Babies to go gaga over own channel
IN THE FUTURE, everyone will have their own cable TV channel, in the way that everyone now has their own Web site. Call it ME TV. This will be the ultimate in demographics because all programing on ME TV will be tailored to the specific interests, desires and whims of one specific viewer: you. This will pretty much put the Nielsen TV ratings people out of business. (Nielsen pollster: What are you watching? Me: Uh, I'm watching my own channel. Nielsen pollster: Anything good on? Me: Yeah. Everything.)
Advertising on ME TV will be rather redundant. Typical ME TV commercial lineup for a single, 47-year-old male: pizza, beer, new cars, pizza, beer, Victoria's Secret, pizza, beer, Maalox, pizza, beer, Pringles, etc.
But we aren't there yet. Right now we live under the technical tyranny of having only 1,694 TV channels to choose from. Ironically, kids flicking through all 1,694 channels say the same thing that we said when we were kids and had only three channels: "There's nothing on!"
Since the invention of television, the number of channels has multiplied dramatically and exponentially, like rabbits. Various channels are now devoted to specific subjects like "history," "science" and (so I'm told) "pornography." Each of these major subjects is broken further down into channels devoted to even more specific interests, like "The Hitler Channel," "Mollusks" and (so I'm told) "Missionary Position."
THE MOST recent special interest group to get their own channel, and I'm not kidding here, are babies.
BabyFirst TV has become quite controversial. Some people think children should not watch TV. These people are generally referred to as "childless." People without children are great at giving advice to people with children. BabyFirst TV isn't in Hawaii yet, but it will be here. And soon stay-at-home moms will be able to park their tots in front of the tube and have a few belts of bourbon at the kitchen counter in relative peace.
Obviously, having a baby-only channel is an insidious plot to get kids hooked on television, much like when we were giving little candy cigarettes when we were kids. (You notice you can't find a good candy cigarette anymore?)
But the conspiracy might backfire because the only reason kids like to watch so much TV today is because their parents are always yelling at them to turn it off. By pushing TV on babies, they are likely to hate the stupid thing by the time they are old enough to walk and talk. ("But Mom, I don't wanna watch TV. I wanna go outside play cowboys and al-Qaida.")
Being forced to do anything when you are young tends to turn you off to it. For instance, my mom caught me throwing rocks when I was 5. She made me throw rocks in our back yard for a half-hour, till I was crying and could hardly lift my little arm. Today, I have little desire to throw rocks in my back yard.
The new baby channel has specialized programs that babies can understand. Obviously, babies aren't going to watch "Pride and Prejudice." So there will be lots of bright colors and moving objects and subliminal audio messages like, "Poke the dog in the eye with your rattler." Well, I'm not sure about the subliminal messages, but it's something to think about.
Since I have some experience in writing for television (12 weeks as a staff writer on "Baywatch Hawaii"), I might pitch some new shows for BabyFirst TV. I'm thinking of shows like "Desperate Diapers," "Crib Break," "Very Smallville," "Everybody Loves Crayons" and "American Mydoll."
Those will have to do until I get my very own TV channel.
Speaking of movies, which we weren't, but anyway, 17-year-old Hawaii actor Lipine Fualautoalasi-Avea has beaten out hundreds of other contestants nationally to win a part in the upcoming teen/slasher flick "Dead Girls Club."
Lipine had to scream his way into the part. Readers of this column voted in droves (drove: anything larger than three) via the Internet for Lipine in the "scream off" finals last week and pushed him over the top. To see more about Lipine and the movie, go to deadgirlsclub.com.
, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org