Crybaby cultural criticism.

In response to my rant on Six Feet Under, some anonymous Mike wrote:

i felt my time sucked by this blog entry. what a pompous pseudo intellecutal over-generalization about TV. there are good and bad tv shows like there are good and bad newspapers, books, songs, etc. the whole darn medium in not useless and the fact that you personally don't like and tv shows tv is about you not that medium. do you think it makes you sound hip or intelligent to knock tv? that's such a 80s yuppie thing to do.
perhaps you don't like tv for other reasons maybe you don't like passive media and prefer active media, if so then this is a preference so consider this before knocking and judging an entire medium.
mike 07/25/04 10:15am MT

Well, Mike–waaah. Waaah fsking waaah.

1) This was a personal statement, not some intellectualized bullshit. The point is, I have a very limited amount of time to spend on entertainment right now, since I work so fucking much and have children to tend to. There is TV I like; I *did* enjoy, for example, previous seasons of Six Feet Under, The Shield, and a number of other shows. I just don't miss them when I don't watch them. I don't feel so engaged with any show on TV right now that I get upset about missing an episode.

The fact that I am a disaffected Gen-Xer choking on what purports to be high culture TV is the whole frigging point of the post–I don't claim some intellectual superiority to morons who live for their TiVo.

2) I'm not one of those “TV is in decline” sorts of people. I personally think those people have some romanitcized image of prior TV culture, or some culture-war agenda. TV is a reflection of our culture's current state–splintered, stovepiped and with a lot of interesting undercurrents.

3) It is about me. I've said in the past, I get physically uncomfortable watching many situation comedies because I recognize where the script is going because of a childhood spent watching situation comedies in syndication before going to school in the morning. Lucy, Mr. Ed, and Gilligan were my day care providers. I recognize the plotlines from those shows in everything I watch, which leads to deep-seated feelings about my childhood, and it gets all Freudian. Can't deal with it. Since the family mostly gathered around James Burke's “Connections” series on PBS, the History and Discovery Channels are like TV comfort food for me.

4) It was your personal choice to spend your time responding to that post, so saying you felt your time sucked by reading it indicates you made a poor web-surfing decision based on your personal tastes. And next time, at least leave an address so I can respond in a less time-sucking, more reasoned manner. Idjit.

But do come again.

Family, Flames

Six Feet Under My Tolerance Level

Tonight's Six Feet Under sucked.

I haven't been watching much of it this season, as I usually have other things to do on Sundays at 9 (like peel my three-year-old off the wall and get her into bed), but Paula has insisted on watching it every week. At first, she taped episodes in the hope that I would actually get a chance to watch them. But that was pointless. I've pretty much come to the point where NO television show is important enough for me to watch it time-shifted. Or, at all.

But Paula insisted that I sit down to watch this episode with her. I did, for a while, and then felt time being stolen from me by something that sucked. “I can't believe you made me watch this,” I said. “I can't believe I sat through it,” she replied.

The whole David – picks – up – psycho – hitchhiker – who – steals – his – money -and – forces – him – to – do – crack – with – him – before – dumping – gasoline – on – him subplot just totally drove me nuts, to the point where I couldn't bring myself to watch any more of the stupid show. David has just gotten more nerve-grating over time; maybe they should have set him on fire–it might have brightened up the rest of the season.

I'm kidding. Really. Maybe.


Twenty-eight pounds of whupp-ass

My daughter whupped me good today. I'm going to need a spatula to get out of bed tomorrow morning, and it's all her fault.

Zoë was up at 8 this morning, and ready to take on the world…while I, on the other hand, had been up until past 1 am working on feeding the beast its weekend rations.


So, we creaked into the day, and after a late breakfast it was determined that, in order to give Paula a bit of time to get ahead of her classwork, I was going to take Zoë to the pool for a couple of hours.

This, we did; of course, when I take Zoë to the pool, she doesn't need any pool toys, because I am the primary source of entertainment. It's “do that thing you did last time” time…sweeping her through the water backwards, her legs and body making a wake. It's “toss me in the air, Daddy” time. It's let-Zoë-ride-on-my-belly-while-I-crabwalk time. It's lift-Zoë-out-of-the-water-on-my-feet-while-sitting-on-the-bottom-of-the-kiddie-pool time.

Eventually, Zoë wanted a snack, and then she wanted to wash the entire side of the kiddie pool with a duck-shaped sponge she found. But soon it was time to go home, since we were going to go to Artscape.

So, it was back to the house to grind out a few household chores that had been left undone, and then change and head over to pick up Zoë's godmother Jesse, then to the light rail stop to wait for the train downtown. And wait. And wait. Apparently, MTA, despite plenty of advance warning, hadn't really prepared itself for the additional traffic for Artscape (which is located right on the light rail line, and has no arrangements for parking to speak of).

Finally, after almost an hour of waiting, the train arrived, filled to capacity. We squeezed on. And soon, we were there, and Z was on my shoulders. As The Mayor and his exercise in musical megalomania were playing, she demanded that we dance. And then back on the shoulders. And down. And up. And so on.

We decided to forego the forced march back to the other [designated white-boy] stage where the Violent Femmes were playing (and let's not even get into the irony of the Mayor's band opening for the Violent Femmes). Besides, all the real energy seemed to be down where Wyclef Jean was playing. We looked at book stands, sat for a little while, and then grabbed Princess Z the pretzel she desired. Then, as the sun set, we headed for the light rail stop.

All that Zoë-lifting and Zoë=spinning and Zoë-dancing has seriously whupped my ass. And she kept going hard, until we dropped Jesse off; on the ride home, she fell asleep in the car. Which, of course, meant I got to carry her again.



Everywhere in DC, these darned pandas. They come up to you on the street like Hare Krishnas, but at least they're willing to pose with a kid for a photo:

Some, tired from working the streets in the 96-degree, feels-like-the-inside-of-a-panda's-mouth heat, even humored little girls who climbed up on their laps.


Blogger meetup

Thanks to seadragon for organizing the latest Baltimore Bloggers meetup at Little Havana. I stayed (as almost everyone present knew) longer than I had meant to, which was great; having Paula show up with her friend from class was a handy excuse to stay, even though that meant my 13-year-old got to charge me a late fee for his babysitting.

At least I didn't have a mojito.