On occasion, I astound my husband with a rather unimpressive talent I possess. We can be in a hotel room, turn the TV to ‘Nick at Nite’ and after viewing a few minutes of an ancient sitcom, I will relate the entire half-hour plot to him.
The episodes were seared into my mind during childhood summers when I Love Lucy, That Girl, The Andy Griffith Show, My Three Sons, Family Affair and other cultural highlights (let’s not forget Green Acres, Leave it to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show!) filled my mornings before I headed out to bicycle and play outdoors for the rest of the day.
While those shows portrayed moral uprightness and scintillating entertainment compared to what’s on TV today, no one would mistake them for Shakespeare. Yet, it wasn’t until years —and many hours of TV viewing —later that I realized how inane so much of entertainment is.
My awakening occurred after spending a TV free year in Israel. Upon arriving back in America and turning on the TV, I was appalled at how shallow and uninteresting most sitcoms were. It took stepping away to really see what was in front of me.
Perhaps the fact that I recently spent a week not reading the newspaper or following any part of the news served the same purpose. All I know is that returning to the news cycle after that short halt has me wanting to run in the streets shouting, “The emperor has no clothes! The emperor has no clothes!”
What have I caught up on and read about? In no particular order, here are a few of the items:
- The Republican Congress has censured the IRS chief. This brings to my mind a group of elderly men slapping each other on the back while puffing cigars and congratulation themselves on how clever they are. I’m glad they’re happy but I’m waiting to understand why Lois Lerner and others aren’t in jail for using the power of the IRS as a tactical, political weapon.
- An Islamist terrorist commits a terror attack and a Republican dominated congress holds four votes on…..gun control.
- An Islamist terrorist commits a terror attack and religious Christians get called on the carpet for it.
- The Justice Department censors and rewrites parts of the terrorist’s phone calls to downplay his Islamic involvement and Republican congressmen are talking about ….gun control.
- A room full or reporters questions Attorney General Loretta Lynch about the terrorist attack and NOT ONE reporter asks about why the government is refusing to acknowledge that we do know the motivation of the killer.
- Government agencies are stockpiling weapons and ammunition and Republicans in Congress are discussing…citizen gun control. (I knew about this for quite some time already but a Wall Street Journal article appeared so even GOP elected officials whose heads are in the sand should have heard about it.)
- Hillary Clinton attacks Donald Trump as dangerous and reporters repeat her words without bursting into guffaws of laughter at the pot calling the kettle black.
- Team Trump sends me a few fund-raising appeals without any humility or explanation of why a candidate who spent months boasting about self-funding wants my money.
- The GOP sends me fund-raising appeals despite presenting itself as incompetent and impotent (see above).
Sadly, my list could go on and on. The duplicity, stupidity, evil and immorality striking me in the face after my news blackout leaves me convinced that even a government populated by the citizens of another ridiculous 1960s sitcom, Petticoat Junction, would be a vast improvement over what we have today.
Here is my challenge to myself: Next week write about something positive and uplifting. It is easy to get discouraged and important to fight against that.