My good friend, Daryl, who knows how it's not easy being green, started a completely unrelated - yet totally related - blog (http://angrydarylisangry.blogspot.com for all of you non-techies who may not know that a different colored word means it's a link to another webpage) and asked me to be a guest contributor. And by "asked," I mean reminded me and asked where my entry was after I propositioned myself as said guest contributor.
It took me awhile to decide on my topic. I mean, I have so much rage built up inside of me, especially thanks to going cold-turkey off my antidepressants. But then something cropped up that I just couldn't understand or brush off: the TV. With no hesitation, after a superbly frustrating afternoon, I jumped on the computer and let 'er rip. So, here is my [slightly edited for content considering my primary audience] contribution:
Greetings, all of Daryl’s fellow rage-a-holics! If you’re lucky enough to know me, you know that I speak very openly and crassly about my battle with depression. If you’re just meeting me for the first time, well, let me tell you – I speak very openly and crassly about my battle with depression. But I know I’m not alone. Many people experience depression, a large majority being mothers, particularly those of the first-time variety.
And do you know who is staying home with the children during the day? The mothers; especially first-time mothers. And do you know what they’re watching? The Doctors, and a variety of other daytime talk shows, soap operas, and news programs. I don’t know what depression is like for other people, but the topics I happened to run across on TV one such day of being a part-time stay-at-home mom are of no help to anybody, especially those needing extra assistance firing those "happy" transmitters.
Growing up I was only generally aware of the Today Show, just thinking it was perpetually on one channel. Now that I’m an adult, I know that it’s only a measly five hours, and I’m routinely up before it starts at 7am. I appreciate how they promote the crap out of the segments they have coming up, like they’re Uncle Leo with a death grip on your arm for fear you’ll suddenly walk away. So thanks to these hyper-ads, I was routinely teased with a man who received multiple transplants – high risk, one-in-a-million of course – and was going to meet the donor family for the very first time. Are you kidding me?! Not only am I depressed, I’m also slightly groggy and a little pissed that I’m not still in bed. So, for the next four hours I’m reduced to tears because it just happens to be the moment I walk into the living room that I get to hear about it….again. So I cheated on Today and flipped over to Good Morning America.
Here we have two women whose name's I don't know about to start a new segment, in which a woman decided to give birth in an art museum.
Um, sure. People have weddings there, so why the heck not?
And people would be able to watch, i.e. performance art.
Um, I’m sorry, what?!
I changed the channel just as they said, “This material is not suitable for all viewers.” I love a good birth story, as long as there aren’t cameras and a price of admissions involved. Furthermore, who watches this kind of thing?! People spout, “Oh, childbirth is a beautiful thing!” No, it’s not. It’s fucking gross. But I digress…..
So there I was, changing the channel….
Remember Steve Wilkos circa Jerry Springer when it was so conveniently on right when we got home from school? He was the one who burst every balloon in the audience by breaking up the fights when a really gross person started fighting with an even grosser person. Now he has his own show which is a step above Jerry, but below Maury, and in my haste to avoid the desecration of an art museum, I accidentally landed on Steve and his Shocking Molestation Accusations. Now this just made me sick.
I managed to make it through the rest of my daytime schedule relatively unscathed. I love The Talk, and I find Anderson Cooper to be just creepy enough that he’s entertaining. My baby usually takes a nap around then and I decide it’s a good time for me too. We get up around 3pm, just in time for Dr. Phil, which I never pollute my ears with, but his channel is still on from before we went to sleep.
I wasn’t really watching because they were showing those explanatory, reenactment, dramatization videos so I checked the digital guide. On this very special episode, Dr. Phil was berating parents who are accused of inflicting too harsh of punishments on their children, presumably an idea sprung from the video of the Judge whipping his daughter. Among them being…..wait for it…..gluing their children’s hands (to what, it didn’t say), and forcing a child to kill a pet. Yes, you read that right.
After that, the rest of my day sort-of went downhill. I don’t blame it on TV, but is there no part of a producer’s mind that might consider this might BOTHER people?! Specifically considering said producer probably has her own standing prescription of Zoloft. People think they’re being cutting edge, creating ground-breaking journalism, bladdy, blah, blah. Fine, but why put it on daytime television when mothers are home alone and have easy access to kitchen knives? Better yet – these children these shows claim to be looking out for aren’t; in case you missed the memo, children are awake during the day and will probably offer a glance or two at the television. Yes, it’s my responsibility to make sure she isn’t watching anything she isn’t supposed to, but, come on, work with me here. If your show is not suitable for younger viewers while my younger viewer is awake and aware, I will not be watching whatever topic you use to pat yourself on the back with.
Now here it is in the evening and we’re watching a documentary on banjos on PBS. You can still be informed without learning every gruesome detail; and sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
UPDATE: I wrote this exactly one week ago and, oddly enough, I ran across the following on television: a rerun of Steve Wilkos Shocking Molestation Accusations, and Albino Anderson Cooper discussing too harsh of punishments for children.
Good thing the pharmacy still has my prescription information.