ANYway, I recorded 700 Club broadcasts for about 18 months (August 1996 to February 1998) before
That day came earlier this year when I revisited the boxes of videotapes and I realized that with YouTube and Twitter, I could share some of the more outrageous or (unintentionally) funny clips that could entertain/nauseate everyone who's fascinated by such things as, to take the latest example as of this writing, Pat Robertson's whopper about HIV-positive gay men using special rings to give their enemies AIDS. And since I had a lot of good material (well, I think so, anyway) that didn't stand on its own but required context and explanation, I decided that tweeting raw video wasn't enough—hence this blog to try to make sense of it all.
Now at this point you could tell me that it's pretty self-absorbed to think that just because I have all this video from the mid-'90s, people will care or want to see these relatively ancient clips. And that is in fact a honkingly good point that is still riddling me with doubt as I write this and prepare to launch this blog. Is this relevant? I can think of several reasons why the answer is Yes.
First is the obvious answer that there are people and events from the past who/which still have a bearing on our current life, and you can find a ready example of this in one of my very first posts: Rev. E.W. Jackson, the 2013 Republican candidate for Lt. Governor of Virginia, on The 700 Club in 1997 when he was heading Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition's minority outreach program, the Samaritan Project. I guess I could add some blather about the importance of understanding history, both recent and long-ago, in the context of our current events, but you get the idea. And if Hillary Clinton is in fact the next Democratic presidential nominee, you can bet that we'll be reliving the '90s again, much like we revisited the '60s in so many of our last presidential elections (Clinton, Gore, Bush, Kerry, even Obama).
Next, revisiting an occasion several years later allows you to view it with the proper perspective. For example, we're mostly in agreement now that the Iraq War was not at all necessary, had nothing to do with 9/11 or Weapons of Mass Destruction, and ultimately cost us more money and lives than it was worth; but at the time, those arguments were a minority opinion and it never really seemed as cut and dried as it does now. Or take that time Ellen DeGeneres and her TV character came out of the closet; today we're witnessing the increasing acceptability of same-sex marriages, and the people arguing against this now were getting unhinged 16 years ago because the lead character in a television show was now gay.
Also, a lot of these subjects are timeless, maintaining their relevancy all these years later because they grow out of the purportedly Biblical principles that Pat Robertson and his like will never let go of. Abortion, evolution vs. creation, pornography—these and many other topics persist years later in roughly the same form they did when these shows first aired. I could post a segment on abstinence education from 1997 and you probably couldn't tell the difference between then and now, except for the fact that it's not HD and television comes in a wider shape these days.
But don't worry, we're not going to be completely stuck in the 1990s. The 700 Club is still on the air today, and I'll be watching regularly and posting contemporary outrages, howlers, and other assorted potpourri for your amusement or bemusement (no, those words don't mean the same thing) or disgust. Or at least the stuff Right Wing Watch doesn't beat me to.
Your Humble Blogger