Oops, The Networks Are Ready To Attack Again

There will be an iffy new season of television in America’s homes this month. While at the very same time an impeccable old season of Shalimar in mine. For me this is the ancient counter-point between change and continuity. We are attracted to the first; we depend upon the second. Let me explain….

September is the approved launch-date for the networks’ new programming. We are advised 23 new series are about to be unleashed upon our living rooms. History shows not more than 10 will survive. The specific survivors are not important; what is, is the basic content. We can be sure this will include slightly reformulated combinations of slick cops & docs shows…ever more raunchy reality programs …low-budget, high-sensation news documentaries…some different ways of bringing us the paparazzi’s more outrageous favorites…all slathered with equal portions of violence, sex and commercials.

While politicians in Washington and clergy in pulpits think they are shaping America, 24/7 television in our homes is more likely to accomplish that. Not to put too fine point on it, but what we have here is a persistent rise in feckless entertainment matched by a discouraging fall in civic responsibility. The I’m-tired-at-the-end-of-the-day-so-let-someone-else-do-it syndrome. Not exactly new in human history, but no generation of humans has ever experienced this syndrome quite so intensely.

Now what about the Shalimar? In one of those little co-incidentals in life, both Mom and Joan chose Shalimar as their perfume. Which means that as a child, my life was tinted with the lingering scent of this wondrous fragrance; and now as an adult, the experience continues. Continuity…! the passing on from one time and place to another. It’s how families and civilizations survive. Not that Shalimar has any particular impact on our civilization; but I think it has on my small piece of it.


Side by side with the thrill and terror of change, we mortals harbor an affection and need for sameness. Linus chooses his little blue blanket. Diane Keaton her white gloves. Batters their wiggle at the plate. Wall Street bankers their bonuses at the end of the year. In other words fellow Romans — excelsior, but just not too fast!

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  • Totally enjoyed this Jack ... especially "a persistent rise in feckless entertainment matched by a discouraging fall in civic responsibility" .... My 'Shalimar' for this past weekend was the smell of roast beef and fresh homemade apple pie prepared by my spouses skilled and loving hands ... [Ya take what ya get] ... The fragrance of great food at home has always been more of a 'memory' trigger for moi .... c'est la vie!

    PS: If the fine food is not at hand I will often opt for a Linus style blanket, a comfy chair and a good book ...

  • Geezer ~ You sound to me like the man who has matched change and continuity perfectly!! And, yes, Shalimar has some great competition when it comes to home-made meals. Were that more guys had it so good....

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