Author Topic: Is it just me, or...  (Read 4024 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Is it just me, or...
« on: September 26, 2006, 12:12:30 am »
... does anyone else here find television *really* irritating?

I flicked the tube on tonight, thinking I'd check out the Monday Night Football.  And who's playing, but the Falcons and Saints IN THE SUPERDOME.  I can't believe they didn't take a wrecking ball to that atrocity.  Hello?  People DIED there.  Horrible deaths.  And were attacked.  And lived in squalor because our country didn't give a shit about them.  And they're playing fucking football there?  What the holy fuck?

So I shake off that anger and think, all right, enough of that crap.  Let me see what else is on...  I land on NBC and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."  And in the space of about 30 seconds, I kid you not, I count not one, not two, but three gay jokes.  So I think, "Well, fuck this noise."  I fly through the chanels.  I get up to Showtime and stop on "Weeds."  In the space of 60 seconds, another derogatory gay reference.  But I think, "You know what?  I'm taking things too seriously.  Let me step back a bit and give this show a chance - I hear it's really good."  I see it through.  I like certain aspects of it, don't like others.  Get to the end of it and find out it's produced by my buddies at Lionsgate.  I about yak.

I just give about give up on the whole shootin' match altogether, but I come across "Pleasantville," just starting.  And I can't help but watch because it so perfectly matches my black mood.

Katie Freaking Couric doing the Evening News?  Fox "News" driving Bill Clinton to spew in the general direction of Chris Wallace (aka Shithead Extraordinaire)?  Homophobia passing as entertainment on what's perported to be the "biggest hit" show of the new TV season?

Screw television.  I'm watching movies from now on.  I've pretty much given up on the major networks altogether.  I can't help but take it all too seriously.  Somebody's got to.

I want you all to go to your windows right now, open them up, and yell at the top of your lungs, "I'm mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!!!"

The truth is, television is gonna get us.

Don't wanna be an American idiot - one nation controlled by the media.  Information Age of Hysteria - it's going out to Idiot America.

This country is going straight to hell, and TV is lighting the way.

_________________________________

(Sorry, y'all.  Just needed to partake in a good, old-fashioned American bitch fest.)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2006, 12:15:13 am by ednbarby »
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2006, 01:30:55 am »
Oh, don't be so shy, Barb, tell us how you really feel!  ;D

A quick couple of words about the dome: the horrifying reports of murders and rapes in there were later debunked (the papers doing the debunking were the Chicago Tribune and, I think, the LA Times). Apparently there is no evidence that anyone actually did die. I don't think anyone disputes that people lived in squalor, though.

Also, there's an interesting piece on Slate today saying that the dome, once widely scorned by New Orleanians (that was certainly the case when I lived there in the '90s-- it was hideous even before Katrina) has now become a beloved landmark and symbol of rebirth. Here's the story:

http://www.slate.com/id/2150341/

Also, did you see that your favorite band played there tonight (along with U2) for the big reopening celebration?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2006-09-13-superdome-rebirth_x.htm
« Last Edit: September 26, 2006, 01:45:57 am by latjoreme »

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2006, 01:51:59 am »
Barb, did you know that the pilot for Studio 60 has Judd Hirsch playing a Peter Finch type character (the one in Network who has people go to their windows and yell), going on live TV with a diatribe not unlike your own?  It was pretty good.  No gay jokes that I noticed in that episode. 

I don't seem to want to ever watch live TV, and didn't watch any til the TiVo moved in with us. 

And re Superdome becoming a revered landmark - that's what happened with the World Trade Center.  When I lived in NY a couple of decades ago, I never heard anybody say anything good about it. 

Offline alec716

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2006, 10:44:44 am »
I am one of those accidentally-countercultural people who does not watch TV at all... not so much by way of conscious decision, but just because since the passing of Murphy Brown, not much on the tube interests me.  I would rather do something interactive than watch TV, and I get my news from the internet.  I moved nine weeks ago and my TV is still packed!  Although I am starting to miss watching some of my concert DVDs.... and of course there is this DVD about some sheep herders who love each other that I really would like to see again soon...  ;)

I say BRAVO, don't let mass expectations rule you, and most of all, YES, PLEASE keep being so attuned to the subtle and not-so-suble references to homophobia and other hatreds.  It really is amazing how much denigration and prejudice and violence are expressed in so-called "casual" speech.  We can't counteract it unless we are aware of it.

