Oscar Wilde said,” Life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. I hope Wilde wasn’t the last word on human behavior or art.
One could argue television is not an art form, except for far too many of us, it is. During a recent recuperative period, when reading was not enough of a past time to eliminate mind numbing boredom, I turned to television. Mainstream television has dumbed down to the point you’d have to have the IQ of a fruit fly to appreciate the bill of fare.
I had never watched morning television, so it was quite revealing to see a program featuring five prominent female talk show hosts shouting and talking over each other to the point of distraction. Yes, I’m talking about The View. Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s carping, high pitched nasal delivery of right wing dogma was too much, too early in the morning.
Moving on, cooking and home improvement shows added to my sense of shortcomings and who needs that? Do I really need to know seven different ways to prepare monkfish? I have zero interest in creating a decorative wastebasket from discarded magazines.
Afternoons bring Dr. Oz, with his rapid fire delivery. Who can understand what he is saying? Initially, his programming was similar to public service, giving us first hand insight into a variety of body parts most of us mercifully would never see. He is now promoting supplements with a vengeance. Anyone want to bet how long before he has his own brand of vitamins?
Evening television is not much of an improvement. Eliminating the reality programs was a no brainer and I moved on to the sitcoms and dramas. One of the dramas that held promise when it first aired has deteriorated to the level of Maury Povich and baby daddy. The plot centers on a divorced, unemployed forty something, moving back with her two teenage children to live with her parents, which is completely understandable in this economy. The last episode found her, still unemployed, still living with her parents, dating a much younger man and contemplating having his baby.
It occurred to me that the Republican congress must believe that life imitates art. Imagine Boehner, glued to the television to watch the next installment of this saga. This would explain why they dug their heels in to eliminate programs for the unemployed.
If television drama is the bellwether for policy in a Republican controlled congress, we better hope Oscar was wrong.