Live always at the edge of poetic possibilty, even in the face of severe prose. - Walter Bruggemann

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Think I'm Just Getting Old

I was on Metro-North Commuter Railroad yesterday, off to visit a friend and to hear a lecture. There was a poster ad in my car that caught my eye before I closed my eyes for a nap. Big Bird, as yellow as I remember him from all those years of watching him interact with my children ONLY ONE HOUR A DAY, was alerting the public to a new television channel. Sprout. Sprout promises that your child could see old friends like Big Bird and make new friends.

Great, my kids loved Big Bird, Burt and Ernie, Maria, David and of course Mr. Hooper. I can remember the episode that explained with Will Lee's death (Mr. Hooper) to these young viewers. We were all crying.

But the show was only one hour a day. Sprout on the other hand is a new 24 HOUR channel. That's right, your pre-schooler, that is any 3-5 year old child, can now watch their own channel 24 hours a day. Dog gone it, they're lucky and their mothers and fathers even luckier!

Then, I started to think. What pre-schooler needs to be able to watch TV 24 hours a day? What parent in his or her mind would let their pre-schooler watch TV 24 hours a day? I don't care if it IS Big Bird or if they resurrect Mr. Hooper from the dead. A pre-school channel accessible 24 hours a day is OVERKILL. Not necessary. Excessive and quite frankly so American.

Last night I was at the home of my good friends. As usual we hottubbed, drank a margarita, ordered a pizza and settled in for some TV. We flipped stations, you know what I mean. Back and forth, around and around. We just couldn't find anything that was appealing.

Marcia said, "I don't know exactly where and when that line is crossed that you know your old but somehow you know when you've crossed over." Indeed we have crossed. What happened to I Love Lucy reruns? To Northern Exposure? To The Bill Cosby Show? To Bonanza for crying out loud? Now all you can find is reality upon reality. Why would I want to watch reality when I live reality? I want fantasy and some good, belly aching laughs. I want tears of laughter to roll down my cheeks.

We ate our pizza and watched "What Not to Wear" - a show about an every day woman made over so that she looks up-to-date (heaven forbid she steps out on the street in jeans and a t-shirt) and "Say Yes to the Dress", a show about brides with $10,000 budgets choosing their gown at Karl Lagerfeld. When the commercials came on we switched to a channel where they gutted a bathroom and made a new one for only $2,000 (yeah right, 2,000 bucks my butt). Folks now that's a reality fantasy a whole new genre of television programming.

Big Bird good, 24 hour bad, me old.


Dina said...

Oi. And I'm so old I don't even want or have a TV.
Maybe if toddlers wake up in the night they can get up and turn on Sprout. :(

Rebeckah said...

This was such an interesting post : )! Bill Cosby is still on tv land. Do you get that channel? My husband has been watching it for the past 2 months! I agree about the reality tv. There is so much. I love a funny sitcom! Hope you are having a nice rain free weekend!

Suzanne said...

Television! I don't know what to do with it anymore.