OK, end of sermon.  That was my rant for this morning!   ;)  Thanks for listening.  :)
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2006, 04:26:45 pm »
I say BRAVO, don't let mass expectations rule you, and most of all, YES, PLEASE keep being so attuned to the subtle and not-so-suble references to homophobia and other hatreds.  It really is amazing how much denigration and prejudice and violence are expressed in so-called "casual" speech.  We can't counteract it unless we are aware of it.

Exactly.  The first "joke" was particularly denigrating.  I found it even more distasteful than the "Jake likes it in the rear" bit at the Espy's, if that's any indication.

Frankly, I'm more than a little disturbed at the major networks' apparent need to make the same lame-o jokes again and again and again.  Resistance may be futile, but as long as I'm breathing, I will *not* be assimilated.

(So, I just dated and outed myself as a Star Trek: Next Generation geek at the same time, there...)

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2006, 09:42:53 pm »
  Resistance may be futile, but as long as I'm breathing, I will *not* be assimilated.
(So, I just dated and outed myself as a Star Trek: Next Generation geek at the same time, there...)

You are SO busted, barb. ;D

Offline newyearsday

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2006, 05:34:47 pm »
There's certainly a lot of crap out there on TV, that is for sure. But I did watch a ton of TV when I was growing up, and I have to say I look back fondly on all those cheesy 70's and early 80's shows; life was somehow simpler then even though I'm sure they had their homophobic moments. Now things in the country feel more back-biting, more apt to stir up controversy, and more written for shock value. I don't watch much TV, except for the distractions it can provide and sometimes, the education. I just watched Oprah today with wife of former vice presidential candidate John Edwards' wife Elizabeth Edwards on as the guest, and it was well done.

I also have to say I love Conan O'Brien. He's nutty, and doesn't take himself seriously.

One thing though re: the Superdome, they did debunk the myths about the murders and rapes that were originally reported to have occurred (although we really have no idea; rapes could easily have occurred and not been reported since the majority of them never do get reported) but I'm pretty sure people died there, from not receiving medical attention and being diabetic and such. The lack of food, water, and air conditioning would have been enough for the elderly and the young to die. I get mixed up between the Convention Center and the Superdome, but deaths occurred at one and probably at both.
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Offline alec716

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2006, 05:45:48 pm »
I have to say I look back fondly on all those cheesy 70's and early 80's shows; life was somehow simpler then even though I'm sure they had their homophobic moments. Now things in the country feel more back-biting, more apt to stir up controversy, and more written for shock value.

Exhiibit A: 1974: Flip Wilson dressing as a woman and playing Geraldine on his comedy show.  Then, it was funny.  Now, it would be controversial.  Ugh.   :(  I still maintain that it was funny!
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2006, 06:59:18 pm »
One thing though re: the Superdome, they did debunk the myths about the murders and rapes that were originally reported to have occurred (although we really have no idea; rapes could easily have occurred and not been reported since the majority of them never do get reported) but I'm pretty sure people died there, from not receiving medical attention and being diabetic and such. The lack of food, water, and air conditioning would have been enough for the elderly and the young to die. I get mixed up between the Convention Center and the Superdome, but deaths occurred at one and probably at both.

Oops, you're right, Jenny. There were some deaths. Sorry, Barb and everybody, my mistake. Not only that, but I neglected to give the New Orleans Times-Picayune credit for breaking the debunking story! This is from the Times-Picayune:   

Rumors of deaths greatly exaggerated
Widely reported attacks false or unsubstantiated


6 bodies found at Dome; 4 at Convention Center

By Brian Thevenot
and Gordon Russell
Staff writers

After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies.

"I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying.

The real total was six, Beron said.

Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside.

At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies were recovered, despites reports of corpses piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been slain, said health and law enforcement officials.

That the nation's front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent. As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know.

"I think 99 percent of it is bulls---," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong, bad things happened, but I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything. ... Ninety-nine percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved."

Offline jura86

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2006, 07:58:35 pm »
Since we're on the topic of television, I've always been curious about a few things about American tv - how many network channels are there? Do most people have cable or satellite with extra channels in the US?

