I really am going to try to write some new pieces here in the coming months. Really. I would swear to God, but...you know. Whatever. But I think if I’m going to call myself a writer, which I’ve occasionally done on resumes and stuff to make it look like I did anything constructive from 2009-2014, I should probably write something now and again.
To be honest, as you might judge from my paltry few posts the last three years, I’m more TV watcher than writer these days, living in Walking Dead world most of the time now, but also a watcher who takes regular breaks to go survey people on the telephone. These surveys mostly involve the political opinions of Republican voters. The striking thing about this odd dual life is that neither half of it seems to be genuinely weirder than the other right now. In one, the world is full of dead people walking around trying to eat the living; in the other, Donald Trump is the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. I think the word dystopia was coined with one of these scenarios in mind, but I can’t for the life of me remember which one.
Oops. I’m getting into opinions here. We’ll need this:
In any case, one story involves a ragtag group struggling for survival in a world that’s come to be ruled by mindless, flesh-hungry zombies and remorseless people who will take everything they can from the weak and defenseless, while the other...
The other appears on AMC on Sunday nights.
Actually, the emergence of Donald Trump, potential president, seems like nothing more than a joke from one of those stupid 80’s movies or TV shows set in “the future,” where they make some absurd reference to someone in the public consciousness at the time. Something from, say, Robocop or Back To The Future II. Or, I don’t know, Holmes & YoYo. Maybe a funny reference to the Chicago Cubs winning the series, or a gag about Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Wait, what? That really happened? I mean the Governor thing, not the Cubs. Let’s not get ridiculous.
Now I am frightened. Just more on Tuesday nights than on Sundays.
But I don’t just watch election returns and zombie shows exclusively, mind you. For one thing, I did watch most of the recent NFL season, which I was only able to do by giving up the pleasure of calling people on “The Lord’s Day” to do political surveys, a mortal sin and a stain on my soul that I decided I could live without. I replaced that bag of fun with the sublime pleasure of watching Peyton Manning complete enough of those wobbly little turds he throws to win a Super Bowl. Honestly, the man throws turds. He tosses the ball out there like he’s letting go of a balloon, and you think about four guys will be waiting to intercept it. And somehow it’s complete for 20 yards.
To heighten the experience, these events are interspersed with Peyton’s periodic attempts to sell me his shitty pizza, which appears to feature little turds of its own.
And those commercials, of course, are themselves interspersed with drug company ads attempting to sell me pills for the erectile dysfunction that they would like me to consider having. Maybe if they repeat the words often enough? Repetition sells, right?
She’s always been the one for you. And she’s still pretty hot. But you can’t get it up. You just can’t. Can’t, can’t, can’t. What’s wrong with you? There must be something wrong with you. Something seriously wrong with you. When the moment is right, but something is wrong with you...
Fortunately, these ads come with text at the bottom of the screen: various disclaimers, reminders of all the sexually transmitted diseases the product doesn’t prevent or cure, and warnings of possible side effects. These not only put me off sex entirely, negating the need for help, they actually provide some amusement.
I see it’s been observed and documented that a man, in “rare” cases, may experience a rash, a swelling of the tongue and/or lips, and difficulty breathing after taking this particular drug. When I see these warnings, I cannot help but imagine the not-quite-middle-aged couple on my screen, the handsome, distinguished man and his still modestly attractive wife, right at that magic moment of consummation, about to join as one and share the greatest gift ever created; they owe this bliss to, and no doubt their marriage has been saved by, the wonders of modern chemistry and its agent, the altruistic and selfless drug company. Heaven awaits them. They disrobe, reach lovingly for each other, and...
With nary a warning, the handsome, distinguished man breaks out in every possible side effect at once. His face suddenly erupting in oozing red pustules, his lips swelling monstrously, his tongue blowing up like a puffer fish in his mouth, he clutches uncomprehendingly at his throat...and from somewhere deep in his chest comes a ghastly bubbling and wheezing sound, like “eehhhh uhhhhh, eehhhh uhhhhh.” Almost like a donkey braying, actually. A faint gurgling ensues; the man topples to his left, bounces once off the bed and falls away offscreen with a sickening thud. Woman screams. Fade to black.
I find this image terribly, terribly funny. Then again, I am a sick, sick person. I will make no apologies for this, as I am merely a product of my environment. In my environment, zombies rule. Zombies, and Donald Trump. So the world keeps telling me, over and over. The world is obviously trying to die, and I’m inclined to let it. And watch on TV. That’s me, that’s my life.
As currently constructed.