Safety First

Monday, November 28, 2011

Going Postal On Coastal



Going postal is a phenomenon first noticed among postal workers in the United States where usually on a Monday morning one worker suddenly takes out his frustrations with his job, life or whatever on his work colleagues by blowing as many of them away as he possibly can with a firearm or weapon of some sort. Let me state up front that this post is in no way intended to be construed as a call to take up arms against anyone or any organization. The title above is simply a caricature of the title of the new television series currently on CBC TV Channel 8 from and by the local Coastal Zone Management Unit (CZMU) called "Going Coastal."  CZMU itself was quite obviously basking in the cachet of the "going postal" metaphor or at least had to know people would make that connection.  The point of this posting is to criticize the style and content of that show.

I missed the first episode of the series last week because I hardly ever watch local TV largely because of its fair of the dumb-down programming and government propaganda. However, I kept seeing the ads for "Going Coastal" in the print media and decided I should find out what really was going on as someone who was interested in environmental and coastal issues.

The only laudable thing about this show is the effort to enlighten the masses about the water that surrounds the island.  Most Barbadians have no concept of the coasts and ocean beyond the occasional rare (and getting rarer) beach outing, nor do they care enough even to find the time to learn to swim; consequently, it's only by the grace of God that a major tragedy has not yet occurred on one of those so-called "party boats."  Any effort, therefore, which tries to broaden that worldview should be commended.

Unfortunately, however, the style and content of this show leaves much to be desired.  For its prime-time slot its target audience seems to be primary schools kids.  It jumps from subject matter to subject matter like a bad soap opera trying to keep half a dozen plots and sub-plots in the air all at once.  It looks like it was stitched together by an amateur film editor with a few unrelated clips struggling with apps and a new laptop.  It does not at all come across as a serious show dealing with serious issues that are critical to the quality of life and economy of this country.  And, talking about the economy, in the current economic climate change I really want to thank the presenter who boasted about her junket to Monaco.  It is really good to know our tax dollars can still allow her such useless "perks." 

In my humble opinion, instead of jumping around from subject to seemingly unrelated subject this show and the viewing public would and could have been better served by selecting one aspect of coastal management per episode and spending the half hour properly exploring it.  Coastal issues are too vital to be reduced to the sound bytes of the pop culture format.  

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