kill the writer

May 22, 2010

I’m trying to be more observant. Paying better attention to my surroundings and the people around me. Even to what I hear on tv. Once I started doing that, I vetoed every show I’ve ever watched.

First, I felt shock and abhorrence. Then, after those emotions came an action. Laughter. It’s no wonder we have so many programs mocking the embarrassment that is cable television. That’s the kind of laughter I’m talking about. Mocking disbelief laughter. The way someone might laugh at the ridiculous woman who honks at the old man in front of her, in a drive thru line, because he’s not putting his car into Drive fast enough–that pitying, I Can’t Believe This Is Happening Right Now, kind of laugh.

We all know the shows. They’re similar to people. Vapid and self-obsessed; repeating the same problems week after week. Never knowing when to change or just to stop talking about it. Case in point, The Hills, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Two and a Half Men, and all talk shows, where hosts try to keep audiences interested week after week, whether it’s with the aid of a dog in a tutu or a prank call to the hospital. Hilarious! Or, of course, the talk shows that try to hit us right in the gut by interviewing real-life people, “just like me.” Because I know that all I want in my day is more stories about the hardships of life. I especially enjoy Dr. Phil who spouts off every proverb ever found in a fortune cookie but in nice hickish drawl so no one will notice.

Just as a recent example, I’ll quote The Hills. Need I say more?

-I just want her to be happy.
-Screw that. I don’t want her to be happy. I, like, want her to be normal again.

(Yes, your idea of normalcy is totally on point.)

-I’ve never had to deal with people losing their minds when it’s not due to some kind of substance.

(Well that’s a relief. You sound like you know some really great people.)


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