Take Those Ratings and Shove 'Em
I’ve been browsing some online forums (like this one and this one) and thought about baboons on the forest canopy: after a feed of bananas, some of them stoop down low to the forest floor to throw feces at other baboons. Yup, between “Kapamilya” and “Kapuso,” you better strap on your seatbelts for civil war… or maybe take a side and throw feces, too.
As a TV viewer, ratings do not concern me. I don’t give… feces… about ratings. What matters more to me is quality programming: the sad thing is that I often find that not in free local TV, but in cable channels. I don’t know why our free TV channels are squabbling over ratings when their TV shows leave much to be desired. On the one hand, you have broadcasts of sanctimonious TV current affairs reporting exemplified by graphic footage of bad chicharon on a Saturday dinner (GMA-7). On the other hand, you have broadcasts of brain-dead reality TV contests revolving around graphic footage of drunken behavior (ABS-CBN).
And then they squabbled on live TV on the matter of ratings. I say, the hell with it.
Really, it forces the question: is it about viewers, or is it about viewing habits? Whatever happened to free, accessible information when you’re forced to have two choices? Has it become a compulsory choice between two channels?
It makes me kind of wonder: since when did I have room in TV executive boardrooms, as a viewer demanding quality TV? They don’t call TV the “idiot box” for nothing: the viewer is effectively an idiot when it comes to the limited and forced choices he or she has for TV programs. It’s a good thing we have cable: at least I don’t have to choose between two sucky, perverse, gratuitous noontime game shows that sow the seeds of indolence in all 7,107 islands of the Philippines that have aerials. At least I don’t have to look forward to barbs being traded on weekend showbiz shows.
But why bother? TV executives don’t care about viewers. They care about ratings, they care more about the other station than the TV audience. It is propaganda at work: the hell with what people think or what people need, but what TV executives want the people to think, or what they want the people to need. This is the reason why in any given sample of Filipino homes, the TV is on for 18 hours a day. We are, for all intents and purposes of the phrase, a nation of idiots.
The last straw came when another freaking YouTube video on the Wilyonaryo scam surfaced in the forums. And so what in the blue hell does this – and the ratings scams – mean to me? Short answer: nothing. It never meant anything to me, because they were all obsessed by the ratings.
I’ll tell you what you can do with those ratings: shove ’em. Don’t rate me anymore: don’t call me your lover, your family, your friend, whatever.