If you’re anything like me, then this past Monday night, you had nothing better to do than watch television. And what a night for television it was. All the stars were out on UPN.
First up, you know it, you love it, “The Parkers.” And what an episode! Did you check it how Stevie and T hired a new singer to replace Kim in the band? How wack was that? Oh, and then, of course, the gala premiere episode of sure-fire Tony- no, wait- Grammy- no- Emmy blockbuster “Eve.” Who knew from her music that Eve would be so funny, in an un-offensive, mid-level sitcom-ish way? Sister, please!
After Eve did her thing, the night reached a hot, foamy boil with the one-two punch of “Girlfriends,” and “Half And Half.” Woo! Woo!
I admit, I didn’t actually watch “Half And Half,” because I’m offended by its premise, about two women living together — in an apartment!
Flipping through the channels, I was astonished by the total lack of quality programming — nothing on par with “The Parkers” at least.
(Attention Producers of “The Parkers” on UPN: I will sell you that phrase for $3000.)
For the first time ever, there was nothing good on TV.
By the time I wrapped all the way around the cycle of channels, including the fuzzy, Spicy ones, I was ready for the deliverance of trusty Channel Six — that’s right, Rupert Murdoch’s rebellious, mean-spirited son, FOX. Surely FOX would have something exploitative of women to enjoy, or at least something exploitative of animals.
Spin the wheel, ye TV Gods!
Channel 4!– Channel 5!– Channel—!
Those eyes– Those beady, little eyes. And those thin, puckered lips — I shudder to think of the expression worn by our “President” at the moment I tuned in. With his smug little laugh at the moment of my remote’s click, he seemed to be mocking me alone.
I couldn’t take it. I can’t take it. I actually cannot physically bear to hear this man talk. It’s become a medical thing now. I wonder how many readers sympathize, that when you hear George W. Bush talk, you first laugh, and then, when the comedy has worn off, you immediately have this urge, best described as the “FINGERNAILS ON A CHALKBOARD STOP IT NOW NOW NOW” urge, to shut off and burn your television, or your radio, or what have you. This really isn’t a joke. It’s a big problem for me. I think someone should name this syndrome.
I shut off the television, and now, for the first time in my young life, I had nothing to do between 9:30 and 10:00 on a Monday night. The TV was off. I was free!
I decided to take an evening stroll down the avenue. And what a glorious night for it! I breathed deeply of the already cold New England air.
But those eyes — those beady little Presidential eyes, they haunted me as I walked, a cacophony of smug laughs following me down the path!
It’s those eyes! It’s the squinting of those hideous eyes! (Attention, Estate of Edgar Allen Poe: I will pay you $3000 in recompense for that plagiarism.)
Screaming shrilly, I fell back inside, and retreated to my bed, only to be tormented by a dream about George W. and my dad, becoming really good friends, and my family having Christmas in Midland, Texas. Oh my god, it was SO creepy. I woke up Tuesday in a cold sweat — thankfully, my own.
Television addict that I am, my morning routine consists of eating a bowl of cartoon-inspired cereal, grinning along with Matt and Katie and the now eerily gaunt Al Roker, and reading the local paper.
Skipping all that news nonsense, I head right to what matters: last night’s Nielsen ratings. They’re like stock grids for people who haven’t invested anything — except for the hours of their squandered lives, into television.
Apparently, I was not alone on Monday evening. Perhaps it is time to name that syndrome. The “President’s interview”, I learned, had landed dead last in its time slot, drawing less viewers than football,”Fear Factor”, and “Eve.”
If the Nielsens are to be trusted, and they are, then Monday night, the American TV-viewing public was more interested in watching people eat grubs for cash, than they were in watching George W. discuss his imploding foreign policy. Or, like me, they wanted to watch Eve do her thang — At least more than they wanted to watch Dubya do his.
Poor George. The shrub beaten out by the grub. That’s got to hurt.
The folks I really pity, though, are the members of the United Nations, who, the following day, had to sit, remote control-less, through Bush’s half-hearted appeal for U.N. aid in bailing the U.S. out of the mess he got it into in the first place, by totally disregarding the U.N.
Remember that? Here Bush was, with an opportunity to say something new, to rally those he had disenfranchised, perhaps even to apologize.
And what does Dubya do, but spout the same old vague, patriotic party lines about “winning the war on terrorism” that he’s trumped out for literally every single speech he’s given since September 11th, 2001.
Talk about your boring repeat. At least “The Parkers” was a new episode.
Greg Yolen is a senior in Pierson.