roosterAnother from the surly, raining-lots, Hegelian, Andy Rooney-genre:

Believe me, effusing about network television is a little odd for me. However I do own a 12-inch tv that, up here in the forest, seems to get about four channels including ABC (which I reckon is better than a 4-incher getting about 12 channels–I really don’t know).

All right, sue me! I watch the little fucker sometimes when I’m eating!

Nor am I about to declare that ABC/Disney is a force for world peace or anything like that…

Yet, I just gotta say, that damn WifeSwap is the shit! You know what I’m saying?

Specifically, the WifeSwap production (friday night in my neck of the woods) serves up our old friend: the dialectic. I think that’s pretty important in this day and age. And while I’m not ready to proclaim WifeSwap to be the natural evolutionary scion of Buddhist epistemology or some such shit, I am saying that presenting moral dialectic (reasoning by dialog as a method of investigation) to the American public can’t be such a bad thing.

True, the public’s participation is no more than as couch-sitting tools for mass consumption. Yet we pathetic voyeurs do choose to turn it on. I mean, it’s a screen I don’t type at, so I can eat my food — drink my drink. You know, …consume.

Oh sure, I wouldn’t mind seeing more behind the scenes aspects of the swapping of the wives. Who wouldn’t? No doubt the best stuff gets relegated to the cutting room floor. (That perhaps could make an intriguing little cable production: ‘WifeSwap–The Outtakes‘ ..“You want me to what!? Dress up like a postal worker so I can deliver your male!? I don’t give a shit WHAT your old man does! I ain’t going there! So let’s just drop it, right now!..”)

Nonetheless, polarities such as: visceral vs. cerebral, or gender neutrality vs. real sexuality, or religious vs. non-religious, schooled vs. commonly sensible, cop vs. artist (that’s antipodal, right?), and on and on, are worthy of displaying to Joe and Mary six-pack on the receiving end of their televisions. Sure, it’d be great if the good folks at WifeSwap could bring us a little meatier version, say, “Look America! the Bushes have agreed to wife-swap with the Ng family..let’s see what differences result..!” That just ain’t gonna happen.

Nevertheless, WifeSwap seems to model possibilities (albeit as televised show) for popular resolution of that age-old friction, “I’m not the asshole, you’re the asshole!” — indeed a worthy variation of “Answer the question, asshole!” which, as George Carlin has noted, is what most shows tend to go with.

More and more of us are realizing that we are all assholes in this together, such that we needn’t point fingers. (And that.. some wives are hotter than others..but that’s irrelevant…’cause…we’re actually just staring at our tvs while we eat our food.)

(And before you start off, “Hey dick! ain’t ya got anything better to do on a friday night?”, or some such admonishment, let me assure you that I sure do..I just choose..to stay home and watch WifeSwap. Gonna watch the Nanny after that asshole! Piss off and stop reading my post! Jesus, where do they come up with this shit?)

2 thoughts on “WifeSwap

  1. Dar, just wanted you to know that I loved the little riff on “Wife Swap”, not because I am a particular fan of the show, but because you had the nerve to say you watch it. I’m a bit tired of people too sanctimonious to watch anything that isn’t commercial free or approved by PBS.What’s wrong with plain old fashioned entertainment. I talk to people who call themselves news junkies unabshedly. Like its OK to have all your gray matter programed and magic markered by Wolf Blitzer. Anyhow, enough of that. What i really wanted to say is I’m trying to come up with a nice intellectual sounding high minded reason for watching “Desperate House Wives.” reruns every afternoon. Still working on it. Love from one of your biggest fans and happy belated birthday.

    P.S. I’m sending something by e mail too.

  2. Aunt,
    Thanks for the nice comment, and the b-day wishes.
    Yes, one wonders if the sanctimonious ones listening to the talking heads might be better off just watching the complete tripe.
    PBS? Don’t get me started. Aside from Bill Moyer’s perspicacious talking head, they serve up some of the most twisted shit. (Whales rejoicing at Monsanto’s greenity, or whatever convoluted stuff they pass along.)
    So high-minded reasons? Hmm..
    How about, “I’m watching this in lieu of a cigarette habit”?

    That’s the best I could come up with.



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