from Citizen Bacchus - Monday, November 07, 2005
accessed 1193 times
The joys of television
Itís a little before 3:00pm on a weekday and my generous employer has seen fit to give me the day off. In between class at noon and whatever it is that I should decide to do this evening, I plopped myself down on the couch, seized the remote and set out to find what it is that the unemployed find entertaining in a Monday afternoon.
The first program on my limited and cable-less set of options is Judge Hatchet; a frail women who screams like a giant and seems determined to make herself both seen and heard in every traditional and stereotypical ghetto black woman way imaginable, all while carefully concealed behind the majestic robe of judgehood that is fashionably set on her shoulders, draping over a much exposed woollen suit and glittering jewelry. This is a Jerry Springer show disguised as a judicial process. In this case, the blind lady of justice is dressed like a clown, spilling amusements onto a crowd of misfits.
In the studio... I mean courtroom today is a couple in which the woman is soon to be found to have cheated on her boyfriend; and by the way of a prolonged and emotion revelation is made abundantly guilty of birthing a bastard child -that is the correct word here right? Bastard child? The boyfriend is upset, furniture is flying and tempers are flaring. Judge Hatchet, with her infinite wisdom and JcPenny-like fashion, is waiving her postulated finger at the young, dumbfounded woman, who was at that moment going over the rolodex in her mind of all those cocks that may have lead to this embarrassing fruition.
I am left after the program wondering and marveling at the miracle of science -that it should give us such delightful tools as DNA testing and lie detector tests, without which none of these delicious programs would be possible.
Having then revitalized my own cynicism and overall contempt for the human species, I set out to change the channel. Yet not without taking careful note of the commercials for technical schools and so-called colleges that promise high school diplomas and nursing certificates. Ahh yes, the nursing certificate! I once met a woman who had one of those. She poked my arm with a needle so hard that it hit the bone, completely missing the vain by several inches. And then with blood gathering up under my skin in something called INTERNAL BLEEDING, I managed to elicit the knowledge that she had indeed completed two weeks of rigorous technical training that granted her the highly unattainable and prestigious certificate of phlebotomy specialist. Oh I felt so comforted after that! Itís not as if they hand those things out to just anyone.
Next up was Judge Judy, with her pretty little ruffles on her judges gown. Though not quite as flamboyant as judge Hatchet, judge Judy is vicious! She even has a strange rendition of Mozart as her opening theme, as though to convey a hint of class, or as a cheap excuse to not pay for a professional jingle. I will obviously be perplexed for sometime over the correlation between Mozart and a cheap hack of a television show.
I change the channel with my eyes rolling like a distressed teenager unable to convey my contempt for the current situation.
Oh! Oh! Itís inside edition! Kate Moss is out of rehab! Tom Cruise is still crazy! And the cheerleaders for the Carolina Panthers got into a cat fight with some other women at a bar in Tampa Fl. Hooray! My mind is officially catatonic and I therefore count myself amongst the most informed of our society.
Commercials then click on with advertisements about diet pills, antioxidant yogurts and fitness centers -yet before I change the channel, I am somewhat bemused to learn of a poodle on antidepressants.
Changing the Channel I learn that Montel is talking about child sexual abuse. I donít want to hear that so I change the channel again, but not before witnessing yet more commercials for technical schools.
On the next channel Dr. Phil is helping newlyweds, and I quickly find my testicles shrivel, dry up, and then beg for respite from the awful cuteness of petty marital squabbles.
I change the channel with no hesitation.
Pokemon is on the WB, and the commercials are filled with toys and junk food. Followed by a surprising advertisement for yet again another technical school, so that even the average six year old Pokemon fan can someday dream of receiving their certificate in air conditioning repair.
I am of course also gently reminded of all the wonderful upcoming social dramas on the WB where young white suburbanites will wax endlessly about teenage hysteria and fashionable bits of dogma: shows like One Tree Hill, the Gilmore Girls, and Seventh Heaven. There is also that incredibly stupid one about three witches starring the girl who used to be in a sex cult.
On my way out I channeled over to PBS, my haven from network stupidity. But all that was on was an educational show for children, which is an encouragement. And I am left to wonder if it is at all ridiculous that parents should want to censor what their children see on TV, and if modern entertainment isnít anything more then networks throwing whimsical distractions at a population too stupid to tell the difference between fantasy and reality and too unconcerned to find out the difference for themselves. No wonder there is a class divide in this country, look what we are feeding each other!
All I can say is thank Yahweh for books and cable. Because Network Television is shit!