Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Talk Needs Duct Tape

My 10 year old daughter came home one day from school & told me about how a new girl expressed concern that another girl didn't like her. My daughter & a friend "tried to help" by telling the new girl why the other girl didn't like her. I think she already knew, before we really discussed it, that sharing why she wasn't liked by the other girl really wasn't helpful. She apologized to the new girl the next day & has since recognized many occasions where this kind of thing is going on. One 5th grader says to another "I thought you'd like to know that so & so doesn't like you because your hair looks bad. Just trying to help." Of course these types of things can be said in a mostly innocent albeit ignorant way but many times they are spoken in a nasty, bratty way, designed to hurt. Regarding appearance, we have a general rule that unless it's a compliment, don't comment on anything about another kid's appearance.

Last night after listening to a great conversation between Anderson Cooper & David Letterman about radical Islam, I left the room to put laundry away. I really need to stop doing this & actually check to see what idiocy is being broadcast afterwards. One time it was porn on HBO. I must have been downstairs 45 minutes doing dishes & cleaning up. Either of my daughters could have walked in.   But last night was equally bad. It was "The Talk." I have no problem with Sharon Osbourne or Sara Gilbert, who seem rather down to earth really & I don't know the other women who were on the panel. But Julie Chen. My God. I had to go look up her name. I only know her from maybe one visit on Letterman. And truly I feel bad for her, sort of. I recall something about her being told as a young news anchor that her eyes weren't "right" for American TV or something to this effect. I think she had some surgery? Sad. But my point is that she buys into it. So here I am telling my 5th grade daughter that it isn't in any way helpful to repeat nasty comments said about others. Don't give that person who made the nasty comments any more air time! But what are grown women on stupid American TV doing? Exactly that. I walked into the room to hear Julie Chen repeating, quoting "readers' comments" from some tabloid about Kate Winslet in a bathing suit. And it was also the way in which she was saying these comments, in a very catty way, as if she herself meant them. Having just walked into the room, it took me a minute to figure out that she wasn't really saying these things herself but was repeating them. Who are these "readers?" Have they actually even read a book in years? Why are we giving this air time? Why, Julie Chen, other than a paycheck, are you perpetuating the shallow, nasty comments of random people against a very talented, successful female actress? Why not, as a woman, refuse to participate in this derogatory shit? Now, I tolerated this stupid show long enough to hear some comments from the rest of the panel & they all agreed the readers' comments were nasty but you know what would have been really awesome? If any one person on the panel had said "Why are we repeating this garbage?"

Walter Cronkite is rolling over in his grave when Don Lemmon is reading random stupid comments from twitter on the "news" or members of congress are threatening to throw reporters off balconies. Bad behavior is the norm EVERYWHERE. Where are the adults? All of the anti-bully education in our schools is totally useless when the grown ups are not just acting like assholes but it is emulated as a normal way to act & hey it gets you more air time! What the hell?!? The media needs to stop catering to the lowest common denominator. America is getting STUPIDER by the day.

See for yourself