TV: America Revealed
My Dad always says that as you grow up, you become less and less concerned with yourself and more and more aware of the people around you. "America Revealed" is a PBS program that tries to give the viewer a similar sense of perspective about the country we live in:
Each episode of the series follows host Yul Kwon in a cross-country journey about a particular facet of American life: energy, transportation, manufacturing, food. Along the way, the show talks to salt o' the earth types that contribute to the enormous machine that is America circa 2012. These interviews are reason enough to watch "America Revealed" - Kwon is an amiable presenter, and he seems to genuinely admire and respect the power line repairmen, steelworkers, farmers, and the thousands of other people that keep America going.
Being that we're in a recession, the program has its fair share of alarmism (bad news sells newspapers). Our food supply is growing ever more centralized and fragile, our energy production is loaded to the breaking point, our transportation grid is overworked and made for a 1950s population. Somehow, though, "America Revealed" remains optimistic: the problems facing us are big, but they're not beyond fixing, especially for a nation that built the Hoover Dam and created the Internet. It's a perspective worth sharing.