Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The World of the Dead

March. In bed. Sick. Crawling out from under a two-day television and knitting binge. Writing this because of crappy (I do like it--but not all at once) television--what's on and the reception.

Channel 7--the best of the worst (in terms of reception), clear with intermittent jagged line. Soap opera with evil grandmother witch and small children who often speak in word bubbles, note especially the sound of the disappearing bubble and the dramatic irony. Channel 5--somewhat fuzzier, picture in and out. My favorite soap, the one with Vicky/Nicky, Jess/Tess, the mother daughter pair of multiple personalities--or more an evil twin kind of thing, the 'alters' getting into major trouble, the 'mains' having to straighten things out.

On to prime time and Wife Swap. Stay-at-home family, home schooled in medieval culture with special attentions to dress and shoes and rutabagas and parsnips, meets kickass, cell phone owning, working and socializing 21st century family. Could the differences between the two families be any more extreme? "The man is king" versus "My man cleans." Next up on Super Nanny four unruly girls and one unruly sister/sister-in-law entertain with tears and jeers and hugs and potty training. Finally I shut down my television and what's left of my bubble gum brain with the tear jerker Miracle Workers during which children undergo life altering, sometimes lifesaving surgeries. Little Adrian, with a severe case of scoliosis, repaired, but not without keeping thousands of viewers in suspense as we wondered whether or not he'd be paralyzed after the surgery. 19-year-old Emily, with Tourette's, an electrode placed in her brain to ease the tics that make it difficult for her to do anything. Miracles. Absolutely. But for entertainment purposes? Folks across the country sit comfortably on their couches, watch from their beds, eat chips, Cheezits, ice cream, pepperoni sticks, as doctors take knife to child. It's o.k. because the viewers already know the outcome. These are miracles and only the miracle episodes are aired. But the not so lucky of the children--their episodes. Those don't get aired. Too sad for television. Too sad for entertainment

Front of sweater. Finished. Sleeve cast on. Stitch after stitch after stitch after stitch. Knitting through endless advertising in between endless television, the girls of L.A. Weight Loss telling me about how guys now look at them on the beach. Telling me that if they can do it, I can too. M&Ms floating to the tune of an Iron & Wine song, the one from the movie that I never saw. And the people who want to sell me furniture and Clorox wipes. I hope they get stuck under a trundle, the one I can buy for only $99. Or trapped in a dung smeared bathroom with nary a Clorox wipe to be found.

This. All of this. This means it's time to turn it off. Turn it off. Turn it off.

Turn it.

Off.

And reenter the world of the living.

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