I went to a fitness club yesterday to which I belong via Silver Sneakers. I set myself upon one of those walking-in-place machines and started’er up. Speed 2.0 mph. The guy next to me was running, probably 10 miles per hour. I set the time at 20 minutes. The guy next to me was running when I got there and still running when I left. Have mercy on my, folks, my bones hurt.
My exercise program is not really what I want to share today, but rather, what was on the wall in front of me as I walked to nowhere. There were 3 flat TV screens on the wall. The one on the far right was tuned into a football game. The one on my near right was tuned into a soap opera. The TV in front of me was tuned into ETV. The “E”, I gathered, stands for “entertainment”. All three communicated with closed caption, as you might expect in a health club with noisy machines and three TVs going at the same time.
So, committed to my 20 minutes, I got to witness 20 minutes of a life I barely knew existed: the world of entertainment. Now, I appreciate art in its many forms including music and theater, but this is the scene behind that. It is not the total picture, of course. I am perfectly aware that there are many folks out there in the entertainment business who don’t participate in the life that was flashing before my eyes. I was aware of this strange segment of our society but I don’t usually give it much time or attention. One of my cousin’s kids said on Facebook the other day that she doesn’t like Beyonce’. I didn’t know who that was but, sadly, I saw her yesterday on ETV.
Beyonce’ didn’t do her artsy thing so I still don’t know what she does. She was highlighted for the dresses she was wearing to celebrate the new year. One such dress looked like it was made for an eight-year-old. Seriously! It had a really short skirt, high waste, and short sleeves. For some reason, I thought of my paper dolls and mismatching the clothes. Why in the world would a grown woman want to wear a dress that looked like a kid’s? What are these designers thinking? About making money, I suppose, and women like Beyonce’ who are willing to spend it.
There was another scene of her wearing a different dress that just about exposed her breast totally. It reminded me of a plate with two melons on it. Don’t ask me what the rest of the dress looked like,, but it was quite a contrast to the Shirley Temple look.
But it wasn’t really Beyonce’s clothes that rattled my cage. It was the interest in her and in all the people being talked about…what they would wear on New Year’s Eve, who they would be going out with, what parties were happening. They cited one woman’s tweets in the hundreds of thousands. Tweets? What the heck is a tweet? Whatever it is, I don’t have any. And if I did, I don’t think I would tell anyone. It seems like something you need a 12-step recovery group for.
I found it really disturbing that the moderators, a man and woman in their twenties, it seemed, talked about the “stars” as though they were fictional people with no flesh, blood and bones. They talked about switching partners willy-nilly in the middle of marriages, in front of their kids, as though they were just changing their clothes. I am pointing at the moderators here…at their laisseze-faire manner of speaking. They were smiling as they talked about what one would consider tragedies in the lives of these celebs. My twenty minutes seemed like an hour.
This morning Bernie and I talked to our son, Chris, on Skype. I told him about my experience at the health club. I am so grateful, I said, that none of our children or grandchildren are part of this culture. I don’t know what I would do; it is sooo freaky.
Until now, I considered myself to be a pretty informed person, but I guess there is more to see and learn in the world. I am not sure why it was important for me to see this particular way of living in the world. I was doing just fine with it outside my radar. I guess I will just pray for them. Sometimes that is all you can do.