Monday, June 28, 2010

Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel, how is that possible?

A while back I read a piece on another blog that complained about the History Channel. They questioned how the History Channel could create new programming that apparently had nothing to do with History. I think I responded to their article and agreed with them.

Recently I noticed a very clever History Channel slogan that skids the way for the channel to do whatever they want. The History Channel slogan I heard was, "History.....is made every day". This slogan is pure genius, perhaps evil genius. It is so clever it's the kind of thing i wish was on my resume.
I feel badly for our society when history can't seem to compete with twitter, reality tv and tv in general. Come to think of it, has anybody come up with a history app in which famous people from the past send out twitters of their most famous sayings and moments? Could you imagine Winston Churchill twittering you once a day with a famous saying? "Hey everybody, Winston Churchill just twittered me! He's in talks with the United States about how to handle food ration ratios between his troops and his civilians".
Back to the history channel and ice Road Truckers. I find the concept of Ice Road Truckers intensely provocative and a tribute to those who truly risk their lives delivering goods and supplies in remote, very cold locations.

However, when I see shots of the truckers talking towards the camera person in the passenger seat, I begin to question the methodology of how the show is put together.

In other types of potentially dangerous reality TV situations such as "Cops" or "Parking Wars", the camera person can choose whether to turn left or right to avoid danger during possibly hazardous moments. When the camera person is sitting next to the trucker, and they are in the middle of nowhere in -40 degree weather in the middle of the night, and the trucker says "we may not make it out of this mess", the camera person can't really choose to go left or right.

Is it possible that these particular trucker sound bytes are staged and are based on real events, or does the camera person actually go along for the ride, or is there a chase car that follows the trucks? It all sounds like a logistical and dangerous nightmare.

I just saw an episode of Ice Road Truckers where the trucker trouble shoots, identifies, and then repairs a broken alternator electrical line on a stranded motorist's car. If the Trucker had not fixed the alternator line, could the driver have died in the cold once the car lost its remaining battery power? This is really scary stuff.

I just don't exactly see how Ice Road Truckers can sort of show us the problems truckers face while avoiding the really nasty stuff that probably occurs on a semi regular basis. (pardon the accidental pun).

There is another television show called 1,000 ways to die that shows 1,000 ways that people have died under strange or crazy circumstances. I supposed I would be interested in learning ways someone in a cold weather situation could doom themselves just in case I were ever in that situation, so maybe a spin off is in order of Ice Cold Truckers because I certainly don't want to see the truckers have a tragic ending to learn how to avoid dying in the cold.

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