Archives » April 8th, 2006

April 8, 2006

Two Weeks In Review

Having writer’s block in private is one thing. If you’re working on a book, and you haven’t written any pages in a few days, nobody knows about it. But if you’re writing in public, like on a blog, and you go for a few days, people start to notice your absence. So then you feel like there’s even more pressure to write, and a few more days go by. At this point the anxiety has become like a snowball. You can’t just write any old thing, your first post back has got to be something big, something worth the wait. So then a few more days go by, and now the pressure is unbearable. And before you know it, 12 days have gone by since you’ve posted anything, and then you’re really in a dep hole because you feel like you owe your regulars an explanation.

Maybe I’m not much of a blogger, because things are happening in my daily life, but my first impulse isn’t to say, “Oh! I should blog that!” And even if I had the impulse, I couldn’t pull it off. James Lileks can write fourteen paragraphs about a trip to Target, and make it seem effortless. I can’t.

So what has been going on lately?

* We were finally able to bring home our puppy Baxter. We weren’t sure if we should or not, because we’re leaving on a big trip next week and we didn’t want him to stay home alone at such a young age. But the lady we’re adopting him from said we could take him for now, and then bring him back right before our trip. She’ll watch him for free while we’re gone, then we pick him up for good after we get home. Now, how could we pass up an offer like that? So Baxter is home now and already trying to throne himself as the king of the place.

* We are counting down the days until our vacation. First will be a two-day drive down the California coast, then we’ll spend three days in the San Fernando Valley where Viola grew up, then we’ll spend six days in Anaheim where my family is. Two days at Disneyland, a movie in Hollywood, a trip to the beach, and a Wiggles show all await us. It’s gonna be some week.

* Been watching a lot of TV, something I’m always embarrassed to write about on this site, even though I spend hours each week watching it and then even more hours reading Television Without Pity. This week the self-named geeks were eliminated from The Amazing Race. They were one of the more likable teams, and also the only one with their own theme song. Every time they came on the screen the music editors started playing The Plucky Strings Geek Love Theme. You can always tell the producers like a team when they have their own music.

* And then on American Idol Mandisa got kicked off, which was nobody’s fault but her own. She had been building up a nice gay fanbase, on her way to becoming another icon like Cher and Liza Minelli. All she had to do was wait until disco night and belt out “It’s Raining Men,” and she would have had a career for decades. But instead what she did was come out on stage praising God and saying He was bigger than any “lifestyle”. And if there’s one thing the gay community knows, even if Mandisa didn’t, is that “lifestyle” is another word for “homosexual”. So right there she was branded as a gay basher, and over the next 48 hours the fan base that had so solidly supported her kind of slipped away into the night. Now, it doesn’t matter what she really meant when she said that; we’re talking about the court of public opinion here. Reason and logic do not apply, just perception and gut feelings. By the time she took the stage again the following week, she was toast. Her performance that night was irrelevant; she was already going home.

What, you are still under the delusion that American Idol is a singing competition? Silly, silly people.

Television Watch

Television Watch: the site for people who think that the public should decide what we can and cannot watch on TV, not the government. It’s a group advocating less government intervention in programming, and fewer fines that make producers afraid to try new things. TV is one case where the market has already provided a solution: there are ratings on shows, and there is a V-chip that can block shows where the rating is too high. That’s all we need. We don’t need the FCC, and the religious groups that it answers to, poking into our living room.

The site has a petition you can sign, but I’m not sure what good that will do. There needs to be an Activism section, like form letters you can fax to Congress. Maybe the site is still too new.