I knew this week was going to be a learning experience. And it has been. Probably the most shocking and saddening item of knowledge I've gained is the TV watching habits of my 15 year old niece. Calling the shows she watches "trash" wouldn't even scratch the surface of their pandering vapidness.
I came home from work the other day and Briana was watching a show called Maury. Now, the 30 seconds of Toddlers & Tiaras I happened to watch while channel surfing remains the most horrifying episode of my entire life. But, I'm sure if I watched a week's worth of Maury I'd eventually come across something that came very close.
Remember Maury Povich? He used to be on TV quite a bit. Married Connie Chung? Then disappeared? Well now he hosts a show that would make Jerry Springer shake his head. The episode Briana was watching was all about guessing whether an individual was born a man or a woman. They had 20 people up on the stage in makeup and dresses and, one by one, they'd take center stage and the dim-witted audience would hoot and holler and wave around signs as a way of voting whether the individual was either a man or a woman. Then the person whose gender was in question would reveal their original sex type and then there would be five minutes of reaction shots from the inbred audience members as they hooted, hollered, and had minor seizures.
And my niece was eating it all up. And it made me so sad. Not as sad as when my 8 year old nephew came into the room and started yelling at the TV "MAN! MAN! THAT'S A MAN! YOU CAN TELL BY THE MUSCLES! MAN!". It was obviously not his first time playing along at home.
So, I've kidnapped by brother's children and I am now traveling to a remote cabin in the woods. A cabin filled with books. No TV. No internet. Just books. Hopefully, over the next 20 years, I can reverse some of the damage that has been done.