American Idol? I’ll give you American History!

Quick! Who was Nathan Hale? If you knew he was a spy during the Revolutionary War, famous for his last words of “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country”, good for you. Now, for the rest of us, American History is generally something we learned about in school. (And quickly forgot immediately after school) Fortunately, I think I have a cure! Okay, how much time does the general population spend studying history? About none of the time. How much time does the general public spend watching TV? About all the time. See where this is leading? However, it may seem that History is already on TV, it is. A lot of people don’t like documentaries, so we’ve got to do some reformating . I say, if you want people to vote, for example, run it like a reality TV show! Candidates get voted off, instead of voted for, and the Nation gets to find out the issues it really cares about, like how well the Future President can sing, dance, and/or survive on a desert island.
Theme songs too, could be “Educational”. Singing the Preamble in cheesy Country-Western, anyone?
How many people would be interested in the following statement: “Benjamin Franklin discovered elctricity with a kite and a key.” while panning across a woodcut-type illustration? Yeah, that’s what I thought. But in Movie Trailer Format: “You can’t do it, Ben,” says Thomas Jefferson. “I can! I’ll prove it to you!” shouts Ben back at him. The Narrator says “In a country where freedom meant everything, one man will find his own.” and we see this dark shot with Ben picking up a kite and a brief montage of ‘mad scientist’ shots, poring over diagrams that have nothing to do with electricity. Cut to Ben Franklin sitting across from Betsy Ross. “I have to do it, don’t you see, Betsy? If I can’t find this power, there’s no way to defeat the British!” Then, A sudden flash of lightning illuminates a jet black, really cool futuristic kite complete with glowing lights that light up a second later when lightning hits. Ben’s triumphant yell comes in over the thunder, and the lightning forms the words “Franklin, the man, the idea, and the war. Premiering April 24 at 7:00 pm 6 central”
You’d sure get a lot more people watching it, that’s for sure. Of course, it may not be true, but when has that ever stopped Hollywood before? Of course, there are other genres too!
Sitcoms! How about the Civil War!
“How you doin’, Abe?” Abe flops on the couch.
“I was doing a lot better before work.” (Canned Laughter)
“Well, it’s Monday, honey.” (Louder laugh track)
“Yeah, but that stupid Bob Lee started a war today over that slave thing”
“Oh, honey, I’m sure it will work out. Who knows, maybe he’ll pull out.”
“I wish he would just go to…” kid walks in “…Alabama” (More laughs)
Also, Soap Operas are good place to get a loyal audience. “I’m not sure I can keep our relationship like this, Tom. Always working on that silly idea of yours. I- I may have to leave. It’s just hurting both of us.”
“No, Shirelle, you can’t leave! I work better when you’re around! Really, I do! I need you! My inventions need you! The World needs you for this, Shirelle.”
“No, Tom. I need you, for you, Thomas Alva Edison! Don’t you understand?”
There are many other opportunities for shows too,
Anime/Japanimation: “I choose you, Franklin Roosevelt! GO!”
Romantic Comedies: “Well, George, you did say pursuit of happiness. I figure you’ve been chasing me long enough, don’t you?”
CSI style cop shows: “Well, from the angle of penetration, I’d say the killer was up on that balcony, and the guy who bought the tickets is a Mr. Booth, John Wilkes Booth.” “Good, work, men. Let’s go get him.”
Action Shows: “General Washington, the only way across the Delaware is a new type of boat being devoloped by the British. We’ll have to steal it if we’re going to blow up the Hessian munitions base!
Kids shows: “Okay, kids, how many Nazi’s hiding in the bomb shelter? Let’s help Mr. Government Intelligence Man and count the troops! … Yes! there are 29! Good job!”
People would be much better informed if history was on TV. As long as they didn’t have to learn anything actually real, they’d be fine!


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