Do you want more Independent TV?

A group of independent filmmakers called the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) want the FCC to mandate that 25% of Prime Time TV be reserved for independent shows. I don’t think this is a bad idea.

I’m not writing about this because I want to see better movies or better television (which I do, for the record). I am writing about this because more than being an issue about specific content, this is an issue about gaining access not only to the media, but to the people.

From the article:

“In this new world of media behemoths,” IFTA writes, “creativity and diversity of programming are sacrificed to the bottom line; fresh and engaging dramatic and comedic productions stand no chance of being purchased from outside producers when the buyer can produce internally another repackaged version of the same old low budget reality and game shows.”

We have been talking a lot about the media and media reform this year. I think that this is an important topic because, simply put, media matters. Images matter. Perceptions matter. These three things play a large part in dictating how people interact with one another.

A need for a new perspective

How does that connect with independent films/TV shows? Well, independent film and TV are traditionally expressions of viewpoints and styles that differ from the mainstream. By mainstream, I mean corporately-controlled media (Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS), which represents the majority of what we see on TV. Generally, things that are different, or things that contrast their surroundings, stand out in the artistic realm. If one were to consider the TV/film industry as an “artistic realm,” then it seems only natural then that the “difference” represented by independent content producers would not only exist, but it would be embraced by both the industry and its audience.

Despite a few successes that are noted in the letter, this has not been the case. Why not? Do the principles of art not exist in this particular artistic realm? In a word, no. They don’t exist because the art has been corrupted by money and greed, which both have the potential to corrupt literally every and anything they come into contact with in excess.

The money comes from us consumers, who are more than willing to pay good money for bad TV. The greed comes from media companies wanting to hoard all the loot for themselves. For the SAT heads, an analogy: NBC, Disney, CBS, and Fox are to the TV/film industry what OPEC is to the oil industry. They are literally locking their industry doors and preventing their “opposition” (read: independent producers) from even getting a chance to reach an audience. No one is even given a fighting chance to see different images than one these big media companies spit out. No wonder people stereotype me, Garlin, the computer nerd, when I’m walking down the streets with a black hoody on: Viacom’s BET Encyclopedia on Black men says that I’m a threat to society.

What to do about it

Let’s celebrate uniqueness and diversity in people and in expression. Let’s encourage the media to do the same.

One Love. One II.



About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

One response to “Do you want more Independent TV?”

  1. Willie McDonald says :

    Report: The Truth about Global Warming-The Apocalypse
    In the future the only thing to eat will be other people
    By: Willie J. McDonald
    Non- Fiction

