the circular runner

why do i keep forgetting how much TV in the morning sucks…

In humor, life, media, observations, politics, writing on January 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Most days I don’t think about it. I go about my business blissfully unaware, and that must be why I always forget how dumb I think cable news is. My wife is a baker and on Mondays and Tuesdays she gets up extra early to go in and help her mentor who teaches a class downtown. I love that she’s so devoted to her craft and to Chef Betsy, who is this feisty and amazing artist/artisan. Because it is so early and because public transport kind of sucks at that time of day, I get up and drive my wife. If I plan things well, then I pack my stuff up and after dropping her, I go to a Starbucks where I do my writing business as I struggle through a crap-fest espresso.  By the way, I recently noticed a disturbing sign hidden in a corner of the store that says something about something called Acrylamide and cancer and the coffee they are serving me, which is disturbing, but I’ll get to that on a future post (if I survive).

This morning, I did not play my cards right. My teaching work is kicking up a notch now that holidays are done, and I’m editing down a short movie, which is also disturbing, but not in the cancer-disturbing way, which I will also discuss on a future post. So this morning, I come home, exhausted. My head feels heavier and bigger than it already is (I have a giant head) and I can’t really focus. I sit in front of the TV and think to myself that it would be nice to catch up on some news. What’s going on in the world? I ask myself. Like so many of us, I live in a bubble of my own making, insulated and out of touch.  Sad sad sad, right?

I turn on the TV, which is set to Comedy Central from the night before because when push comes to shove, The Daily Show is probably better than most TV news when it comes to telling you about the world. I know this at night, but after a night of insufficient sleep, I forget. Of course, Comedy Central at 6 am is not about smart TV; it’s about selling stuff. This morning’s infomercial was called “Raising Your Brazilian Butt” What? Really? What does that mean? Do we all have Brazilian butts even if we are not Brazilian? And even if I can accept that? How does one lift a butt?

I did not stick it out to find out. When I changed the channel,  a woman was speaking into the camera, which occasionally cut to a couple before-and-after pictures of this her butt in a bikini. Hey, I will say this much for the ad: there was a difference. Butts can be lifted, I guess. Whether or not this woman had a Brazilian butt, however, is still a question in my mind.

I turned to MSNBC because I used to watch some of their afternoon shows before I became saturated with the liberal equivalent of Fox, which isn’t an equivalent at all.

Like Jon Stewart says, Liberals, join me at Camera 2: we are not good at one-sided arguments. We just come off as lame and reactionary. For all our attempts, it’s obvious we aren’t that confident in our positions–and rightfully so. We are Liberals. And Liberalism is all about flexibility and change, which means you can’t go around yelling how correct you are. My Conservative Brethren, you are good at hunkering down and not moving easily. That’s also good. That’s who you are. Let’s all keep our roles in check, shall we?

Anyway, the show on MSNBC was all about Florida, at least it was when the channel wasn’t playing commercials.  (The were none about butts, but many were about toilet paper, which is related.) Also related to butts was the the show I tuned in to, which is called The Morning Rundown and which is crap. Does irony live? Well it does on MSNBC because after watching that thing for ten minutes, I was feeling rundown. I know that’s an easy one, but really, the only name that would be better would be the Morning Beatdown, because the word, “beat” has so many connotations that fit the occasion: as in, I was beaten down by the faux-earnestness of the show. 2. I felt that most of things said were a form of mental masturbation. 3. I was so bored, I was starting to think about actually masturbating.

I know, TMI. I’ll stop there.

Chuck Todd, the host, of MSNBC used to be the numbers-guy, the go-to guy for number-crunching analysis. I never really got the feeling that he was a numbers guy for real, though. It always felt like I was watching a weather man throwing out facts that no one aside from an expert would really be able to process. An expert would also know why Mr. Todd wasn’t saying anything worth saying, but I am no expert. I just sense his lack of expertise.

Now, Mr. Todd has his own show, which also feels like I’m watching a weatherman except now the weatherman is front and center.  There are some biases at play for me, I’ll admit. Watching Mr. Todd try to fill an hour with his pretense at seriousness is not easy, but there’s also the fact that my wife has filled me with distrust for goatees.  I have a beard and goatee, and usually,  I like goatees. But there is something about Mr. Todd’s facial hair that makes me see my wife’s point. I won’t say what my wife says about goatees, but her descriptions of them has a sexual component and not in a good way, and I have already gone down that path once on this post, so I will stop.

CNN was no better. Andrea Mitchell, who I grew up watching on the news, has her own show. I will admit that I have a little crush on Ms. Mitchell. What can I say? She’s smart and I like her voice. She’s a lot better than Mr. Todd, but CNN has more commercials, I think. And though I can buy Ms. Mitchell’s non-goateed earnestness, the show is all talking heads spouting their talking points. There is no journalism. No attempts at giving viewers facts and letting us figure things out. There are Democratic strategists and Republican strategists and former strategists and all they can do is say what’s expected: Romney is the odds-on favorite. Obama is raising a lot of money. Super-PACs are bad. They are good. Blah blah blah.

andrea, oh andrea, please stop the lamers from speaking...

If you’re wondering if I turned to FOX, I didn’t. I know I should be fair. But if you watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report enough, you get a feeling that Fox and Friends is offensive–less so for its political approach, which is what it is, but for the silliness that ensues when the hosts speak. Chuck Todd is also silly, but his political positions are less clearly stated and I’m trying to root for his facial hair. The FOX team has no facial hair and a lot of unserious conservative guests, so  I just can’t go there.

I know I shouldn’t get mad about cable news. I’m like Charlie Brown hoping and hoping that cable news will not take away the football at the last moment. But like Charlie, I’m a Libra (yes the Peanuts have signs), which means I’m ever the optimist. I eventually turned off the TV, had some breakfast, and trimmed by beard and gave thanks for it and for the day ahead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: