You can complain about the dearth of artful penises in this town, but, man, keep your remarks about KCTS to yourself. Ever since I whined about Channel 9's descent into a never-ending pledge drive of secondhand concerts, glorified infomercials, and adolescent singing sensations from Wales ("Involve, Inform, Inspire," May 16), I've been receiving heated mail. The vitriol has been such that when I received a letter telling me I'd "managed to raise hate speech to a new level," I immediately assumed it was from some Les Mis KCTS fan. (Turns out the missive was from someone damning a piece I'd written on the recent Catholic church scandals, but it had "Broadway queen" written all over it, I'm telling you.)
One guy signed his name "Barney's Dad" and referred to me as "Brotherman." I've always longed to be called something cool like Brotherman but feared I never would because of my affinity for white toast and Sheena Easton. Barney's Dad suggested I criticize network television (tough target, that) and referred to me as a "critic" (his quotation marks) who writes "drivel." B.D., my mom thinks you're mean.
A woman identifying herself as "a teacher, mother, and citizen"—you know you're in for it when "citizen" comes into the picture—told me I knew nothing about broadcast media and added, "How old are you? I am guessing in your early 20s" (bless you for that, teacher, mother, and citizen). This triple threat also suggested that I point my finger instead at the networks and questioned what point I could possibly have been trying to make.
So, feeling a bit hangdog and misunderstood, here is the point I could possibly have been trying to make: Though I love KCTS, it's increasingly aimed at people who wear sequined sweaters and watch Lawrence Welk. American Experience, Frontline, Masterpiece Theatre—great stuff, all being overshadowed by middle-of-the-road programming that seems to come back no matter how much money we pledge. A few years ago, I finally gave the station the pittance I could afford, only to be rewarded with a season that included the unapologetic airing of a right-wing documentary claiming that homosexuals were out to influence the minds of our country's children (admittedly, I've convinced several kids to stop by, clean my desk, and occasionally write my column, but they seem perfectly happy to do so). All I ask is that, for my pledge, KCTS renew its pledge to "involve, inform, inspire."
P.S. Penis update: Bremerton's Metropolis Gallery (360-373-4709) is currently celebrating the wang. Check it out.