    Apocalypse, and global warming are one in the same. Global Warming, and the apocalypse what ever you want to call it, can be stopped! Please read this report. In the name of God the world must listen to me, before it’s too late! Please do not trust the US government in this matter. Unlike the US government I don’t have any conflict of interest. I’m an expert on the subject of global warming. The American governmental scientists are knowingly lying to the world about global warming. Telling the world green house gases are causing global warming, so the oil companies can continue to pump crude oil. The truth will cause a world wide economic collapse, but the alternative is far worse. The real reason for global warming is the earth’s orbit around the sun is decaying, in other words the earth is moving closer to the sun, and the moon’s obit around the earth is decaying, It’s moving away from the earth at 4-cm each year. Two leap seconds had to be added to the atomic clock, because the earth’s rotation has decrease in speed. Some scientists are saying the days will increase from 24 hours to 25 hours in a day. This is due to the sun’s light, and rays covering more, and more of the earth’s surface, and that’s due to the earth moving closer to it. Unfortunately, these trends will continue to worsen. I’ve studied this phenomenon since July-1983, warning people of the coming destruction, and death. People called me crazy at first. I understand the weather was normal at that time, but now the weather is beginning to support my findings. December- 2007: Houston, Texas is experiencing warm sunny winters, a record high of 81degrees. Eventually Houston’s winters will completely disappear, as time goes on.
    Houston, Texas (latitude- 29.75 north) is the perfect place to observe global warming, what’s occurring in Houston in the winter will occur with other country in Houston’s latitude-29.75 north, and 29.75 south of the equator during both of their prospective winter. South Africa (29 degrees south) is experiencing warmer, than usual warm winters, and tornadoes in winter, which is very unusual for that region. Houston’s winters are being replaced by warm sunny days, and that not normal for Houston, Texas. The sun is over the southern hemisphere now, and in the past the sun’s direct, and peripheral heat, and rays stayed within the southern hemisphere, away from the equator, and the outer edges of the polar ice caps. The sun is thousands of times larger, than earth. The earth has moved, so close to the sun that it’s peripheral rays, and heat has spread over the equator (latitude zero) from the southern hemisphere to the southern part of the northern hemisphere, where Houston, Texas is located, and the sun’s peripheral heat, and rays has spread over the outer edges of the south pole, and is melting the ice. The same thing will occur, when the sun reaches the northern hemisphere. The peripheral heat and rays will spread over the equator, and heat the northern part of the southern hemisphere, and melt the ice on the outer edges of the North Pole, Just ask the governments of Greenland, Iceland, and the city of Alaska-USA about their melting ice packs. Talk to the people of Venice Italy about their rising ocean.
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    This trend will continue, until all the ice in both polar ice caps is melted, and until winter no longer exist in both hemispheres. Back, and forth the sun will melting one polar ice cap at a time. The ice is melting faster in the summer months, faster than it can reform (build up ) in the winter months. There is enough ice in both polar ice caps to flood 85% of the existing land mass of this planet. The warmer the winters, the hotter the summers. The direct heat, and rays from the sun will intensify as the earth move closer, that’s the area of the earth the sun is stationed directly over. I grew up in Houston, Texas. I remember the hottest part of the day use to be 12:00 noon, now its 3:00 o’clock in the after noon.
    This is more evidence of earth’s orbit is decaying. December- 2007: The thunderstorms, and floods that occurred in the States of Oregon, And Washington State (latitude: 45-49 degree N.) was suppose to by a snowstorm, after all its winter, but the atmosphere was too warm to support a snowstorm, so a thunderstorm was created instead, the flooding was extraordinary. January-2008 tornadoes touch down in the mid-west of America (32 degrees 50.5’ N), causing death, and destruction in the millions of dollars. Febrary-2008 many tornadoes touched down, and killed dozens of people.
    The only different between a snow storms, and a thunderstorms is the temperature of the upper atmosphere. The position of the sun to the earth determines the temperature of the upper atmosphere. This is the type of weather that will dominate in the future, floods, and tornados during the winter months, when these storms are not suppose to develop. The weather will go from one extreme to the other, from flooding to droughts in various parts of the United States, and the world. Eventually the sun’s heat will dominate this planet’s weather. Food production will gradually come to a halt, because of the harsh weather. As I said in the past global warming has nothing to do with C02 gases, R-12 gases, CFC gases, a hole in the ozone, the sun going nova, methane gases leaking from the ocean’s floor, or green house gases, as you will see in the future. Global warming will not be reverse by ridding the atmosphere of these gases.
    Some of these gases have polluted the atmosphere since the industrial revolution in America, and Europe. In the early 20th century, before emission devices were installed on automobiles, and trucks the air in many cities was, so polluted it blotted out the sun, And cause breathing problems. There was no global temperature increase during this time period. Global warming is in its beginning stages, and will gradually get worse. It will not occur over night, and the winters will diminish gradually, over the decades. June-1978: I went to the mountains of Big Bear, California. I looked down on the city of Los Angles, California. The greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, trucks, and industrial activity was, so bad a very noticeable thick haze formed reducing visibility by 30%.There was no noticeable spike in temperature in Los Angeles, California, during that period. Carbon dioxide is poisonous to all mammals, including humans. If the levels of C02 gases are, so high why there haven’t been reports of carbon dioxide poisonings, such conditions require hospitalization. Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California has the dirtiest air ( greenhouse gases) in American, but not the highest temperatures in American. The state of Arizona, New Mexico, and Midland, Texas has the highest temperatures in America consistently, so the green house gas theory don’t make sense.

