Twain, Travels and TV in the Daytime

“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life.  The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.” – Mark Twain

Because I adore Mark Twain’s intelligence, wit and way with words.

* * *

My impending move and travels have been delayed by poor health and exhaustion wrought by debilitating neck pain (and, relatedly, shoulder and arm pain). It’s been quite the enduring and ongoing issue chronically for six months, acutely & chronically for three. Living with pain, immobility and most of all lack of restful sleep is exhausting. I’d wish it on no one.

That long story skipped, as said, my move and travels have been delayed but not scrubbed. As a traveler near and far all my life, I’ve never experienced being downright grounded by a physical ailment.  Which isn’t to suggest that travels have always occurred in my best of health! Sure, I’ve been sick, tired, worn out, even exhausted in travels and relocations. Difference is, until now, I’ve never been physically immobilized. It’s not fun. It ain’t pretty. And I do NOT wear it well. My dad knows of what I speak on the deep, deep need for mobility. He knows like no other. The apple fell not far from that tree.

Sooo …. travel is, however, around the corner as I regain my strength — thank God for sleeping meds! — and with it a relocation. While blog-worthy, those aren’t the topic of today’s post.

Today’s topic is daytime TV. While immobilized on the couch by exhaustion and neck pain for the good part of last week, I took it as opportunity for education and enlightenment in American culture as reflected in daytime TV. I dared to view to learn what America watches and talks about around the water cooler at work … those fortunate enough to have jobs and/or the willingness to work, that is.

One word: YIKES!

Another word: WTF?! (well, technically three words)

Still other words: You have GOT to be kidding me!! Are we REALLY THIS STUPID?!?!

One-word answer: Yes.

Which isn’t to disregard or dismiss quality daytime programs. For example, PBS (educational public TV) has solid positive programs, such as the cooking show featuring Dutch oven cooking and French recipes that’s on as we speak.

The talk shows are the worst, to my taste … “Ellen” (self-congratulatory and “too cool” in a not good way) … “The Talk” (a buncha libs and catty females to boot) … “Wendy Williams” (whose tell-it-like-it-is manner I admittedly like but 10 minutes in she’s annoying).

Then there’s the SCREAMING WOMEN in all these audiences. Oh. My. God! Reason enough to switch the channel. And I do. I have to. I must have the ears of a man because I cannot STAND that high-pitched cheering, shouting and whopping that females do — and only females can do. Ear-bleeders.

Apart from that, I just don’t like or identify in any way, shape or form with hordes of women (never mind their ear-bleeding vocal pitches). I’d rather watch paint dry than those audiences and hosts. Hostesses?

What can I say about “Jerry Springer” that hasn’t been said a million times already? Trashy. America at its finest hour. Not. And yeah, I do think the rumor’s true: Those are actors.

Some of the game shows are all right, like “Let’s Make a Deal.” Comedian Wayne Brady, of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” fame, is affable, funny and enjoyable. The audience costumes are entertaining and the show’s quick and lively pacing is, if nothing else, a relief from the overblown egos of the talk shows’ hosts.

Public TV’s educational shows (i.e., cooking, travel) score points.

But my favorite has gotta be “Judge Judy.” Now there’s my kinda woman! She’s bold, direct, forthright and commands respect for the process, facts and law. She knows she’s on TV but she doesn’t play up to it — UNLIKE Judge Ito, the joke of a judge in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. P.S. He’s guilty.

Judge Judy tells it like it is, brokers no fools and rewards no idiots. I like that. She’s smart, on the ball and she runs her courtroom with discipline and regard for the law. She’s the judge I would be had I gone to law school (as I’d seriously considered) and become a judge. I know I was one in past lives and tolerated NO NONSENSE and took no prisoners. I only sent the deserving to them. 🙂

The short of it is I see a lot of myself in Judge Judy.  If only all of America’s courtrooms were run like hers, the country WOULD be a better one by leaps and bounds.

So I’ve done my part, in small measure, by plugging into what turns Americans on in terms of daytime TV shows. With the occasional exception, I’m extremely hard-pressed to say it becomes me or reflects me. The level of intelligence is pretty damn low,  the sensationalism and drama (phony or otherwise) pretty damn high, and the PC crapola, coupled with the ubiquitous attitude of Everyone Else Is To Blame and I’m a Victim and I’m ENTITLED, range from nauseating to revolting. To my sensibilities and values.

And btw, Rachel Ray, who’s been cooking like forever on TV, is even more fucking annoying! … which I didn’t think was possible!

Obviously my brief foray into American televised culture left me with quite the (enlightened) mouthful … and mush for brains were it a habit.

Three words: No thank you.

Case dismissed.

Watching daytime TV: I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. YOW! I can't think!

Watching daytime TV: I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. YOW! I can’t think!


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