(quite a stretch) - that comes out to 35,040 (thirty-five thousand and forty) car ads betweenpurchases!). Rather, the "commercial" layer tries (successfully so, we must admit) to keep viewers'minds in car-buying mode all the time.The studios pay for the shows, and the advertisers pay the studios. The actual viewer is kept outof the loop. This may be a wonderful (and witty) solution for providing free entertainment for the public, onlythere is no such thing as free lunch (case in point: the philosopher's stone enterprise andperpetual motion research still have to yield any results). The studios have no choice but to bringthe overall quality of the programming to the lowest common denominator in order to get as manyfolks as possible to watch TV. The model has no provision for the specialized interests of someviewers, niche programming, demographic-oriented programming. A show that could potentiallyattract fewer than a million viewers (roughly speaking) gets rejected more or less automatically.Cable was expected to balance out the "dumb-down" factor by making the viewer pay actualmoney for the packages he or she purchased. The model used by cable television, however,differs but little from traditional TV. The viewer pays a ridiculously small monthly sum and is serveda whole bunch of channels featuring shows that are not of the viewer's choosing. The quality isonly marginally better than that of the big networks. As an acquaintance of mine once put it,"There's 500 channels and nothing to watch." The crux of the matter is that both models are essentially anti-free-enterprise and, in the finalcount, stubbornly and aggressively un-American. Which is a shame, of course, since moderntechnology can easily make television a truly wonderful source of quality entertainment foreveryone, and not just the "masses." Yes, there is a way to make TV perform fellatio less, and dosome quality work for the good of the American people. What I'm going to say now may sound nearly unthinkable, and even ridiculous, to some taxpayersand voters out there. It is nevertheless true. Here goes. It is the Federal Government's job to rescue television from the clutches of corporate-sponsored, watered-down socialism. Remember that like land, air, and water, airtime belongs to the nation, and not just a few facelesscorporate entities. Remember also that public space (and airtime certainly qualifies as publicspace) is subject to government regulation. No one should tell anyone how to run a business; andyet legitimate businesses are run in accordance with laws, and laws are made by the LegislativeBranch. False advertisement is an actionable offence, and yet this law is openly disdained by the currentTV model. The networks claim they provide knowledge (the news and History Channel) andentertainment (everything else), while in reality they provide nothing apart from advertising. Ourtechnologically advanced epoch, so different from the 1950's, calls for a new Federal law thatwould effectively ban companies from generating income by selling anything other than their ownproduct. Clothing companies sell clothes; farmers sell produce; landlords sell living and office space. TVpretends to sell knowledge and entertainment to the viewer, whereas it really is in the business ofselling public airtime to a handful of corporations.