Monday, August 30, 2010

i heart ugandan tv

yeah, yeah, i know…it’s a shame to admit that i’ve been watching a lot of tv since I’ve come here. even worse to tell you that i’ve actually enjoyed it. but i strive to give accurate accounts of my experiences, and i’d be remiss in excluding the hours spent in my hotel room lazing in front of the tube (in this case you really can’t blame me—since the bombings of july 11, everything in kampala’s dead at night anyway).

but why, you may ask, do i so thoroughly relish an otherwise mundane activity i could do in my own home? i’ll tell you: 1) the incredibly in-depth coverage of world news; and 2) the really really bad entertainment programming.

let’s start with the first – the news. there are no fewer than 5 channels dedicated to global news coverage - and i’m not talking about skewed partisan pandering (*ahem*fox*ahem*) or glorified celebrity fluff talk (i’m lookin at you, cnn) – i’m talkin old-fashioned, down and dirty, hard-hitting news…like the kind your grandpa used to mutter and shake his head at. not only is the coverage refreshingly raw, but the breadth is beyond anything we ever get in the states. did you know war, famine and natural disasters lead to actual death and destruction?? it’s true – i’ve actually seen it with my own eyes, thanks to the news here.

now on to the next – entertainment tv. where do i even begin? is it the movie channel dedicated exclusively to lifetime made-for-tv movies made circa 1998 i love? or is it the telenovelas that are horribly dubbed into english (example from a recent episode of “la tormenta” where a mob of villagers is chasing a suspected witch to the outskirts of town: “you are mistaken, dimitrio. you want to burn maria-teresa on a stick, but do you not remember how you felt when the townspeople wanted to hang you by the neck only last year? this was not a good feeling, no?”)? or perhaps it’s the local programming, which consists of such shows as “trickstars”- an african candid camera dedicated solely to swindling unsuspecting victims out of money, jewels or property. ahh, but why chose? i can love them all…and i do!

(the only thing i don't get is the national obsession with big brother africa - there is an entire channel dedicated to watching the contestants 24-hours a day!)

but i digress from my original sentiment: thank you, ugandan, tv…you’ve livened my stay beyond what I can express…

1 comment:

matthew said...

Sounds like you are soaking in an important aspect of Ugandan culture!