One of the perks of being on a traveling vacation is that I get to watch normal TV when we stay at hotels. At home we have the Roku thingy and stream shows on demand. We also have a digital antennae thingy so we can watch network stuff, but I almost never do. I hate ads and I don’t have a life that allows much of anything to happen on someone else’s schedule. I learn about world events in quick bursts of time on the web, relying on my go-to news trio — NY Times, Facebook and the Onion.
Needless to say (but I will anyway), I’m culturally out of touch. Once in a while it bothers me so I read People or Us, or I browse Yahoo, and I marvel for a few moments at the world of Celebrity swirling around my void.
This morning I turned on the TV in our hotel room and Today was on. It’s one of those morning network talk shows. But you probably already know that. It was superficial, jangly and jarring, with bright colors and smiling faces, except when they put on their serious faces. It made me feel anxious and vapid.
As I pottered about, I learned from Today that the POTUS had a state dinner for kids who submitted recipes. The Dutch are angry about how their compatriots’ remains are being handled in the Ukraine. There is weather all over the country. A ball girl at a Sox game snagged a fair ball. Kate Hudson has a new movie out.
We didn’t recognize Kate. With her extreme-straightened hair and extreme-smoothed forehead and extreme-coverage makeup, she looked just like everyone else I see in the mags now. Anthony commented dryly, “She’s done something to her face.” We speculated about Botox.
As I hustled Nick out the door for a delicious continental breakfast in the hotel lobby, Today posted up a snapshot of some people with this caption underneath: “Adam Levine weds model in Mexico.”
Oddly enough, I know who Levine is and I know that he was dating a Victoria’s Secrets model. I know she hawks panties and bras and sells her made-up face and primped body for pictures. Still, the caption bothered me. Some Today execs or writers sat around deciding on what to say. They chose not to use the bride’s name or a word that ordinarily describes a human being in a relationship. They could have referred to her as a partner, girlfriend, fiancé, lover, friend. Instead the caption objectifies her utterly, completely. She could be a person or a train set or a blow-up doll. I wondered if she’s okay with being pegged that way.
And this is one reason why we got rid of normal TV. Why should I be wasting my time worrying after the feelings of Adam Levine’s model? Yeesh. It’s a good thing we’re heading to the mountains for a few more days of camping. Continue reading