For most of my life I had four network channels on my TV (and still do while I'm at uni) but at home I have satellite television now with hundreds of channels (none of which I ever watch). I do think one of the greatest things about network tv in the UK though was the creation of Channel 4, designed specifically to cater for minority audiences, so they take their gay audience seriously. I didn't have Channel 4 for most of my life unfortunately (we don't get it in Wales! - we get S4C instead) -- but now I do, it is by far my favourite channel! Plus it has all the great US imports, like Six Feet Under, Sopranos etc. Is there a network channel in the US for minority audiences, or are they all pretty similar?

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2006, 09:41:23 pm »
Since we're on the topic of television, I've always been curious about a few things about American tv - how many network channels are there? Do most people have cable or satellite with extra channels in the US?

For most of my life I had four network channels on my TV (and still do while I'm at uni) but at home I have satellite television now with hundreds of channels (none of which I ever watch). I do think one of the greatest things about network tv in the UK though was the creation of Channel 4, designed specifically to cater for minority audiences, so they take their gay audience seriously. I didn't have Channel 4 for most of my life unfortunately (we don't get it in Wales! - we get S4C instead) -- but now I do, it is by far my favourite channel! Plus it has all the great US imports, like Six Feet Under, Sopranos etc. Is there a network channel in the US for minority audiences, or are they all pretty similar?

I remember when I was young, (1960's) Indianapolis only had 4 television stations. Channel 6 (ABC), Channel 8 (CBS), Channel 13 (NBC) and Channel 4 (Local). That was all we had. To make matters worse, Channel 4 was difficult to watch because the reception was so bad.  Later, Channel 20 (PBS) was introduced and soon after that Channel 40 (mostly religious programming). We were perfectly happy with the programming though. Back then, the idea of hundreds of channels would have seemed totally ridiculous. I mean, how many channels could you possibly watch??!!  :o

Today (at least here in the Midwestern U.S.) most people have cable, and many people have "upgraded" to the digital cable offering 200-300 channels. I rarely see satellite dishes here in Indiana. In the early 1990's some people gave it a try, but quickly switched back to cable.

I hope that helps you!  :)
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2006, 09:44:11 pm »
Oh, you asked about the networks here. I really don't know how many we have now. ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, UPN; just to name a few.

BBC America is popular too.  :D
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2006, 09:49:32 pm »
Since we're on the topic of television, I've always been curious about a few things about American tv - how many network channels are there? Do most people have cable or satellite with extra channels in the US?

For most of my life I had four network channels on my TV (and still do while I'm at uni) but at home I have satellite television now with hundreds of channels (none of which I ever watch). I do think one of the greatest things about network tv in the UK though was the creation of Channel 4, designed specifically to cater for minority audiences, so they take their gay audience seriously. I didn't have Channel 4 for most of my life unfortunately (we don't get it in Wales! - we get S4C instead) -- but now I do, it is by far my favourite channel! Plus it has all the great US imports, like Six Feet Under, Sopranos etc. Is there a network channel in the US for minority audiences, or are they all pretty similar?

We do have a cable channel called LOGO which is specifically targetted toward the gay and lesbian audience. If you have satellite or supercable, you usually get about 50 sports channels, 20 movie channels, 10 religious channels, the main 8 channels, 6 popular entertainment channels, 3 music entertainment channels, 20-something music channels that are just music... (I love the Showtunes channel myself).... 6 science channels, 6 arts and entertainment channels, 6 shopping channels, 6 kid's channels, 4 niche channels.... and I think that's about all of them.
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Offline Brokeback_Dev

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2006, 10:03:48 pm »
We have basic cable at home, Florida...about 100 channels, but its for my husband.  He watches a lot of sports swithes back and forth between games.  God he loves his remote and loves beer commercials.  While he is watching TV (I rarely watch TV, didn't even as a kid) I am here on the internet... Reading, typing, chatting and looking which mostly always revolves around BBM.

Offline newyearsday

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20/20 special on Steve Irwin is on now.
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2006, 10:10:56 pm »
For those who might want to know, there's a 20/20 special on right now about "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, on ABC. It's a tribute to what he worked for in the world (wildlife conservation) and who he was--a passionate lover of life.

