...except for me and my monkey! "Everything we see hides another thing. We always want to see what is hidden by what we see." -Rene Magritte

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Know what? You can pry Entertainment Weekly from my cold, dead fingers

Last night, as is our wont, a bunch of us watched The Amazing Race in the main lounge of the dorm. During a commercial break near the beginning of the episode, a girl I know only vaguely walked in. She asked what we were watching, and when we replied, she snorted in derision, made the "ooooo-kay" sound, and left. The episode ended and I left and talked with Chris and Ryan for awhile. Around 11:20, we returned to the lounge and watched the end of The Daily Show. At 11:30, Comedy Central re-ran Monday's Daily Show, which neither Amy nor I had seen, so we stayed to watch it. At that point, the same girl walked back into the lounge to fill her water bottle again. "You're still parked in front of the TV?" she demanded. With another raising of the eyebrows, she left.

You know what? This has to stop. Yes, it is true: I enjoy reading Entertainment Weekly and watching TV--including, reality TV--and seeing movies and reading film reviews and mocking US Weekly and In Touch and being culturally literate. I check Television Without Pity and FameTracker near-daily. None of that makes me an idiot, and I don't appreciate being treated as though I were one.

Because guess what, People Who Act Superior Because They Don't Watch TV Or Know Who Paris Hilton Is: as DeAnn once wrote, TV is just as mindless as you make it. It is possible to think critically while watching TV, or to not. There is so much variety to what's on TV, it's impossible to generalize about it. Some TV is stupid. Some TV is breathtaking, some is education, some is heartbreaking, some is enlightening. Further, it is possible to enjoy discussing the exploits of, I don't know, Lindsay Lohan without becoming obsessed with celebrity culture. People who consume the oft-looked-down-upon forms of mass media do not always do so in a vapid way. Sometimes, sure. Sometimes people take it too far, or make it their life. But you know, I've met with other Portland TWoPpers on several occasions, and they're to the one bright, literate, and interesting people who are interested in what goes on in the world around them.

So I'm not going to apologize for enjoying pop culture. And next Tuesday, you'd better believe I'll be in the lounge again, watching The Amazing Race. I encourage you do join me, but if you choose not to, then for God's sake don't ridicule me.