Lately I've become addicted to the CBC documentary series 'Man Alive'. They play two old episodes (mostly from the 90's I think) back-to-back on the documentary channel. It's hard for me to catch it because I'm usually working, but when I get a chance I try to catch both episodes.
When I went about searching for a link describing the show I was stunned to find "Man Alive explores expressions of faith, spirituality and religion in today's world." - from the CBC site. I had no idea it was a non-denominational religious show. I have read that the mandate became more open-ended as the show aired for many years, but I really thought it was about sociology and human life in general rather than human spirituality. I mean there was a whole episode that was just a racing, manic interview with Camille Paglia and who the hell even knows what she said in those 30 minutes. I had to keep muting the volume to prevent hurting myself. Last night I watched an excellent show about lying and another about the effect absentee fathers have on developing boys. I didn't agree with a lot of what was said in that episode but it was still interesting.
I also caught a part of an old episode of "The Nature of Things" (another fave) on child development during my lunch break yesterday. I was stunned during a segment on child rearing in a kibbutz in which they filmed naked children of all sexes showering communally... and shown without pixelation. I'm not stunned because I think it's wrong, but because it is something they would never show on television now-a-days. It was interesting to note how much we've backtracked in many ways both socially and culturally during the last 30 years.
I really miss documentary programs like 'Man Alive' and 'The Nature of Things' (which btw is currently still airing new programs) in which fragments of the human condition are examined. These days similar programs tend to focus on popular culture or celebrity rather than on human life in general. Now that I've finally kicked my tabloid habit I could give a fuck about the screwed up lifestyles of the rich and famous. I want to know what makes all of us tick collectively and individually.