Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who Needs Springer?

For the first ten years The Jerry Springer Show was on, I refused to watch it. I immediately change channels if I stumbled across it. It was entirely too trashy for a refined viewer such as yours truly. Besides, there was too much beeping going on to figure out what all the fighting was about.

Turns out, if you tune in for the start of the show you get the fully story--certainly all you need to know to follow the cussing and fighting that follows. I was hooked. Watching Jerry Springer became my dirty little secret.

The show relies on a steady stream of low-income, high school drop-outs with poor decision-making skills and a dirty little secret. They're boinking somebody other than the Nominal Significant Other, and/or were born a different gender than the NSO had been lead to believe. One of them has recently done time, with the philandering often taking place during the unfortunate incarceration.

The secret is revealed, the mob taunts, cussing and fighting ensue, the boinkee comes onstage for still more fighting, and then the mob gets to take shots at them. All the while girls are flashing their boobs for beads and demonstrating stripper pole moves while a legless dude runs around the stage on his hands and a clown on stilts juggles bowling pins.

What's not to like?

As a middle-aged, middle-class, professional living in the burbs of a college town, my exposure to the kinds of people you tend to see on Springer is limited. If they are around me (and they have to be--it IS Georgia), the context keeps them from revealing the dirty secret they might love to reveal on Springer. Thank God for boundaries. I hope it stays that way.

Watching Springer is a way to see how the other half lives. Crazy priorities. Good sex trumps everything else. Pimping, prostituting, and stripping are the primary occupations. No matter how many times he's cheated on her, she always takes him back. Whoever hits the hardest, wins.

I no longer have to watch Jerry Springer to get my fill of crazy thinking and ignorant, ill-informed mobs. I can turn on Fox News Channel any time to see that. Or go to a town hall meeting...

The big difference is that instead of pimps, ho's and strippers it's old, racist white men who fear death panels, socialism, anything-that-isn't-Christian, and gun control. Just a bunch of crotchety old white men. It's enough to make me want to change my name...

The Crotchety Old Gay Man

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