Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Inform, Educate and Entertain… And VOLTRON

TV - Flashback - The Gist

Turn your TV to the NTA every morning and it’s a mantra you are bound to catch at least one of the A.M. Express presenters reciting as they flood into your living rooms or wherever your TV set is kept. The flooding this time is pleasant. Believe it or not, you don’t have to cringe every time you see the words “Nigerian Television Authority” on the glowing end of the TV tube. Even a mediocre has to excel once in a while.

OK, I digress… back to the issue at hand...

I love Television, no two ways about it, but for some years now, our relationship has started becoming shaky as I begin to seriously doubt the authenticity of its mandate. Is Television keeping true to that Inform, Educate and Entertain (I.E.E.) Broadcast Creed we swore to on that day when I told her “I do”?

Yes, watching the TV can be very entertaining at times, and if you bother to watch the increasingly socialized social diary called the News you just might get a nugget of information here and there but as for getting an education, I’ve been very skeptical if the idiot box dishes out much in that line.

Fact is, the only set of people who got any proper sort of education from TV were those who were lucky enough to watch programmes like “3-2-1 Contact” and “Sesame Street” in the hey days of B & W programming or even the early episodes of NTA’s “Tales By Moonlight” (as a kid then I used to love any story that featured animals. I felt I must be very smart because I realized early that animals didn’t talk so it must be humans in those costumes! I digress yet again…).

What fun it was in those glorious days of watching “Voltron” and longing to possess the gymnastic skills of Pidge, or Lance’ suave looks or Keith’s leadership abilities or marrying the Princess Allura for that matter. We flew across the skies in their aerodynamically-challenged space vehicles and our fantasies were limitless for even when the black-and-white screen failed us, we filled in the colours with our vivid imaginations. Television taught us how to D.R.E.A.M.

In those days Science was a daily discovery and you could master the rudiments of killer courses like Mathematics or all the tongue-tying complexities of Oral English straight off the TV set. Television programme schedulers were always all too conscious of the slightest details of the school calendar and would arrange programmes accordingly to sooth the tastes of their young audiences during holidays.

Those days are long gone. The youth of nowadays simply have no imagination.

I was therefore pleased when I spotted a tiny glimmer of hope for this generation. From amidst the Babel that is daily programming we occasionally catch a little ray of insight as it shines out to Inform, Educate and Entertain us. Take for instance, A.M. Express, Wednesday the 4th of June. A doctor comes on-air from the Benin Network centre some time around 6:40 am to Educate us on Infertility. Now that’s an important subject so I put a hold on my breakfast preparations to watch.

What really grabs my attention is his definition of infertility which I will try to reproduce as well as I can. In his own words (all the emphasis are mine):

“… Infertility is medically described as the inability of a couple to conceive after participating in active coitus, that is full sexual exposure, for a period of one year”.

(And here I am thinking, slowly chewing on a slice of bread: what does this guy mean by “full sexual exposure”? He isn’t talking of photography, is he? Or radiography, for that matter.)

And he continues:

“…It is medically agreed that the normal frequency of full sexual exposure for a couple in that one-year duration should be at least three exposures in a week...”

Three exposures a week! My hackles immediately rise, I don’t know why. Okay… Cool down. Quickly discarding breakfast to do the math I come up with this:

3 full sexual exposures a week (medically agreed) x 52 (chronologically agreed) weeks in a year = 156 full exposures! For those of you that don’t get this, that means you have 156 chances to get Junior.

Now isn’t that Education? I won’t vouch for the authenticity of this M.D.’s statements neither will I swear by all things terrible that his quoted sources for the “medically agreed” definition are accurate. The only thing I can be sure of is to say I was well and truly E.D.U.C.A.T.E.D.


So all you lovebirds out there trying for a shot at replicating handy toy-sized copies of yourselves, here’s some very good advice: If after 156 full sexual exposures successfully carried out within a duration of 366 days and the female in the equation isn’t throwing up in the mornings and getting a belly that you can’t attribute to excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages, then YOU BOTH NEED TO GET YOURSELVES CHECKED by a doctor who specializes in full sexual exposures. A pity they never scrolled the Doc’s name onscreen so I can’t help all you desperate peoples with that vital piece of info.

As for all them people who always strive to break all the records in the Guinness Book of Full Exposures, I have nothing (yet) to say to you. And if you find you aren’t batting at the A.M. Express endorsed average of 156, then what the hell are you waiting for?

Breakfast temporarily forgotten, I take a stroll through my cerebral garden, rocking on my mental rocking chair, smoking an intellectual pipe and reflecting on all these. (Would Keith have been too busy defending the Planet Arus from Hagar’s Robeasts to worry about giving Princess Allura her due 156 full exposures whenever he’d eventually get to marry her? How innocent Black & White TV romance can be.)

Yeah, I miss the Glory Days of Television. I do miss Voltron.

PS: Yes, I’m still trying to work on my TAA review titled “And Then There Were Three…” but the devil seems to be in the works. I’m thinking of re-editing it for posting it later this week tentatively re-titled as “And Then There Were Two…”

Stay posted!

No comments: