Monday, December 17, 2018

When Hallmark Channel Is Your Friend

I've been reduced to Hallmark Channel. 

This is a very sad state of affairs. Sad for a number of reasons, none of which are terribly dramatic or life altering. Basically, there is nothing on TV I want to watch. 

Oh, yeah, I have a watch a list of movies yet to be seen, and there are old favorites that always perk me up. But in the scheme of "what's on," I'm tired of violence. I'm tired of gratuitous sex. I'm tired of absurd police and federal law enforcement "dramas." Those aren't dramas; those are excuses for bad special effects. Does anyone really need LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL NOSE PICKING UNIT? The cha-chung noise, once a staple comment in this household, has lost its charm.

TODAY show anchor desk ~ c.1956
The news is almost worse than these non-dramas for the worst possible reason: it's not news; it's infotainment, and it's not even good infotainment. TODAY has turned into an idiocracy fest. GOOD MORNING AMERICA is more like Good Morning, Fantasyland. CBS is the only one out there actually showing news in the morning, and thankfully, our local station, WCCO, has held to their model. With about a quarter of the happy-talk on the other local stations, 'CCO concentrates on news, weather, and traffic, the BIG THREE in Minnesota. That I watch while I'm getting ready for work. Notice I don't even mention Fox. No reason to. We're talking about news. 

Frankly, I miss J. Fred Muggs and the Today show anchor desk. They had a whole lot more gravitas than the current crew. 

Let's not even talk about the prime time news shows. NBC's DATELINE is visual click-bait. 60 Minutes does more than its fair share of populist baloney and they can be pretty dodgy on their own. And the serious stuff is soooooooo dramatic. What ever happened to good story telling? 

NEWS HOUR on PBS is the only evening news program worth the time. In fact, most of the history and documentary programs on PBS are worth watching. See, they deal in facts. That's refreshing. You can learn something watching actual fact-filled stuff. 

Meanwhile, what I really want are happy endings. I want people falling in love, struggling a bit with the process, then happily ever after. I know that's not real, but that's not the point. 

The point is that in the car this afternoon, I was listening to an analysis of the INF's demise. The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces agreement was the last of the Cold War treaties, and one that has held up for quite a while. The US accuses Russia of being out of compliance, and Russia says everyone else is, too....while moving on to Instagram as their social media of choice for electoral interference. 

In Texas, a judge has ruled the ACA totally unconstitutional and says everything must be peeled back. The stock market continues its plummet. Carbon emissions are expected to reach a new high in 2018. 85,000 children may have already died of starvation in Yemen and the executive branch of our government continues to support Saudi Arabia. Of course, 85,000 is a lot more than one kid who dies from dehydration and starvation in ICE custody but the loss of that child is no less important or painful as the others who have died in war. Which the border really is, if you really wanna know.  Just another war zone. 

As if the unnecessary death of children due to starvation is just another day in the office for Feckless Leader, he says he's shutting down the government because they won't give him his wall. Oh, for pity's sake, do us all a favor: just take your baseball bat and go home.

So I watch sappy, overwrought Hallmark channel to escape. Escape the fears I have for my kids. The fears I have for my grandkids. I worry about war, the environment, and antisemitism. I constantly ask myself is being Jewish is putting a target on all our backs? We are way too many steps into that parallel universe of 1930s Nazism. Didn't the Jews of Germany say, "Oh, no, it can't happen here. We're part of the fabric of our society?"

Now that I have depressed everyone into Hallmark and insensibility, let me leave you with my current ear worm:

There's a holdup in the Bronx, 
Brooklyn's broken out in fights. 
There's a traffic jam in Harlem 
That's backed up to Jackson Heights. 
There's a scout troop short a child, 
Khrushchev's due at Idlewild 
Car 54, Where Are You? 

Clap if you know what Idlewild is. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you like a good cry at the end of Christmas movies,
the WP highly recommends LOVE, ACTUALLY
THE HOLIDAY isn't bad either. 
Both are pretty funny, too. 


  1. Dear Susan,

    Finally I am able to read your blog on my computer and can give serious attention to your important comments. I now realize how much your ideas broaden my thoughts about our country. Lorraine

    Thanks again for your important work.

    Yours, Lorraine Hertz

  2. Dear Susan,
    As always, insightful and timely.
    May I recommend "Life in Pieces' on Hulu :)
    All my best,