I just finished watching the History Channel’s “Band Of Bloggers”… Pretty interesting. Do I figure that my story would be worthy to have aired on National Television – on my favorite channel?
Not that it would be worthy. One of the soldiers on the program had an interesting point: blogging is the way for us to tell our stories about what we see or have seen. “Forget Fox News, forget CNN… ” Good idea. Disinterested reporting kills the story. We, for one are VERY interested in the stories we have to tell.
“Explore the impact of blogging as a new medium for immediate and raw information. In the midst of modern day combat examine the unfiltered and raw evolution of military blogs and bloggers. Listen as soldiers who during their recent Iraq deployments reflect on the important connection they had with their blogging and how the band of military bloggers has revolutionized the way we understand combat. Experience firsthand, unfiltered accounts of the pain, the hardship, and even the simple beauty found in Iraq; stories that often go unseen in the media’s coverage of the war.”
Lemme just say I have somewhat conflicting emotions about this. Yeah, sharing is good… therapeutic even, but the first sentence is a hook to get you interested (after all, they really want you to watch, right?). Everything else is pretty much filler – important and honest opinion of a truly interesting show. Then I reread the last sentence.
Go on, I’ll wait.
Yeah. That sorta bugs me. “Experience firsthand unfiltered accounts…” Whoa. careful, you might get PTSD just from watching. The rest of the sentence is ok, but c’mon – catchphrases like that are annoying. I’m by no means a journalism student, but the opening and closing statements seem like they are trying to lure people in with the promises of genuine glorified war stories.
And that is part of my issue. I don’t want to have what I have to say trimmed into convenient sound bites that will hold someone’s attention for 40 minutes and then be relegated to the “…If you enjoyed this program, it can be purchased on History Channel dot com for the exciting price of blahblahblah…”
(I posted and almost forgot…) The other part of the reason is somewhat odd. The media is not responsible enough to treat some of the stories and people writing them with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Case in point: Dog the Bounty Hunter. The Wif and I have had several discussions about this and one of the more interesting points that came up was that no one can honestly stand up to the scrutiny of the public eye and say that there has never been a time when their words or actions could not be considered inappropriate to someone. Racist, rude, chauvanistic, stereotyping, coarse, man/woman bashing…. whatever. We’re all guilty. The issue is, we’ve been through enough. Our language is foul at times. Out ideology is skewered (yes, I know… the word misuse is intentional – I mean run through with a sharp wooden stick). Some of us are considerate and make the effort. Others are the verbal equivalent to an alcoholic going on a bender drinking O’Douls – angry, loud, frustrated, and not what you really wanted. Take us or leave us, but don’t tell us to change the presentation and the vocabulary.
You want to hear what we have to say, ask and we’ll tell. Just don’t try to turn us into products. We’re already products of a fill-in-the-blank and expletives deleted foreign policy. Some of us are tired of it.
“The History Channel wants to capture what it’s really like to be a soldier. We’re launching a new website showcasing first person experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan and all other American wars. If you have video and want to share what it’s like to serve in the US Armed Forces please contact us.”
That’s more like it. I think one of my next “things” here is to just link… or hey – create a blog group (if there isn’t one already) of people that have already typed up their stories so there is no need for the deluge of HC advertisements and gunk that comes with it.
Oh yeah, and if you’ve watched it, most of us really don’t like fireworks anymore, a lot of us do think that the guy ranting pissed about the reason for the war (something along the lines of: “our sacrifice is so you don’t have to pay 2.98 at the pump”) isn’t all that far off, and some of us want to leave the room but just can’t when Taps is played and there is a woman crying over a casket.
Originally published November 20, 2013.