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Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Marshal Dillon and 

Festus come to reality TV

Why is it that every year I have more channels on the television to flip through and fewer shows worth watching?

When I was young we picked up three channels on the television. There was no such thing as a remote control.

Well, yes there was - me.

"Smokey, turn the channel," Papa would say.

Three clunks of the big dial and I had surfed through all the possibilities.

We were not big TV watchers but on a given evening, if the TV was turned on, there seemed to always be a pretty good show on.

Today, I have something in the neighborhood of 200 channels to flip through and usually I make the circuit without stopping.

The selection usually includes 18 sporting events like the regional championships for the Tahiti little league, 11 fix-up-your-home-for-ten-bucks shows, 30+ documentaries written by left-of-liberal-lizard-kissers demanding that mankind quit using metal tools as it gives us an unfair advantage over other species, a dozen newscasts repeating the same sensational five lines over and over and over, reality show after reality show that have nothing do with reality but everything to do with the dark side of human nature.

But, occasionally there is a gleam of hope.

A shining beacon of light amidst the swampy jungle of TV land.

A re-run.

When I'm really lucky it is an old episode of Gunsmoke.

With a contented sigh I ease back into the couch and drift off to TV lala land with no worries that I am going to have to explain what @#%&*! means to my little girls, or try to illustrate the narrow difference between the supposed good guy and the supposed bad guy in a modern movie.

No, here is 30 minutes of viewing pleasure. Matt Dillon, Festus, Miss Kitty and Doc take care of business and that is that.

The bad guys come to town.

The Marshal and Miss Kitty flirt a little bitty bit.

Festus does something funny.

Doc says something sarcastic and witty.

Marshal Dillon and Festus blast the bad guys.

Thank you Hollywood, I'll have another helping of that.

I am pretty sure the Gunsmoke represents the pinnacle of television. It will never be done any better.

Well, maybe I could make a modern improvement.

We could call it Reality Gunsmoke.

Take any of the modern "reality" shows and follow the current plot, but with one fun twist - at some point, the characters of Marshal Dillon, Festus, Doc and Miss Kitty join the cast.

Fifteen minutes with the whining simpletons that pass for humans on most of the shows and even Miss Kitty and mild-mannered Doc would be slapping leather and emailing mega bytes of lead.

"And that's the end of our show folks. Join us next week when we form Team One from 12 nearly nude mental midgets from New York and another with the cast of Gunsmoke and then they fight it out for survival on the Island of Death," the smooth talking announcer would say.

I would be scribbling fast to get the time that show come on so I don't miss Matt and company voting with lead ballots when it is time to vote somebody off the island.

That's my kind of reality television.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Our View

NOW's stance illustrates the stupidity of pro-abortion logic

What happens when an idea is born of the combination of poor logic and selfish emotion and then carried to its logical conclusion?

You arrive at the land of the absurd.

The National Organization of Women has been trucking down that path for decades and arrived yesterday when the organization came out against charging Scott Peterson with murdering his eight-month-old, unborn son.

Peterson has been charged with the murder of Laci Peterson, his wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time she disappeared. Her body and that of the child she was carrying washed ashore last week.

Peterson is the prime suspect in the killings.

But, NOW does not want any charge leveled against him in connection with the death of the child.

According to NOW and the rest of the pro-death forces, the baby was a lump of cells undeserving of the name human being since it had not exited the mother's womb when it died and so there was no murder.

And here we have been thinking that we needed to go to Iraq to find a selfish butcher undeserving of a place at the table of mankind.

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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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