I hate it when people tell me that they don’t own a TV.
There is, in fact, a very specific brand of person out there who doesn’t have a TV and probably they think it’s very cool or whatever but it seems to me that they just sort of lie in wait all day for the conversation to turn to something pop culture so they can say something to the effect of, “Oh, I don’t have a TV so…” or “I haven’t watched TV in ten years but…” and it just makes me crazy. It’s like, “Here’s your little Scout Badge for being OH-SO out of the loop. Go sell some cookies. Oh, you don’t watch the news or reality TV and you don’t know what American Ninja Warrior is? Did you even SEE what Miley Cyrus did at the VMAs? WHO is ROBIN THICKE? HAVE YOU SEEN HIS VIDEO!??? HAVE YOU SEEN HIS #THICKE VIDEO!!???”
Television. The word rolls right off the tongue. Televised to your eyes.
It’s not all fantastic programming, though. No. There’s this really, really terrible TV mini-series from the late 90s called Merlin that my wife is in love with. It’s disgusting. It’s so terrible. Sadly, somebody at some horrible little company decided it would be a good idea to take this tragic excuse for entertainment, transfer it to a VHS tape and then sell one of those tapes to my wife. Needless to say (a phrase I hate) I’ve seen this movie more than enough times. In the movie there’s the main character, this wizard named Merlin and then there’s this evil witch named Queen Mab and yes, I had to search IMDB for that information because I am not naturally privy to this knowledge and my wife is in bed so I couldn’t holler at her. So, this evil witch goes about doing her evil things and causing chaos every which way and Merlin spends his life trying to stop her and blah, blah, blah.
At the end of this “film” (180 minutes, by the way, which is only 14 minutes short of Titanic, gag) the entire magical world gathers together and *spoiler alert* decides to stop the witch by not paying attention to her anymore. They take her power away by turning their backs and pretending she doesn’t exist. It’s a very happy ending because the witch goes away and Merlin is reunited with his beloved and Martin Short is in there somewhere but I can’t exactly recall what his purpose is. Comedy relief, I suppose. Remember him in Father of the Bride? I love that movie… but unfortunately I can’t watch it anymore because I don’t have a TV.
In fact, I haven’t had a TV for over two years. First, my wife and I cut our cable but saved the actual television to play our Wii on. Then we threw away the Wii and put the TV on the curb. Six months later we cancelled our Netflix subscription. Now we read books. I watched my first episode of American Ninja Warrior three days ago while I was at my sister’s house (The Salmon Ladder, are you KIDDING ME??!) and I thought Robin Thicke was a woman until roughly two weeks ago when I got on Facebook and saw The World At Large was throwing a fit over his music video which has naked women in it. Could I believe it? Well, click, click, play, and yes, there are boobs in his music video. It’s sort of like that time Trent Reznor put boobs in his Closer music video almost 20 years ago and they made a censored version. It’s like that time boobs were in any horror movie ever made. It’s like that time boobs were on the entire internet and you could see as many as you ever wanted just by typing the word “boob” into your Google search bar. Robin Thicke and his entire publicity team are, obviously, very cutting edge. “Progressive Creatives” is the word they probably put on their resumes.
ABOVE: Trent Reznor eats an apple.
Now, the internet is pretty much this web of incestuous knowledge, so it doesn’t take very many clicks to lead you to Miley Cyrus’s “new” music video wherein a man is eating a money sandwich. Side note, everyone is talking about a young female adult doing a provocative dance that is popular with that age group but no one is talking about the man eating a MONEY SANDWICH!
Dolla’, dolla’ bills, y’all.
Both of these videos clearly set out to do one thing; start a dialogue. They were meant to get people talking about them and writing about them and being angry about them and demanding blood for the innocence of the generation who is being forced to watch them like that guy from A Clockwork Orange, weird little toothpicks in the eyes and all.
ABOVE: Alex desperately wanted to catch up on 28 years of Days of Our Lives.
Do I, personally, have a problem with Robin Thicke rubbing his smelly on a young girl who’s groping her vagina with a giant, scary ass foam hand like a realistic Frankenstein recreation of an artist’s rendering of a Minnie Mouse from my nightmares? No. These are small fish. They mean nothing. I don’t want to devote my time towards trying to stop Miley Cyrus. I don’t want to create M.A.M. (Mother’s Against Miley) or Mother’s Against Robin or Dad’s Against New Dancing Youth (D.A.N.D.Y.).
If we want to solve something, let’s turn our attention towards big fish; human sex trafficking. Let’s turn our attention towards the fact that real live women are being chained up in warehouses and raped everyday. Let’s talk about our government passing one set of laws that apply to the layman and a second set of laws that apply to everyone in Congress. Let’s talk about the homeless in our city. Let’s talk about big fish because there are true and terrible problems out there that will dwarf Miley What’s-Her-Name and Robin “You-Know-That-Guy-With-The-Boobs-In-His-Video-I-Heard-His-Wife-Was-Cool-With-It-They-Must-Have-A-Really-Great-Marriage” Thicke.
ABOVE: The only thing sweeter than their three-tier wedding cake was Gary “The Glare” Gorman’s ceremonial wedding mullet.
If you want to get rid of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke or (Fill in Famous Person Here), all you have to do is treat them like Queen Mab. You just…. turn around… and pretend they don’t exist. You don’t have to talk about how horrible and immoral and untalented they are. Just like there is power in talking about something (positively or negatively) there is even more power in simply imagining it out of existence.
I’m not saying you should get rid of your TV or kill your Facebook account or lock yourself in a cave but you should have personal accountability – to yourself, each and every one of us – about the things that come out of our mouths. POP Culture – POPULAR Culture – is only made popular by you, by me, by us.
Just turn around. Point your back at the issue and guard your tongue. Queen Mab only has the magic if we all believe she does. Let’s not be Merlin and spend our entire lives talking about various witches and their bad influence on our culture. Let’s just take a cue from a really horrible TV movie and make a difference. Let’s kill all those small fish so we can focus our attention on the big ones.
*AUTHOR’S NOTE: I fully acknowledge that by writing about the subject of not writing about this, that I’ve written about this.