FEBRUARY 4

Television can’t always be evil. According to NPR commentator Steven Stark, “Television’s ubiquity makes it a pop-culture version of the air we breathe.” In his book, Glued to the Set: The 60 Television Shows and Events That Made Us Who We Are Today, Stark canonizes 60 programs for their influence on American identity. His choices do reflect cultural history, but they say more about the baby boomer he is rather than the medium itself. Why trust an author who argues the importance of Howdy Doody, despite its mediocrity, but excludes Matt Groening’s cartoons? Ask Stark why he thinks the Simpsons are irrelevant when he speaks at 6 p.m. at the Museum of American History’s Carmichael Auditorium, 14th & Constitution Ave. NW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Tina Plottel)

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