make it to government meetings at the Traverse City Commission or the board meetings of Elmwood, Garfield and East Bay townships. They also provide a TV avenue for non-commercial free speech in our community, such as the broadcast of lectures, athletic events and concerts. I myself was honored to appear on Up North 2 recently in a forum on the future of newspapers. Public access “the people‘s“ small slice of the TV media pie.
But Charter Communications, Inc. told the City of Traverse City that as of Dec. 1, it will move these public access shows to a digital format on channels 991, 992, 993 and 994.
That’s so deep in a digital hole that most of us will never even be able to find public access TV. The move will also wipe out 17 years of ‘branding‘ efforts to promote Channel 2, which is northwest lower Michigan’s only public access television station.
Some fear that this is the first step by Charter to eliminate public access TV altogether.
So what are the good citizens at Charter Communications putting just ahead of live broadcasts of the Traverse City Commission?
This was a sample lineup for Oct. 21:
• Playboy Channel 891: “Absolute POV Filth: Young Meggan Malone is hot and horny and ready to please you.”
• ClubJen Channel 892: “MILF School: Carnal moms continue their hunt for young studs.”
• Fresh Channel 893: “Breakin’ ‘Em In 10: Fresh-faced and filth filled women are broken into a world of sex games and raunchy fun.”
• Xcess Channel 894: “Bang Me N My Mom: Sweet teens and nasty mothers work together for sexual debauchery.”
And so on.
This is not meant to be a comment on the existence of pornography on cable. If that’s your thing, fine -- it‘s great to have freedom of expression available from our local cable provider. But it does demonstrate the contempt or cluelessness of a cable giant that needs a serious wake-up call from the citizens of Traverse City and Garfield, Elmwood and East Bay townships whose public meetings air on Government Channel 99.
One can only imagine that Charter plans to use channels 2, 13, 98 and 99 to generate more revenue, perhaps by selling them off for more infomercial junk shows.
We’ll have more on this issue next week, but in the meantime, you can learn more at the League of Women Voters Public Forum on Monday, Oct. 26 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Traverse Area District Library, or at .

Scary Stuff for Halloween
Have you ever noticed that real friends seldom shake hands? Usually, you see one of your pals and you just grunt and say, “Hey, howya‘ doin‘?“ That‘s it.
Oh, you might shake hands if you haven‘t seen a friend in months, or if he just got married or won the lottery, but for the most part people shake hands because:
a.) you‘re meeting someone for the first time.
b.) it‘s a business situation;
c.) someone wants something from you;
d.) then too, some guys are compulsive hand-shakers and think it‘s ‘expected.‘
I say guys here because women don‘t seem to be real big on hand-shaking. They tend to like hugs. They‘re smarter than us, those women.
I‘ve thought more about hand-shaking than most because in my travels it never seems to fail that when a stranger calls you “my friend“ and insists on shaking your hand, the next words out of his mouth are for a handout or to come visit his uncle‘s rug shop.
Anyway, in light of current fears over the H1N1 swine flu, the tradition of shaking hands might be a bit of a social boo-boo these days.
Over the past couple of weeks, numerous schools have been closed for cleaning and disinfection in Northern Michigan due to high numbers of students calling in sick. In East Jordan, for instance, more than 200 kids called in last week -- close to 20 percent of the high school‘s roster of 1,075 students.
But when you think of all of the germy surfaces that kids touch each day in school: desks, door knobs, flush levers, keyboards, mouses, lunch trays... it‘s no wonder they‘re sick.
Speaking of which, did you know that the average desk is said to harbor 400 times more germs than a toilet seat?
Surfaces. That‘s one thing our ancestors didn‘t have to worry about back in the Stone Age. No escalator handrails, elevator buttons, door handles, light switches, public phones, restaurant tables... Things you touch dozens of times each day that have been touched by dozens, or hundreds of people, some of whom have used their hands as handkerchiefs. Think about how many millions of germs there must be on the average elevator button and you‘re likely to get a case of the Howard Hughes Heebie-Jeebies...
So forget the zombie stuff that‘s so popular this Halloween: the scariest monster out there right now is that little Swine Flu virus, and just like “Jason“ or “Freddy,“ he seems to be capable of popping up just about anywhere.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5