Author Topic: Is it just me, or...  (Read 4084 times)

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.