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    The reason the earth is moving closer to the sun the molten core of this planet is cooling, and that’s because it’s not getting enough crude oil (fuel). The oil companies drill into an oil well to extract the crude oil. These oil wells are actually self- pressurizing fuel cells, and over time the crude oil extraction process used by the oil companies releases the pressures needed to force the oil into the outer core. All oil wells (self pressurizing fuel cells) must be capped off, and the pressure within them brought back to normal, so the crude oil can be forced into the outer core. This will raise the temperature in the core, and strengthen the earth’s magnetic field, and push the earth away from the sun. The higher the temperature in the core the stronger the earth’s magnetic field, and the cooler the temperature in the core, the weaker the earth’s magnetic field. The core is cooling, because it’s not getting the fuel (crude oil) it once did, before man discovered crude oil, and new uses for it.
    Everything that generates energy, or expends energy needs fuel, and the earth isn’t any different from any other machine. People, and animals derive their energy from food, plants derive their energy from water, and sun light, automobiles from gasoline (a crude oil derivative), and thunderstorm, snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes derive their energy from electro-magnetic energy generated by the earth itself, these storms are electro- magnetic phenomenon. The earth (a machine) generates a magnetic energy field from the inner core, and it is derived its energy from combustion of crude oil in its outer core. I was told by other scientist there’s not enough oxygen in the core for crude oil, and/or its components to combust. This is not true, the earth’s core residual temperature is between 5000 to 7000 degrees Celsius, and that’s hot enough to melt steel, and its hot enough to combust crude oil, and its components, when they come in contact with the core, despite of the lack of oxygen in the core. Besides one of the components of crude oil is oxygen.
    People take the earth’s magnetic field for granted, because it’s invisible, and silent, you can’t feel it, or smell it. The magnetic field holds people, object, and the oceans to the surface of earth. It keeps the air we breathe from escaping into space. It protects life on this planet from the harshness, vacuum, poisonous gases, and radiation of the surrounding universe. It protects life on the surface of this planet from sun flares, and it locks the earth in orbit around the sun, locks the moon in orbit around the earth, and keeps the earth at a safe distance from the sun, and moon. Contrary to popular belief the electro- magnetic energy in thunderstorms, winter storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes, etc. are not generated by sunspots, neither, sun flares, nor energy from deep space striking the earth’s magnetic field. The energy in these storms are generated by the earth’s magnetic field. The earth acts as a generator’s armature. The sun rotates the earth at one thousand miles per hour, the earth’s magnetic field brushes against the magnetic field of the surrounding universe. The electricity that’s generated is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, and dispersed throughout the earth’s atmosphere, where it gathers water from the atmosphere, and forms thunder storms, and from thunder storms into other weather phenomena, tornados, and hurricanes, etc. The electro- magnetic energy in a thunder storms can carry hundreds of million of gallon of water, and weigh hundreds of millions of metric tons.

