Bert performs forensic tests on an O. virginianus skull
Just as I once was amazed to discover that knitters make up half the audience of I Blame The Patriarchy, so was I recently shocked by the revelation that none of you readers owns a television, or that you do own a television but you never turn it on, or that you do turn it on but only to watch DVDs twice a year, or that you never turn it on because you store your copy of Our Bodies, Our Selves in it.
Who are you people, and how did you get the government implants out of your brain stems?
I’m sayin’, TV is the dominant culture’s self-image, instruction manual, and church all rolled into one. I must monitor their transmissions! If I don’t, a curious sensation of peace and contentment washes over me, and I start blaming the wrong things, like the weather, or my mother.
I have also found, in these weeks of chemically-induced insomnia, that TV makes a dandy soporific.
Over the past few days, while drifting in and out of naps, I have flipped through many a TV program, and I’m here to tell you, things aren’t looking good. Below find some of my patriarchy-blaming highlights.
38 seconds of an unidentified movie on Lifetime. Melissa Gilbert, or her clone, has an eating disorder, or postpartum depression, or a miscarriage—it doesn’t matter which, since a made-for-TV-actress’s demeanor is identical in all chick-issue situations. Whatever she’s got, it has spun out of control, but she’s in denial. She’s become hostile and snaps at her husband “I just need some space, that’s all!” And the husband, a nice guy who is only trying to help, says, “Don’t shut me out!” And Melissa Gilbert bursts into tears. And the husband says, “Honey, maybe you should see a therapist.” And Melissa Gilbert retorts, “I’m not crazy, dammit!” and flounces off. And the husband cries out after her, “Can’t you see this is tearing us apart?”
Sex In The City, the show about four hot women with shoe fetishes whose single purpose in life is to complete themselves with men. In this episode Charlotte actually sells herself in a pre-nup to her future husband, uttering the startling phrase, “I’m worth one million.”
An ancient Saturday Night Live from the Phil Hartman/Mike Myers/ Chris Farley/David Spade/Chris Rock era. I’ve never seen an episode with this lineup, and am not surprised to note that it is sublime only in its lameness. I also note that, while nearly all the aforementioned male cast members have since gone on to some further success (even fat old dead Farley caused something of a stir with his gruesome post-mortem photos splashed all over the internet), I have never heard of any of the women players. Not a single one. Melanie Hutsell? Who the hell is that? Also, the musical guest is that boring little overrated wanker Springsteen, who, let’s face it, has written only one song in 30 years. My jaw drops to what’s left of my chest when he begins lurching around the stage jerking off the axe he pivots arrhythmically from his groin. The whole band, in fact, mimic this painfully spasmodic phallic stroking. They look like escapees from Bellevue. I mean, I’ve seen some lame guitar wanking rock legends in my day, but Springsteen’s song (“My Angst-Ridden Penis”) is so dull and his moves are so retarded I actually throw an object (Bert’s stuffed duck) at the TV.
A minute or two of some godbag propaganda channel where women with bad perms and big glasses are saying things like, “Planned Parenthood is only out for your money! They’re trained to sucker in innocent young girls! They are not your friend! They’re responsible for all the murderous evil in the world!”
A show called “Bones” which, encouragingly, has a female lead who a) isn’t costumed in a cat suit and b) is supposedly some genius forensic anthropologist. But uh-oh, she is relentlessly patronized by Buffy’s former vampire boyfriend, who has morphed into a studly overprotective cop for this series. “I’m not letting you out of my sight until we determine the identity of the killer!” he declares. “I can take care of myself!” the genius forensic anthropologist protests angrily. I see where this is going, and nod off. When I come to, sure enough, there is the genius forensic anthropologist, on her knees in an abandoned warehouse, bound, gagged, whimpering, bleeding sweetly from her forehead, fetchingly chained spread-eagle at the wrists. She is being menaced by a psychopath who is of course about to cut her up alive and feed her to hungry dogs. Buffy’s vampire boyfriend saves her just in the nick of time. No matter how much booksmarts a chick has, she’s never gonna escape the chained-on-her-knees-in-the-abandoned-warehouse scene.
I try to imagine Buffy’s stud boyfriend chained on his knees in an abandoned warehouse, getting saved by the genius forensic anthropologist, and laugh myself back to sleep.