old tv

Dear Crabby,

I have been meaning to write for a while and finally got to it.

In the TV section of the Sunday paper, whenever they discuss a movie or TV show, they not only mention the stars but also the other shows they have been in. The problem is that most of the actors I have never heard of, and giving me a show or movie that I also have never heard of is not a help.

Then when I know an actor and a good movie or show they have been in, the one they list is an obscure piece that few people have heard of. It is annoying to have this happen every week. They should just give the actors and be done with it. It is a waste of space to list things they have been in that only their agents know about.

Thanks for letting me vent. Hopefully you can use your “bully pulpit” and have this changed.



Dear Frustrated,

This is such an oddly specific complaint I don’t really know where to begin.

I suppose THE beginning is as good a place as any. Scientific consensus says the Earth has existed roughly 4.5 billion years. Life on this planet goes back somewhere between 3.7 and 4.2 billion years, depending on which scientist you ask. (I asked Sarah. She says 3.7 billion.)

Human life is a much more recent phenomenon, with our earliest ancestors appearing 5 to 7 million years ago. And modern humans are newer still, having begun to evolve sometime around 300,000 years ago. The truly modern humans, those who did things like work with tools and enroll in supermarket savings clubs to earn points toward future discounts, have only existed about 50,000 years.

So humanity as a species is pretty much still just a baby. That notwithstanding, there have been an estimated 108 billion people alive on this planet so far. And none of them — not a single ONE, not your neighbor Bev from 20 years ago, not that kooky caveman Ooog from 1 million B.C. — has ever been bothered by the perceived obscurity of film credits next to actors’ names in newspaper TV blurbs. You’re the very first, Frustrated. You should be proud of that. I guess.

I don’t mean to suggest this isn’t a big deal — you’ve been “meaning to write for a while,” so clearly this is a genuine irritant — but it’s only a big deal to you. No one else. In terms of solutions, I suppose you could take it up with the good people at TV Media, the Ottawa-based syndication service that produces our TV section. I can’t personally help you, because I don’t have anything to do with that section. Even if I could, though, I’d prefer to use my bully pulpit to prompt change that effects more people, such as, I don’t know, uh, literally anything else.

Hope that helps.



Please send your questions, complaints and irritations to pmuir@yakimaherald.com with the subject “Dear Crabby.”