Posted: August 5, 2010 in Life

Here’s where I open it up to you.   But first:






‘Thank you ladies and gentlemen.  Today’s show is about a mom who’s dating someone, and later finds out he’s her daughter’s boyfriend”


“Oh my God!  That’s right, girls!  I’m representin’ y’all!  My name’s Sugar, and I just made out with both of my girlfriends.  We did it for $50 but now we’re in love!!”


“Ladies – now you too can have long luxurious hair.  Just snort more cocaine.  Come on.  We all do it – so you should too”

*looks at TV guide – realizes it’s Mad TV*


“Hey Mom.  Thanks for ordering this awesome pizza for us!”

“I didn’t order it, Jimmy.  It’s Delectable Pizza – from the store!”

“It is?  Awesome!  You’re the BEST MOM EVER”

*turns TV off*


I don’t know.  Seems like there’s an awful lot of crap on TV.  And you will never (well, hardly ever) hear of a guy following the antics of someone on Survivor or Big Brother and making a decision to be “just like him*.    We won’t ever make out with other guys for $50.00 either.

Admittedly, my observation isn’t empirical.  Maybe there are some who would but by the standards of my small group of buddies, hangers-on and ne’er-do-wells – the answer is an emphatic “NO!”  (Such a question would usually be followed up with a homophobic comment, casting doubt about the questioner’s sexuality.)

We don’t judge our clothing styles by what we see on TV.  About the only peer-based fashion impulse amongst guys – that I’m aware of – is the requirement to wear jeans.  In fact, the only other fashion-pressure we experience occurs when women tell us what works and what doesn’t.   And you girls are so subtle about it sometimes too.

“You know what really makes me smile?    When a man wears a long-sleeved shirt and rolls it up to his elbows”

Honest to God, ladies – we’d have never even thought about that, had you not mentioned it.   I mean, who in their right mind buys a long-sleeved shirt anyway, when they really want their arms to have unrestricted access.  Why bother with long sleeves?  Just get a short-sleeve shirt and be done with it.

But no – we have high hopes for you, and so we’ll go to the bother of getting that shirt and contort ourselves appropriately until you nod your heads in approval.

The other day I bought a pair of sunglasses.  I put them on and walked over to a girl in my office.   “Whaddya think?”

She frowned.   “No.  Not working.”

There was nothing wrong with them.  But she had an innate sense about things, and her response was unequivocal. There was no hesitation.

She called one of her friends over.   “Suzy” (not her real name) “come here and take a look at this.”

At “this”.   Not “Wolf”.  “This”

Suzy came over, took a look and started laughing.  Her critique was a bit more startling and even less unambiguous.

I took the sunglasses back.

Sorry – I’m drifting away a little bit from the topic at hand.

People (mostly women) complain about what they see on TV and worry about “the message it brings to young girls”

Messages like: “if you make out with other girls, you’ll be cool and boys will like you”

Or: you can be the best woman of all if you find a way to put great food on the table.

Or: you need to be as openly sexual as possible if you want to succeed in the world.

This is where you come in.

To what extent does TV have an effect on women in general?  Do you think it affects men as well?

Men:  do you worry about what the women in your life see on TV?

Should TV producers and story writers be more responsible in what they portray, and in particular – how they portray women?  (You can feel free to define what “more responsible” means)

I’ll share my thoughts on all of this in the comments.


  1. contoveros says:

    Long sleeve shirts rolled up?

    Never would have thought about that Wolf. Gotta try it the next time out. I like your new fashion sense.

    michael j


  2. izziedarling says:

    Good grief. Be very afraid of anyone who takes anything on tv to heart. Except the weather forecast when a hurricane is approaching. As for asking women for their opinion of your clothing and accessories – ALWAYS DO THIS and DO WHAT THEY SAY. God love him, my cooking partner has a sense of fashion similar to … a big scary German tourist who came here via Hawaii. He knows I hate his clothes. He asked me if we lived in the same house, would I throw away all his clothes. YES! Cothes may not make the man, but good clothes make the man look better. :)


    • *nods emphatically* I’m totally 100% with you on this one. Took me a long time to realize the importance of asking women about fashion. Learned a *ton* of faux pas that I was doing, completely oblivious.

      I look at some of these people on TV and see them as another species of animal altogether. Can’t relate to people who can’t or don’t think for themselves.


  3. Okay, full disclosure: I live in Los Angeles (LALA land) and our business IS movies and television. More disclosure: I used to be an executive/partner of a live action company that solely MADE commercials for TV (and the big names too). I am now an actor aspiring to be on many more shows and film…

    With that said, let me also add this: I grew up watching TV. I love Television and always have. Because of my experience with TV and being a “latch-key” kid, television in my home was used more as a tool, not as a babysitter. There is a HUGE difference.

