Monday, March 25, 2002

Things Have Changed

This is the story of how a sweet innocent young boy decayed into a bitter worn out old man. If you'll give me a moment, I'll tell you what I'm talking about Willis.

I seriously doubt if any of you watched, or enjoyed TV as much as I did when I was a kid. I watched ALL the shows. I took notes and studied character development and plot and actually thought at times my own life would make a delightful sitcom. But as much TV as I watched I never dreamed that one day I would be able to see Danny Partridge beat the crap out of Greg Brady. As I have grown older I have discovered that just about anything is possible/will eventually happen if only you watch long enough.

I was somewhat amused to read that there were some obviously green TV viewers/critics who wrote that the new FOX celebrity boxing show was a new all time low for the medium. The announced scheduling of the show featuring a bout between the tough as nails, wrong side of the tracks Tonya Harding (a once potential D. Ma matrimony candidate) and Amy Fisher oddly coincided with the news that ABC was negotiating with David Letterman to take over the 10:30 spot occupied for the past two decades by Ted Koppel's often taken for granted Nightline newscast. While the voices declared that latest skanky FOX idea was indeed a sign of the coming soon end of civilization, I instead viewed the ABC action as a more accurate sign of the apocalypse. Network news may not be anything to write home about but Nightline truly does some worthwhile work. As cable TV developed the past few years the stories on the ABC show have increasingly focused on issues that don't get enough attention. Much as I love Dave (and does anyone love him more than I?) the idea of eliminating the one worthwhile network newscast at the expense of a still sometimes entertainment effort sickened me.

But as I watched the criticized FOX celebrity boxing show (nights after watching a squatting woman urinate on the urchin-bitten hand of a fellow Survivor participant) I must admit I may not be so keen on TV as I once was. First off it was disappointing that the original opponent of my favorite knee whacking Olympic skater was told she violated prison probation conditions so she couldn't participate and was thus replaced by a wimpy woman who almost brought a President to his knees (so to speak). Tonya, as expected, kicked Paula Jones' scrawny little ass. But it was far from uplifting, it was just sad to watch the continuing disintegrating fall of the one who was the first to do some historic spinny ice thing or multiple lutz action. It reminded me of the great Japanese director Kurosawa's perceptive quote that you can't love someone if you don't even like them.

Through the miracle of the VCR I watched all this unfold days after it truly did matter. At the time I was stuck in the Denver airport a victim of a snow bombarded Twin Cities airport. My family and I thus spent more time in the Mile High city than we originally expected. It was the first time since September 11 that I had flown and I must say that the presence of the military didn't exactly bring about the desired effect. The fatigues were just another reminder to the fatigued that the world since the domestic terrorist attack is such a different jarring place to try and live. It didn't help matters that while going through security in Denver that twice I was the lucky one to be singled out for further inspection and wanding. (It was somewhat comforting to see that the additional frisking alarmed authorities that I had a pack of gum in one pocket and a dime in another.) My own Jones' owned skinny little arse and dishelved appearance obviously makes me a terrorist looking little guy.

The only comfort in the unexpected ordeal was the chance to finally get to visit one of our out of town Cheapo stores. It thankfully was like being at home and though I was sad when I mentioned I was the newsletter guy to the ring up guy and he had no idea what the hell I was talking about I must say I was very happy to finally see the store and get my employee discount on my purchase of I'm sure to be enlightening music.

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