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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chaz and other ironies...

I had a solid 30 minutes of prime-time TV before I had to excuse myself.   The family likes its "Biggest Loser" Tuesdays and for the most part I indulge.  Mainly, I find myself sooo hungry while watching it is embarrassing.   I made home made popcorn (lots of butter and salt), chowed down on some red meat, and if I did not put some gum in my mouth and start writing I am afraid the freezer would be next.  Funny how watching the obese attempt to lost hundreds of pounds inspires me to indulge.

This followed the first study session of the 4th grade school year.   Naturally, a day after I bemoan Jesus Fish bumper stickers, we were knee deep in Jesus studying.  Ask me anything about the disciples and the Blessed Trinity?  Funny too that we were studying plants and how they reproduce too.  Ok, let's take a moment to study the Virgin Mary and her conception then segue into plants and the process of turning sunlight into sugars.  Darwin meet Disney.

That might be a bit harsh, but it is comical.  There is a structure and overall discipline I love with the Catholic education (and the uniforms!!!), but the attempt to reconcile fact and/or fiction (faith) is one I will struggle with forever.

The irony playing on ABC right now is just as compelling.  I am talking of Chaz Bono's appearence on "Dancing With the Stars."  I mean really?  Is he a star???

I suppose the greater question (one raised quite well be celebrity psychiatrist Dr Keith Ablow: http://www.boston.com/Boston/dailydose/2011/09/chaz-bono-dancing-with-the-stars-should-kids-banned-from-watching/EPkM8y89Nb6nK2opxlO9JK/index.html)  is what implications does this casting have on our youth.  Nevermind me and my peers (we are already lost causes I fear.)

Perhaps if I did not have an impressionable and quite adultified 9 year old in the house I might not care as much.  Let the man dance and who cares I might say.

But I am looking over at her now watching the much easier to digest "Biggest Loser" without the slightest of concern.  Simple:  these folks are morbidly obese and need to change their behaviors or likely die.  I can use that message for any vice and feel good about it.

What then of Chaz and her dancing?  Do I want to go into the whole story?  Do I start with Chastity and her adorable childhood played out in front of millions?  Do I want to explain the heavy set man dancing the scantily clad girl really has female reproductive parts?  He has a bizarre beard because he injects himself with testosterone.  He badly wants to have a penis and remove his breasts.  He has a girlfriend.

Ablow suggests most of these tendencies (certainly not all trans-genders) seem to indicate a greater mental incapacity.  Is it possible that Chaz Bono has not fully rectified where he REALLY wants to be after this process has completed?  Is it fair to say his total maturity and/or identity is still very much in doubt?  I can only imagine the pain and confusion that must have gone into making this decision.  And it is still very much in its infancy, no?

Good to be playing this out in front of millions of strangers twice weekly?  Good to be playing in front of children already struggling with their own identities and body images?

I am not convinced.

This is adult content that today's American mores might not be ready for.  After all, it took 18 years for us to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."  ABC think we can handle all of this?  And what is the end game anyway?

All signs point to an exploitative move to get some cheap headlines and ratings.  I know, naive of me to think network tv is anything but exploitative.

I am as liberal as they come socially (sorry God).  I will however be pretending this show exists when my daughter asks if it is on.

Sure I do that every season, but this time I might actually mean it.



Quick Hits:

Please download and/or buy the debut album from NY based band Caveman.  It is called CoCo Beware and it is outstanding.  It is on Itunes/Spotify and here:  http://cavemantheband.com/   I am biased and more partial to their I think legendary live gigs...  but I am rooting for them BIG TIME.  Catch a nice buzz and listen please.  You wasted 35 minutes this week on far worse I am sure.


Also, very sad about the thought of Syracuse away from the Big East.  The constant moving and shaking up of the major college conferences is both disheartening and senseless.

Fans don't matter, ad dollars do.  Jim Boeheim NOT in MSG for the tourney in March is absurd.  Much like Nebraska in the Big 10 (12/14/whatever).  Or TCU in the Big East.  Or Notre Dame in any conference at all.

If I could blame ESPN (and ABC its parent company) I would.  But they are mainly the facilitators.  We eat it all up without the slightest of protest.  We wanna watch the games and pay dearly to do so.

Not me.  I like what I grew up on and will never be a fan of these Super Conferences.   And the irony?  The college football dollar is what is driving the whole damn mess.

And they can't ever provide me with a unified champion.

Bring on the NHL.  

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