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    That’s just some of the things earth’s magnetic field does. The earth is a machine, a self-contained biosphere designed specifically for our life form, and fueled by crude oil. These fuel cell (oil wells) can be re-pressurized by igniting the methane gases in them. In fuel cells thought to be empty, such as spindle top in Beaumont, Texas. It will be necessary to pump in a mixture of air, and methane gas, and ignite the mixture. The gas will expand, when ignited creating the necessary pressure to force the remaining oil into the core. These fuel cells extend for thousands of miles, from the upper crust down to the outer core of the planet, the oil companies can only drill less, than ten miles down.
    There are millions of gallons of crude oil remaining in these fuel cells, and they are located all around this planet for even heating of the core. Uneven heating of the core will result in a shift of the earth’s axes, and the earth has shifted on its axes by 15 degrees (As reported by NASA).
    Normalizing the flow of crude oil to the core will increase the temperature in the outer core, and the outer core heats the inner core, which generates the earth’s magnetic field. If the pressure in these fuel cells (oil wells/ reservoirs) were placed back to normal pressures, and left alone the temperatures in the outer core will stabilize. My report is the only way to save all life on this planet. More evidence that large quantities of crude oil are combusted, and sustain the high temperatures in the core, every conceivable by-product, and/or residue of crude oil is ejected from volcanoes all around this planet, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, the tremendous pressure in the core, and the dark smoke that’s ejected from volcanoes, etc. Volcanic eruptions in the past occurred more frequently, and they occurred in various parts around the planet, and were much more powerful, than present day eruptions.
    The materials ejected from volcanoes originate from the outer core. There is a point of no return, because it will take decades to reheat the core back to normal temperatures. Volcanoes are the earth’s exhaust system, and the means by which the outer core rids itself of spent fuel, and volcanoes regulate the pressures in the outer core. volcanoes extends from the surface of the planet down to the outer core. Volcanic eruptions in the past were far more powerful, than volcanic eruptions in present days. This is more evidence the core is cooling. The higher the temperature in the core, the more frequent, the more wide spread, and the more powerful the eruptions. The cooler the temperature in the core, the less frequent, and the less violent, and the less wide spread the eruptions will occur. Many volcanoes are lying dormant, and haven’t erupted in many decades.
    Crude oil is capable of generating temperatures found in the core, after all crude oil is a hydro- carbon, and hydro-carbons are used to melt, and manufacture steel There are three types of hydro- carbons, crude oil (a liquid), methane (a gas), and coal (a solid). It’s sample, oil wells(crude oil reservoirs) are the earth’s fuel system, crude oil is fuel, the outer core is the engine (this where the fuel is burned, the inner core is the generator (it generates the magnetic field), and volcanoes are the core’s exhaust system ( where spent fuel- crude oil residue, excessive pressure, and debris is ejected). Like cars, trucks, airplanes, and rockets. The earth has a fuel system, engine, generator, and exhaust system, just like a car, airplane, or rocket. Car’s fuel systems, and engine generate torque, aircraft, and rocket’s fuel systems, and engines generates thrust, and the earth’s fuel system, and engine generates a magnetic field.
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    The tremendous pressures ejected from volcanoes are due to the combustion of crude oil in the outer core. The gases in all hydrocarbons expand, when ignited, and will create pressure in an enclosed vessel, such as the core of this planet. There are two different diagnoses, but only one right solution. Please don’t close your mind to my findings. The one thing that frightens me the most is the lies the leading scientists are telling the world, and the world believes the thing these scientists are knowingly lying about. Once these scientists notice their plans to reverse global warming is failing. These scientist will come up with another explanation for global warming, and convince the world this time they got it right, and the world believe them. I say again eliminating green house gases will not reverse global warming, and/or stop the earth’s orbit around the sun from decaying.
    My solution is the only correct one. The leading scientists are wrong about everything, cleaning the air will not reverse global warming. Please keep an open mind. If we choose the wrong solution we will leave our grandchildren and great grandchildren a future that doesn’t exist, It will be a hellish existence. In the future the weather will be, so harsh it will be very difficult to grow plants, and to raise farm animals, what I’m trying to say is in the future the only thing left to eat will be other people. The leading scientist will think of another excuse for global warming, when they realize they are wrong, and their plans are not working. Please don’t let them do that, time is running out! If the earth past the point of no return, or if the core temperature drops below the flash point of crude oil, all is lost. Don’t focus on the fluctuation on the weather, and the temperature from year to year, focus on the weather trends, and the trends are its getting hotter, the ice in both polar ice caps are melting, and the oceans are rising. Global warming is in its beginning stages, we are not going to burn up over night. The heat from the sun will dominate earth’s weather slowly. Don’t just focus on your local weather focus on the world weather, and temperatures. It’s important you see the big picture. This is not the time to be superstitious. Global warming- the apocalypse is not cause by the wrath of God, Its cause by man’s ignorance, and greed. The crude oil extraction process is compromising this planet’s fuel system. There are three primary types of entities, the elements, living things, and machines. Rock, soil, and air are part of the elements, the earth, cars, airplanes, and electrical appliances fall under the category of machine, and trees, and animals fall under the category of living things, Can you see the difference? I prey you can.

    Mr. Willie J. McDonald
    2601 Holman Street
    Houston, Texas 77004-USA

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