For the past two years, I've watched what might be called a minimal amount of television. I probably average less than an hour of tv watching a week most of the time. Until my recent move, I never purchased cable, or bothered to hook up the rabbit ears. I'm just not much of a television watcher.
Instead, I turn to DVDs to meet my show-watching needs. Problem solved.
I have two weak spots, though. Despite the criticisms that they get (much of which is deserved, I'll concede), I'm a sucker for crime dramas. I love Law and Order and CSI. I also love cartoons. Which, you know, also get a lot of deserved criticism, sometimes.
Anyway, I moved recently, and I've been watching more television than I'm used to, and it's making me sort of hyper-aware of the absolute shit that's on. It's everywhere. It's the shows, and the commercials, and the previews. There's so much horribly sexist, blatantly offensive crap on... it's a strong reminder of how awful a lot of television really is, and why I have no interest in purchasing cable for myself.
Lately, my personal nemesis has been Dr. Steve-O.
Over and over I'm subjected to the commercials telling me that he can "dewussify wimps, nerds and couch potatoes" and make real men out of them. I watch as he staples a papers to a guy's arm. I flinch as someone walks across broken and crushed glass. I scowl at the obvious use of his "nurse" as "look! Half-naked woman! Hot!" advertising.
I shouldn't be surprised, really. What do I expect from a show on USA that follows Monday Night Raw. It's not like USA is a channel known for progressive and intelligent programming.
But why is he supposed to represent manliness. He's not manly, he's insane. He's a self mutilating maniac. This is a guy who essentially gave himself a beer enema. His idea of a good time is pissing on the red carpet or sticking his penis in the concrete at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For gods' sakes, he stapled his scrotum to his inner thighs...
At least three times.
That's not manly... it's just stupid.
Honestly, that an idiot like him is given a show to make men more manly says way more about the social perception of manhood and what it means to be a man than I ever could.
If he is the model of modern manhood, count me out.