keryx: (kills fascists)
I finally read the Health at Every Size journal that [livejournal.com profile] firecat sent me many months ago. I left it on my parents' kitchen table, so maybe they'll read it, too.

In this journal is an article about the Biggest Loser show. The article's not particularly revelatory (unless you didn't know about the show or fat politics), but it tied together this thing I've been thinking. People keep telling me about television they watch. So much of it sounds thought-provoking or just plain good. Teevee seems to get better and better at making interesting use of the medium. Between the quality of much television and others' conversation about it, I feel more and more like not turning it on is tuning me out of the dominant culture in a way I don't like. I'm not really that radical.

But then. So much of teevee is also like Biggest Loser. The whole reality genre seems designed entirely on the principle of schadenfreude. Or even flat-out dislike of other people. It's so exaggerated.

Worst of all, though, as I realize each time I visit my parents and watch their teevee, are the commercials. People keep telling me they don't watch commercials, don't pay attention, are somehow immune. I? Don't think that's true. It's not that you stare in rapt attention at the screen - if you did, at least you'd have a conscious part of your brain to check the validity of whatever message you see and hear. Instead, you don't pay attention and you imagine yourself immune to hundreds and hundreds of seconds of little intimations of the many ways you should hate yourself. And slowly they seep into your pores. They become what you think.

I swear, I'm not all that radical in this regard. I didn't think these things about television advertising before I stepped away from it for awhile. I've watched a lot more teevee with commercials (I do use a television - I've got netflix, and tapes of things, and I have a ton of movies and shows) in the past month or so than I had in probably the previous 6 months. And I? Can actually feel myself become more angry and strident. Two options present themselves - defense (kick television) or surrender (buy whatever tool of self-hate is on offer). I choose, hardly consciously, angry and strident. These are, I think, perfectly valid responses to the barrage of me-hate.

They're just not responses I want to have. I think, right now, that I'd like to be a quiet and reasonable example. As much as I can. I'm not sure I could do that and consume anymore teevee. What about you? Do you watch teevee? Can people truly disconnect from it enough to not consume the crap with the good? I don't think that ever really worked for me.
keryx: (Default)
So, I'm home sick (I keep insisting in my mind that I'm not sick, but then sneezing incessantly and acting kinda wobbly and cranky), and I'm watching West Wing 6. And there are things in Faith Based Initiative that I think somone must have been trying to offend humorless feminist hags with. Like, within the first 2 minutes, we have Josh & Toby calling a temp "this girl" and the camera pointedly watching CJ put on lipstick. Cause, you know, that obviously means she's still a girl despite the whole chief of staff thing and the allegations of lesbianness.

Hee. It's like there was a bet that someone couldn't get angry feminists to call in at the same time as the pissed-off "pro-marriage" people.
keryx: (tummy)
I watched 8 whole episodes of Gilmore Girls yesterday (it was a lazy day), and in the midst of them had a moment of argh.

At the beginning of one episode (specifically, the one where Kirk does the 'journey of man' dance), there's totally random banter between Luke and Lorelei about shopping. They have a bunch of bags. She pulls out a pair of underpants much bigger than her and they chuckle over some horrible crack about how the underwear are in hiding from the OMIGOD ENORMOUS woman who would wear them. Cause even inanimate objects don't want to touch the Dread Fat Chick. It was so out of place in an otherwise snarky but not mean show. Here's a show where almost all the actors playing supporting characters are round or otherwise not "standardly" attractive, and it's not a big deal. WTF?? There were so many other things about those underwear to mock, too - they were all shiny and polyestery and pink beyond human comprehension.

And the joke was just so effing casual, like of course the invisible fat chick is humorous. Is that how the culture thinks about fat? That even relatively hip, liberal types still readily deride the invisible fat person, but act like they're totally cool with the non-invisible one?

Sigh. The true test of cultural decency is, I think, our ability to not be asshats to people who aren't standing in front of us.
keryx: (zaphod)
I've decided that Firefly fanfic is my new magic anti-stress treatment. I know some of y'all pay more attention to such things than I do so - please, feed my relaxation and point me to the good stuff.

Due to tragic lack of Firefly iconnage (which you are also, of course, welcome to remedy), this post is sponsored by my Zaphodic pick me up icon.
keryx: (tummy)
You're probably exactly the wrong crowd to ask this question, given that I'm probably more of a teevee watcher than all y'all put together. But I'll ask anyhow: any of you seen Fat Actress?

We don't have Showtime, and I was honestly not all that interested [I really don't care for Kirstie Alley, and she has never been a candidate for big fat media icon in my book.], but with all the kerfuffle in the fat activist community about it, I went ahead and watched the damned pilot on Yahoo (available via the BFB post on the topic).

My verdict: It is ass. But just because it's a truly, truly stupid (and thus, in my mind, also unfunny) piece of badly acted schtick. I really do think it's supposed to parody the ridiculous race, gender and size stereotypes it presents; it's like Chris Rock, but less incisive and smart. A lot of other fat activists have been really offended as they watched the show, though - very hurt and defensive in their responses to the stereotypes (you know, fat lady eating cheeseburgers in her pjs in her car kinds of things). Is it because fat is such a contentious area? Because the stereotypes people accept as truth about fat folk are so ridiculous already that you can't really go over the top enough to make it clearly parody? Or just because the show's so patently not funny?

