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An Open Letter to National Geographic Channel

Hey guys,

How’s taking pictures of indigenous boobies?  I imagine it’s both satisfying and kind of sad at the same time.   Keep it up.  Listen, the reason I wanted to talk to you is this new American Gypsy show you guys have on TV.  I need you to listen to me, and I mean really listen.  Get comfy.  Maybe get a drink and relax.  Are you good?

CUT THAT SHIT OUT.

You know, there was a time not so long ago when TLC stood for The Learning Channel.  Like how MTV stood for Music Television.  But the music died and so did the learning. Then A&E took liberties with the definition of arts and/or entertainment and gave us shows about storage auctions and people who chase pigs.  And then History went completely batshit insane and started airing shows about aliens which you may recall are not historically real at all.  But whatever, that was fine, maybe just not a lot of people watch TV to learn so all those channels gave up.

But you, National Geographic?  Do you know what it says right on the internet when you Google National Geographic?  Right next to the name of your website?  “Inspiring people to care about the planet.”  And then you made a show about gypsies in which reference is made to fortune telling about 5 times during the commercial, and a chubby little rageoholic in a suit bashes in the windows of an SUV.  And the show is executive produced by the Karate Kid.  Come on.

I understand you want to shine it like a chromium turd and make it a show about showing us the true, hidden gypsy culture no one knows about, except that’s such a steaming load of horse shit and we all know it.  It’s about stereotypes yelling at each other and lightly flirting with racism at every turn while no one learns anything about gypsies at all, unless your goal is seriously to make people want to avoid them as readily as we’d avoid a Kardashian or any useless lump of tanned CHUD on the Jersey Shore.

I know you see those other channels and the temptation is so strong to just say “screw it, educational TV is for squares, let’s air nothing but shit burgers and rat sputum.” But dammit, that’s not what people want from you, National Geographic!  They want t learn about the damn planet they live on in a way that is fascinating and surprising and beautiful, not ridiculous and loud and awful in every conceivable way.

National Geographic channel, don’t debase yourself.  Don’t lust after ratings like TLC or A&E, all their ratings are coming from people who keep mittens pinned to their coats all year round.  Don’t be a follower, NG, scrounging at the scraps of morons.  Be a leader.  Put on shows about naked natives and waterfalls.  Don’t be a douche.

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