PART 1: FINDING MEANING IN THE LATEST MEDIA INSANITY
It’s been decades since Bruce Springsteen sang about having “57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)”. Today it feels more like 57,000 — but the one channel many sports fans wanted to see this weekend, as football season began, was missing.
The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, pulled the network from the cable systems of Charter Communications. It’s the result of a contract dispute over what cable companies should pay (before passing the costs on to customers) for some of the most-watched channels on TV. The ultra-fragmentation of our media landscape is behind this: the same factor dragging out Hollywood’s multi-union strike. So much so that one union, the Writers Guild of America, suggested that the legacy studios negotiate separately from the newer streaming services, in hopes of moving this along.
In this episode I’ll start by breaking down what’s behind all this and why I think you should pay attention to it. If you look closely, you might see a parallel between the fragmentation of the media, and the current state of our democracy.
PART 2: MAKING MY CASE FOR A NEW PROFANITY
I’m gonna try not to police your language, but…
Profanity is something I try to avoid using, but some people just don’t give a fluff. Words should be used with precision and care. I’m tired of people throwing around one word in particular: one that’s caused me a lot of irritation, sometimes pain, when people have fired it my way. Folks don’t seem to realize they’re doing any harm, and it’s taken me a very long time to articulate why it bothers me. Now I think I’ve got the words to explain it.
Could we please use the A-word a lot more carefully? Listen to tonight’s episode to find out which word that is, and how I’d suggest we use it in the future. (Hint: it’s a 6-letter word.)
HEADS-UP: PODCAST HIATUS COMING SOON
The Night Light is coming up on its tenth episode! I’m grateful to you for all your support in getting this program going. Each episode has been a bit different, and I’ve tried to experiment with what works for me and resonates with you. Now is a good time to step back and reassess. Plus, I’ve got some other projects to work on, and I’d like to work ahead on a few episodes. So after Episode 10 drops next week, I’m taking a few weeks off. New episodes will resume in mid-October.
However, paid subscribers will have access to another Ask Me Anything, live streamed on YouTube. Keep an eye out for the link to watch and send in your questions.
Again, thanks for always making time for me, and I hope you enjoy tonight’s episode. Apologies for the delay in publishing it! A number of technical issues got in the way: including Adobe Audition, my editing software, crashing and deleting my edits. Boo. Better late than never, yes, but… still. And I did this one without the strict scripting I usually do, to be a bit more conversational. Let me know what you think.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE