Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Day four of the sickness, and I am going slowly mad. I have left my apartment exactly twice since Saturday. On average, I cough, sneeze, or blow my nose every six minutes. I have eaten entirely too much soup. And I would sell my cats for a decent TV show to watch.

If nothing else, the sickness has given me ample opportunity to catch up on my cable news, and I am horrified by what I have seen. Could someone please tell me why the following stories merit international coverage?

1. The Runaway Bride: A woman gets cold feet before her wedding. This is news how?

2. Cancer: Paula Zahn profiles the disease for a full hour, and conducts a hard-hitting interview with her mom for the finale. See above.

3. What Happens After We Die: A Larry King Live special feature, complete with priest, pastor, rabbi, and bestselling new age author. Next week: Deepak Chopra waxes poetic about the tooth fairy.

4. Adultery: CNN presents an hour of in-depth reporting on the subject. Adultery is a new phenomenon, apparently. I blame the media.

5. Michael Jackson: Isn’t there a war on? Two, even?

And, while I’m at it, who let these people on television?

1. Nancy Grace, AKA the Lawyer: The former Court TV reporter now gets a prime-time hour on CNN Headline News every single night. She cries, she gets angry, she looks soulfully into the camera and calls the viewing audience her “friends.” I want to gouge her fucking eyes out.

2. Anderson Cooper, AKA the Hipster: Okay, so I’m supposed to watch his show because he plays the Strokes when it goes to commercial. Which means it’s cool, right? ‘Cause that’s exactly what I want in my news coverage. Cool. Yeah.

3. Sanjay Gupta, AKA the Doctor: If you needed proof that pharmaceutical companies run the world, this guy is it.

4. Joe Scarborough, AKA the Patriot: Is this guy for real? Seriously, this is performance art, isn’t it?

Obviously, it’s time to start taping the BBC World News again. Alternatively, I could stop paying my cable bill. Hmm...


Nick said...

I decided recently to go cable-less for the first time, and it feels good, but the downside is that I'm reading lots of news web sites these days to compensate. I'm coming to accept that us humans need a fixed amount of brain-numbing media in our lives. Perhaps it is a product of our culture that says we have to keep at least a vague awareness of the inanity that surrounds us at all times. If I were to unplug the Internet connection I might have the sudden impulse to subscribe to some Quebecor Media newspaper. I'm not willing to risk it.

khansahib said...

Sorry to hear that you are still under the weather. And glad to hear that I am not the only one saddned by network tv. If I may, check out Elimidate. It's by far my favourite show (next to MASH), and it's tv at its absolute worst. Think of it like failing an exam. No sense in getting %49. If you're going to fail, do it right. %20 or lower is the way to go. Elimidate rates at about a %10.8 on the bad tv scale.

Caron said...

Ugh -- hope you feel better soon, V. Do you get TLC in Montreal? "The Baby Story" and "The Wedding Story" offer great opportunities for sociological study of middle America, where getting married and having babies is what it's all about and CNN is the devil.

Vila H. said...

Nick -- Wise move. Though I bitch, I think I would die without brain-numbing media. Guess I'll keep the cable for now.

BTW, I thought your 05/02 post was positively brilliant. Do let me know if you ever find a non-chemical solution to the problem...

Vila H. said...

Caron -- We get both shows on cable, and I've even watched them on occasion. What I find most amazing about them is how slavishly formulaic they are. Maybe they could borrow the runaway bride?

Vila H. said...

Khansahib -- I *so* dig that you love M*A*S*H*! If memory serves, you said once that you prefer the later episodes. Me, I love the early ones, which were more Marx Brothers than melodrama. In fact, I once developed a crush on a guy solely because his laugh reminded me of Hawkeye. Is that wrong?