Television as a form of torture

I like to keep things fresh and I’m not keen on revisiting topics I’ve posted about in the past but sometimes a good old rant can be more fun than swimming in a pool full of beer. So I’ll reiterate two points that I’ve made before. One: my girlfriend rules. I’m as lucky as a lottery-winning, rabbit-footed leprechaun holding a four leaf clover at the end of a rainbow. Two: the things my lovely woman watches on TV are, at times, just awful.

"Please make it stop!"

“Please make it stop!”

My girlfriend – I feel like I should name her since I mention her so often but I’ll maintain her privacy – works hard as the manager of ‘big stuff’ for ‘big company’ (privacy maintained – real smooth, Christian). She has to work hard because, with her smarts, she’s going to rule the world one day and you have to work your way up to roles like that. That’s why she likes to switch off when she comes home by watching rubbish television.

Please note that I am not taking a swipe at anyone who watches these shows. I couldn’t do that without taking a swipe at my girlfriend and she will forever live without me ever having done such a thing to her, much less publicly and much, much less for the shows she likes to watch. I’m only having a well-deserved whinge about them because I’m forced to give up precious minutes of my finite life to watch them with her.

And that’s why I’m going to vent. I’m sure it’ll make me feel slightly better…

Beauty and the Geek: Even my woman admits that it is “a distilled and pure concentrate of all that is wrong with the world today”. Well, all she really said is “It’s pretty bad” but I’m a fancy-schmacy blogger with a glittering lexicon who is not above inaccurate paraphrasing, gross exaggeration and the occasional lie. I just don’t get it. These guys have sky-high IQs and could do anything they put their minds to.

"See,

“Oh my God, he’s totally right, there are male lady bugs…”

So they portray themselves as needy, socially-stunted dorks for a nationwide TV audience. The beauties are portrayed as stereotypically unintelligent bimbos but, nonetheless, the type of lady that all men should aspire to impress, to mate with and to suffer for the rest of their lives. “I used to think all lady bugs were female.” None of them have actually said that but ten bucks says at least one of them will say it before their time is up. Stupidity seems to be endemic to reality television.

Gallery Girls: If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a group of vapid, well-to-do twenty-somethings from New York who want careers in art galleries because “it seems, like, totally cool and stylish and, like, we can totally make enough money to avoid being dirty, middle-class, off-the-rack plebs, all without having to work, like, totally hard” (inaccurate paraphrasing and gross exaggerations, remember…)

"Does this photo make my ego look big?"

“Does this photo make my ego look big?”

As if the occasional racist quip from one of them isn’t bad enough – “Everyone runs and hides here because everyone’s, like, quiet little Asian people and scared” – the one Asian girl in the group, who should have beaten the racist to a pulp with her own sense of entitlement, comes out with gems like “I feel like I’m a pretty good catch. I don’t know why I’m not having men fall for me, like, on the street or asking me out all the time” and “Who wouldn’t want to sleep with me?” The appropriate response to both those lines is “Standards – some men have them”. Another one of the girls said during an interview “I always get offended when unattractive men hit on me. Stop. Go over there. Go back.” I shudder to think that aliens might one day come to Earth and, before learning anything else about us, will see this show. They will undoubtedly set their phasers to “Burn, motherf#cker! Buuuuurn!” and raze this planet in a celestial second. I’ve considered paying our cable provider extra to ensure the channel they’re on isn’t broadcast to our apartment, just in case I accidentally flick past it and vomit into my own mouth a little.

"What? Ain't nuttin wrong wit it. You just jealous."

“What? Ain’t nuttin wrong wit it. You just jealous.”

Makeover shows: I won’t take one nasty swipe at all of them. Sure, it’s nice to get done up if you can’t afford it or if you have some self esteem issues and need a little encouragement to show you that you’re as beautiful as the next person. Sometimes they even go to work on people who need really need some help. One show my girlfriend was watching the other day featured a ‘dancer’ *ahem* who wasn’t sure where the strip club’s runway ended and where the sidewalk began. She was such a bad dresser than she actually chose to wear a tight little dress backwards because the back (which became the front) plunged to her backside. I think she was simply trying to let the people around her know exactly when she was ovulating and what she had for breakfast. She needed help, fair enough. What I really don’t like about these shows are the exaggerated affectations and the tears that pour forth when they finally unveil the ‘new’ person. I’m sure their friends and family are saying nice things but all I ever seem to hear them say is “OH MY GOD! YOU’RE NOT UGLIER THAN AN OYSTER SWIMMING IN A BUCKET OF PHLEGM ANYMORE! WOW, I NEVER THOUGHT YOU COULD ACTUALLY BE ATTRACTIVE! I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY FIXED YOU BECAUSE, HONESTLY, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A COMPLETE WRITE-OFF! AND TO THINK I TOLD ANYONE WHO WOULD LISTEN THAT YOU HAD A HEAD LIKE A SMASHED CRAB! WOW!!” I’m sure they’re just happy for them but the tears suggest that they’re breathing a collective sigh of relief, as if to say “Thank God, they’ve been fixed” which I find a little disturbing.

