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But wait, there's more.
There's just no polite way to say "Buy me things", is there?
Need a band name?
rant is where the heart is
entry for 2001-09-08 (20:49:00)
In which our plucky young hero attended no tapings in Television City, California.
Big bucks! Big bucks big bucks big bucks no whammies no whammies STOP!
Man, they just don't make television like that anymore.
Whenever I need proof that we have progressed as a species, and moreover have progressed forward instead of backward, I just turn on the Game Show Network.
GSN, as it likes to be called, or "Game Show Network", as it actually is called, is a bullet straight from the 70s (or earlier) to your head. It is a time capsule, and a surprisingly effective one at that. Unlike most rerun-oriented channels, which focus on sitcoms that were unrealistic and cliched the first time they were run, Game Show Network gives us game shows. And if there's anything game shows are all about, it's the cold painful slap of reality smacking you one in the face.
No, I'm not referring to the games themselves. (It's been weeks since I got offered fifty bucks if I could produce a hard-boiled egg from the back pocket of my Mandrake The Magician costume.) I speak of the prizes.
Eight-hundred-dollar record players with built-in 8-track. Three-thousand-dollar cars (with California emissions) made out of boxy, pointy, actual steel, as light and aerodynamic as a concrete box full of hammers. Self-described fashionable kitchen sets that look like the set designer from Logan's Run had just vomited onto a copy of Better Homes and Gardens. In reruns it becomes obvious that these things were never fashionable, were never cool - people just didn't know better at the time.
Game show prizes are more than a convincing argument we've made progress since Card Sharks went off the air, though. They're an overwhelming condemnation of the society that spawned them, the society that made them objects of desire for countless tour guides from Pasadena and housewives from Fairbanks. We point at game show prizes and laugh not just because we are morally superior, but because, come on, avocado luggage?
And isn't that the whole definition of progress, really? Isn't it all, at its base, pointing at someone else and laughing "we're better than you, nyah nyah"? I say yes.
(Oh, and then there's the whole Charles Nelson Reilly thing. But really, that's another entry altogether.)(Browse: previous or next. Notes: post or read.)
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