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Why doesn't The History Channel Show Just History Programs?

This morning as I awoke I turned on the History Channel.  Much to my surprise the History Channel was actually broadcasting history; in this case the fall of the third Reich.  Even though I was gladdened by this rare occurrence; I was also saddened because the History Channel does not talk about history much these days. Yes the sad reality is that the History Channel has succumbed to the reality television craze.

What do I mean by this?  Just flip the channel anytime throughout the day and what do you typically get? Reality shows.  It seems that each time I am watching the channel all I am getting are re runs of such dopey reality shows such as,  Ax men, Ice Road Truckers, American Pickers, ( My wife actually loves this show) Swamp People, and Pawn Stars (My wife also like this show)  Exactly what historical value does a show about some belligerent Ice Truck Drivers somewhere in the North Pole have to do with history?  Exactly how am I learning about history from watching a bunch of green horns duke it out with one another on Ax Men?  I want to learn about history,  I do not want to be entertained.   If I want to be entertained then I will just watch an episode of The Office, or watch a sports game.  Call me old fashioned, but I want the History Channel to teach me...well history. I want nothing but the truth.  So give it to me plain and simple.  I do not need to be entertained.

However, I believe there is a larger point here...(I do have a point I hope)

The sad consequence of this is that the History Channel is providing a disservice to the public by not doing what it is supposed to do, teach history. I believe that by not educating the public about history it is contributing to the gross ignorance and indifference that plagues our country today. The reality is that we are living in turbulent times.  Now more than ever we need to learn about history.  We need a context in which to place our current struggles in.  Without this context we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of past generations.  The consequences of this are dire indeed.

A shot from the epic 1964 movie, Fall of The Roman Empire
History has taught us time and time again that a disinterested public contributes more to the demise of a society than any enemy.  Just look at what happened to the Roman empire.  It is well documented that in the final years of the empire that the general public had an insatiable appetite for gladiatorial events.  So insatiable was this desire that it blinded the general public from taking a vested interest in the affairs of the empire. As long as they were entertained, as long as mercenaries kept fighting their wars, everything was peachy.   Slowly but surely the fate of the Roman Empire was sealed.   Sound familiar?  I hope that you are all catching on.

I know that there are different and better ways that I can learn about history then the History Channel.  But still a part of me laments those days where I could turn on the History Channel any time and catch some engrossing documentary.  For now I will grieve briefly, shed a tear, get some Kleenex tissues, borrow my brother's black suit, maybe by some cheap flowers,  or erect a monument.  I must come to terms that my beloved History Channel has sold out.  (Maybe it is time to crack open those dusty History textbooks sitting somewhere in my mother's attic.)

Comments

  1. I am so irritated by this. I have found recently Planet Green is showing more historical based programming than the History Channel itself. However, I watch in fear, a network called Planet Green is surely going to bring up propagandist material about global warming and piss me off.

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  2. We have noticed this for some time now. The History Channel is an arm of the Republican Right. Lumberjacks, truckers, junk buyers, so called "self made' independent men who are likely to be for less government. Add in guns (Top Shot) with Nazi History and fringe stories like cults and UFO's and you've got a mallable audience ready to believe anything. RIGHT NOW on the History Channel? Zombies: A living history. They are teaching how to survive a zombie apocalypse. Seriously. This is history???!

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  3. Why not just rename this joke of a channel to the "stupid idiotic moronic brain dead reality channel". At least that would be accurate.

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  4. @anonymous... I'm fairly certain the "Nazi history" broadcasted is so you liberals know that the Jewish people have been persecuted for years. This may prevent you from following your lefty's into running Israel into the ground.

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  5. When I had to give up full cable TV a few years back on account of economic considerations I felt bad that I would no longer be able to watch the History Channel. I always looked forward to watching historical documentaries - I guess I'm sort of "nerdy" that way - I like watching programs like that. But I've noticed too on the rare occasions that I get to watch cable TV somewhere that the History Channel really doesn't show history anymore. So I'm not really missing out on anything. They should just change the name of it to "Redneck TV" or "The Good Ol' Boy Reality Network" or something like that

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  6. How about going to the library and borrowing their history discs? I find tons of them there. Your taxes pay for them, why not use them?

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  7. This ticks me off too. Other examples:

    1) No travel shows on The Travel Channel
    2) Original programming on AMC not just classic movies
    3) Non-music programming on MTV
    4) Non-animation programming on the Cartoon Network

    If they intend to deviate from what channel is supposed to be about, they should change name of the network.

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