Monday, February 4, 2008

Book list and a mini-rant

Mini-rant first:

Last night my husband and I enjoyed watching the Superbowl together. I am a football fan, but usually the Superbowl is a let-down. Not this year! It was a great game: lots of fun to watch.

Unfortunately, I also had to watch a man on fire plunge himself into water, a different man freaking out in what looked like a police station room (punching the wall and throwing furniture around), a man being very scary and intimidating a woman, and a firefighter desperately trying to perform CPR on what obviously was a dead woman while his peers watched. Oh, I almost forgot the most memorable one- a woman lying on a table with a drill going into her skull.

So, from where did all these lovely and restful bedtime images spring?

COMMERCIALS. Freaking commercials.

Apparently the networks think that by showing us these thrilling and "enticing" little clips of their regular network shows, we will make sure to tune in at showtime.

Pardon my French, but what the hell is going on?

When did this type of imagery become OK for primetime viewing?

We don't watch that much TV anymore, but I have been noticing the inappropriate nature of commercials more and more. It really hit me last Thanksgiving, when I was trying to watch the Macy's Day Parade with Sister. Parades are right up her alley, and I just knew that she'd get a thrill from the floats, balloons, marching bands, etc.

It was a BIG ZONK. We found ourselves either watching a seemingly endless stream of scary/sexy commercials, or listening to talking heads TELL us about the parade while it passed behind them, or watching Al Roker interview some of NBC's prime time stars who were at the parade (so they could plug their shows) while the parade passed behind them, or were seeing a Broadway musical number (the only thing worth watching.) And most of the commercials were TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE for family audiences. One that stands out in my memory was for the big hit show, "Heroes," where teenaged protaganists were doing all kinds of thing that were "thrilling" like leaping from buildings or creating fireballs and explosions or engaging in hand-to-hand combat. Just the type of thing I wanted my 3-year old to see on Thanksgiving morning.

After about 30 minutes we turned the blasted thing off. (What took me so long?)

People, I'm over it.

Now I'm not quite ready to put my TV on the curb with yesterday's poopie diaper. But I'm getting closer every day.

I'll wrap up this mini-rant (not so mini...sorry) for now, but I will revisit this. Mamas, we've got to do something. I mean, what if I had an 8 year old Brother instead of a 1 year old Brother who wanted to watch some football with his Daddy? What would I do then?
Ay, Carumba!

On another note, Beck- here are some book recommendations for you. Sorry there aren't more- it's been hectic around here with my grant-writing work. Here are some books that any self-respecting library should keep on the shelves:

For kids:

Fancy Nancy and the latest Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy - Sister LOVES these

Pssst! by Adam Rex

Knuffle Bunny and the latest Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems

First the Egg by Laura Seeger

Rainstorm- very cool wordless picture book

The Little Red Fish by Tae-Eun Yoo

For older kids and adolescents:

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

Others by Laura Amy Schlitz that are good are A Drowned Maiden's Hair and The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy

Oops, out of time. I'll try to post a few more this week.


Beck said...

Thank you SO MUCH!
And no KIDDING about the commercials - Canadian television is currently running a series of workplace safety ads that are just horrifying. In one horrifying instance, a young woman gets scalded to death at work. They play these enchanting ads at SEVEN IN THE EVENING.

Kate said...

OMG, your rant is so timely this evening. Today the kids watched an animal explorer show on discovery kids network. Turns out DKN has commercials, our usuals, PBS and Noggin have none. So this evening at dinner Caleb starts screaming "It's my money and I want it now, it's my money buddy!!" he's yelling it over and over and I'm all, WTF, What is he talking about? And Samuel says something about it being a commercial they saw watching the animal show.
Well, I guess we won't be able to see that show EVER again. Well maybe when they are like 10.

chelle said...

We heart Mo Williams around here.

We gave up tv. I was so tired of all the craziness and the way my daughter would get roped into it, dazed and stuck. So we do not have cable. She watches a dvd daily if we are home (just because I need a little break).

TV was so different when we were kids, yet my Dad said the same thing when I was a kid ... where will they go next?

Anonymous said...

Great rant.

I feel the same way. And it seems like the "family" channels are the worst sometimes, too. I want to get one of those DVR thingies (I'm SO technologically challenged...) so that you can watch a show without commercial interruptions. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Here's my pet peeve... I don't watch much tv, either, but every once in awhile I have 10 minutes to sit and eat a snack or maybe lunch alone and I want to watch food tv or biography or an old movie and relax. But guess what is ALWAYS on?? Commercials. It's stupid. I should just keep a book on the table.

I don't know about you, but I feel better, anyway! ;)