    I don’t ever remember watching TV as a kid and NOT having to discuss at some point to an adult what I watched while home alone (hence term: latch-key kid). Through that process I was taught what was good TV and what was bad TV. And let me say right here — TV is NOT bad. Yup, I said it. TV has bad stuff on it, but not everything on TV is bad and actually, there’s a lot of good (Uhem, Jerry Springer – BAD by the way).

    The point is, I think it’s real easy to blame TV for our own choices as to what to watch. And the truth is, there is PLENTY to watch on TV. PLENTY! But, if you’re not in the mood to watch it, then your NOT in the mood. But from A&E, The BBC, Discovery Channel, The Food Network, The History Channel, TNT, HBO, Showtime, blah, blah, blah..there is always something on and classic stuff too — from sports to old beautiful black and white movies… Don’t get me started with great news programs, documentary and independent films not to mention GREAT access to downloadable movies, cartoons, specific genres…. And yes, even on the networks there is great drama, comedy, news — it’s not that easy to find either!

    Yes, I’m a fierce advocate for TV (you never hear someone say that, huh?). TV writers and producers do NOT need to be more responsible — YOU DO! WE DO!

    If we really think about it… we’d realize that it’s NOT TV that’s the problem, it’s our inability to take responsibility for what TV is in our own lives — its a tool, a device, a piece of equipment — just like a microwave or oven. What we use it for, determines the kind of food we eat. Television is the same exact way. If we decide to watch trash TV, then that’s what we get out of it. But if we choos to watch le creme de la creme or the Filet Mignon of television, then it we enjoy a brilliant meal instead. And yes, it becomes a magnificent tool.

    I love TV. I grew up on it, I learned so much from it..and being a kid who grew up without parents and on the streets, without much to look forward to in life, it was one place I got to see all the possibilities of what life could be like someday… (*cue dramatic music here*)

    [eyes glassy…tear slowly runs down check…we hear a sniffle….]

    Uhem… sorry. I’m a little too close to this topic.

    (please remember that Roger and Abe love me dearly and will beat you up if you’re mean to me…*smile*)

    ~(shyly) Carmen


    • No need to worry, Carmen.

      I’m an aspiring actor too, and have done a fair amount of work, mostly unpaid so far. I’ll tell you something that irks me about TV though: reality shows. It’s a way for networks to make scads of money without hiring actual talent, and that just annoys the hell out of me.

      Other than that: I’m a big believer in entertainment. And when I asked the questions in this blog, my thinking was this:

      When did we start becoming a society who wanted to blame all of our ills on everyone else, and not us?

      When little Janey decides she needs to kiss her girlfriend in order to be cool with the guys, whose fault is that? Is it even her parent’s fault? How about little Janey herself, who was taught about right and wrong, and about self-respect, but chose…..*chose*…to do her own thing anyway?

      Sometimes the people doing the wrong thing are themselves responsible for doing the wrong thing. Not their teachers, not their parents, not the pastor at church, not even their friends who may have “pressured” him into it. No one held a gun to his head. He made the decision himself.

      “Oh but I was drunk at the time”. Uh huh. And this means what, exactly? That you are a completely different person when you’re under the influence? (Pay attention, Mel Gibson!) Or that you become *more* of the real you when drunk,? Drinking removes inhibitions. So logically – you’re just doing what you would have done anyway, without the social restrictions in place to let you let loose.

      So no, it’s not the alcohol’s fault either. And don’t tell me you have a “condition” either. “I’m a sexaholic, I can’t help myself” Right. And yet you manage to keep your pants on, and your tongue in your own mouth when a priest or a police person is nearby. Don’t tell ME you don’t have control, Tiger Woods.

      It boils down to choice, doesn’t it? Either we all have the ability to make choices, or we’re all brain-dead zombies, programmed to do someone else’s bidding. Can’t have it both ways.

      Wow. I went off on a rant there, didn’t I? When all I really meant to say is that it’s not the TV’s fault that someone’s child went astray, or that someone else has body image problems. In other words, I agree with you.


      • THAT, was AWESOME!

        I agree with you completely! (..and yes, Reality shows BITE..thank goodness that’s tempered down a bit…)



      • Abe's Blog says:

        Fight! Fight! Fight!

        Carmen, you make the same arguments I might make for gun ownership :)
        Well said. Yeah, as with most things, it’s up to individuals to make a choice to watch what they watch. That said, I do think there is a general cultural influence from the television shows–ie reality shows featuring women who spit at each other and make out with each other and call each other ‘ho’s. People make the choice to watch these. But it also seems that we begin to see some segments of society mirroring these actions…or were they already there and the reality show producers just put them out for all to see? I don’t know. I don’t see these people around me, but maybe they are there.


