How PBS has brainwashed me

13 10 2012

Election season and projectile stupidity are in full swing in America. One of the asinine notions making the rounds with the right-wingers is that PBS brainwashes kids into becoming socialists through programs like Sesame Street, which teaches anti-American values like sharing and respect.

As a victim of PBS brainwashing, I feel the need to speak out. Not because they’ve brainwashed me into becoming a socialist (that’s the job of my French boyfriend) but because their documentaries have indoctrinated me with the notion that my life will achieve levels of greatness on par with Willa Cather, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Alistair Cooke.

Specifically, I live my life as though it’s being narrated as an episode of American Masters. (What? Not modest enough? Should I have just stuck with American Experience?).

I have watched so many documentary and biography programs over the years, on PBS and in other formats, that it has seriously tailored my view of life. Possibly warped it. Definitely brainwashed it.

It’s not just that I imagine I will eventually because famous or well-respected (in life or death, you never can tell with intellectual celebrity) but that each phase of my life is meaningful in ways that professors backlit by Ken Burns will clearly explain to viewers years from now.

I would try to explain to you here how the choices I’ve made thus far have developed my genius, but I neither have the right perspective nor the right tweed jacket to make those statements.

What I’m trying to say is that when I reflect on my life in my own head, I picture people on TV, cropped from the waist up and sitting in their libraries, justifying my choices. While other people might use Sex and the City dialogue or a horoscope’s advice to gloss over their mistakes and regrets, I hear the PBS narration.

I’m not worried about it and you shouldn’t be either. Judging from the swelling music rising up behind the latest revelation about my life, things will have a happy ending, brainwashed or not.

As for the America election, I’ll leave that to Frontline to sort out.


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