Amazed at TV ‘entertainment’

Published 7:33 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ever since I subscribed to a satellite TV service, I have been amazed at what some people believe they can sell over the air.

As a longtime observer of the activity emitting from what one of my high school teachers called “that foolish box,” I’ve been amazed at what has passed for “entertainment,” over the past two years and how people become addicted to some of the programming that’s been broadcast by the numerous networks now available with the touch of a button.

Over the past few years, I’ve been amazed at what people are willing to do to get rich by participating in ridiculous activities like “Survivor” or “The Great Race,” or put their personal lives into the public view through reality shows which really, in some cases are neither real or spontaneous. I’ve often wondered what kind of person would submit themselves and their families through such torment and embarrassment.

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But reality shows have nothing over the shopping networks.

Just by flipping a few channels, you can buy shoes and clothing, food and utensils and machines to cook it, drugs to improve your sex life, lose weight, eliminate back pain and be regular.

You can also purchase knives, jewelry, watches, rare coins and any kind of exercise machine or exercise program you want.

There are the infomercials, which come across as “real” TV programs on a certain topic, and the retail shows, where the folks hawking the merchandise use no cover and make their direct pitch to buy whatever they’re selling.

The infomercials are big on drugs, remedies, cooking equipment, diets and exercise equipment. They discuss the values of juicing, how using this particular oven will cook your food with less fat and keep the chicken or roast moist and juicy. They will discuss the benefits of some miracle drug to cut fat, reducing bloating or help you regain your youthful vigor.

There are people demonstrating exercise machines who are slim and trim and the picture of health, which makes me wonder how come I’ve never seen someone like me who has moving disease (my chest fell into my drawers) and out of shape working on some of this equipment.

The direct pitch shows aren’t much different, except they’re trying to sell some the ugliest jewelry you’ve ever seen and pushing overpriced watches. These folks are the ones my wife and I look at periodically for a laugh. Never have I seen such hideous things; there’s not enough room in this space to describe them.

I wonder sometimes why these things are even on, when other programming, like the SEC network, which I want but don’t get, are available just by someone pushing a button on a console at some faraway building somewhere in the country.

But I guess the shopping networks are small price to pay for the opportunity to get multiple programming, and I guess every one has a right to make a living.

And every once in a while, I need a good laugh. 

John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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