When did the History Channel become appointment viewing for the Sarah Palin set?
It used to be that the History Channel was about, well, history. It was the favorite of every old man in America, and my husband when he couldn't find a re-run of Nova anywhere. The sexiest or most scandalous it got was shows about medieval weapons, or volcanoes that had buried towns and were threatening to do it again. Oh, and even those shows were narrated by someone with a boring British accent in order to make them seem less exciting.
My, how times have changed.
Now the most popular show on the network is "Pawn Stars" or, as Tara calls it, "White Trash Antiques Roadshow." Basically is has people coming into a Las Vegas pawn shop to sell family treasures to get money that will likely be gambled on the strip, or spent on drugs. Yes, many of the items have some historical significance, but that doesn't change the fact that the show is about desperate people trying to get a little bit of scratch, and the owner of the pawn shop only caring if he can make a buck.
Oh, and let's not forget about the other "historical artifacts" show on the network, "American Pickers." Tara hasn't come up with a nickname for this one, but I like to think of it as "Grifting Shut Ins Who Have Really Great Stuff, But Don't Know What They Have, Because They Are Shut Ins." I think you get the gist of the show now. These two guys go around the country finding people with valuable items in small towns, tell them the items are junk, buy them for nothing, and then sell them at auction and make a fortune. Not only is it perfect for the History Channel because of antiques, but because this is basically what the Europeans did to Native Americans, so it's showing how history repeats itself. Bonus.
Then, of course, there are the new shows on the channel that would have nothing to do with history if it weren't for the channel's new slogan "History happens every day." Hey, going by that theory you can pretty much put any reality show on the air. I'm hoping soon they will get around to cracked out midget hookers, but right now they are focusing on people who drive trucks in insane conditions in Canada, and Cajuns who hunt alligators and can't count to ten on their teeth. Now, I don't want to offend anyone, but I am going to go out on a limb and guess that neither group will make any real, lasting history past their final seasons. Yes, they may make family history, or history in their industries, but I doubt Meg or her children will be reading about them in text books. Really though, the way society is going, maybe text books won't exist in 20 or 40 years. Maybe someone will be able to write their doctoral thesis on "Swamp People: Season 1" -- and then sell it to a pawn shop for a couple bucks to buy glue for huffing.
Maybe the History Channel should start showing "Idiocracy." You know, just to give people a taste of what future "history" holds. They just need to splice in the election of President Palin.