Monday, January 19, 2009

Still More Entertainment

Staghounds (there is at least some possibility of this being this fellow here) comments on my Denise Richards fan-boy drool from last November.

It's always struck me that a "reality" program where people, well known or not, are taught a genuine skill would be successful.

There was one in England called "Faking it", which I happened to see once, coincidentally when the subject was my own- a dancer from some club was being taught to compete in a horse show, though she had never been on a horse before.

The gun makers and NRA are missing a bet by not producing a program like that. It could be a series, follow a half dozen novices from first time through an IDPA competition, for example.

As it happens, I also caught that particular episode of the program Faking It and remember it quite favorably too. And I think horses think I'm edible, so unless our man is intimating he's also a go-go dancer (and having been in Texas 16+ years now I can say with authority that this is not the unlikelihood the stereotype would have it) I'm going to assume this is a confluence of his horsey interest and my life-long admiration for feminine practitioners of a universal human display ritual.

Staghounds and I are not the only one's to notice how the gun manufacturers are missing out on the media opportunities that abound today. While there are certainly more hunting-related programs to choose among (especially if you have cable), there simply aren't that many non-military related shooting-specific programs being produced, most particularly shows that deliberately appeal to the full spectrum of potential audience.

Further to that, I especially like his closing programming suggestion of novice shooters training up for an IDPA (or USPSA or Steel Challenge) competition (some overlap between those last two): call it American Ideal maybe (and piss off the Brit shooters no end; the rare double win that :)). Denise Richards completing such a challenge in an extended-length program debute would attract a reasonably diverse audience I think. That being followed by her serving as presenter (and occasional dose of reality to contestants) in a series of subsequent multi-contestant competitions lasting several weeks each, with all of the initial competition's winners meeting for a shoot-off as the season finale, would offer ample opportunity for entertainment, audience education and product endorsement I'm sure (and not just for directly shooting related products either). The contestants could be vying for a spot as a year-long corporate-sponsored competitor on the professional competitive shooting circuit perhaps. Toss in some nifty swag for qualifying at all and some runner-up prizes too, maybe. Given the interactive nature of modern entertainments, there are likely possibilities for audience participation in the competition to be investigated as well.

As long as the program format stipulates that the gender divide between contestants matches the national average, and further requires specific displays of scholarship in addition to shooting talent, then I think there ought to be sufficient audience to make such a program viable commercially and serve to counteract the plethora of negative stereotypes (and plain old lies) that abound today about gun ownership and responsible usage. All of which ought to redound to the gun manufacturer's (and other sponsors) increased bottom line, both as a result of increased sales directly and by means of increased awareness and acceptance of shooting amongst the general populace (who will hopefully not be shy about encouraging their elected representatives to a similar viewpoint too).

The emphasis amongst most shooters on hunting and political ideology is all well and good; the mechanism to achieving the greatest degree of general acceptance of shooting and gun ownership however will be achieved through explanation of the civic and personal development that derives from such. Verily, it has been said:

Folks, you own every bullet that comes out of your gun and everything it touches. If you can't control exactly where it lands, you have no business toting a pistol in public.

Or even, sayeth himself, any sort of firearm at all. Anywhere. Ever (or at least until you better school yourself). The concept of personal responsibility simply cannot be better illustrated in my opinion then it has been above. Making children aware from a very young age (4? 5? depends on the kid, I suppose) about how to recognise a gun's safety condition without need of handling it (you can see if there is a magazine in the well or rounds loaded in the cylinder if nothing else), and to not be any more afraid of this particular power tool than they are of Mommy's or Daddy's driving the car, ought to be one of the earliest efforts made to teach children about personal responsibility and the positive aspects of self-interest. From such purely individual lessons can come introduction to the historical, mathematical and philosophic connections that exist between all of us and our predecessors.

It doesn't have to be a personality-numbing progression of impersonal names, dates, places, numbers and mystical psycho-babble after all, and self-reliance has to be one of the most universally desirable qualities parents anywhen have for their children. An entertaining program that encourages and validates just such thinking amongst the viewing audience ought to be one of the principle mechanisms by which gun, ammo and ancillary equipment manufacturers reinforce their market and consumer base. That such is not already the case to a far greater extent than is evident strikes me as one of the ripest opportunities available in the present and near-term social and political climate throughout much of the English-speaking world.

As ever, these speculations into the possibilities that arise from strategic thinking have value (to me at least) in their own right. In this case, I'm in - well, negotiations is probably too emphatic a word to describe the circumstance - I'm talking to someone about certain specific applications of this general line of thinking. Unless and until either those talks result in something concrete or die the quiet death most speculations achieve, I'm leery of saying over-much on this topic just yet. Leave it for the moment that a goodly sum of money is potentially involved and that a final course of direction has yet to be determined. Hopefully, there will be more to follow on this in days anon ...

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