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It takes a lot to pull me out of the blissed haze of my own
personal appointment viewing -- programs which usually revolve around
surgery, mental illness, Charles Manson, 80-pound tumors, wiggly
intestinal parasites, or Nigella Lawson -- but recently I've been puzzled
by a lot of things I've seen on television and reassessing my own
place in the TV-watching community and I have some questions...
* How is it that Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, a.k.a. Lady Gaga, can be in all places simultaneously? She's fake-fighting Madonna on SNL. She's on the VMAs freaking out Eminem. She's on the news singing John Lennon songs while the president acknowledges that he's less popular than she is. Meanwhile she's on another news channel telling the gay D.C. marchers that the event is the "single most important moment of [her] career." I'm not upset that she's everywhere. I don't listen to her music but I'm not a hater. I just can't figure out, short of being a shape-shifter or recruiting the former members of Haysi Fantayzee and covering their faces with masks, how she's able to pull off this multiple-sighting thing. As I write this she's being interviewed by Glenn Beck and guesting on the Oreck vacuum infomercial.
* Why haven't you watched the documentary Outrage on HBO yet? It's all about corrupt, closeted Republican members of Congress who actively work against your well-being while getting all the secret penis they want. And it names name after name after name. Directed by cool straight guy Kirby Dick (he made This Film Is Not Yet Rated and Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist), it's a pissed-off attack on the people who attacked us first.
* Why can't I see Panic Face King
in this country? It's the hilarious Japanese hidden-camera show where
they recently pranked someone into thinking a sniper just killed
everyone in the room. Now, I understand that it's potentially
heart attack-making to play death-themed pranks on the unsuspecting,
but check this out, and witness how much laughter and happy fun
everyone is having. We deserve good shows like this here instead of
more CSI spin-offs:
* Speaking of stuff we don't get to see on American television, why is Dannii Minogue, a judge on Britain's X Factor (the show that gave us the recently-punched-in-the-head-by-a-fan Leona Lewis), the only person allowed to out contestants on singing competitions and get away with it? She did that this past week, just basically told one guy she thinks he shouldn't have changed the pronouns when he sang "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going." That's one saucy plastic-surgery minx. Imagine if she were famous in this country and could just do that here. The Adam Lambert saga would have lasted 15 seconds. The Republican politicians in Outrage would have been shaken out way earlier. She's not famous here, of course. In fact, she's less well-known in the U.S. than her older sister, which is kind of its own weird achievement.
* Should I be watching Top Chef? I check out other cooking shows all the time, just so I can learn to make new desserts. But the competition aspect seems like it would just fill me with anxiety instead of giving me the hypnotic, calm feeling I get when I see Martha Stewart whisking eggs and folding them into a batter. Does that mean I have a weak constitution? Will it lead to Hell's Kitchen and that British guy screaming incomprehensible stuff at me? I swear every time he opens his mouth it sounds like, "SPAGHETTI LOBSTER!!"[youtube https://www.youtube.com/v/eGXFKuky-ak&hl=en&fs=1& expand=1 site_id=25879312]
* When will Tyra Banks stop putting nasty stuff on her show so I can grow bored and stop looking? Because I truly do want to ignore and possibly even dislike her if possible. I think it's healthy and appropriate to have celebrities you hate for no reason. But she just won't stop enticing me. One day it's gay exorcists, another it's sploshing and Tyra kissing an audience member's feet on a dare. This week it's obsessive nose-picking. And by the time this column runs she will have televised a colonic irrigation and probably shown off the liqui-poop in a crystal decanter. That's not me trying to be all ha-ha. This is actually happening right now on your TV.
* Now that George Takei and Brad Altman have broken the hetero-only ceiling of The Newlywed Game, does that mean that the answer "in the butt" (really happened -- not an urban legend) isn't automatically funny anymore? And does this also mean I have to start watching The Newlywed Game? I just found out that they're casting for a new show about overindulgent parenting called Platinum Babies and I don't think there's going to be room for both of them in my "Now Playing" queue.
* Remember Warren G? The guy who did "Regulate" back in the '90s? Sure you do. He was back in the spotlight this week on VH1 Hip Hop Honors 2009. Did you miss him? Because guess what? He didn't miss you. A recent quote: "I ain't against gay people. I'm just against it being promoted to kids...I know people that's gay. My wife's got friends that are gay. I got family that's gay. Cousins and shit. He cool as fuck. He cool as a motherfucker. He's my homie. I just mean that on some of these TV shows, they got dudes kissing. And kids are watching that shit. We can't have kids growing up with that...I know it happens, but let's keep it behind the scenes. Ain't nothin' wrong with it if that's what two dudes wanna do. Cool. But let's not bring that out into the world, where the kids can see that. We don't want all the kids doing that. 'Cause that ain't how we was originally put here to do. Like I said, I ain't got no problem with the gays."
I promise to keep you posted on any progress this man makes in his quest to make actual sense.
And now I'd like to end this column with a joke about Lady Gaga (because when you're a pro you call it back) that I just learned from a 7-year-old kid.
Q: How do you wake up Lady Gaga from a nap?