Worth watching.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2006, 10:12:44 pm by newyearsday »
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Offline David In Indy

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2006, 10:15:17 pm »
For those who might want to know, there's a 20/20 special on right now about "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, on ABC. It's a tribute to what he worked for in the world (wildlife conservation) and who he was--a passionate lover of life.

Worth watching.

Thanks for reminding me or I would have forgot all about it. I just turned it on.
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Offline newyearsday

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2006, 10:27:46 pm »
Thanks for reminding me or I would have forgot all about it. I just turned it on.

I was just watching by chance. It's amazing. People in earlier time zones, set your VCRs or watch it. There's so much honesty and love coming through the small screen.
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2006, 11:55:19 pm »
It's frustrating not knowing if a "family-friendly" establishment means "we have chalk for coloring on the floor" or "we're a bunch of bigots.")

Where's the clapping hands smiley when you need it!  This is so true, Mel.  Thanks.  :)

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2006, 01:00:11 am »
(I might be a parent, but I don't really fall into the "family" demographic,

Funny! I was just thinking something like this a day or two ago. If I see the word "family" in the name of a publication/restaurant/entertainment offering/social gathering it's a red flag. I automatically assume that I won't be interested in it/feel comfortable there/enjoy it/agree with anything it says.

Offline Kelda

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2006, 10:02:14 am »
20-something music channels that are just music... (I love the Showtunes channel myself)....

are you serious!? How cool!!!!

meh. 100 channels - is standard?!

I pay 40 per month for my cable and broadband combined and I have nowhere near 100 channels!!!
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2006, 09:45:31 am »
are you serious!? How cool!!!!

meh. 100 channels - is standard?!

I pay 40 per month for my cable and broadband combined and I have nowhere near 100 channels!!!

Yes, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Think about it - you've got ditchdiggers walking around over there who are much more worldly and vastly funnier than our best comedians over here.  Why?  Because your brains haven't been turned to oatmeal by a constant barrage of inane television like ours.  I mean, who the hell needs 100+ channels?  I find I only ever watch about 10 of them.  And about five of them regularly.  If it weren't for "Lost," I wouldn't watch a lick of network TV (ABC, CBS, NBC, the dreaded Fox, UPN, the WB (or whatever the hell it is they've merged into now)).  Beyond that, I watch ESPN, HBO, Comedy Central, The Weather Channel (sort of a guilty pleasure - I go there when mind-numbing is what I'm looking for), and in a real pinch, MSNBC.  I can't even stomach CNN Headline News and CNN anymore.  That's it.

But the damage is already done in my case.  I grew up eating all my meals in front of the boob tube, and now I can barely think for myself.  Trying to keep the same thing from happening to my son is a real challenge.  I guess if I were a real hard-ass, I'd have my DirecTV removed, not buy cable, and only rent educational programs.  But then we'd be the weird parents who don't let their kid watch TV and he'd grow up stigmatized.  They watch PBS at his school, anyway.  There's no escaping it.

Be glad you're forced to pick up a newspaper, read a book, or take a walk once in a while.  Live by the tube, die by the tube.  Or something like that.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2006, 11:33:50 am »
Well, I say this with huge trepidation, but ... I actually think TV can be pretty good sometimes.

I know this is not the cool position. I once carried on a three-day-long email argument with a philosophy professor in which I defended TV and he trashed it. Gets tiresome. But I actually find it entertaining and often informative. Some programs, IMO, are just about as good as movies. Even network ones! It can be a problem if you find yourself constantly vegging out in front of the set, but I really only watch when I want to see some particular thing.

Coincidentally enough, I am having cable installed this very afternoon (no HBO, though). We had it for a couple of years, then moved and now have lived without it for the past nine months. I miss Jon Stewart. But otherwise, I'm not particularly fond of cable, because it does increase the temptation to just click around watching stupid things. If you can resist that, though, I agree with Barb, it doesn't matter whether you have 100 channels or 1,000 -- you wind up watching the same few, anyway.

BTW, Barb, if you want to keep your son from watching TV, just move to southwest Minneapolis, and he'd fit right in. Most kids watch TV there, too, of course, but some don't, and those who do are ashamed to admit it!  ;D


Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2006, 05:59:38 pm »
When the kid gets into school and figures out how all his friends know about Power Rangers and everything, though, I'm going to cave.

