Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Give Me an Embedded Break!

A teaser at the top of today’s NYT Business Day, under the heading of Advertising, says: “Embedded Breaks. PBS’s ‘Nature’ and ‘Nova’ will start showing promotions in the middle of programs.”

Now I note this here on LaMarotte not in order to have a phony eruption of righteous indignation but merely to record the fact that PBS, in its very slow crossing of the Rubicon, evidently wishes to pause, mid-river, to take a brief embedded break. The fact is that our only public medium has been running advertisements for quite a long time already, enough so that exercising the mute button on that channel is also quite habitual—but, thus far, only while waiting for a program to start—or the next one to begin.

Ads, promotions, and Thank You Notes to generous foundations flanking shows, plus weeks on end of Public Begging Seminars, will now be joined by Embedded Breaks in midst of two programs only (for starters) is a little shiverish and saddening, but one gets used to it. The feeling is something akin to seeing Grandma in miniskirts, her once severe grey hair suddenly raised to a tower and dyed bright orange, her fading lips thickly over-painted by a lurid lipstick. One would like to drape her in a blanket, quickly, and put her in the van where the sunglare-glass is dark enough to hide her aging charms. Ambiguous emotions in which long respect, love, and a family feeling will not go away, where Grandma will remain forever Grandma, but please. Isn’t it perhaps high time simply to retire, to vanish from view? Honorably while honor is still possible? And we’ll pay for the tall fence to hide your degeneration from the prurient public eye.


  1. Oh, dear. What has Brigitte been up to while Monique and I have been away?!

    --John M.

  2. The word, John, was Grandma. Grandma, get it? As in Generic -- not the Siren of McKinley!

  3. Not to worry, John. No miniskirt or orange hair! I am actually wrapped in a long robe as I am about to take Katie out for her last pee of the day now. It is nearly l AM and no one to offend....