Ozzily Yours

Monday, April 30, 2007

Another Way TV Shows are Different from the Real World

I get that abortion is a touchy subject, I really do. It's a topic that people all along the spectrum get very passionate about, myself included, and that can make it hard to discuss. But does that mean that the world of popular culture has to pretend it doesn't exist?

If you haven't watched last week's Lost yet, you might want to skip this paragraph. If you have watched it, perhaps you can explain to me why it is that neither Juliet nor Sun even broached the subject that perhaps Sun should consider terminating her pregnancy? I mean, even a perfunctory three-line conversation, which ended with Juliet saying, "Yeah, we tried that, the women all died anyway" would have been preferable to just pretending the option didn't exist. Of course, this whole episode seemed wrapped up in the concept of womanhood being inextricably tied to reproduction - the implication that Sun's and Jin's marriage wasn't complete until they produced a child has been bugging me for a while now, and this didn't do anything to help it.

Still, though, I do think that this is a widespread oversight. The most egregious example, which I still get pissed off about when I think about it, came in the season finale of Scrubs last season. Two women found themselves unexpectedly expecting: one had proclaimed, along with her partner, that they most definitely did not want any more children, no way, no how; the other had been on one date with the child's father, having met him within the last month. Additionally, between these four characters, three of them were medical professionals, and the fourth sat on the hospital board; all would know the specifics of what abortion entails, its risks as compared to risks of childbirth, the fact that, despite what some women are being told, it does not lead to increased risk of breast cancer or difficulty conceiving later in life, etc. And yet no one even broached the idea of abortion. Not for even a second. It was wholly illogical, and a pansy-ass move, as far as I'm concerned.

I'm sure the TV producers are just concerned about alienating certain viewers and, potentially, losing ad revenue as a result, and I know that that's a business decision. But how come no one cares about alienating viewers like me?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Out of the Mouths of 32-Year-Old Men

Excerpt from my conversation with the husband last night:

"Comic-book whores are the saddest whores of all."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts Inspired by VA Tech

I started writing this as a comment on this post, in which a friend attempts to explain why he does not feel as personally affected by Monday's shootings at Virginia Tech as others might. The more I typed the more I realized I wanted to share what I was thinking with other people.

I think my own emotional involvement must have something to do with the unexpectedness and the vivid nearness of the situation. Multiple deaths that occur via suicide bombers, genocidal campaigns, and our own country's involvement in wars across the globe, horrifying though they are, have become news items we are all inured to, due to both their predictability and their physical remoteness from our day-to-day lives. (Of course, to be fair, perhaps we should all be considering what that lack of attention to those events means in the grand scheme of things.) Monday's tragedy, however, was a total surprise, and something that could, theoretically, happen to any one of us at any time.

So while perhaps I would like to feel high and mighty in claiming I have more "empathy" than others, I don't think that's necessarily the case. Because when I find myself thinking about the students mourning their classmates, parents mourning their children, long-time professors mourning a school that will never be the same - I think it is very much in the context of, "What must those poor people be going through? And what would I do if that were me? How could I possibly handle it if a madman showed up in one of the husband's classrooms tomorrow?"

Logically, I know that the statistical chances of any of us ever being involved in a situation like this are extremely slim. But emotionally, I also know that the security on the husband's campus is somewhat lax. I also know that my office building's security is somewhat lax, and that anyone can bring anything onto the CTA, and that I work kitty-corner from the Sears Tower, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Chicago, and that all of these things, theoretically, could make us targets.

But I also don't think anyone can really change the situation. As Moth observes, "it would take an absolute prohibition of gun ownership to have any real impact, and I just don't see that happening. And even then it won't end the problem completely." And I don't want to live in a country where I have to go through metal detectors to get to work, or the CTA is even slower due to security checks of everyone's bags, or I can't walk onto campus to pick up the husband at the end of the day and chat with his classmates for a few minutes.

Last Friday, the husband and I saw the Steppenwolf's production of The Diary of Anne Frank. And at the time, we discussed it from a somewhat academic viewpoint - the adaption of book to play, the performances of the actors, the interesting choices made in set design. But now I find myself thinking of her famous observation (forgive me for paraphrasing), "I believe people are still good at heart." I guess all that I can do is to try to believe that as well (and, for the most part, I do) and assume that I and my loved ones will never have to go through the horrifying ordeal that so many people are going through in Virginia.

Still, though. It's hard to worry about marketing channel strategy when I'm having heavy thoughts like this....

Monday, April 16, 2007

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

Excerpt from a telephone conversation I had last night with my almost-4-year-old nephew:

mcm: So I heard you had some ice cream cake today
Almost-4-year-old: Yeah!
mcm: Was it good?
A4yo: Yeah!
mcm: What flavor was it?
A4yo: Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry!*
mcm: Wow, that sounds really good. So what else did you do today?
A4yo: Strawberry!
mcm: ...
mcm: You did strawberry? That doesn't make any sense. What did you do today?
A4yo: Strawberry!

Clearly, he knows what he wants to talk about, and my questions have nothing to do with it.

*Teaching him the word neopolitan should be high on all our lists of things to do....