I did that, eventually, with video games. I vowed I wasn't going to enable that terrible habit. Then my sons started making such a fuss about it that, after a few years, I finally realized it was more of an issue NOT having it than it would be if we DID. And also, I began to wonder if my opposition to video games wasn't at least partly ageist -- that is, I'm suspicious simply because I grew up without them.

Many times, though, I have wished we could go live in the wild somewhere, or in a country so poor kids play with cornhusk dolls. I have gained a lot of empathy for parents who home-school their kids (not that I would ever do that in a million years; at least one of us would not survive the experience). But peer influence can be a real drag.


Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2006, 06:47:11 pm »
Pretty much the only show Miranda ever watches (she's 3 1/2) is Signing Time, which is a tiny jewel of a show on PBS (at 5:30am, but I TiVo it) where a family (a real family) with one deaf daughter sing and sign, with a different theme every week.  We sit and watch a half hour episode together about once every week or three, usually while I'm folding laundry and after a tiring day.  I am so grateful that so far she isn't interested in watching TV any more than that. 

Hey, I watched that episode of Studio 60 that started this thread and caught the jokes you mentioned, Barb.  I had a different response, and wanted to share it here:

The three gay jokes near the beginning of Studio 60's episode "The Cold Open"

1) Someone says to Matt and Danny (the two partner guys now running the show) something about them liking Barbra Streisand.  One then turns to the other and says, "Is she implying that we're liberals or that we're gay?"  The other replies something like, "Not sure there is a difference to her" or something like that.

2) One guy, to imply that someone else has job power over him, says something like, "I am SO his buttboy."

3) One of the same partner guys, in the press conference, when asked about the difficulty they will have working with the uptight, cranky boss guy played by Steven Weber, jokes something like, "Nah, from the first time we made love it was wonderful."

The main thing to me about these three jokes is that they are gay-related, but they are not put downs of being gay.  The first one is based on a stereotype that gay people like Barbra Streisand - or for that matter that liberal people like Barbra Streisand, yes, so doesn't get many points from me, but the other two don't seem pejorative at all.  That second remark is crude, but it's not the gayness of it that is shocking, it's the violation implied.  Anyway, I thought that they NORMALIZED gayness, not the other way around.  (I also am guessing that as we get to know the characters, that the Steven Weber character is going to turn out to be gay, but that isn't based on much evidence.)

Thank you for listening.    BTW, I loved the first two episodes, and am excited that for the first time in years I "have" a TV show, and that I'm getting in at the beginning.

Clarissa

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2006, 07:48:21 pm »

Be glad you're forced to pick up a newspaper, read a book, or take a walk once in a while.  Live by the tube, die by the tube.  Or something like that.

Television is getting very confusing too. God. Sometimes it seems as if I need a special college degree just to figure it all out.

TNN is now Spike. The WB is now The CW. PAX is now I. WNDY is now My Network TV. Bill Hemmer switched from CNN to Fox News. Tucker Carlson left CNN for MSNBC. Rita Cosby moved from Fox News to MSNBC. Greta Van Susteren left CNN and joined Fox News. Aaron Brown just disappeared altogether. CNN is now channel 66 instead of 23. MSNBC is channel 67 instead of channel 26. C-SPAN switched from channel 78 to 23. C-SPAN2 changed from channel 46 to channel 22.

Sheesh.

Good Night..... and GOOD LUCK!   ;) 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2006, 09:51:22 pm by David925 »
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2006, 09:01:49 pm »
In defense of TV (just for you, Katherine :)), my husband swears that everything he knows he learned on television.  And he is a walking encyclopedia of information.  He's a real whiz at coming up with factoids about submarines, zeppelins, swift boats, torpedoes - if it travels by air or sea, he knows about it.  And when someone says, "How in the world do you know that?", he always says "Saw it on TV."  I believe it.  He loves The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, Biography (when it's decent), and all manner of documentaries.

Clarissa, I don't think it was so much the context of the jokes themselves as the fact that they felt the need to have three of them in such rapid succession and so early on in the show.  One way or the other, somebody has an axe to grind.  I hope he's grinding it for our sake, but I'm not entirely sure.  Just turned me off that night.  I've known some people who were turned off for whatever reasons the first couple of times they ever watched "Lost" who are now utterly hooked - even moreso than I am - so who's to say I won't one day get a grip and enjoy it?

