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for September 25, 2002

Fact Or Friction
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love knows what she's thinking. Sometimes, she knows what you're thinking. She can tell what small children and politicians are thinking, but who can't, oui? There is one thought domain in which Your Buttercream Frosting draws a blank, and that is women in groups. Scout's Honor, what are they thinking? To find out, Your Carrot Cake sometimes sucks it up and researches using the versatile tool at hand: Oprah. Yes. Oprah knows what women are thinking, even if she has to decide herself.
This is television, which by definition is not real. What's real? The terror and elation of a thirty-year mortgage is real. Full Frontal Fashion is not. Defining dirty words for curious children before their friends do is real. Sitcom-style family accord is not. We have been trained to laugh at the weatherman and stick our heads out the window. TV is not real.
CNN presents us with a dilemma, then: if TV is not real, how can fireworks over Baghdad be real bombs landing on real houses, killing real people? Maybe they are. Fireworks are genuinely something explosive but almost never - we know from grammar school experiments with M-80s - deadly. A morning traffic copter reports an accident, and that intersection blocks our path to the office. We avoid it, so the tie up may be real for other people but not us. Yippee! For all we care, the smoldering three car heap might well be the Michelin Man, whom TV displays and who is not real. Probably.
A very small percentage of people watching television know for a fact that what they see is real or not real. We call them "suspects" and we're sure they're lying. So...not real. We watch The Sopranos, which is not real, and see the Swinging Neckbreakers, which is a real band peopled by, Your Kiwi Pavlova personally knows, real persons. Which makes this real to you how?
What then do we do with an earnest crusader telling us we must take action to prevent mass starvation and thwart pandemic? What if last time we saw this character he was dressed up as a rock star - a figure as real as muppets and spaghetti trees? Do we believe we must act or do we believe we must be deeply moved, entertained and turned loose on unsuspecting dinner guests? What do we make of Bono? On Oprah? Telling us his jaunts with politicians and movie stars - not the realest of the real - will save millions of lives in Africa, which will in turn save our lives?
It seems so real, Jesse Helms and photo ops aside.'s TV. Is Bono for real? Know any women? We could ask them what they think.

©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
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