Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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So I turned on the TV tonight at 2:15 AM and what should appear on my screen but Dr. Laura's talk show. Apparently she got moved from her 3 PM spot to the very desireable (sarcasm yaya) 2 AM timeslot. I used to watch the show from time to time during my talk show phase (I've gone through a lot of odd phases trying to understand cultural phenomena. Pro Wrestling, Talk Shows, even bad martial arts shows.) and it was always interesting to me because of the way that she moralized. Watching it at 2 AM with phone sex adds playing in between the segments just made it surreal. Late night television is always best when it's surreal in my opinion. While watching normal entertainment at 8 PM when your mind is sharp and your wits about you can be rewarding, watching something normal at 3 AM when you're tired and contemplating sleep tends to be a quite forgettable experience, unless what you're seeing is so strange and bizzare that it turns from prepackaged entertainment to spectacle.

Listening to Dr. Laura praise a woman who preaches abstinence and then immediatly going to an advertisement for phone sex counts as such a spectacle.

I also saw that guy on the sports shopping show trying to sell a $2,200 print of a picture of Tiger Woods as a good deal. That was perhaps even more sureal because I can't imagine anyone, no matter how stupid or fanatical, spending 2200 bucks on a non-original photograph of a living sports star. I mean why not just fly down to the masters and take a picture yourself? Cheaper and infinitly more memorable. I'm not really that into sports, but if I was I would think that attending live events would be worth more than commercial products based on those events. Maybe not though.

I also managed to catch almost all of American Movie which was an interesting experience. If you don't know it's a documentary about a guy who'se trying to make a film, and the strange conflict between his incredibly drive and total lack of common sense. As for his talent, I can't really comment on that. The parts of his movie that we get to see are above camcorder amateur stuff but definitly below even professional independant productions.

Anyway the movie had an impact on me in that it showed me exactly the guy that I don't want to be. 30 years old with a below dead end job (He alternates between a newspaper route and a part time job as a cemetary caretaker) 3 kids by a woman who apparently he can't stand, a consistant record of fucking up, and no real prospects of getting out of where he is except by dumb luck alone (although getting this documentary made did prove to be an enormous break for him). I dunno, he has this incredible drive and NOTHING else and it'd be kind of sad if he wasn't a drunk and something of a hypocrite (he whines about how his parents treated him while he leaves his kids in the care of an acid head or has them sleep with him in the editing room of a university he never attended.) What is sad is his inability to express himself, he constantly has trouble pushing words and ideas out of his head and into the world and the same blockage prevents him from being a particularly interesting film maker. His scripts are beyond hackneyed (and he knows this a little bit), his acting rather sub-par, and the people he associates with are pretty low on the talent scale (although the actors seem like they have at least dinner theatre quality talent, and infinite patience.) He also has a girlfriend who looks like she's in her late 30's early 40's (he's 30) who he brings a bundle of flowers stolen off a grave in one scene that made me cringe a little.

Anyway while watching these kinds of uniquily American people try to live out their lives, begging the alcoholic and addled uncle for money and sucking up to him for a shot at his funds, I always get that classic question thought. "How far am I from them?" Sure I'm at a big fancy university but it's so easy to fall through the cracks, from the intellectual book writing middle class to the blue collar hard drinking middle class. It's kind of scary when you think about both how little in life is guaranteed and how much depends on where and with what you were born.

At least I got to engage in one of the great pleasures of a summer vacation. Watching television at 5 AM while the sun is coming up, eating cold fried chicken and slugging down a mountain dew/Coke mixture (Coke alone doesn't have enough caffeine for 5 AM documentary watching sessions.) With this being the last night I am going to have the house to myself for awhile, I'm glad I did this. Glad I managed to take in at least one spectacle of the bizzare before I have to pussyfoot around for fear of waking the slumbering monster.

Less than 3 hours till my mom comes home. I think I'm going to get some damn sleep.
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