Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Say No to Bad TV

Slacker Mom feels a rant coming on...

After hearing all the controversy about Adam Lambert's AMA performance (which I didn't watch, because, let's be honest, I just don't care, and besides, there's got to be something better on my 800 DirecTV channels than the AMA awards), I decided I'd take a look at the video clip on YouTube. Full disclosure: I've never even once watched American Idol. The only reason I know who Adam Lambert is has more to do with the fact that he and I both hail from San Diego, and I read an article about him at the hairdresser's once when I couldn't find anything more interesting to read, like maybe "HairStyles For the Modern Grandmother." So I went in expecting his performance to be total crap. But I watched it. Twice. And I'll admit that I was shocked.

Oh. My. God. An aspiring rock star uses sexually explicit moves and lyrics to gain major publicity, millions of YouTube hits, and stir up controversy? What is the world coming to? What a ground-breaking move by the former American Idol contestant, to use sex to sell an image, to shock the establishment with his performance and costumes and dancers! Who does he think he is, Madonna?

Come on, people. What is the big deal? Aren't most of us old enough to remember the 80s, when the Material Girl pissed off the Catholic Church and the Moral Majority (and certainly my mother, who objected to her name just on principle) by dancing around in white, singing "Like A Virgin," wearing lots of crosses and a torn-up lace wedding dress? Or how about that MTV Music Video Awards show, where a hairy-assed, midget-sized Prince wore see-through yellow pants? Eww. I object. And it has nothing to do with his sexuality. (It might have to do with the fact that he changes his name/symbol so often that I don't really know what to call him. Who can keep track?)

But Adam Lambert? OK, so the fact that he's from San Diego may help him score some points with me. But really, the boy wears more eye makeup than I do, and he's prettier AND skinnier than me. He spends more time on his hair, too, and uses more product. So right away, he's on my list of guys I can't be bothered to pay attention to. (Ask my college roommates; those are deal breakers, baby. He has a smaller ass than me? Spends more time getting ready to go out? Forget him!) Add to that the fact that I think my cat has more talent than he does, and no, I'm not a fan. Gay or straight, that's not the issue. So he simulated sex. Um, don't you see more action on your typical daytime soap, with actual naked people? My kids have yet to see "Madagascar 2" because of its sexual innuendo. Turn on the TV during an NFL game, and start counting: you'll see more sex and violence (and hear more objectionable language) on the commercials than I saw on that video clip. And no, I didn't watch the "edited for the West Coast" clip. (Which, by the way, was stupid, because West Coasters are a LOT less shocked and upset by that sort of thing. They have to be. It's LA, home of boob jobs and lip implants for 15-year-olds, after all.)

By far the biggest complaints I've heard seem to be of the "but kids watch this stuff" variety. Really? Kids are watching prime-time TV music shows? That seems to me to be the problem. When that show aired, my children were sound asleep in their beds, where they should be, not watching a music-industry awards show during prime-time hours that was aimed at an ADULT audience. And had it been aired at noon on a weekend, they still wouldn't have been watching it. Because they are children, and in my house, I am the parent. I decide what is appropriate, I am the Keeper of the Remote. You don't like what's on TV? Turn it off. Go play a game, read a book, take a walk, phone a friend. Do you let your kids listen to explicit lyrics? Then why let them watch a TV show where it's likely they'll hear those lyrics, and see them performed? Was it really such a shocker that a singer (for lack of a better term) like Adam Lambert did something inappropriate?

Yes, his performance was inappropriate and distasteful. Isn't much of what's on TV these days inappropriate and distasteful? Reality TV where we "swap" wives and then watch the children cry? That's tasteful? Crime dramas depicting rapes and murders and violence against children? If you ask me, it's all crap. Even so-called children's programming is often offensive. Disney shows like "The Suite Life" and "Hannah Montana" contain bias, disrespect, inappropriate language, offensive comments. And let's be honest: Barney? The Teletubbies? The freakin' Wiggles? I OBJECT! They're offensive! They're annoying! And their songs are waaaaay too catchy! NO ONE over the age of 4 should be subjected to that kind of programming.

Slacker Mom Says...get control over the remote. If my kids are watching it, it's because I let them. I won't be blaming anyone else for what goes on in my house, and that includes TV programming. My kids watch TV, sure. In fact, they're watching it right now. But they're watching shows with appropriate content - which varies from family to family, certainly. I don't trust the networks or even other parents to decide what is right for my kids; I am picky, choosy, like those moms in the Jif commercials. I don't want to watch crap; I don't want my kids to watch crap. But common sense needs to prevail. If you don't like it, turn it off. If you're offended, write to the networks and their sponsors and tell them what you want to see. Take action rather than merely complain!

And now, I'll be stepping off my soapbox to go make some pies. It's Thanksgiving, after all, and I don't have to get up early tomorrow. So I can watch the last three episodes of "Desperate Housewives" on my DVR. Inappropriate? Distasteful? Crap? Yep, and I'm addicted. But I'm a grownup, so it's OK.

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