        • I had to go back to see where Carmen mentioned owning guns. Then it finally clicked in what you meant.

          I can’t honestly say how much these shows influence kids. We’ve all heard about the young teens doing everything *but* intercourse, just so that they can say they’re still virgins. More and more though, we’re seeing kids who seem to have developed an old-fashioned somewhat dignified approach to life. Certainly we can point to their parents but at the end of the day – those choices too are their own. And that’s something for their parents to be proud about.


  4. redriverpak says:

    Hallelujah on the reality shows! They will be the death of TV as we know it. I got a wall of classic tv DVD’s from the 60’s-80’s that I use when I am tired of all the crap that is on the tube these days.


  5. Herself says:

    There is nothing I find so alluring as a man dressed for work- shirt & tie- riding a motorcycle. The bike says “bad boy” but the tie says “I have a job.”

    One thing I’ve noticed is that now women’s magazines( a.k.a. fashion & culture propaganda) feature male models. So you can see how you are supposed to accessorize, and what your xy-chromosome should wear to make *you* look good. Hence, a woman telling a man that their sunglasses “aren’t working” shows that you wouldn’t make a good accessory.

    This is why men are suddenly shaving their chests & legs(eww), dressing long & skinny, like Sheldon in “The BigBang Theory” and layering. We’re making you into our slaves, and you have to be dressed appropriately. Now go get your man-bag, we’re going shopping. ;)

    The thing with TV, though- there’s nothing on in summer. And I have to go to bed early the rest of the year. So once Lost was gone, and Law & Order, there’s really nothing worth watching other than the occasional PBS special.

    I don’t’ have cable, but I have friends who do. I recently stayed with a cabled friend,expecting -I don’t know- some panorama of Mary Tyler Moore, reruns of The Wire or black and white Barbara Stanwyck movies . So I was disappointed to discover that cable is just more sound, more fury, and still nothing on that you want to watch.

    That’s what Netflix is for.



    • Yeah. Never going to catch me shaving my chest or legs. Not unless there’s an intent there to switch teams and let me tell you *THAT* will never happen. Got the layering thing down though. And just recently was advised (by a woman) to get a pair of dressy looking skater shoes. Huh. And I thought my black dress shoes were good to go. Evidently not. Oh well – you know what? These look good, too. Who’d have thunk? (And of course I would never have thought to buy them. Not on my own anyway)

      As for TV….well they’re showing re-runs of Californication right now. One of my all-time favourites. But otherwise…yeah. Not much on.

      Thanks for dropping by!


      • Abe's Blog says:

        Never going to catch you shaving your chest or legs, eh? Eh? Sounds like a bet, that one does. I’ll bet if the right little lady came along and said, “ooh, I love it when a man has a shaved chest,” you might break out the ol’ razor. And once you do the chest, you gotta do the rest. Am I right? Am I? Anyone? Hello…? Heh, heh. I’ll bet you 25 American dollars.


        • I’ll take you up on that bet, Abe. Only, I don’t know if I’ll ever collect: I’ve yet to meet a woman who would say such a thing. By the way – that’s what layering is all about: wearing a t-shirt beneath a button down shirt eliminates the horror of having those pesky chest-hairs staring out at the world.

          (Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Had to be taught that one.) :)


          • Abe's Blog says:

            I shaved my chest as a joke. Only the joke turned out to be on me when the hairs grew in and started itching like a sonofagun! It…wasn’t a funny joke.


          • Herself says:

            If a woman makes suggestions like: you need skater shoes or should shave your chest, I would respond by saying how about wearing f-me pumps and changing your hair color?

            Whatever happened to beauty being skin deep? I guess we have more skin to get through these days. Or maybe we’re all swimming in the shallow end.

            Skater shoes (shivers)on a man over 40 say to the civilized,erudite woman: “Aging hipster.” A shaved chest without washboard abs is like a push up bra without the push-ups. Conversely, ankle bracelets on a woman over 40 say to a man : “Old Hippie Chick” or: “You’ll run up a hefty bar tab on her.” Or: “Cougar.”

            There are some things left to the young. Though, in the great inequity, men can get away with a lot more, without plastic surgery, than women can. But really, doesn’t that just cover up who you really are?


            • I wouldn’t even come within spitting distance of most skater shoes. I’d be too afraid of being laughed at.

              The ones I bought though – well I had that woman’s assistance, via the iPhone (I took pictures of them, and she advised me). You know what? They look great. Basic black, with a sort of corduroy appearance to them. Understated if anything, and as comfortable as all get out.

              I think ankle bracelets on any woman, at any age, would look great. It says “I haven’t stopped being feminine”.


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