Some thoughts from watching cable in New Orleans

1. The commercials on MTV are a problem. They’re nothing but ads for things pertaining to sex and alcohol. That’s probably not even the worst of it. The proactiv ads make me want an uglier world. People can only be confident if they have unrealistically clear skin?

Add it all up and you can see the source of a lot of craziness. Kids think growing up is nothing but sex and drugs. They have standards for physical beauty that allow them to dismiss others far too easily. Anyone serious about education has to make it clear inside and outside the classroom that school, reading on one’s own, making something of oneself are a real alternative to this shallowness. It has to be shown the shallowness goes nowhere, too: many people do trade their physical beauty for gaining experience. They want to achieve and know more than bask in their own resplendence. Many want to sacrifice on behalf of others.

I guess what I’m seeing is that “merit” can’t really replace “honor” or “nobility” in their fullest sense. Weirdly enough, sex and drug abuse can be seen as providing an alternate set of goods to those had by “having a job” and “being educated.” As long as we emphasize acquisition alone as the end of education, we’re going to run into this idiocy.

2. Adult Swim’s “stoner” shows seem to have grown-up. A lot. And they’re good. Delocated captures the spirit of Arrested Development well and has an edge to it that is most welcome: not often I see two characters killed in one episode. Children’s Hospital has its sight set on hospital drama generally, but gets its relevance from the utter preposterousness that is House. And NTSF: SD: SUV is a gem – the procedural format is thoroughly eviscerated while itself exploited. The show moves fast even for 15 minutes.

3. The conference went well. I’ve got a bunch of stories, but some of them are still playing out. The whole issue is who keeps up and what we do for each other. New Orleans was a refreshing city and I do want to go back.



  1. The ludicrous statements made my acne medication commercials alternately annoy me and make me laugh. As a teenager, I had severe nodular acne all over my face. Every time I went to a doctor, whether my GP, the nurse practitioner at my university’s student medical service, or even my dentist, he or she tried to push a referral to a dermatologist on me. They never seemed to believe me when I said my acne didn’t bother me. (Or, rather, the fact that I had acne didn’t bother me. The pain and swelling was quite uncomfortable.) I’ve never understood why these doctors, and other adults I’ve encountered, were so certain that my acne was a negative in my life. They also couldn’t understand why I didn’t at least wear makeup to cover it up. Most of the time, I didn’t even remember that I had acne. I’m certainly glad that over time my face has cleared considerably, and I wish I didn’t have acne scars that make me look like a smallpox survivor, but in the grand scheme of life, it’s not really a huge deal. It doesn’t change who I am or alter my value as a human being.

    Although, while I was in high school, I’d overhear girls say, “Oh my word, I’m so broke out! My face looks horrible!” when they had one or two zits. I did secretly wish they’d get nodular acne for just a week so they could experience a REAL breakout.

  2. I will have to look for Delocated because I LOVED Arrested Development. I cancelled our cable about 4 months ago and we haven’t missed it yet. Having both Netflix and Hulu Plus is enough choice for the limited TV I watch.

    Don’t we all know those perfect skin people are all retouched. I try to teach my kids that it’s the imperfections that make us unique and real.

  3. I’m certainly glad that over time my face has cleared considerably, and I wish I didn’t have acne scars that make me look like a smallpox survivor, but in the grand scheme of life, it’s not really a huge deal

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