Monday, March 14, 2005

Out of Touch:

Read a wonderful little story in the New Yorker about a man who comes to America. In it, he speaks of the idiots who play football. And, oddly, this simple observation from a stranger within our strange land struck a deep chord in me.

There’s so much stupid shit within our society, like football and also: Bush, hockey, 99.9% of our ‘news’ (which has already abandoned the stories Gannon-gate (Please click on it. It's a google news search. There are 4 in the list, the first on why the media is abandoning it) and is abandoning the rendition policy quicker than Rove abandoned decency), Martha Stewart, Jackson, Tump, Reality shows, cable shows, lust of money.

I feel like a stranger in my native country. I’m out of touch with Americana, especially since this last election. Hey, don’t get me wrong. I believe the meritocracy myth as much as the next buddy, Joe, Frank, or Winthrop. But over the last few years I’ve feigned interest in things like football and basketball and our utterly trivial and meaningless current events like who won the superbowl, world series, Gov Terminator. It is so much expected of me that somehow I started to rise to this expectation. Before I knew it, Americana has actually gotten within me. I've been turned into an Americana mole. And so I didn’t mind talking about who I’d like to see in the big game, any game, if Jackson is guilty. Hell, I'd even start the conversation.

Who in the fuck cares?

Then again, who in the fuck cares about Somalia, Somalians excluded?


Blogger laurenbove said...

Okay, I'll admit to one of my really secret fears. It seems to sort of connect with what you are saying.

My fear (probably, hopefully mere fantasy) is that America is run by this illuminati-like group. They program us all, (no matter how intelligent and self-posessed we believe ourselves to be.)

They pelt us on the radio and tv with subliminal images. Ex: Britney Spears. "You will love her." We will play her ad infinitum. You will see her in ads on tv, print, radio, you will want what she sells. Her clothes, her pepsi, ...

Just look at the tv and radio. There are very few classical or jazz stations on the radio. You're forced to sort of bop to hip hop, even if you don't like it. You're given limited choices.

8:53 AM  
Blogger marybishop said...

LB says: My fear (probably, hopefully mere fantasy) is that America is run by this illuminati-like group.
Well if it is they have a collective 5th grade education...or that's what we get out of the modern day experience.

Everything in our life is created for the lowest common denomenator. You go shopping and you have to try on a dress with a big fat plastic dohickey stapled on to it because some people steal.

You channel surf and find that almost every channel on tv has some idiotic reality tv show or some inane comedy because of the lowest common denomenator viewers.

Formula writers get rich on writing the same book over and over again, because of that lowest common denomenator.

We go out to eat and get huge plates of heavily breaded crap to appeal to the lowest common denomenator yet again. Quantity not quality is the mantra of the day.

Sports used to be somewhat interesting but now we've got multi-millionaires pumping up with steroids and playing like they're doing you a favor.

You look around at your friends and colleagues and realize you aren't one of them but you have to relate, so you relent and watch the big games, become culturally literate on "50 cent" and Puffy and Simon on American Idol.

And we wonder how Bush got elected?

10:22 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

I'm embarrased to know who 50 cent is. Yet I proudly professed ignorance to that Simpson woman who lip synched on SNL.

And I have no excuse, but I can't tell Mozart and Handel apart. I'll blame my parents who turned me against it.

4:35 PM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

Okay, I was with you until you mentioned American Idol the coolest ever show on tv! Simon is just...sublime.

A tad hippocritical? Oui, Perhaps. But, have you ever been maniuplated so deliciously that you actually - like it?

A.I. - my only vice. Other than that I'll listen to Cassandra Wilson, Brad Mehldau, Wynton Marsalis and watch nature shows, PBS and NOVA on TV. What harm can come to me?

6:14 AM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

BTW: DOC, my opinion of you just went up geometrically, nay... exponentially due to your lack of knowledge on the Simpson woman. 50 cent is fucking Mozart compared to that insipid simp. Well Done.

Why did your parents interfere with your appreciation of classical music. I'm stymied.

6:16 AM  
Blogger marybishop said...

The difference between Handel and Mozart.

Handel sounds like this: dum dum de dum de dum dum de dum.

Mozart sounds like this: dummdedummed dumme dum dum dum de de dum dedum dedum dumde de dum.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

Well, by simply listening to it my parents (in particular my father) made it very uncool. And so I still recall the first time I heard Pet Shop Boys as a teenager. First tape: U2, War.

"Handel sounds like this: dum dum de dum de dum dum de dum.

Mozart sounds like this: dummdedummed dumme dum dum dum de de dum dedum dedum dumde de dum."

Oh, now I see.

9:28 AM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

Loved U2 Boy. I was a U2 fanatic in school. Funny, I still know all the songs by heart, yet Bono seems less cool to me, somehow.

Parents can make things seem uncool by their very usage of the thing. However, what if your parents are actually very cool? By default, one must become uncool? Or relent and go along?

How bout Jazz? Did Dad like Jazz? Jazz is very cool.

3:22 PM  

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