I don't know, but clearly it's not as dismissable a show as I thought.. What do you think?
keryx: (Default)
Can you be friends with someone whose politics are fundamentally different from your own? Could you have sex with that person? Feel romantically towards them?

I heard this thing on NPR... I don't know, maybe 2 weeks ago... about people putting aside their politics to date. I don't even remember it anymore, but it made me almost absurdly angry - that your political stances could be considered akin to a hobby, and not even a particularly committed hobby at that. There are very few people I count among my friends with whom I differ politically on more than just priorities, and there is absolutely no way I could date someone like that. Are other people that much more poltically apathetic?

In other news. I just realized I have Brother Justin's coat; I got it at Hot Topic. And Scudder is Lydecker? Lydecker was also the wacky soldier dude in Hair, which I only recently saw in toto. The man's following me around through my teevee, I tell ya.
keryx: (Default)
So, [livejournal.com profile] catchstars asked me for a television-related rant. What I have in me today is more a pronouncement, followed by a completely unrelated rant that's kind of tangentially about the Today Show.

The pronouncement: all good television currently on the air in some way or other owes a debt to Parker Lewis Can't Lose. I mean, there are the obvious influences: Scrubs, for instance, is PLCL with doctors instead of high school. But even shows like the West Wing owe PLCL big for proving that writing to a 5th-8th grade comprehension level didn't mean writing down or writing badly, and that wit is in fact viable on television. Wit sells.

The rant: I think young people need to rise up and topple Katie Couric. )
keryx: (fat chicks)
I was really prepared to be deeply offended by this, but my baser ("Mia Tyler is hotTtXxOMG") nature enticed me into watching one - and ONLY one - episode of the "Celebrity Fit Club" show.

And awwww... little Mia called stoopid trainer boy out for having warped views of attractiveness and health where weight is concerned.

It's otherwise complete crap, but it was nice to see probably the most famous person on the show remind people that the health and fitness professionals advising people on fitness are more influenced by cultural biases and misinformation than most folk.
keryx: (pomegranate)
After the first episode of annoying ER-esque drama, Carnivale is back to its usual opacity. Whew. I was worried. Does anyone other than me actually watch the show, though?

In other slightly odd news, I think my feet may be shrinking. I put on a pair I'd bought last year this morning, and it was like I was a little kid wearing my mom's heels - there was a pronounced gap between my foot and my shoe all around. My feet are small enough as-is. GRRR.

This weekend, I watched a couple of movies, caught a teeny little cold, and spent entirely too much on dance-related stuff.
keryx: (Default)
I decided yesterday that I needed a break from certain types of politics and "serious" news media. These things have been depressing me in a way that induces body loathing, which just makes me more depressed. And kinda stupid.

Today I feel better. Instead of watching morning news, I watched the weather report and then skipped to MTV. And instead of NPR, there was the CD the boy made me. Sadly, the MTV thing seems to have taken more, because I still have Britney Spears' "Toxic" in my head. It's danceable.

It's also funny that I consider watching MTV a valid media hiatus activity. I think the network represents all the things that inspire people to demand killing one's television on bumper stickers: a conglomeration of sales tactics, sexification of everything/one, exploitation of youth, etc. [On a side note, everyone I personally know who had one of those stickers was an avid videogamer. I'm not sure they realized that killing their teevees would kill their joyous gaming experiences. So I might be a little cynical about anti-TV folk on account of the ones I've known being so - um, clever.]

Personally, I find the MTV strangely harmless. At least their infotainment is obviously tainment, not always disguised as info. I like tainment.

Er. Now I'm rambling.
keryx: (Default)
I wish TWOP would cover some of the idiotic ABC Family Channel movies I watch. It would allow me to believe I was watching these things with irony.

But the truth is, I am a sucker for the stupid movie. Last night's being no exception. Yeah, about once a quarter, they release a made-for-cheesy-cable movie based on your average formulaic romance, and I almost always watch them.

i ramble some more about 'i want to marry ryan banks' )

While I do keep a running snarky commentary in my head as I watch these movies, the truth is that I like the idea of things always working out okay. I like youthful, romantic optimism, even if it is always about the beginnings of relationships which, let's face it, would likely be doomed in the real world - I mean, how much can you love someone you spent a total of maybe 72 hours with?
keryx: (Default)
While we're cooking, eating dinner and chilling on weeknights, we consistently watch TNT's daytime primetime thing (Angel and Charmed re-runs, yay). So I figured my perception that their remake of Neil Simon's "Goodbye Girl" movie was hyped within an inch of my sanity was influenced a bit by seeing the ads a bazillion times a week.

Then Patricia Heaton shows up on the Today Show, on a totally other network, and they're still hyping this same movie. Did it not come out like a month ago?

Anyway, I've added to the list of reasons not to watch:
1. It's Neil Simon. He is the devil.
2. I'm tired of that Hootie video.
3. DEFY THE CAPITALIST MACHINE.
4. I like Jeff Bridges, but I'm only iffy about Patricia Heaton. Did I mention the hatred for all things Neil Simon?
5. And my new, favorite, reason: Patricia Heaton is plastered all over Feminists for Life, which is an organization I find really illogical.

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