Eclectic commentary from a progressive voice in the red state

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

CBS Insults smart People

I normally don’t comment on popular culture and entertainment. Perhaps I should do so more in light of my evolving perception that we’re entering an era of “bread and circuses.” What I mean is that the corporatist plutocrats who have hijacked our republic are using sports, entertainment and hot-button social issues to distract us from the real issues of the day — climate change, continual war, the elimination of America’s middle class and the growing gap between the rich and poor.

I admit that I like to be entertained. But I am selective in my TV habits and don’t care about any pro sports team (that’s a whole other topic). But I am a long-time fan of “The Big Bang Theory” because it makes being smart and educated legitimate if not heroic. That’s why I am disappointed and angry at the way “The First Pitch Insufficiency” ended. The Howard Wolowitz character, an MIT-trained engineer, was invited to throw out the first pitch at a major league baseball game. But, after much training, can’t get the ball close to home plate. His solution was to deliver the ball from the pitcher’s mound to the plate on a prototype Mars rover.

But, the character’s attempt to glorify science —a laudable plot point — goes awry when the rover’s glacial pace to home become the joke. It was an insult to NASA, to the character and the character’s education at a premier institution. It also reflects an anti-intellectualism to which I had, until now, thought the show was an antidote.

The American people deserve better and CBS needs to tell Chuck Lorre to do better.