TV scribe parks her pen


Houston Chronicle TV critic Anne Hodges wrote her last piece Aug. 1 after
40 years on the TV beat.

Here's one glimpse from her parting professional look at the medium:

"Television has shortened our attention spans and heightened our

"We want crises and conflicts to play out like TV dramas, with a beginning,
middle and end, tidily resolved in an hour of TV time. And when that doesn't
happen, we get anxious, and TV news pundits feed on our fears with the sounds
and furies of Crossfire, signifying neither news nor information.

"Television has changed us with what it brings into our homes. The creeping
coarseness of TV programs has pushed much more than a litany of vulgar words
into polite society. And with each September season, broadcast TV's no-no's
tumble in the rush to catch cable's anything-goes."