Why Does the History Channel Have to Be So Bittersweet?

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Ignore everything last week’s episode of “The City” taught you about New York City and girls that work in Public Relations.  First, girls that work in Public Relations actually work as opposed to having fake jobs set up for them by a TV Network (Kelly Cutrone’s face when inquiring about Olivia Palermo’s employment was priceless and seemed to be the only real reaction ever given on any of the “Laguna Beach” affiliate shows).  Secondly, it’s not all sample sales and events and dinner parties.  Finally, Gramercy and Tribeca are NOT “Downtown” or downtown (at least not my true New Yorker standards.  The Financial District, that’s downtown).

Instead, let me tell you a little bit about this PR girl’s reality:

When not at work or attending work-related events, I’m usually under covers somewhere (my friends will admit that I’m notorious for making myself comfortable anywhere and often falling asleep in the process), reading a book or watching the History Channel (but my Blackberry is close at hand for staying on top of my emails.  Obviously…).  Ultimately, when I’m not working, I prefer to lay low and conserve my energy.

And this weekend was no different (granted, I was also trying to stave off a cold).

It was the “Seven Deadly Sins” week on the History Channel, and I committed most of those sins while I watched the marathon on Sunday (sloth, gluttony, etc.).  As the marathon wound down, I eagerly awaited the premiere of “Nostradamus 2012” whereby I would learn that we’re all doomed.

The aforementioned program delved deeply into a number of different civilizations that have each independently predicted the exact day that the world would be faced with the apocalypse: December 21, 2012.  The Mayan, the Hopi, Nostradamus, the Greco-Romans, etc. all believe that the galactic alignment (when the sun rise directly aligns with the center of the Milky Way, an event which only happens once every 26,000 years) will take place on that date and that we’re, for lack of a better word, screwed.

Believers think that global warming, the dramatic weather changes (such as the tsunami and hurricanes), the collapse of the US economy (“recession,” “depression,” whatever you want to call it), war (not just the Iraq war, but now the Gaza war), and more can all be considered precursors to what will be major devastation in 2012.

For two hours, I was riveted.

Then the show was over and I was left feeling… doomed.  I like to think that I’m not susceptible to believing everything I hear, but for some reason, if I learn it on the History Channel, I presume it’s 100% fact.

The same exact program could have been shown on any other channel and I would have been able to fall asleep with ease, not worried that I have less than four years to live (or live well, pending on whether or not you subscribe to the notion that the sun won’t even RISE after December 21, 2012, or if that date just marks the beginning of the end).  The same experts could have each independently contributed their findings for a peer-reviewed thesis paper on the end of days and I would have not batted an eye at it.

But the History Channel… it’s such an earnest beacon of educational programming and special effects that I can’t help but take its word as gospel.

And that’s what makes watching it so dangerous: I believe everything it tells me.  True, I should probably know better than to believe everything I read or am told on television, but I can’t help myself.

I can’t tear myself away from the History Channel, but at the same time, I scare myself silly with their frightening programs about Doomsday and what not.

So while Whitney and the cast of “The City” build their brands and pad their resumes with fake jobs, I work or sit at home, scaring myself via the History Channel.

I might be living a less glamorous lifestyle, but with all the man-hours I’ve put in the History Channel, should I happen to find myself at a dinner party, at least I’ll have something of substance to say…

Jackie for AMP3pr.com

Updated by Danielle Oct 30 2017

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