We watch a lot of age-appropriate television in our house.
I don’t mean that we watch more than our share of television in general.
What I mean is that if the TV is on, we’re probably watching RescueBots or Dora or something like it.
We don’t watch a lot of grownup TV.
Unless it’s late at night when our four-year-old is asleep.
Then I can watch as much as I want until I fall asleep on the couch.
That usually takes about an hour.
So when Jenny heard the report about the typhoon in the Philippines, it was one of the rare times when we over ruled the “kid’s show directive” and decided to watch some real news.
( If I make it sound like Nate rules the roost, I’m really just being dramatic. I know who really wears the pants in our family…and it’s not Nate.)
Isaac called down the stairs when news about the Philippines came on.
By the time Jenny was able to come back upstairs, the typhoon news was off and they were talking about some rift between George Clooney and Russell Crowe.
They talked about the celebrity argument for five minutes.
10,000 people were probably dead in one area alone of the Philippines and here they were taking up valuable space on the broadcast with the tale of how some actors weren’t getting along.
But this was American television.
PBS Newshour is good…it’s accurate…it’s real news…but good grief, it’s boring. It is boring as heck.
I couldn’t watch it. I couldn’t stand it.
Where would I learn about George Clooney or why we shouldn’t bully anyone…or who bought a really expensive, fast car? Or even better, who’s dating who and doing it (dating) “celebrity style”.
It’s got to be the real news for me.
It’s got to be American news if I’m going to hear any of the good stuff.
I guess that when I get down to it, I’m one of the worst of the bunch. I love the tabloid weirdness. I can make fun of it like it’s not something that I lap up like fresh cream, but I watch it.
I watch the heck out of it if it comes on my television.
If Lady Gaga has a new meat dress, I want to be first in line to see it.
I wonder why that is?
Now, if something bad happens in the world, like a giant typhoon or a bomb or an act of terrorism, I’m on that, too.
In between episodes of the RescueBots, I’m on the case.
I watch to learn about the disasters as much out of compassion and concern as a sense of duty.
It’s the mature thing to do, to be watchful of what is going on in the world. I’m an adult. I’m old enough to be an adult.
I should watch the “bad news”, too.
But I tend to take the low road sometimes. I watch the crap with the thought “why is this news?” percolating in the back of my consciousness.
I know it’s wrong to watch it…but I’m a moth, and the world is burning….and I can’t stay away from the flame.
Somewhere in some far back portion of my mind, I know that I shouldn’t give myself over to the inconsequential and salacious. I should not do that.
Some folks in a country far away are coping with Hell.
Now where’s that new meat dress?!