Anyone who works from home or is in between jobs spends a lot of time alone and they realize that keeping sane is like a part-time job in itself. But staving off depression isn't that difficult. I've figured out a sure fire way to keep your wits about you.
Do NOT turn on the television when the sun is up.
Not that I'm anti-TV. I love following my shows, such as Mad Men, Weeds, Californication, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and other brilliant programming. I love me My Daily Show and Colbert Report the next day, like comical slices of cold pizza. And then there is sports. Always a good choice.
Now, I had many good teachers growing up and I got good grades so you know they were miracle workers. But, I think watching one month of daytime television may have erased all their good work. I want to sue somebody for making me dumber. And, of course, I want the trial to be in Judge Judy's courtroom! She's a sparkplug that one!
Let's start with the Today Show. I don't have one specific complaint about the Today Show. It's an institution and the "must see" show while the coffee is brewing. I'll try to be brief with my observations.....
Meredith looks as if she is having an enema, at this very moment. Matt and Al are both so clever in their smarminess (not really), and all the stagehands literally guffaw at the dumbest one-liners they toss out. Let's not even talk about the fourth hour. You know those uncomfortable sketches on Saturday Night Live that never seem to end? Yeah, that's the fourth hour. Every. Single. Day. Despite being the most famous Hota in television history, miss Kotb is not exactly the next Oprah. Most of all, I love the smooth segues -- "After our interview with Alan Greenspan, we will choose one lucky ugly woman from the plaza for a surprise makeover! This will help us determine what truly IS possible when you put lipstick on a pig!"
We also have SportsCenter. Now I love sports more than anyone. But I don't need to rank the top 10 tight ends in NFL history. And I'm not particularly interested in every detail of Brett Favre's life ("Doctors report he had two helpings of corn on the cob yesterday. We will interrupt our regularly scheduled program if he in fact becomes the first person EVER to break down corn during the digestive process!"). Plus I'm a Mets fan. There are no such things as highlights.
Then there are soap operas...essentially low budget, cranked-out versions of Desperate Housewives or Grey's Anatomy without the oh-so-clever writing and character development of the nightime dramas. It kinda fun to see if you can "name that scene" in two lines or less. Will she stomp out of the room and slam the door? Kiss him? Slap him? Will they get interrupted by that 18 year old floozie with whom Dr. Robert seems to have an odd chemistry? When I say "kinda fun" I mean "kinda fun, like catching your grandparents doing it. In the shower."
But my favorite has to be the cable news stations. After embarrassing themselves at the conventions, they continue to place current events completely out of context. Because they have to fill 24 hours a day, they do silly things like calculate the number of McDonald's apple pies that $700 billion could buy (that would be 2,000 apple pies per American. I hope you're hungry!). Other partisan networks suggest, seriously, that Sarah Palin's foreign relations experience is boosted by her state's proximity to Russia. That of course assumes you consider Alaska a state.
It's amazing how fast these talking heads become experts in the financial markets, meteorology, the American electorate, and of course Britney Spears. It's so bad, I almost think if President Bush wants to do the pundit thing next year, he could make Fox and Friends seem like Nova in the blink of an eye. Then of course Hota Kotb would be Oprah. Oh no!
So to all my former teachers: please send homework!! I need to diagram sentences. I need to do one of those theorem things. Hell, send a dead frog and I'll slice the little bugger open. I'll get right to my homework after The Price is Right. I hope they play Plinko today!