Tuesday, April 9, 2013

If Ever I Wished For Eye Bleach...

And now, a rare treat for your reading pleasure(?).  I hereby introduce my very own I Hate Popular Culture rant.  Enjoy(?)!

Let me start by admitting my own guilt, so that I can hate on everyone else without feeling too bad.  Our television is on for hours each day.  Most of the time, it's either tuned to a kiddie show for 6 y.o., or ESPN for Husband.  After the kids go to bed, Husband and I watch our shows, and they are, with a few exceptions, strictly for entertainment.  We don't watch many documentaries, or a lot of news shows, but we don't watch many reality shows, either.  We do tend to stick to shows that are, at the very least, thought and discussion provoking, rather than those that only leave us asking ourselves if so-and-so should have been voted off.  Many years ago, I did cast votes for the winner of Dancing With the Stars.

It was like his dancing shoes were filled with magical rainbows and shooting stars.  
Though I haven't kept up with watching every season of the show, it has been a guilty pleasure of mine for long enough to be able to tell a Tango from an Argentine Tango, and to notice when someone is too flat-footed in their Jive.  I've also watched many seasons of Top Chef, and, many episodes of Cupcake Wars, Chopped, and Iron Chef America.  I've watched many an annoying couple choose a house (that invariably has an open floor plan, finished basement, updated kitchen, plenty of room for their 2 yappy dogs to run around, hardwood floors, and is a little bit out of their price range), and I've watched even more annoying couples choose a house to fix up and then complain their way through the renovations, until ultimately bursting into tears when, surprise!, the professional contractor does a good job on the remodel and their house looks great.  I've watched small children's talented performances being picked apart by Howie, Howard, and Sharon.  It has been many, many years, but I must also admit that I did, at one (low) point, watch America's Next Top Model and The Bad Girls Club.  I can't even explain the appeal of those shows after having watched them.  They're just simply awful.  I cannot apologize for watching Hoarders, though, because I really, really like that show.  It makes me feel so healthy and normal!

I have never seen a Real Housewives episode- not even one.  I've never watched a single episode of Jersey Shore, Dance Moms, Toddlers and Tiaras, or anything with Redneck, Keeping Up With, or Honey Boo-Boo in the title.  I do have the gist of the horror of all of those shows, though, from watching Joel McHale poke fun at them on The Soup.
It was during an episode we watched last night that I, once again, found myself thoroughly disgusted by people as a group, and American television watchers specifically.  I will not share a video clip or link or picture here, because, as I found out the hard way, google doesn't understand that you might be searching for something just to make fun of it.  I really don't want to start seeing ads for any of the shows about the family whose last name starts with 'K' and rhymes with 'sickeninglystupidlargebottomednarcissisticthoroughlydisgustingandnotevengoodlookingshian'.  The video clip was from the actual show that follows these idiots, which actually aired on television, which people actually watched, and during which a lot of money was made.  Two of the Kbarfian sisters were talking about the smell of their respective private parts, and they then made a bet as to whose smelled better.  In order to settle the bet, they each wiped their lady part on a linen napkin and then had their third sister smell both napkins and vote for which one smelled the best.  As disgusting as the conversation, bet, and settlement of the matter were, I am not really upset about the occurrence of these events.  I am upset that the Kmorallybankruptian family makes approximately $65 million a year, and this is their job.  I am upset that 4 million Americans, on average, tune in to watch as they whine, shop, eat, drink, fight, yell, wipe and smell their way through life.
I'll let you decide whether I googled "K.K.'s vagina" or "disgusting skin diseases" to find this image.
During the hour their show is broadcast, there are approximately 4 gun deaths in the United States.  While millions watch the Kputridshians wipe and smell the private parts of their siblings, over 1,000 people in the world die of starvation.  30 children die of AIDS during that hour.  According to statistics, 1 person from the U.S. Military would have committed suicide while the wipe/smell/share thing was happening.  I know, I know.  It isn't the fault of the Ktrashians that so many people around the world are dying.  It isn't their fault that Haitian children have no shoes.  It isn't their fault that there are millions of homeless, jobless, ill and destitute people in this country.  If television executives are going to offer them gobs of money to be followed around by cameras and to say and do certain things, can we blame them for taking the money?  I guess not.  I mean, if someone wanted to pay me a 7-figure salary to say gross things and sit around on my generous behind all day, I can't say that I would turn it down.  And, according to the omniscient goog, they give a lot of money to charity each year.  So, much as it pains me to say so, my problem is not exactly with the Kspoiledbratshians.  My problem is with us.  We complain endlessly about the quality of the shows on television.  We know that the Kblahshian family should not be role models, and should not be admired, as they do not contribute anything of value to our culture.  We shake our heads and all agree that influential celebrities should have earned their voice, not by having a sex video on the internet, but by saying and doing things that are worthwhile.  All of that is true, yet I can't go a single day without seeing the K#@$%^&ian name in headlines.

Let's stop this.  Let's agree to make our ignorance purposeful, and ignore the people and things we all know we should hate, while paying attention to things that are important.  Child poverty, gun violence, mental illness, suicide, AIDS, world hunger--but it isn't just terrible, tragic things that need our attention.  Our kids need to be played with.  Sunshine needs to warm our skin.  Backyards need exploring.  Friends need a phone call, a laugh, to know they're being thought of.  Cookies need to be baked.  Running shoes need to hit the pavement.  Old ladies need doors held open for them.  Smiles need to be shared with strangers.  Closets need to be cleaned out.  Books need to be read.  Gardens need to be planted.  Spouses need a good, long kiss on the lips.  Letters need to be written.  Local government officials need to hear ideas and opinions from community members.  Volunteers are needed.  Laundry needs to be folded.  Floors need to be vacuumed.  Okay, now I'm just sharing my to-do list, but you get the idea, right?  If we all stop watching the garbage that's on television, they'll have to stop showing it.  For real!  It's going to take all of us, though.  Eventually, maybe the maid who had to launder the smelly linen napkins for the entitled, shallow, selfish individuals for whom she works will have to be fired because they can't afford to pay her anymore.  Maybe they'll have to drive themselves around and downsize to a closet that is the size of a bedroom instead of a whole house.  Wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a country whose people admired accomplishment and intellect over shocking scandal and manufactured beauty?  Can you imagine if the faces on the tabloids and magazines were actual heroes and villains of our time?  What if our teenagers knew world history instead of the dating history of models and sports stars?  My goodness, my heart is pounding as I think about all the possibilities!  I'm going to do it.  I'm going to set my mind on things that matter, and set my DVR to record shows that are not going to turn my brain to mush.  You should, too.

Have you ever seen anything worse on television than what I described?

Are you with me in my purposeful ignorance scheme?


  1. I've seen some other last-place contenders, and yes, I'm in.

  2. I have never seen any K----shian related show and I am feeling pretty good about that right now. Thanks for the warning.

    I will lend my efforts to your purposeful ignorance scheme. I will even try to ignore the headlines in the checkout line.

  3. We cut the cord on the cable/dish tv service years ago and have never EVER missed it. I only know those K people to whom you refer because I see them on the front cover of the rag mags in the checkout line at the grocery store. I'd much rather spend my time online reading lovely blogs like yours than watching the trash that passes for entertainment. Oh, and in 3 years without TV service, we saved enough to take the whole family to Disney for a week!

  4. I think our whole family would be fine without the tv service we currently have if not for baseball and football games. Watching highlights online just doesn't cut it. It is tempting to disconnect, though!