Thursday, June 07, 2012

Notes from a TV Junkie ( I Like to Bitch)

"I have a life...I have a life...I have a life..."
TV: what do you really offer those sucking at your glass teat?

In short, I watch way too much. I know I'm doing it for one reason: to go into a state where all responsibility is vanquished. A TV coma, if you will. I don't want to do laundry or pay bills or a thousand other things that come before my pleasure. Dern it.

TV is just one element of noise in our world.

A few observations:

1. Masking reality.

 TV is fundamentally noise that keeps us from looking at the bare naked facts of our own lives. The noise level in my home is truly scary sometimes. I keep reaching for the remote to turn up the program and then quickly down when commercials begin their noisy assault on all our senses. It's like eating a fucking Big Mac- you know it's shit that you are eating, but it anesthetizes and dulls the brain. If there is silence, then I might start to think.

2. Everybody must get stoned.

 There were more TVs in the last restaurant I dined in than I could count. Between the conversations at our table and six others, the endless attention needs of my "nephew" who simple must show me every game he plays on his portable noise machine (teaching him social isolation and self-obsession) and the flashing madness of those screens, and the way too loud latino music, it was truly one insane environment. Is it just we Americans who are so in love with noise?

Fripp calls the background music in retail environments "NPUs" or Noise Pollution Units. I have to agree. Bridge Road Deli has the volume way too loud as the endless parade of over compressed hits vomit out of the black, round ceiling speakers. Home Goods had an inappropriately loud selection of contemporary "feel good" tunes while the women wandered about, with some of them looking so smug it was hilarious. (I love it when some haughty bottled blonde makes a passing and very judgmental glance at whomever I happen to be with or at me. Yes, you women do it! Don't try to lie.)

Kroger frequently tortures its customers with Nashville Faux: "extray" crispy ditties that have a hick twang with lyrics so obvious and subject matter that appeals to the everyday folk, surely not fake ass aged hipsters like moi.

 Dear Kroger: Please play anything by Brian Eno. Love you for it.

Ok, this is a bit much. Can I have half?
3. TV brings unrealistic expectations.

 No matter what we say, we have to feel more than a little envy when we see some celeb's crib and all the ridiculous and unnecessary lavishness. "The indoor Koi pond? Oh yes, Michelle so loves her fish that she wanted them near."

4. Reality TV is everything.

 TV brings us raving lunatics that, no matter how much they reveal themselves to be complete idiots, petty adult-children or outright hostile white trash, it doesn't matter because they are on the toob. The Kardashians- I rest my case.

"Then it puts the lotion in the basket."
5. TV creates nostalgia when there is none.

Why is Dee Snider on TV? I can't think of any more talentless Bozo than this musical joke and yet, I heard Gordon Ramsey introduce him as a "heavy metal legend." The man even is a commentator on one of those MTV metal talk shows.

Is there such a vacuum in American culture that we now seek out the opinions of the lead screamer of Twisted Sister?

We have fallen and fucking hard.

6. Thank you: HBO, AMC, Starz, Showtime.

I am engaged and grateful. Stories! Intelligent writing! How did this happen? Why didn't some suit ruin any and all possible chances for good shows to be on zee tube?

Hey PBS: there's a new game. Time to step up and realize that you are not the only choise for viewing with brains. I have enjoyed the Masterpiece Mystery series, but things are a bit lame-o otherwise.

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