"Thank God, I can actually look at her without feeling embarrassed now!"

“Thank God, I can actually look at her without feeling embarrassed now!”

I’ve already spoken my mind about the Kardashians but I will make a quick mention of the fact that she’s had a baby. My sincerest wishes for a happy life go out to that child, truly. All babies are gorgeous and I hope she has a fulfilling life. But North West? Poor kid. That name is right up there with the unfortunate moniker foisted upon Aussie real estate agent Dick Payne.

Phwoar. That did make me feel better….

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Domesticating the world’s wildest animal: Man

After eighteen months of sharing a home with my girlfriend, I’ve realized that moving in with someone isn’t always a walk in the park, no matter how much you love the person. Sometimes you have to change a little. Sometimes you have to change a lot. Sometimes you have to compromise. And sometimes, you even have to get up off your arse and do stuff.

My girlfriend and I popped out for some dinner last night. After we got home, I sat down on the couch, grabbed the laptop and surfed the net a little. I kept my shoes on but my girlfriend doesn’t like it when I wear shoes in the house. We have black marble or granite floors, not carpet, so I don’t know what the big deal is but she kept asking me to take them off so I finally did so, moved them to one side next to the couch and continued surfing the net.

My girlfriend stared at the shoes thusly:

We’ve lived together for over a year and a half now so I knew exactly what the problem was. So, obviously, the only thing I could ask was “What’s the problem, babe?”

She responded with a noise that was a little like a “HHMMPPHH!” but had a vowel sandwiched in there somewhere. Knowing full well what the problem was, I decided to confront this situation head on.

“Babe, explain to me what the difference is between having the shoes here and having the shoes over there where you want me to put them.” Cue poorly concealed, sly smirk from me.

At this point I will note that my girlfriend is very intelligent. She is highly articulate, she is sharp as a tack and she is quick. She will rule the world one day, I always tell people. She is capable of absolutely anything. Her response, therefore, surprised me.

She thought about what to say, came up with nothing then went back to watching television (another God-awful show, to be sure – see my previous post about sharing the remote).

That was it. She said nothing. I couldn’t believe it. “I won!” I thought to myself! She didn’t have an answer for me! She was stumped and had no good reason for me to put my shoes with the rest of the shoes over in the ‘shoe corner’. It’s not really a corner, mind you. It’s actually just the entrance to our condo but we once laughed that the shoes are lined up facing the wall like they’ve all been misbehaving and have been sent to the naughty corner, hence the misnomer.

Look, it’s not that I’m lazy. Yes, I am the type to take off my shirt after work and throw it on the bed but only because I might need to put it on later that night and if I put it in the laundry basket, it’ll absorb the odour of dirty socks and wet towels and I’ll have to grab a clean shirt which will just create more washing for us. Whether the shirt is hanging on a chair or lying on the bed makes no difference if we’re both on the couch in the lounge room. And I’ll be putting my shoes on the next day in exactly the same spot where I took them off the previous night so why put them anywhere else? Sheer vanity would be the only reason, I tell you. Vanity. And if there’s only a bit of water left in the bottle, I’ll take the bottle out of the fridge, drink from it and leave it on the floor next to me until I’ve finished whatever water is left. Why dirty a glass or a cup that I’ll need to wash later when I can just drink from the bottle? That’s just crazy. And why not leave the bottle next to me till I’m done? Why open and close the fridge repeatedly, wasting electricity and, consequently, damaging the environment – oh yes, I’m not above playing the old ‘environment’ card – simply to put the drink back in when I’m going to take it back out again when I want another drink a little while later? Is man’s need to control his environment so overpowering that we can’t stand having a single bottle out its of place?

I am not messy, ladies and gentlemen. I am above messiness. I’m a domestic pragmatist, a practitioner of ego-free domiciliary practicality, the proprietor of a nondual awareness that has risen above the base allure of ego and mere possessions and the need for superficial order. I care not for vanity’s desperate whims. I do not acquiesce to man’s narcissistic desire to impress. I do not suffer the modern obsession with keeping all around me in its place and under control within a structured environment. I am beyond society’s need to elevate reputation and status with a glistening living space. I am beyond all of that. I am striving for a higher plane of consciousness, a primordial state of being that exists beyond the superfluous bunk thrust upon us by Martha Stewart, et al.

I, dear reader, am reaching for a domestic manifestation of nirvana.

Alright, fine, I’m lazier than a sleeping sloth enjoying a Sunday siesta on Xanax. But I’m lazy with a purpose, dammit! I am saving the precious time that I’ve been gifted for higher things, things worthy of my life, my consciousness and my intelligence, things that are beyond simple domestic chores, things like blogging about things that are more worthy of my life, my consciousness and my intelligence than simple domestic chores. Things like not doing any domestic chores.

“Okay, fine, babe. I’ll pick up the bloody shoes. Geez.” Our little interaction ended thusly.

As I was putting away the shoes, I’m sure I heard her mutter something under her breath about ‘working with this lump of clay’.

Awesome. Clay. I’ll probably have to clean that up, too.