Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sobbing while writing

Well, not exactly. But I just came back down to the studio (I was upstairs, watching TV, waiting for some gesso to dry) and I'm a bit verklempt.

Ordinarily I loathe the Diane Sawyer/Katie Couric/Oprah Winfrey style of tear-jerker special report. Loathe might be too mild a term. To me they're like emotional pornography with extremely high production values. If real pornography was this well lit, everybody would stop watching regular television entirely. Certainly, at least, what they are currently calling The News.

Oprah in particular gives me a cramp because she does the same thing as the other two, but with such a [reader participation exercise--fill in the words for what I'm trying to describe here because they're escaping me]. Holier than thou is a phrase that's jumping to mind, but it's like holier-than-thou enhanced with significant amounts of attitude. Like it was squared, mathematically speaking. Hanging out with Oprah must be a little what hanging out with Joan of Arc must have been like.

I found Couric most offensive during her Today Show years when she would sit on the sofa with some poor couple (maybe the parents of a kid who was killed at Virginia Tech--something like that) and press the issue with questions designed primarily to elicit an emotional breakdown by the guests. I can imagine the champagne corks popping in the control room--"Bingo," they all start shouting--when the some unfortunate soul starts bawling. Now, I suppose, this is Anne Curry's job, with the occasional fill-in by Matt.

Sawyer is the least annoying of the bunch, but that's not saying much. It's a low bar, my friends.

Anyway, suffice it to say I detest this particular television genre. In a moment of weakness, however, I did tape Sawyer's hour-long special on Congresswoman Gabby Giffords last night and just finished watching it. And now, a good half hour after its conclusion, my knees are still weak and stuff that's supposed to stay in my nostrils is dripping off the tip of my nose.

I wish her all the best. Giffords, not Sawyer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sir, are brilliant.

As is your Art.

Especially Dismembering Volcker, Morgan: Well Hedged 10-5-11, It's Even Worse in Europe and The Myth of the Rational Market.


7:46 PM  

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