Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nothing new under the sun

What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking.
--Andy Warhol

Thought of this last night while I was watching the season finale of Medium. I am a daily reader of the blog dooce.com, which is written by wife, mom, writer, ex-Mormon, Heather Armstrong. I have become slightly obsessed with checking the blog. I check it as often as I check heatherfeather's and machineghost's and they are friends of mine, people I know, people I have lived with. (OK, I'll admit to obsessively checking Chris Cope's blog now, too. I can't help it. He's one funny mofo. )

So, back to my Warhol/Coke moment. As you may know, I watch Medium on NBC every Monday. In the past, I have not been a primetime-drama-watching kind of person. (Most of my favorite shows have been animated comedies.) Recently, though, I've taken to watching Medium and House religiously. I say "religiously" because, let's face it, I don't have any religion in my life and I probably need some. Having spent my formative years staring at Sesame Street for hours a day, it's no wonder I have found such ecstatic bliss in television watching. You may think it is sad, but I don't really find it sad at all. I have finally gotten to where I am OK with this. I'm a junkie for Patricia Arquette and Hugh Laurie. In the grand scheme of things, I think I'm gonna turn out just fine nurturing this jones.

A couple of weeks ago, Heather Armstrong (dooce) made a comment on her blog about a cheesy piece of dialogue in an episode of Medium (which she did not identify by name). I let out a gleeful little giggle followed by a disgusted moan of self-loathing. Why was I happy that she was watching one of "my" shows? Can't exactly say, but I was. Then, last night, as the opening credits were running, right after the teaser-dream that always precedes them, I had this thought: dooce is watching this right now.* Then I had this one: Andy Warhol/Coca Cola. And that Warhol quote just exploded in my mind. It was something I had forgoten, but something that had really struck me hard the first time I ever read it.

I will admit that I felt a dirty, at first, when I was happy to find out one of my favorite bloggers watched the same TV show as me. It just didn't seem like the kind of thing someone like me would get happy about. Yes, I am a horrible TV-watching junkie, but I'm not much of a starstruck groupie starfucker who likes to look at magazines about celebreties and famous people. I don't care what toothpaste Angelina Jolie uses. I don't need to know that Paris Hilton scratched her cootch on the beach and I certainly don't need to see a picture; however, I was as giddy as a boy-band fan that dooce and I have the same TV tastes. So, it's been a weird set of feelings for me to try to unpack.

But, I suppose, what it is that excites me is the kind of thing that Warhol discussed: no matter who you are, where you live, or how rich you are, how known you are, there are certain commodities that you--as an American--will have access to. And, many of those commodities are accessable in the same way and variety for everyone: there isn't a special Coke that rich people get; there is not even a different brand of soda that is an elite brand and is vastly more expensive or inaccessable than what we all have access to. Coke is the shiznit of sodas and you can't get a better one than I can, even if you're Trump.

And TV's the same way. OK, OK, granted, the extremely poor cannot afford a TV, but they can watch TV almost anywhere they go nowadays: restaraunts, bars, banks, stores. Also, I am not so naive that I don't realize that many poor people will pay a cable bill before a few other bills that are probably more vital. How do I know? Well, for starters, I grew up pretty poor and my parents eventually declared bankruptcy, but we never, NEVER had a lapse in cable television. Just didn't happen. Wouldn't happen. Nope.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm going with all of this, but it's something I'll probably drone on and on about for a few days. My apologies.

*This morning, I realized that this is actually not even likely to be true. My guess is that the show airs at a different time in Utah, but why don't you just play along, OK? Thanks.


themachineghost said...

I relate...I was happy when I read that dooce is a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy. And that she watches stupid mtv reality shows like I do.

What is it that is so appealing about that woman? I check her blog all day until she posts also. And its mundane day-to-day mommy stuff. I check hers, yours, and spaceface's everyday. You know you have charisma when thousands of people wait for you to write something about what your daughter did yesterday or how your husband loves his new toothbrush. Sheesh. And I love her daily photo post, too. (Esp. the recent one with Leta and Chuck sharing a drink out of the hose).

Anyway, yeah, I get what you are saying. By the way, whenever I am watching the Daily Show and I find myself laughing out loud, I think to myself that you and Jeff are laughing at the same time. And it makes me happy, because its almost like we are watching it together like old times, just hundreds of miles apart. Owen laughs too. He loves John Stewart.

littlegoat said...

awww. That's so sweet. I love you.

Too bad those assholes are taking two weeks off. I hope they play some of the episodes I missed when I was working late.