Is anything in your daily life driven by blogging? Do you find yourself paying more attention to a particular musical artist because one of your blogging pals is a fan? Do you go through your day thinking "Hm, I should blog about that"? Does blogging ever effect how you watch television?
Did you all know that I watch a fair amount of television? I do. There. You know my secret cultural shame. Don't tell anyone else, alright? Let's just keep this between friends.
I don't watch TV just for the heck of it, mind you, often it will be on as background while I am making a rosary or writing some long, deep, socially relevant post for my blog (ahem, they are all still in draft form), or sleeping in my chair. I really only have a few things that I love to watch, and make it a point not to miss them and those things are: Boston Legal, American Idol, Dancing with the stars, and almost any rugby match played by a national team or any of the domestic competitions in the southern hemisphere. Since my TV time is limited, I am glad that I have a digital video recorder, which allows me to record my favorite shows, and watch them when it is convenient.
About two months ago, I got sucked into watching another television show… and it is all the fault of some of you that read my blog. You see, I was channel surfing one evening, and I cam across "The L Word", on Showtime. I had never seen the show before, but I knew from reading some of your blogs, that many of you watch and enjoy the show. I watched and enjoyed the episode that was on, and when it was over, I discovered that Showtime was showing the previous seasons, preparatory to beginning the new/current season. So I watched them… all of them, and before you know it, I had added a new show to my watch list.
Here is the thing: Television is a very, very powerful medium. Ok, no big revelation there, but I have to say that plainly, because we all know that getting any sort of cultural information strictly from television… particularly dramas and sitcoms, can be extremely dangerous.
Case in point, The L Word. If I were just some random person that didn't know any women that were lesbians, or didn't have colleagues that are lesbians, or have a family member that is a lesbian, I could find my self thinking that this show is some sort of primer to lesbian lifestyle and that all I ever needed to know about women that are lesbians could be gleaned from that show. I'm glad that I don't buy easily into what I see on the screen, because the outlook that the show might create in an "outsider" like me, might be less than favorable.
You see, if I thought that watching this show made me some sort of expert, I would quickly conclude that all lesbians are VERY promiscuous; all lesbians use the word f*** incessantly; all lesbians are quasi-psychotic; all lesbians regularly engage in self-destructive behavior; and that all lesbians are as mean to each other regarding sexual choices/preferences as the rest of society is to them.
Good thing this is just an hour's worth of entertainment for me.
I enjoy this show because it can be very funny, because of the interplay between the characters, the dialogue is well-written, and it covers subject matter that I can only understand from a double arms length…. but not really. To tell you the truth, I understand all of it, because at the end of the day, the life-issues that the characters face, are no different from the issues that pretty much everyone faces. Love, heartbreak, betrayal, sexual politics, identity, friendship, racism, adoption, employment, family, the dearth of affordable health insurance, interracial relationships, fidelity, life in academic circles, etc…..
If I had never started blogging, I would probably have never seen this show and never would have sat in my chair (my new rocking chair from Ikea!) and thought "hm, maybe I should blog about this".
If you haven't seen it, I think you should give it a try. If you have seen it, tell me what you think.