The one I'm really looking forward to is "Dexter" on Showtime.  Michael C. Hall (from "Six Feet Under") is playing a serial killer/vigilante/crime scene investigator.  Like Hannibal Lecter, he only kills other killers or the terminally annoying.  Sounds like something right up my twisted alley.  So now you see what you're up against.  ;)  Glad you're enjoying the show, though.  I know how much I enjoy "Lost" - spreading the joy around is a good thing.
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Offline newyearsday

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2006, 09:14:38 pm »
Quote
Television is getting very confusing too. God. Sometimes it seems as if I need a special college degree just to figure it all out.

TNN is now Spike. The WB is now The CW. PAX is now I. WNDY is now My Network TV. Bill Hemmer switched from CNN to Fox News. Tucker Carlson left CNN for MSNBC. Rita Cosby moved from Fox News to MSNBC. Greta Van Susteren left CNN and joined Fox News. Aaron Brown just disappeared altogether. CNN is now channel 66 instead of 23. MSNBC is channel 67 instead of channel 26. C-SPAN switched from channel 78 to 23. C-SPAN2 changed from channel 46 to channel 22.

Sounds like you got it all figgered out there if you ask me, David!

Clarissa, I like your take on the jokes. I didn't see the show but I can imagine that they were showing they *could* write a joke involving gay themes and not have it be derogatory. Maybe they are showing their hip-ness too, or trying to get ahead of the pack.

I just watched Lost this week for the first time (or mostly the first time--I've seen snippets once or twice before and not known what the hell was going on) and it seemed to be a re-cap of the whole series, or at least last season. I might dive in for more.

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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2006, 01:42:06 am »
Clarissa, I like your take on the jokes. I didn't see the show but I can imagine that they were showing they *could* write a joke involving gay themes and not have it be derogatory. Maybe they are showing their hip-ness too, or trying to get ahead of the pack.

i was figuring there is at least one gay writer.  Chances are good, right?

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2006, 02:07:07 am »
In defense of TV (just for you, Katherine :)), my husband swears that everything he knows he learned on television.

Thanks, Barb! I can't claim to be quite that erudite about it. All I know is that I can spend an evening watching decent TV shows, or I can spend it reading, or I can spend it sitting at the computer or, um, hanging out here ... and I can't say any of them is going to be automatically that much more enriching than any other. Except hanging out here, of course!  :-*

As for the "Studio 60" jokes, I watched that same episode and the one before it and enjoyed them both and didn't even notice there were any gay jokes. Now that Clarissa mentions them, I actually did hear those and didn't get offended enough to register them. (The third one, frankly, barely even strikes me as a gay-related joke -- the cranky boss once fired the partners, so the joke seems more about their rocky history than about sexuality.) Maybe I'd feel differently if I were a gay man, and I'd like to hear what gay men, or women, have to say ...?

But I think Clarissa has a good point, that there is a way of making jokes about our differences that is inclusive and normalizing rather than automatically offensive. It's hard to tell where the line is if you're not in the target group, but it's there somewhere. As a woman, I can imagine jokes that, despite stereotypes, are actually funny. (As long as I haven't heard them 10,000 times, like the one about wondering if the pants make my ass look fat. Because it looks fine. Really.)

Clarissa, your post came in while I was writing this. My understanding is that most of the shows are mainly written by this guy Aaron Sorkin, and I don't know if he's gay, but as far as I know he's not. But -- and I'm asking this of the general audience, not of Clarissa, because I'm curious -- does that matter?

EDITED this morning to condense, because when I write posts at 1 a.m. after drinking wine they tend to ramble ...
« Last Edit: September 30, 2006, 10:48:49 am by latjoreme »

Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Is it just me, or...
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2006, 09:18:29 am »
But -- and I'm asking this of the general audience, not of Clarissa

Whew, I'm glad I'm required to be exempt from that one, because I don't know.  :)

I remember years ago taking a boat tour around Manhattan, and as we passed a large car junkyard, the tour guide pointed to it and said, "Here is the ladies' parking lot."  And some people laughed, though not me of course, #&^$*  #@(*&@. 

After a while, we passed another car junkyard that was much, much huger, and he said, "And here is the men's parking lot."  I remember how much I loved the surprise of it turning out that the first piece of obnoxiousness was just a set up for a surprise joke.  Somehow that is my answer.